Scenario 4: Intermittent Virtual
Scenario 4 calls for Intermittent virtual learning:
Students take breaks from face-to-face learning for short periods of time.
Certified teachers deliver the curriculum.
Mental health and social-emotional supports are in place for all students.
Short periods of time may include: students who are sick, snow days, planning virtual calendar days while educators have professional development or engage in professional learning communities, etc.
Data & Technology
- Give teachers ideas for working with students/ families who do not have internet access at home, such as the options below.
- One-page list of internet deals for families
- Internet access from schools (i.e. Wi-Fi-enabled buses, parking lot internet cafes, etc)
- Printed Materials
- Flash Drives
- Provide a list of areas that offer outdoor internet access.
- Should your district decide to sponsor an internet cafe for students/families to use, consider the following:
- How will you schedule students/families to ensure proper physical distancing? Will you use a scheduling system? Who will handle scheduling requests? How will families reserve a time slot if they don't have internet access? (Can they call the school office or use a cell-phone compatible platform to reserve?)
- At the cafe, how will traffic flow?
- What will the cost be for the local district?
- Will you allow family members without school accounts to access your internet? If so, what policies do you need to put in place to protect the district?
- Schedule regular time (such as during a staff meeting) for your building to discuss accommodations for those without internet that would be appropriate for your school context. (What are other teachers in your building doing? What is working?)
- Ensure proper accessibility and provide the necessary accommodations for all students with IEPs and 504s
Costs for families
- Create an updated, one-page list of internet deals for families to use if they need internet connections. Communicate this in major home languages, if possible.
- Additional resources: Internet Access and Low-Cost Offer
- Monitor every Wi-Fi access point and wired network devices
- Take advantage of existing internet connections rather than trying to form new ones. (External access points on buildings, access on buses, etc.). Ensure access points are functional.
- When students lack access and the teacher has no ability to provide face-to-face instruction, prioritize innovative approaches to two-way communication.
Reviewing Privacy Policies of Online Platforms
- Review district policies and/or approved- product lists to make updates and provide justifications, as necessary. (i.e. Ensure staff change passwords on a regular basis. Provide training on best practices in selecting passwords.)
- Standardize as much as possible.
- In light of the recent uptick in phishing attempts, review precautions staff should take to secure district information including general guidance for staff.
- Explore best practices with staff, students and families that pertain to your district (example: follow your district’s procedure for vetting online resources before using them).
- Periodically review End User License Agreements (EULA) and any associated privacy policies from each vendor.
- Ensure all staff know their obligations under HIPAA. Remember that COVID-19 infection and testing information is protected by HIPAA, ADA, and other applicable state/federal laws, so exercise caution when responding to presumptive and/or positive cases.
- Ensure all staff know their obligations under FERPA including reviewing protocols addressing personally identifiable information with staff. (You can use this one-pager as a refresher.)
- Encrypt emails, educate staff on when to send an email, when to password protect a file, when to share a collaborative document, and when to snail mail if no encryption method exists.
- Ensure all staff know their obligations under COPPA and CIPA.
- Ensure staff understand the tenets of ADA compliance.
- Make sure staff understand that publicly posted documents and videos are ADA compliant.. Designate a district contact person for ADA compliance that staff members can contact if they have questions.
- Refrain from recording classes/meetings with students and families unless absolutely necessary. Consult your legal representative for more information.
- Avoid taking screenshots with students during video conferencing. Student names and images should not appear on public platforms. Consult your legal representative for more information.
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
- Review your district’s AUP and ensure its contents adequately address online instruction. Make sure there is a link in your AUP that gives the school consent to sign on the parent’s behalf (such as applications that require users to be at least 13 years old unless a parent gives permission. Ex: “I trust the school district to make decisions about what applications my child can and cannot access.”)
- If your district is one-to-one or is distributing devices to homes, draft a plan for how you will handle broken equipment and personal devices.
- Compare the AUP to your district’s instructional policy and make sure they are aligned.
- Decide who will be responsible for disinfecting the devices. Communicate this decision with families.
Video Conferencing Privacy Options
- Assist families and staff with preparing their video conferencing environments by adopting conferencing norms:
- Designate a safe, quiet space to work.
- Exercise sensitivity when requiring students to turn on their video cameras.
- Provide basic troubleshooting information (such as what to do if a video is choppy.)
- Use blurred backgrounds, if desired
- Make mandatory reporter information and training available for staff.
- In collaboration with your district operations/facilities leaders, collect data on negative and positive COVID-19 tests for staff and students/families. Assist with contact tracing as requested by your local health department.
Adjusting SIS Platforms in Light of New Scheduling, School Calendars, Grading, and/or Attendance Procedures
- Consult instructional staff and explore SIS platforms regarding grading, attendance, and scheduling. Adjust teacher access to information within the SIS, as necessary, to ensure staff have all the information required to meet student needs.
