September 17, 2020
Dear Hayes Parents,
Based on communications with teachers, parents, and students, it seems like we are settling into online learning, and this week went much smoother as compared to last week. While it is not perfect just yet, we are moving forward together as a team to make necessary adjustments. One of those adjustments will include our teachers having only one Zoom link on their landing page, which will be for both “Live” sessions as well as “Support Time” at the end of the day. This will begin the week of September 21st.
If your student is having difficulty with a specific class, then please encourage them to immediately email the teacher--especially if they are trying to connect to a Zoom session. Then, please encourage your student to visit that teacher during their “Support Time” at the end of the day. All teachers are available for live, virtual help from 2:25-3:15 Monday-Friday. During “Support Time,” teachers can work directly with students in small groups or even a one-to-one fashion; therefore, questions can be cleared up within the same school day.
Participation Expectations, Attendance in PowerSchool, and Two-Way Communication
First off, we have to disclose that taking attendance within an online learning environment is not clean cut or straightforward; it’s actually quite complicated!
Before moving forward, we need to quickly point out that attendance in an online learning environment is referred to as participation, and participation will be marked in PowerSchool twice-per-week, per-class.
Codes in PowerSchool
Participation means attending a “Live” session and/or completing the “On Demand” work within a specific time frame. If your student shows up to a Live session for their teacher, they will earn a “P” in PowerSchool on the day of the live session. If your student is not able to attend the live session, but they complete the “On Demand” work within the appropriate time frame, then they will earn an “L” in PowerSchool for their participation. Please note that P is equal to L in this environment; students earning either one of these codes for their participation are deemed as participating appropriately. We understand that many students and families may not be able to connect during the assigned “Live” session for a variety of reasons; therefore, the completion of the “On Demand” work and the “L” code in PowerSchool is our way of being flexible with our families. If your student does not attend a “Live” session and they do not complete the “On Demand” work for the specific time frame, they will receive a “NP” in PowerSchool, which means Not Participating.
One Week, Two Time Frames
For our purposes at Hayes, Monday and Tuesday is time frame one; Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday is time frame two. Teachers will be marking participation in PowerSchool during their assigned “Live” session days throughout the week during both time frames. If your student misses a “Live” session for a class, then please encourage them to complete the “On Demand” work within that specific time frame to ensure they can still earn a “L” for their participation. If they miss the “Live” session and do not complete the “On Demand” work within a timely fashion, then they will be marked “NP”--Not Participating. This system and marking in PowerSchool will be in place effective Monday, September 21st.
Your student’s Communication and Support teacher is required under State of Michigan’s pupil accounting law to make two, two-way communications with your student each week. Communication and Support teachers are required to log these contacts and conversations each week. As you are aware, your student’s Communication and Support teachers are a teacher of record for your child, which means that they see them during the school day, most likely during first hour. If your child regularly attends the “Live” sessions during the hour in which they see their Communication and Support teacher, then those contacts can be counted for pupil accounting purposes. If they miss “Live” sessions during the hour in which they see their Communication and Support teacher, then the Communication and Support teacher will have to either call or email your child to check on their academic progress. Please be sure to return these phone calls and emails in a timely manner as they have to occur within a specific time frame; we appreciate your support here.
Since we are virtual, there is not a need to call our attendance secretary to report the absence of your child. Instead, please encourage your child to proactively email all of their teachers if they are not able to attend that day. If students are not able to attend “Live” sessions for the day, they are expected to complete the “On Demand” work within the time frame window they are gone. If they need an extension on the work, please encourage them to reach out to their teachers via email. As a parent, you are more than welcome to be part of these communications too. While we understand that emergencies do arise and that communicating proactively before the school day may not always be an option, proactive communication will ensure that participation is accurately marked within PowerSchool to avoid confusion or anxiety for our students.
Multiple-day absences, however, should be reported to our attendance secretary, Ms. Sadie Green by calling (517) 925-5683. If you need to submit medical documentation or an Extended Absence Form (vacations), then please email Ms. Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, we thank you for your continued support. We will keep the information regarding participation and two-way communication in future newsletters as it is a lot to digest. In addition, this email will be archived on our Hayes homepage. Please feel free to reach out with questions, concerns, or feedback.
Dave and Eric