This afternoon Commissioner of Education Riley shared some recommendations for Remote Learning with school districts. These recommendations strongly echo the work that our staff has been doing behind the scenes over the last two weeks to provide more structure for students and families during this extended closure. Commissioner Riley continues to emphasize the need to focus on the holistic needs of students and staff as noted in the following excerpts from his update:
“The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff has been and must continue to be our top priority as an educational community...Maintaining connections between school staff and students is paramount, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our school communities.”
The Commissioner was also clear to note that there is no way to replicate virtually what goes in our classrooms when we are in school physically while also noting that remote learning is not the same as online learning.
“Nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, and we should not expect that remote learning can replicate the traditional school day...Remote learning is not synonymous with online learning. Remote learning can take place in a multitude of ways…”
The recommendations from Commissioner Riley also put out some recommendations regarding the amount of school work students should be expected to do each day and that the focus should be on reinforcing skills and not teaching new skills.
“We recommend that districts support students to engage in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day...We strongly recommend that districts and schools focus on reinforcing skills already taught this school year and applying and deepening these skills.”
While we know that school districts will continue to receive guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Education during the school closure, we also feel it is important to start sharing more concrete plans for what things will look like for Burlington students over the next five weeks. With this in mind, we wanted to share that we will be activating a new remote learning website for families to access by the end of the week so that we can begin our BPS Remote Learning Plan next week.