• SBSD School Reopening: The Steps and Learning Options for Families

    August 7, 2020

    In order to provide clarity around the three steps to reopening our schools, as outlined in the Guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education, See a brief description of them below along with learning options for students in our District.

    Step 1: Remote Learning, with all teaching and learning taking place online

    Step 2: Hybrid Learning, with a combination of in-person and online learning.

    Step 3: Modified In-Person Learning

    When Vermont schools open September 8th, most will be operating at Step 2: Hybrid Learning, with a combination of in-person and online learning. If conditions relating to the containment of coronavirus improve, schools will return to full-time in-person learning with stringent safety procedures in place (Step 3) If conditions worsen, schools will move to Step 1: Remote Learning, with all teaching and learning taking place online.

    What follows are the enrollment options for South Burlington families as we begin the year at Step 2: Hybrid Learning. 

    After reviewing the options below, Parents/Guardians of elementary and middle school students are being asked to fill out surveys from their respective schools (Gertrude E. Chamberlin School Survey, Orchard School Survey,Rick Marcotte Central School Survey, and FHTMS Survey) indicating which option they plan to choose by Friday, August 14. 

    Option 1) Hybrid Learning in South Burlington Schools

    South Burlington students attend school in person on either Monday and Tuesday (A-L last name) or Thursday and Friday (M-Z last name), and engage with online learning during the rest of the week from home/childcare. By dividing each class into two cohorts, all schools will be able to conduct in-person learning with physical distancing and other safety precautions fully in place. Wednesday mornings will be the time that teachers follow up with students with targeted support for online learning and to check in as needed. On Wednesday afternoons, teachers will be engaged in professional learning, collaboration, and planning for online instruction.

    During Hybrid Learning, students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

    Option 2) Online Learning with Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC)

    Students participate in this 5-day, online option instead of attending school. Students are assigned to a virtual class that may include students from South Burlington as well as neighboring districts. VTVLC prioritizes assigning students to an online teacher from their local district whenever possible. Students participating in this fully remote program are still enrolled as students in the South Burlington School District and still access support from our staff (e.g., guidance counselors and special educators) and co-curricular opportunities.

    VTVLC is a well established online program where many Vermont high school students have taken high-quality online courses for over a decade. With the coronavirus crisis, VTVLC has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Education to provide a full-time online option for students of all ages with instruction from licensed Vermont teachers who already have or are working towards their Online Teaching endorsement. The program is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning offered through Canvas, an online learning platform. The K-5 curriculum is designed to be engaging for online learning and is based on an online elementary program from Florida.

    Students participating in VTVLC will be enrolled for a minimum of one semester, with the option of returning to the Hybrid Model, if they choose to, at that time. 

    Students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes and work with South Burlington special educators from their school. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

    Option 3) Homeschooling

    Families also have the option of homeschooling their child, however, this removes the child from enrollment in the South Burlington School District. The homeschooling option also requires parents and guardians to file an application to change their child’s enrollment status and follow related guidelines from the VT Agency of Education.