• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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     Categories:

    • Athletics and Other School Activities
    • Building Access
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Food Service
    • Sanitation
    • Social and Emotional Supports
    • Special Education
    • Student Placement
    • Technology
    • Transportation

    Athletics and Other School Activities


    • Q: My child participates in school sports. Will sports be allowed to happen if students are doing remote instruction?
      • A: We are governed by MHSAA and are adhering to their regulations. Our athletic director monitors what is allowed for each sport in terms of conditioning, practice and competition and he will keep coaches, athletes, and families informed as decisions are made.
    • Q: Since the in-person open house won't be happening, will there be other ways to introduce students to their teachers?
      • A: Yes. There are many important things our teachers and staff will do to establish connections and support students and families with the start of the year. Each building is working on a plan that is appropriate to the age and need of the learners. More communication will be shared later in August.
    • Q: Will there be boys tennis this fall?
      • A: Yes, at this time, MHSAA is permitting tennis, golf and cross country. A decision regarding volleyball and swimming is expected sometime during the week of August 17.

    Building Access


    • Q: One of your messages said that small groups of students will be allowed in buildings for various reasons. What are those reasons? Will students be required to come in if families don’t feel comfortable sending them?
      • A: We are working on schedules for having groups of students in the buildings for things such as benchmark testing, tiered supports, and supervised study which will be offered on a limited basis. We are currently developing the criteria for supervised study and will share more information when it is available. Families will not be required to send students into school if they are not comfortable doing so.
    • Q: When the district returns to in person instruction, will we be required to do so, or will we be able to remain in virtual learning? 
      • A: We hope to provide the option to remain with remote instruction for families who wish to do so. We will have more information to share when we update the Board in October.

