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Remote Learning Information for Families 3/22/20

Life has changed for all of us in many ways in the past few weeks, but what hasn't changed is the commitment of the entire staff of Sycamore Community Schools to provide exceptional learning opportunities for our students. In that spirit, our PK-12 teaching staff will be facilitating “remote learning” for our students over the course of the next two weeks or longer, should the state determine an extension is in order.  While no lesson done remotely can fully replace face-face classroom instruction with a highly qualified teacher, our teachers will do their best to create relevant, engaging learning opportunities for at-home use during this state-mandated closure. Our goal is to help students REVIEW what they have learned, EXTEND their knowledge, and REINFORCE individual student learning goals so that skill retention isn’t jeopardized by this unfortunate set of circumstances for our students.

Beginning tomorrow, March 23rd students will find Blackboard assignments posted in the following areas:

  • K-2: Reading, Writing, and Math (take-home packets sent home Friday, March 13)
  • 3-6: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies
  • 7-8: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Global Language, Foundations of Art
  • 9-12: Assignments will reflect the classes in the student’s schedule

Assignments will be developmentally appropriate in length and breadth; what students would typically be asked to complete in their classroom as a review, reinforcement, or extension of information already instructed by their teacher in a prior classroom experience. This may include, but may not be limited to classroom discussions around rich texts, journaling, reinforcement via online apps, project-based learning, virtual field trips, scavenger hunts, pencil-paper tasks, and many more as deemed appropriate by each instructor. Teachers will continue to provide students with disabilities and students on 504 plans accommodations and modifications as appropriate and reasonably practical. They will also utilize translation tools for EL learners/parents when at all possible. Teachers will work on providing timely feedback on assignments so that students remain committed to the process and continue to engage. Summative assignments (tests for a grade) will not be a part of our remote learning as we can not verify equitable testing environments for all students. 

Parents of students in grades 5-12 are asked to remind their child that the district’s Code of Conduct will be enforced, therefore all rules still apply regarding the appropriate use of district devices. The district's "Acceptable Use Agreement" should be kept in mind as they access online learning sites via their district Chromebooks. This communication was sent to all students regarding expectations. The Technology Department has set up a hotline to provide support during the extended closure. The Help Desk number is  (513) 686-1793 or you can email them at helpdesk@sycamoreschools.org

Understanding that our families are in unique situations with the COVID-19 social distancing mandates, we are requesting that students/families commit to engaging in at least 75-80% of the remote learning opportunities offered.   Parents/guardians are asked to partner with us by setting up “school time” based on your family circumstances and the schedule provided by your child’s teachers. This “school time” is not expected to take up the entire day. Teachers are planning so that their lessons cumulatively range from 1-3 hours per day based on the age/grade level of the student. We encourage you to use the remainder of “family time” to its fullest; cooking and sharing meals together, exercising as a group, listening to/creating music, sharing books, visiting virtual museums and zoo sites, playing board games, making puzzles, watching movies and documentaries, taking walks, writing letters, or virtual volunteering. 

This is an unprecedented time in history. Our children need us to work together to navigate this “new normal” of remote learning together for the coming weeks. It may be messy, but let’s partner together and model a growth mindset; showing them how flexible and resilient we can be as adults. Together we are #SycamoreStrong!!!

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or building administrator.