Online Learning Overview [Video]
For more information about Oxford School District Online Learning, visit:
Hello, Oxford School District family. I’m Bradley Roberson, the assistant superintendent of the Oxford School District sharing with you important information about the upcoming school year. We are so excited to welcome back our students on August 10 whether in person or virtually from their homes. Teachers and administrators have been working all summer to make sure students have a great learning experience regardless of whether they are sitting in classrooms or participating online. Today’s video is designed to provide students and parents a deeper look into the Oxford School District Online Learning Plan.
During the presentation I will address important questions such as:
- Why did we choose this model for online learning? What was considered when developing the online learning model?
- What’s the same and what’s different from student’s online learning experience from last spring?
- What are the expectations for students, teachers, and parents in order provide a quality online learning experience.
First, it is important for you to know WHY why chose this online learning model.
- This model was specifically created for OSD students by OSD team members based on feedback from OSD parents. Team members read through thousands of comments from OSD parents surveys to make sure we were keeping the desired components from the spring online learning experience while improving areas parents identified as concerns.
- Secondly, It was designed after hours of research of best instructional practices for online learning. OSD team members learned what are non-negotiable when teaching and learning online and just as importantly, what practices must be avoided.
- Lastly, we wanted the OSD Online experience to mirror learning in a traditional classroom setting as much as possible without breaking key online learning principles.
Three themes emerged from your comments regarding your child’s online learning experience last spring: Communication, Student/Teacher Interaction, and Support. Those three themes were the major focus of the development of the student, teacher, and parent expectations for OSD Online learning and will be highlighted throughout the rest of the presentation.
Now let’s take a look at the expectations for your student participating in online learning. Over the next few slides I will discuss student attendance, assignments and grading, and proper use of technology.
Attendance is key to the success of online learning. Parents, your students must discipline themselves to work on their online courses daily in order to keep pace with students participating in the traditional classroom. Online Learners will be held to the same attendance standards as traditional students. All Oxford School District students are expected to comply with the Oxford School District Attendance Policy whether they are online learners or in the classroom. Online students will be required to sign-in by 2 p.m. daily using an attendance app on their school district issued iPad. The picture in the bottom right corner of your screen is an image of what the app will look like on a student’s iPad. Failure to sign in will result in an unexcused absence. If a student accumulates 5 unexcused absences, he or she will be referred to the Lafayette County Truancy Officer just like a traditional student who missed five days of classroom instruction without an excuse.
Without daily, consistent, participation in online learning a student will very quickly find himself or herself behind the pace of the course and struggling to catch up. Getting behind will make transitioning back to the classroom very difficult for those who choose to return to school after the first nine week grading period not to mention it will adversely affect his or her grade. When students aren’t successful in an online learning environment it is typically due to not dedicating the necessary time to their coursework. Parents, if you don’t feel your child is disciplined enough to work on his or her course course work daily, I suggest you contact your child’s building level administrator about the possibility of changing his or her instructional preference to attend school.
Online courses will contain the same rigor and expectations of traditional “brick-and-mortar” classrooms. Students are expected to view all instructional materials and complete all assignments. Failure to do so will adversely affect the student’s grade. The Oxford School District grading policy will be followed for all online learners. Academic integrity is expected in the completion of all Oxford School District virtual school classes. A student will receive a zero on his/her work and not have a chance to retake the assignments if found to have violated academic integrity. All end of unit tests for students in grades 1-12 will be proctored at Oxford Elementary School while Pre-k and Kindergarten student assessments will be proctored at Bramlett Elementary School. Students are expected to sign up for a test time at least 48 hours in advance and be on time for their appointments.
As an online learner, a student’s iPad is his or her lifeline to an education. Without a working device, communication with the teacher will be severely limited therefore adversely affecting a student’s grade. Please talk with your child about taking proper care of his or her device. Students shouldn’t eat or drink around the device and always keep it in it’s protecting casing.
When anyone engages online, it’s essential that everyone behaves appropriately. Students need to remember that this is a virtual classroom, therefore, appropriate behavior is expected. When everyone remembers to act kindly, show consideration for others, and treat one another online as you wish to be treated in person, all will be able to focus on teaching and learning.
Now let’s take a look at the expectations of the online teachers to give you a better idea of how your child will be supported while participating in online learning.
Each course will have a welcome video, a course syllabus, and list of needed resources (textbook, apps, websites, etc.) to help you better understand course expectations. Those items can be found inside the learning management system which is SeeSaw for elementary students and Schoology for secondary students.
