For the purposes of the Continuous Learning Platform (CLP), the SGS will rely on multiple factors when determining attendance/participation for student records of overall enrollment and academic progress.
The staff at SGS agree that capturing attendance is a worthwhile practice to monitor student performance criteria. From a student-oriented success model viewpoint, a record of absenteeism is a proper indicator of students who are at-risk.
For the CLP, attendance may be captured using several methods:
Check-in based attendance – In this method, any student who takes a single action like logging in or checking-in is considered present. It should be noted that this method is only viewed as a monitor for engagement activities only.
Participation-based attendance – A student is considered present based on their participation in one or more online activities shared during a session. Teacher evaluation should accompany any reference to this aspect of the attendance regimen.
Performance-based attendance – A student is considered present based on how they perform in quizzes/tests or other assignments as deemed appropriate by the instructor. In this criterion, a basic level of mastery is expected and is presented upfront to the students in the classroom. This is best managed by asking simple and ongoing questions that students should be able to answer if they’re attentive.
Watch-time based attendance – A student is considered present based on the amount of time they spend online during the online videoconferencing portion of the classroom experience. In a 60-minute session, a student may be considered present if they spend at least 45 minutes in the videoconference. Some video-conferencing platforms report these analytics for all participants, but review of online recordings will also promote actual participation metrics.
In attempt to establish the greatest extent of student engagement and participation, the SGS will hope to instill various practices that will eliminate student disengagement and/or a sense of isolationism as they continue their enrollment throughout the school year. The following are some guidelines and practices that SGS will follow during the implementation of its CLP:
- Initial, frequent and multiple contacts by various means (emails, phone calls, videoconferencing, etc.) in the hopes of personalizing the relationship (student/teacher) and enhancing the rapport between the two entities;
- Providing introductory activities to connect students with the CLP that established them with a sense of community;
- Providing opportunities for student/learner interactions (hangouts, bulletin boards, study groups, show-and-tells);
- Sharing of student work exemplars on social media or Internet-based websites.
- Establish teacher determined contact methods such as office hours, contact information including phone/email with requirements for response time, frequency of responses and security of confidentiality.
- Establish well documented expectations for communication and contacts with students. This could be done by posting requirements statically on a webpage or including a video archived on an approved website.
- Information shall be concise and consistent within the system of delivery and support the students reducing the temptation of common barriers to effective student performance such as procrastination. The following will assist the teacher/school in preparing the students for success and eliminating barriers that could prove detrimental:
- Chunking content to increase the effective of the message in a logical and informative method;
- Send multiple reminders to ensure student success;
- Use a variety of multimedia and resources to deliver the expectations within a specific course.
Grading of student performance will be housed in the school’s student information system, PowerSchool. Parents and students alike will be provided with information detailed the platforms capabilities and how the teachers will provide grades throughout the school year.
The Sidney Gutierrez Schools identify the multiple roles that grades serve regardless of education format:
- an assessment of student work within the classroom setting;
- as a means of communicating to students, parents, administration and governance structure about student performance within the classroom setting;
- motivation to students for continued learning and improvement in a curricular area/classroom setting;
- organizing future lessons, units, or a semester in that grades designate intervals in a lesson/unit/course and bring closure to it.
- Grading also provides feedback to instructors on their students’ learning, information that can inform future teaching decisions.
SGS understands the complexity involved in establishing clear, concise criteria and goals for assessment. The schools will convey to students and parents the grading practices implemented within the Continuous Learning Platform. Ultimately, SGS hopes that clear direction of information will provide the families of the schools a comprehensive understanding of what their expectations are throughout the course of the planned activities of instruction.
Samples of grading scaled for different assignments are as follows:
- Letter grades – for standalone answers/assignments, essays, essay assignments, etc.;
- 100-point differential scaling for exams, project-based learning;
- Checks (+/ -) for quizzes, homework, presentations, etc.;
- Pass/fail for preparatory/preliminary assignments;
- Authentic assessments are needed/required by teachers.
- Teacher comments to communicate rather than to justify student grade, focusing on what teachers most desire students to address in future work.
- Linking teacher remarks and feedback to the goals for an assignment.
- Observations primarily on patterns — representative strengths and weaknesses.
- Avoid over-commenting or “picking apart” students’ work.
- In teacher’s final comments, pose questions that will foster further inquiry by students rather than provide answers for them.
High-quality instructional materials should be utilized in every learning situation presented to students in the school’s CLP. The materials selected should be composed of various components with a designated intent on providing the following outcomes:
- Identify and focus on student engagement, academic purpose and instructional rigor in a broad sense that is meaningful to a diverse community of learners;
- Provide teachers with consistent direction of advancing instruction with a common foundation of supports that are well organized and have high-quality resources that can be adapted to meet the daily needs of the classroom;
- Ability to adapt these instructional materials to successfully address varying levels of access for the representative learning community engaged in the CLP as predicated by the school’s charter.
- Focus on standards-alignments, authentic/formative/summative assessments, developmentally appropriate, synchronous/asynchronous delivery, covers alternative facets of relationship building and student engagement by providing learning activities that are enhance promote new learning at grade level.
- Appropriate engagement for equity of multiple constituents in the CLP – Special Education populations, English Language Learners, diverse socio-economic levels, etc.
- Exceptional professional development supports for teachers that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the various ways the programs are designed to effectively establish student engagement and subsequent learning.
Grade-band-specific instructional materials have been identified by the school’s staff and administration in ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies and other curricular areas. These resources are aligned with state academic standards and listed as approved adopted materials by the NMPED. During the researching and selection of these identified instructional materials, an examination of their ancillary resources has also been determined to support at-risk student groups found within the school’s population.
The school will continue its ongoing efforts with daily home-based email communications as its primary form of contact about changing circumstances. The school has employed this practice since its inception nearly twenty years ago and it is highly regarded by parents as the most favored form of communication between the home and school. Additions to the website will be made according to their relevance and if necessary; discussion forums, video communications or other identified methods will be employed on an as needed basis. Continued support of information archiving.
The following procedures will be conducted by the school to assist families and caregivers supporting the social-emotional need of students while at home:
- Promotion of information sharing (know the latest facts, statistics, etc. and convey them through various delivery systems);
- Adapting school policies where appropriate – identify and relate current standing of existing health crisis and promote changes to school-based policies to support non-traditional alterations of school activities);
- Planning for continuity of learning – establish a fluid interchange between online/virtual, hybrid and at-school educational offerings;
- Implementation of targeted health education appropriate to grade leveling for all students in the school regardless of setting;
- Addressing mental health/psychological supports that could be found within the current school setting;
- Identify and support vulnerable subpopulations within the school setting and share information on an as-needed basis;
- Encourage discourse between students, families and schools about health-related, educational, social-emotional or wellness issues.
- Support effective media literacy connections that will assist families and caregivers with appropriate information to help their children in the current health crisis cope with adversity confronting them.