TOWN OF MILTON RESOURCES 

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How many positive Covid-19 cases are there in Milton?

The Milton Health Department publishes a Daily Health Department Coronavirus Update which can be accessed at the link above. All Milton information about Covid-19 can be found on the Town of Milton website. 


 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

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How many positive COVID cases would Milton have to have to move to a fully remote model?

There is no one threshold or metric that indicates a school or district should suspend in-person learning. 

 

The Milton Public Schools Metrics Advisory Team will use several data points to monitor COVID-19 cases within our community.
 

  • The first is cases per 100,000 metric established by The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  This data is based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town has been designated as a higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green) community. Communities with fewer than 5 cases are not given a designation. It is important to note that while average daily cases per 100,000 is the metric that determines the color coding for each community, districts/schools should also monitor whether cases are increasing or decreasing vs. the prior period. 

 

  • The State positivity percentage – Currently the number the state is using is 5% (which could trigger a statewide move to a  remote model)

 

  • Total positive cases in the community (Milton and staff communities) 

 

  • Age of demographic of the positive cases

 

  • How and where people contracted the virus

 

  • Additional information we gather through meetings with our local Board of Health

 

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What are the parameters for making a request to move from one model to the other during the school year?

As the choice model is rooted in the belief that each family and each student has unique circumstances within which they will navigate work and life this fall, we recognize that there may be cases where those circumstances shift and a request may be made to change a student from one model to the other. If that is the case, parents/guardians should consider the following information and carefully reflect on any potential change request.

 

****As a reminder, changing from one model to the other will result in moving the student into the class of a new teacher(s) with a new cohort of students and so such requests should only be made after careful consideration.****

 

All requests for a change from one model to the other should be put in writing to the building principal. The request should include an explanation for the request. As transitioning a student from one model to the other requires communication between the sending and receiving teacher(s), determining whether or not there is a seat in the needed class(es), building a new schedule with a new or multiple new teachers, ensuring that all work has been completed and turned in, and ensuring that the pace of the classes in both the existing model and the one to which the student is transitioning is insync, you should expect a transitioning period whose length will be influenced by the direction in which the child is moving. Please consult the chart below. 

 

A Note on Quarantines- If a student is in the Hybrid Model and is required to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test or because the student was a close contact, the student will receive work from his/her Hybrid Model teacher(s) to be completed at home. The reason why a child will not join the Remote Model just for the quarantine period is that doing so requires a change of teacher(s) and a reasonable transitioning period.

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Can I make a cohort change request for my child?

Unfortunately, no.

When doing the delicate work of building cohorts, we focused on the priority of keeping families together and on the same schedule while keeping the classrooms balanced.

For that reason, we are not able to accommodate parent/guardian requests for cohorts, peers, and classroom assignments as we would be unable to accommodate every request and still keep classrooms balanced and socially distanced at 6 feet. Thank you for your understanding.  

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In the Hybrid/Remote Choice Model can I make a different choice for each child in my family?

Yes. The choice of Hybrid or Remote, within the Hybrid/Remote Choice Model is by individual child. 

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What is asynchronous and synchronous learning?

Synchronous: existing or occurring at the same time. Students learning synchronously would be learning together, at the same time, regardless of their location. Ex: a lesson at a set time where the entire cohort or class attends (remotely or in person) at the same time. 

 

Asynchronous: not existing or happening at the same time. Students learning asynchronously would be learning at different times. Ex: a recorded lesson or assignment that the entire cohort or class must do, but they will do it at a time chosen by each individual. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

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My child has special educational needs. How will these needs be addressed?

Federal law requires the district to provide a free and appropriate public education to all students. IEP and 504 services will be fully implemented with both in-person and remote delivery, with a focus on maintaining all students' Least Restrictive Environment. We expect to increase in-person services, especially for students identified as High Need.  If you have specific questions, please contact Director of Pupil Personnel Services Susan Maselli

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How are special education levels determined?

