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  • We have a great responsibility in front of us to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff during the 2020-21 school year. While our Back to School plans have been informed by local, state and national health and education officials, our plan prioritizes what is most important for Blue Valley--the health of our students and staff.

    A Back to School plan was developed so families can make informed decisions on options for the 2020-21 school year including:

    • In-Person Learning with modifications

    • All-virtual option, VirtualED, designed and taught by Blue Valley teachers


    While there are two options presented there are additional models within each plan that allow the district to respond based on the activity of the COVID-19 virus. Within the in-person option, families should be prepared for three recommended learning modes 
    based on Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Criteria.

     

    UPDATE ON 2020-21 LEARNING MODES

    The Blue Valley School District will begin the 2020-21 school year in the ORANGE gating level based on the Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Criteria. While the Orange presents in-person or hybrid options, elementary students will begin the school year with the Hybrid (limiting capacity) model. Middle school and high school students will begin in the Distance Learning model. Students who have elected to attend school through the all-virtual option, VirtualED, are not impacted by the gating criteria. Read the full Back to School announcement from Aug. 21, 2020.

     

    In a Sept. 14 email, the district shared with mitigation strategies in place, the district is announcing full in-person learning for elementary students beginning Oct. 5, assuming the district falls within the KSDE's YELLOW or ORANGE gating level criteria at that time. This means on Monday, Oct. 5 all elementary students who registered for in-person learning should be prepared to attend school in-person five days a week (this decision does not impact those who registered for the all-virtual option, VirtualED). As communicated previously, the week of Sept. 21 district administration will review and determine the appropriate modes of learning for middle and high school. Read the full announcement about elementary returning to full in-person learning beginning Oct. 5 from Sept. 14.

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      In-Person Option Icon    Virtual Ed Logo

    DESCRIPTION

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    Students physically return to their brick-and-mortar schools, albeit with modifications. Where possible, close physical interaction will be as limited as possible, transitions reduced and other measures in place to minimize exposure for students and staff. Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Criteria, students in the in-person setting may experience three recommended learning modes.

    Students take all of their coursework online. Courses are designed and taught by Blue Valley teachers. All students are eligible and there is no additional cost to select this option. This option is not a temporary or short-term placement; students are expected to remain in the program for a minimum of a semester. Students in grades 8-12 will have the opportunity to participate in KSHSAA-sanctioned athletics and activities based on gating criteria status of athletics and activities.

    ELIGIBILITY AND COST
     

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    All students who reside within Blue Valley attendance boundaries are eligible. Typical registration fees apply.

    All students who reside within Blue Valley attendance boundaries are eligible. Typical registration fees apply. There are no additional fees to enroll in VirtualED.

    TECHNOLOGY

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    By the end of the fall semester, there will be a K-12 1:Learner initiative in place for all Blue Valley students.  

    Students in the VirtualED program will have a district-provided computing device that they will be expected to use for their classwork. Students in K-2 will receive an iPad, 3-8 a Chromebook and 9-12 a MacBook Air. There is assistance for families with no or limited internet access. 

    CURRICULUM

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    Students will experience the full Blue Valley curriculum. Some courses, due to their nature, may be modified based on health and safety precautions. Students may choose to enroll in à la carte virtual courses as they have been able to in the past. 

    Students will have access to a robust list of courses. Most core classes and limited elective/explo/specials offerings will be provided. The full Blue Valley curriculum will be taught in the offered courses. 


    INSTRUCTION

     

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    Students will experience the high-quality, Blue Valley learning that families have come to know, with some modifications to certain activities due to health and safety precautions.

    Students will experience the high-quality, Blue Valley learning that families have come to know, in a virtual format. Virtual courses will consist of live/synchronous activities on a regular basis with the student's teacher as well as independent learning and work completed asynchronously.


    TIME

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    The hours a student spends at school will look similar to past years. School day schedules have been adjusted to minimize transitions and exposure for students and staff. There also may be some adjustments at the beginning and end of days to limit close physical interaction. 

    Students in the VirtualED program should plan to spend a similar amount of time on school work and in live/synchronous sessions with teachers as their in-person peers. Students can plan on spending around six hours a day on school and be available during normal school hours. The all-virtual option will not represent a reduction of learning time, as was the case in the spring of 2020 with Continuous Learning.


    ASSESSMENTS AND GRADING

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    Assessments and grading will continue as in years past. Grading will resume as it was before the school closure of spring 2020. In the event of a student's extended absence due to COVID-19, their grades will not be penalized. 

    Students in the VirtualED program will receive high-quality feedback and engage in assessments similar to their in-person peers. Students will take all state and district tests. Grades and progress reports will be shared in the same manner and on the same timeline as in-person courses. 

     
    COMMUNICATION

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    Teachers will continue to communicate with families in traditional methods. Teachers will regularly post content and activities to assist students when home for periods of absence as a result of COVID-19. 

    Teachers will use Canvas as the platform for all class communication, parent information, class activities, live/synchronous session links, etc. 


    HOW TO ACCESS

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    Blue Valley will be providing families an opportunity to change their In-Person or VirtualED registration selection from Monday, Aug. 24 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Families will work with their home school to make changes to their registration. In response to requests from our families, in the first five days middle and high school students can also request a course change within the format they enrolled.

    Blue Valley will be providing families an opportunity to change their In-Person or VirtualED registration selection from Monday, Aug. 24 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Families will work with their home school to make changes to their registration. In response to requests from our families, in the first five days middle and high school students can also request a course change within the format they enrolled.

      In-person Learning Information button VirtualED Information button