Assistant Superintendent Explains Distance Learning Schedules
With Newtown Public School students set to start distance learning on Monday, November 23, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Anne Uberti released a letter to parents and guardians on November 20 to clear up "some confusion."
The distance learning schedule will have kindergarten through twelfth grade students starting and ending the school days at the same times as they currently do — with Wednesdays continuing as early dismissal days — but the internal daily schedules are changing.
Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue said on November 20 that the distance learning schedule was designed to "open up more opportunities for students for both instruction and supports during a fully remote learning environment."
Uberti's letter is below.
Dr Rodrigue also said parents can expect further information to be sent home from school principals by November 23.
It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding the distance learning schedules that individual [kindergarten through eighth grade] schools have shared with parents. First and foremost, I would like to reiterate that distance learning days are considered full days for students and staff, with the exception of Wednesdays remaining as a three-hour early release for students. While the time within the full distance learning day is allocated differently than in a traditional school day, the expectation is that students will be engaged in learning for the full day. Most guidance regarding fully remote learning, including from the Connecticut State Department of Education, recommends a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Accordingly, our remote learning schedule provides an appropriate amount of time for students to receive online, direct instruction with a balance of independent work. During the independent work block, most students will be completing assignments and other activities as they typically would during class while interventionists, paraprofessionals, and support staff will be working with students who may struggle to complete assignments independently. However, during the flex block, all students will meet with teachers for additional instruction and other learning activities.
Schedules for the various learning models are included in the Newtown Public Schools Models of Instruction document [available here] which was shared with all parents on August 3. I realize that experience and comfort level with remote learning have changed significantly since the summer and we, as a district, continue to be responsive to these evolving circumstances. Our teachers, support personnel, and administrators remain deeply committed to ensuring our students receive the instruction and support necessary for both their success and well-being.
Principals from our elementary, intermediate, and middle schools will be following up with more information specific to each of their buildings. We appreciate your patience and support, and we look forward to welcoming our students back into our schools on December 7.
Anne Uberti, Assistant Superintendent