DESE guidance states that students with High Needs attend school daily.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education defines this level by the student’s IEP services

  • For children ages 3-5: the level of need is a total of the number of hours of service and is outlined below.

 

  • For Students ages 6-22: For students ages 6-22, the level of need is a formula comprised of the setting in which the IEP Team has determined a service should be provided, the providers who are working with the child, and the percentage of a student’s day that is provided by Special Education staff. 

Parents can locate this information on the last page of their IEP on the document labeled PL3.

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What will my child's day will look like in special education?

 

  • If a student is in a hybrid model, he or she will receive his/her services a combination of in person during in school learning days and/or remotely during learning at home days. This will be established after your student has his/her master schedule of days of learning in school and days of learning at home. 

 

  • If a student is full in person, his or her services will be provided during their instructional time at school as they are during a regular school day.  Some services may be in person, for pull out small groups, some groups may be in the general education classroom in person or via a teletherapy model. 
     
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Will full IEP and 504 services be met?


Yes, all services will be offered no matter what your student’s remote or in person schedule is.  Services will be provided both remotely and in person for students in hybrid schedules. If your student is in attendance daily, he or she will receive all his/her services during the instructional day. 
 

TECHNOLOGY

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Can we borrow a Chromebook?

Yes. All MPS families will be afforded the opportunity to loan out a Chromebook from MPS. 

Families loaning a device will be able to pick up their device during set dates and times the week before school starts.  

If you would like to purchase a device for your student(s) we have recommended minimum tech specs.  This link is to the MHS Bring Your Own Device flyer. The bottom left corner of the flyer is a link to these minimum tech specs.

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If we buy a Chromebook, is there a particular kind to buy?

 If you would like to purchase a device for your student(s) we have recommended minimum tech specs.  This link is to the MHS Bring Your Own Device flyer.  The bottom left corner of the flyer is a link to these minimum tech specs.

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What are the software requirements for a device?

There are no software requirements.  Teachers will be asking students to use the GSuite for education tools along with other web-based platforms/applications that can be accessed from any device that has access to the internet.
 

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Can families receive training and support on remote technology?

Yes! MPS Technology Director AJ Melanson and the Technology Task Force are planning multiple opportunities to support families on the remote learning platforms. Please visit the new Family Technology Support Help Center website, which was created after hearing the feedback that families provided. And look out for live webinars from Mr. Melanson. 

MILTON HIGH SCHOOL
 

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In the hybrid scenario, will some classes be remote-only, or will you rotate through all classes in person?

Due to the hybrid schedule and the daily schedule of MHS, all classes will be a blend of in-person and remote. The rotating schedule affords teachers and students the opportunity to see each other at varying times throughout the week. Some students may not be “morning learners” and to have the same class every morning could be detrimental to the student’s success. The same could be said for a student who loses concentration as the day progresses. Remember, whether you are physically in school or not, Monday- Friday from 7:50am - 2:30pm is technically a school day in the hybrid and remote models.

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How will electives like PE and Art be handled? Will some classes be cut or eliminated?

At this time, we have a plan that will allow all students to attend their selected classes, with one exception: Due to health and safety concerns, we are unable to offer the Child Study class.
 

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Will remote afternoons begin live?

Yes, that is the expectation. Students and teachers will log on and attendance will be taken. The amount of synchronous/live time may vary depending on the lesson for that day and might include independent work or breakout sessions. 

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How will you evaluate grades with remote learning?

Starting last spring, teachers have been exploring different types of assessments that could lend themselves to a remote learning model. These include student-led conferences, portfolio defense, capstone projects, exhibition of learning through presentations, and written reflections. Stay tuned for more information.
 

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If a fully remote model is in place, how will science laboratory classes be taught?

We understand that labs will be a challenge, and we are currently exploring lab simulation activities that will give the students the opportunity to complete the labs in a safe manner. Additionally, the College Board has developed and provided a wide array of online activities and support materials for all AP classes. 