- Work with instructional staff to organize and centralize online resources that were compiled during the closure.
Student Assessments Interim/Benchmark
- Virtual administration for computer administered assessments
- Student access
- FASTBridge (Illuminate student portal)
- Weblink for all other tools
- Student access
Review Existing Data
- Review any existing Spring 2020 data.
Monitoring Progress and Effectiveness
- Plan for collecting the following data:
- Academics (Which standards were taught in each course and how close are students to mastery?)
- Behavior/Mental Health/Social-Emotional Wellbeing/Mental Health Referrals for students and staff
- Compliance and effectiveness of accommodations
- Review technology support tickets and inventory frequently as a way of understanding the quality and progress of technology processes in your district.
- Collect data regarding connectivity and access. Update information on device access, device condition, and connectivity that may have changed in between face-to-face and virtual scenarios.
Collecting Reliable Information
- How you gather data is important. There are multiple ways to collect data such as surveys, focus groups/interviews, observations, and tests. Before collecting data, consider whether or not the data you need already exists and, if not, which data collection method will best answer your question. Work with your district’s data coach to implement best practices in data collection.
Best Practices in Survey Design Resource
Storing and Sharing Data
- Review existing policies around data storage and sharing, and make updates as necessary. Include in these policies, a plan for how data will be communicated to diverse stakeholders.
Inventorying Technology and Planning for Collection or Distribution as Necessary
- Before teachers and students take technology home, ensure it is configured to be usable and safe. Check for accessibility.
- Plan for safely mass distributing and collecting technology from staff and students. (What work was done this spring? Review this process to ensure it still works in the fall.)
- Follow CDC guidelines:
Procurement of Equipment as Necessary
- Ensure all staff have the appropriate devices necessary to do their work.
- Consider the ways IEPs/504s and IFSPs influence service options and procure new equipment as necessary. Review current IEPs/504s and make sure correct devices are assigned to the students and function wherever instruction takes place.
- Set standards for what products/platforms to use, and communicate these standards with staff. Ensure your standards are flexible enough to address multiple scenarios. Incorporate teacher voice when exploring or introducing new platforms necessary to fill an identified need.
- Provide families with support/initial training regarding how to use devices and platforms. Communicate this in major home languages, if possible.
- Publish clear troubleshooting guidelines. Who will serve as your district’s technology contact?
- Provide district contact information that staff can contact with questions or concerns.
- Conduct a capacity assessment to determine whether or not your IT department is adequately staffed to handle these new digital models of instruction.
- Review the spring challenges and successes to determine future support needs for staff.
- Tell students and families who they should contact with technology issues or questions. (This could be the classroom teacher, a school secretary, or a different person depending on district capacity.)
- This contact can troubleshoot and escalate issues, as appropriate.
Community Engagement & Parent Connections
Child Care Accommodations for Working Parents
- CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Guide
Focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.
- CDC - Cleaning and Disinfecting Decisions Tool Flyer
Used for display in public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.
Cost of Childcare
Recommendation for districts to provide the following links to parents to give resources for childcare cost assistance.
- MiDHHS- Childcare Assistance
State of MI childcare assistance
- Get Help Paying For Child Care
National website with childcare assistance ideas and links
- Financial Assistance For Families | Childcare.gov
National website with Michigan specific links
- Help Paying for Child Care — Child Care Network
Child Care Network resource
- Family Support Program
Child Care Scholarship
- 9 Child Care Subsidies Every Family Should Know About
Rural Scholarship/Urban Scholarship/Suburban Scholarship
Recommendation to provide student parents information for grants available for child care.
- For Lansing Community College Students
- For Michigan State University Students
Accessibility and Availability
Childcare Collective Toolkit
Assistance in the form of providing Background checks.Recommends structures for creating safe community groups.It addresses the need for childcare because of lack of facilities or when schools and centers are shut down and families need to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and still need their children safely cared for.Makes contract tracing easier.
Contact community education director (district specific)
Assistance in the form of providing Background checks.Recommends structures for creating safe community groups.It addresses the need for childcare because of lack of facilities or when schools and centers are shut down and families need to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and still need their children safely cared for. Makes contract tracing easier.
Contact community education director
Assistance in the form of providing Background checks. Recommends structures for creating safe community groups.It addresses the need for childcare because of lack of facilities or when schools and centers are shut down and families need to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and still need their children safely cared for.Makes contract tracing easier.
Contact community education director
Survey of families in Eaton, Clinton and Ingham county
Families express their fears and concerns about returning to school, their accessibility to childcare, internet technology and concerns about clear communication from school districts. This should be used to improve communication and address the diverse needs of families.
