FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Schools to Remain Closed Through May 1; Instructional Continuity Plan 2.0 Begins April 6
As recommended today by the Florida Department of Education, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) school sites will remain closed at least through May 1, 2020. M-DCPS has been preparing for the possibility of extended school closures since day one.
“School closures are never ideal, but this extension is the most prudent move, considering the wide-ranging community restrictions in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak,” said Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We have been preparing for a worst-case scenario since early on and I am confident that our students and their families, with the guidance of our fantastic teachers, will continue to successfully engage in distance learning.”
Students and teachers returned to a second week of distance learning on Monday, March 30, utilizing the M-DCPS Instructional Continuity Plan (ICP). Through Wednesday, April 1, learning will continue as it did in the first week, with a variety of innovative online applications and assignments provided by teachers.
On Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3, the District will provide additional online professional development opportunities for teachers, focused on the next phase of distance learning, with the launch of the Instructional Continuity Plan 2.0. (ICP 2.0). Students are encouraged to continue engaging in online learning using the existing digital tools, but teachers will not have office hours during those two days.
ICP 2.0. will begin on April 6 and expand upon the previous plan with the objective of providing additional guidance and support for an extended period of closure. In this update, the District will further define the roles of students, teachers, and families relative to distance learning, as well as offer different options teachers have for content delivery.
Also beginning April 6, M-DCPS Attendance Services will capture student attendance through the use of sign-ins to the student portal. Students, (with the assistance of caregivers for Pre-K through second grade or students with certain disabilities) will log in to be recorded as present in school and will receive a confirmation alert. If a student fails to log into the portal, his or her parents will receive an automated phone call the next day by noon, indicating the student was marked absent. Absences can be appealed by emailing the school administrator. Visit attendanceservices.dadeschools.net for more information.
Grades will also be issued as part of ICP 2.0. Teachers will record a minimum of one grade per week, per subject, in the official M-DCPS gradebook. Teachers will allow students to make up any missed assignments throughout the entire grading period and/or upon the reopening of school campuses for the 2019-20 school year. Teachers will contact parents and/or the school guidance counselor if students are not engaged in the assigned lessons and assignments, as appropriate and necessary.
The plan also sets expectations relative to the amount of time students will need to devote to schooling each day and throughout the week by providing charts showing recommended times on tasks for students, depending on their grade levels. There are also elements available related to cyber-security and mental health. Additional supplemental resources that benefit students and teachers have also been included since many publishers are generously providing free access to content.
An information sheet for students and parents/caregivers has also been developed, outlining Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), including those related to attendance and grades. It may also be found at covid19.dadeschools.net
Students, parents/caregivers and teachers can also call the Distance Learning Helpline at (305-995-HELP) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole.
Teacher planning days and legal holidays outlined in the 2019-2020 schools calendar will continue to be observed. The calendar may be viewed at dadeschools.net/calendars.
Device Distribution: Six high schools throughout the District will continue to serve as distribution sites, utilizing a drive-through method. The distribution hours are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the list of locations can be found at covid19.dadeschools.net. In order to ensure that all students are able to participate in distance learning, principals will continue contacting parents to determine the mobile device needs of their children. Arrangements have also been made to accommodate students who are homeless or live in migrant camps. For more information, parents are encouraged to contact 305-995-3000. To date, nearly 70,000 mobile devices have been distributed to support distance learning.
Connectivity: The District will continue to collaborate with private and public sector partners to ensure geographic areas lacking Internet connectivity are addressed, eliminating any digital deserts that may exist.
Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are available for free to anyone who needs them – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. A map of available hotspots can be found here. Comcast has also created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Customers say “education” into their X1 or Flex voice remote to use.
AT&T offers internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through their “Access from AT&T” program.
They are also offering new “Access from AT&T” customers two months of free service. Learn more here.
High school students can request a Samsung phone from their school, which can be used as a hotspot. So far, the District has distributed more than 11,000 hotspots/smartphones to high school students. The District has just received an additional 1,000 phones for student use.
Adult and Career/Technical Education: M-DCPS launched its distance learning plan for adult, career and technical education. All teachers and adult students can access instructional lessons and resource content through active, program-specific links provided online. One thousand devices are being provided to support adult and career/technical education students. Adult Education students may visit www.adulteducationworks.com. Career/Technical Education students may visit www.careerinayear.com. For more information on either of these programs, please call 305-558-8000.
M-DCPS Telephone Hotlines:
(Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
• District Emergency Operations: 305-995-3000
• Instructional Continuity Plan: 305-995-HELP (4357)
• Adult and Career/Technical Education: 305-558-8000
• Mental Health Services for students/parents: 305-995-7100
• Employee Assistance Program: 305-995-7111
M-DCPS Online Resources:
For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools mobile app to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on Twitter @mdcps and @miamisup, on Instagram @miamischools and @miamisup, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools and AlbertoCarvalho