AACPS Virtual Educator Toolkit - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
9/23/20 WHERE CAN I FIND THE INFORMATION ON I-READY, INCLUDING WHEN AND HOW TO ADMINISTER THE DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT(S) IN SEPTEMBER?
Please visit this i-Ready Educator site for information on why, how, and when to administer the i-Ready diagnostic assessments in September. Please remember these are diagnostic assessments. As such they are meant to establish ‘understanding baselines’ for every student. There should be no stress put on any student nor should we think of them as anything more than a way to gauge where students are in their understanding at this point in time for the subject areas we are assessming.
I am a TA who sometimes subs for a teacher. I take attendance - then play the recording that the teacher left as their subplan for the students. Do I have to record the time students are in class together when the teacher is not there & it is me subbing?
No. You should take attendance, play the recording of the teacher’s lesson or assignment for the period, answer any questions the students may have, and hold the Google Meet open for the students to work together on the assignment. You should NOT record this class. The teacher should post a recording (could be the one s/he left you as a sub) or another recording of the content/assignment worked on during the period to his/her Google Classroom upon her/his return to work.
9/12/20 I read the three methods for recording. Does this mean that if I want to pre-record an instructional lesson for a learning block, I need to record for 30 min (elementary) or 45 min if I am a middle or high school teacher?
: No. If you make the decision to pre-record your lesson, we are looking for you to prerecord a direct-teaching part of your core lesson of concept or skill development. Ask yourself, “What would I want to offer my students (the ones in class and the ones not in class today) so they are able to grow to understand today’s lesson objectives?” Based on the day, this core lesson may only be 10-20 minutes in length or it may be two or three 5-7min recordings; this is your choice. You could choose to capture these core lesson components in a pre-recording (Alt-Method 2) or you could choose to make these recordings in the classroom with your students present (Alt-Method 1).
If you do choose Alt-Method 1, this is not hard to do. You simply let the students know you will be turning off their microphones and putting yourself in the spotlight layout for a few minutes as you teach a core learning concept, skill, strategy, or technique. By turning off their mics and putting yourself in the “spotlight”, you will not capture students’ video images or voices in the recording. Whenever you are finished with the short recorded direct-teaching element, click to end the recording, and un-mute your students’ microphones so you can begin interactive learning once again. After a few trials, this can happen with ease.
NOTE: Some teachers planned on doing this before we made Alt-Method 1 an option as they thought it would minimize disruptions and maximize clarity of the core of a lesson. Student questions can begin right after the core lesson component is taught. Moreover, if you had more than one core learning component for any learning block, you could choose to record more than once. You will receive codes from Google to post to your classroom for every recording you make; it is fine to post more than one recording for any one learning block.
9/12/20 Can I record more than one time in a learning block if I choose Alt-Method 2 for recording?
YES. If you choose Alt-Method 2, you simply let the students know you will be turning off their microphones and putting yourself in the “spotlight” layout for a few minutes as you teach a core learning concept, skill, strategy, or technique. By turning off student mics and putting yourself in the “spotlight”, you will not capture students’ video images or voices in the recording. Whenever you are finished with the short recorded direct-teaching element, click to end the recording, and un-mute your students’ microphones so you can begin interactive learning once again. After a few trials, this can happen with ease. Question and answer time can begin as soon as you stop recording and unmute student microphones.
You can do this multiple times within a learning block if you feel that it makes sense to do so. You will receive codes from Google to post to your Google Classroom for every recording you make; it is fine to post more than one recording for any one learning block.
9/12/20 I co-plan with teachers at my grade level (Elementary) or subject area (Secondary). Can one of us pre-record (Alt-Method 2) and all of us post the same pre-recording of the core content that is being taught in any one learning block for a given
Yes, but you do have to be very careful. Students are relying on this pre-recording to be what YOU taught during the learning block. If you choose to take this approach of sharing the responsibility of pre-recording with your colleagues, then you need to check to make sure that the pre-recorded lesson adequately captures the core of what you taught and the techniques you taught students to use when you taught the lesson in real time. If it does, then there is no problem.
