Please read the following letter carefully and complete the survey at the bottom

Dear TIMES2 Academy Families,

Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health are in the process of determining the type of learning options schools will use to reopen for the 2020-21 school year. 

This decision will be based on the science metrics used to track COVID-19 cases in the state. We shared with you recently in our July Newsletter, the 3 plans TIMES2 Academy has designed in response to meeting both educational and health standards. In response to your needs as a family to make a decision on how you would like your child to return to school, we are asking that you complete the TIMES2 Academy Learning Option Commitment for 2020-21 available on our website. This information will help us to deliver instruction to your child. You will need to complete this form for EACH child who attends TIMES2 Academy.

Please note that the commitment option will close as of September 2nd so that we may plan accordingly.

We ask that you and your family review the health and safety plans that we have put in place for in-person learning to ensure the safety and well-being of our children, faculty and staff in order to make an informed decision about your chosen option. We have also added answers to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

What is synchronous distance learning? 

To create the optimum learning environment outside of the actual classroom, TIMES2 Academy teachers and students will interact with one another virtually, in real-time. This allows for the teaching and learning process to occur as close to the actual classroom as possible. Students are expected to attend class as the designated time on their schedule.

Is homeschooling the same as virtual-distance learning? 

NO! Homeschooling is just that - families take on the sole responsibility of instructing their child separate from the school. This requires the family to request a withdrawal from the school district and to engage their own learning program for their child.

What does synchronous virtual/distance learning look like for my child?

Your child will need to log on to his/her computer at the same time his/her peers are with the teacher in the school classroom. Your child will interact with the teacher and classmates virtually and will be expected to participate in all of the activities just as if he/she were in the classroom.

What if I choose virtual/distance learning for my child, but my child needs to attend a daycare or community program during the day because I need to work?

One of the questions on the Learning Option Commitment form asks if your child will be attending distance learning outside of the home. We are gathering this information to determine the need to create community partnerships between providers and TIMES2 Academy. We will do our best to work with these programs to create distance learning areas within the site that will provide internet access and instructional support, so that our students can be fully engaged and present to learn.

How will I need to prepare my child and my home for the best virtual-distance learning experience?

  • School supplies - Each Elementary grade-level teacher will provide each family with a list of the typical school supplies needed for instruction. We will also be providing learning tools appropriate for each grade-level prior to the start of school/Families who need support in this area are encouraged to contact the school.
  • Dedicated learning space - It is important that students have a quiet place to work where they can be supervised in the event they have technical difficulties, questions and can access their school materials.
  • Access to stable internet - Last year many families were supported with internet access through tools such as hotspots. Please be sure to indicate your need on the Learning Option Commitment form so that we can assist you.
  • Keeping to their class schedule - Each student has a grade/class schedule with start and end times. Students are to attend all of their classes based on this schedule for accurate attendance and monitoring of learning.
    • If a child is absent, you will need to inform the school by either phone or email by 8:30am just as if the child were attending school in-person. A failure to do so will result in a call home to check on your child.
  • Understanding of what this commitment means to you and your child - Virtual-distance learning is not for everyone as it demands that the student be self-motivated and a self-advocate. They have to be present and listening, be an active learner by completing tasks and engaging in conversation with their teacher and peers. It means the family is taking on the responsibility of creating a dedicated learning space in the home, for supervising their child’s daily participation in the class and work completion - and, in many cases, acting as a teaching assistant in real-time when their child needs help.

How will my child be supported through virtual-distance learning?

  • The Technical Support Department at TIMES2 will provide each child with a working chromebook and charger, as well as log-in access to the programs teachers will be using to deliver information and instruction.
  • Children who receive services for support will continue to do so virtually with the supporting specialist, who will be built into your child’s daily schedule. Frequent progress reports will be utilized to communicate with you about his/her progress.
  • Classroom teachers will be communicating with you via email or a call home, in the same manner they would if your child was attending class in-person.
  • Technical support on how to navigate Google Classroom, Skyward, and more common technical issues will be available to families prior to the start of school.

What if I decide to have my child return to school for in-person instruction?

As the Learning Option Commitment states, families will be asked to re-commit to the virtual-distance learning option on a MONTHLY basis. If a family decides to move from distance learning to in-person instruction for their child, they will need to contact the school immediately to allow the school to prepare for the child’s transition to in-person learning. This includes scheduling a team meeting with school staff and family to review expectations and concerns, arrange for busing (if applicable), food service, procuring classroom materials, and to ensure that all RI Department of Health protocols are met, so that we are all ready for the transition.

Please review the following information describing each plan TIMES2 Academy has prepared for reopening.

Learning

Scenario → 

#1

Full In-Person Learning

#2

Partial In-Person Learning

#3

Limited In-Person Learning

Grades

K - 8

All students can attend every day in stable groups of 30

Same for full in-person learning

All students can attend every day in smaller stable groups of 15

Grades

9 -12

All students can attend every day

Students attend on an A/B schedule, alternating between in-person and distance learning days

Same as partial in-person learning

 

Changes to Pass Practice

Grades K-6

Grades 7 -8

Grades 9 - 12

Transportation – reduce ridership on school busses and response to bus shortages

Transportation availability is severely limited; families are asked to commit to providing child with transportation to and from school.

Students will be provided with access to RIPTIX in the event families are not able to transport.

No change as transportation has not been provided in prior years.

 

 

Health and Safety Monitoring

  • Students riding the school bus or RIPTA are subject to temperature checks at the school door upon entry.
  • Students transported by personal vehicle will be expected to follow self-check protocols for illness prior to leaving home.
  • Creation of a separate sick room within the nurse’s office suite if an individual should become ill during the school day, to inhibit transmission of any suspected illness or to support immune-compromised individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Safety Procedures

  • School building access will be available no earlier than 7:25am and timely end-of-day dismissal for students not participating in an established after school program, to ensure limited groupings of students.
  • Lockers WILL NOT be utilized for storage of student materials.
  • Establishment of ‘up’ and ‘down’ staircases to inhibit face-to-face exposure.
  • Establishment of stable class ‘pods’ for grades K-8, with all instructional delivery including specials, within a single classroom; grades 9-12 will remain in grade pods as much as possible, with exceptions being made for differences in student’s individual education plan.
  • Breakfast and lunch food service in classrooms instead of the cafeteria.
  • Assigned breakfast, lunch, recess, and bathroom break times throughout the day to allow for disinfection of common areas to occur in between groups.
  • Social distancing measures of 3-6 feet between individuals within the classroom based upon stability of classroom pod.
  • Mask use is required during hallway transition between classroom to next destination.
  • Mask use is strongly encouraged within classrooms, unless there is a reason, which may include medical, asthma, anxiety, and oral communication issues.
  • Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations for health hygiene.
  • Water bubblers WILL NOT be utilized as a water source; students are to bring a refillable water bottle clearly labeled with their name and grade for use in school.

 

We ask all families to stay tuned for the August edition of the TIMES2 Academy newsletter, The Eagle as we will be hosting several virtual family town halls meetings to answer any question you may have.

Your administrative team,

Christianne M. Fisher

Elementary Principal (K-6)

Jennifer Aguiar

Middle-High Principal (7-12)