ALA Reopening Handbook for Employees, Teachers, and Parents

American Leadership Academy Reopening Handbook for Employees, Teachers, and Parents

This document communicates with students, parents and employees of American Leadership Academy the plan for safely reopening schools in August 2020. The plan, approved by the Board of Education, follows guidelines issued by the Utah County Health Department and the Utah State Board of Education. Updates will be emailed and posted online. 


Plan At-A-Glance

  • American Leadership Academy will resume daily face-to-face instruction for students, while also providing an online learning option for those who choose. 
  • The Friday Enrichment day will still be available for students to meet with teachers given the school is in an orange, yellow, or green phase.
  • Every employee and student will be expected to have a mask or face covering and wear it in common areas, during transition times, classrooms, lunchrooms, and when arriving and dismissing from school. Occasional allowances may be made under the discretion of the teacher with appropriate social distancing and while eating lunch.
  • Should sporting events resume, students and adults will be required to wear face coverings while riding the bus.
  • Lunch will be served each school day in a “grab-and-go” format for those who are attending the online program. Eating areas throughout the school will be designated (classrooms may be required eating areas). 
  • Flexibility will be provided for students whose learning needs are best met online. 

School Reopening Plan - August 2020

Guiding Principles

Survey input from employees and parents regarding school reopening, student health and safety, and guidance from the CDC and the Utah County Health Department helped shape this plan. 

    1. Maximize student and employee safety. We adhere to all current guidelines issued by state and county officials, with approval from our board of trustees.  We recognize that plans may change in response to conditions of the pandemic. 
    1. Optimize student learning. No matter the educational platform, we remain focused on our vision for partnering with families to provide comprehensive educational experiences, character development through leadership and individualized student learning for college and career readiness. 
    1. Support student well-being. We seek to interact in meaningful ways so that students and staff feel safe, connected, and supported.

Guidelines for Faculty and Staff 

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Provide opportunities for students to wash their hands. 
  • Wear a mask or face covering. This is expected for all faculty and staff in all  school buildings. 
  • Be mindful of your own, students’ and co-workers' health and safety concerns. 
  • Remain flexible with attendance as you address the needs of individual students, while meeting learning standards and professional expectations. 
  • Accommodate individual learning needs, especially for those students that face higher health risks. 
  • Assign seating to support contact tracing. Students should face forward and be appropriately spaced.
  • When providing online learning, follow these guidelines: (Elementary & Secondary Guidelines below.)

Guidelines for Students

  • Prepare for a unique school year and remain engaged in your learning, no matter the format. 
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. 
  • Wear a mask or face covering while on the bus, in common areas, during transition times, in classrooms, and when arriving and dismissing from school. Occasional allowances may be made under the discretion of the teacher with appropriate distancing. 
  • Sit in assigned seats in classrooms and on the bus to promote social distancing and contact tracing. 
  • Plan on activities and athletics as scheduled, adhering to approved social distancing and safety measures. 
  • Bring a personal water bottle to school each day.

Guidelines for Parents 

  • Monitor your child each morning for symptoms and do not send them to school if they exhibit any of the following:
  • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Can’t smell/loss of sense of taste  
  • If exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks
    • Reinforce the expectation for frequent hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing.
    • Monitor your child’s use of technology in the home. 

Operational Guidelines

  • Building/classroom cleaning - Daily cleaning and sanitizing will occur at each ALA building by the custodial staff following health and safety guidelines. Hand sanitizer spray bottles have been procured for every classroom and department.  Posters showing symptoms prohibiting entrance will be displayed on the doors of all district facilities.
  • Transition times and areas - Schools will identify high traffic areas and utilize signage and/or floor markings to minimize congestion. They will also establish protocols for any visitors and non-regular staff including at a minimum temperature checking and the wearing of masks or face coverings. 
  • Transportation - Bus drivers will wear masks or face coverings when students are present. Drivers will sanitize their buses multiple times each day. 
  • Nutrition Services - Lunch will be provided each school day in a “grab and go” format. Eating areas throughout the school will be designated (classrooms will not be required eating areas). 
  • Faculty meetings - School principals and department heads should review and consider modifying staff gatherings, utilizing smaller group meetings, online meetings, or other means of communicating with team members.
  • Special needs - School staff should provide reasonable accommodations to meet individual student learning needs, while considering the health and safety needs of others.

Monitoring Guidelines

  • Thermometers have been provided to utilize as part of the school plan. 
  • Monitor staff and student symptoms and absenteeism. 
  • Encourage staff and students to stay home if they feel sick. Parents should check their children for symptoms each day before school. If staff or students display symptoms of illness at school, they will be sent home. 
  • If symptoms of COVID-19 are present, contact the Utah County Health Department, 801-851-4357 (see the “COVID-19 Screening Flowchart” attached below). 
  • Students and employees showing COVID symptoms should not return to school or work until they have followed all of the criteria established by the local health department or their health care provider. 
  • ALA Elementary and Secondary buildings will identify a quarantine area for students who are sick and unable to return home.

