{COVID-19}
FVS Rising: Our Plan for 20-21

Distance Learning

Fall 2020 Distance Learning Guidelines and Expectations 

During the Spring of 2020, the entire FVS community-engaged virtually as we responded to a then-nascent pandemic and pivoted quickly to develop a functional model of distance learning. Over the summer, we’ve spent significant time debriefing the experience in order to determine how best to evolve distance learning for those who cannot attend in person this fall. 

There are myriad reasons why students may not be able to attend in person; however, regardless of the cause, FVS remains committed to supporting our students and faculty as they build partnerships to ensure that distance learning provides both the academic and social-emotional support that are the hallmarks of an FVS education. We understand that there will be challenges and, within reason, we will work to overcome obstacles and build solutions. 

The purpose of this communication is to outline the different scenarios we will experience and the expectations that we have established for each in order to best serve our students—both on campus and through distance learning.

Types of Engagement

Students may participate in distance learning either synchronously or asynchronously depending on their location and as outlined below. Students must elect an option and communicate it to Assistant Head of School, Rafael Muciño. We understand that there will be times when a student will need to or wants to deviate from their normal routine, but our goal in setting a preference is to create predictability and support for both our students AND faculty.
Synchronous Learners
Students will join classes via Google Meet in real-time. Teachers will provide a link for their specific class that will be used to connect to all meetings. Synchronous learners will have the opportunity to interact with classmates and the teacher, within limits, as though they were attending in person. Students who live within two time zones of FVS are expected to attend synchronously. This includes anyone within the Continental U.S. and Alaska, but not Hawaii. If this is not possible due to scheduling conflicts, a waiver must be obtained from Assistant Head of School, Rafael Muciño.

  • The educational objective is to be as inclusive and interactive as possible.
  • Synchronous learners are expected to connect in real-time, are encouraged to have their camera on and be visible at all times. 
  • A student who is present in the classroom may act as a facilitator to help synchronous learners connect and participate in discussions. 
  • Teachers are asked to include synchronous learners as closely as possible as they would in-person students. Teachers will monitor and respond, within reason, to questions/comments posted by distance learning students either through a student facilitator or through the chat feature in Google Meet. 
  • Every effort will be made to livestream the entire classes; however, there will be instances that part of a class may need to be held outside, for example fieldwork in science class, and that portion of the class may not be available in real-time or at all.
  • Synchronous learners will complete work following the same timeline as students learning in person. 
  • Homework will be posted online and must be completed according to assigned deadlines. 
  • If a student requires an extension, they will need to communicate directly with their teachers in order to come to an agreement. 
  • Teachers will schedule required, weekly check-ins with synchronous learning students during the academic day (8:30am-3:10pm MST). 
  • Teachers will be available during planning periods and Extra Help time during the academic day to connect with students. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule these meetings. 
  • Attendance is required for all synchronous learning students. If a synchronous learning student is going to miss a class either due to a planned absence or otherwise, a parent should contact the Deans' Office, and the student should reach out directly to their teacher to notify them.
Asynchronous Learners
Students will view recordings of classes that will be created by teachers so that students will have the benefit of hearing both presentations of content as well as discussions during class time. Asynchronous learning is an option only for students who live beyond two time zones from Colorado. 

  • The educational objective is to have students follow the curriculum and assignments on a timeline that accounts for the differences in waking and working hours that exist between Colorado and the locations across the globe from which our students connect and for these students to be adequately prepared to join classes in person when their situation allows them to do so. 
  • Teachers will record any class where their complete roster is not present either in-person or via synchronous distance learning. 
  • Every effort will be made to record entire classes; however, there will be instances that part of a class may need to be held outside, for example, fieldwork in science class, and that portion of the class may not be available.
  • Recordings of classes will be uploaded by the end of the academic day in which they occurred and made available to all students via the Blackbaud LMS. In some cases, when a teacher also has coaching responsibilities, classes that take place in the final block of the day will be uploaded no later than 6 p.m. MDT. 
  • Homework will be posted online and must be completed within 24 hours of the deadline set for synchronous learners.
  • Teachers will set required, weekly check-ins with asynchronous learners (individually or in a group) to respond to any questions they may have. 
  • Work will be graded with expectations similar to those set for in-person learners.

Assessments

The use of formative assessments aligns with our goal of providing predictability and support for all students and serves as a catalyst to develop intrinsic motivation and a growth mindset in our students. Because of the challenges of a blended learning environment, these assessments, as opposed to summative assessments, will be used as much as possible and with any accommodations required by a student’s learning profile. Students engaging through either synchronous or asynchronous distance learning are expected to abide by the School’s Academic Honesty expectations, and a reminder of this will be included on all assessments.

Evolution and Modifications

This plan is managed by the Academic Programs Team (APT) which includes Department Chairs and Program Directors under the guidance of Assistant Head of School, Rafael Muciño. This plan can and will evolve with what we learn throughout the semester, and we welcome constructive feedback from all constituents. Students with ideas or suggestions should voice these to their teachers or advisers who will relay these to Department Chairs and the APT. Parents with concerns should reach out to their child’s adviser. Any updates or modifications will be shared by email, and this plan, as it evolves, will be updated in the FVS Rising COVID-19 Plan posted on the School’s Website.
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
© 2019 - FOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy