St. John Catholic School uses a scaffold approach to deliver both traditional content and interactive lessons (video conferencing, streaming, collaborating) throughout the extended school closure. The following outlines the steps taken to transition to our articulated Remote Learning Plan (formerly ‘Distance Learning Plan’).
Phase One: Preparing Students and Staff
What Students Should do to Prepare for Remote Learning
Website for Home Learning Support: Teacher and specialist webpages are organized by grade level and provide remote learning curriculum when home school is in session. Webpages also provide online resources and suggested off-line activities to support students learning from home. The resources are intended to help engage students in continued learning.
Access to Technology: St. John Catholic School has a laptop for any student who needs a device. Laptops can be checked out to families at any time during school site closure. Contact Paul Kelley if your family would like to check out a device.
What Teachers Are Doing to Prepare for Remote Learning
With the objective of making reasonable efforts to provide equitable delivery of instruction during times of emergency closure, teachers set out to explore the use of a variety of mediums to share content:
- Instructional packets
- Teacher websites
- Zoom Meetings
- Microsoft Teams collaborations
- Google Classroom content and Meets
- Interactive online resources
Teachers feel confident about educational continuity with these tools in place. The initial days allowed us to try out new teaching methods and make modifications where needed. We are ready to enter the next phase of our RLP.
Phase Two: Launching the Remote Learning Plan
St. John Catholic School will continue its mission of providing an excellent Catholic education with the RLP. In doing so we acknowledge that it will take time for teachers to gauge how long an assignment might take at home versus in the classroom with teacher guidance. Teachers will continue to support students’ on-going education by delivering and assessing content. While the tools to deliver and assess content differ by department, the goals of the RLP are unanimous and seek to provide:
- Live student-teacher contact time
- Online content – lessons, resources, and assessments – will be delivered through a variety of mediums:
- Parent emails
- Teacher webpages
- Google Classroom
- Microsoft Teams
- Zoom Meetings
Individual teachers and or departments may choose additional mediums to communicate content.
In the first weeks of our pilot RLP the school has made modifications and enhancements as to how content is delivered and assessed. The major tenets of our articulated RLP include the following stipulations to support on-going student learning:
- Essential Learning: Less is more – we acknowledge that in an RLP not all core content can be taught and assessed to the degree of in-person instruction in the classroom. In the RLP lesson design, teachers streamline content and elevate the essential learning for students. Teachers take a less-is-more perspective, including the pacing of lessons and the volume and types of assessments.
- Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning Experiences: Collaboration remains important, and teachers foster it through synchronous (all students at the same time) learning. Teachers provide opportunities, when developmentally appropriate, for students and small groups to have discussions and dialogues during a set time period. However, teachers understand that students might not all be online at the exact same time (asynchronous), so there will be opportunities provided through different platforms for discussion, class meetings, sharing, and more.
- Recommended Daily Instruction (represents the total time for asynchronous and synchronous learning activities)
|Preschool||30 minutes||30-45 minutes|
|K-1||45 minutes||45-70 minutes|
|2-3||60 minutes||60-90 minutes|
|4-5||90 minutes||90-135 minutes|
|6-8||150 minutes||150-225 minutes|
Remote Learning Format
Scheduling and communication in the RLP have been adapted to provide a sense of school routine and flexibility for students working from home. Lesson design presents a challenge in the RLP. To allow for asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences, specific departments adhere to the following scheduling guidelines:
- Grades PK-2: Daily parent email, teacher webpages, video messages and conferencing
- Grades 3-5: Daily parent email, Google classroom, video conferencing, teacher webpages
- Grades 6-8: Daily student emails, Microsoft Teams, video conferencing, teacher webpages
- Specialist and Counselor lessons and information are available on specific teacher webpages
Student Attendance is assumed daily in the RLP. Teachers in grades 3-8 monitor student engagement in the Google and Microsoft environments. Should a student (PreK-8th) be ill or a family choose not to participate in the RLP on a particular day, absences must be reported daily to https://st-johnschool.org/attendance/.
Core Curriculum Delivery: Teachers deliver core content Mondays-Thursdays. Fridays will be lighter workdays for students, with time for weekly catch-up, assessments, and video conferencing with teachers. Fridays will also provide teachers with time for additional planning and preparation of content for the following week’s lessons.
Grades 6-8 core teachers will schedule video check-ins with students, when desired, at normally scheduled class times. Zero period video check-ins will be scheduled over the lunch hour when needed.
Evidence of Student Learning
Assessment: This is one of the most challenging components of developing an RLP. Teachers will think differently about the frequency and end goal of assessment. Instead of relying on traditional assessment methods that might not fit the remote learning model, new methods (infographics, video presentations, oral assessments, etc.) will be considered and utilized to assess student achievement of standards. Assessment accommodations may be considered, when necessary, to support the RLP.
