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Letter from Principal Jebril – Summary of Smith’s Continuity of Learning Plan & Grading Criteria

Greetings Vikings,  

As you know by now,  our district’s Continuity of Learning Plan has received approval by Wayne County RESA Intermediate School District Superintendent. This approval allows our district to continue receiving funding from the state and provides staff members with guidance and a plan to support student learning through June 11th.  This means that “The Learning Continues!”  Our plan  has been carefully designed to emphasize the most important aspects of school: engaging lessons, activities and consistent, supportive connections with our students. 

During this period of remote learning, while also understanding the unprecedented circumstances that are present in our students’ lives through this pandemic, we are asking for the commitment of engagement by both students and parents. As of Monday, April 20, 2020 – ALL classroom activities for ALL students COUNT towards earning credit for each class. All activities will be assessed through STUDENT engagement and STUDENT participation. STUDENTS who are having difficulty with the activities or participation are to reach out to their teachers for additional support. Teachers will be logging contact with students as well as maintaining records of STUDENT engagement and participation. In the Governor’s Executive Order, it is mandated that students are to continue their education through activities that will continue their learning and prepare them to transition to the next phase of their education. Upcoming  lessons are focused on Essential Standards needed for success in sequential courses. That means that ALL STUDENT assignments and participation counts for every student at O.L.Smith.  

 We understand that many students are not experienced in online or distance learning. We also understand that many of our students need more face-to-face learning for continued success. Therefore, we will focus on student learning activities to support transition to next year’s sequential courses and essential standards. Teachers and support staff will consistently reach out to students who do not complete the assignments or participate in on-line lessons. If students do not give a concerted effort to complete the assignments and participate, it can impact their credits earned and they may be expected to partake in summer learning. Again, there must be a concerted effort to complete the assignments, activities and participation to receive course credit on their transcripts. Our teachers, counselor,  social workers, psychologist, administrators, paraprofessionals, Executive Directors, and other district staff will be available and are available to support students through this transition and process. Our focus is that students are making a concerted effort to complete the assignments, activities and participation to the best of their abilities. 

Teachers continue to meet in their Professional Learning Community Teams by grade and by content area – to provide all students with a guaranteed and viable curriculum.  All of our teachers (special education, English learner, and general education) will be working together to ensure that a good faith effort will be made for all necessary accommodations. Additionally, all teachers have been and will continue to log their interactions with students and maintain a tracking system of students who are completing their assignments. Therefore, multiple team members will reach out to students who are not being responsive to see if they need assistance and assistance will be provided. It is imperative that students and parents respond to communication from O.L.Smith  to ensure that we can support you through this process.

Please click below for the parent and student expectations – as outlined by our district.  

As we move through this transition, I would encourage you to stay in communication with your child’s teachers as they are the best resource to clarify any expectations or answer any questions that you may have. A crucial component of our learning plan is parent involvement. Your constant communication and engagement in your child’s education is vital to their success. If your child or your family is struggling with the current situation due to COVID-19, please communicate this information to our staff. We want to be mindful of our students’ mental health during this pandemic and provide them with necessary support – support that we can provide only if we are aware of the situation. While I think I speak for the entire O.L.Smith team when I say that we would rather be in school, I’m excited to have our students and teachers engaged in high-quality learning. I look forward to our continued partnership in your child’s learning and am confident that by working together and communicating as a team we will, together, help all Smith students experience success throughout the remainder of the school year. 

As always, I appreciate the continued support our parents and community provide in helping us develop flexible solutions that keep our students engaged in learning. We appreciate you!

See below for a summary of O.L.Smith’s Remote Learning Plan and Grading Criteria.

Summary of O.L.Smith’s  Remote Learning Plan for the Remainder of the School Year – COVID-19 School Shutdown

  1. All assignments, activities, and participation count toward students earning a passing grade/credit for each of their classes. 
  2. Lessons, activities, and assignments are focused on Essential Standards needed for success in sequential courses.
  3. Every Monday morning by 9am,  grade level calendars will be posted on the school blog and all teacher blogs. These calendars will outline the weekly assignments, google hangout times and teacher office hours. More specific information on specific assignments can be found on teachers’ blogs, google classrooms, etc. 
  4. Students are expected to complete all assignments and participate in google hangouts. In addition, each teacher has office hours in which they will be available to answer questions and provide support. Teachers will provide students with one or more google hangout per week and will make themselves available during weekly office hours to answer any questions via email, phone calls, etc. (Teachers will publish office hours for students and parents to ensure they know to contact teachers for individual support and concerns.)
  5. Teachers will enter grades in Mistar so that parents and students can access grades via Parent/Student Connect. Teachers’ gradebook will be updated weekly or more frequently.  
  6. Teachers will document student engagement and participation. Students who do not complete their assignments, activities or participate will not earn a passing grade/credit and may be expected to participate in summer school or other summer learning to earn credit.
  7. Students/parents must be responsive to communication from Smith staff for us to be able to support you.
  8. Smith distributed chromebooks to all students and families who informed us that they have a need for one. If we missed you and you are in need of a chromebook or internet access, please email me at jebrilz@dearbornschools.org.  We will provide chromebooks as soon as the Governor’s order is lifted. 
  9. Parents of students with an IEP will be contacted by their provider to develop a Contingency Plan to ensure we continue to meet the student’s needs. 
  10. Students with 504 Plans will continue to receive the accommodations outlined in their plan. 
  11. Families impacted by the virus directly or indirectly are asked to contact a staff member so that we can take that into consideration and provide support. 

Middle School Grading Criteria During  COVID-19 School Shutdown

For the current marking period:

Letter grades will be one of the following:  A, B, C, G, N  

  • G=Reasons outside of their control, or unable to reach the family despite numerous attempts
  • N= No credit due to deliberate lack of participation 
  • Letter grade of D is not assigned due to MDE language stating that grading is not punitive during the shutdown.  

Students receive feedback on weekly assignments in the form of narrative comments. 

  • Staff will input grades at least weekly in the gradebook as work is completed.  This will be available in parent/student connect for parents and students to view.
  • If a student participates and demonstrates learning, he/she will receive a grade. The student’s grade will be determined by participation and by evidence of learning.
  • In the event that a student experiences a family hardship or cannot complete work due to situations out of their control, principal and teacher will accommodate student and family. Summer learning opportunities may be offered.
  • If a student chooses not to participate and cannot be reached despite numerous attempts, the teacher will notify the principal of their request for the student to not receive credit by May 28th. Principal approval is required.  
  • Additional comments that may be used:
    • Rarely or did not submit work (may be required to attend summer school)
    • Rarely attended check-in sessions (may be required to attend summer school)
    • Family hardship during the time of instruction (summer support offered)
  • Students who receive no credit may be required to attend summer school or participate in additional learning.

Based on current practice, for the semester grade, the two marking periods will be calculated.  For year long grades, the four marking periods will be calculated. 

There will be a district appeal process for a student contesting their 4th marking period grade.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. 

Principal Jebril

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Below are the links to the documents referenced above:

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