HAMILTON Distance Learning Presentations and Videos
Google Classroom Overview Video from September 2, 2020
VHMS Distance Learning Overview Google Slideshow from August 12, 2020 parent meeting.
Distance Learning Family Overview meeting video of August 12, 2020 parent meeting (Fast forward to the 6:24 mark of the video to begin presentation)
Distance Learning Updates: HAMILTON MIDDLE
Distance Learning Format to Begin the Year: The Madison Metropolitan School District will begin the 2020-2021 school year with all distance learning. The district will continually monitor the covid-19 pandemic in Dane County and make a further determination on shifting to a hybrid model of schooling (some distance and some at school learning), or a full return to school at some point during the 2020-2021 school year.
Student Preparation: All Hamilton students will participate in distance learning as these experiences will be counted as part of the regular school curricula and will be used in determining quarter and semester grades.
Chromebooks: Students should insure that their Chromebooks are charged and in working order in preparation for distance learning. See the above link in the blue box if you need help with a Chromebook or tech issue.
Hamilton Distance Learning FAQ
(Below is the general FAQ for Distance Learning. For a comprehensive and frequently updated Distance Learning FAQ, see this link.)
Schedule: The current plan is to run our regular eight period day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday each week. Periods will be shortened to 40 minutes to accommodate a 10 minute break for students between each period. One of the eight periods is lunch, which when paired with the 10 minute breaks between periods ends up being a full 60 minutes. There will also be an Advisory class that meets daily for 20 minutes that will initially focus on social and emotional supports and connections for students.
Time: The school days of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will begin at 8:30am and conclude at 3:42pm. Added up, the amount of scheduled learning time will be about four hours and 40 minutes for all students, although many students may complete each day's learning in well under this amount of time. At times, students will be meeting live with their teachers for instruction, or working live with small groups of students in virtual breakout rooms. At other times, students may be working independently on or off line, or being directed to do something away from their computer like a small experiment or outdoor activity. We recognize that this amount of instruction may pose difficulties for some students, including at times students with identified special needs and we are working on appropriate accommodations, including the ability to participate in any class asynchronously at a time that is convenient to the student.
A Days, B Days, and Wednesdays: While in distance learning, every Monday and Thursday will be an A-Day, while all Tuesdays and Fridays are designated as B-Days. Wednesdays are altogether different, with a completely asynchronous schedule that students follow at their own pace. On Wednesdays, students will view asynchronous lessons, work on/complete independent assignments, and/or work on assignments of a longer duration such as readings, researching a topic, experiments, writing rough drafts of an essay, etc. Students must plan to check into/complete their asynchronous learning for each class on Wednesdays as directed by their teachers to be counted present. In addition, by district requirement, Wednesdays are combined A and B days, meaning students will need to check in with both their A and B day classes on Wednesdays for any directions and/or assignments. Because of the double meeting of both A and B day classes on Wednesdays, assignments for these classes will be adjusted so that when combined, they equate more to the load of a single class.
Homework: Homework will be limited to 60 minutes maximum per weekday.
Curriculum: We anticipate continuing to use adopted State standards to guide instruction in most classes, with remaining classes following district adopted standards (same is pre-pandemic instruction). Our intent, and a reason behind running our full eight period schedule each instructional day, is to insure that in June 2021, all students have had the opportunity to move forward a full year in each class (or half year in semester classes) and be well prepared as they matriculate to the next course or grade level of challenge.
Classroom Organization: All classroom teachers will be using Google Classroom to organize learning for students.
Parent Communication: We anticipate holding periodic virtual parent information meetings to help all parents understand expectations for distance learning, and how best to support their children's learning. See below for more information on our first virtual learning opportunity for parents. In addition, and you will be reminded of this often across the year: please download Infinite Campus to your phone as a means to monitor your child's progress on assignments and attendance.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend all classes, and are encouraged to do so at the scheduled time of each class. However, students who are unable to attend class(es) due to things such as family childcare needs, will be able to attend any class asynchronously and prove their attendance by submitting assigned work, and/or completing online class exit slips by the end of that same instructional day. Once the day is past, students can continue to complete assigned work that they missed, but will be marked absent for the official day of instruction.
Grading: As shared in my last newsletter, we will be returning to our regular 1-4 grading system for assignments and will not be using the pass/fail system of grading.
Will students have to go to school to learn how to use the equipment? Students should not have to. Students only need their Chromebook to access the classes. Any new learning about tech should be done by the teacher as necessary.
Will lunch and Recess be accounted for? Yes, lunch is built in (40 minutes) and there are 10 minute breaks between classes.
Can I go back and see and listen to a lesson after the class time ends? Yes. All lessons will be pre-recorded and you will be able to access them at anytime, day or night.
What if I need to talk with my teacher outside of class? Teachers will have designated office hour where they are available for questions. You will be able to email teachers during these times with your questions, and some may use other user interfaces to gather your questions. In addition, you may email you teacher at any time day or night and even on the weekend. For emails received before 3:30pm on school days, teachers will do their best to reply that same day. For emails received outside these times, teachers will reply within one business day.
If someone is disrupting a live class, what action will be taken? The teacher has the ability to turn off a student's video and mic so others cannot see or hear them. Those students can still see and hear the others in the class. Teacher and school follow up, along with documentation on the student’s behavior record are of course possible for inappropriate behavior.
What is the policy with pets going to be? We encourage students to introduce their pet(s) during teacher designated social time.
What are you going to do about kids without wifi or, kids that don't check their Chromebook? We have a plan to deliver Chromebooks to homes for those who need them. The district has also provided internet "hot spots" to families in need, and at times works with local internet providers to provide access to affordable internet services in the home.