Belle Plaine outlines voluntary learning program during closure

Belle Plaine Community School District

Belle Plaine, Iowa 52208

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians:

Due to recent guidance from the State Department of Education and the State’s decision to close school through April 30, the Belle Plaine Community School District intends to continue providing educational opportunities and daily instruction for our students through voluntary enrichment. The district wants to make sure we offer an opportunity for all students to expand on student learning.

After closing schools, the Iowa Department of Education issued new guidance requiring schools to choose one of three educational delivery options moving forward:

– Do nothing (days would need to be made up)

– Provide voluntary learning, or

– Provide required learning.

The Belle Plaine Board of Education and administration chose to offer voluntary learning from Monday, April 13, 2020, to Thursday, April 30, 2020. Should the State cancel classes for the remainder of the year, the school district will continue with the voluntary plan.

During this time, the school district will continue to provide materials and resources to students through classroom teachers and regular communication. Teachers are prepared to send assignments and lessons via email, Google Classroom, other online platforms and paper copies (if needed). We truly believe Belle Plaine is a unique community that will work together to navigate these unprecedented times. For further information, please view the district’s voluntary education delivery plan identified below.

Thank you for your support, and please contact your building principal or classroom teacher if you need lurcher assistance.

Stay Safe!

Belle Plaine Administration.

Belle Plaine Covid 19 Voluntary Education Delivery Program

Rationale for Voluntary Continuous Learning: Due to our school demographics and the barrier of equitable access to online instruction for all students, the Belle Plaine Community School District will provide voluntary learning activities and lessons. Learning activities will be provided both online and through paper copies (if needed). This is voluntary for all families.

Students and families will choose if they participate in activities, and learning activities will not be graded.

Goals for Belle Plaine:

– Maintain connections with our students and families

– Provide learning activities similar to a normal classroom activity

– Continue to provide skill acquisition

– Provide support in all areas to our students and families (math, literacy, science, social studies, and social emotional supports)

By providing voluntary enrichment for our students, the Belle Plaine CSD will not be required to make up school days for the year.

Although the school district considered the option of required coursework at the secondary level, there are many legal hurdles and issues of equity that make that not the best option for our community.

Longfellow elementary

Students will receive voluntary learning opportunities through multiple platforms, depending on what was being used by the classroom teachers prior to school closures. These platforms include but are not limited to the following: Seesaw, Facebook, Google Classroom, Zoom and email.

For students who do not have access to technology, teachers will provide packets making those lessons accessible for students. Teachers will be required to provide skill appropriate work on a daily basis while providing feedback on that work as well. Teachers will also meet weekly with students via Zoom when age appropriate.

Educators will will continue to use the websites and digital programs they were using prior to the shutdown at school. Check-ins from counselors, principals or additional support teachers will take place to ensure students know someone is checking in on their overall well-being.

Belle Plaine Junior/Senior High

Students in grades 7-12 will receive voluntary learning opportunities through platforms used by teachers prior to the school closure. As a 1 to 1 school, teachers have already utilized Google Classroom and small as a tool to share learning materials and will continue to use these formats.

Teachers may also use but are not limited to using Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube during the school closure. For students who do not have access to technology, packets will be provided if that is what is decided upon between the family and teacher.

Teachers will be required to provide skill appropriate work on a daily basis, while providing feedback to that work as well. Teachers will also meet with students weekly via Zoom when age appropriate.

Websites and digital programs will continue to be used as they had been while students were attending classes. Check-ins from counselors, principals or additional support teachers will take place to ensure students know someone is checking in on their overall well-being.

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