Hybrid Learning Model
A hybrid model provides for more physical safety of staff and students and allows for 6 feet of social distancing because fewer students are in the building on any given day and class sizes are extremely small (approximately 10-12 students). Students will receive more individualized attention during the days that they are in school, and remote learning days will complement the in-person learning experiences.
The vast majority of Hamilton -Wenham families have expressed a desire for their students to return to some sort of in-person learning. A survey conducted the week of August 3 showed 81% of families intended to send their students to a hybrid program and 10% intended to select the fully remote option and another 9% were considering home-schooling or were not able to express an intention at the time of the survey.
In an earlier survey, conducted in July, 78% of parents indicated returning to full-time in person or hybrid learning was their first choice, with the vast majority preferring the in-person learning model. The hybrid model falls in the middle when it comes to health and safety, meeting the educational needs of students, and cost, as it will certainly help with busing expenses, logistics and safety. The hybrid model does present complex challenges in coordinating and staffing both in-person and remote experiences and planning for teacher absences and leaves.
At the middle school level, students will be assigned to one of two cohorts that will be aligned with siblings in the district. Each cohort will have two in-person learning days and three remote learning days. Students will follow their seven-period schedule for synchronous learning while in person. In-person classes will be approximately 40-45 minutes in length to accommodate transitions and mask breaks. It is recommended that students follow their seven-period schedule for asynchronous learning while remote, and multiple touchpoints between teachers and students will be available. In-person and remote work will be required, and grades will be assigned.
All students will be provided with a device to support both in-person and remote learning. Sixth-graders will be issued Chromebooks and seventh and eighth-graders will be issued iPads.
In order to build community, each student will be part of a small community group - called a Crew - of approximately 10 students with a dedicated faculty advisor. Crew will meet daily, either in-person or remotely, and act as a resource and point of contact for students and parents in supporting the social, emotional, and academic needs of students. Students who are enrolled in the HW Virtual Academy will remain connected to our middle school community through a daily Crew check-in and may join any interest-based clubs or activities.
At the middle school level special education programming, services, and supports will be individualized and based on the following support structures within the hybrid model.
S P E C I A L P O P U L AT I O N S ( M I D D L E S C H O O L )
Moderate and behavioral supports for students’ specialized instruction is typically provided through a combination of pull out instruction and inclusion support within a general education classroom. Moderate programming includes academic and organizational support. Within the hybrid model, moderate students will attend two days within a cohort and receive all services within the classroom or on team. We recognize that some students will need specialized support in an area outside of the classroom for short term behavioral intervention. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In consideration of individual needs, additional time will be scheduled to support goals, remote learning activities, and organization for completion of remote assignments. The additional time will be determined on an individual basis and students will be assigned an off-cohort remote day to attend in person. This additional time will be adult supported, either by a teaching assistant or teacher.
On Wednesdays, special education staff will schedule remote office hours for parents and students to access for additional support for remote learning activities and assignments.
Language-Based Learning Center (LBC) students will attend 4 days (M, T, Th, F). Students will be assigned to a cohort and attend 2 days on team within a cohort. Students will then attend an additional 2 days for additional specialized instruction within the program classrooms. Related therapies will be scheduled within the program classroom.
On Wednesdays, program teachers will provide a structured schedule for parents to follow for extension activities and asynchronous learning opportunities. Remote office hours will be scheduled to support students and parents, as needed.
Intensive Learning-Academic Support (IL-AS) program students will attend 4 days (M, T, Th F). Students will be assigned to a cohort and participate for 2 days on team within the cohort. Students will then attend for two additional off-cohort days within the program classroom for additional specialized instruction. Related therapies will be scheduled within the program classroom during the off-cohort days.
On Wednesdays, program teachers will provide remote office hours for check-ins and a structured schedule for parents to follow for extension activities and asynchronous learning opportunities.