Diman Covid-19 FAQ

  • April 29, 2020

    This FAQ page has been created in an effort to address a few of the topics, concerns, and challenges that have faced Diman educators during the COVID-19 building closure.  Please keep in mind that the answers to these questions are specific to this spring 2020 closure.  Depending upon the topic, these answers may not be applicable to a fall 2020 school opening.

    1. Can I assign mandatory class sessions during the COVID-19 closure?
      Educators are allowed, but not required, to assign mandatory class sessions during the COVID-19.  Due to the nature of this pandemic, however, educators choosing to assign mandatory classes must allow students the opportunity to access course standards at an alternate time.  This could mean recording the mandatory class session and posting in on Google Classroom for later access or allowing students to complete an alternate assignment.  Students may not be penalized for missing a specific time period.   They can, however, be required to watch a session at a time that is convenient for them.
    2. Can I assign tests and formal assessments remotely?
      Educators may choose to assign formative and summative assessments during this remote learning time period.  These assessments, however, should be made available to students at various time periods.  For some educators, this means offering various forms for one exam, offering alternate test dates and times, and/or suggesting project-based assessments of learning.
    3. What is the DCAP and where can I find a copy of it?
      During this pandemic, it is important for educators to remember that students may be in the middle of a crisis at any point.  For this reason, all Diman educators must rely upon the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP).  The DCAP can be found under the About Section tab of the Diman webpage.  It is listed as a district plan.
    4. Do I have to accept late work during this building closure period?
      In an effort to meet the needs of all students during this pandemic, educators must accept late work.  Students cannot be penalized for turning in late assignments during the COVID-19 closure.
    5. How much work should I be assigning students?
      In alignment with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommendations, Diman recommends courses earning 5.0 credits or more provide work equal to half of the time normally assigned to the class.  This encompasses both lecture and activity sessions.  For example, a one hour class should provide no more than half an hour of assignments (lecture and activity combined) per regularly scheduled class session.  Courses earning less than 5.0 credits should adhere to a one-third of the assigned time guideline.  This adjustment will allow students the opportunity to focus more upon classes needed for promotion and graduation purposes.
    6. Will I be evaluated during the COVID-19 closure?
      The evaluation process is on hold during the COVID-19 closure.  Evaluators will be closing out this evaluation year based upon already provided sessions and observations.  As such, no educator will be penalized in the evaluation tool for performance during this building closure.  Educators wishing to submit additional evidence should email their evaluator.  
    7. Many of my students have not yet participated in online learning. Will that reflect negatively upon me?
      Educators cannot be held accountable for students who have not actively participated in online learning.
    8. How should I grade students during this building closure?
      Educators should follow the grading rubric laid out in the MOA for individual assignments.  Given the traditional grading system in place at the start of semester two, it should be noted that end of the semester and end of the year grades do not need to be in line with the five numbers described in this rubric.  Additionally, courses earning less than 5.0 credits will need to translate grades into a pass/fail score.
    9. Will students fail courses during the 2020 academic year?
      Students who do not engage in the educational process might fail for the 2020 academic year.  First semester grades will play a role in this determination.  Educators should note that students cannot receive a failing end of the year grade if they have not (1) been provided with a Student Promotion Plan and (2) if the educator has not completed the Potential Failure for the Year Form for this student.   

      *This question will be covered in a more in-depth manner during the April 30th faculty meeting.
    10. Will students in the Class of 2020 need to pass the MCAS in order to graduate?
      The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has offered alternate pathways to graduation for students still in need of a passing MCAS score.  As such, DESE has issued the following statement:

      For current high school seniors, as well as other actively enrolled students who were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year (including the summer of 2020), the competency determination would be awarded in each subject as follows:
      • For English language arts and mathematics- upon district certification that the student earned credit this year for a course aligned to the curriculum frameworks in the relevant subject matter and has demonstrated competency in that subject. For students who were not enrolled in a course in the needed subject area during this school year, DESE will examine relevant coursework the district identifies for which the student received credit in previous school years.
      • For science and technology/engineering- upon district certification that the student earned credit for a course aligned to the curriculum frameworks in the relevant subject matter and has demonstrated competency in one of the four tested disciplines (biology, chemistry, introductory physics, and technology/engineering) in either the current school year or a prior school year.