State Superintendent of Schools Jillian Balow has approved the Adaptive Learning Plan submitted by Laramie County School District 1, which covers Cheyenne.  The plan is the school district's outline for completing the school year while the Covid-19 quarantine is in effect.  Here's the plan.

Program Design

Summarize how you will deliver instruction to students. If applicable, describe technology access, transportation of schoolwork, etc.

LCSD#1 has implemented a remote learning plan that will be a combination of online, video, learning packets, phone calls, emails, use of the Remind app, and Canvas. Each teacher will use a unique combination of tools depending upon the age group and design of their course. Depending upon the availability of technology of our families, teachers will shift the preferred method of instruction.  All families were contacted by their home school to verify their access to technology.  For those who did not have access, the school developed a systematic plan to deliver/pickup learning packets on a weekly basis.  Further, rural students who are offline learners will have their learning packets delivered by Transportation using their normal bus routes. 

How will you track attendance? 

Participation/attendance will be measured in accordance with Section 14 Emergency Temporary Virtual Education (Adaptive Learning) of Chapter 41 Virtual Education Emergency Rules.  Documentation will be maintained at the teacher, school and district level to support participation/attendance.

How will you track student progress, i.e... grade students? 

LCSD#1 has implemented a tiered approach to assessing student progress. When we resumed instruction, our first task was to review the priority standards students were learning immediately before shutdown.  This helped our students and teachers adapt to the new delivery method of instruction without the work being complicated by learning new material. During the week of April 6th, teachers will begin introducing new priority standards. Teachers have been directed to provide extensive formative feedback to ensure students are able to adjust their learning before summative grades are taken.  After extensive formative feedback opportunities have been given, teachers will resume standards-based grading practices. Depending on the length of the closure, the district may decide to implement a hybrid grading scale where students will receive a grade of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory by default with the ability to choose their earned letter grade if they’d prefer it.

How will you communicate with parents?

LCSD#1 communicates with parents in a variety of ways.  For district-wide communications and updates, the district uses press releases, postings on the website, Facebook and Twitter. In addition, district-wide messages to parents are distributed through the Remind app and Infinite Campus Messenger/ShoutPoint. Both products send emails and text notifications while ShoutPoint also delivers voice calls to all parents.  Teachers in the district also communicate through email, phone, Remind app, Infinite Campus, and Canvas.

How will you reach students who are not responsive to your instructional model?

Schools have reached out to all families in the district to explain our new instructional model. Due to the complex makeup of the community in Cheyenne, the district is faced with the challenge of families who are not responsive to our outreach.  For some, it is because their families are struggling emotionally, financially, and medically to this pandemic.  We have deployed counselors and social workers to reach out to these families. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, families cannot be expected to function academically until they have reached stability in their most basic needs. We also have some families who simply refuse to participate educationally.  This is not unlike the small proportion of our families who historically have been reluctant to get their kids to school reliably.  Principals, counselors, behavioral interventionists, and support staff continue to reach out to these families trying to engage them in instruction.

How will you utilize or reduce staff/faculty that do not have direct report students? (paraprofessionals, some SPED teachers, support staff, admin, etc.)

LCSD #1 staff who traditionally do not have to directly report to students will be utilized in several different ways within the district to assist student learning and engagement.  The district and schools will identify all staff available to assist students virtually or using telecommunications.  Each school will prioritize students that previously needed intervention and are considered a struggling learner.  Schools will also identify students who may have limited support at home to connect with and support as they try and complete learning activities.  Staff members will be given a list of students to contact and review remote learning activities and requirements.  Staff will work one on one to explain and support the students as they work through their assigned learning tasks and requirements. 

Are the measures you have in place to protect student privacy adequate or have you implemented additional practices?

We will continue with existing measures to protect student privacy.  All software applications must have a privacy review by the Department of Technology before use if they are to contain student or staff data.  We also require SSL encryption for login and communications on all platforms.  Finally, we monitor login activity on district supported and integrated software platforms for abuse or suspicious activity.

SPED/ADA/504 - Other Student Groups

How will you meet the needs of SPED/ADA/504 students in compliance with IDEA guidance?

