Facebook Round Up Responses – Updated June 3, 2020
Note: Questions were taken verbatim from Facebook
- Question: What about in-person summer programs for children with disabilities?
- Due to the health and safety of our students and staff, we are not offering in-person summer programs for students with disabilities.
- Question: What about ESY?
- Students that have qualified for Extended School Year (ESY) via the IEP team process will receive this service. The Office of Special Education and stakeholders are currently working on a plan.
- Question: How will SPED students with one on ones be effectively supported with Social distancing measures?
- Please contact the IEP Chair at your child’s school for additional support.
- Question: When the dust settles, will you have a task force to review the unbalances of teachers’ virtual classes and allocated professional days to technology development to bridge the technical curves for both teachers and students?
- We are currently offering professional learning around supporting virtual learning, including best practices for implementation. We are utilizing several formats to capture current feedback, surveys, focus groups, etc. to learn from ongoing work to inform our future work. We plan to continue professional learning bridging technology and content in the summer and throughout the upcoming school year.
General academic/distance learning
- For the latest information on distance learning, visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distance-learning
- Question: Will the children move forward or have to repeat the grade/ school year over I noticed its not a lot of children on the google classroom. How will this work? How are these packs even being graded?
- Students engaging with learning packets will not return paper copies. Instead, teachers will monitor and offer support to students via weekly check-in calls. The goal of reviewing student work is to support those students in their engagement in the lessons.
- Question: When will kids be able to take assessments for early admission?
- In alignment with MSDE, and to support our focus of engaging students in continuous learning, City Schools will also not administer EOY districtwide assessments to its students.
- Question: Has a “last day of school” date been determined?
- Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners voted to authorize CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises to seek a waiver from the Maryland State Department of Education to change the last day of school. If MSDE approves the waiver, the last day of the 2019-2020 school year for City Schools students will be Monday, June 15, 2020. The last day for City Schools teachers and other 10-month staff would remain Tuesday, June 23. However, if the waiver is approved by the State, City Schools will continue to explore creative ways to leverage or repurpose this additional staff time to support our students and staff in the upcoming school year, which could result in an earlier last day for staff with the unions’ agreement
- Question: Any updates on Summer programming as of yet? Particularly, Engineers of the Future 6-week program that was slated to be @ Fort Worthington?
- We are currently working to finalize summer planning with our senior leadership. We will have information available very soon. Please stay connected to our website as well as Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements.
- Question: Who can we speak with if a teacher has not participated in virtual learning? Our principal is aware. This needs to be privately escalated. Thank you.
- The principal should be working with their supervisor to elevate and support.
- Question: As distance learning continues, how will parent/student accountability for authentic work submissions/ content be better managed?
- The plan for continued distance learning is currently underway. We will be including several considerations, including grading, assessments, authentic engagement, etc.
- What guidelines are you offering families who want to officially homeschool for at least 6-12 months - because they have covid19 health concerns?
- Please see these guidelines for homeschooling here, including the application. Parents must follow all procedures, including withdrawing from their school. Also, no special education services are provided for parents who choose to homeschool and they need to have the required portfolio reviews.
- For the latest information on enrollment - including pre-K or kindergarten, visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/enroll
- Question: How do we register them for the up and coming school year for high school?
- Current families transitioning into high school will receive confirmation of their placements via US postal mail by mid- June or by accessing the campus portal. New families seeking to enroll in City Schools for SY20-21 will be able to do so after July 1, 2020.
- Question: What’s the number for pre-K registration?
- Families in need of support to utilize the online prekindergarten registration system can call their neighborhood zone schools as calls are being routed to the respective enrollment officials. Families are also able to receive support from district office staff by emailing Enrollment@bcps.k12.md.us or calling 410-396-8600 for assistance.
- Question: Is enrollment for kindergarten in the fall available?
- The priority 1 prekindergarten enrollment period for Baltimore City Public Schools has been delayed until May 15. City Schools will be launching online registration through Infinite Campus to support the enrollment of priority 1 students in a manner that keeps both staff and families safe. Priority 2 registration, including kindergarten students, has not been interrupted and is scheduled to launch on July 1.
- Question: I am looking at early admission for my son to kindergarten. Is there any information on when that process will happen, and what it will look like?
- As a result of COVID-19, City Schools is still awaiting revised guidance from the State of Maryland regarding early admissions. Please note that the district is collaborating with neighboring school districts to develop creative solutions to support students and families regarding this component. Additional information will be forthcoming upon receipt.
- Are ALL charter schools using the District's enrollment system?
- Any dates yet for early admission testing to kindergarten?
- Children who turn 5 or 6 between September 2 and October 15 may apply for early admission to kindergarten or 1st grade. To apply, parents and guardians will need to complete the early admission application and students will need to pass an assessment.
- Question: If a hybrid model is used where students are not in their classrooms every day, what supports will be provided for parents (including teachers) who have to go back to work and would now have to provide childcare for their children on days they are not in school?