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Will we have MCAS testing this year?

For now, MCAS remains scheduled for later in the school year. 
 

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How will middle and high school students receive support from teachers?

Students can contact their teachers during Advisory Period and Office Hours, as well as through a simple email check-in with a teacher. 
 

BUSES AND TRANSPORTATION
 

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What about Special Education Transportation?

Transporting Students with Disabilities

Some students with disabilities require specialized transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The Milton Public Schools will work collaboratively with parents of students who are eligible for specialized transportation to determine their ability to transport their child(ren) to and from school.  A few items of note:

 

Parents/guardians of students for whom special transportation is provided for in their IEPs and who transport their student are eligible for reimbursement, according to 603 CMR 28.07(6). In these cases, the student maintains the right to access transportation for a disability-related need at a future date. The IEP will not be amended to reflect the temporary change in transportation arrangements, but parents/guardians will be notified in writing of this temporary change if they agree to transport their student. 

 

In cases where special transportation is provided for in the student’s IEP and the family is unable to transport their student, the Milton Public Schools will coordinate and provide transportation for those students, including students in out-of-district placements.

COVID PROTOCOLS 

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I have several new symptoms. My doctor recommended a COVID-test and I am waiting for the results. Is it okay for me to send my children to school?

Your children should stay home from school until the test result is available. If the test is negative, then your children can return to school.

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I am planning to travel out of town this weekend, and I have to get a COVID test before I travel. I don't have any symptoms. Do I need to keep my children home from school while I await my test results ?

Your children can attend school. There is a difference between a screening test and a diagnostic test. Screening tests are for asymptomatic people. Diagnostic tests are for people who have symptoms. 
 

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Does a symptomatic child with an alternative diagnosis, such as a strep throat, still need a COVID test before returning to school?

In order to protect schools from the introduction of COVID, testing of symptomatic individuals is the default practice. Students with acute onset of new symptoms (especially respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or fever should receive a negative COVID test before returning to school. Health care providers have clinical discretion to consider chronic illnesses or symptoms such as headache and abdominal or gastrointestinal symptoms and use clinical judgment to defer testing when an alternative cause is firmly established.

If your child has any of these symptoms on the Daily Prescreen, they must be tested for COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) and submit a negative test to their school nurse; or have a medical clearance note submitted to the school nurse, or complete the required quarantine before returning to school.  Students should not return to school until cleared by the school nurse.
 


 

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If a student tests positive, is the whole classroom considered close contacts?

It really depends on the classroom situation and guidance from the Board of Health in determining who is a close contact.  We do a thorough investigation of the classroom dynamics including looking at seating charts, class routines, mask breaks, etc. and interview staff  before speaking with the Board of Health to make the decision of who will be considered a close contact.  

Initially the Department of Public Health and the local Board of Health guidance was within 6ft for 15 minutes.  During the first week of school the guidance was adjusted to within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 minutes.  While we do our best to maintain 6 feet of distance and  utilize other mitigation measures like mask wearing and handwashing,  nothing is 100%. If we cannot say with certainty that students did not cumulatively spend 15 minutes next to the positive case when accounting for mask breaks, students moving around the classroom, etc. we will consider the classroom close contacts.  We will always err on the side of caution and are conservative in our determinations as safety is our first priority.

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Will I be notified if someone tests positive in my child’s class?

If your child is a close contact of the person who tests positive, you will receive a phone call notifying you of the close contact and giving you further instructions. 
 
If your child is not considered a close contact, you will not be notified individually. You  will receive a school wide email notifying the school community that there was a case in the school and to remain vigilant with daily screenings.
 

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What do I do if my child is a close contact of someone who has tested positive?

 Students will be instructed to stay home and quarantine for 14 days if they have been notified by the Milton Health Department or a representative from the Milton Public Schools that they are a close contact of a positive case.  This is also the case if someone has been notified by a friend or family member that they have been in contact with, because sometimes the Milton Health Department has a bit of a delay before they are able to reach all contacts.  This is true, even if the student's COVID test is negative.
 

