First Day of School

Monday, August 17 is the first day of school for the 2020-21 term.  Students enrolled in the Traditional Learning Framework will begin the 1st 9 weeks in Remote Learning due to the current COVID-19 health situation.  For information about what that will look like this year, including resources related to Schoology, please click the more information button below to view the Reset Plan Information Hub.

Blended Learning FAQ

Use the expanding menus below to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Blended Learning Plan being employed by Huntsville City Schools to facilitate learning during school closures related to the COVID-19 Health Crisis.  Please note: this page will be updated and is subject to change.

For a complete overview, please visit the Blended Learning Plan.

Curriculum & Instruction
When do classes resume for HCS students?

Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, with a blended model of instruction through the remainder of the school year. Students will not report to school in-person. HCS teachers hosted the Virtual Blended Learning Open House on Monday, April 6, 2020.

What is a blended model of instruction?

Students will use both digital and traditional resources to continue teaching and learning from home. Students will use familiar platforms such as Canvas, Clever, Google Classroom, Class Dojo, Schoolcast and more. Students and families will receive additional information from their classroom teacher.

Will HCS be extending the school year?

No, HCS will complete the remainder of the school year as originally scheduled. The final day of school will remain Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Will school campuses be open?

Schools will remain closed in order to best protect HCS faculty, staff, students and families. However, all schools will provide “parking lot WiFi” to students outside the buildings where social distancing will be practiced.

Will the district continue to provide special education services?

Teachers will continue to provide specially designed instruction to meet the individual needs of students.

If I reach out to my student’s teacher, how quickly should I expect to hear back?

HCS is requesting teachers to respond to inquiries from students and families as quickly as possible. Teachers will be hosting daily office hours to engage with students and families. Office hours will be shared by your student’s teacher. Teachers are asked to reply by the end of the day at the latest.

Will daily attendance be counted for students?

No, student attendance will not be taken.

Will students be graded on their assignments?

Yes, teachers will be grading students’ assignments.

How will the district proceed relative to discipline and behavior?

HCS will continue to follow the HCS Behavioral Learning Guide in addition to promoting online etiquette.

What is online etiquette?
  • Prepare for class - check your technology before class begins.
  • Mute your microphone when joining class.
  • Participate in class each time your class meets.
  • Mute your microphone when joining class.
  • Use headphones if you have them.
  • Be focused, pay attention, be an active participant.
  • Respect others. Be courteous. Disagree politely.
  • Think before you post, text, or share.
  • Ask and post only class related questions.
  • Submit your assignments on time.
  • Use your Huntsville City Schools issued laptop only for school related tasks.
Technology
Will the district provide devices for students?

As a district, students will continue using familiar programs and devices to receive instruction. HCS students in grades 3-12 are already equipped with school-issued devices through the district’s 1:1 initiative. Families in grades K-2 will be using various platforms such as ClassDojo and traditional resources to access assignments. HCS will issue further direction and guidance to assist with this process. Families are invited to contact their school principal for support.

How is the district serving families who may not have access to technology or internet at home?

District leaders recognize some families may not have access to devices or the internet, so the district has prepared other options to help families have access. These options include extending the WiFi range within 300 yards of every school and deploying WiFi-equipped buses into the community. Please contact your school teacher and principal for any issues with access.

HCS expanded internet access points at each school campus to provide “curbside wifi” for students to upload and download assignments. Everyone who chooses to utilize this service will be required to practice social distancing.  Campus gates will be open from 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week, and the Wi-FI will be accessible during that 12 hour period.

The district will also be deploying wifi-equipped buses to various neighborhoods in the community for students to access their assignments. Social distancing will be practiced on and near buses as well.

Will paper copies be provided to students who may not have internet access at home?

In order to promote health and safety, HCS is working to minimize the use of paper copies. Please contact your school principal for guidance.

What should I do if my student is experiencing technology issues with their school-issued device or problems with their login information?

Please contact your student’s teacher and school principal. The teacher may direct you to the IT Helpdesk by dialing 256-428-6900. It is open Mondays through Fridays beginning at 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

What should I do if my student is missing the charger for their device?

Please contact your student’s teacher and/or school principal.

Child Nutrition
Will the district continue providing meal services?

Yes, HCS is working with community partners to provide curbside meal service to any youth 18 yrs. of age and under.  Curbside meal distribution service is offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:30am-12:30pm at the following 5 school sites:  Chaffee ES, Lakewood ES, McDonnell ES, Ridgecrest ES, Morris Schools, and Lee HS (this is subject to change - updates can be found on the Blended Learning Plan page, as well as the HCS social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Child Health
Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) General Information Regarding COVID-19

The ADPH has set up a hotline for general information regarding COVID-19 at 800-270-7268

Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English. You may also e-mail your questions regarding COVID-19 to  covid19info@adph.state.al.us

What can I do to promote health and safety at home?

HCS encourages everyone to continue following recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

What should I do if I suspect I have coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you suspect you have COVID-19, call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 hotline at 1-888-264-2256.

