WB principals outline coronavirus lesson plans
BELOIT – West Branch building principals informed the school board of their plans to educate students during the COVID-19 closure.
Gov. Mike DeWine has closed all schools through at least April 3 and schools Superintendent Timothy Saxton said he anticipates it to be longer. The closure has required teachers and students to adjust to alternative and online education.
Principal Brian Coffee said teachers are expected to prepare an online lesson each day and post it at 7 a.m., post an assignment for every class and provide at least two assessments per week. Teachers must also be available to answer emails from students during regular business hours and post grades via Progressbook each week, as well as contact the student and parent if work is not being completed, keeping a log and notifying an administrator if necessary.
Student are expected to log in each day. Lessons should be done by 11:59 p.m. the day the lesson is released, with late work possibly resulting in grade reduction. Students will need to have a parent or guardian email their teacher if they are sick and unable to complete their work, with all work being made up. Students and parents should contact the Coffee if they have Internet issues.
Guidance counselors are expected to load all schedule requests for next year, determine the number of sections needed per subject and begin to develop a tentative schedule. Counselors must also be available via email to support students and staff, as well as continue to monitor/support graduation status for students, work with organizations and students regarding scholarships and conduct day-to-day operations as best as possible.
Saxton said he does not know what will happen with high school commencements in May and June, but suggested they will likely be canceled. He said although nothing has been finalized at this time, as long as continue with alternative education on daily basis, these days won’t have to be made up.
“We will will have to have a ceremony, but what commencement ceremony will look like is unknown,” he said. “We need to make sure we are delivering that education in an alternative way before making those decisions.”
Saxton also noted prom is still scheduled to be held at this time, but that the venue reservation has been canceled. He said he believes schools will have a good chance to receive refunds based on the circumstances.
Additionally Saxton reported the Ohio High School Athletic Association met Thursday and did not give any indication whether the state tournaments will continue. West Branch had its girls basketball team and two wrestlers, Gage Bickely and Kenny Mara, qualify for competition.
Board President Courtney Stryffeler recognized all the athletes and coaches for their accomplishments.
“You have given us an amazing season. All of you have made our district very proud,” she said.
Principal Stephen Fowler said online learning has started for grades five through eight. Teachers are using Google Classroom to deliver lessons to students. Each teacher has set up a Google Classroom and students are able to access those classrooms with a classroom code or email invite. Depending on the number of classes on a student’s schedule, they have anywhere from five to eight classes in Google Classroom.
Boardmember Karen Rice asked about the fate of the middle school Washington D.C. trip. Saxton said right now the district has the ability to leave the trip on the schedule and make a decision about canceling it if the students do not return after April 3.
Principal Fritz Schlueter said teachers prepared Student Assignment Kits which included three weeks worth of assignments for their students. The student assignment kits were all picked up on March 17and 18. Teachers are communicating a daily message to their students on ClassDojo and are answering questions on an as needed basis.
Intervention Specialists are also collaborating with classroom teachers to provide accommodations to students with an IEP and are contacting the parents of the students with an IEP. The school counselor is contacting parents of students on a 504 plan to see if those students require any assistance and acting as a conduit to the teacher if required.
The students are expected to complete these assignments and bring their assignment kits to school with them on April 6. The teachers have also created optional “challenges” for the students to complete if they so desire.
Principal Robert Graham said each teacher created kits for their respective grade level. Intervention specialists and Title 1 staff collaborated with teachers on the creation of these kits. Kits were created with three weeks worth of work which was picked up by families on March 17. The teachers also created another three weeks worth of work to be picked up at a later time.
He said each homeroom teacher will communicate through Classroom DOJO daily. Teachers will post to their own class page once per day, and be on call to answer questions. Teachers have also been sending links to websites, videos, etc. to aid in distance learning.
Graham said he sends a daily morning message to the staff per usual to communicate his expectations and to give any updates.
Fowler said the preschool team has created individual learning kits for each preschool student. Teachers gave parents time to come in and pick-up books for parents to read to students at home during the time away from school.