Bookmark this page and plan to check back regularly for updates about planning for the 2020-21 school year.
FGCS Operational Blueprint for Comprehensive Distance Learning Note: The Operational Blueprint is a document schools are required to submit to the state to describe reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year. We will submit an updated blueprint if we move into a hybrid or full in-person model later in the school year. The blueprints do not include details such as the daily schedule, which will be shared with parents through all-school communication channels.
If you have a question you'd like to see addressed here, please use this online form. We will respond by email and, if it's something relevant to everyone, we'll add to the FAQ. Parents, please feel free to share the question form with students - we want to hear from them, too! Note: The date in parentheses after each question indicates when the question was added to the FAQ.
GENERAL PROGRAM QUESTIONS What are FGCS's plans for school in the fall? (7-29-20) FGCS and all schools in the Forest Grove School District will start the year with all students in comprehensive distance learning. This decision was made by Superintendent Dave Parker based on public health data about current community spread of COVID-19. The superintendent has not set yet a timeframe for when schools may be able to start in-person instruction.
How will distance learning be provided this school year? (7-29-20) FGCS is committed to providing a robust, engaging distance learning experience for all students, whether they participate in distance learning part time in a hybrid model or full time with Comprehensive Distance Learning. Distance learning will look more like ‘regular’ school this year, with attendance requirements, grading/assessment and increased support.
FGCS teachers will lead distance learning this year using FLVS Global as the digital curriculum platform. FLVS Global has been in operation for more than 20 years and provides digital curriculum for schools worldwide, including the Hillsboro and Beaverton School Districts and many other Oregon schools. FLVS Global provides standards-based lessons in all academic content areas that FGCS teachers can customize and adapt. This digital curriculum will be supported and enriched with projects, activities and support created and provided by our teachers and support staff.
Why is FGCS using FLVS Global's digital curriculum instead of creating its own? (7-29-20) It is critical that our students continue to learn throughout whatever disruptions we may experience this year due to the pandemic. A digital curriculum - one that is comprehensive, coherent, and designed for ease-of-use - allows us to ensure continuous learning in a variety of scenarios.
FGCS teachers are highly qualified, creative and devoted educators; in pre-pandemic times, they developed most of our curriculum and project-based learning activities. In the spring, they dove head first into distance learning and worked nonstop to keep students engaged and moving forward academically in the midst of a global crisis. This was a very heavy lift for all teachers, including ours, as well as for students and parents. Just creating digital lessons for all content areas every day would require a huge amount of teacher time. Creating digital lessons that are engaging and interactive, with embedded supports and assessments that integrate into a system that is easy for parents and students to use would require extensive educational technology expertise. We have decided that it makes more sense to take advantage of the decades of research and development FLVS Global has put into creating a comprehensive program.
How will Oregon-specific standards be taught if they are not part of FLV lessons? (8-3-20) FLV will be the digital foundation for instruction this year, but FGCS teachers will amend and add to it as needed to address Oregon-specific standards and to put the FGCS 'stamp' on it as much as possible in a distance setting. This will be an unfolding process over the course of the school year.
How much 1-on-1 time will my students get with their teachers? (8-3-20) We don't have a specific answer to that question yet. Our goal is to help all students feel connected to teachers and classmates, and to make sure students have the support they need.
What will the teachers’ and instructional assistants’ roles be? (7-29-20) We recognize that next year will put a significant burden on parents, particularly for the youngest students. Teachers and IAs will provide daily support to students to help them with their lessons. After families, students, and staff are working well with the FLVS Global program, teachers will provide additional curriculum, both academic and social-emotional, as well as project-based activities. Will FLVS Global be used only when students are in full-time distance learning? (7-29-20) We anticipate using FLVS Global both for full-time distance learning and when we are allowed to have students on campus for in-person instruction in a hybrid model (part-time at school, part-time at home). This will provide consistency in instruction for all students and make it easier for students and families to shift between in-person and at-home learning.
What will the school day look like during distance learning? (7-29-20) Parents can expect students’ days to include on-line instruction as well as time for applied learning off-line. Principal Vanessa Gray and teachers are working to develop a daily schedule for distance learning. We will share schedules as soon as they are finalized.
How are students and parents going to learn to use FLVS Global? (7-29-20) We will spend time before school starts and in the first couple of weeks helping students and parents get comfortable with using school-issued devices and with accessing FLVS Global and any other online tools. Tech support will be available on an ongoing basis through FGCS staff, the Northwest Regional ESD or FLVS Global, depending on the issue.
How much of the day will students be online? (7-29-20) Students will need to spend about 30 minutes/lesson/day completing FLVS Global lessons. This means that they will spend a minimum of 2 hours/day to complete language arts, math, science and social studies lessons. Later in the school year, teachers will add to this coursework, and that work may be online. Students will also be assigned off-line activities, such as independent practice, reading, projects and activities. We are mindful of the need to minimize screen time for students and will work to accomplish this.
Will students do school work offline? Will there be textbooks or other printed materials? (8-3-20) Yes, students will do some school work offline, including teacher-created projects and activities at some point. They will read 'real' books in addition to online reading and reading lessons. We are not sure whether we will send textbooks home with students. At the start of the year, we will focus on getting students and families comfortable with using FLV before adding additional lessons, projects or activities.
