Teaching & Learning
Jamestown Public Schools continues to provide all students with access to high-quality instruction. Our instructional plan will remain fluid and flexible according to the status of the coronavirus spread and guidance from New York State. Whether students attend class in-person, through hybrid learning, or by distance learning, all instruction will include elements that support continuity of learning for all students.
- Recognizing that many students may have experienced interruptions to their learning during spring 2020, we have revised curriculum guides at elementary, middle and high school levels to target the most essential standards for the grade level or course, as well as the prerequisite knowledge and skills students need to be successful with new content. Updated curriculum guides and resources will offer strategies for staff to support learners with differing needs.
- Remote or distance learning will be designed to allow for more frequent student-teacher interaction for all students than in spring 2020. Additionally, attendance and grading will be required for both in-person and distance learning, ensuring shared accountability for student success.
Access to Technology
- We are working to ensure that every JPS student in grades 3-12 will have daily access to a personally assigned laptop, Chromebook, or iPad for use at school or at home. We also hope to make iPads available for elementary school students in grades PreK-2, as needed. Our aim is to be able to provide all students in K-12 with a device to support in- person or distance learning.
- We understand that limited internet access may present a barrier to distance learning for some students. To address this challenge, we will strengthen the wireless signal in each school parking lot so that students may download assignments to be completed offline. We continue to work with local internet providers to expand free and low-cost service options for families that do not currently have home internet. We are also working to obtain mobile hotspots that may be loaned to individual students based on need.
- Whether learning takes place primarily in an online environment or face-to-face, we are seeking to expand and align digital resources to ensure that all students have consistent access to high quality learning tools. Using Google Classroom as the designated learning platform, students in grades 3-12 will be able to access and complete all assignments and assessments online. Secure video conferencing tools will be used to allow for regular student-teacher interaction that supports distance learning. In addition, teachers may supplement learning activities with selected digital resources that meet high standards of data privacy and security. Staff will continue to receive training and support to apply blended learning strategies that involve a mix of teacher-directed and student self-directed learning.
Assessment & Intervention Services
- The focus for student assessment will be to help staff identify students’ learning needs and plan for upcoming instruction. Assessments designed for this purpose will be used both for in-person and distance learning, as a way to measure students’ academic readiness and progress toward achievement of priority learning standards. All learners will continue to receive flexible and responsive support for their academic, behavioral and wellness needs.
Supports for Special Populations
- Services for students with disabilities will include increased time for teacher-led instruction and explicit expectations for greater consistency. Instructional delivery will be designed to ensure the least restrictive environment (LRE) as required by their IEP. Students will continue to receive access to instructional materials for use at home, as needed, including assistive technology. The student support model will be complemented by enhanced professional development for staff and training for caregivers. When necessary, virtual meetings will be used to convene special education procedural meetings, such as local screening committee, reevaluation, eligibility, IEP teams, etc.
- Services for English language learners (ELLs) will include a defined minimum time allocation for instruction in English as a new language (ENL) within the student’s schedule, with opportunities for extended instructional time provided to recently arrived ELLs or those identified for interventions. Formative assessments will be used to monitor student progress in development of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Family outreach and education will be provided to support families’ understanding of distance learning models and how to support their child’s learning.