With Delaware schools shuttered until May 15 or until COVID-19 is deemed under control, Cape district officials are working to prepare educational services beginning Monday, April 6 for students.
In a March 23 letter, Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton said the district will communicate the plan through the mass calling system, email, social media and capehenlopenschools.com.
In advance of the rollout, district families were contacted via phone survey March 23 to determine technology needs at home. Cape Assistant Superintendent Jenny Nauman said about 70 percent of district families were reached via the survey so far, and the majority of students have devices and internet.
“We are making plans for families that may need a device and connecting families with hotspot locations where they could perhaps drive up for access without leaving cars or have any social interaction,” Nauman said. “English learner families are getting phones calls from bilingual staff members to survey them for wi-fi and device availability.”
Nauman said the district envisions learning to be mostly asynchronous, with no need to be live.
“That way, families can log in at a time good for them to watch the video the teacher posted,” Nauman said. “Some live conferencing and check-in are a possibility, but recordings will always be available to students who cannot log in when the live session is taking place.”
Secondary students will use Schoology platforms, Nauman said. Kindergarten through seventh-grade teachers will reach out to families to schedule individual and small group live conferencing times for reading and writing so students can continue conferencing routines that have been established in school.
At the elementary level, instruction and assignments will first take about 30 minutes a day, with an extra hour of independent reading and writing time, Nauman said. The time will gradually increase to up to two hours a day for instruction and assignments with an hour of independent reading and writing time.
”We also plan to continue our morning announcement routines, and would like to begin whole class or small group Zoom live check-in sessions,” Nauman said. “Related arts teachers will provide weekly grade-specific activities in PE, art and music.”
The marking period that was to end Tuesday, March 31, will be extended two weeks to allow students to submit missing work.
In an email newsletter, Delaware Department of Education spokesperson Alison May said DOE and Delaware Department of Technology and Information will support schools with online instruction delivery.
“Remote learning approaches will differ as districts and charters take into consideration variables such as the availability or access to the internet and devices, English learner, and needs of their students with IEPs and 504 plans,” May wrote.
May also said the U.S. Department of Education granted Delaware schools a waiver excusing all students from standardized testing in all grade levels.
Fulton said while schools are closed, administrators and secretaries are working remotely and can be reached through email; email addresses are listed at capehenlopenschools.com. Those without access to email are asked to call the school and use the dial by name directory to leave a message for the principal.
While schools are closed, Supervisor of Special Programs Jeff Conrad will be the point of contact for students with IEPs, Fulton said. Conrad may be reached at email@example.com.
Grab-and-go meals continue to operate Monday through Friday until further notice; details are at capehenlopenschools.com.
Voluntary virtual learning opportunities can be found at capehenlopenschools.com under the “Families” tab.
For students who may need mental health and health services, the Cape High Wellness Center is operating through Telehealth. If your student needs to speak with someone, or if you have additional questions, call the Wellness Center at 302-644-2946.