The Block Island School continues to work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and to follow their guidance. We will keep you informed as we get updated information.
Parents and Staff:
Following Governor Raimondo’s announcement the Block Island School will be in session and will conduct school for all students via Distance Learning for the period of Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3. These days of Distance Learning do count towards students’ mandatory 180 days of school. After these ten days of Distance Learning, Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Education will assess the overall situation in Rhode Island and will make further announcements about programming afterwards.
This week we polled families about home computers and their ability to access the internet. Our plan has grades 1-7 using school issued Chromebooks and high school students using a mixture of their own devices and Chromebooks. It is our hope to expand Chromebooks to Kindergarten, as they become available. Through the forethought and generosity of the Island Free Library, we will be furnished with a limited number of hotspot devices, so those with limited internet access can use their devices at home. With all this said, how Block Island’s internet capacity is able to respond to this community demand will be tested. We ask for your patience and understanding as we transition into this new territory.
Starting on Sunday, March 22, students and parents will begin to receive detailed information from teachers about each student’s expectations for engaging in Distance Learning. Students will
participate with their teachers in multiple mediums, and every level may look different. Teachers will be in contact daily with instruction and will offer time in which students can ask questions and seek assistance with their learning. Additionally, our support staff will be actively reaching out to students and families to lend their support in any way possible to help students stay engaged and productive with their learning. We foresee that instruction may need to be adjusted over time as we gather feedback.
I want you to know that I have been truly impressed with the expertise of our staff and proud of their team spirit and selfless response to this crisis. Please know that they, too, are affected by the responsibilities of social distancing and will have family responsibilities and child care issues to balance with their work. This will be a new experience for us all, and I ask in advance that we all be patient with one another. I am confident that while our distance learning plans will not be the same as our regular in-school program, this format will provide rich learning experiences and will keep our students engaged in meaningful learning when they most need it.
We are in uncharted waters, and as much as we can at this point, I would like to clarify the responsibilities of the various members of our school community in supporting distance learning.
- Students will be responsible to complete the learning tasks that grade level teachers send home.
- Students will be responsible for log-in to any online learning tools that have been assigned by the
- *Edgenuity courses require continuous daily engagement. Be mindful of the course end Extensions will not be given.
- Students will be thoughtful and kind in regard to online communications with peers and teachers. It is expected that all online activity be school
- Students in grades 5-12, and at select times in the lower grades, will be expected to log in to Google Classroom to complete required
- Students will participate in learning by completing assigned work, responding to teacher posts/prompts and through written materials and educational online
- Students will communicate with their teachers if there are circumstances that limit their ability to complete work by the specified
- Students will ask teachers for help if they are confused by a lesson or feel they are falling
- For younger students parents will receive assignments from teachers via written communication, via email and in some cases Google
- In grades 5-12, teachers will have most all learning activities posted in Google Classroom for students.
- Lesson plans will be modified appropriately to be delivered
- As much as possible, accommodations for IEP, ELL, and 504 students will be included in the development of lesson plans.Special education and ELL teachers will be available to assist with assignment modifications and provide student assistance as
- Teachers will provide instructions to students on how students will submit completed assignments. This may vary, depending on the nature of the
- Teachers will be available to respond to student emails, questions,
- Teachers may conduct live check-ins/discussions through services such as Google Meet/Hangouts.
- Counselors, School Psychologists, and other mental health support staff will check in with students on a regular
- Provide key communication and direction for the school
- Establish schedules and routines by
- Support parents, teachers, and students in
- Secure and distribute resources as
- Supervise instruction and provide feedback to teachers
- Problem solve, innovate, and plan for students, staff, and parent
- Parents will support/establish a daily schedule that will develop a positive routine for daily learning.
- Parents will remind students of distance learning expectations and encourage students to be working diligently on
- Parents will encourage students to communicate with their
- Attendance in a Distance Learning environment is defined as “engaged with the assigned material.” This may include:
- Submission of an academic assignment online
- Submission of an assessment online
- Live presence on an assessment
- Documentation of student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
- An email to the teacher demonstrating the student is online, or has initiated contact with the teacher to ask a question about an academic matter
- A live posting by the student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the teacher
- A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the students participating in an online academic discussion
- Recent edits in google docs (timestamps)
- Physical attendance in an online video or text chat live
- For our younger students, a text or email from a caregiver to the teacher stating or demonstrating (via photo) that work has been completed
- For our younger students, students bring in completed work upon return from leave, or photo scanning, email etc.(such as reading logs signed, worksheets returned, projects etc.)
- Teachers can check websites where classrooms are set up for usage (such as i-Ready, Khan Academy ).
I fully recognize that Distance Learning does not replace the in-person interactions we so value. However, this approach will ensure continuity of learning in this uncertain time. Many thanks go to our teachers, administrators, and support staff who have been working incredibly hard to prepare for this situation. Additionally, we could not have done this without the help of our Island Free Library and the support of the North Kingstown Technology Team. Please be sure to communicate with your child’s teachers and our administrative team if you have questions, and look for follow-up communication from your child’s teacher’s with more details.
Please contact me if you are in need of support on my cell at 742-8462. On behalf of our teachers and staff,
Principal, Block Island School