The District 7 Virtual School Plain Text Version
THE DISTRICT 7 VIRTUAL SCHOOL
July 20, 2020
Serving Grades 5K-12 for the 2020-21 School Year
2020-2021 Family Enrollment Options
In order to provide families with the option to choose the format of instruction they believe is best for their student(s) Spartanburg School District 7 will offer a Virtual School for grades 5K - 12 that provides web-based learning. Families who choose the Virtual School will enroll for at least one half of the school year (elementary families are asked to make a full year commitment).
The District 7 Virtual School
In order to enable families to choose the format of instruction they believe is best for their student(s), District 7 is offering a Virtual School for grades 5K – 12 that provides high-quality web-based learning. Designed as an online alternative to in-person instruction, the Spartanburg School District 7 Virtual School will provide a comprehensive, standards-based program that can be accessed anywhere Wi-Fi is available. Students must be enrolled or eligible for enrollment in District 7 in order to register for the Virtual School.
Student support services (Odyssey, ELL, special needs, etc.) will be provided. Related arts courses will be provided as available. Each student will be provided with a District 7 issued MacBook or other device.
Families who choose this option must commit for at least August through December. Upon request, students may be able to transfer back to in-person instruction at their regular school in January if the student is on pace with their coursework and if space is available. Because of the need to shift current teachers to the Virtual School, elementary families are asked to make a full year commitment.
Virtual School for Elementary Students
Curriculum for Elementary Level
Drawing from the strength of our best veteran teachers who bring years of proven success with integrating technology into the classroom, District 7 is developing an elementary Virtual School curriculum to meet the academic and developmental needs for each grade level. This curriculum will be aligned with state standards and will mirror our in-school curriculum pacing, allowing for a smooth transition back to the traditional school setting. District 7 is also incorporating iReady, a comprehensive assessment and instruction program to help teachers develop an individual learning path for each student, and Edmentum, an online curriculum resource.
Each student will be expected to virtually “attend” school during regular school hours, receive quality instruction from their teacher based on state curriculum standards, earn grades, and build relationships with their classmates and teacher. Elementary Virtual School students will be grouped across the district based on enrollment, so a student's teacher and classmates may be from any of our schools.
Elementary students need one person at home who is committed to supporting them in virtual learning (three hours per day recommended). This home "learning coach" will have access to information and support materials to help ensure the student's success.
Because staffing the Virtual School requires shifting teachers away from traditional classrooms, elementary parents are asked to commit to a full year of virtual instruction. However, if a family requests a transfer back to in-person instruction for the start of the third nine weeks (January), we will honor that request if possible. A shift out of the Virtual School at the elementary level will include being placed with a new teacher for the second half of the year.
Virtual School for Middle/High School Students
Curriculum for Middle and High School Levels
At the middle and high school levels, Virtual School students will complete self-paced learning modules through APEX, a curriculum already in use by District 7. This program was designed initially for advanced placement (AP) courses and has since diversified to add courses at all levels and in most every subject. All course levels (college prep, honors, AP, dual credit) offered by District 7 at the middle and high school levels will be offered through the Virtual School. The curriculum will incorporate textbooks and video lessons with student progress monitored and supported daily by District 7 teachers. Some assessments may require students to report to their school, such as end of course exams, benchmarks and AP assessments.
Each Virtual School student needs one person at home who is committed to supporting them in virtual learning. For middle school students, an investment of 1-2 hours per day from their home "learning coach" is recommended.
Families are encouraged to explore the APEX Learning website for a full understanding of the curriculum and student experience.
Students/parents interested in the D7 Virtual School and enrolled in one of the D7 Early College programs; Viking Early College, Spartanburg County Early College High School, Scholars Academy or the Valkyrie Middle College, are to contact our Early College Counselor, Dr. Gloria Close, as soon as possible. Dr. Close will provide guidance regarding course enrollment at SHS and at our partner colleges and universities.
D7 Virtual School
What characteristics help a student be successful at online learning?
Learning online is a different experience than learning in a traditional classroom. A successful online learner is self-motivated and manages his/her time well. To get a better idea of how your student views his/her skillset, have your student take this readiness quiz. Then, talk with your student about the results. Discuss his/her readiness and what it takes to be successful when learning online.
What can parents/guardians do to help their student be successful at online learning? Taking an active role in your student’s learning and supporting his/her teachers is an important part of parents’/ guardians’ commitment to their student’s success in District 7’s Virtual School. To support your student’s virtual learning, parents/ guardians should:
- Ensure that your student has 24/7 access to reliable internet. Students must be able to connect their district-issued Macbook to the internet.
- Identify a dedicated space at home where your student will learn. For younger students, this should be as free from distractions as possible — while still allowing an adult to supervise what’s going on.
