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NTI Parent & Guardian Support

Parent Responsibility for Meaningful Engagement through Virtual Means

When lessons are scheduled to be delivered through virtual means (in the cloud), attendance is still required.  Teachers track virtual attendance in a variety of ways, and technology tools facilitate the confirmation of a student's participation in virtual learning. It is possible for teachers to identify who is in attendance during a live video session, whether a student has signed into their District Google folder and completed assignments, who has sent or received an email, which students participated in an online chat, or who has uploaded an image or video documenting a student's learning activity.  When learning occurs in the cloud, educators will clearly identify the method they will use to verify attendance so this can be inputted into Infinite Campus. The role of parents and guardians when learning occurs in the cloud is to ensure they and their student(s) are aware of the way in which attendance will be noted on any given day and for any given class.

Online learning requires that parents and caregivers also consider other factors.  Specifically, parents and guardians have the responsibility to support their student's meaningful engagement in learning through virtual means.  The tips and tools offered here identify specific actions that can be taken in support of the endeavor to promote continuous learning outside the four walls of a classroom.

Learning Guidance and Support for Parents and Caregivers

Create a Learning Schedule and Space

Sustained periods of virtual education are successful when students have a routine to follow and a space in which to work and learn.  As you consider how to support your child's online learning, be clear about the time of day any online video sessions will be held as well as the extent of the assignments your student will be asked to complete.  If you're not sure, ask your child's teacher(s). Once you have an idea about daily time commitments, plan a schedule for your child to follow. Stick to as predictable a daily routine as possible. Don't forget to include times for breaks and lunch.  In addition developing a daily learning schedule, it is important to identify an at-home learning space. Ideally, this space should have:

  • A computer, iPad, Chromebook or other device
  • Good lighting
  • Ready access to learning materials and tools

A dedicated learning space for virtual learning should ideally be located in a shared area of your home such as at the kitchen table, a large kitchen counter, or a desk in a living room or family room.  When your student's learning space is separate from their bedroom and distanced from the television, it sets the expectation and tone that the space is for work and not play.  Additionally, an online learning space in a shared area allows parents and guardians to readily support learning while also monitoring online activity.

Sample Daily Schedule

More and more adults are able to work remotely and most have daily schedules or routines they use to help them stay focused and on task.  When your student learns in the cloud, they're going to need parent support to think about how to establish a regular routine. To develop your child's daily schedule, ask them about a typical school day.  Consider their ability to stay focused and how long they can reasonably devote their full attention to a task. Below is a sample daily schedule.  Your student's schedule will look different depending upon your family dynamics and your child's personal learning needs.

07:30 AM - Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.

08:15 AM - Organize learning space, turn on computer/device, log into Gmail

08:30 AM - Review daily Gmail or Google Classroom announcement from teacher(s) and get necessary learning materials (books, workbooks, etc.)

08:45 AM - Engage in a virtual session or chat session or video tutorial on whatever the topic is for the day

09:30 AM - Begin assignments

10:00 AM - Take quick stretch and nutrition break

10:15 AM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required

11:00 AM - Check Gmail or Google Classroom for any additional announcements

11:15 AM - Lunch and movement (Walk. Dance. Do exercises. Run. Follow an online workout routine.)

12:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required

01:00 PM - Engage in another virtual session or chat session or video tutorial or whatever has been assigned

01:45 PM - Take a quick stretch and nutrition break

02:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required

03:00 PM - Summarize learning in whatever way teacher(s) have requested, and submit learning evidence online

03:45 PM - End of full day of virtual learning

Learning in the cloud is just as challenging and rigorous as a day of learning in the classroom.  Teaching and learning just happens in a different place. Like in the schoolhouse, your student's schedule might be a bit different on each day of the week.  There will be certain things such as stretch and nutrition breaks as well as lunchtime that should probably be kept consistent. What might change are the times your child hops online for video sessions or online chats.  The more time your student spends learning virtually, the more you and your student will know about what works best in terms of keeping focused, on task, and engaged in meaningful academic endeavors.

Provide Learning Materials and Tools

Nothing disrupts a person's ability to do planned tasks than having to stop and find the materials and tools that are needed for the task.  Virtual learning experiences don't just require a device. Students who are learning virtually should also have the following materials and tools available to them:

  • Paper, pencils, and pens
  • Calculator, ruler, compass, counters (e.g., dry beans), or other items to support math
  • Textbooks, trade books, composition notebooks, and other necessary curriculum resources provided by your student's teacher
  • Phone, iPad, or chromebook/computer with camera for taking pictures of work and/or recording videos of learning demonstrations

The above list is not exhaustive.  As educators get smarter together about providing online learning as an option for students, this list will grow and guidance will be provided to parents and caregivers about how to access such materials and tools.

“Support for Online Learning.” Northshore School District, 2018, www.nsd.org/covid19/northshore-learns/support.