Letter Regarding Continuous Learning

March 20, 2020


Dear AHISD Parents,

 

The purpose of this document is to provide you with the initial information you need to support your student through this unprecedented transition. In AHISD, our instructional model is called Continuous Learning because it aims to keep teachers teaching and students learning through both on- and offline experiences. Additional detailed information will be provided by individual campus principals.

 

Consistent Schedules: During this time of rapid and unexpected change, routines become more important. To that end, we want to maintain instructional routines to the degree possible. Specific information about times will be communicated by campus principals.

 

Elementary: Elementary students will begin their day with a “live” check in with teachers using Google Meet. This time is important to maintain the morning meeting routine and keep students engaged. The morning block will be for scheduled interactive lessons with small groups or individual students. The afternoon block will be for scheduled special services such as dyslexia classes, special education services, and GT classes. Parents will receive daily home lessons from teachers.

 

Secondary: Secondary faces unique challenges because students take multiple classes each day. To meet this challenge, the master schedule is organized similar to a university schedule where students will take Monday/Thursday classes and Tuesday/Friday classes. Students will receive daily home lessons from teachers though Google Classroom and specific class schedules from campus principals and individual teachers.

 

Wednesdays: The transition to a continuous learning model increases the workload demand on teachers as they learn new methods and technologies, collaborate with peers, teach students, and communicate with families. To support teachers in respect to workload and time demands, Wednesdays are dedicated to planning and collaboration.  There will not be interactive lessons from classroom teachers on Wednesdays.

 

Technology: As we begin this transition into Continuous Learning, less is more. We understand that families have different home conditions for Continuous Learning. The district is making devices available through campuses to those who completed the request form sent on Thursday, March 19. Beginning the week of March 30, hotspots will be available to families that requested this support. We will ease into interactive learning, and all lessons will be recorded for later viewing. The curriculum is focused on a few essential skills, and we limited the number of technology tools that will be used.

·       Google Meet (PK-12) tool for interactive teaching. A tutorial can be found at these links for Tablet/iPad and Laptop/Chromebook or in Spanish  Tablets/iPads and Spanish Laptops/Chromebooks

·       Google Classroom (Gr 3-12) for resources & activities

·       See-Saw (Gr PK-2) for school & home communication

Our AHISD Help Desk is available to remotely assist students and families. They can be reached at 210-832-5780 option #1. Please be patient with wait times the first week.

 

Communication: As before, all faculty members will be available via emails. Additionally, we have scheduled “office hours” where parents can sign up for phone conferences with teachers. For elementary, those office hours are Wednesday afternoon, and for secondary office hours occur on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Specific schedules will be shared by teachers. Counselors will also provide remote conferencing. All resources for Continuous Learning will be posted on our district’s Continuous Learning Page.

 

Continuity: Our foremost priority is promoting a sense of continuity with our students and teachers so that students do not fall behind academically. Students will continue to receive individual feedback on their work that will guide their learning, but our focus is not on formal assessment and grading at this time.  The focus is on learning and making progress with our standards. That progress will be linked to student participation and effort.  

 

In AHISD, we strive to uphold our tradition of excellence in all that we do. This Continuous Learning plan is no different. In our Alamo Heights Community, we will support each other as teachers keep teaching and students keep learning.

 

Kind regards,

Dr. Jimmie Walker

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction

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