Bridgette Wagoner

Bridgette Wagoner W-SR director of educational services

The Iowa Department of Education has granted a waiver to Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District to hold its continuous at-home learning program and not have to make up time lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to parents sent Thursday, district Director of Educational Services Bridgitte Wagoner said that high-school students will enter into “required continuous learning” starting Monday so they can earn credits for the spring semester.

“Teachers will continue to communicate directly with students,” Wagoner wrote. “Students will be expected to attend class once a week during their regularly scheduled class time through videoconference. Additionally, teachers will be available daily through videoconferencing, email, and phone at a scheduled time to provide student support.”

Meanwhile, the elementary and middle-school students will continue as they have, but the district will provide daily support on maintaining their skills and promoting healthy learning habits.

“With every family engaging at home, we are confident we can mitigate concerns related to equity and access and keep all our students in a position to be successful when we return to school,” Wagoner added. “Special education teachers will continue to support individualized access to resources; auxiliary supports, such as TAG and Title I, will also begin providing student support at this time.”

The letter in full is below:

Dear Waverly-Shell Rock parents,

We have received a waiver from the Iowa Department of Education to move into the next phase of continuous learning. Based on this approval, we will not be required to make up any instructional days lost to school closure. While we will officially enact our plans on Monday, April 13th, we have been deliberately transitioning in this direction over the past three weeks. The resources you have become familiar with will continue into this next phase with some specific additions at each level. These changes are currently in place through April 30th.

At the high school level, we will be transitioning to required continuous learning. This will allow students to continue learning essential concepts and skills in courses and progress to earn credits as planned this semester. Teachers will continue to communicate directly with students. Students will be expected to attend class once a week during their regularly scheduled class time through videoconference. Additionally, teachers will be available daily through videoconferencing, email, and phone at a scheduled time to provide student support. This is a different environment than what our students are used to, so please consider these helpful tips. Above all, communicate as challenges and needs arise. We are in this together and are committed to succeeding together.

At the elementary and middle levels, we will not be introducing any new learning, but rather providing daily support focused on maintaining skills and healthy learning habits. With every family engaging at home, we are confident we can mitigate concerns related to equity and access and keep all our students in a position to be successful when we return to school. Special education teachers will continue to support individualized access to resources; auxiliary supports, such as TAG and Title I, will also begin providing student support at this time.

In addition to continuing to provide weekly choice boards, elementary teachers will begin sending daily videos and identifying priorities for learning and skill practice that families should support at home.These will again use a combination of high quality tech-based resources and unplugged learning activities. Students should submit their work for the priority learning, and teachers will provide feedback. If you would like us to print linked resources for you, please let me know by the end of the day Friday. Based on current legal guidance, we do not plan to engage through videoconference with elementary students at this time, but that may change if the school closure is extended beyond April 30th.

Middle school teachers will communicate directly with students through Google Classroom. Using a modified schedule, students will receive video instruction from a limited number of teachers each morning. While students are expected to watch these videos and complete the assigned tasks, they may do so at any time during the day. Teachers will also be available on a specified schedule that will be sent to families to provide student support via videoconference, email, and phone. Students should submit work, and teachers will provide feedback.

Know that we want to be of assistance to you and are committed to providing the support all families need to access and engage during this time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at bridgette.wagoner@wsr.k12.ia.us.

Sincerely,

Bridgette Wagoner

Director of Educational Services

Waverly-Shell Rock Schools