- City Schools is finalizing continuity of learning plans, which include targeted focuses on parent and family supports, capacity building, family wellness resources, increased two-way communication, and access to take-home learning materials for those in need. Supporting teachers with creating and sustaining School-Family Partnerships in Remote Learning is equally important. The Engagement Office is facilitating robust professional development opportunities and developing protocols for remote learning engagement that strengthen school-level capacity for sustaining authentic family engagement linked to student success. Areas of focus will include:
- offering equitable access to opportunities for decision making and advocacy
- fostering two-way communication during remote learning
- building trusting relationships in virtual learning environments
- utilizing best practices for English Learner family engagement
- Question: Will parents be trained over the summer for the upcoming school year 2021-2022 should school be doing Virtual Learning?
- Virtual Parent University will be made available to parents and caregivers – a free one-stop-shop for parents and families to access content that builds capacity and confidence to support high-quality remote learning. The VPU will have a direct link to ensuring parents are supported: online safety/citizenship, family wellness, family literacy and preparing for online education, accessibility supports (i.e., assistive technology that supports with learning and thinking differences: text-to-speech, calendars, note-taking, guided access, etc.).
- The office of engagement phone number goes straight to voicemail. How can parents engage in the virtual listening tour?
- Please call 410-545-1870 or email us at Engagement@bcps.k12.md.us.
- For the latest information on graduations and supports for seniors, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/2020graduation
- Question: Will the Seniors be issued Cap & Gowns?
- Seniors will receive caps and gowns. They should expect to hear from their schools in the next several weeks how caps and gowns will be distributed. We will be celebrating Senior Spirit Week from May 18-22, and we will be celebrating student graduations virtually from June 10-17. More details will be forthcoming.
- Question: Will senior class dues be refunded to parents since there are no senior class activities such as promos and class trips?
- Schools will be refunding senior class dues for activities canceled on or after March 12. We are not yet ready to distribute reimbursements, but we are developing plans to do so within the next month.
- Question: When will you find out if your senior has graduated, and how are they doing high school diplomas?
- We will be conducting graduation validation in early June, and virtual graduations will take place from June 10 -17. More information about specific school graduation schedules will be provided soon. High school diplomas can be picked up from high schools during a senior check-out period, which will be scheduled for June.
- Question: What happened to the computers bought, and what will be done to close the digital divide?
- Visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distributing-computers or keep reading.
- The district also purchased 12,200 new or refurbished Chromebooks to supplement existing devices. Acquiring these devices expeditiously to get them in the hands of children as quickly as possible was challenging given the fact that demand was high (many other districts were purchasing at the same time) and supply was low (supply chains were also adversely affected by COVID-19).
- Question: How are computers being distributed?
- Visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distributing-computers or keep reading.
- Working collaboratively with central and school-based staff, the district is amid a comprehensive device deployment strategy to loan Chromebooks to families who need them. The process was designed to support Seniors and Juniors in reaching their college and career aspirations, incorporate principal feedback, leverage school-based knowledge of students and community, and meet the needs of ALL students with an explicit focus on equitable approaches to distance learning.
- Deployment started with high schools the week of April 13, followed by K-8 and middle schools the week of April 27. Each school had a two-day distribution window, with times scheduled to reflect a sensitivity to the needs of students and families. Schools were provided with PPE and detailed social distancing protocols to guide the process. As of early May, 11,000 devices have been distributed.
- The district is now in the planning process for the second round of distribution to reach families that have not yet received a device. The second round will begin in the coming days.
- Question: What do I do if I need a computer?
- Please reach out to your or your student’s school principal.
- Question: What if I need internet access?
- In the short-term, the district is promoting Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides two free months of service to any City Schools family.
- City Schools also continues to focus on identifying a longer-term approach to solving this issue, in partnership with the City and local organizations like the Digital Equity Coalition and local businesses.
- For students, who are transitioning to another school (middle to high), what is the procedure in regards to devices that were borrowed from schools
- Students that are remaining in the district but transitioning to different schools should keep their devices which will remain with them as they go into their new school in school year 2020-21. Students leaving the district should return devices to school before schools close for the summer. Your school will be sharing information on dates/times that students can retrieve personal belongings left in school. There will be an opportunity during this time for students that are graduating or leaving the district to return loaner devices as well.
- Are there plans yet for distributing district laptops to teachers who don't already have them?
- Discussions are underway on addressing the needs of teachers that need devices. Teachers that have a need should be communicating this need with their prinicipals.
- Can we get updated computers that we can write on with a stylus?
- There are many considerations that go into the decision on devices purchased for students including functionality, battery life, storage, processor speed, durability, etc. Our experience with devices that that require a stylus is that they have higher failure rates, and the stylus which is typically very small are easily misplaced. We have a cross-functional team that includes instructional and technical staff that review any new student devices models that the district may consider purchasing to ensure students have devices that meet instructional needs.
For the latest information on emergency meals, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/meal-sites
- Will there be food service for summer meals?
- City Schools is currently exploring, as of June 3, the possibility of providing this important service. Please check back here often for the latest updates.