As noted in my previous correspondence, K-5 students will work remotely for the next three weeks. This week, students will be remote to ensure equitable access to learning. K-5 students will also remain remote for the two-week closure mandated by the Montgomery County Board of Health. Elementary students will follow the hybrid schedule that is currently in place. This allows schools to maintain continuity in a variety of ways as we undergo what we hope will be a brief closure.
This consistency also allows for the many support services layered within a whole building schedule to continue without disruption. These include reading and math support, special education and related services. Additionally, at a time when connections, relationships and individual student responses to learning are paramount in the wake of the spring challenges, our K-5 teachers are reporting the small group instruction afforded by the hybrid model is allowing them to intensify contact, support and individualize instruction to match specific student needs.
This benefit of the hybrid smaller groupings was evident in the recent closure at Merion, and echoes the effectiveness of the model used in K-5 summer school program to maximize instruction through small group formats in the remote setting. It also provides greater flexibility in managing the amount of screen time for students during a fully remote day.
Middle school students will remain on their current schedule during the closure period of November 23-December 6 for many of the same reasons listed above. These include continuity of instruction, familiarity of routines and consistency of support services for students. High school students will transition to the previous virtual schedule during the brief closure period. After considering student and staff feedback, it was determined that the virtual schedule used at the start of the year was optimal when our high school students are engaged in remote instruction. This model transitions back to a five day a week schedule with daily meetings and a later start time.
It is our hope that the virtual models allow us to seamlessly transition back to the established in-person routines after the required closure ends on December 4th.