VC Reopening Plan- Teaching and Learning

Marianne Serratore (marianne.serratore@vcsdny.org) is our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She, along with the building principals oversees the teaching and learning aspects of our Reopening Plan.  In an effort to assure high-quality teaching and learning, a continuity of learning plan has been developed for the 2020-2021 school year. This plan considers and plans for teaching and learning in-person, remotely, and through hybrid models of instruction.   Our plan assures that instruction is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards and assures equity, as well as quality for all learners.

Valley Central has been working collaboratively to develop the best program we can, under the guidelines that are imposed upon us by the State Education Department and the State Department of Health. There is no perfect model. Please remember that depending on how many students choose a hybrid model and how many choose 100% remote/online, these descriptions could change slightly. 

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WHEN THE GOVERNOR MAKES HIS DECISIONS DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST… ALL OF OUR PLANS MAY NEED TO BE MODIFIED.


Hybrid Learning Model

Valley Central has chosen a hybrid learning model that will include both in-person instruction, remote instruction and online instruction. Although this is not an ideal plan, when compared to a normal school year, it will allow Valley Central to provide for adequate social distancing and also provide in-person instruction during this difficult and complicated time.

In-person Instruction

This model includes two days of in person instruction which will occur at school, with classes of 50% or less capacity.

  • Social distancing protocol will be followed as explained in our plan. 
  • This learning will be standards-based and will include high quality rigorous instructional opportunities and experiences.

How will students be divided to acheive 50% capacity? 

All K-12 students will be divided into two teams:  Team 1 and Team 2.  Families will all be kept together.

  • Students with last names beginning with A-L will be Team 1 and
  • students with last names beginning with M-Z will be Team 2, with accommodations being made for blended families.
  • Please contact the building principals if you have questions in regard to the teams.

Team 1 will attend school in-person on Monday and Thursday. They will be provided with remote learning on Tuesday and Friday.

Team 2 will attend school in-person on Tuesday and Friday. They will be provided with remote learning on Monday and Thursday.

The formulation of these team days will ensure that students will experience in-person, direct instruction from teachers that will be interrupted for not more than four consecutive days, including weekends, while school is in session.

Remote Instruction

This instruction will include meaningful experiences such as independent work, group work, completing online tasks, conduction research, completing projects and viewing instructional videos. The work assigned will be standards based.

How  Remote Learning Will Occur Two Days a Week

This model also includes two days of remote instruction, which is also known as asynchronous instruction. Remote learning is done virtually through a combination of video instruction and student activities. There is limited live interaction with teachers on this day, as they are teaching the in-class cohort.

Remote learning can include a combination of methods such as live streaming of classroom instruction which is recorded and posted to the Google Classroom, instructional videos, presentations, research and more as appropriate by grade level and course content. 

 Online Instruction in Hybrid Instruction

Online instruction will be done at home with a greater degree of live instruction with interactions taking place between the teacher and students. The online instruction will be standards based and will include high quality, rigorous instructional opportunities. Online Instruction will also follow a set schedule, similar to the In-person school day.

Wednesday Is Online Day For Everyone

All students will engage in online learning on Wednesdays following a regular schedule while at home.

This model also includes one day of online instruction, which will take place on Wednesdays and is referred to as synchronous instruction.  Online learning will be done virtually through live Google Meets, utilizing full group and small group instruction. It will take place throughout the duration of a normal school day, following the block scheduling of a typical elementary school day and the nine period schedules of the middle school and high school.  This instruction will start with live instruction from the classroom teacher. Students will not be looking at a screen all day, as some activities that take place during these classes will include methods other than the use of the chromebook. However, teachers will be logged into the Google classrooms and available to the students to answer questions, provide feedback, etc. during these online classes.

Students will be expected to log in at scheduled times, however materials will also be available in Google Classroom for students that are not able to attend.  Attendance will be taken in various ways, as is required by the State.

Students Who Will Receive 5 days of In-Person Instruction

Self-Contained (12:1:1, 8:1:2, 6:1:2, Life Skills, Viking Academy and ALC students) will be provided with 5 days of in person instruction.
Students and staff will be grouped together in such a way that cohorts will intermingle as seldom as possible. 

How does “Hybrid” Learning Work

Students will begin with two days a week of in-person instruction and three days of on-line/remote instruction. If the COVID-19 situation improves, we will move to three days of in-person instruction and then eventually to full time in-person instruction.  Alternatively, if the COVID-19 situation worsens, we will move to a full on-line teaching model.  It is expected the State will provide benchmarks for making such decisions. 

The decision to adopt a hybrid learning plan was made by the VC Reopening Task Force after weighing data collected from the recent Reopening Schools Surveys and reviewing New York State guidance documents.

Students and staff will observe standard social distancing, including the wearing of masks throughout the school day, as per State guidelines. 

Families eligible under State guidelines will be provided with the choice of 5 day a week remote/online learning. 

What does Hybrid Learning look like at the different levels? 

  • Students in elementary school will stay in the classroom to the greatest extent possible and will receive art, music and physical education.
  • Middle school and high school students will follow a nine period schedule. 
  • Building administrators are working assiduously with their teams to create the most effective schedules possible.

100% Online Instructional Model

If you choose 100% online learning for your child(ren), they will receive their instruction at home 5 days a week via the chromebook.  This will be a combination of the asynchronous and synchronous methods described above.  The level of synchronous instruction will vary depending on the number of students who choose this method.


A team of K-12 teachers worked collaboratively to create the Valley Central Framework for Hybrid Instruction. This framework will ensure consistency in instruction across the Valley Central School District.

Equity is at the heart of all school instructional decisions.  All instruction in our district will be designed so there are clear, comprehensive, and accessible learning opportunities for all students. Such opportunities will be aligned with state standards.  Our plan is centered on instruction and academic programming that includes regular and substantive interaction with an appropriately certified teacher regardless of the delivery method.

Our teaching and learning plan includes a clear communication plan for how students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology. This information will be accessible to all, widely disseminated, and include clear and multiple ways for students and families to contact schools and teachers in an effort to assure learning for all.

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels. 

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.

Grading

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. Teachers will provide students with feedback on all academic work and will provide numerical grades in the secondary schools and standards based/behavior grades in the elementary schools. Progress reports and report cards will be completed and sent to parents/guardians as per the report card schedule.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

While planning for CTE instruction, whether in-person, remote or hybrid models, Valley Central has collaborated with Orange-Ulster BOCES to ensure high school instructional plans are aligned.  OUBOCES has developed models that ensure NYS learning Standards, applicable industry certification requirements, clinical and work based learning hours have been met.  In addition, their plans follow all NYS/DOH health and safety guidelines and social distancing.

Pre- K

Tammy Coleman (tammy.coleman@vcsdny.org) is the Director of Data/Testing and UPK and oversees our Universal Pre-K program. As a District that provides half-day and full-day UPK, we attest that we have measures in place to ensure the CBO’s we contract with will follow health and safety guidelines outlined in the NYSED guidance and required by the NYSDOH. Valley Central will also ensure that the CBO’s with full-day classes have provided a Continuity of Learning plan to the District; this Continuity of Learning plan will be aligned to the Prekindergarten standards and will also address in-person, remote and hybrid models of instruction.