Dear BFCCPS Community,

Thank you to everyone that participated in the parent survey week; this information helps us to understand how we can best support students and parents in the weeks ahead. In some instances we heard that families are eager for us to move forward in the curriculum as their children are not motivated by review. In other instances, families are struggling to keep up with the volume of work that has been provided to date. Many factors affect each family’s ability to participate in remote learning; for example family size, age and number of siblings, and parental work responsibilities. 

I’m sure many of you have seen the posts, videos and memes highlighting that “schools are closed, not cancelled” and I couldn’t agree more. Though teaching and learning aren’t happening the way any of us could have ever anticipated, we will continue to move forward.  

Our team has been working to adapt our remote learning plans to incorporate current guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Our Full Faculty met virtually on Wednesday to review the plan details and to roll out the implementation of Remote Learning 3.0.  

Before now, our remote learning offerings consisted of enrichment and review activities.  On May 4th we will begin advancing the curriculum in all grades. Our focus on teaching content standards that the DESE has identified as the “most critical for student success in the next grade level.” Please find a link to the Power Standards identified by the DESE.  Each grade level team will work in coordination to ensure that all students in the grade will learn the same standards at the same time.

In this phase, BFCCPS will offer more academically focused, synchronous (defined as happening in real time) teaching opportunities. These will look different at each grade level, and will be developmentally appropriate for the students in each grade. Expectations have been organized in grade level bands Kindergarten through Grade Two, Grade Three through Five and Grades Six through Eight. 

This program offers an increase in the number of synchronous learning opportunities at each grade level which will be academic in nature, consisting of reading groups, math groups and structured lessons. These synchronous learning opportunities will vary in frequency and duration based on what is developmentally appropriate at each grade level. 

During our extended closure thus far, we have provided optional learning opportunities.  For the remainder of the school year we will be expecting students to participate in both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded or self paced) learning activities. The expectation is for students to participate in these lessons and classwork to the best of their abilities. Authentic, meaningful feedback will be provided for work that is completed, but letter/number grades will not be given. Teachers will track completion or non-completion of assignments. We sincerely hope that each family will participate to the very best of their abilities so that we can ensure that all students are prepared for school when it resumes. To that end, our teachers, assistants, counseling staff and the BFCCPS Administration will be following up on students who are not attending live sessions or completing assigned work so that we can collaborate on ways to enable regular participation for your children. 

By the end of day Friday we will send another email with specific details relative to your child’s grade level expectations and the weekly “schedule” that will be used moving forward. Starting on May 3rd, BFCCPS will provide assignments each Sunday night for the week ahead. Any daily videos provided as part of Remote Learning will be published the night before (for example on Sunday night for Monday morning, Monday night for Tuesday morning etc.) 

If the outlined changes of Remote Learning 3.0 present a challenge for your family please reach out to your homeroom teacher so that we can work together to support your child(ren).

We stand committed to supporting our BFCCPS students and parents/guardians over the next eight weeks while we navigate these unchartered waters in education. Our shared goal remains the social, emotional and academic health of every one of our students. 

 

Stay strong Ben Franklin.

 

Heather Zolnowski

BFCCPS

Executive Director