Will the district be transitioning to the hybrid model as planned after September 18?
The Board of Education has been following the improving health data and anticipated the changes in health guidance, approving a hybrid transition plan that will have all of our students in the school-based pathway back in school the week of September 21. We look forward to having students back in our buildings in their hybrid groups beginning September 21 - please refer to the Hybrid Learning Schedule. This planning tool reflects the hybrid group schedule for in-person and remote learning days that will be used when the district is in the hybrid learning mode. Learning modes are likely to change throughout the year.
What is the district’s plan for transitioning from enhanced distance learning to hybrid?
Based on the schedule outlined in our Hybrid Transition Plan, approved by the Board of Education on August 18, our schools began in-person learning on Monday, August 31 with our special education students who are served by our moderate/intensive intervention specialists.
Between now and September 14, we will be sharing more information about the hybrid model, expectations for remote learning days, and health and safety protocols through building-level virtual information sessions, videos, social media and our website. This will all be leading up to our hybrid transition days the week of September 14. Sixth graders at our middle schools and ninth graders at our high school will attend school in person on either Thursday, September 17 or Friday the 18th based on their assigned hybrid grouping. Any students in grades 7 and 8 and 10 through 12 who are new to the district or who have an Individualized Education Plan also have the option of attending on the transition day that corresponds to their hybrid grouping.
Every elementary student will also have one in-person transition day the week of September 14 - either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday - based on their grade level and hybrid group.
When students aren’t attending school in person on their transition day during the week of September 14, they’ll either be doing Enhanced Distance Learning with their teachers and classmates, or they’ll be doing independent remote learning - completing assignments on their own in SeeSaw or Canvas, depending on their grade level.
Then, all students in the school-based pathway will shift to our hybrid learning model beginning on September 21.
Please view the following videos to walk through the hybrid transition schedule.
Elementary Hybrid Transition
Secondary Hybrid Transition
Will there be orientation days for students before the transition to hybrid?
Yes, our hybrid transition days the week of September 14 will serve as orientation days for the students who would have typically had those at the start of the school year - our kindergarten, first grade, sixth grade and ninth grade students.
What is the hybrid schedule?
Each week, every student will have either two days of in-person learning and three days of independent remote learning, or three days of in-person learning and two days of independent remote learning. This schedule maximizes the in-person instructional time for every Upper Arlington student, so that they have more hours with their teachers in the classroom.
Please refer to the Hybrid Learning Schedule. This planning tool reflects the hybrid group schedule for in-person and remote learning days that will be used when the district is in the hybrid learning mode. Learning modes are likely to change throughout the year.
What does hybrid learning look like for students at home or in person?
On the in-person learning days, our students and teachers will really focus on new content and concepts. This will also be an opportunity for our teachers to assess students’ learning in person. These will be structured days for learning, with students moving through class schedules at the high school and middle schools or their normal learning blocks at the elementary schools.
The independent remote learning days will focus on reinforcement and extension of learning. Students will work independently on assignments and projects in their learning platforms, Canvas or SeeSaw. These assignments will be follow-up work to students’ in-person learning, and students will be able to move at their own pace completing these assignments during their remote learning days.
If I correctly understand the Hybrid model will require nearly 100% independent learning for 2 to 3 days per week, has there been any consideration to remain in EDL? The absence of structure during Hybrid is sure to derail our kids' progress.
As a result of improving data points on COVID-19 for Franklin County, officials from Franklin County Public Health issued new guidance at the end of August recommending that schools consider moving forward implementing and transitioning to a hybrid learning model. The Board of Education has been following the improving health data and anticipated the changes, approving a hybrid transition plan that will have all of our students in the school-based pathway back in school the week of September 21.
We understand the importance of in-person learning for students, from both academic and social-emotional perspectives. Transitioning to the hybrid learning model will give students the opportunity to learn from their teachers in the classroom, complete assessments to benchmark their learning, and have the valuable interaction that happens in our classrooms and our schools — with all of the new health and safety precautions in place. The in-person days will focus on new instruction. The remote learning days will be independent and self-paced, with students working independently on assignments to support and extend their learning from their in-person school days.
