Introduction to Remote Learning

  • Overview

    Under the direction of Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell, FWPS convened a Continuous Learning Planning (CLP) Committee to develop recommendations to ensure all scholars have access to high quality instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee made recommendations and developed guidelines to inform the model of continuous learning that will begin in the fall. The committee met for over 14 hours and included parents/guardians, staff, teachers, principals and district leadership.

    Scholars and families expressed several needs in their feedback that would help to improve continuous learning: 1) consistency in tools, structure, and lesson formats, 2) defined and consistent daily schedules, 3) structured lessons and instruction with regular Zoom meetings and assignments, and 4) a need for simplified tools and training and supports in how to use them.

    This feedback created the foundation of the committee as it identified the guiding principles, instructional models, schedules, and supports necessary to provide high quality instruction for our scholars. As a result, the emergency teaching that scholars and families experienced in the spring of 2020 will be replaced by a much more defined, consistent, and structured remote learning environment that will enable all scholars to experience success. Your feedback was invaluable.

    The information recorded in this document comes from the work of the Continuous Learning Planning Committee with input from scholars and families through survey and focus group meetings. The content reflects the requirements of OSPI and the Department of Public Health as of August 3, 2020. Additionally, content/schedules/ recommendations within this document may require further adjustment and refinement that is responsive to new guidance, more information or evolving conditions etc.

    Our Strategic Plan Goals

    In Federal Way Public Schools, everything we do is guided by our Strategic Plan. Our five goals continue to be our focus during these unique circumstances.

    Equity in Remote/Online Learning

    Equity is a core value that guides all of our decisions and actions; it is embedded throughout the FWPS Strategic Plan and lives within our Race and Equity Policy. Using the Strategic Plan and Race and Equity Policy as guideposts, we grounded our remote learning in equity and identified actions that support equity in remote/online learning. Through the work of our committee and feedback from our families, we identified that consistency in structure, communication, and supports is the key to equity within our remote learning plan; we have committed to consistency in our actions as we engage in remote learning.

    Some keys to equity include:

    • Ensuring consistent structure for instruction and methods of communication across schools
    • Outlining concrete learning goals, due dates, schedules and expectations
    • Checking in with scholars regularly and determining a consistent schedule for support
    • Determining how scholars and teachers will engage online: synchronous and asynchronous
    • Helping families get and stay connected
    • Ensuring access – not just providing but teaching how to utilize the tools
    • Choosing tools that are mobile-friendly and/or can be used offline

    Guiding Principles of Effective Remote Online Teaching and Learning

    Through feedback from the committee, as well as the input from scholars, families, and staff, resulted in the development of 8 Guiding Principles, which serve as the foundation for the FWPS remote learning model. These Guiding Principles reflect the community feedback and are aligned to research-based best practices:

    • Principle 1: Health and Safety of Scholars, Staff, and Families
    • Principle 2: Ensuring Equity for the Success of all Scholars
    • Principle 3: High Quality Standards-Based Daily Instruction, Learning and Grading
    • Principle 4: Assessment and Feedback for Scholar Learning
    • Principle 5: Consistency of Structure, Time, Tools and Communication for Scholars and Families
    • Principle 6: Engagement and Support for Scholars and Families
    • Principle 7: Strengthening Relationships and Integrating Social Emotional Learning
    • Principle 8: Professional Learning for Staff and Support for Scholars and Families

    Feedback from Families

    Pillar 2 of FWPS Strategic Plan, “Schools Can’t Do It Alone” and our core belief that our families are critical partners in their child’s learning, highlights our commitment to working with and engaging families, and ensuring they have the most up-to-date support and information. Throughout the year, we will provide opportunities for families to provide feedback that can help us better meet the needs of our scholars.

    Principals will invite families to Zoom sessions two times a month to hear input on successes, challenges and next steps for remote learning.

    • Superintendent Zoom sessions will continue to hear parent feedback on remote learning – successes, challenges, and solutions.

    Terms and Definitions

    The following terms and their definitions are provided here to support understanding of the different types of learning:

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    A strong two-way partnership between school and home is critical for the success of your scholar. The following table outlines expectations in remote learning for principals, teachers, scholars and parents: