(SOCIAL DISTANCE OPERATIONAL PLAN)
In the event of a district-specific emergency requiring the use of remote learning, the superintendent of schools may declare such emergency and shall, as soon as possible, obtain the approval of the school committee. The Social Distance Operational Plan below will be applicable in cases of disease, weather emergencies, destruction or damage to schools rendering them inaccessible, or other extraordinary circumstances, including emergencies declared by government officials, the school committee, or the superintendent.
When it becomes necessary for the school district to provide support to students who are unable to attend classes or access appropriate services due to an extended closure, the superintendent shall establish a plan and procedures to ensure that such services are provided. The provision of educational services may include the use of technology and devices, and strategies designed to support student learning away from school.
The remote learning plan will, to the extent possible:
- Ensure the safety of all students and faculty in coordination with appropriate local and state departments and agencies;
- Provide support for student social and emotional wellbeing and address the implications of trauma experienced by students or faculty as a result of the emergency;
- Identify expectations for maintaining standards of student achievement and school improvement plans;
- Ensure instruction and services are delivered by district educators and personnel as much as practicable;
- Utilize the most effective tools and resources available for students and faculty, including the skills and talents of district personnel, in the delivery of instruction and services and share resources as needed;
- Provide resources and services equitably to meet the needs and circumstances of all students;
- Identify remedial strategies necessary after the emergency to advance student achievement (i.e. after-school, extended day, summer school, and contingency scheduling to cancel vacations.);
- Gather information both during and after the period of emergency regarding the most effective means of remote learning to implement as appropriate.
In developing a remote learning plan, the superintendent will:
- Identify and prepare effective means for communicating with faculty, students, parents and community stakeholders.
- Collaborate with municipal agencies that support the schools and community.
- Consult with the school committee to identify any extraordinary actions necessary or authority required to administer emergency and remote learning plans. This includes any changes to district policies on the school calendar, grading, promotions and retentions, local graduation requirements, testing, and standards and accountability.
- Consult with administrators and principals to ensure the continuing education of students at all levels, including:
- use of the most appropriate resources, tools and strategies to deliver the curricula given local circumstances and conditions;
- equitable access to appropriate content for all students;
- specific accommodations for students at high risk, including clients of special education, students with disabilities, English learners, students at economic disadvantage, homeless students, students in foster care and students of military families.
- Utilize available technological resources suitable for serving students at all levels. This inventory will be prepared in advance in anticipation of an emergency.
- Ensure the privacy rights of students, faculty and families are protected, including assessing the security of district technology.
- Consult with bargaining units to determine if modifications to collective bargaining agreements need to be established for the period of the emergency.
- Identify the financial implications of the emergency plan and recommend transfer of funds as may be necessary.
LEGAL REFS.: 20 U.S.C. §1232g Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
15 U.S.C. §§ 6501–6506 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
CROSS REFS.: EBCD – Emergency Closings
IGA – Curriculum Development
IGB – Support Services Programs
IHBEA – English Learner Education
IJND – Access to Digital Resources
IJNDB – Empowered Digital Use
IJNDC – Internet Publication
IJNDD – Policy on Social Media
IHBEA – English Language Learners
JB – Equal Educational Opportunities
JBB – Educational Equity
SOURCE: MASC – May 2020
Approved by SC: 9/10/2020