However, you may find that you have to augment the first pre-recorded lesson with an additional few minutes of a recording of you providing extra guidance or more clarity; this should be no problem. You would simply post two recordings for that learning block – the first one made by your colleague and the second one containing an additional few minutes prepared and recorded by you.
9/11/20 I heard there were new options or methods where I would have a choice about how to record my instructional lessons. Where are these options/methods?
The Superintendent approved the new document that outlines three methods available to teachers for recording in Google Meet. It is now posted as a Teacher Guidance Sheet on the Virtual Educator webpage. As is noted there, additional support materials will be added to the site by 9/13/20 that offer more details to teachers who may have questions about each of the methods.
We do expect all teachers to begin recording on Monday, September 14, 2020.
9/11/20 Elem teachers are able to see a report inside Power School of their students who are “allowed,” “prohibited,” or “pending” for recording in Google Meet. Since Media & EEE is not part of PowerSchool, they do not have access to the reports.
What can they do short of asking for a printout from the principal?
If Triple EEE teachers or Media Specialists have school-wide access in PowerSchool (many already do similar to Reading Teachers), then they can use the ST03 report described in directions we posted on the virtual educator - https://www.aacps.org/cms/lib/MD02215556/Centricity/Domain/1767/Admin%20Audio%20Video%20Prefs%20in%20PS%209_5_20.pdf. Of course, the office staff and administrators can provide that information to those teachers as well.
If not, the principal can request that they be granted school-wide access to PowerSchool. As part of that permission, teachers will have to complete a training video that is required before we grant school-wide access. Teachers can contact their principal and then principals can contact Jeff Haynie’s team to request this access.
9/9/20 If a student does not have permission to be recorded but turns their camera on during the recorded meet do we still post the recorded meet?
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no.
If the teacher thinks that a student without permission to be recorded has been recorded, they should check the recording. Just because a student turned on their camera doesn’t mean their image/voice was captured and recorded. If the microphones were muted and the teacher had the layout in “spotlight” mode, then it is highly likely that the recording can be posted as most likely no students’ video images or voices were captured.
However, if the student who isn’t permitted to have their video image and/or voice captured, actually has their image and/voice caught on the recording, then the teacher will not post that recording to their Google Classroom. Instead, the teacher will post a note in their Google Classroom that explains that no recording is available for that period for the given day. The teacher may have to post a short description of the content and assignments that were provided during the period to support those students who were absent.
9/5/20 Where can I find directions about recording and posting recordings in Google Meet?
An additional link under this document in the Teacher Guidance Sheet list will tell you our Why behind recording, how to tell whether each student in your class can be recorded or not, how to support students to turn their microphones and cameras on and off, how to record and post the recordings to support student learning.
9/5/20 How do I as the school administrator view and update parent permission form submissions for recording in Google Meet?
Please follow the guidance in this document to review and update the forms related to recording in Google Meet.
8/31/20 HOW DO WE TAKE ATTENDANCE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?
Please take student attendance once during the morning block each day. IDD will be sending directions about how best to do this within the week of 8/31/20. It is important to note that you will not have to take attendance during the afternoon block, but could monitor afternoon block student attendance/engagement informally using Google Classroom. If there is pattern of afternoon absence established by a student, please reach out to the student’s parent/guardian letting them know that the expectation for every student is for them to attend a full day of school (AM and PM learning blocks). If the pattern continues, please notify the school counselor and administration as we would do for any student who is habitually absent from school.
As was true in brick and mortar schooling, if a student has a doctors appointment or must be absent for any reason or is returning from an absence with a note, we will have a process to handle these requests/responses. IDD will be sending the process for accepting and coding absentee notes within the week of 8/31/20.
8/26/20 WILL STUDENTS WHO CANNOT ATTEND “LIVE” LESSONS OCCASIONALLY BE ABLE TO VIEW THE LESSONS IN EVENING AND COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENTS THEN?