What if we don’t want our students moving to hybrid learning?
If you aren’t interested in having your children transition to in-person hybrid learning, the UA Online Academy is our fully online alternative to the school-based learning pathway during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Online Academy gives families an option for their students to learn at home with a curriculum specifically created for online education and fully guided, monitored and supported by Upper Arlington teachers.
As we prepared for the shift to in-person hybrid learning on September 21, we offered students in the school-based pathway the option of transitioning to the UA Online Academy. Online Academy registration is now closed. Please note that the next opportunity to request a transition to or from the Online Academy will be in late November, with the requested change taking place when students return from winter break on January 5, 2021. Switching at any point during the rest of the 2020 calendar year will not be permitted.
When hybrid learning is active, will the Hybrid Group 2 students receive the same in-person lesson as the Hybrid Group 1 students receive earlier in the week? How will new material be "taught" to students at home?
New content or concepts will be delivered during the in-person learning days. Students will be receiving similar lessons in the different groups, but our teachers will be considering the pace and the needs of the students in front of them. Some groups may move at a different pace than others, but we do not anticipate much variability. When a student is not in-person, the work that they will be given will be reinforcement and extension of the skills learned in school.
You mentioned that district team members have been involved with preparing for the fall, but what training/preparation have the teachers specifically had since so far to be prepared for this hybrid model?
At the end of the previous school year, we were able to offer more professional learning around our learning management systems (LMS) for Seesaw and Canvas. Teachers will have ongoing learning around how to maximize time during in-person learning to focus on the prioritized standards, appropriate pacing with just half the students at a time, and high quality assessment. As a district, we are preparing all teachers to collaboratively curate learning activities and experiences that can be done asynchronously (independently) during the remote learning days. Our goal is for this work to be extra practice for those students who need it, reinforcement of the in-person learning, extension or deeper application, and possibly previewing learning that is to occur upon the return to the classroom; not busy work.
What would a remote learning day look like for an elementary student during the hybrid model? What would be provided for the students, and what would be expected of students and parents on these days?
During hybrid learning, an elementary student who is at home will have independent work, projects and assignments provided by the student’s classroom teacher each week. This may be in the form of a student choiceboard, which provides follow-up learning activities to support, enrich and extend learning during at home days of enhanced distance learning. K-2 students will access this on Seesaw and 4th-5th grade students in Canvas.
What will the class schedule be like for high school and middle school students?
At the secondary level, we will have fewer hallway transitions as recommended by public health officials. Middle school and high school students will follow a block schedule that involves longer class periods spread over two days (an A/B schedule). Students are following a similar schedule in Enhanced Distance Learning as well.
If my student is the school-based pathway and schools transition to hybrid learning, can my student forgo the “face to face” days and do only distance learning?
Our Hybrid model is different from Enhanced Distance Learning, in that students would experience teacher-led instruction and have the opportunity to complete assessments on their in-person learning days. A student’s remote learning days at home would then be used to complete assignments that their teacher/teachers assigned on their in-person days.
In hybrid learning, will there be opportunities on independent remote learning days for students to connect with their teachers and peers in the classroom?
As we transition into hybrid learning, teachers will be focused on in-person instruction with the students in the classroom on any given day. As routines and relationships are established in the classroom, we will continue to develop ways to stay connected with our students on their independent remote learning days.
Are there any health/safety protocols in place for riding the bus?
We do have several new health and safety protocols in place for our school transportation. These protocols are posted on our website at https://www.uaschools.org/Transportation.aspx. Please allow for possible delays due to new health and safety protocols for our buses. We appreciate your patience as we implement these enhanced protocols for the safety of our students and bus drivers.
UA has prepared a hybrid calendar for the school year to show what the rest of the school year would look like if we stayed hybrid all year. Does this mean we will not go back to all-week in-person school, even if there's a COVID vaccine and the pandemic has ended?
The hybrid learning schedule was developed as part of our Responsible Restart Plan, with the goal of giving families a framework schedule for hybrid learning. This planning tool reflects the hybrid group schedule for in-person and remote learning days that will be used when the district is in the hybrid learning mode.