    Curriculum and Instruction


    • Q: How will 100% online instruction and student expectations differ from the Continuous Learning Plan put forth in Spring 2020? 
      • A: Williamston will be following Pupil Accounting requirements under 5-O-D and governance from the MI Safe Start plan. Additionally, professional development will be provided to teaching staff to enhance learning of best practices for online instruction prior to the start of school. At both the elementary and secondary levels, synchronous and asynchronous learning will be integrated using best practice to promote student engagement. Curriculum that has been utilized in classrooms and is aligned with common core standards will continue to be used.
    • Q: Who will be doing the teaching for remote instruction?
      • A: Remote instruction will be provided by WCS teachers.
    • Q: Will my child be on a computer all day long?
      • A: No. Research does not support students being on a computer all day long. Screen time will allow for students to engage in both whole group and small group remote instruction, and some practice work, but students will also spend time away from devices engaged in non-tech learning activities.
    • Q:  What will happen if a lesson is taking place and my child is unable to be on the computer at that time?
      • A: Asynchronous lessons will be recorded and students will have an opportunity to view them at a later time if needed. The recording of the lessons will also assist students who benefit from reviewing the teacher’s instruction.
    • Q:  Will there be opportunities for small group instruction and office hours? 
      • A: Yes, each building is working on a schedule for small group instruction and office hours which will be communicated to families later in August.
    • Q:  Will the instruction be given only by the assigned elementary classroom teacher or will other teachers in the grade level be involved?
      • A: To provide consistency with the remote learning experience, our grade level teams will work together to create content. Some asynchronous (not live) instruction may be presented by another teacher, but all live follow up support and small group instruction will be provided by the classroom teacher of record. Additionally, families will receive all communication and support from the classroom teacher. 
    • Q: What will the orientation process look like for new families?
      • A: In many ways, the orientation process this year will be for all of our families as this is an entirely new and unprecedented way to begin a school year. Our teams are planning new ways to welcome families, create introductions to our staff and our schools, and provide families with the materials they will need to get started. Specific details will be communicated closer to the start of the school year.
    • Q: Will we be able to support our learners during the evening? Is the online learning flexible?  In total, what is the expected number of hours a day that students will need to complete work?
      • A: The school day is designed to follow mandated pupil accounting rules with a traditional start and end time. Throughout the day, instruction will include both synchronous (live) and asynchronous instruction as well as off-line learning time. In the evenings, families will have an opportunity to view recordings of asynchronous instruction and to support student work time, however, opportunities for live interaction with the teacher and class will be missed. 
    • Q:  Will there be live class meetings where kids can connect and have some sort of virtual interaction?
      • A: Yes, the elementary classes will have daily morning meetings as well as other live learning sessions which will allow students to connect for academic, team-building and social emotional learning activities. Secondary students will also engage with peers during live learning sessions each day.
    • Q:  How will the high school's remote learning schedule work with the Wilson Talent Center schedule if it has in person classes?
      • A: The high school is currently working with the WTC on this issue. More information will be shared with families when it is available.
    • Q:  Will students have instruction every day by their teachers, or will teachers record things once per week and then students do the work?
      • A: Our teachers will provide instruction each day of the week. Following best practice, each day of instruction will be a blend of synchronous (live) and asynchronous instruction along with off-line work time. Teachers will also have daily office hours.
    • Q:  How will Young 5s work?
      • A: Our talented teachers will design instruction that is both engaging and developmentally appropriate for the unique needs of very young learners. They will also work with families to orient them to the learning platform and to share ideas for supporting their children with remote learning.
    • Q:  Are there going to be text books like Go Math? If so, how will we receive them?
      • A: Yes, each school is working on identifying the learning materials that will be needed to start the year and developing a plan for distributing them to families. This information will be communicated to families closer to the start of the school year.
    • Q:  How will learning pods integrate with curriculum and instruction. Will children not in learning pods be affected? How does a student join a pod?
      • A: In this case, learning pods are not a school-based structure, but rather a plan that some families are creating to support child care, socialization, or other needs. Teachers will not teach to a pod, they will teach to their students. The adults hosting the learning pods will be able to support learners just as any parent, guardian or caregiver will be able to support their child as they work through their day of lessons. Arrangements for pods are not being coordinated by the school district. 
    • Q:  How will you monitor that adequate instruction is offered? Some teachers did not provide lectures in the spring or other things I expected.
      • A: There are major differences between the requirements set forth in the Continuity of Learning planning from the spring and the Return to Learn standards that we will start this year. Daily instruction will include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction along with off-line work time. Daily attendance and grading are required. Our teachers are engaging in additional professional learning to support their transition to a more robust form of remote instruction. Administrative oversite and feedback will continue, just as it would during periods of in person instruction.
    • Q:  Will my child have access to their teacher if they have questions about their learning?
      • A: Yes, all students will have access to teachers, both during live portions of instruction as well as during office hours. Teachers will share more specific details regarding check-ins and other supports with students and families when the school year gets started.
    • Q:  When will we find out our child's teacher and their schedule?
      • A: Placement and schedules are typically shared with families closer to the start of the school year. We will keep families updated on anticipated timelines.
    • Q: What happens if the morning meeting is live, but my child is in daycare and can't login to the session?
      • A: If possible, work with your daycare provider to provide a place that your child can use their technology to attend live (synchronous) learning sessions. 
    • Q: Could you provide an example schedule of a school day?
      • A: Sample schedules are being presented to the Board of Education on August 17. The slides used for the presentation will be posted to the district website on August 18.
    • Q: What level of support do you anticipate an elementary student will need?
      • A:The level of support will vary depending on the age of the learner and other factors. Some may need assistance navigating the learning platform at first, but we anticipate that most students will quickly develop proficiency with that. Others may need assistance with knowing their schedule (e.g. when it's time to sign into a live learning session). All elementary teachers will work to communicate daily and weekly expectations to support families. Additionally, teachers will be available at scheduled times via phone and email to assist you with trouble-shooting issues that arise.
    • Q: Will middle school students have one teacher or several?
      • A: Typically, middle school students have a different teacher for each class period of the day.
    • Q: Will synchronous learning be led by the teacher or will it involve more of an opportunity for students to have disussion and work together?
      • A: Synchronous instruction will include a variety of evidence based "best practices" including direct, explicit instruction led by the teacher, class disussion, and guided practice opportunities.
    • Q: Has a decision been made about a start date?
      • A: Yes, in spite of many other changes to the start of the school year, our school calendar has not changed. The first day of school will be Monday, August 31 and we are excited to be working with our students again!

