The following information is VERY important for all virtual students and their families to understand. Please review this page carefully. We are excited for a great fall for ALL of our students!
Laptops and other school materials will be available for pick up by appointment starting on Wednesday, September 9th at TWKDMS from 9:00 am until 1:45 pm. (Please be advised - traffic will be heavy around 9:00 am and 2:00 pm). Please call ahead to schedule an appointment so we make sure there is no crowding. School paperwork sent home in August must be completed and submitted before a laptop can be distributed. Any virtual learning family without the ability to pick up the laptop and materials should contact Lisa Sanborn (562-7552) ASAP to make other arrangements for getting the materials.
All students opting for virtual learning will have the same classes as their peers in the building. We are using our normal grading system, with traditional grades on a 100 point scale plus additional tracking of the most important standards using a 1-4 scale. Habits of Work Learning will be reported as a standard. This fall’s expectations will be more rigorous than the pass/fail system we used during the spring of 2020.
Daily Attendance Requirements
TWKDMS virtual learners will log into Google Classroom DAILY for each of their classes. Overall daily attendance will be initially recorded based on a required DAILY email sent by the student to their “Virtual Homeroom” teacher before 2:00 pm. In this email, the student will report what was worked on that day. Attendance will be verified weekly by staff inspecting Google Classroom for work completion.
Virtual Learning Absences
If a virtual student cannot participate in virtual school on a given day, then the parent/guardian must call the school to report the absence just like if they were physically coming into the building. The attendance and truancy laws still apply to virtual learning, and the state requires daily accountability for attendance.
Virtual Classroom Websites
All virtual assignments at TWKDMS will be posted on Google Classroom. Grade level team teachers will email students on September 9 (the first day of full school) with the information they will need to log in. Any student having difficulty logging in should call the school at 562-7552 for assistance. Each grade level team will post its own training for students and parents/guardians on how to use their Google Classrooms websites and what to expect.
Daily lessons and expectations will be uploaded to Google Classroom websites every morning by 9:00 am. Teachers will provide pre-recorded instructional videos and/or digital assignment materials. Students may work at their own pace during the school day, however, they must send a daily email update to their Virtual Homeroom teacher. Students do not need to sit at their computer from 9:00 until 2:00, however we strongly recommend that families create their own schedule for each virtual school day in their home.
Virtual special education students provided Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) as part of their Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) will participate in scheduled, live online sessions with special education staff. Attendance is mandatory at the scheduled times.
Live Online Help
All other students will have access to live online sessions offered at pre-scheduled times by our interventionists. There will be daily live online sessions for each grade level in English and Math, and additional virtual tutoring in other content areas can be arranged by appointment. To be clear, any virtual student can join a live session for their grade level. Students who are successful using just the regular Google Classroom materials are not required to attend these live virtual sessions, however students with failing grades will be assigned and required to attend live virtual sessions for help.
Schoolwide Teacher Feedback Procedures for Virtual Learners
We learned last spring that we need common expectations for teacher comments and clear expectations for what virtual students must do with comments. All teacher comments will be sent through Google Classroom’s “private comments” feature for individual assignments. Students must respond in writing to each teacher's comment in Google Classroom to prove they have reviewed the feedback. Students must not press “RESOLVE,” because that will delete the comment and create confusion for teachers and parents trying to help a student. Grade level teams will demonstrate how to do this as part of their start of school lessons.
Schoolwide Grading and Reporting Procedures for Virtual Learners
Keeping a close eye on student progress is especially important for virtual students. All virtual student assignments submitted by 2:00 pm on Friday of a given week will be graded and updated into PowerSchool the following week. Formative assessments (smaller assessments) will be graded and updated into PowerSchool by the following Wednesday morning, and larger summative assessments will be graded and updated into PowerSchool by the following Friday morning. Students who submit late work will need to wait an additional week for it to be graded as teachers are managing a lot of responsibilities with our dual approach.
