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OCS Remote Learning Plan

April 20, 2020

 

Dear Families,

As we continue with remote learning, we have a major goal: ensuring our students are prepared for the next level or course when we return to our physical school buildings. Until schools reopen, we're focused on keeping students engaged in their learning and connected to the school community.

That’s why we developed a remote learning plan that aligns to our state leaders’ guidance. Much  like the evolving nature of COVID-19, the district’s remote learning plan continues to evolve. 

In Orange County Schools, we know that learning takes place in a variety of ways--through enrichment, extension and review.  As a result, in Phase 1 of our remote learning plan we are providing Choice Boards that offer activities that enrich and extend learning. They also focus on  reviewing and practicing skills and concepts taught previously. 

Choice Boards provide students with the power to choose “what” they want to learn (for example, a 3rd grade student can go deeper in 3rd grade content or work on 5th grade Choice Board learning activities); and, “how” to learn a particular subject or concept. This freedom encourages students to be more responsible, accountable and independent while also continuing to learn. Choice Boards also allow students to work on activities at their own pace and at a time that works best for them and their family which is especially helpful in light of  the realities of the current pandemic. 

We want our students to have power to invest themselves in work that matters to them. Research confirms that students of all ages feel more connected, exhibit less time off-task and are more engaged and motivated when they are able to make choices about where and what they learn. 

Additionally, in Phase 1 of the district's remote learning plan, teachers established “office hours” to remain connected to students and families and to further support student learning and social emotional needs; and, the district rolled out a Remote Learning Website for accessing Choice Boards and a myriad of other online learning resources.

But that’s not enough.  We will continue to innovate as the situation changes and is prolonged. That’s why we are drafting plans for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the district’s remote learning opportunities. 

Our goal continues to be to ensure our students are prepared to re-enter the classroom at their next level or course when the time comes. This is why a team of educators from across the district, along with key central office staff, are putting together the next phases of remote learning which will include pre-teaching of additional academic standards at each grade to begin to build content knowledge for the next grade level or course. This content will be provided proactively/asynchronously online, however, students will not be required to sit down at a computer at a specific time. This content will also be available in Choice Boards accessible on the district's remote learning website and in hard copy form. We will roll out these new phases of learning in the coming weeks, but I wanted you to know they are on the way. Our team is working overtime to develop materials that will enable all of our students, no matter their access to technology, to continue learning. 

We are doing our best to keep you updated as new information becomes available. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for Families  page which has been updated to include recent guidance from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) regarding remote learning, grades, and graduating seniors

We continue to appreciate everyone’s patience, support, and grace as we move through this quickly evolving time. I remain confident that we’ll get through this together. 

Warmly,

Dr. Monique Felder