STORY UPDATED AT 10:20 P.M. MONDAY, JULY 13
Oswego School District 308 administrators have released their plan to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, giving most grade levels the choice to attend school in person or to engage in remote learning.
Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Faith Dahlquist presented the plan during the July 13 meeting of the Board of Education. Dahlquist told the board that the learning plans are subject to change, given state coronavirus statistics and the health of staff and students at a given school.
According to the plan, elementary school students who choose to attend in-person school will do so five days a week. Instruction for special classes like art, music, or visiting the library, will take place in the student’s general classroom to minimize transitions in the hallway. In-person learning at elementary schools will begin at 9:10 a.m. and end at 3:10 p.m.
Students who engage in special education services in elementary school will be in attendance all five days, with services and support provided according to a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). As best possible, teachers, aides and specialists will provide their services to a select group of students, namely all eligible students within specific classrooms to limit exposure to multiple students.
Remote learning for kindergarten students will last for half a day and will focus on English Language Arts and math only. Students in first through fifth grades will be offered all subjects. Special classes including art, music, physical education and the library, will be offered remotely through videos.
Junior High school students who attend school in person will take their six courses over a two-day period, and will attend school all five days. On a student’s A Day, they will take three classes, and take their remaining classes on B Day. Physical education and health will be offered through remote learning for junior high students. The in-person learning day will last from 8:20 a.m. until 12:35 p.m.
Junior high students who utilize special education services will also be in attendance all days, with services and support provided according to their IEP. As best possible, providers will work with a select group of students, namely all eligible students within a specific classroom, to limit exposure. Given the shortened school day, teletherapy will also be considered, as will the completion of evaluations outside of student hours to meet IEPs.
Remote learning for junior high students will consist of four core classes, English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies through the Edgenuity program. Students in seventh and eighth grade can select the Spanish Fundamental course or the Spanish 1 course, for seventh and eighth graders respectively. Students will be assigned to a physical education course with a teacher from their school, and will be assigned tasks and assessments through Google Classroom.
High School students will participate in at least two days of off-site instruction a week, and two days a week of remote learning. Off-site learning will include elements like lesson videos offered through Google Classroom or Edgenuity, as well as assignments or projects. The school day will remain the same length, but students will only attend 2-3 days a week.
In online learning, students will select a minimum of six courses, to a maximum of seven courses as a higher number of courses carries a course fee of $225 per course per semester through the Edgenuity program.
Freshman students will select an English Language Arts, a Math course, a Biology course, a Modern World/AP Human Geography course, Kinetic Wellness, Health, and an elective. Sophomore students will select an English Language Arts course, a Math course, a Physical Science course, a Civics course, a Kinetic Wellness course, and an elective. Juniors will select an English Language Arts course, a Math course, a Science course, a U.S. History course, a Kinetic Wellness course, and an elective. Seniors will take an English Language Arts course, Consumer Education, Kinetic Wellness, and between 3.5 and 4.5 credits in electives including core electives, selective electives and open electives.
Special Education students in high school will receive in-person direct and related services on an alternating day schedule during on-site attendance. Consideration will be given to grouping students for co-treatment to optimize delivery. Teletherapy may occur on remote learning days.
Students who spend the majority of their day in special education classrooms are considered to be in “self-contained programs”, according to the district, and will attend school on a daily basis at all grade levels. A Remote Learning Plan will be developed for all students with IEPs, in the event that state officials require a shift to wholly remote learning. Private day and residential placements will provide programming for their students.
Early Childhood students are not given a choice, and will attend school five days a week, while following social distancing practices. Circle time may run in two sessions, and students will sit in spaces or squares that are appropriately socially distanced. Sand and water tables will not be accessible, and writing and art supplies will be issued to students in individual kits. Early childhood schooling will end 15 minutes earlier.
English Learner Resource students will be in attendance, with language acquisition services and supports to be provided to students “to the extent possible.” Dual Language students will be in attendance with instruction provided by their teacher as typically occurs in the classroom. Students in Self-Contained Sheltered English classes will also be in attendance, with instruction provided by their teacher as typically occurs.
On July 15, a choice form and explanation of options, in video form, will be sent to parents along with a link to submit questions. A choice between in-person or remote education is due to the district by July 22, at 4 p.m. A choice must be made for a grading period at a time. If parents or students do not announce their choice to the district by that time, district administrators will assume that student will be participating in in-person instruction.
This story will be updated.