Williamsville Central School District

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Middle and High School Frequently Asked Questions

Grades 5-12: Williamsville Relaunch Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on September 25, 2020
(Updates reflected in BOLD)

Q: What are the differences between the current plan and previous plans?

A: Model differences and enhancements from the previous plans are:
- Committee of stakeholders researched and reviewed best practices and also created guiding principles and essential elements of the plan
- Parents and students provided feedback and made suggestions
- Utilizes a research-based model
- Acknowledges screen time considerations
- Our Williamsville teachers are our instructors
     - Outsourcing was not a viable option for our community
     - Enables remote learners to take full schedule of electives
- Hyflex Model
     - Not "live streaming"
     - Teachers customize instruction and engagement based on student needs
      - Students at home will be actively engaged by their teacher, not just watching what is happening in the classroom
               - Synchronous, asynchronous, and independent
               - Large group, small group, and individual
- Teachers are engaging in professional learning that allows them to gain tools and strategies to simultaneously engage and provide instruction to students who are in the classroom as well as students learning remotely
- Teachers will make strategic decisions on how to best address lesson objectives using synchronous and asynchronous methods
- Technology system testing is an essential component
- Ensuring technology items are in place prior to implementation

Q: How does the Hyflex model benefit remote leanrers?

A:  Remote learners will:
- Maintain their Williamsville teachers  
 - Maintain their current daily class schedules
- Maintain their relationships with classmates , teachers, and connection to the school community
-  Experience more flexibility for learning and screen time
- Experience a Hyflex model that is based on research and best practices
- Experience flexible grouping as well as individualization and differentiation  of instruction
- Have opportunties for individual or small group student-teacher conferences

Q:
  What were the essential elements the District considered in creating the Hyflex model?

A:  The WCSD put together a committee to examine various models from neighboring districts, as well as researching both virtual and in-person best practices. Through this process the committee identified the following essentials elements to be considered in crafting our plan:

  • High-quality instruction with Williamsville teachers 
  • Access to all of our programming opportunities for all students, whether learning remotely or in-person
  • Teachers have the flexibility to choose how to engage students within a set of expectations
  • Customizable and district-aligned professional learning opportunities to include a set of foundational baseline virtual learning skills for synchronous and asynchronous instruction. This will include opportunities for collaboration among colleagues, recorded meetings, traditional courses, and asynchronous experiences
  • The ability to provide a daily synchronous experience for all students in each class Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and in homeroom/home base on Wednesdays
  • A learning model that engages students who are learning in-person and remotely during the same class period, both synchronously and asynchronously  

Q: Who will be instructing classes?

A: Classes will be taught by the Williamsville teachers listed on the student’s schedule.

Q: What is the difference between the previous “Hybrid” model and the new “Hyflex” model?

A: While these models look similar structurally, in the Hyflex model, in-person learners (example Group A), at home learners (example Group B) and fully remote students will all be part of the same class, with teachers providing a synchronous experience, asynchronous instruction, and independent learning.

Q: What is the timeline for students in grades 5-12 to return to school?

A: Students will return to school in a 3-step phase-in process, with the following return dates:

  • October 13, 2020: Grades 5-6
  • October 19, 2020: Grades 7-8
  • October 26, 2020: Grades 9-12

 

Q: Will I have the ability to change models now that the District has announced the Hyflex plan return dates?

A:  At this time students and families are scheduled to return in the model they were participating in on September 12, 2020 (either hybrid or remote). The District recognizes that some families may wish to change models, but due to space constraints in classes we are unable to guarantee everyone the ability to do this. Our goal is always to be as accommodating to students and families as possible.  While we recognize a change may be necessitated due to student or family needs, we are unable to guarantee the ability for a student to do this.

If a student is interested in changing his/her learning model based on this newly provided information, please submit a request via email to your principal and school counselor by Thursday, October 1, 2020.  Requests will be considered using the health and safety guidelines as outlined by the Department of Health and New York State Department of Education.  

Q: If I choose a start in one model, and I decide I don’t like it, will I have the ability to change at any time?

A: Students must remain in their selected model (Hyflex or remote) through the first semester (January 29, 2021).  At that time, buildings will revisit any individual requests from families to determine whether these requests can be accommodated for the second semester.

Q: Why is my decision for a learning model dependent on space constraints in the school?

A: Due to the social distancing rules required by New York State, classrooms can only fit so many desks in them. The number of students in a classroom at any given time cannot exceed the number of desks available.

Q: What will a typical class look like for my Hyflex (in-person) student?

A:  Students attending class in the in-person Hyflex model will follow the bell schedule and be in socially distanced classrooms, with the teacher providing instruction to students in the classroom as well as the students learning remotely. 

