District Continuous Learning Plan during COVID-19 Preventive Quarantine
Inspire Academy delivers continuous learning opportunities for all students using Google Classroom, which integrates seamlessly with our student information system, Rediker Software, providing families and students real-time performance feedback. Inspire Academy teachers post all assignments in Google Classroom so that students who are learning onsite and students are learning remotely can access the same instruction and material from any location. Teachers will daily lead students through accessing assignments and grades online onsite so that students can seamlessly move between onsite and virtual learning if quarantine needs arise. For direct instruction, small group support, student check-ins, individualized support, and school-based counseling Inspire Academy will use a HIPAA and FERPA compliant Zoom account to video conference with students and create webinars. Inspire Academy provides a device to every student, in addition to textbooks, workbooks, and other learning supplies to students and families to ensure accessibility during the quarantine. Inspire Academy has also secured hotspots for families with limited internet access.
Specific intervention plans such as Individual Service Plans (ISP), Individual Education Plans (IEP), English Language Learner Plans (ELLP), or medical 504 plans, have been reviewed by the appropriate team members, under the direction and support of the Director of Special Education and Executive Director, and edited to ensure student services and goals are reflective of both the needs of the students onsite and offsite in case learning may need to take place in the home.
Case conferences have been called to revise IEP’s when appropriate and parents have supported any changes that have been made to ensure students are receiving appropriate services. In addition, virtual resource rooms are being made available to students on a regular basis via Zoom to provide the support documented in their individual plans.
Special education teachers and related service providers will continue to work on the IEP and evaluation paperwork within the required timelines. Special Education Administrators will work with individual teams and hold CCC meetings virtually using Zoom.
Communication is being documented. Special education staff is staying connected with students and families. Staff is connecting virtually or by phone to check-in, provide words of encouragement, offer feedback on assignments, and share the strategies used in the classroom.
The special education team is following the accommodations for continuous learning documents provided by the IDOE and Indiana IEP Resource Center.
3. Describe student access to academic instruction, resources, and supports during continuous learning.
In addition to a regular schedule of Zoom meetings for instruction and support, students are provided additional resources such as check-in times for community-building or academic support (a digital Resource Room is available for special education students), textbooks, reading materials, and access to digital learning opportunities as shared by our teachers and as publicly posted on our website. Teachers will also provide pre-recorded instructional sessions for students to view at a time that works for their family schedule. These sessions will be available in Google Classroom.
4. What equipment and tools are available to staff and students to enable your continuous learning plan? Please list.
Inspire Academy has ensured that staff and families have devices, leveled reading books, textbooks, workbooks, math manipulatives (for younger grades), and school supplies. Staff and families have access to our school wide system, Rediker PlusPortals and Google Classroom, as well as Zoom and our Inspire Academy YouTube channel. Inspire Academy has provided hotspot devices for families with unreliable internet access. Inspire Academy has provided its staff with computers, printers, cellphones, and hotspot devices for at-home use.
5. Describe how educators and support staff are expected to connect with students and families on an ongoing basis.
Inspire Academy has a schedule of virtual meetings and check-in times. Most of these meetings are divided by grade, but there are also times open to all grades, such as Mindfulness instruction by our School Therapist, and an open meeting time with our Executive Director and Director of Culture.
6. Describe your method for providing timely and meaningful academic feedback to students.
The one-on-one and group sessions via Zoom allow teachers to provide feedback to students in real time as they complete work.
Teachers are also able to send narratives to families regarding a student’s progress or make comments on assignments.
7. Does your continuous learning plan provide an avenue for students to earn high school credits? If so, describe the approach.
Based on the fact that we are a small school with our oldest students are 8th grade students, we have limited need to address high school credits. When we have students who are eligible for Algebra and/or Geometry at the 8th grade level, we provide the avenue to earn these credits through the Apex Learning platform.
8. Describe your attendance policy for continuous learning.
Students in the eLearning program must log into Google Classroom every day to complete their assigned work. In order to be marked present, students at each grade level must do the following by 8pm each school day:
9. Describe your long-term goals to address skill gaps for the remainder of the school year.
In light of COVID-19, our current focus is connection with families and joy in learning. We have communicated with families and teachers that the top priority for our students is literacy practice on the Achieve3000 program (Smarty Ants for primary grades). These are programs that students are familiar with and can navigate independently, both onsite and offsite. Achieve3000 is also an adaptive program with built-in formative assessment that targets skills gaps along the way. Additionally, teachers are continuing to use our usual math and literacy curriculum to continue addressing skill gaps and provide online instructional support to students.
We are expecting to see some significant skill gaps in the Fall of 2020 that will need addressing. Our teachers are well-practiced in using formative assessment and resulting data to inform and adapt instruction, and we will continue these best practices. We will also hone in on identified power standards for mastery by all students. We do not plan to retain many students, as research does not support such a decision, even in light of the significant lost instructional time happening this spring. Therefore, we are making plans for more review of prior year standards in the Fall of 2020 than would ordinarily be planned for.
10. Describe your professional development plan for continuous learning.
During Spring of 2020 Inspire Academy staff were provided a week of training during the provided flex days to prepare them for adapting to a remote learning environment. This training included learning the Zoom platform and becoming comfortable using features of the Rediker system that they had not previously needed to utilize on a regular basis. Additionally, staff participate in weekly PLC meetings via Zoom, as well as weekly Twitter chats, which center on a specific topic in continuous learning implementation. Instructional staff were also provided a list of items to complete during closure days for professional growth purposes.
During Summer of 2020, Inspire Academy staff was provided with opportunities to expand their skill sets for eLearning. All staff were encouraged to complete Google Educator Certification, and Inspire Academy covered the cost of these certifications. Additionally, our authorizer, Ball State University, has developed a 6-module online training program to assist teachers in developing remote teaching skills. Topics include engaging students, developing instructional videos, collaboration, assessment, community building, and overcoming technology barriers. The self-paced course requires an estimated 20-23 hours to complete the entire training. Our authorizer will provide a $250 stipend to any of our licensed teachers or administrators who complete the training.
Each year, Inspire Academy holds a summer institute for its teachers the week before the first day of school. This year’s institute focused on 12 week goals, systems for consistent feedback in fluid learning environments, social-emotional support for students who are experiencing trauma, tech integration, and efficient transitions that honor the needs of students. Throughout the course of the 12 week goal cycle, additional four additional professional development sessions are planned to continue to strengthen educators in these areas.