When will students and families have the opportunity to select their choice, Responsive Learning Plan or WGSD Virtual Program, for 2nd semester? What will that process look like?
As part of our placement process, all families of K-12th grade students must commit to either the WGSD Virtual Program or the District Responsive Learning Plan for each student, for the entire spring semester. Failure to make a commitment will result in your child being placed in the District Responsive Learning Plan.
Families will have between November 12-17 to complete a placement form for each child (one for each child) in order for the district to finalize class/course assignments and assign staffing.
On Wednesday, November 18,th families will be notified via email of the selection they made and will be given until 5:00 pm on Friday, November 20th to reverse the original placement decision for each child in their family. No changes will be accepted after Friday, November 20th at 5:00 pm and decisions will remain for the entirety of the semester.
If a parent does not complete the placement form (WGSD Virtual Program or Responsive Learning Plan) for a child during the Nov 12 - 17 window of time, in what format will that child be placed?
Children for whom a placement form is not completed will be placed in the District Responsive Learning Plan.
What does “hybrid school” mean for elementary, middle and high school students?
Students will participate in a combination of 2 days of in-person learning within the building, 2 days of self-directed virtual learning experiences and 1 day of virtual instruction with their teachers. On in-person days students will follow all health and safety protocols which could include face coverings, hand washing/sanitizing routines, and social distancing while in the school building. Students will follow an A/B schedule for in-person learning based on the last name of each family. Participation is necessary for attendance requirements and grading policies will apply to a hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning.
In contrast to the K-8th grade students, why are WGHS students returning in a hybrid format?
WGHS students are returning in a hybrid format due to the number of courses with exceedingly high enrollment and the space available.
How large will my child’s class be?
We will look to make our class sizes as small as possible, and will make sure we’re in line with local health guidelines. Class sizes will comply with DESE's K-12 class size reccommendations. Class sizes currently range between 17-24 students.
Why do schools have to purchase school supplies for families?
The decision to have schools purchase the needed supplies for classroom learning, was decided based on a need to not put an additional burden on already over-burdened families during these difficult times.
Will my children remain in their assigned classes regardless of class sizes, class offerings, etc.?
Class and teacher assignments will be fluid in order to ensure class sizes are as small as possible.
Are there parts of the elementary curriculum that won't be covered in the Virtual Program that would have been presented in the in-person learning? If so, will parents have access to it if they want to add it to their child's program?
All parts of the WGSD Curriculum will be covered, which includes reading, writing, math, science and social studies. We will also be including art, music, PE, health and library.
How will grading be handled for each learning format and learning schedule?
Grading will work as it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grading and expectations will be the same regardless of the learning option families choose and will stay consistent even if we have to move between plans.
Is the curriculum the same for the Responsive Learning Plan and the Virtual Program?
Yes. Curriculum goals, outcomes for students, grading and student expectations will remain the same, regardless of which option families choose or which plan WGSD implements.
Will course offerings be impacted?
While the WGSD will offer the necessary courses to meet graduation requirements, WGHS course choice offerings may be impacted at some level.
Which format do the teachers prefer, virtual or in-person? Were teachers involved in the planning?
Yes, teachers participated in the planning process. They are split between the two formats.
If a student who is in the in-person format has to quarantine, could he or she participate in the Virtual Program?
If someone is quarantining, his or her teacher would make sure that that student has the assignments covered, just like when a student missed lessons in the past.
Will the cuts in state funding hurt WGSD programming?
The district has taken an $800,000 hit at this point and will lose additional funding this school year, however by using our resources wisely, we can continue offering excellent education for all students.
Could the entire district go virtual at any point in the semester?
Will you be taking school programs, lunch etc. outdoors?
We plan to be outside as much as we can, always mindful of health and safety guidelines.
Will all of the High School AP courses be offered in all learning formats?
The High School is working on what courses will be offered. If a particular AP class isn't available, students can access it through the Launch program.
Will children be graded this year?
Will the gifted programs be provided in both the Responsive Learning and Virtual programs?
Is having students in elementary special programs (such as WINGS) meet via computer from their gen ed classroom during instruction the best solution? Students won't be able to participate without disrupting their gen ed peers.
We are looking at all options (including virtual instruction) in order to minimize student exposure and risk. This could look like some pull out programs are conducted virtually and some are conducted through in-person.