Training Guidelines

  • The ALA leadership team, in consultation with our nursing team, will continue to communicate safety guidelines and protocols, and provide training and support for employees and students. 
  • Teachers will be supported through their teacher teams, administration, and district personnel.

Elementary Online Learning Expectations During School Dismissal

(pandemic, construction delays, weather closures, natural disasters)

American Leadership Academy maintains a focus on ensuring high levels of learning and well-being for all  students.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much work time should teachers require from my students?

Student work should be assigned according to the class time recommendations to ensure healthy balance and emotional well-being.

Grade Level: Kindergarten 1st-3rd 4th-6th
Daily time range expectations: 30-60 minutes 1-2 hours 2-3 hours

2. How many hours should teachers be working during periods of school dismissal?
Teachers should work all of their contract hours, but the scheduling of those hours may be adjusted in accordance with the number of online students and the need for providing academic support beyond typical contract hours.
3. Are teachers still expected to collaborate with their team(s)?
Yes. Preparing, delivering, and managing online learning is a complex and challenging task. The support of teamwork in collaboration is essential for the development of meaningful online learning.
4. What should teachers do about grading during times of school dismissal?
Teachers will continue using Standards-Based grading and adhere to the board approved grading policies and procedures.
5. Can face shields be attached to a hat? 
Yes, the only exceptions are; messaging, inappropriate images or words, skulls/blood/gore, animal hats, or other distracting hats. A cap or beanie hat is okay.
6. Is there a schedule of who will be attending when? 
Yes, K-12 schedules will be posted on the website.
7. Is there a plan for if a student or teacher tests positive?
Yes, ALA’s director will notify the Utah County    Health Commission to report any/all positive tests results.  We will then follow the direction given by the Utah County Health Department.
8. Will families with multiple children be scheduled to attend the same week? 
Yes, families will be allowed to attend the same weeks.
9. What does social distancing look like in the classroom/lunchroom?
Teachers have been advised to clear classrooms of any unneeded items to allow more room for social distancing.  All students, K-12, will have seating charts to assist with contact tracing.  There will be limited seating in the lunchrooms, and Elementary students will rotate through the lunchroom, eat in the classrooms, or eat outside in order to practice social distances.  Elementary and secondary students will have staggered lunchtimes, to lower the number of students in the lunchrooms.  Limited seating in the lunchrooms will be implemented (seats marked according to social distancing, along with spots in line).  Students will also have the option of eating in pre-designated classrooms or outside.
10. Who will be doing temperature checks? 

Elementary students will be checked before entering the building by instructional assistants or teachers.  Late students will be checked by secretaries.


Guidelines for Elementary Educators

Essential Standards and Curriculum Development 

Because comprehensive coverage of all standards is even more difficult in an online environment, deliberately choosing standards that are essential and delivering a viable curriculum is critical for the success of students. 

      • Assessment and Intervention: Teachers should regularly assess student learning and provide opportunities for intervention, as necessary. 
      • Enrichment: As teacher capacity in a digital environment increases, enrichment experiences can become a more frequent part of the digital learning process provided for students

Learning Management Platform

A Learning Management Platform is meant to help teachers facilitate meaningful instruction, intervention, assessment, grading, discussion, collaboration, and relationship building. Google Classroom is the expected platform elementary educators should use in the event of online or blended learning. 

      • Why Google Classroom? Using a singular platform significantly simplifies the educational experience for students and families. 
      • Exceptions: Teams with a compelling need for an exception to the exclusive use of Google Classroom should contact their principal to request approval for an exception. 
      • Parent/Family Access to Google Classroom: Parents are encouraged to log in to their students’ Google Classroom accounts to see what work is required. 
      • Grades: Grades should be updated weekly in Powerschool, which will remain the official system for recording grades. 

Online Learning

Teachers are expected to provide opportunities for regular face to face interactions with students. Personal interaction contributes to student well-being and supports learning. 

    • Scheduled learning (done at a set schedule; such as a video conference) is still recognized as a valuable approach in an online setting. 

Scheduling: When teachers choose to lecture or provide direct instruction, that instruction should be according to a schedule and recorded, if possible, to allow for maximum student access. Live direct instruction should happen during school hours and in conjunction with the daily schedule 

Frequency: Teachers are encouraged to provide face-to-face interactions with students daily.. 

Teacher Availability: Teachers are encouraged to make themselves available during regular school hours (8:00-4:00) throughout the week to help students process learning delivered during direct instruction time. Please communicate these times to your parents. 