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How do you calculate the quarantine period?

Quarantine is calculated from the date of last exposure to the positive case during their infectious period.  The infectious period is determined as 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, two days prior to the positive test. The date of last exposure is day 0 and the quarantine period lasts through day 14.  The student may return to school on day 15.

Please see the example below. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.46.17 AM.png
 


 

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What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine is staying at home when you have been exposed to COVID-19. We do this because many people who get COVID-19 never develop symptoms, and because even people who do get sick can spread virus before their symptoms develop. The CDC recommends quarantining for 14 days after an exposure.

Isolation is staying at home after you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Again, the goal of isolation is to prevent the spread of the virus to other people who have not been infected. Currently, the CDC recommends isolation for 10 days after a positive COVID-19 test in individuals who are healthy and do not have severe disease (DESE guidelines from over the summer recommended 14 days). Isolation is shorter than quarantine because we are not worried about the potential for a 2-5 day pre-symptomatic shedding period.
 

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Quarantine Tips and Guidelines

MPS priority is always to keep students, teachers, and staff safe. We also want to keep schools open as much as possible. We continue to evaluate positive cases in the schools, community spread, and contact tracing. Below is a guide to help families quarantine when it is recommended:

 

What does quarantine mean? It is a 14 day period where someone who may have been exposed to the virus must remain separated from others. (Importantly it is 14 days from the last known exposure.)

 

What are priorities in keeping family members safe at home?

  • Continue 6 ft of distance if and when possible. Those who cannot keep 6 ft of distance may need to quarantine themselves until that suspected case has had 14 days of no symptoms.

  • Wear masks - specifically surgical masks if you are getting closer to the exposed individual. If there is someone who has tested positive in your home, consider wearing a KN95 or N95 mask when you are close to them.

  • Separate beds, bathroom and eating space. When this is not possible, a thorough cleaning and limitsharing items as much as possible.

  • Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap.

  • Consider either disposable plates/cutlery, or a designated person to clean with a mask on.

  • Laundry of the suspected or positive person should be cleaned on the hot setting.

  • Consider quarantining as a family if you are unable to keep distance between siblings and family members.

  • Monitor for symptoms - check the exposed person’s temperature at least twice a day and notify their health care provider if they have symptoms.

  • If someone in the household gets tested and tests positive notify their health care provider and the school as soon as possible and answer the call from contact tracers. 

 

MPS depends on a partnership with our families to keep the schools, students and staff safe. We look forward to welcoming your child back to the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe and our schools open.

 

References:

 

If the suspected case is a child:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/coronavirus-how-to-quarantine.html

 

If the suspected case is the caregiver/adult:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/parents-caregivers.html

 

https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/coronavirus/self-quarantining-and-your-family-a-pediatrician-answers-your-questions/

 

10 Tips for At-Home Quarantine

https://www.mass.gov/doc/10-tips-for-at-home-quarantine-or-self-monitoring/download

 https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-printable-fact-sheets#at-home-quarantine-or-self-monitoring


 

HEALTH AND SAFETY
 

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How will school buildings be cleaned, sanitized, and ventilated?

The School Building Custodians will clean each school throughout the day as needed, and do a major cleaning during the evening shift. After the evening cleaning, custodians will disinfect all classrooms using a mechanical spray, using spray-and-wipe procedures as a backup method. The disinfectant chemical used is on the EPA list of approved and recommended products. All rooftop ventilation units will be run at 100% during the day and evening to bring in fresh air into the building. All operable windows will be opened to introduce fresh air into the spaces. All bathroom ventilation systems will always remain on.  

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How will you keep students and staff safe in school?

All students and staff must complete the MPS Daily Prescreening Health Checklist every day. 

All students and staff must stay home if they have any symptoms on the Prescreening Health Checklist. 

All students and staff must wear a mask. 

