Remote Instruction/Learning

  • We have used NYSDOH, CDC, and NYSED guidance to create a reopening plan that delivers instruction using hybrid and remote models. As you will find in our plan, all students will participate in at least some remote instruction. 

    We will begin the school year with students in UPK, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade attending in-person through the hybrid model. These students will attend two days per week in-person and three days per week remotely.  All other students in grades 4-12 will begin the school year in 100% remote instruction, unless specified below.

    All special education students assigned to 12:1:1 and 15:1:1 programs (grades K-12) will attend in-person instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Special education students in the consultant teacher direct or resource model will participate in the remote and/or hybrid models along with their grade-level peers, two days in-person and three days in remote instruction/learning. More information, including details regarding related services, is available in the Special Education Section of the plan.

    English Language Learners not already included in the abovementioned grade levels/groups (UPK-3 and 12:1:1/15:1:1 special education programs) will receive some in-person instruction according to a hybrid schedule of two days in-person and three days in remote instruction/learning. More information, including details regarding related services, is available in the Bilingual Education Section of the plan.

    Parents/guardians of students with medical conditions that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness will be eligible to choose 100% remote instruction, with appropriate medical documentation.

    Parents/guardians of students who do not feel comfortable returning to in-person instruction will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for 100% remote instruction. The District will support these preferences and provide 100% remote instruction to the extent possible according to available staffing and other aspects of the reopening plan. Students who opt for 100% remote instruction without medical documentation must remain in 100% remote instruction one trimester (grades K-6) or one quarter (grades 7-12) at a time. The District is not equipped to support more frequent changes between remote and in-person instruction.

    All students may be returned to 100% remote instruction if the Governor closes schools at any time due to increased rates of COVID-19 infection or other factors.

    The District’s reopening plan provides for changes to remote instruction from the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Remote instruction will include more structure, predictable schedules, consistency, support, and academic accountability. The District will take daily attendance for in-person and remote instruction, as required by the NYSED guidance. More information can be found in the Schedules Section of the plan.

    Whether a student is engaged through in-person learning, remote learning or a hybrid model they deserve to be instructed by a highly trained teacher. This educator must follow a rigorous curriculum in which students are held accountable for engaging and authentic learning.  

    As it relates to remote learning, the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD will:

    • Ensure that all learning standards are met during the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers will align curriculum both horizontally and vertically to assure that students are receiving the best education possible. Professional development opportunities will be made available throughout the year to assure that all staff have the opportunity to make necessary adjustments.  
    • Modify the continuity of education plan (Continuity of Education Plan) to ensure that regardless of the educational setting, all students are receiving standards-based instruction.
    • Consistently teach content and skills no matter the mode of instruction.  
    • Promote equity and address the needs of all students. 
    • Communicate consistent feedback to students to reinforce their learning. Platforms such as Schoology and Seesaw will be utilized to provide feedback and communicate progress.   
    • Regular opportunities will be offered for both students and parents to communicate directly with educators.  Information will be provided to ensure that families can contact administrators. Families can email to receive technical support or can visit the Remote Learning Help page on the District’s website.   

    Remote Learning expectations for students:

    Students are expected to follow these guidelines for remote learning based on their grade level. Teachers will be reviewing these expectations with students and reinforcing them throughout the year.  Families are encouraged to use common language when discussing expectations at home with regard to learning remotely.

    Additional considerations:

    We must identify and support students with learning loss and gaps related to the closure of school in March of 2020. Staff will follow the MTSS model and focus on Tier 1 interventions and adjust curriculum to focus on the content and skills that were lost due to the school closure in the spring of 2020. The RtI model will be followed to measure progress and learning gaps in Tier 1 interventions and to identify social, emotional, and academic needs. Additional services will be delivered both in person and through remote learning.   

    Parents and students will be provided guidance and instruction that focuses on the various technological tools being utilized. The resources on the District’s Remote Learning Help page have been curated based on family input on the July 2020 survey. Families will be encouraged to continue to provide feedback on these resources to ensure their relevance. 

    Grading practices will be developed based in the NYS Learning Standards that measure student growth/progress and assure accountability. Grading practices will be consistent no matter the mode of instruction.   Parents and students will be provided feedback on both academic and non-academic growth and engagement.   

    The Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD partners with Our Children’s Place to offer a universal prekindergarten program. Our Children’s Place has provided the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD with a continuity of learning plan that focuses specifically on the UPK program:

    Technology & Connectivity

    Families and staff were each surveyed to determine remote learning needs. Surveys did not ask K-12 families or staff about the level of access to devices because all students have a district-issued device for use in their place of residence: an iPad for students in grades K-8th, an iPad Pro for students in grades 9th -12th. All teachers have a district-issued laptop for use in their place of residence as well as a device that mirrors that of their students.

    The district has offered to provide devices for UPK students in partnership with the UPK provider.  

    To provide internet access to students and teachers who do not currently have sufficient access, the District has invested in mobile hotspots. The district has purchased more than 250 mobile hotspots from Kajeet. Kajeet provides filtering on all mobile hotspots.  Based on the family survey information, approximately ten percent of student households may need internet access. Based on our Student Information System, we have 987 unique primary addresses and would potentially need approximately 100 mobile hotspots. Based on the staff and family surveys, the District is well-positioned to provide wi-fi access to students and teachers.