Small Group Work: Small group interaction is encouraged. Students value interaction with their peers and teachers. 

    • Location Independent learning (done on the student’s schedule) will be a necessity during times of online education, but teachers should still be involved in the learning process if they rely heavily on this delivery method. 

No work should be due after school hours or on the weekend.


Class Time Guidelines

Student work should be assigned according to these recommendations to ensure healthy balance and emotional well-being. Students may work more on some days than others, but the average time working on classroom learning expectations should fall within the following guidelines.

Grade Level: Kindergarten 1st-3rd 4th-6th
Daily time range expectations: 30-60 minutes 1-2 hours 2-3 hours

Communication with Families

    • How often? Teachers should communicate with families on a weekly basis. This communication can be done through Google Classroom, email, etc. Learning expectations and due dates should be clearly communicated on a daily or weekly basis. 
    • Responding to Parent/Guardian Emails: Teachers should respond to parent/guardian emails (or other contact methods) within 24 hours on established school days.
    • Video Conferencing: Individual video conferencing with students and their families is permissible to help teachers assess needs.

Student Engagement

Student engagement is necessary for online learning to be successful. Teachers should regularly monitor engagement in online learning activities. 

    • Students who are not engaged:
      • The families of students who do not engage in online learning should be contacted by the teacher or other designated school personnel, and assistance should be offered.
      • If students continue to stay disengaged, administrative referral should be made so additional assistance/resources may be offered. 

Teacher Work Hours

    • Expectation:Teachers should work the equivalent of their full contract work hours in planning, assigning work, contacting students and families, intervening, and meeting with collaborative teams. 
    • Setting Limitations: Teachers are encouraged to limit their work hours and not respond to families and students outside of established work hours. Online learning does not obligate teachers to be on-call at all times. 

Collaboration

Preparing, delivering, and managing online learning is a complex and difficult endeavor. The work your collaborative teams do is essential for the development of meaningful online learning. 

    • Focus: Teams and teachers should continue to hold PLC’s in order to assist each other in focusing on essential standards and developing online resources to ensure the learning of those standards. 
    • Platform: Teachers are expected to work with their collaborative teams through video conferencing or other means for at least 2 hours every other week.
    • Scheduling: Collaboration can be scheduled during the established hour or at a different time to accommodate team members. If possible, team leaders are encouraged to schedule collaboration at times that will enable administrators and coaches to occasionally participate in collaboration efforts.

Grading and Reporting Progress

    • Grading Scale: We will continue to use Standards-Based grading via Powerschool. 
    • Powerschool: Grades should be updated weekly in Powerschool, which will remain the official system for recording grades. 
    • Frequency: Teachers should continue to update grades and progress weekly, just like they would in a face-to-face environment. 

Secondary Online Learning Expectations During School Dismissal

(pandemic, construction delays, weather closures, natural disasters)

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What should teachers be focusing on during this online learning experience?

Teaching carefully chosen essential standards! Teachers should work with their teams to identify, assess, and intervene for the learning that is truly essential. 

2. Are teachers using Canvas?

Yes! Canvas is the expected learning management platform secondary educators should use in the event of online or blended learning.

3. Should teachers still be having virtual face-to-face meetings with their students in an online environment?

Yes! Periods of online or blended learning will require the use of both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Teachers are expected to have daily, virtual, face-to-face interactions with their students during periods of school dismissal. 

4. How much work time should teachers require from their students?

Student work should be assigned according to these class time recommendations to ensure healthy balance and emotional well-being. 

5. How many hours should teachers be working during periods of school dismissal?

Teachers should work all of their contract hours, but the scheduling of those hours may be adjusted in accordance with the number of online students and the need for providing academic support beyond typical contract hours.

6. Are teachers still expected to collaborate with their team(s)?

Yes! Preparing, delivering, and managing online learning is a complex and challenging process. The work teachers do in collaboration is essential for developing meaningful online learning. 

7.What should teachers do about grading during times of school dismissal?

All teachers will follow current school policies and procedures unless otherwise guided by Utah State Board of Education.

8. Who will be doing temperature checks?

Temperature checks will be done by first period teachers.  Students coming after the first period will be checked by secretaries.  Teachers will perform temperature checks for any student who is feeling/looking ill.

9. Will students be able to access free lunch regardless of the phase the school is in (red, orange, yellow, etc.)? 

Yes, lunches will be served at the Elementary by lunch program staff for all students K-12.  Parents of students participating in the online learning programs will be able to pick lunches up regardless of phase.  More information will be via ALA’s website under the SCHOOL LUNCH tab and an email will be sent to all parents.


Guidelines for Secondary Educators

Essential Standards and Curriculum Development:

Because comprehensive coverage of all standards is even more difficult in an online environment, deliberately choosing standards that are essential and delivering a viable curriculum becomes paramount for the success of students. 