Q: What will a typical class look like for my remote student, or my Hyflex student who is at home?

A: Students learning remotely will also follow the bell schedule, but will access the classroom virtually. Students will report to every class virtually according to the bell schedule. Class time may include both synchronous and asynchronous learning, based on the learning goals for the day as decided by the teacher.

Q: How will the day-cycle work at each school?

A: We will follow the normal daily schedule for each school. Both North and South will continue to operate on a 6-day cycle. For example:

 

High School Day Cycle

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

East

Day A

Day B

 

Day A

Day B*

North

Day A

Day B

 

Day C

Day D*

South

Day 1

Day 2

 

Day 3

Day 4*

*The following Monday at East will be a Day A, the following Monday at North will be a Day E, and the following Monday at South will be a Day 5.

Middle School Day Cycle

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Casey

Day A

Day B

 

Day A

Day B

Heim

Day 1

Day 2

 

Day 1

Day 2

Mill

Day 1

Day 2

 

Day 1

Day 2

Transit

Day A

Day B

 

Day A

Day B

 

Q: What will Wednesdays look like?

A: Beginning on September 30th, all instruction on Wednesdays, with the exception of homeroom/home base, will be asynchronous. Students will be required to attend homeroom/home base and then work independently on learning activities and assignments that teachers will provide.

At the middle schools, all students will participate in a homeroom session from 8:55 -9:20.  Fully Remote learners will be able to access their teachers for academic conferences from 9:25-10:00. 

Q: What is the “homeroom/home base” period on Wednesdays used for?

A: We will use the Wednesday homeroom/home base time to establish an ally/mentor system, with each teacher taking on a small group of students that they will meet with to ensure they are working successfully in the remote model as well as to build connections with families and students, work with students on their Social and Emotional Learning, increase Trauma-informed practices, and be an advocate for their group of students.  

Q: Is attendance for Wednesday homeroom/home base mandatory for all students?

A: Yes, students must attend the homeroom/home base to be counted as “present” in school for the day. Students not in attendance will be marked absent from school for the day unless parents have contacted the attendance office and provided a note.

Q: Does this model allow students with special needs to receive supports as required in their IEP or 504-Plan?

A: This model allows us to continue to provide face-to-face special education support to students, as required by their Individual Education Plans. It also allows those supports to be provided by teachers from the student’s own school. This model does not prohibit the District from providing additional in-person related services for students when necessary. We will continue to monitor students’ progress and adjust or modify the services provided to them as necessary.

Q: Will English Language Leaners report to school four days a week?

A: Yes, English Language Learners will be attending school four days per week, with Wednesday being asynchronous, unless families have opted for the fully remote instructional model.

Q: What will I do if my teacher is absent?

A: When a teacher is absent, they will post this information as soon as possible to let the class know what they should do that day. 

Q: How will students get access to supplies and materials while in the all-remote model?

A: We will work collaboratively with teachers to create pick-up and/or drop-off schedules for any supplies or materials that students need.

Q: What will the daily “bell schedule” look like for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday?

A: Middle School Bell Schedules (for all learners) will run the same as they currently are on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:55-3:35.  

High School Bell Schedules (for all learners) – Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays:

Period

Time

1

7:45 - 8:29am

2

8:36 - 9:16am

3

9:23 - 10:03am

4

10:10 - 10:50am

5

10:57 - 11:37am

6

11:44 - 12:24pm

7

12:31 - 1:11pm

8

1:18 - 1:58pm

9

2:05 - 2:45pm

Q: What will the daily “bell schedule” look like for Wednesdays?

A: High School:  There is no set “bell schedule” for Wednesdays. The only high school “class” that students will attend on Wednesdays will be the mandatory homeroom time at 8:00am.  They will be engaged in asynchronous and independent learning for the remainder of the day.

Middle School: Students will participate in homeroom/home base time at 8:55 AM - 9:20 AM.  They will be engaged in asynchronous and independent learning for the remainder of the day.

Q: Do remote students need to sign in to a “class” during Lunch, study hall, clinic or free periods?

A: No, when students do not have an actual class scheduled, they do not need to be online.

Q: Will being in the all remote model affect my ability to play sports?

A: No, high school athletics will still be allowed to be held after school based on the guidance provided by NYSPHSAA and Section VI. 

Q: What about clubs and other extracurricular activities?

A: We will continue to offer some extracurricular activities on a limited basis. Advisors for these activities will be communicating to all students with regard to their interest in participating, and they are open to both Hyflex and remote students. 

For additional information on Special Education please refer to Frequently Asked Questions: Virtual Guidelines and Considerations for Special Education