All buildings have enhanced cleaning protocols and maximum ventilation. 

Students have been split into cohorts to allow for social distancing and fewer people in classrooms. 

 

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How will you ensure that students follow the guidelines (e.g. wearing masks appropriately, maintaining social distance, sanitizing frequently) in all areas (e.g., classroom, outside, bus)?

Students are expected to follow many rules in school and typically do well when rules are clear and specifically taught, modeled by adults, and reinforced through positive interactions. It would be helpful for us if families practice key safety strategies with their children this summer, including: wearing masks, engaging in frequent handwashing, and following social distance recommendations.

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Will everyone in school need to wear a mask?

Yes.

The Milton Public Schools will require teachers and all students, in grades pre-K to 12 to wear masks.

These guidelines are more stringent than those set by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Exceptions will be made for those who cannot wear masks due to medical conditions, disabilities, and other health and safety factors.

A face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn by all individuals in school buildings, on school grounds and on school transportation, even when social distancing is observed unless otherwise directed by this policy.


Face masks must:
● cover both the nose and mouth
● fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
● be secured with ear loops or ties (or elastic in the case of gaiters)
● allow for breathing without restriction
● be either disposable or able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape


The following face coverings are encouraged in Milton Public Schools:
● Surgical masks
● 2- and 3-layer cloth masks
● Face shields are permitted, but only in addition to a mask


The following face covering are not permitted in Milton Public Schools:
● 1 layer cloth masks
● 1 layer neck gaiters
● vented masks (masks with exhalation valves)

You can read the entire Face Covering Policy here. 

 

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What happens if someone in school tests positive for COVID-19?

For all positive cases, we will follow our Milton Public Schools COVID-19 Positive Case Process. Please click the link above to read the full process. 

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Are you working to be sure all students are up to date on their vaccinations?

Yes. Prior to the start of each school year, school nurses review the immunization status of each child in their building. 

All students must present evidence of immunizations in compliance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 15, which specifically prohibits admitting a student to school without a physician verifying that religious or medical exemptions apply. Medical and Religious exemptions must be submitted to the Health Office annually.

Children need to be immunized against Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus, Measles/Mumps/ Rubella, Polio, Hepatitis B, Varicella and Haemophilus Influenzae type B (HIB-Preschool requirement only).  Children who are not fully immunized against these preventable illnesses are not allowed to attend school.

Please see the MPS Immunization Policy here. 


For more information, contact your health care provider or the MDPH Immunization Program (617-983-6800 or 888-658-2850, www.mass.gov/dph/imm)

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In the Hybrid Model, will fire drills and active shooter drills be suspended for COVID safety?

Safety drills are important and need to happen. Like everything else, we will think creatively about how to execute these drills while maintaining distancing protocols and procedures.
 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
 

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Will homework be part of the hybrid model for elementary students?

Prior to the school closure last year, the district engaged teachers district-wide and some families (with plans to engage more if not for the closure) to reassess the amount of homework that was being expected at each grade level.  In general terms, the consensus was that the number of minutes expected at each grade level should be reduced, especially in grades K, 1, and 2, with optional opportunities for more practice and extension.  Given the need to reflect on the role of homework in this new school context and the need to better understand the difference between “doing school at home” and “homework”, we have removed the previously MPS dictated homework expectations by grade level from this handbook and instead will engage in ongoing conversations about the appropriate amount of “homework” in this new context.  That said, all students should be reading or should be read to at least 20-30 minutes each day.

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How will you help children who get “overstimulated” from too much screen time?

We will work with students and families on an individual basis. At this time, paper grade level packets are not in our plans, but some items may be printed for families as needed for students who struggle with too much time on a device. Please reach out to your child’s principal or classroom teacher for support.
 

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Will remote learning take place in the morning and the afternoon?

Yes, remote learning will take place during normal school day hours. Students who attend in-person in the morning will participate in specialists and independent work time in the afternoon. Students who attend remotely in the morning will participate in remote instructional blocks with classroom teacher(s) in the afternoon.
 

