Teaching and Learning 

Continuity of Learning

NYCDOE is committed to providing students with opportunities to make connections to prior learning and build on existing knowledge to learn new concepts. For students attending school in a blended learning setting, teachers must take extra care to ensure that their remote learning is a continuation of their in-person learning.

Implementing a shared and inclusive curriculum that is culturally responsive and digitally accessible across grade levels will support schools in ensuring that there is continuity of instruction for every student. A common, standards aligned trajectory of learning for the four core content areas (ELA, math, science and social studies) will be released quarterly to support continuity of instruction across the NYCDOE and serve as a complement to each school's shared and inclusive digital curriculum whether delivered remotely or in person. 

Students across the NYCDOE will return to school this fall with unfinished learning. Coupled with this, many students will also return to school with considerable anxiety and trauma. This fall, knowing students well will be more important than ever. While our first instinct may be to begin with traditional measures to assess academic levels and potential learning loss, getting to know students on a personal level, understanding their background, culture and life experiences as well as creating safe, trusting learning environments is the first step in re-engaging with students upon their return to school.

To ensure continuity of learning, teachers will have time to coordinate instruction and plan together. Planning periods will provide teachers who are working together to support a group of students (e.g. in person and all-remote, ICT, SETSS and, etc.) time to plan for a coordinated, seamless instructional approach. School staff will have time at the beginning of the day for coordinating instruction to address continuity of learning for all students (in-person and all-remote) and services/supports (e.g., SWDs, MLLs). This will take place for 30 minutes before the students’ instructional day begins. For example, teachers might be scheduled for 30 minutes for collaborative planning time from 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM, with students starting the school day at 8:30 AM. A menu of options will be shared for what this collaborative time may be used for, but an emphasis should be placed on the collaboration and planning between remote teachers and in-person teachers who share students. 

Families have the option of choosing to have their child attend school solely through remote learning. Families can choose full-time remote learning at any time, for any reason. Families who choose full-time remote learning will be able to reevaluate their choice during one set time period (November 2 – November 15, 2020) to change their preference and have their child receive in-person instruction instead for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. This will be the only window that families can opt-in to blended learning through the Learning Preference survey.

Instructional Coordination

Remote instruction for all students will include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, with synchronous instruction occurring daily.

For students learning in a remote-only setting, synchronous instruction will be directly tied to the asynchronous learning activities in which they engage to promote continuity of instruction and meaningful, connected learning experiences.

For students learning in a hybrid setting, in-person and remote learning experiences (including both synchronous and asynchronous instruction) will complement each other so that students experience continuity in learning and instruction.

This means there should be fluidity between the learning, tasks, activities, assessments and projects that the students engage in both remotely and in-person to create one meaningful and integrated learning experience for students. Instructional Coordination periods will be used to ensure instruction is coordinated amongst teachers and seamless for students. 

Schools should keep a number of factors in mind as schedules for synchronous instruction are established, including factors such as feedback received from students and families, the number of students who are more likely to engage at different times of the day, the age and grade level of students, student readiness, etc., with the goal of creating schedules for synchronous instruction that work for students and their families, whether they are learning in an all-remote or blended setting. When scheduling synchronous instruction, schools should provide all students with sufficient time for high-quality interactions with teachers and peers. 

An overall class schedule and times designated for synchronous instruction (including both live instruction in whole and small groups as well as individually) should be posted where it is available to all students and parents in the class. If changes need to be made to the synchronous instruction schedule, then teachers should notify the principal and provide adequate notice to students and families, so that they can adjust their schedules as needed.

Communication

Teachers will have 20 minutes of daily Office Hours scheduled during the workday to communicate virtually with families and students. To engage students and families, schools will allot time in the teachers’ schedules where all teachers are available to meet with students and families via video conference or telephone. This will allow teachers to offer support and guidance to students and families as well as provide updates related to student progress and learning.

Schools will utilize their Language Translation and Interpretation Plans for Parents to ensure parents whose preferred language is other than English are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in and have access to programs and services critical to their child’s education. In these plans, schools will document their (1) procedures for identification and assessment of parents’ language preferences, (2) communications calendar for documents and meetings that require translation and interpretation services, (3) trainings that ensure all staff adhere to Chancellor’s Regulation A-633, (4) procedures for keeping parents informed of their rights to language assistance services, and (5) mechanisms for gathering feedback from parents to inform quality improvement of language services. 

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