Working from home with children
The following resources are recommended to be available to parents who need to work from home while children are also home from school.
- Society for Human Resource Management: “Working from Home: How to manage the Impossible?”
Advice from working parents to other parents who are working from home while children are home.
- Georgia Tech Professional Education: How to Master Remote Work with Kids
Provides schedules, routines, and suggestions for children of all ages.
- Michigan State University: Worklife Office: Best Practices for Working at Home with Children
This article gives 18 suggestions/guidelines to use while working from home. It also provides links to other resources that are useful
- Harvard Business Review: A Guide for Working Parents (from home)
This Resource provides 3 steps to set up routines and maintain normalcy in a new schedule.
Common Language Used for All Articles:
- Set up a workstation, create boundaries/rules
- Divvy up childcare (among spouses, neighborhood groups, older children)
- Create modified schedules/routines, and stick to it (for yourself, and the kids), make the commitment
- Work in bursts (do some work, do some parenting, do some chores…repeat)
- May work early in am or late at night to accommodate parenting needs at home, may need to work weekends and take days off during week
- Keep your mental health in check, take breaks, go for walks, breathe
Resources for Parents to Advocate to work from Home
Refer to CDC guidelines when speaking to employers about making accommodations to one’s work schedule or moving work location to home
Safe Study Space
*If no access to WiFi/computers only
- Family Growth Center
Provides FREE drop in care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. (For our younger learners in the Lansing area, TK and K)
- Educational Child Care Center
Support, Resources and Training for Families in Learning at Home
Great resource to walk parents how to support at home and get the conversation going as to what to look for at home, and how to talk with teachers. Needs to be updated with current curriculum supports; ThinkCentral, Google Classroom, etc.
Parent Guides for Google Classroom, Seesaw, & Google Meets in multiple languages
CADL has digital and print resources to support families and students. CADL also has a variety of “things” that can be checked out including wifi hotspots, Raising Reader Backpacks, Early Literacy Launchpads and much much more.We also provide technology support through one on one tutoring sessions and programming. We offer expert Readers Advisory services for all ages. In our facilities we provide access to wifi and public computers, faxing, printing, copying, and scanning. Contact your local branch for more information.
- Jolee Hamlin
- Associate Director of Public Service
Support and Resources for Teachers
- Michigan State University Liaison for Translators & Interpreters
- Mary Hennessey
Who Are We and Who Do We Serve
Consider following page 11 from the MI Safe Schools Roadmap- instead of the at risk group we serve it could represent who sat on the planning team for the reopening work so families could see representation that was included- district could also consider something similar to page 4 and 5 of the MI Safe School Roadmap
Sample Survey could be used - Demographic Survey - Make a Copy
The following recommendations were made in response to Governor Whitmer's Phase 4 Safety Protocols.
- All staff must wear face masks except for meals. Exceptions will be made for staff that cannot medically tolerate a mask.
- Students in grades 6-12 must wear a mask at all times except for meals. Exceptions will be made for students that cannot medically tolerate a mask.
- Masks should be worn in hallways and common areas by preschool through grade 12 students in the building except for during meals. Exceptions will be made for students that cannot medically tolerate a mask.
- Students in kindergarten through grade 5 wear masks.
- Encourage families to have five masks for each student so that they can use a different one each day and wash on the weekends
- Follow county-wide guidance when setting mask policies for students in preschool and students with special needs. Remember that masks should never be used on children under the age of two.
- Define a quarantine area in each building. If that area is in the office, use a portable wall.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Draft custodial disinfectant schedules.
- Provide necessary staff with Clorox wipes, approved disinfectants, face shields, and masks for the first four months of school.
Other Safety Measures
- Staff must answer health questions daily before or upon arriving at work.
- Hang plastic barriers in office areas. Contact Mid-Michigan Glassworks or call 517.655.1509 for questions.
- Assign technology devices to students when possible to limit the number of individuals touching the same device.
- All students must wear masks.
- Do not allow seat changes.
- Family members should sit together.
- Have an extra person on the bus to supervise and cleanse between runs.
- Determine an entry door and exit door.
- Place 6-foot markers on outside sidewalks.
- Determine traffic patterns for hallways.
- Only allow essential volunteers to enter school buildings.
- Parents/Guardians must wear masks and use hand sanitizer while in school buildings.
- Create a COVID-19 questionnaire for new student registrations.
Hand washing Schedules
- Schedule handwashing times during the school day.
- Wash at the start of the day.
- Wash before and after recess/lunch.
- Wash before/after class changes in elementary buildings.
- Use hand sanitizer before boarding the bus.
- Playground structures must undergo normal routine cleaning, but the use of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant is unnecessary.
- Regularly disinfect common printers, copiers, technology labs, door handles, toilets, and drinking fountains. Develop a schedule for custodians.
