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Oswego School District Board presented with plans for third phase of hybrid learning

The Oswego School District 308 administrators presented the Board of Education with a first look at plans for the district’s third phase of hybrid learning earlier this week.

The board took no action on the plans during a Feb. 22 meeting, but are expected to do so during their next meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday, March 1 in the auditorium at Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego.

The administration’s presentation on the plans can be viewed through the district’s BoardDocs website.

Currently, the district’s hybrid elementary students attend school in-person for four mornings a week for instruction in reading, math and writing. In the afternoon, students receive digital instruction in art, music, physical education, and will be able to have independent work time.

Students in junior high and high school hybrid learning continue to attend school in A/B schedule groups, with Group A attending Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B attending in-person Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, all students attend all classes remotely with their teachers through Go Live! sessions. Students will participate remotely in their classes on the days they are not in-person.

Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Faith Dahlquist presented options for the third phase of the hybrid learning plans to the board. The phase is set to start April 7.

Dahlquist told the board the district’s priorities for learning options remains to minimize health risks for all students and staff, maximize the time for in-person instruction, enable families to have some choice in addressing their students’ needs, minimize disruption to current teacher/student relationships and to maintain students’ ability to continue in their current courses.

Dahlquist provided a breakdown that showed that in the current phase, 66% of elementary students, 61% of junior high students and 55% of high school students are currently involved in hybrid learning.

Under the proposed plans, high school students in the current Group A would attend Mondays and Tuesdays for a full attendance day from 7:20 a.m. until 2 p.m., with remote learning on Wednesdays, while students in Group B would attend for a full attendance day on Thursdays and Fridays, and take remote learning on Wednesdays.

Students in both groups would eat lunch at school.

Junior high school students in Group A would attend Mondays and Tuesdays in-person for a full day of attendance from 8:05 a.m. until 3:05 p.m., and would take remote learning on Wednesdays following the second phase schedule. Students in Group B would follow a similar schedule, but attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays.

As in high school, students in both junior high groups would eat lunch at school.

With each plan, students in remote learning would follow the schedules of in-person students.

Special Education students in the STARS program, LSP, select students in the DHH program, ISP students, and junior high SKILLS students will remain in-person for four days a week, and will see their schedules expand to match the day of junior high and high school students under the proposed changes.

All resource students, co-taught students, students with 504 and IEP plans, and high school SKILLS students would be in-person for two days a week, and would follow the starting and ending times for junior high and high school students.

No change was suggested to the current elementary school schedule.

Special Education, resource and 504 students in elementary school would not change plans either.

Two plans administrators did not bring to the board included offering remote by choice learning through livestreaming at the same time as in-person learning and switching some teachers to only teaching remote students or only teaching in-person students.

These plans were not recommended, Dahlquist said, because the district “feels strongly” that teaching elementary students in in-person and remote at the same time “is not in the best interest of developing early literacy and early numeracy skills for either set of students.”

“Our teachers are great, they’re trying so hard, but to simultaneously manage a class of young students and teach them, we think is an unreasonable burden,” she said.

Separating students into groups taught exclusively in remote learning or in-person learning would result in needing to move 440 students to different teachers leading to the hiring of five additional teachers creating 18 classes with more than 20 students – just for first grade.

No changes were recommended for early childhood students.

Once the plans are approved at the March 1, meeting, communication would be sent to teachers by March 3 and parents by March 4. Parents who may wish to switch their student from in-person to remote learning, or from remote to in-person would be asked to submit their choice no later than March 10.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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