Frost Distance Learning Information

Dear Frost Middle School Students and Families,

I hope this letter finds you well.  You all have been in my thoughts daily and I wish we could be together in person. In the meantime, the entire Frost Middle School staff is looking forward to resuming instruction through virtual learning on Wednesday, April 15th. We have lots of learning planned and we can’t wait for you to see our faces!

During the remainder of the school year, each of us will be engaged in “distance learning”. What is distance learning? A learning experience where teachers and students are separated by place. They communicate synchronously (through live face to face classes using virtual meeting technology) and asynchronously (through print or electronic media).

Face to face virtual meetings will be held primarily on a tool called Blackboard Collaborate. All classes will be recorded and posted to your teacher’s FCPS 24/7 Learning (Blackboard) site for your reference. All class materials will be posted in Blackboard for distance learning. This may be a bit different than the regular school year. Teachers can still use Google Docs/Google Classroom to communicate with students and collect work, but it will not be the primary communication tool for parents.

Each week your child will be 1) mailed a distance learning packet (the first packet should be at your house this week), 2) have access to materials in FCPS 24/7 Learning (Blackboard), and 3) will be expected to participate in synchronous online classes on Wednesday and Friday to review concepts, review the packet, and learn and practice new concepts as instructed by your classroom teachers. The fourth quarter for the remainder of the school year will begin the week of April 13th with classes beginning Wednesday, April 15th.

Your classroom teachers will be in contact with you regarding their schedule and expectations by next week. The end of the 4th quarter will be June 12, 2020.

New Schedule for Distance Learning

Below is the Distance Learning schedule that our school will implement. It includes a schedule on Wednesday and Friday when each class period will meet in an online face to face session. Currently at the middle school level, these face to face sessions will occur once a week in your student’s Math, English, Science, History, and HS credit World Language classes.

Electives and PE classes will provide activities for students to complete in the asynchronous (non- face to face) environment. Students will be expected to complete teacher-directed assignments and activities on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

For example, imagine your child has the following seven classes:

  1. PE
  2. Art
  3. Math
  4. English
  5. Science
  6. History
  7. French 1

He or she would be expected to participate in face to face virtual classes on Wednesday and Friday for ONLY 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th periods. Remember, there is no face to face class requirement for PE and Art, because they are not a core class or a HS credit course.

In addition, teachers will have office hours on Tuesday and Thursday. These office hours will be communicated to you by each teacher soon. Office hours are a time when students can sign on to Blackboard Collaborate or email with their teachers to consult with them regarding assignments, questions, and concerns.

On Wednesday and Friday, during class periods when your student has an elective class or PE, time can be utilized to complete the asynchronous activities assigned by the teacher or to complete assignments for other subjects.  Our elective and PE teachers will be reaching out to their students with additional details as well. Click here if the chart does not show up in your email.

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Students complete

independent or collaborative work and packets.

Students complete

independent or collaborative work and packets.

Bell Schedule by Period

1:  9:15-10:00

3: 10:30-11:15

  Lunch Break

5:   12:15-1:00

7:   1:30-2:15

 

 

Students complete

independent or collaborative work and packets.

 

 

Bell Schedule by Period

2:  9:15-10:00

4:  10:30-11:15

Lunch Break

6:  12:15-1:00

 

 

Expectations for Distance Learning

Your student’s Math, Science, English, Social Studies and HS Credit World Language class will have 45-minute synchronous (face-to-face) online sessions every Wednesday or Friday. Outside of the scheduled class times for 45 minutes/week, students will be expected to work independently on assignments, activities, and coursework. The work assigned may be independent or collaborative and can include watching pre-recorded video lessons, reading for a purpose, participating in an online discussion, and completing assignments posted on Blackboard and/or Google Classroom.

Distance Learning Attendance

All students are expected to participate in the virtual face to face classes. Teachers and our counselors will follow up with families of those students who do not attend class each week. Attendance is important for students to 1) maintain a continuity of learning and to acquire new content form the 4th quarter, 2) develop ongoing connections between teachers and peers, and 3) establish a sense of normalcy and routine during a stressful time. Please feel free to reach out to a member of the counseling or administration staff at any time if you have any questions or concerns about your student’s ability to engage with this distance learning model.

Grading

The 3rd Quarter will close effective March 13.  No student work that was due after March 13 will be graded and make up/missing work assigned prior to March 13 will still be accepted up until April 24 in order to be applied in the calculation of students’ third quarter grades. Additionally, it is the intention of FCPS to use maximum flexibility in assessing and evaluating student learning for the remainder of the school year. To that end, middle school students will be assigned a “no mark” for the fourth quarter, with assignments submitted being allowed to positively influence the student’s overall grade for the year based on mastery of learning concepts, in accordance with FCPS grading policy. Only final grades will be shown on transcripts; a “no mark” will not show on a student’s final transcript

Student Supports

The Frost MS staff is working hard to prepare distance learning materials to ensure that all students have access to educational materials and activities, including our English learners, students with Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans. Numerous supports, modifications, and services may be effectively provided online, and our team will be contacting students and families with additional details and resources.

Counselors and Student Services

As we transition to this distance learning model of instruction, we are also focused on supporting the social and emotional needs of our students. Our Student Services team will be collaborating with our teachers during this transition, but please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s counselor if you need any assistance.

What To Do Between Now and April 15

Before we get started on April 15th, there are a few things you will need:

✓    Your computer with video and audio capability

✓    Access to the internet

✓    A place where you can listen and learn

✓    If you have a headset or earphones, that would be helpful

If you need a computer or internet access, and you were not able to pick up a laptop at the previously scheduled distribution date, please complete the following form: Click Here  Once we have an idea of how many additional families need laptops, a date for pickup and more communication will follow. Please complete this form by noon,  Monday, April 6th. 

This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with Blackboard and to have your child show you the Google Classrooms/Docs that they have been working with this year.  Within the next week, all of your student’s teachers should be sending a message or doing a class activity where each student needs to respond. If your student hasn’t heard from their teacher, please feel free to contact them.

Distance Learning Classes Begin on April 15

We are all excited to begin this new learning experience with you and to “get back to school.”  I look forward to hearing about your first week back.  If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to say hi, please email me.

Remember, our vision statement, “Frost Middle School is a community where students and staff know they matter, while learning and growing together. We are ONE Frost!

Yours in service and partnership,

 

Anthony Harris

Principal