Superintendent recommends new learning model for Grades 6-12

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 3:15pm
Community Update

Board to vote on recommendation to transition Grades 6-12 to remote learning

October 19 Onward Update

Lea este artículo en español

Dear Five Star Community,

Thank you students, staff and families for making in-person learning possible by quickly adapting to the new health and safety protocols within our school buildings. As we’ve mentioned before, what happens outside of our schools can have an impact on what level of in-person learning can occur within our buildings. 

As a result of increasing cases of COVID-19, many of our buildings - especially at our middle and high school levels - have experienced multiple precautionary quarantines over the past several weeks. One of the key priorities Superintendent Chris Gdowski has stressed this school year, in addition to safety and family needs, is providing efficiency through a learning model with greater predictability and consistency. The last few weeks have proven that, due to the rising cases and necessary quarantines, it is difficult for students, staff and families to maintain a consistent and productive learning environment under these current circumstances. 

The Board of Education is expected to consider and vote on a recommendation from Superintendent Chris Gdowski during its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m., this Wednesday, Oct. 21, to transition all secondary students (Grades 6-12) to full-time remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. 

  Any change to the current learning model would become effective Thursday, Oct. 22. 

Understanding the Superintendent’s Recommendation

Recommended Changes:

  • Middle and High School Levels (Grades 6-12): Return to full-time remote learning for all students at the secondary level. Schedules will not change. Teachers and classes will remain the same for all students. 
  • K-8 schools will follow the appropriate learning model by level listed below.
    • K-5 students will stay the same, attending in-person five days/week.
    • Students in grades 6-8 will return to a full-time remote learning model. 
    • Schedules will not change. Teachers and classes will remain the same for all students.

Staying the Same:

  • Preschool: Stays the same. Students attend in person, full time, four days/week with a teacher. 
  • Elementary School Level (Grades K-5): Stays the same. Students attend in person, full time, five days/week with a teacher.
  • Teacher and student assignments will remain the same for all students. 
  • The full-time remote learning option will continue for families who previously chose that model based on need or preference.
  • Some in-person instruction will continue to be provided for students with disabilities, students with advanced learning plans, English language learners and identified Career and Technical Education students at FutureForward at Bollman and Washington Square.
  • Transportation will continue to be provided for elementary students who currently receive it and any in-person CTE classes at FutureForward at Bollman and Washington Square. 

Key Dates

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: Superintendent Chris Gdowski presents his recommendation at the Board of Education meeting scheduled for 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 22 (if board adopts recommendation): 
    • Elementary and K-8 Schools Grades K-5: Continue with full-time in-person learning.  
    • Middle, High and K-8 Schools Grades 6-12: Transition to full-time remote learning. Both Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23 will be asynchronous learning for teachers and students. 
  • Monday, Oct. 26 (if board adopts recommendation):
    • Middle, High and K-8 Schools Grades 6-12: Teachers and students begin synchronous (live, teacher-led) remote instruction. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the superintendent’s recommendation before Wednesday’s meeting, you can visit BoardDocs where the presentation is posted for your review.

The district will update staff and families on the board’s decision by Thursday morning. 

*The learning plans for district charter schools may be different. Please check with your child’s charter school for more information.

How to view the special meeting
The district will live stream the meeting on the district YouTube channel. The broadcast will also be accessible via the video camera link that will be posted in the agenda in BoardDocs prior to the start of the meeting. Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be provided during this meeting. Please check the BoardDocs website for information on accessing interpretation services.

How to provide public comment
There are two options for providing public comment during the board meeting:

  1. Signing up to speak live during the Zoom meeting 
  2. Submit feedback in writing for the board to review

Both public comment options are available by submitting this Google Form. Requests to address the board in public comment must be submitted by 3 p.m, Wednesday, Oct. 21.