Yes, students who absolutely cannot log into the virtual live-learning, may be able to log into their Google classroom to view the lessons and complete their assignments in the evening hours. We hope that most students will be able to participate in the real-time learning and that those who need to miss virtual live-learning time will only do so infrequently. The whole school experience, including live academic teaching, Circle Time, Cultural Arts, Tools for Success time, and Academic Flex time where students receive extra learning support, will all be missed if students are unable to join the virtual live-learning time.
During the week of August 31, 2020, we will post an application for families who must, due to their unique circumstances, have their students on an Alternate Attendance Plan as described above. Check back on this site during the week noted if you are in need of an alternate attendance plan for your student.
8/25/20 WHAT WILL OCCUR IN STUDENT WELLNESS AND TOOLS FOR SUCCESS BLOCKS DURING THE STUDENT DAY?
During Student Wellness time in the schedule, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice wellness strategies which support social, mental, and physical wellbeing. Through use of the Mindful Choices Curriculum, students will explore mindfulness techniques, breathing strategies, and focused movements that can be used to overcome stress, anxiety, negative thinking, and frustration. Providing students with healthy coping strategies will increase their ability to handle stressful situations and academic challenges.
Tools for Success is designed to support students in gaining critical academic soft skills to maximize their potential for success during virtual learning. Students will enhance their ability to organize academic assignments, manage their time effectively, and utilize study skills to independently navigate and balance their time.
Who is responsible for the Building Community block in high school? Does it have to be a homeroom teacher?
We would like principals to select a pair of teachers who complement one another to be assigned to the Building Community, Student Wellness, and Tools for Success courses. Each group of students will have two teachers. If either is absent, there will be no need for a sub for this block.
Are teachers required to participate on a school-wide committee as would normally be expected?
Administrators can assign teachers to committee work. There is meeting time available in mornings and afternoons for this purpose.
High School Credit Courses: are we really going to count 90 mins a week of algebra or world language as high school credit, or consider it adequate preparation for Algebra 2 or level 2 of a language?
This is a challenging question. Students have 90 min of virtual learning/week per class that we have to make the most of at this time. We have compacted the curriculum so students are able to receive the major concepts and skills needed to move on to the next course in the sequence. We will monitor this issue as students move throughout the fall semester in the sequenced-based courses. We do recommend considering a flipped classroom so students may watch the video lesson/concept at home and be more engaged in the discussion or problem solving during virtual learning block.
How do I leave sub plans in the virtual teaching environment?
We are planning to have school-based subs who are more apt to be able to step in meaningfully to sub due to knowing more of each school’s students. However, we will also ask that each teacher records at least one lesson that can easily be played by the sub for when a teacher must be out in an emergency. Video lesson sub plans or sub plans with links to video directions for students will help us move instruction forward even when the teacher must be absent from school.
What does “Meeting with Targeted Colleagues” actually mean?
This is allocated time for Special Educators, ESOL teachers, resource teachers, magnet teachers, and intervention teachers to meet with general educators to discuss the support of students.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “ACADEMIC FLEX” TIME? IS IT LIKE STUDY HALL? CAN STUDENTS SKIP IT?
Academic Flex time is time specifically allotted to reinforce difficult concepts and skills, provide support to students working through problems, offer extra support to students stretching to learn how to apply their new knowledge, and provide extensions for those who are ready to broaden their understanding. Academic Flex time blocks will be teacher facilitated unlike most study halls. This is real-time instruction offered by a teacher.
Academic Flex is also time for small group instruction for English Learners, time for students who need extra Reading instructional support, time for Special Needs students to receive specialized instruction or services, and time for ALPs students (elementary) who are studying William & Mary or advanced mathematics. In most elementary schools, teachers will regroup students at each grade level for Academic Flex so that all students have a teacher to facilitate the time to offer them what they need academically.
Academic Flex time is required at the elementary and middle school levels; attendance will be taken. At the high school level, students will be given opportunities to choose what to focus on during Academic Flex time. They will attend sessions of courses where they need academic support or are seeking academic enhancement. Academic Flex time is highly encouraged, but optional for high school students.