    • Assessment and Intervention: Teachers should regularly assess student learning and provide opportunities for intervention, as necessary. 
    • Enrichment: As teacher capacity in a digital environment increases, enrichment experiences can become a more frequent part of the digital learning process provided for students. 

Learning Management Platform

A Learning Management Platform is meant to help teachers facilitate meaningful instruction, intervention, assessment, grading, discussion, collaboration, and relationship building. Canvas is the expected platform secondary educators should use in the event of online or blended learning at American Leadership Academy. 

    • Why Canvas? Using a singular platform significantly simplifies the educational experience for students and families. 
    • Exceptions: Teams with a compelling need for an exception to the exclusive use of Canvas should contact their administrator for approval for an exception. 
    • Parent/Family Access to Canvas: Beginning in August 2020, parents may download the Canvas Parent Observer app to monitor the work of students upon availability.
    • Grades: Grades should be entered weekly in Powerschool, which will remain the official system for recording grades.

Online Learning

Some online learning will be asynchronous, teachers are expected to provide opportunities for daily face to face interactions with students. Personal interaction contributes to student well-being and supports learning. 

    • Scheduled learning (done at a set schedule; such as a video conference) is still recognized as a valuable pedagogical approach in an online setting. 

Scheduling: When teachers choose to lecture or provide direct instruction, that instruction should be schedule and recorded, if possible, to allow for maximum student access. Live direct instruction should happen during school hours and in conjunction with the school schedules. 

Consultation Times/Teacher Availability: Teachers are encouraged to make themselves available during consultation times throughout the week to help students process learning delivered during direct instruction time. 

Small Group Work: Small group interaction is encouraged if feasible within the context of the discipline. Students value interaction with their peers. 

    • Location Independent learning (done on the student’s schedule) will be a necessity during times of online education, but teachers should still be involved heavily in the learning process.

Student Feedback and Assignment Deadlines: Regular feedback is crucial. Students should have at least 48 hours to complete any assignment from the time that it is posted on Canvas to facilitate greater opportunities for asking questions and receiving feedback. No work should be due after school hours or on the weekend. 


Class Time Guidelines

Student work should be assigned according to these recommendations to ensure healthy balance and emotional well-being. Students may work more on some days than others, but the average time working on classroom learning expectations should not exceed the following guidelines:

 

Time Recommendations Grades 7-9 Grades 10-12 Honors or AP
Total Daily Student Work Time 2-3 hours per day 3-4 hours per day
Daily Time Per Class Apprx. 20 min. Approx. 25-30 min. Approx. 30-45 min

Communication with Families

    • How often? Teachers should communicate with families on a weekly basis. This communication can be done through Canvas, email, text, etc. Learning expectations and due dates should be clearly communicated on a daily or weekly basis. 
    • Responding to Parent/Guardian Emails: Teachers should respond to parent/guardian emails (or other contact methods) within 24 hours on established school days. 
    • Video Conferencing: Individual video conferencing with students and their families is permissible to help teachers assess needs. 

Student Engagement

Student engagement is necessary for online learning to be successful. Teachers should regularly monitor engagement in online learning activities. 

    • Students who are not engaged

○ The families of students who do not engage in online learning should be contacted by the teacher or other designated school personnel, and assistance should be offered. 

○ If students continue to stay disengaged, school administration should be alerted so that additional resources/assistance may be offered.


Teacher Work Hours

    • Expectation:Teachers should work the equivalent of their full contract work hours in planning, assigning work, contacting students and families, intervening, and meeting with collaborative teams. 
    • Setting Limitations: Teachers are encouraged to limit their work hours and not respond to families and students outside of established work hours. Online learning does not obligate teachers to be on-call at all times.

Collaboration

Preparing, delivering, and managing online learning is a complex and difficult endeavor. The work your collaborative teams do is essential for the development of meaningful online learning. 

      • Focus: Teams and teachers should continue to hold PLC meetings and assist each other in focusing on essential standards and developing online resources to ensure the learning of those standards. 
      • Platform: Teachers are expected to work with their collaborative teams through video conferencing or other means for at least 2 hours every other week. 
      • Scheduling: Collaboration can be scheduled during the established Friday afternoon time slot or at a different time to accommodate team members. If possible, team leaders are encouraged to schedule collaboration at times that will enable administrators and coaches to occasionally participate in collaboration efforts. 

Grading and Reporting Progress 

      • Grading Scale: We will continue to use Standards-Based grading via Powerschool. 
      • Powerschool: Grades should be entered weekly with Powerschool, which will remain the official system for recording and reporting grades. 
      • Frequency: Teachers should continue to update grades and progress weekly, just like they would in a face-to-face environment.