- Collaborate with your district's technology department on ways to safely disinfect Chromebooks/computers, tablets, and remotes.
- Do not have open food stations.
- Add an additional barrier at serving windows.
- Have students eat in classrooms. Implement classroom rotations to retrieve lunches from the lunchroom. This will require extra supervision at the elementary level.
- Adjust recess and lunch schedules to give more time for lunch transitions.
In the classroom
- Have all tables/desks face forward.
- Do not allow students to share school supplies.
- Encourage students to bring their own water bottles.
- If able, do not allow students to share technology. Shared devices must be disinfected between uses.
- Open windows when possible.
- Develop traffic patterns in the hallways.
- Masks must be worn.
- Maintain distance between students.
- CA rooms must have surfaces wiped down between classes.
- Consider using the last few minutes of class time to wipe down tables and chairs.
Reported Illness and Action Plan
- Adopt a strict and uniform policy regarding illness.
- Students and staff must be fever-free without medication for no less than 24 hours before returning to school.
- Symptomatic students and staff with cough or other symptoms must be tested before returning to school. This return must be accompanied by a note from the doctor indicating that it’s safe to return. (Place the note in the note in the cumulative record folder.)
- Consult statewide pupil accounting guidance form attendance policies in light of COVID-19. Communicate any chances with staff and families.
- Determine an isolation area for students with fever or other symptoms. Determine who will care for isolated students
- Have an action plan from parents/guardians as to how they will quickly retrieve their students in the event of a phone call home.
- To minimize lapses in learning, have a printed plan regarding remote learning that can be sent to students required to stay home for an extended period of time due to COVID-19 symptoms, quarantines, or infections.
- Draft a common letter to send to parents/guardians regarding a positive result from a staff member or student.
- Have a classroom- and school-level plan of action should there be a positive case of COVID-19.
Educator Training/Professional Development
Planning Professional Development for Personnel
Plan to provide teacher and staff professional development related to the use of technology platforms, training on supporting and giving feedback to students, training on the meeting the accessibility needs of students with disabilities and training on effective student engagement (by grade level). Consider training for substitute teachers when possible (especially long-term substitutes).
Focus on finding ways for teachers to be able to share their knowledge, continuously learn, exchange ideas and support one another.
Provide professional learning to build educators' capacity to support students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and also their own mental health and wellness. Topics could include: active listening, compassion, relationship building, trauma-informed practices, identification of students at risk, proper local referral protocols and self-care to promote holistic wellness and resilience and to prevent burnout, resiliency strategies and vicarious trauma.
Provide training for teachers on accessing and using the school’s digital systems and tools. Additionally, provide workshops for families to build digital literacy.
Collective Bargaining and Staffing
Staffing & Class Size
- Class sizes should be small enough to accommodate six feet of space between students.
- Ensure options for flexible work locations (e.g. telework) and flexible work hours (e.g. staggered shifts) are available and used when needed.
- Ensure students are kept together in small groups with dedicated staff and remain with the same group throughout the day, every day, if possible.
- Support school personnel who meet the criteria for high-risk populations.
- Develop protocols for communicating possible COVID-19 exposure to staff
- Properly communicate leave notification requirements to staff members
- Implement protocols that help staff understand if and when they should stay home from work. If staff are asked to stay home due to COVID-19, let them know when it is safe for them to return to work.
- What should staff do if they have COVID-19 symptoms?
- What should staff do if they are diagnosed with COVID-19?
- What should staff do if they are waiting for COVID-19 test results?
- What steps should staff take if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms?
- What steps should staff take if they have been exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?
- Train staff on the proper use, removal and washing of cloth facial coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Train staff on all safety protocols (such as cleaning materials, what to do if a student is sick, etc.)
Personnel Mental Health & Self-Care
- Provide on-demand, remote counseling for staff
- Provide PPE for staff and enforce safety-related best practices to help reduce stress in the workplace (school). *Only if staff are required to be in buildings.
- Provide (virtual or in-person) synchronous meetings with staff on a regular basis to: check-in on those who may be struggling, provide “face-time” with teaching partners, collaborate with one another and create a safe space to express concerns and or challenges.
- Protect planning time, access to restrooms and appropriate breaks for staff members working in school buildings.
- Staff members who are supporting virtual instruction should be protected by guidelines related to communication from staff to students/families to ensure staff members’ responsibilities in their own home are not jeopardized.
- Provide a safe space/forum for staff to express concerns/challenges they are facing.
- Clear expectations regarding staff members’ responsibilities related to virtual instruction should be established and published prior to the implementation of virtual school.
- Provide opportunities for staff to engage in virtual/in-person optional “trainings” related to stress management, mental health, self-care, etc.