CISD Distance Learning Information for Families Prior to March 23 Launch

March 20, 2020

Dear CISD Families,

In this message, we hope to give you the tools and guidance necessary to ensure that profound learning experiences take place as we begin CISD Distance Learning on Monday March 23. We also want to assure you that CISD understands the circumstances that many of our families are going through right now, including the fact that many of our students may be responsible for watching their younger siblings. We pledge to be flexible and work with our families to ensure the exceptional education we are known for still takes place during this time. 

You should have already received an email from your child(ren)’s principal or educator about the district aligned online learning resources. The Online Resources for Learning Document had specific resources listed as well as log-in information for your child.

We encourage you to keep in touch with your child(ren)’s educator(s) throughout our CISD Distance Learning process to let them know how learning is happening in your home. 

Here is some information about distance learning our families should know:

What is CISD Distance Learning? 
CISD Distance Learning is an educational learning experience in which there is a physical separation of educators and learners during instruction. Various technologies (iPads, Laptops, or Personal Devices) are used to access the internet, aligned resources and specific apps or applications for learning. These learning experiences include the facilitation of educator to  learner, as well as learner to learner communication opportunities. 

What does Distance Learning mean for my child?
This means your child will be working through learning activities daily in order to support all areas of their learning. Educators will design and provide distance learning in a variety of ways, such as video connections, discussion boards, and virtual assignments.  

What will be taught during CISD Distance Learning?
We will be continuing with our scope and sequence of aligned curriculum for our grade levels and courses, however the delivery will be virtual. We are working to ensure consistency within instruction across the district and adhering to our Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) from the State of Texas for public education schools.

What if my learner receives specialized services through Special Education, 504, Dyslexia, English Language Learner, Newcomer, Dual Language Immersion or Gifted and Talented?
We are working to ensure access to instruction for learners with a variety of needs. We are continuing to take guidance from the state and federal government in meeting these needs. While the main instruction will be guided by the general education teacher, specialized services and support will be provided to each learner based on their individual needs. Each individual program will work in collaboration with educators and families to be sure that learning plans meet the needs of our learners in light of the current circumstances. 

What is the daily schedule? 
The time frames allocated for instruction are in minutes, but not a specific time of day. We made this conscious decision, because we believe it will allow our families to learn at times that work best for their personal circumstances. Individualized daily schedules have been designed for grade levels (PK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12). Daily schedules are linked here.

Within this daily schedule, we are also striving to ensure the following:

  • Healthy balance of screen time and hands-on/paper based activities  
  • Healthy balance of ensuring physical activities and mindfulness brain breaks 
  • Focus on balancing the academic and social emotional needs of your child

CISD Digital Learning Steps for Families and Learners:

  • Accessibility - Logging into your devices and ensuring your child is accessing the learning provided (PK-2 grade learners may need more support with logging-in and navigating through the various applications for learning as they get started) 
  • Monitoring and Discussing the Learning - It will be important for you to monitor your child’s learning as well as monitor them when they are using their devices.  ***As a reminder, during this time of CISD Distance Learning, we will not have the VPN (Virtual Private Network) filter in place for our devices to ensure each learner’s device would have less possible issues  with the various wireless options families may be using.
  • Reading Communication from Educators and Reaching Out - It will be very important for you and your child to be knowledgeable of the communication happening with emails to parents as well as daily messages or agenda items for learners within their schedules. We are asking that you please reach out to your educator if you are having issues with accessing the learning experiences as well as turn in a CISD Technology Help Desk Ticket if you are having issues with your device or wireless issues.  

***For our initial week of instruction, we will not be using any type of live video chat with learners. Video Chats will be allowed for staff to collaborate and may be used with parents and educators to meet as well.

This is to ensure we have given all of our families and learners the time to get acclimated with this new type of distance learning. This includes accessing the learning management platform (Schoology - Elementary Campuses, Middle School Campuses, CHS9, and CHS) (Echo - New Tech) and (Edgenuity - Victory Place), as well as the online resources necessary to help support their overall learning. 

We will have a document that will come out next week reviewing CISD Video Chat Expectations for distance learning and take next steps to use these chat tools.

New Tech: If you have any questions about how to access Echo, please reach out to your New Tech facilitator. 

Victory Place: If you need assistance accessing Edgenuity, reach out to your Victory Place educator. 

Schoology How To’s and Access, Log-in, Navigation to Online Resources

Wireless Accessibility:
We also wanted to pass along information about companies who are offering free or low cost internet access during this time. In addition, most cell phone carriers are waiving data limits at this time.  

CISD Librarian Team:
Please see a list of additional resources for digital reading and databases at go.coppellisd.com/CISDLibOnlineResources

Updates from Texas Education Agency
As we enter into our CISD Distance Learning, we will continue to get guidance and updates from the state on next steps for learning.  Please see the Texas Education Agency link for any updates with testing, accountability and learning.

AP® Course/Testing Update for CHS9, CHS and New Tech High @ Coppell Learners
CISD campus and district Administrators were notified by the College Board this morning that the AP® students will be supported in their AP® classes with  free, optional remote learning and at-home AP testing. These options will give students the opportunity to earn the college credit and placement they've been working toward all year. Learn more at go.coppellisd.com/HighSchoolApUpdate

We thank you in advance for partnering with us to educate our children.  We are all in this #CISDTogether. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Angie Brooks Applegate
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction 

Curriculum Team, Campus Administrators and CISD Educators