Will students have Google Meets again this year? (7-29-20) We have decided to use Zoom for live online interactions this year because Zoom has more functionality and provides a better experience for participants. Zoom will be an important part of every student’s day. Teachers and instructional assistants will use Zoom to provide guided support for FLVS Global lessons. Teachers will also use Zoom to interact with students, to deliver other lessons and to engage as a class community.
How much online instruction will be synchronous (live) vs asynchronous (recorded)? What if my child is in day care and can't participate in live sessions? (8-3-20) We don’t yet have these details nailed down. However, we understand that families will need flexibility to accommodate their schedules. We will partner with you to meet you and your students' needs.
Will there be art and PE while we are in distance learning? (8-4-20) Yes, but we will add those classes in later in the school year. We want to focus attention at the beginning of the year on helping all of us adjust to the new platforms we'll be using for instruction and interaction.
How will you support parents? (8-3-20) We will provide families with clear and concise descriptions of student attendance and participation expectations as well as family involvement expectations that take into consideration the home environment, caregiver’s work schedule, and mental/physical health. In addition, we will work with parents to help them develop strategies and structures to support their children’s learning at home. At the start of the year, we will have virtual orientations to ensure all students and parents understand how to use distance learning tools and procedures, and how to request technical assistance or other support. Teachers will offer regular sessions on how to support children’s learning.
Will we have Family Visits this year? (8-3-20) Yes! As background for new FGCS families, our teachers traditionally have a 30-minute in-person meeting with students/ parents every year the week before school starts. Teachers are eager to meet with each child and family. We haven’t yet determined the schedule for these, but we will soon. We do not yet know if these will be virtual or in person.
We are a new family and would love to be able to see the classrooms. Is that possible? (8-3-20) Yes. We will be working on a virtual tour and hope to have that ready by the middle or end of August.
Can we request students to be put in the same cohorts to help parents to coordinate and share resources? (8-3-20) Cohorts are needed for when we do in-school learning. Even though we know we’re starting the year in distance learning, we will need to have cohorts established for when we do re-enter the buildings. So we are continuing to work on this. One of the key variables in developing cohorts is transportation. Physical distancing requirements significantly diminish bus capacity so we need to plan cohorts with bus efficiency in mind. We will be sending a survey in which we will ask you about your plans for transportation for the school year. Once we get a firm handle on that, we will be better able to answer questions pertaining to cohorts.
Will my student have time to interact with peers? (7-29-20) Yes! We know that children need to have social time with classmates and will incorporate opportunities to socialize. Developing our classroom cultures is a strong part of our program and will continue to be this year.
Will there be any project-based learning and experiential education next year? (7-29-20) You bet. Our first goal is to get everyone up and running on using FLVS Global and Zoom. Then we’ll start introducing other curriculum and learning activities. Teachers are already working on these plans.
How can parents help? (7-29-20) This is a year when we will really need parents to help each other. We would like to see parents organize in groups to share resources and to support each other throughout the year. This is particularly needed to help integrate families who are new to our school. If you have bandwidth to be a point person in organizing parent support groups, please email Karen Torry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TECHNOLOGY Will families be able to check out devices for students? (7-29-20) Yes. We have ordered more Chromebooks. Our plan is to provide a device to every student who needs one to avoid siblings having to share and teachers having to stagger live meeting schedules to avoid overlaps.
Do we have to use an FGCS-owned device? (8-3-20) We strongly prefer that students use an FGCS-owned device for distance learning, based on the advice of our tech support team. Student Chromebooks will be configured for our distance program with internet filtering, key websites bookmarked and other updates to make them work better for both students and adults supporting student learning at home.
What if we don't have reliable internet access? (7-29-20) FGCS has partnered with the District to obtain a limited number of wi-fi hot spots to support families without internet access. We will work with families to access free or low-cost internet. Our goal is to help all families have reliable internet access so their students can participate fully in comprehensive distance learning.
When will computers be made available? (8-3-20) Our goal is to have Chromebooks ready to check out to families at least 1 week before school starts, earlier if our shipment of new devices arrives in time.
ENROLLMENT Will my students lose their spots at FGCS if we choose to enroll them in a different school for 20-21? (7-27-20) Yes. State law requires public charter schools to drop any student who enrolls in a different school (online or in person) and to offer their space to the next person on the waitlist. FGCS does not have the legal authority to make any exceptions to this. We hope to be able to serve every family that wants a distance model for their students.
SCHOOL LUNCH Can my students get school lunches even if they aren’t going to school in person? (7-27-20) Yes. We are working with our school lunch vendor Fresh 'n Local Schools and the District to make a plan to provide school meals to students when they are in distance learning, whether full time or, possibly later in the year, in a hybrid model.
SPECIAL EDUCATION How will special education services be provided? (7-27-20) The District retains responsibility for providing special education services to FGCS students. District special education staff will work with parents, students and FGCS classroom teachers to determine how services will be provided in a hybrid or comprehensive distance learning model. State guidance on special education is scheduled to be released in August.