Teaching and Learning & Student Supports

Overview | In-person instruction | Hybrid-modified instruction (including student schedules) | Remote instruction | Special Education & Bilingual Education/World Language ProgramsSocial-Emotional Learning | Advantage After-School Program |Families with Medical Concerns | Transitioning between In-Person and Remote Learning |Grading & Assessments | Attendance | Family Support


Overview

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) on July 16 issued a comprehensive reopening guidance document “Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools.”

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Among other requirements, there are strict health and safety regulations which must be followed. The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount and was the first consideration in the development of plans.

The Fonda-Fultonville plan for teaching and learning is strategically designed to maximize student-teacher contact time in all settings. That being said, the requirement to adhere to all state and public health guidelines will limit our ability to have all students in attendance at the same time.

The school year will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Families with medical concerns

If a family has  a valid medical concern, parents should contact the school building principal and be prepared to submit documentation from their healthcare providers. We will work with those families to address their medical situation with educational options that may include remote learning.

Transitioning between in-person and remote learning

The possibility exists that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures. To prepare for this, our district has developed a hybrid/modified learning model that rotates in-person and remote learning on a schedule. Planning in this way allows the district to easily transition to a fully remote environment if needed.

When a hybrid/modified learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, elementary students, students with Individual Education Plans, English language learners, and students with technology or connectivity needs.

Grading & Assessments

There will no longer be a pass/fail system for grading. Grading will return to our traditional number based system at all school buildings under all learning models, and all assignments will be graded as appropriate. Grading and assessments help teachers and administrators determine student’s strengths and needs. District assessments will be implemented during the school year. Information on state testing will be shared with students and families when it is finalized by the state.

Attendance

In order for students to be successful, it is important that they attend their classes whether in-person or remote. It is a requirement under the NYSED guidance that attendance is taken daily whether in-person or remote. When participating in remote instruction, teachers will take daily attendance based on students’ online engagement and whether they log in during remote live Google Meet sessions. If a student is sick and unable to attend their remote learning classes, an excuse or doctor’s note should be sent to the school office via email or fax, just as they would during in-person learning. If a student is not logged in during these live sessions or engaging in our on-line platform they will be marked absent. During in-person learning, attendance will be taken as normal.

Family support

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships and supporting students with the transition back to school. Social-emotional learning lessons will be embedded in the curriculum to support the unique needs students are facing during this pandemic. Counselors and social workers will be available to directly support families’ social and emotional wellness.

Students will have access to teachers and staff for technical support, live instruction and more. Videos and tutorials will also be available. Parents will have access to teachers and staff for technical support and professional learning, including training, videos, phone help, in-person appointments as needed and video conferencing.


The in-person student experience

What can families expect while learning in an in-person learning environment? Students will participate in typical classroom learning with enhanced health and safety measures. However, students and families should be prepared for remote learning in case of school closures or other changes as directed by state and public health agencies.

Upon reopening, class sizes will be reduced and classrooms will be modified to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. To help support social distancing procedures, our schools will utilize approved translucent dividers and minimize the amount of travel throughout the school buildings to the greatest extent possible. This means having some students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria, and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Virtual events will be held whenever possible. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.

  • Students will be marked present when they arrive at class daily and on time. All district attendance policies will be enforced. Students may enter the buildings no earlier than 7:45 a.m., but no later than 8 a.m. Students will follow their daily schedule both in-person and during remote instruction. Upon entry, students are to report directly to their classrooms or homerooms.
  • Teachers will provide ongoing feedback and district grading practices will be used.
  • Training is available for students and parents on all learning platforms. Tech support will be provided through a help desk system that can be accessed both by email and a telephone hotline.
  • Parents are encouraged to actively monitor their child’s learning to assist school with ensuring student participation and completion of courses.
  • Classroom cubbies and hallway lockers will not be used so as to prevent people from congregating in classroom areas or school hallways. Students will use backpacks/book bags to carry their belongings, including books, notebooks, Chromebooks, lunch, etc.
  • Students’ well-being is a priority and the district is preparing to support students as they transition back to school following the extended closure. Social-emotional learning activities will be built into students’ day-to-day routines. For example, there will be built in breaks where teachers take students outside to play games or participate in activities while adhering to health and safety guidelines. Read more by going to the social-emotional learning section of our plan.
    Whenever possible, students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to NYSDOH guidelines to ensure that a distance of 12 feet is maintained between individuals while they are participating in Physical Education activities and any activities that result in heavy breathing.
    Students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities that are allowed by health and safety guidelines when available. More information about extracurricular activities, athletics, physical education and performing arts are available on the School Activities section of our plan.
  • Field trips have been canceled for fall semester.
  • School events (assemblies, concerts, etc.) will be modified or rescheduled. Virtual events will be held whenever possible.