Learning modes are likely to change throughout the year. We will continue to receive updates from public health officials regarding the situation with COVID-19. All of our plans are subject to change based on evolving conditions, data about the status of the pandemic, and recommendations or guidance from public health authorities and the scientific community.
If we opt for Online Academy and the school-based pathway moves from hybrid to Enhanced Distance Learning, could we switch from OA to EDL?
The next opportunity to request a transition to or from the Online Academy will be in late November, with the requested change taking place when students return from winter break on January 5, 2021. Switching at any point during the rest of the 2020 calendar year will not be permitted.
How will lunch work for students on their in-person hybrid learning days? Are students allowed to pack a lunch or buy a lunch?
We want lunch to be a safe place for all. In hybrid learning, students will be eating lunch in their classrooms — this is a temporary solution and a community effort to make school as safe as possible for all of our students. Students may either pack a lunch or pre-order a meal from our Nutritional Services department. Pre-ordered meals will be delivered to students in their classrooms (for middle school and high school students, lunch will be during their second period class on A days or sixth period class on B days).
In order to provide a safe environment, the following protocols will be in place:
Peanut or tree nut products will not be permitted in classrooms identified with these allergens
Students will eat lunch in their classroom six (6) feet apart and in assigned seats
Disposable placemats will be used for every meal by every student
Hand sanitizing before meals and washing with soap and water after meals will be required
No food sharing of food or eating surfaces
Students will wrap up their placemat for disposal in trash bag provided that will be removed from the classroom immediately following lunch
Supervising staff member will disinfect and wipe eating surface following lunch
In addition, we are asking all students to bring their own water bottle for use throughout the school day. Water fountains will be unavailable in our schools. When possible, water bottle fillers will be available, and bottled water will be available for purchase at school.
How will attendance be taken in hybrid learning?
Our traditional attendance procedures will be followed for students on their in-person hybrid learning days. On the remote learning days, the district will use an “evidence of participation” approach — teachers will monitor the completion of assignments by students. We will provide families with any updates if we receive further guidance from the State.
How can we prepare our students for the return to school?
Here are a few ideas for how to prepare for this transition at home with your student:
Begin practicing daily symptom checks that will be required when students return to in-person learning
Notify the school immediately if your child is symptomatic or contacts you directly from school because they are not feeling well
Practice wearing masks for an extended period of time
Be sure your child is up-to-date on vaccinations or is on course for those to be completed
Practice proper handwashing techniques
Have your student pack a clean water bottle, hand sanitizer, and spare masks
Monitor the student’s mask to ensure it covers the nose, mouth and chin. It is to be clean and ready for use.
Ensure young children are not packing items that can be shared such as toys or items not needed for school
Consider limiting in-person out-of-school interactions and practice physical distancing when not in school to reduce the risk of community spread
Talk to your child about how school will look differently
Will classroom windows stay open to increase ventilation?
Opening windows to allow outdoor air has the benefit of allowing in more fresh air into the space but comes with the drawback of more natural air contaminants such as allergens and less control over temperature and humidity, and potential comfort issues. Under certain operating conditions it can lead to/accelerate mold growth within the room. Understanding the health risk to the room occupants before opening windows is important.
As indicated in the school district Responsible Restart document, the school district environmental controls have been set to maximize outdoor air as well as replacing the filters. Additionally the hybrid option that is implemented by the school district provides better ventilation than it normally would on a per person basis due to having fewer people in each classroom (the quantity of people in a room is typically the largest factor when determining ventilation requirements). With these implementations we expect better indoor air quality than normal while still maintaining comfort in the classroom.
How will the district ensure that our students are meeting grade level expectations and not falling behind?
We will continue to administer our benchmark assessments to monitor student growth and achievement.
Will SACC and busing occur as normal during the transition days?
Transportation will be provided. SACC will begin September 21 and will be available for students only on their in-person learning days.
What if I need to change my child’s hybrid group?
We asked families to complete a form in early August for hybrid group changes based upon parent work schedules and childcare needs. All efforts were made to accommodate those requests before the start of the school year. In order to keep the hybrid learning groups balanced in terms of size, so that only approximately 50% of students are attending school in person on their scheduled days, we are no longer accepting requests.