• Our Remote Learning Academy


    The Ashland Public Schools offers a remote learning format during the pandemic to students beginning in the fall of 2020/2021.

    The Ashland Public Schools Remote Learning Academy (RLA) is an entirely remote, PK-12 virtual learning option available to students and families for the 2020-2021 school year. The Remote Learning Academy is designed to respond to the needs of those students, families, and staff who are immunocompromised or have chosen to keep their child(ren) home during COVID-19. 

    The expectation is that parents who choose this model for their child(ren) will be actively involved in the education process and will support APS in delivering the most robust and successful learning experience possible. Students choosing the RLA will only be allowed to transition back to in-person/hybrid instruction on January 29, 2021. Extenuating circumstances will be considered by the Superintendent's office. The district has expectations that students will follow their class schedules and make assigned meetings with the teacher.

    The Ashland Public Schools will utilize the Google platform as our main platform for conducting remote learning, including Google Classroom and Google Meets. However, individual teachers and grade levels may supplement Google with other online platforms to enhance the student experience. Additionally, the Ashland Public Schools will provide every child with a Chromebook to ensure equity of access.


    Remote Learning Academy Agreement

    Students enrolled in the RLA are expected to make weekly progress and attend class on a daily basis. Students will complete course requirements independently and within designated timelines. Due to the nature of a remote course, it is important that the teacher, student, and parents agree to commit the time and energy needed to successfully complete the course. In order to earn credit and/or a passing grade for the course, students must meet set minimum criteria as established by the teacher. 


    Student Expectations


    Ethics 

    Students enrolled in the RLA are expected to complete their own work at all times, and complete assignments according to class guidelines. If a student breaks this code of ethics, the student will not receive credit for the assignment, assessment, or course. A student must also read, sign, and follow the Acceptable Use Policy available in the student handbook regarding technology and the Internet. 

    Communication

    Students must log in to Google Classroom and check messages daily for updates from their teacher. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the teacher if he/she experiences difficulties in completing the coursework. Parents/guardians should also be in frequent contact with the teacher and inform the teacher of any concerns with the course or learning problems that may arise.


    Attendance

    In order to be counted present for each class, RLA students are required to but not limited to the following:

    1. Attend all live learning activities.

    2. Log into Google Classroom each day.

    3. Participate in each course daily. Students must be actively engaged in course activities including reviewing content and completing assignments and assessments.

    4. Communicate regularly with the teacher. A student will be counted present when they have logged in, engaged in the course content, and made adequate progress on the assigned activities, for the day. Students may be asked to attend mandatory meetings and/or attend one-on-one virtual conferences with the teacher. These requirements may be for orientation, pupil accountability, and/or for proctored exams. In the event a student is unable to access the Internet, a specialized remote learning plan will be developed for your child. Please contact the school in the event there are issues with Internet accessibility.

    Remote Academy Teacher and Student make homemade "compound eye" glasses to see things as an insect sees.
    Crafting glasses that allow remote teacher and student to
    experience what insects see with their compound eyes. 


    Participation in Athletics

    While we await further guidance from the state, students who choose the Remote Learning Option only will not be allowed to participate in interscholastic athletics, should they resume in the fall.



    Elementary Expectations

    The RLA for Grades K-5 is designed to provide students with a rigorous remote experience, with numerous opportunities for students to connect with teachers synchronously. Lessons will be aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and follow the guidance on Remote Learning from the Department of Education’s Guidance of July 24, 2020. All students will be held accountable for attendance, assignments, and will be assessed using the same standards applied to those students participating as in-person students or hybrid students.


    Due to the nature of completely remote instruction, pedagogy will look vastly different than the traditional in-person or even the hybrid model. With that said, the RLA will challenge students and will provide participants with an appropriately rigorous educational experience. As the social-emotional health and well-being of all students is paramount to success, the RLA will prioritize relationship building between teachers and students.
    Students registered for the RLA will receive core instruction (Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies) through Google classroom. Students will also be offered unified arts instruction in the areas of art, music, technology, library media, and physical education and wellness. Students will participate in daily activities geared toward their social-emotional well-being. Teachers will post relevant materials to support students such as annotated notes, visual presentations, videos, and independent practice assignments. Students should log in each day to check for assignments and instructions from the teacher. Teachers will utilize Google Meets option to perform synchronous instruction.


    Students are expected to attend all live sessions. Academic supports for students with disabilities, 504 plans, and English language learners will take place virtually in collaboration with content teachers.



    Middle and High School Expectations

    Ashland Middle School and Ashland High School offer a variety of courses and course levels, making an APS Remote Learning Academy similar to K-5 not as effective. Thus, Ashland Public Schools will potentially be utilizing outside platforms, including Virtual High School, Edgenuity, or Educere to deliver the remote learning experience. Each student will have the ability to plan a personalized learning experience that will meet the rigor of the Ashland Public Schools and the requirements under the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Additionally, DESE is in the process of contracting with a learning platform that may also provide options for our students.

    Under this model, Ashland teachers will NOT be conducting in-person or online learning. The majority of these classes are asynchronous in approach, so the Ashland Public Schools will assign a teacher to synchronously check-in every day with students for attendance taking purposes, monitor workflow, verify completed assignments and address the social-emotional concerns students and families may have.


    Should there be a need for a Middle or High School specific Remote Learning Academy, based on a large population of students desiring remote only instruction, we will consider developing a schedule for students that will be taught by Ashland educators. This model will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.


    Parent/Student Acknowledgment (to be read and signed by parent enrolling child(ren) in Remote Learning Academy):


    Student: 

    I have read, and I am aware of, the above criteria for the RLA. I accept responsibility for the preparation needed to complete the coursework. I am aware that I must attend class remotely and be active in the course in order to stay on pace for completion by the end date. I agree to organize my time, communicate with my teacher as needed, and contribute positively to the remote learning process. I understand that if I do not meet these guidelines, I may not receive credit and/or receive a failing grade for the course.


    Parent/Guardian: 

    I have read, and I am aware of, the above criteria for the RLA. I acknowledge that adult supervision is necessary for elementary students and recommended for middle school and high school students who choose to participate in the RLA. I agree to assist my child(ren) with their work in order to be successful in all RLA courses. I am aware there will be attendance requirements for my child, as well as daily work equirements and assignment due dates. I understand if my child does not meet the above-stated criteria, he/she may be in jeopardy of receiving a failing grade and/or will not receive credit for the course.



     Screenshot of three remote learning academy students and one screenshot of teacher Kimberly Jordan     Teacher and students remotely converse during snack time