ADDITIONAL IN-PERSON CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. PREKINDERGARTEN-4

  • Students in need (identified in a survey with follow up communication) will be provided with a Chromebook and/or a WiFi hotspot to the extent practicable.
  • Classrooms have been reconfigured to meet health and safety guidelines. Prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms are large enough to fit one class per room with the use of translucent dividers that meet state regulations. Classes in grades 1, 2 and 4 will be assigned two classrooms per teacher and a teaching assistant. The teacher and the teaching assistant will support this two classroom set-up.  Grade 3 will have its own half quad in the middle school for each of the four sections. Desks will be socially distanced in grades 1-4.
  • Modified locations will be available for specials and recess based on whether or not physical distancing can be obtained. Library, art and music will move into the classroom. Support staff will assist the specialists. Physical education will take place outside of the room.

ADDITIONAL IN-PERSON CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. 5-8

  • All students will be provided with a Chromebook  to be used both at home and school. Students identified in a survey with follow up communication will receive a WiFi hotspot to the extent practicable.
  • Students will be assigned to a group known as a “cohort” that will remain in one classroom throughout the school day. Teachers will rotate from class-to-class for core instruction (ELA, math, science, social studies) and will utilize Chromebooks, Google Meet and other technology to receive their special area (music, art, library, health, home and careers, technology) classes.
  • Students will leave their main classroom for band lessons, AIS reading or math, resource room or accelerated math.
  • Classrooms have been reconfigured to meet health and safety guidelines. Desks will be spaced 6-feet apart with desks facing the front of the classroom for all core and special area classes.
  • Students will not change their clothing for physical education classes, as locker rooms will be closed.

ADDITIONAL IN-PERSON CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. 9-12

  • All students will be provided with Chromebooks to be used both at home and school. Students identified in a survey with follow up communication will receive a WiFi hotspot to the extent practicable.
  • The high school will follow a traditional bell schedule, with classes being sanitized between sessions.
  • Classrooms have been reconfigured to meet health and safety guidelines. Desks will be spaced 6-feet apart with desks facing the front of the classroom for all core and most special area classes.
  • Students will not change their clothing for physical education classes, as locker rooms will be closed.
  • Students in grades 11-12 have the option of participating in their HFM BOCES Career and Technical Education programs either remotely or in-person. Students who choose to attend in-person will be transported to HFM BOCES from FFCS, but students must provide their own transportation to and from FFCS.

Hybrid-modified instruction (including student schedules)

What can families expect while learning in a modified in-person environment? Students will alternate between in-person learning and structured remote learning based on a rotating schedule. Students will be assigned to a schedule based on their grade level or specific learning needs. Additionally:

  • All technology accommodations and in-person learning procedures outlined above will apply to the hybrid/modified learning experience. More details about the remote learning student experience are outlined below in the remote learning section of this plan.
  • When participating in remote instruction, teachers will take daily attendance based on students’ online engagement and whether they log in during remote live Google Meet sessions. If a student is sick and unable to attend their remote learning classes, an excuse or doctor’s note should be sent to the school office via email or fax, just as they would during in-person learning. If a student is not logged in during these live sessions they will be marked absent. During in-person learning, attendance will be taken as normal.
  • Teachers will provide in-person and remote instruction in a hybrid/modified learning model with district-adopted curriculum. 
  • Teachers will provide ongoing feedback and district grading practices will be used.
  • Teachers will assign students activities/lessons to complete in SeeSaw or Google Classroom. Live learning will occur with teachers as much as possible as students move remotely through their daily schedule period-by-period. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teacher at different times.
  • Training is available for students and parents on all learning platforms. Tech support will be provided through a help desk system that can be accessed both by email and a telephone hotline. 
  • Parents are encouraged to actively monitor their child’s learning to assist school with ensuring student participation and completion of courses.

ADDITIONAL HYBRID/MODIFIED LEARNING CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. PREKINDERGARTEN-4

  • Elementary students who were identified in a survey with follow up communication will be provided with a district-provided Chromebook and/or a Wifi hotspot to the extent practicable.
  • Students in PK-1 will use the online learning platform SeeSaw. Students in grades 2-4 will use Google Classroom.
  • Students will be assigned a schedule and attend school in-person on their assigned days. On the remaining days, students will engage in remote learning.
  • Although students must log onto the learning platform daily to be marked present during remote learning, the emphasis will be on completing assignments and not on the time students spend online.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR 5-12

  • Students will have a district-provided Chromebook to be used both at home and school. Students who were identified in a survey with follow up communication will be provided with a district-provided Wifi hotspot to the extent practicable.
  • Students will utilize Google Classroom.
  • Students will be assigned a schedule and attend school in-person on their assigned days. On the remaining days, students will engage in remote learning.
  • Teachers will assign students activities/lessons to complete in Google Classroom. Live learning will occur with teachers as much as possible as students move through their daily schedule period by period remotely. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teachers at different times.

HYBRID/MODIFIED LEARNING SCHOOL CALENDAR

The school calendar for students will rotate on a monthly cycle between in-person and remote learning. The district has outlined the calendar for the first month of school. This schedule will be replicated on a monthly basis. We will notify families as soon as possible if there are any changes. These schedules will be detailed on the calendar of the district’s homepage so families can easily check who is expected to report for in-person or remote learning on any given day. Life Skills  and ELL students will attend school daily under hybrid/modified learning. 