Schoolwide Staff Communication Expectations
Virtual students as well as parents/guardians are able to email staff with questions, however, please understand that the teachers at TWKDMS are actively teaching in-person students for most of the school day. Teachers are now expected to respond to emails no later than two school days after the school day when the original email was sent. Virtual students will also have a virtual homeroom teacher, so contacting this staff member is another way of asking questions and getting support. Additionally, RSU 56 has used federal relief funds to create a temporary position known as the Online Learning Coordinator, Nancy Carr (firstname.lastname@example.org), and parents/guardians are invited to contact her via email with questions, concerns, and to arrange additional support or tutoring for their virtual student(s). Finally, as always, you are welcome to contact the Main Office at 562-7552.
Social-Emotional Health for Virtual Students
The TWKDMS School Social Worker is Philip Ramu, email@example.com. In addition to supporting students in the building, Mr. Ramu will be available for virtual support every school day. Mr. Ramu will host “drop-in lunch” virtual social sessions so that virtual students can socialize once a day through a facilitated and secure Zoom session. Mr. Ramu will also schedule virtual individual or group sessions as needed. Please note that our school social worker is not functioning as a full therapist, and will provide referrals to outside agencies when appropriate. Virtual students are also welcome to join co-curricular clubs (virtual or in-person) and extra-curricular athletic activities as soon as we know what we can offer.
Health Services for Virtual Students
Parents/guardians are invited to contact the school during school hours to consult with the School Nurse, Kathy Wilcox.
Food Services for Virtual Students
Meals are available for virtual students in RSU 56. Please contact Gena Cloutier at 562-7552 Ext. 115 to arrange for distribution and/or pick up.
Due to a recent change to Federal Policy, all students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch through December 31, 2020. This temporary eligibility change does not impact the completion of the free/reduced applications already sent home because those forms are used for a variety of funding purposes.
Virtual Student Picture Day
"Picture Day" at TWKDMS is Thursday, September 10th. A special time slot is available exclusively for virtual students between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Virtual students will enter the Music room using the entrance in the back of the building; there is a separate parking lot there as well. Only one student at a time will be allowed into the Music Room for pictures. A mask must be worn while entering the building. Students may temporarily remove their mask once seated 12 feet away from the photographer and posing for the actual photo. Students are invited to keep their masks on if they wish. The photographer from LifeTouch will follow strict procedures and safeguards for all sessions. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting virtual students for pictures, and alternative times may be possible by appointment. A volunteer will be present outside of the building to help manage the flow of students and ensure distancing and mask-wearing is observed. A picture “Make Up” date has not yet been scheduled. These photos are used for Yearbooks and student IDs.
Virtual Homeroom Initial Contact
Virtual homeroom teachers will call all TWKDMS virtual student homes during the afternoon of Friday, September 4, 2020. Virtual homeroom teachers and grade level team teachers will also send emails to all virtual students before Wednesday, September 9th, 2020. Links to Google Classrooms will be provided at that time.
6th Grade Orientation Day
Virtual students in the 6th grade are invited to attend the Grade 6 orientation on Tuesday, September 8th from 9:00-2:00. This in-building orientation is not mandatory for virtual students, and only grade 6 students attend on this day. If you do plan to have your virtual student attend orientation please contact the Main Office so that we can plan accordingly for that day.
Students may change their placement option from virtual to in-building for the start of the second trimester on December 7th. More information on the registration process will be provided at a later date. Parents/guardians may elect to unenroll students from in-building school and become virtual students at any time.
Change of School Status
If the school needs to temporarily close in-building for any reason, it is our expectation that virtual school will continue with daily attendance expectations in place.
Concerns Regarding COVID-19
Parents/guardians are invited to contact the RSU 56 COVID-19 Emergency Response Coordinator, Earl Couture with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Student Conduct Expectations
All RSU 56 policies remain in place for virtual students while participating in virtual learning or other school activities.