The following message answers some of the common questions we have been receiving from parents and students.
Dear Students & Parents,
For the first time in the history of North Hunterdon-Voorhees, we will be conducting virtual learning days! While this is certainly a big shift from our normal operations, it is something that we have been preparing for since our 1:1 Chromebook initiative began several years ago. Below are some frequently asked questions that I received from parents and students about what to expect during this closure.
Do the days count toward the 180 day state requirement?
Yes! An announcement from the NJ Dept of Education on March 5th allowed districts in NJ the ability to deliver instruction online that would count toward the 180 day state requirement. In other words, these COVID-19 closure days are to be considered school days. Students will have a significant amount of work to do with the goal of making continued educational progress for each student during every school day of the closure.
Will we lose spring break or change the date of graduation?
No, at this point there are no plans for any calendar changes since the closure days count toward the 180 day requirement.
How much time will students spend engaged in learning activities each day?
4-5 hours. Teachers are planning activities that should take students about 30-45 minutes per class each day. Parents are encouraged to help their students establish a routine and work area to complete their learning activities. Please note that Monday, March 16th is a professional development day for teachers. Virtual learning will begin for students on Tuesday, March 17th.
Are there specific times that a student needs to be online?
Not necessarily. There are two ways that our teachers will design virtual learning. One way is through synchronous learning. In this method, the students will all be required to be virtually present in a chat room or online platform in order to interact with their teacher and students in realtime. Teachers have been instructed to schedule all synchronous learning to be aligned with the Two Hour Delayed Opening Bell Schedule so that students are not double booked with synchronous learning appointments. The other method of virtual learning design is called asynchronous. In this method, teachers design experiences that can be completed anytime throughout the day without the need for real-time, live feedback. Many teachers will be using this asynchronous method or a mixture of both methods. Teachers will be reaching out to all of their students and parents with information regarding the expectations for their class by the end of the day on Monday.
What type of activities will students be doing?
Students will be engaged in a variety of learning activities both online and offline. While online, students will access online textbooks, instructional videos, teacher created content and also commercially developed digital instructional materials. Students will create a variety of different forms of content including digital portfolios, writings, videos and podcasts. Many teachers have identified content specific software and websites that your students will utilize. Students may also be assigned other offline activities such as journaling physical activity for their physical education class or cooking for their family & consumer science class.
What do I do if I have technical difficulties?
The Technology Resource Center at NHHS and VHS is still open during the closure. Any student that is experiencing issues with their Chromebook should contact Mr. Crilly at firstname.lastname@example.org for North Hunterdon and Mr. Raimondo (email@example.com) or Ms. Betsill (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Voorhees. Internet hot spots are also available for students who do not have internet access, please also contact the technician above if that applies to your student.
Who should be contacted if a student needs academic or emotional support?
This school closure and shift to virtual instruction is major life change for our students. If any student is having a difficult time academically or emotionally adapting to this change, please do not hesitate in contacting the guidance department. Guidance Counselors are available to assist students and parents during this closure through both online interactions or phone conferences.
Who else is available for assistance from the school during the closure?
The North Hunterdon and Voorhees administrative teams are working in full capacity during this closure. Feel free to contact the appropriate administrator for assistance with any needs during this closure.
Thank you for your anticipated support as we partner together to make continued educational progress during this closure. You can expect frequent communication from me throughout the closure to provide additional information.