Online monitoring of student progress/student assessment will be done through:
- PowerSchool: Grades K-8
- Google Classroom: Grades 3-5
- Microsoft Teams: Grades 6-8
Work Completion: The school will allow for grace within the framework of the RLP. We understand there may be times where work just doesn’t get finished on time or completed to the degree of what is expected in the normal classroom.
Trimester 3 Report Cards will be issued at the completion of the term. Teachers and parents will continue to utilize PowerSchool for inputting and accessing grade information.
Phase Three: RLP Modifications and Enhancements
Middle School: Modified Block Schedule, 4/20/20
Middle School teachers and administration used the time over the Easter Holidays to reflect on feedback received from parents and students about the RLP. The modifications to the RLP are directed at clarifying and simplifying expectations for you and your student.
Starting Monday, April 20, 2020, the Middle School department will roll out a modified block schedule. We believe this move will create a more sustainable structure:
- Students will have fewer classes each day, giving them more time to focus on each subject – quality over quantity
- This schedule allows more time for teachers to interact with students
- Teachers will be available during the scheduled class time to provide instruction, field questions, and check-in with the students
- Teachers continue to be available by email during regular school hours, as needed
Middle School Block Schedule Format: The school recommends students check in to their first class and Microsoft Teams site by 9am each day, Monday – Thursday, with Purple on Mondays and Wednesdays, Gold on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays continue to be a day for students to complete work assigned during the week.
Middle School DLP Block Schedule 2020
|Purple Day||Gold Day|
|9:00-9:40 AM||Period 1||Period 5|
|9:45-10:25 AM||Period 2||Period 6|
|10:30-11:15 AM||Period 3||Period 7|
|11:20 AM - 12:00 PM||Period 4||Specialist|
Teachers post all assignments on Teams by 9:00am each day, Monday-Thursday. Required video classes or virtual drop-ins will be held during the scheduled class period; teachers will email students with advance notice if attendance is expected.
Maximizing the Modified Block Schedule: We have always recognized the importance of the partnership between teachers and parents in your child’s education and never has this been more apparent than during remote learning. The balancing act of working from home and trying to keep up with your child’s schoolwork can be daunting and is acknowledged by the administration and faculty. To help, we offer these tips:
- Check PowerSchool with your child frequently. Thursday afternoon/evening is a good time. Fridays will continue to be “catch-up” workdays.
- Together, prioritize missing assignments, if any, and formulate a plan with your child to complete the work.
- Your student may require assistance in crafting emails to teachers with questions or clarifications about assignments.
- Encourage your child to log in to Teams at 9:00am each morning. Maintaining a routine is fundamental to student success in an RLP.
- Teacher webpages are updated throughout the week and are a great source of information, providing details of assignments, projects, and video classes.
- When in doubt, email the teacher – they are here and want to help your child be successful!
Feedback is necessary for a successful RLP. Teachers are open to constructive feedback from parents and students alike. The administration will email updates to parents apprising of any pertinent information about modifications and enhancements to the RLP or when our school might reopen for on-site classes. As with the decision to close the campus, the decision to reopen the school for on-site classes will be made with close consultation between the pastor, the Archdiocese of Seattle, School Commission, and the Department of Health.
You may need to think differently about how to support your child, how to create structures and routines that allow your child to be successful, and how to monitor and support your child’s learning. Some students will thrive with remote learning, while others may struggle. The following ten guidelines are intended to help parents think about what they can do to help their children find success in a remote learning environment.
- 10 Guidelines for Parents
- Establish routines and expectations
- Define the physical space for your child’s study
- Monitor communications from your child’s teachers
- Begin and end each day with a check-in
- Take an active role in helping your child process their learning
- Establish times for quiet and reflection
- Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
- Remain mindful of your child’s stress or worry
- Monitor how much time your child is spending online
- Keep your child social, setting rules around their social media interactions
- 10 Guidelines for Parents
Additional resources are available on the School Counselor webpage.
Commitment and Collaboration
St. John Catholic School is committed to providing students an excellent Catholic education, whether it is through in-person / in-class teaching or remote learning. Parent support and collaboration in the RLP are fundamental to the success of remote learning. As you may have experienced already, the transition to remote learning can be challenging for families. The demands on your time will be greatly stressed in the RLP, particularly if you have younger students. The school understands and allows for grace within the framework of the remote learning plan. We understand there may be times work doesn’t get finished.
The St. John Catholic School RLP will be updated and enhanced over time as we walk the remote learning path and learn collectively from the experience. We appreciate your support of the home classroom and know it is not easy. The school thanks you for your partnership.