Special education teachers and related service providers have been transitioning to delivering remote learning activities for students with disabilities in collaboration with teachers and administrators throughout the district. Currently identified accommodations within a student IEP or 504/ADA plan will be integrated and part of the remote learning plan provided by regular education teachers, special education teachers and related services staff. In collaboration with individual parents and guardians, individual plans are being developed to encompass a variety of delivery methods suited specifically for the unique and individual needs of identified students. The remote learning plans may incorporate a variety of instructional methods including but not limited to any combination of online, learning packets, learning boxes/bins, access to learning software, phone calls, Teams/Zoom appointments, instructional video clips, emails, the use of equipment/devices, assistive technology and parent consultation. All special education staff will provide support for teachers and families to ensure equity of access and to provide specific equipment, software or training necessary to implement plans.

What other high-risk student groups have you considered and how are you accommodating their needs? (e.g. ELs, homeless, etc.)

Title III - English Language Learners: 

In alignment with student IELP’s, ESL teachers are collaborating with the general and special education teachers to ensure academic work is being appropriately modified based on student need.  The district is communicating with students and families in both English and their primary language. Teachers have developing language acquisition lessons specific to WIDA standards and will be delivered through Learning Packets and/or digital learning for each student.

Title I-D Neglect and Delinquent

In collaboration with the Laramie County Sherriff’s Department, services for LCSD#1 neglect and delinquent students are being provided by the Juvenile Service Center instructor. Instruction is being provided through Learning Packets and/or digital learning for each student.  The instructor is available to students via video conferencing daily.  Students on an IEP or 504 continue to receive accommodations.  Students placed at the Juvenile Service Center who are from other districts or other states continue to receive educational services through collaborative efforts with the district where the student is enrolled.

Homeless

LCSD#1 has put together a “Student and Families in Transition Task Force.”  The task force is communicating with identified homeless families and students to ensure education materials and/or online educational services are being provided.  Accommodations for individual student needs are ensured through collaborative practices with the classroom teacher. LCSD#1 department of transportation is supporting the delivery of materials and items for basic needs. Community resource information including health, social/emotional support, education, and supplies have been delivered to the identified population and have been posted to the LCSD#1 website and other social media sites. Outreach and communication with community organizations continue to be provided by the LCSD#1 Student and Families in Transition Student Support Liaison.

Assessment and Interventions

How will you provide interventions for struggling students?

Transitioning to remote learning due to a general state of emergency in our community will certainly result in some students struggling with their academics.  Because we are unable to meet personally with students due to health and safety concerns, teachers will employ a variety of methods to assist students who struggle.  Primarily, teachers, paraprofessionals, and all others assigned will increase the manner and frequency of communication with students when they begin to struggle.  This could be through phone calls, email, Remind, Canvas, and written feedback on submitted assignments.  Additionally, the district has supplied an extensive list of learning resources including intervention sites such as Moby Max and Khan Academy to give students targeted practice with their skill gaps and academic struggles.

 

How will you provide enrichment for students?

The district has developed proficiency scales for every priority standard in every course K-12.  These standards inform teachers and families what it descriptively looks like to demonstrate proficiency and descriptors for those who need enrichment because they have exceeded the standard. Teachers and parents have access to a wide variety of learning resources that have been gathered and posted on our website to facilitate these efforts.  Further, because students are currently functioning outside the limits of a classroom, the ability to apply standards in their own real-world setting have increased. Teachers are developing home-based projects for students to be enriched beyond proficiency in the standard.

 

How will you formatively assess students to drive instruction?

Because both teachers and students are new to this method of instructional delivery, the district has explicitly directed teachers to focus their feedback with students in formative ways.  This feedback could include written comments, phone calls, video responses, email, Remind messages, and Canvas discussion groups.

Outcomes

How have you re-prioritized essential learnings for students?

The district tasked the Content Coordinators from each department to create groups of teachers within Microsoft Teams to review our current curriculum pacing guides.  Based on existing priority standards that were planned for the 4th quarter, these curriculum teams streamlined and re-focused the priority standards given the new delivery method and time constraints. The re-prioritized standards were then shared out to all schools to guide their new instructional planning efforts.

 

How are you approaching graduation requirements? NOTE: There may be additional guidance on this, but we'd like your thoughts to help formulate guidance

The district has real-time tracking data to verify that students are in good standing within the graduating cohort. High schools use this data to intervene with students who are showing signs of academic struggle that could impact graduation.  From the first day of the shutdown, the district continued to offer intervention services through our Academic Academies and our Comprehensive Academic Preparation (CAP) program to assist students who are finishing coursework for graduation.