(November 19, 2020)
Dear MED Families,
Recently, we have received several questions from parents regarding absences from school for in-person students in grades K-5. Such absences may be due to illness, quarantine, and/or recommendations by health officials to remain isolated while awaiting the results from a diagnostic COVID-19 test.
Below are some answers to questions regarding expectations and protocols when a student is absent.
Q. Can my child transition to remote instruction during a period of absence?
No. We are unable to transition in-person students to and from remote classes during periods of absence. This would require shifting to remote class sections, which are already established.
Similar to in-person schooling, students and teachers in these remote classes have established routines, relationships, and communities. Learning groups, instructional strategies, class expectations, etc. have been developed and may not align directly with the scope, sequence and pacing of their in-person counterparts.
Q. How will my child keep up with missed assignments and classwork while absent because of traveling or vacation ?
Absences for in-person and remote students will be addressed as they have been prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as you are aware that your child will be absent, you should reach out to your child’s teacher to request guidance.
Q. How will my child keep up with assignments and class work while awaiting COVID testing results or during quarantine?
During a COVID-imposed absence (awaiting test results or under quarantine), your child will have access to his or her teacher for one or more Google meet a day to go over work, ask questions, and to generally touch base.
Q. Will my child be able to join their class via Google Meet while absent?
No. Teachers of in-person students in grades K-5 will not be streaming lessons to students who are at home due to absence.
Teachers of in-person students in grades K-5 focus on engaging and supporting our young learners with high-quality and meaningful lessons. New challenges related to the pandemic (mask-wearing, social distancing, social-emotional needs, etc.) require our teachers to give full attention to their students in attendance. Attending to the needs of in-person students while simultaneously instructing students remotely is not practical at the elementary level and would greatly detract from the effectiveness of instruction.
Q. Can my child bring a Chromebook home while absent?
Yes. Students in grades 4 and 5 are provided with Chromebooks and are able to bring them home each night. Students in grades K-3 do not typically bring devices to and from school each day. If a student in grade K-3 will be absent, you can contact your school’s main office to make arrangements to pick up a Chromebook for use at home.
As always, we appreciate your patience, support, and understanding as we adapt to the many challenges we face during this unprecedented time. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal with any questions that you may have.