Please know the following information is subject to change as additional guiding documents are provided by federal, state and local agencies relative to our district closure.
We have made adjustments to our alternative learning model and adjusted the extension of time away from school. Our first priority, during this time of great uncertainty, is the health and well-being of our students and families. Based on that commitment, our new plan, which begins on Wednesday, April 8, purposefully limits what we are asking of students and sets specific schedules for learning and communications from teachers. Learning will continue. For as long as we are out, alternative methods of instruction will remain in place. It will look different from traditional methods of instruction, and we remain committed to helping students to continue to learn. We believe this moment in time should not negatively impact a student's future endeavors. Our plan reflects that belief. Learning will be focused on review, reinforcement, and enrichment.
- FAQ: Elementary Education Alternative Learning
- FAQ: Middle School Education Alternative Learning
- FAQ: High School Education Alternative Learning
The district is continuing to add resources and information to www.cpsk12.org/COVID19. Please check the site for academic resources and supplemental learning applications.
English Learners and students receiving special education services are also being provided access to learning, or in the event IEP goals cannot be adequately addressed through alternative methods of instructions, IEP teams may consider compensatory services. IEP teams will work to make the best decisions for our exceptional learners.
How will my child receive their special education and related services while the district is closed?
All special education students were provided remote learning activities relative to their IEP goals. For K-5 students and K-12 related services, this was provided within a two week packet of activities sent with students prior to the school closure. For students in grades 6-12, remote learning activities/assignments are provided through the Schoology platform. Your child’s case manager and/or regular education teacher should be contacting you periodically during the closure to provide information on how you can support your child in doing the work as well as to support your child in completing the work using learning strategies or approaches they already use in school. You may also contact your child’s specialist through the means you have available (email, phone, or other communication tools). All CPS teachers and specialists have been instructed to hold daily office hours to assist with answering student and parent questions.
What about speech/language therapy or other related services?
Speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists have assembled activities that you can do at home to help your child maintain their skills. ALL CPS related service providers have been instruction to hold office hours daily to assist with answering student and parent questions.
What if my child has an IEP and/or evaluation due during the district closure?
Your child’s case manager will be in contact to discuss options related to proceeding with this meeting.
What if my child is struggling to complete work provided?
Please contact the teacher who assigned the work during their scheduled office hours for assistance. Case managers will continue to be in contact with teachers to provide consultation regarding instructional supports as appropriate.
Can my child zoom one-on-one with his teacher and/or with his class if our family has the technology to do so?
While the district has provided technology and internet options for increased accessibility at home for secondary students, many of our elementary families do not have these resources available. CPS K-12 teachers and specialists can elect to communicate with student(s) and/or classes via zoom, google hangout, etc.; however, it is up to the discretion of the guardian as to whether they wish for their child to participate. If zooming or google hangout is an option, the purpose would be to connect with students and families. It could also be used to review, reinforce or enrich previous learning. It would not be to provide direct services and/or address new learning objectives.
When will the service provider begin direct services with my child?
As referenced in previous district communication …. “our district’s first priority, during this time of great uncertainty, is the health and well-being of our students and families. Based on this commitment, the plan for alternative methods of instruction purposefully limits what we are asking of students and sets specific schedules for learning and communication with families. It will look different from traditional methods of instruction and will focus on review reinforcement and enrichment.” Therefore, service providers will not offer direct services with your child. However, a service provider could offer to zoom with a parent, student or class and/or provide videos of themselves working through an activity to guide instruction and/or to support those guiding instruction at home. The following district guidance has been given to specialists and case managers:
NON DISTRICT CLASSROOM ELEMENTARY SPED TEACHERS
As with all elementary remote learning instruction, our non-district classroom special education students will receive i-Ready packets for reading and math. For any student (sped and gen ed), a teacher can determine if an out of grade level packet is needed. Case managers should be communicating with the regular classroom teacher to determine the appropriate grade level to send. If a student is receiving an out of grade level packet, this should be communicated to families. For all other special education related instructional extension responsibilities, please see section title “CASE MANAGERS & RELATED SERVICE PROVIDERS” below.
NON DISTRICT CLASSROOM SECONDARY SPED TEACHERS
We know many specialists may have additional questions related to activities offered in special education courses. Many of the activities offered by the regular education content coordinators can be utilized and/or modified to use for our content classes as well or the special education teacher may choose to create their own offering of extension activities if preferred, but it cannot be “new learning.” For all other special education related instructional responsibilities, please see section title “CASE MANAGERS & RELATED SERVICE PROVIDERS” below.
For district-wide classrooms which provide instruction for students for most of their day, the district-wide coordinator will support teachers in developing remote learning content. For secondary district classroom teachers: While the district email indicated district-wide classroom teachers may hold “instructional” sessions on Wednesday’s, we realize for most of the district classroom students, the district classroom teacher is the student’s core content teacher for every class. The case manager will work with families to determine an optional schedule for everyone. Regardless of the designated day(s) of the week, the teacher will continue to check in individually with families so this would not be the only day for contact. We know each student’s situation is unique. This is not about making families feel their student needs to complete tasks. Our main focus is to offer appropriate support to help families get through the day.
CASE MANAGERS & RELATED SERVICE PROVIDERS
Case managers should continue to make contact with families weekly to ask how they can support the student/family as they begin to engage in remote learning. This may take the form of offering accommodation suggestions and/or instructional techniques if the parent is able to support the child’s learning. Parents may ask for other activity ideas to support the maintenance of skills the student has been working on during the school year. There are numerous activity ideas, i.e., real life application, quick task, website, project, drill practice, which could be provided via email, text, verbal description via phone or mailing if needed. Related service providers should continue to check in with case managers weekly to support families as appropriate. If a parent has made a request for additional resources, the related service can reach out to the family or provide options through the case manager.