    The district is working to develop multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery including but not limited to synchronous and asynchronous options, choice boards and menus, as well as providing opportunities to empower students through choice and voice.

    In addition to the district-issued devices and mobile hotspots, the district also has a community partner that may be able to assist with connectivity: Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Company.   

    The district is developing a high-quality professional development experience for instructional staff based on The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting that was recently published. The district’s Instructional Coach is working to share content with instructional staff in a way that models best practices for instruction in remote/online settings. 

    The district is seeking to adjust Information Technology (IT) Support as necessary to support teachers, students, and families.  The district is looking to continue its use of for staff and for students and families.

    The district has created a Remote Learning Help page for staff and a Remote Learning Help page for students/families. The resources found on both help pages are reflective of the July 2020 surveys and continue to be updated.

    The district ensures student data privacy and security will be maintained and that the school and/or district are in compliance with Federal and State laws related to student technology use, including NY Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. 

    The district is striving to streamline the number of different tools that students will be expected to utilize after an assessment of the effectiveness of digital tools, platforms, and resources utilized during school closures. In addition to streamlining digital tools, Midlakes has created a brief guide that compares the digital campus to a physical campus (i.e. Zoom as a virtual classroom). 


    To promote academic success for all students, we will implement an attendance plan that meets these objectives:  

    • Raise student achievement and close performance gaps. 
    • Recognize poor attendance and create individual plans to stimulate improvement. 
    • Take daily student attendance, whether they are in-person or participating in remote learning. 
    • Record daily attendance for New York State reporting purposes.
    • Ensure that all students comply with New York State compulsory school attendance.  

    Systems and technologies will be established to assist in recording student participation in synchronous and asynchronous learning.  The completion of academic tasks will also be used to measure engagement and authentic learning, and document student attendance.    

    • Teachers, counselors and administrators will document and communicate concerns to parents/guardians prior to referring students to the RtI process for additional interventions.  
    • Multiple forms of communication will be utilized to ensure connection and collaboration with the family. All communications will be provided in the primary language spoken in the home as well as English.
    • School administrators and Pupil Support staff will work together to regularly review attendance/engagement records. This process will assist in identifying students who require additional attention and support.  
    • A multi-tiered approach will be implemented for students exhibiting chronic absenteeism. Students who approach the threshold of a 10% absentee rate will receive a higher level of intervention, to encourage improved attendance and completion of assignments and academic requirements.

    Social-Emotional Well-Being

    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current state of our nation regarding civic unrest in response to structural racism, the return to school this year will be unlike any other in our history. This moment will call on all members of our school community to deepen our social and emotional competencies and create equitable learning environments where all students and adults can process, heal, and thrive. 

    A strong set of universal interventions designed to support social emotional well-being will be crucial to our collective success as students and adults return to instruction and the school environment with increased needs. The supports represented in the universal tier are foundational to secondary and tertiary supports. 

    MTSS - Tier One Supports for Social-Emotional Well-Being: 

    • Counseling Plan - The District’s current counseling plan will continue to be monitored and updated to reflect the change from face-to-face delivery to a distance or hybrid delivery, should that be necessary. The counseling plan will also be edited to include input from a variety of sources including family and community sources.  
    • Universal screening will also be conducted to identify the social-emotional needs of adults — survey and regular check-ins from administrators will occur.
    • Character Strong K-12 SEL Curriculum
    • PSO staff at elementary have already begun planning a scope & sequence of lessons for reentry in September then embedding Character Strong throughout the year with the school counselor remotely or in-person to co-facilitate lessons with each class at least once per month and providing teachers with the lesson materials for follow up lessons the rest of the month (SEL block in the schedule once every four-day cycle for each class). 

    Our SEL plan also includes a process to help identify and provide supports to students or staff perhaps at higher risk for significant stress or trauma from COVID-19. Confidential data will include those experiencing death or loss of someone close to them; those with significant disruption to lifestyle such as food insecurity, financial insecurity; those with a history of trauma and chronic stress or other pre-existing mental health problems; and those with exposure to abuse or neglect. 

    MTSS - Tier Two & Tier Three Supports for Social-Emotional Well-Being: 

    • Weekly PSO meetings to review student referrals from parents, staff, and from engagement/attendance tracking data  
    • Continue to use Sharepoint to track referrals and assign PSO staff based on assigned intervention and caseloads to give parents and staff a consistent point-of-contact for that student 
    • Utilize PSO meetings to also review monthly tier 1 pre-/post-assessments on CharacterStrong/quarterly climate surveys to identify areas for targeted Tier 2 groups 
    • Identify students who may have heightened anxiety around re-entry prior to the start of school via the parent survey and other parent communication
    • Continue IEP/Building Individual or Group counseling. The counseling team is developing a curriculum for students that targets needs related to re-entry (calming strategies, relationship building, organizational strategies) for our most at-risk students. 
    • Social workers and counselors participate in-home visits when necessary while maintaining social distance when needed. 
    • TIG teams will continue to review guidelines to be prepared for significant losses in our community.