    Food Service


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    Sanitation


    • Q: In the event that students come into the building, how will you promote safety. Will masks be required? Will people be screened? Will the building be cleaned daily?
      • A: The Preparedness and Response Plan that will be presented to the Board of Education for approval details very specific requirements related to mask wearing, health screening and the cleaning of buildings. After Board approval this document will be posted on our district website. 
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    Social and Emotional Supports


    • Q:  What support will be in place to assist students with stress and other needs during these unprecedented times?
      • A: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) will continue to be addressed across the district. Ancillary staff will work with teachers and students, providing strategies and resources. Social work staff will also be available to provide resources to parents as needed.
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    Special Education


    • Q: My child has an IEP. How will services be provided during remote instruction?
      • A:  Much of the instruction for students with an IEP will be provided online, with additional opportunities for face to face instruction. The amount of service time with a special education teacher or ancillary staff (such as speech and language or occupational therapist) is determined by the current IEP. Dates for the annual IEP will remain unchanged. The IEP team and families will meet if any changes are necessary to accommodate the new learning format.
    • Q: Will children with IEPs have opportunities to do in person learning rather than remote learning?
      • A: Possibly. Those decisions are made on a case by case basis with the IEP team. If it is determined that FAPE is not being met, the IEP team will determine what additional supports are needed.

    Student Placement


    • Q: For child care purposes for our elementary children, we are forming a learning pod with other families. Would it be possible to have all of our students placed with the same teacher?
      • A: Though we will not be able to honor such requests, we are committed to ensuring that all of our elementary students in the same grade level follow the same daily schedule, receive the same core instruction, and work on the same daily assignments. We believe this will help pods and other groups to manage their learning time together. More information about class placement and daily schedules will be shared with families later in August.
    • Q: If a school of choice family leaves, will they be able to return?
      • A: If a school of choice family leaves the district, they would need to reapply for school of choice.
    • Q: Will orientation packets be mailed to students? Will photos be taken?
      • A: The secondary buildings are mailing information to families the week of August 17. The elementary buildings will send a mailing which includes placement on August 21. Both buildings will include important information about the start of the schoolyear. We are unable to do school photos at this time, but hope to do so later in the school year.

    Technology


    • Q: Will WCS provide each student a dedicated Chromebook?
      • A: Currently, WCS does not have enough devices to provide each student with a dedicated device. Our technology department will survey families to determine needs for devices and will communicate a plan for distributing devices to those who need them in time for the first day of school.
    • Q:  How will families without reliable internet access fully engage in remote instruction?
      • A: The district maintains a limited number of hotspots for distribution to qualifying families.The feasibility of limited on-site student supervision to access computer labs and the internet to engage in remote instruction is currently being evaluated. 
    • Q:  If a family has the means to purchase a device for their student, what would be the recommendation for each building or grade?
      • A: Thank you for your question. Please check back in a few days as we will seek specific input from different grade levels. Typically for grades 3 and up, a Chromebook, laptop or similar device works well.
    • Q: My kids do not have a Chromebook, but they do have a computer. Will this work?
      • Yes, laptop and desktop computers will work very well.
    • Q:  What learning platforms will be used?
      • A: Discovery (K-2) students will use the Seesaw platform and students in grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom.

    Transportation


    • Q: Will transportation be provided for students who attend the Wilson Talent Center?
      • A: Yes. More information with be shared with WTC students when plans have been finalized.
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