Grades Prekindergarten-Kindergarten

  • SEPT 9-11: Teachers will schedule individual appointments for prekindergarten and kindergarten screening. Students and their parents should attend the screening. Students should not report to school except for their scheduled screening. They will receive work in the mail to do at home these first three days.
  • SEPT 14-OCT 2: In-person learning.
  • OCT 5-OCT 9: Remote learning.

Grades 1-4

  • SEPT 9-11: Teachers will schedule times for students in grades 1-4 and their parents to visit their classrooms, meet their teachers and take a reading assessment. Activities will be mailed home to be completed during this week. Students should not report to school except for their scheduled meeting. They will receive work in the mail to do at home these first three days.
  • SEPT 14-OCT 2: In-person learning.
  • OCT 5-OCT 9: Remote learning.

Grades 5-6

  • SEPT 9-11: Remote learning. Students in grades 5-6 will not report to school this week.
  • SEPT 14-OCT 2: In-person learning.
  • OCT. 5-9: Remote learning.

Grades 7-8

  • SEPT 9-11: In-person learning.
  • SEPT 14-OCT 2: Remote learning.
  • OCT 5-9: In-person learning.

Grades 9-12

  • SEPT 9-11: Students will attend one day based on last name (see below). Students will participate in remote learning on the days they are not assigned to report to school.
    Wednesday, Sept. 9 all students’ last names Aguilera through Ferrucci will attend in-person learning.
    Thursday, Sept. 10 all students’ last names Field through Miller will attend in-person learning.
    Friday, Sept. 11 all students’ last names Minicki through Zumbulo will attend in-person learning.
  • SEPT 14-OCT 2: Remote learning for ALL high school students.
  • OCT 5-9: Students will rotate attendance based on last name. Students will participate in remote learning on the days they are not assigned to report to school. Students will receive more information regarding their attendance rotation as the date approaches.

    Remote instruction

    What can families expect while learning in a virtual environment? Students will participate in the high-level learning they are used to, but in a structured online environment. Live learning will occur with teachers as much as possible as students move remotely through their daily schedule period-by-period. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teachers at different times.

    • Students and staff are required to have meaningful daily interactions. The goal is to have students actively engage with peers and school daily.
    • Students will be encouraged/expected to engage in learning activities when classes would have been in session as they would in a typical school setting. Students will follow their daily period-by-period schedule while learning remotely. This will enhance the district’s ability for students to maximize live remote learning sessions with their teachers. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teacher at different times.
    • When participating in remote instruction, teachers will take daily attendance based on students’ online engagement and whether they log in during remote live Google Meet sessions. If a student is sick and unable to attend their remote learning classes, an excuse or doctor’s note should be sent to the school office via email or fax, just as they would during in-person learning. If a student is not logged in during these live sessions they will be marked absent. 
    • Teachers will provide ongoing feedback and district grading practices will be used.
    • Teachers will assign students activities/lessons to complete in SeeSaw or Google Classroom. 
    • Training is available for students and parents on all learning platforms. Tech support will be provided through a help desk system that can be accessed both by email and a telephone hotline. 
    • Parents are encouraged to actively monitor their child’s learning to assist school with ensuring student participation and completion of courses.
    • Field trips have been canceled for fall semester.
    • School events (assemblies, concerts, etc.) will be modified or rescheduled. Virtual events will be held whenever possible.
    • Students who receive special education services will receive support during school hours from their co-teacher and related service providers in the form of live Google Meet, phone calls, teletherapy and feedback in Seesaw and/or Google Classroom, etc.

    ADDITIONAL REMOTE LEARNING CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. PREKINDERGARTEN-4

    • Elementary students who were identified in a survey with follow up communication will be provided with a district-provided Chromebook and/or a Wifi hotspot to the extent practicable.
    • Students in PK-1 will use the online learning platform SeeSaw. Students in grades 2-4 will use Google Classroom. Teachers will assign students activities/lessons to complete. Live learning will occur with teachers as much as possible within their daily routine.  Recorded lessons will also be used to engage and educate students remotely. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teacher at different times.
    • K-4 special area courses such as music, art, physical education and library will provide lessons/activities on the district website and/or teacher’s Google Classroom.
    • Although students must log onto the learning platform daily to be marked present, the emphasis will be on completing assignments and not on the time students spend online.

    ADDITIONAL REMOTE LEARNING CONSIDERATIONS FOR GR. 5-12

    • Students will have a district-provided Chromebook to be used both at home and school. Students who were identified in a survey with follow up communication will be provided with a district-provided Wifi hotspot to the extent practicable.
    • Students will utilize Google Classroom. Teachers will assign students activities/lessons to complete in Google Classroom. Live learning will occur with teachers as much as possible as students move remotely through their daily schedule period-by-period. There will also be other opportunities to interact live with their teacher at different times.

    Advantage After-School Program

    Currently, the Mental Health Association will be running the advantage after school program for grades K-6 during the three weeks grades K-6 are in-person. They will follow the same guidelines and regulations after school as we do during the day. The Mental Health Association will share more information when it is available.