Manager Monthly
July 21, 2020
Virtual Program Updates

Dear Central Office Leaders,

As we continue to plan for our remote start to school, we know we will need to prepare for three scenarios: remote, hybrid, and fully in-person. We also know that some families will opt for a 100% virtual program. We wanted to share more information about our latest planning for families who chose this scenario. We will also be providing an update to teachers and the DPS community with this information later today.
 
All DPS students will enroll in either the 100% virtual program or the hybrid/in-person program. As a reminder, all students will be learning remotely until at least Sept. 8 .
 
100% Virtual Program Delivery and Staffing
The virtual program will be available for students in grades K-12. We will support each school to offer the 100% virtual program to their students who select this. This approach will support the important connections between students and their schools. We will make every effort to align students selecting the virtual program with teachers from the student's school of record who are teaching virtually; however, depending on the requests and school size, students may receive virtual instruction from a teacher in another school in their region. We know that this approach has some additional complexity to it, but that the connections in school communities will help support the social emotional needs that will be so important this year.
 
Central teams will support schools in developing staffing plans for their virtual program, including identifying collaboration opportunities among community schools in a neighborhood as needed. More information about this process will be available in the coming week.
 
Based on staff accommodation requests, schools (with support from central teams) will plan for and assign:
 
  • Teachers who will be dedicated to the virtual program for the duration of the semester (such as those who have requested an accommodation).

  • Teachers who will support students through hybrid and in-person learning, when it is safe to do so. 
 
Principals, in collaboration with their RIS/RAISs and HR Partners, will identify preliminary staffing gaps and needs based on their current student-level and staff accommodations. They will receive a survey tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, where they will be asked to provide this information by Friday, July 25.  
 
100% Virtual Program Curriculum
We have worked with teams across our Curriculum & Instruction and English Language Acquisition departments to identify how to provide fully-digital access to our adopted curricula through the Learning Management Systems, with the exception of charter and some innovation schools. With this in mind:
 
  • Students enrolled in the virtual program will access online/digital resources through the grade-level appropriate Learning Management System.

  • DPS will provide guidance on how teachers can get paper copies of necessary curriculum materials that are not available digitally.

  • Additional courses (i.e, elective courses for secondary), will be available through the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) at a cost of $150 per teacher, which will be paid by the district.
 
100% Virtual Program Courses
As much as possible, virtual program teachers will try to make their classes just like in-person learning. Schools should plan to deliver virtual classes live as much as possible, meaning that there will be dedicated times for students to engage directly with their teachers and classmates.
 
Enrolling in the 100% Virtual Program
Families can elect to enroll their children in the 100% virtual program through Annual Family Update, which begins July 27 . Schools, with centrally-provided support, will then use this data to create schedules for all students, including those who will stay in the virtual program and those who will move to hybrid and full in-person when it is safe to do so.
 
100% Virtual Program Commitment
K-12 students who opt into the virtual program commit to full-time, online learning from Aug. 24 through at least the end of December. School leaders may allow students to transfer programs at their discretion should they have the ability to do so. If multiple schools have collaborated on a virtual program, there will be a centrally-guided process for reviewing mid-year transfers under special circumstances. Students will not lose their spot in their school of record while attending the fully virtual program. Similarly, teachers will not lose their mutual consent position at their school of record.

We will continue to share updates as they are available. Thank you for your continued support of our school teams and our students.
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