Approach to Remote Learning

Dear Cohasset Families,

Yesterday district leaders received further guidance from Commissioner Riley regarding remote learning during the now extended school cancellation period (the anticipated return to school or students is now Monday, May 4, 2020). This guidance was endorsed and signed by the American Federation of Teachers, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association and the Massachusetts Teacher Association. This advice can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FlFG8jiCYFzQyKlmu9N1cKCV84l_IbIF/view?usp=sharing

As a result of this guidance, we are moving from enrichment to a focus on providing academic assignments, deepening academic skills, and increasing student engagement especially for students in grades 6-12. Remote learning is not synonymous with or limited to online learning. As Commissioner Riley explains in his guidance:

Examples of remote leaning tools include large-group vido or audio conference calls, 1:1 phone of video calls, email, work packets, projects, reading lists, online learning platforms, and other resources to effectively engage with students. These tools could be used to deliver lessons, provide individual student  support, provide resources (including instructional material and student assignments), connect student to each other and their teacher, and provide feedback on student work. (Riley, 3/26/2020)

Although we can never replace the connections and learning that goes on within our schools, our approach, when possible, will be authentic, project-based, innovative, creative, fun and engaging. This is a wonderful opportunity for schools to focus on inspiring creativity, engaging student voice, and providing non-traditional learning that will help all students. The following article highlights the opportunity that this time presents for us to envision learning in a different manner from what happens during a traditional school day.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2020/03/16/remember-online-learning-isnt-the-only-way.html

Our theme all year as a school district has been “Through the Eyes of the Student,” and our remote learning approach will reflect this theme. We will be communicating to families of students who have special education programs and to families of English Language Learners in order to best meet their needs. We will also be differentiating our approach by grade-level and by content. Communication will be forthcoming over the next week from your child’s building principal regarding the structure of the Remote Learning Plan and timeline for implementation at your child’s school. Overarching district guidelines will also be communicated. Our expectation is that the new Remote Learning Plan will begin during the week of April 6, 2020.

Most importantly, we will strive to attend to the social-emotional needs of our students and families by providing transparent communication, personalized connection and unwavering support. Please know that our planning will be respectful that many parents / guardians are working from home, taking care of children and family members and potentially dealing with illness during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent