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April 3, 2020 letter from Superintendent Turck:
Dear Homer Schools Community,
As we come to the end of this week, I am writing to give you direction on the District’s plans for finalizing the third marking period and starting the fourth marking period in case the governor extends school closures beyond April 15th. At this point, we have no new information to share about the extension of that closure. I will update you as soon as I receive any new, validated information.
This plan will allow us to adequately assess your child's understanding of key learning standards while keeping in mind the many things weighing on students, families and staff dealing with this unprecedented crisis. We have to be honest and become comfortable with the fact that no home learning plan can replace the quality of learning that would happen if children were in school, but that we are making the best of what is less than an ideal situation.
Close Out Of Third Marking Period
We will use the instructional week (April 6-10) for teachers to review material and assignments already covered prior to our initial school closure. The learning activities will help them determine your child’s understanding of their planned marking period Learning Standards.
At this time, we will not be entering grades for, or reporting home on, third quarter marking period grades. When we receive guidance from the State Education Department about how to report student progress during the closure period, we will communicate what the process will be at that time. You can be clear with your child that the work being assigned will count, but we are just not sure in what form we will need to report it!
Fourth marking period (Phase II- New Instruction)
This will begin on Monday, April 13th. For the fourth marking period, teachers of common courses will develop and assign the same experiences.
You should expect that your child will be asked to complete the following:
- Pre-K-2………30 minutes/day ELA; 30 minutes/day Math. Provide parents with stories and questions that accompany those stories to provide for read aloud opportunities.
- Grades 3-5……30 minutes/day ELA and Math; 30 minutes/day Science or Social Studies. Special area teachers will be posting activities each week for students.
- Grades 6-12……Core Subject Area Classes including Concurrently-Enrolled Classes
(ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages)
- 30 minutes per class, 5 times/week
Electives/Special Area Classes
- 30 minutes per class, 2 times/week
If you feel that your child is being asked to do too little or too much daily work, please contact the appropriate teacher. If this is not resolved to your satisfaction, please follow up with the building principal. We have come very far in a short period of time, but we are still "finding our sea legs" when it comes to developing learning activities to be done at home. It is not our intention to overwhelm you or your child.
We understand that students are sometimes being expected to be in more than one online chat/hangout at the same time and are having to choose which one to participate in. We are developing a process for scheduling to alleviate this issue. This will be in place by Monday, April 13th.
Grading in Phase II
Students will be “graded” as follows:
- Complete = Student has executed the task to the course or grade level standard (3)
- Incomplete = Student has executed the task but it is not yet to the course or grade level standard (2)
- Missing = Student has not yet submitted the assignment (0)
Grades 6-12 feedback/grade will be communicated to students and entered in Schooltool. A completed assignment will receive a three (3), an incomplete will receive a two (2), and a missing assignment will be recorded as a zero (0). This will allow parents the opportunity to review their child's progress and be sure that work is being completed.
At the end of the fourth marking period, students will be given a Pass or Fail for the quarter based on the attainment of the Standards assigned and assessed.
We will look to the State Education Department to give guidance as to how students learning is recorded at the end of the school closure. Once that has been determined, we will let you know.
Student Materials Access
We are developing a process for ensuring that your child has the critical learning materials that they will need to continue home learning activities if the school closure is extended past April 15th. We will be using the meal distribution sites for materials pick up beginning next week. If it is necessary to provide learning materials to your student, your child's teacher(s) will be reaching out to determine which pick up site best suits your family’s needs.
Please take time to take care of yourself and your family. When planning home learning activities, I have asked staff to keep in mind the many challenges that you are facing in taking on the role of educating your children above and beyond anything you have been asked before while juggling all that life sends your way.
I want to re-emphasize how important it is to reach out to our staff for any academic or social-emotional needs that you may have. We understand how difficult a time it is for everyone and want to be a true partner in helping you get through it. I will continue to update you as soon as information of interest becomes available. Take care and have a great weekend.
Thomas M. Turck
Superintendent of Schools
We will be updating the above FAQ from the questions entered below.