- Help your student prepare a daily schedule for learning and assignments.
- Assist your younger student with lessons.
- Monitor your student’s daily progress and create positive incentives for achieving academic goals.
- Check your student’s understanding by talking with him/her about their learning.
- Provide consistent encouragement and motivation for your student.
Return to Learn Instructional Plan for 2020-2021
District 7 has developed an instructional plan specific to the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic that is designed to help ensure the success of every student. The plan will be implemented in all learning models, including the District 7 Virtual School.
This plan includes:
Establishing Guidelines and Providing Professional Development to Support Quality eLearning and Virtual Instruction
Teachers will participate in training that focuses on planning and delivering well-crafted, well-taught lessons in a remote setting. Emphasis will be placed on best practices for engaging students in the learning process during eLearning/virtual instruction.
Addressing Learning Gaps at Each Grade Level
Essential Learning Targets have been defined for each grade level, with corresponding Return to Learn Lessons that aim to teach, review and master defined skills. During the first three weeks of school (our transitional phase-in), teachers will teach Return to Learn Lessons and guidance counselors will teach lessons to address social and emotional health of students.
Professional Development for Guidance Counselors on New Social/Emotional Health Curriculum
Thanks to support from the Mary Black Foundation, District 7 is employing Second Step Social Emotional/Anti-Bullying Curriculum to promote the wellbeing of children from Early Learning through Grade 8. District 7 guidance counselors will receive training and tools to help effectively address these topics.
Student Support Services for all Learning Models
District 7 will provide support services for all students, whether they participate in the flexible learning models or enroll in the District 7 Virtual School.
- Special Education
All educational options, at all school levels will be available to families with children receiving special education services (speech, resource, separate classroom).
- Section 504
Accommodation Plans 504 Accommodation Plans will be available and followed in all models.
- Mental Health
Students receiving Mental Health support services at school with a clinical counselor, guidance counselor, school psychologist, or Spartanburg Area Mental Health will be able to continue receiving support services regardless of the school model chosen by the parent.
- English Language Learners (ELL)
District 7 has an English Language Learners support program. The goal of our ELL program is to provide equitable educational opportunities to students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. The primary focus is to provide an English-rich environment that provides opportunities to reach English language proficiency as soon as possible. Spartanburg School District 7 is working to create a learning environment that encourages pride in cultural heritage and supports a student’s language acquisition. Students are identified as an ELL student through the use of the Home Language Survey completed by a student’s parent/guardian upon initial enrollment in a District 7 school. The District 7 ELL program is standards-based and emphasizes both academic and social language development.
- Multi-Tiered System of Support/RTI
District 7 utilizes a Multi-Tiered System of Support to help students meet their full potential. The Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) consists of three tiers. The district is concerned about the academic wellbeing of students and is equally concerned with a student’s social and emotional wellbeing. As such, all three tiers of instruction provide support in academics as well as in social and emotional health. As part of this system, all students receive a rigorous college and career focused curriculum. This is known as Tier I instruction. At times, a student may need additional support to meet instructional goals. When this is the case, the student will be provided this support in a small group setting. This support may occur within the student’s classroom by the classroom teacher, or it may occur outside the classroom by a trained paraprofessional working under the direction of a certified teacher. This is referred to as Tier II support. In circumstances when a student needs even more support meeting defined goals, the student may be enrolled in a Tier III support program. In this type of support, the student receives support out of the classroom in an extremely small group setting. The support is provided by a trained paraprofessional working under the direction of the school’s reading coach (at elementary level).
- Odyssey (Gifted & Talented)
Students qualifying for Gifted & Talented services through District 7’s Odyssey program will be served, although services will be dependent upon the model the district is following given health recommendations and guidelines. It is the District’s intent to provide students with the challenging academic work they need to reach their full potential. Odyssey teachers may push into the classroom to provide services, or the teacher may provide virtual instruction, depending upon the circumstances and model. Teachers will differentiate and individualize learning for Odyssey students based on their specific needs and talents.
- McKinney Vento
Eligible students will receive services, regardless of the learning model their family chooses.
Meal Service During COVID-19
District 7 will provide breakfast and lunch meal service for all students, regardless of the learning model in which they participate. Students who qualify for free and reduced meals will receive meals accordingly; all other students may participate at the regular meal rates.
Hybrid A/B Cohorts Meal Service
- On days each cohort attends school face-to-face, students may pick up breakfast and lunch meals at the end of the day to cover their remote learning the following day. Students will be able to pick up an extra meal for Friday's eLearning Day.
D7 Virtual School Meal Service
- Each Monday, D7 Virtual School students may pick up a one-week meal packet that includes both breakfast and lunch. Pick up sites include Carver Middle School, Cleveland Academy, Drayton Mills Elementary, and EP Todd School.