Can we choose different formats for each of the children in our family?
With these different formats, will we see more and more students getting further and further behind?
Our curriculum staff is currently noting which content and skills our students need to progress so we can incorporate it this year.
Will our students meet academic benchmarks so they can go on to the next level successfully?
We are working on this and plan to assess students, so we know where they are and what they need.
How or will there be any tutoring opportunities for those who are behind?
There currently are no tutoring opportunities available. Our teachers are working really hard to support each of our students. If a family needs additional support, they should reach out to their school counselor or principal to help problem-solve.
Will there be meet and greet the teacher events this year?
We will schedule these if they can be done safely.
What was the percentages of people who chose virtual program and responsive learning?
73 percent chose the responsive plan; 27 percent the Virtual Program
Why did the district host these Q & A Sessions after asking families to decide between the Responsive Learning Plan and WGSD Virtual Program?
We asked families to make a choice so that district’s could support WGSD asked families to make a choice so that the district can provide as much as possible for the students in the formats they’ve chosen. The goal is to support students in taking the classes they want and in the format they want. To do that, we need families to declare whether they want their children in the Virtual Program or Responsive Learning (which will start virtually). Once we have that information, administrators will spend the bulk of next week trying to create student schedules that most closely match what they registered for in the spring. This involves looking at the number of teachers who are scheduled or might teach the class, varying needs of teachers who need to teach in either or both settings (with the thought that we might return to in person classes in Oct.).
Why not offer only virtual this semester, and put all resources into in, without the Reponsive Learning choice?
Because we believe in-person learning is best for children and we hope to be able to transition to in-person eventually this year.
Will families continue to be surveyed regarding their and their child’s(ren’s) experiences this year?
Yes, we will continue to regularly seek the feedback of parents/caregivers, staff and students.
Why didn’t the district seek more input from parents and others about the academic needs of our children if there was such a strong learning toward all virtual for at least nine weeks? We were told the leaning was for a hybrid model. Why weren’t we asked what our most important priorities were if we went online (such as flexibility with school day, availability of electives, one on one time with teachers, etc.)? The district has made a choice that over 60 percent of parents didn’t want.
I don’t believe the district had a strong leaning toward virtual. In fact earlier in the summer, it looked as though we might have been able to offer some type of in-person learning. Unfortunately, the health data took a turn for the worse and the district had to move accordingly. Regarding parent feedback, we did survey families at the end of last school year and feel we have a good handle on what worked and what didn’t. As far as 60 percent opposing a virtual opening, that may not accurately reflect parental responses. They were asked to choose between an Virtual Program or the Responsive Plan, which might open in-person classes, depending on public health guidelines.
Will the Responsive Plan students who now choose to enter the Launch Program have more or less live instruction than the WGSD Virtual Program students?
Launch and Edgenuity are asynchronous options and do not offer live instruction at the secondary level.
How do Launch and Edgenuity operate?
Students will be able to transfer in their grades from the classes they have been taking thus far to Launch. Launch will include these grades in the student’s final grade. At the end of the course, Launch will provide a report card that WGSD can transfer into our gradebook/SIS (our student information system). Edgenuity is slightly different because they are controlled by us. In either situation, grades and assignments completed by students will transfer.
Launch will work with us to determine where within a course a student should be placed. Edgenuity is the same as we control the program ourselves.
The MS and HS courses are truly virtual classes (elementary Launch courses offer more live instruction) with independent work. MS and HS teachers hold office hours for support and tutoring, but students are expected to work independently since live instruction is not provided.
Students will receive a letter grade and percentage for MS and HS at the completion of the course.
Not all of the courses that WGSD offers are offered through Launch and Edgenuity.
Are any considerations being given for moving all students to virtual learning due to the upcoming holidays and winter break?
At this point, the district has no plans to alter its calendar or any of its programming due the upcoming holidays and break.
How will the Chelsea Center and Thrive classes be affected at the high school?
THRIVE—All students will be in our morning session. The space is big enough to provide for this. This way they will be able to continue to work with their businesses.
Chelsea Center- They have continued to host meetings with students in the virtual setting and find opportunities for students to get experiential learning. They will now be able to meet in person with students to provide discussions and guidance, and will continue to look for safe ways to get students experiential learning opportunities.