Frequently Asked Question for Distance Learning
Information you may be interested in to help you determine what model is best for your child for the 2020-21 school year.
Q: Do I have to enroll in distance learning for the entire school year?
A: No. Enrollment in the distance learning option will be done from August to December. In December, based upon the state of the pandemic impacting our world, we will offer families the chance to continue the distance learning option.
Q: If I start the year in the distance learning setting, can I switch to in class learning as an option?
A: To allow us to properly prepare for the appropriate amount of teachers in each grade level, students wishing to enroll in the distance learning option will be required to remain there until January.
Q: If I start the year in the classroom setting, can I switch to distance learning as an option?
A: No. To allow us to properly prepare for the appropriate amount of teachers in each grade level and appropriate space assignments, students wishing to enroll in the on-campus learning will be required to remain there until January.
Q: Will lessons be available to my child to watch at flexible times due to my work schedule as a parent?
A: Yes. All lessons will be uploaded onto Google Classroom each day for students to view. Please note, the lesson portion of the class is not the entire class period.
Q: How much of the classroom will be in real time?
A: In 5th to 8th grade, students on the distance learning option will have the ability to meet with their child’s teacher in small groups at different points throughout the week. If teachers choose to incorporate small group instruction, classroom discussions, or other opportunities for students to use the online platform, these times will be made available to students in advance. In K to 4th grade, students on the distance learning option will have interaction with their teacher throughout the day. Students will be able to join their homeroom class or small groups via computer to socialize during their lunchtime.
Q: How will my child submit work to the teacher?
A: Assignments can be uploaded via Google Classroom, scanned using smartphones, or via Google Classroom templates. Individual teachers will provide their preferred methods for submitting work to you at the start of the school year.
Q: Will classes be held five days a week for students in the distance learning academy?
A: Yes. Students will have class five days a week. Students in K-4 will follow a traditional five day schedule. Students in 5th through 8th grade will follow a block schedule with A days and B days.
Q: Is there a flex day in distance learning?
A: No. There is no flex day for the 2020-21 school year under Plan A or B. If Plan C were to be enacted, there would be a flex day for specials, small group instruction, and remedial work.
Q: How much time should I expect my child to spend in front of a computer with the distance learning option?
A: Based on best practices, students should be limited to the amount of time spent in front of their Chromebook. The amount of time a student will spend in front of a device will depend on the age of the student. There will be ample time for independent learning activities and breaks, including lunch and time for physical and other activities, built into our daily schedule.
Q: Will my child be provided with a Chromebook for distance learning?
A: Parents may choose one of three options regarding Chromebooks. First, they may use their own Chromebook or device at home. Second, they may use one of the school’s Chromebooks for the semester. Finally, parents can purchase a Chromebook from the school at a discounted rate.
Q: What are the expectations of me as a parent for ensuring my child is receiving all the benefits of the distance learning option at Saint Mary Magdalene?
A: The distance learning option is being provided for a variety of reasons, one of them is to provide flexibility to families who work. Parents responsibility for younger grades may include closer supervision and assistance when needed to help them with logging in, printing papers when applicable, or other miscellaneous needs. We will provide a series of tutorials for families to help them navigate through the platforms.
Q: Can students who participate in the distance learning option participate in clubs and sports at the school?
A: Yes. All students enrolled in the distance learning option are permitted to participate in any and all school sponsored activities and programs.
Q: Will students participate in specials?
A: Yes. Specials will be offered to students who choose the distance learning option.
Q: How will specials be done?
A: Our Specials teachers will be posting lessons to Google Classroom on the day of the week they are assigned to the grade of your child to complete.
Q: Will students choosing the distance learning option follow the same calendar as students who opt for the in-school option?
A: Yes. The calendar will be the same for all students.
Q: How will my child ask questions if they need clarification or help with an assignment?
A: Students will have the ability to email teachers, as we will turn on the email feature for all @stmm.me users in grades 4-8 this year. All students will have the ability to email teachers, as we will turn on the email feature for all @stmm.net users in grades 4-8 this year. All students will have the ability to work in small group work in small groups throughout the weeks to give students personal interaction with their peers and teacher(s).
Q: Where will assignments be posted? Where will lessons be uploaded?
A: All lessons and assignments will be uploaded onto Google Classroom for students to view and complete.
Q: How can my child watch Mass each week?
A: School Mass will be streamed this year. A link will be provided to all families who choose to participate in the distance learning option.
Q: Will I still be able to meet with my child’s teacher at conference times or if I have a question?
A: Yes. All parents choosing the distance learning option will still have the same access to classroom teachers as if they were enrolled in the on-campus option.
Q: How can my child eat lunch with their friends?
A: We will have it set up so students can connect through virtual social time after lunch or at recess (if not held outside). Parents can also volunteer to facilitate an online lunch group for students as well through the school platform.
Q: Do students choosing the distance learning option have to wear a uniform?
A: No. Students are not required to be in uniform using the distance learning platform. Some parents may view this as a cost saving incentive for choosing this option.
Q: How can my child have social interactions with friends?
A: Many parents who have expressed an interest in the distance learning option have talked about “closed cohorts” for social interaction where the small group of students would be limited to interaction with each other for safety. While the school cannot set these up, we encourage parents to consider their circumstances and comfort with such activities.