In regard to communications, teachers are expected to send weekly emails to parents of online learners, provide office hours to assist students will assignments as needed, and conduct at least two video check-ins weekly to keep students on pace with course content. As a parent of an online learner, you are always welcome to email your child’s teacher for learning progress updates or you can check PowerSchool for grades on submitted assignments.
We expect teachers to provide quality instruction to online learners just as if they were in the classroom. Online learners will have the opportunity for daily live instruction if they choose. Joining a class live is not a requirement in an attempt to minimize screen time for students; however, it is recommended from time to time. I would suggest you have your child join at least one or maybe two classes a day live and alternate the classes as needed. The rest of teacher instruction can be viewed through Instructional videos provided in SeeSaw or Schoology.
Providing student feedback on submitted assignments is also a very important component of student learning. Teachers are expected to provide feedback on assignments within 2 working days of the assignment submission to ensure students are aware of their academic progress.
Parents, you will play a significant role in the success of your child’s online learning experience as well. Here are several tips that will help you set your child up for success for learning online.
First, You need to establish routines and expectations from day one of online learning. Set regular hours for your child’s schoolwork including a normal bedtime and wake up time.
You also need to Define a physical space for your child to complete his school work. Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time. I encourage you to establish a space/location where your student will learn most of the time. This should be a public/family space, not in a child’s bedroom.
Checking in with your student daily will be very important to keeping him or her on task. Start and finish the day with a check-in. Ask them what they are suppose to be learning today. When you get home from work ask them what they learned. Ask them if they need any additional support. Let them know if you can’t provide the support, that you can contact the school and they can provide the support needed. Older students will often resent your check-ins, but please be persistent. No communication between you and your online learner could have severe consequences later.
Lastly, Take an active role in helping your child with the learning process. We all learn best when we have opportunities to process our learning with others.
More tips for parents of online learners can be found on the Oxford School District Online Learning webpage at www.oxfordsd.org/onlinelearning.
We recognize that the support systems provided by the school district are vital to our families. We are committed to providing the same support services to our online learners as we do to traditional students. The Oxford School District Child Nutrition Department and Transportation Department will continue to distribute meals at designated locations throughout the Oxford School District community. The Oxford School District Transportation Department will also provide transportation to and from the testing center if the request is made in at least 48 hours in advance. Additional information on how to request school meals and transportation will be released soon.
We also recognize that students learn at different rates and some students need additional learning supports such as academic supports, special education services, English Language Learner services, and gifted services. All of the aforementioned services will be provided to your child as if he were in the regular classroom setting. For more information on any particular student service please visit the Oxford School District Online Learning webpage at www.oxfordsd.org/onlinelearning.
Parents, we realize you will need support as well. Myself and the rest of the curriculum and instruction department will be conducting trainings for parents of online learners at the beginning of August. Training for parents of students in grades pre-K-4 will be on Monday, August 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Oxford Middle School Auditorium. The training for parents of online learners in grades 5-12 will be held the following night, Tuesday, August 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the Oxford Middle School Auditorium. Bring your child’s district assigned iPad with you to the training. We will give you all of the tips and tricks you need to help your child be successful in online learning.
I thought it best to end the presentation by highlighting some of the major similarities and differences between the online learning experience from this past spring to the experience your child will have as an online learner this fall.
There are three major differences from last spring you must consider and they will make all of the difference in your child’s success as an online leaner.
First, We have added opportunities for your child to receive live real time instruction from teachers. While I do not recommend you have your child attempt to follow his or her schedule as if he or she were at school, I do recommend that you have your child strategically join some live classes daily. Live, real time instruction allows for student questions and real time feedback which is not a possibility when watching instructional videos.
Lastly, please remind your child that grades and attendance matter just as if they were sitting in their desk as school. Grades will be adversely affected if students are not completing assignments daily with accuracy. Encourage your student if he or she is struggling with a lesson or assignment to visit with his or her teacher during office hours or join class live for additional support. If your child is struggling with online learning, don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to his or her teacher immediately so that supports can be put in place.
I know making this choice for your child wasn’t easy. We are all having to make difficult choices right now that we feel are best for our own children and our families. I wish I could tell you that transitioning to online learning will be an easy experience for all involved: students, teachers, and parents; however, that wouldn’t be the truth. Actually, just the opposite is true. It will take us all playing our roles to make online learning a success; however, those same roles apply to ensuring learning for a student sitting in a classroom as well. I want you to know that your Oxford School District family is here to support both you and your child through the online learning experience however we can. While our roles in the process may be different, our goal is one in the same. We all want our children to succeed.