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How will you evaluate elementary school students during remote learning?

Teachers will follow the district programs and grading practices, giving students multiple opportunities to show how they are performing against grade-level objectives. Report cards are standards-based, and teachers will assign work with the goal of helping students progress. 
 

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Will students be permitted to use the outdoor play structures?

Because we are unable to clean play structures continuously over the course of the day, our plan is to keep them closed when school begins. We will follow state guidance and alert parents to any change in policy. 
 

PIERCE MIDDLE SCHOOL
 

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What will the middle school daily schedule look like if I choose Hybrid in the Hybrid/Remote Choice Model?

Middle School: The Hybrid Choice Model

At the middle school level, students who opt for the Hybrid Model will engage with their teachers in-person for part of the time and remotely for part of the time. The aforementioned safety and facilities measures will be in place, explicitly taught, and reinforced.

Students will be divided into Group 1 and Group 2 and scheduled as shown below. The rotating structure allows students to see their teachers in-person at times and remotely at other times. Lessons will be planned so that students work towards understanding of the learning standards called for in the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks. At home learning will also include a mix of practice, extensions, application, and asynchronous (prerecorded) sessions. Students will engage in deep learning via extended assignments, project-based learning, and remote collaborative and independent opportunities. Students with high needs in special education programs (NECC and REACH) will be offered the option to attend every day. Additional supports will be developed and implemented for other students who might require them such as English Language Learners, students who qualify for free/reduced lunch, and students with special needs and/or who qualify for a 504 plan.

Summary of Middle School Hybrid Model:
❖ Students will be divided into two groups- ​Group 1 ​and​ Group 2

➢ Group 1 is At School Learning for 4 class periods on Day 1 and Day 3
➢ Group 2 is At School Learning for 4 class periods on Day 2 and Day 4
➢ On the days opposite those noted above, students are At Home Learning

❖ At School Learning will be planned to capitalize on students being in-person
❖ At Home Learning includes: well planned, connected independent and collaborative learning experiences that include practice, extension, and application

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What will the middle school daily schedule look like if I choose Remote in a Hybrid/Remote Choice Model?

Middle School: The Full Remote Learning Choice Model

At the middle school level, students who opt for the Full Remote Learning Choice Model will engage with Milton Public Schools teachers live (synchronously) in a regular, predictable manner every day for at least some of their class periods. During asynchronous learning (not live), students will engage in deep learning via extended assignments, project-based learning, and remote collaborative and independent opportunities. All lessons will be planned so that students work towards understanding the learning standards called for in the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks. Students are expected to attend all live sessions and attendance will be taken.

Summary of Middle School Full Remote Choice Model:

  • ❖  Students will be divided into two groups- ​Group 1 ​and​ Group 2

    • ➢  Group 1 will be taught Synchronously on Day 1 and Day 3 for four periods before lunch and Asynchronously on Day 2 and Day 4 before lunch.

    • ➢  Group 2 will be taught Synchronously on Day 2 and Day 4 for four periods before lunch and Asynchronously on Day 1 and Day 3 before lunch

    • ➢  Both groups will be taught together Synchronously after lunch every day.

  • ❖  Synchronous (live) teaching sessions will be planned in order to capitalize on live

    teacher sessions.

  • ❖  Asynchronous teaching sessions will include well planned, connected independent and collaborative learning experiences that include practice, extension, and application.

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What will the middle school daily schedule look like in a Full Remote Model?

Full Remote:

A daily schedule will be followed and will include all seven classes. All classes will begin live. The split between synchronous and asynchronous learning will vary depending on daily lesson goals. Daily student attendance will be taken. Structures for monitoring student progress, providing students with feedback, and grading will be established. All teachers will utilize a common platform, Google Classroom, for instruction and communication. Independent work will foster critical thinking, problem solving, exploration, and reading to reduce screen time.