WESTFIELD -Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski said now that the School Committee has voted to start Phase 2 of the hybrid plan on Oct. 19, he will be sending out an update to all families this week regarding the start of Phase 2 and the plan for remote learning weeks.
During Phase 2, students in certain Special Education programs including RISE, LLD, Quest, Homeless/McKinney Vento, and English language learners will return every day. Transition students, those entering a new school, in grades kindergarten, 1, 5, 7, 9 will return to school (in person) every other week (A & B Week).
“Our remote learning plan is flexible right now, but it will become more concrete as we move forward. Teachers are required to meet with remote students during the week covering new material. That is part of the plan,” Czaporowski said.
He explained that teachers will have a toolbox to choose from during remote learning weeks.
One of the examples he gave is simultaneous instruction, which is teaching the class to both cohorts, the ones in front of them and the ones on remote. Remote students will be able to participate in the class during simultaneous instruction.
Another example is parallel instruction, where the lesson will be teacher-directed for 50 percent of the time for each group. During a class period, in the first 25 minutes the teacher will work on students in front of them while remote students will be doing independent work, and then they will flip flop. Such as in a math class, one group of students may be working independently on a concept they learned the previous day while the other students are learning a new concept.
There is also the option for teachers of large group and small group instruction.
“There will be that regular contact between the teachers and the students during remote learning weeks. We need to define more parameters. The reason we were not able to come up with uniform parameters is because instruction is different at various levels,” Czaporowski said, like high school and elementary school. He said additional parameters by level will be established in the upcoming weeks.
“We recognize this is the first time we are doing anything hybrid like this. There certainly is a learning curve, but I believe we have the framework for success. Allowing our teachers to choose what works for them and their students just recognizes they are the professionals and have expertise in that area. It’s difficult to tie them to one model, and it varies by the lesson they are teaching,” Czaporowski said.
“We are giving teachers time to develop a plan that works best for them and is in best interest for your students,” he added.