What should I do if someone in my household tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Please contact HCS Health Services Coordinator Andrea Penn by emailing andrea.penn@hsv-k12.org or calling (256) 428-6835 and leave a message.

What if my student’s medication is still in the school building?

School nurses will be reaching out to families to arrange a time for medication pickup. If you need immediate assistance with medication pickup, please contact HCS Health Services Coordinator Andrea Penn by e-mailing andrea.penn@hsv-k12.org or calling 256-428-6835 and leave a message.

Athletics, Proms, Events
What about end-of-year events such as athletics, proms and graduations?

Out of an abundance of caution, HCS joins school districts across both the state and country in canceling large gatherings such as athletic events and proms. However, HCS is examining the possibility of hosting graduation ceremonies during the summer if health conditions permit.

Can my student’s team meet off-site with schools closed?

Everyone should be practicing social distancing by remaining at home unless for essential purposes.

General Q&As
What if my student left something in the school building, such as a device?

Please contact your school principal.

When can my student access their locker to clean it out?

Principals will provide notification at the appropriate time regarding cleaning out lockers.

What about standardized testing and report cards?

Principals will share more information with families.

What if I am new to HCS or in the process of enrolling in HCS?

Prospective families can contact the school’s principal where their student is zoned to attend. View zoning maps for HCS, and principal contact information can be found on school websites. HCS will continue processing students who are new to the district. Please contact Dr. Cathy McNeal, Director of  for Assessment and Accountability, for additional support by emailing mary.mcneal@hsv-k12.org.

Q&As for Grades K-5 Students
What will the K-5 Learning Plan look like?

The K-5 plan includes daily lessons in core subjects, multiple daily opportunities for live teacher/student interaction via Google Classroom and daily assignments based on the core instruction. Art and music lessons will be provided for all grade levels on an alternating week basis. A daily K-5 PE activity will also be included. Teacher volunteers from all K-5 schools are developing lessons, presenting  instruction, and providing assignments to all HCS K-5 students Monday through Thursday in the core subject areas of Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies to ensure district-wide consistency. All teachers will then view these lessons and be ready to support their students through their online meeting times. 
 

Where will these lessons be available?

These videos will be available in two locations: On the HCS website located on the Blended Learning Videos page and displayed on the ETV channel for public viewing.  Students will have the option of viewing the ETV lessons live or viewing the recorded videos found on the district website.

How to Locate the Huntsville City Schools’ Blended Learning Videos

 

VIsit the Blended Learning Videos page, and then:

  1. When the page loads, please use the drop-down arrows to select the desired grade level and subject, then select “Apply.”
    • Or, select “any” under subject to see all videos available for your selected grade level.
  2. Select the desired lesson.
  3. Click on the “play” triangle.
What is the purpose of the ETV Lesson?

The purpose of the ETV lessons is to ensure that all students receive instruction focusing on the grade level critical standards including reading, math, science, and social studies as mandated by the Alabama Department of Education. These lessons will be taught by teachers throughout the district. Your child’s classroom teacher will use the ETV lesson content and assignments presented by the ETV teachers during his/her  scheduled office hours Monday-Thursday to provide academic support to your child.

What will instruction focus on?

 

The core instructional lessons will focus on the grade level critical standards issued by the Alabama Department of Education. The teacher volunteers are following a district-wide planning template, as well as a specially designed script, that will bring consistency to the lessons. These lessons will be streamed by HCS ETV and broadcasted over the air for public viewing on WHIQ channel 25.5, Comcast channel 17, and WOW channel 3. View the Alabama designated Critical Standards.

How often will students be provided with assignments?

Students will be provided 4 math lessons, 4 reading lessons, 2 science lessons, and 2 social studies lessons every week. Additionally, students will be provided with instruction in music, art and physical education (P.E.).

Weekly Schedule for April 6- 10, April 20-24, and May 18- 21

*Academic Engagement Day/Make-Up day

 

Reading

Math

Science

Social Studies

PE

Art

Music

Monday

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Tuesday

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

Wednesday

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Thursday

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

Friday*

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

Weekly schedule for April 13-17, April 27-May 1 and May 11-15

*Academic Engagement Day/Make-Up day:

Day

Reading

Math

Science

Social Studies

PE

Art

Music

Monday

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Tuesday

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

Wednesday

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Thursday

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

Friday*

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

AE/MU Day

What if my student misses an assignment?

Friday of each week will be designated as an academic engagement or make-up day.

How will K-5 instruction be provided?

Teacher volunteers from all K-5 schools are developing lessons, presenting  instruction, and providing assignments to all HCS K-5 students Monday through Thursday in the core subject areas of Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies to ensure district-wide consistency. These lessons will be streamed by HCS ETV and broadcasted over the air for public viewing on WHIQ channel 25.5, Comcast channel 17, and WOW channel 3.

How can I watch the ETV channel?

TV is broadcast over the air (OTA) on channel 25.5, on Comcast channel 17, and WOW channel 3. All videos will also be available on the Blended Learning Videos page.

What time can my student watch assignments on these channels?

 

Each lesson in the 4 subject areas will last no longer than 15 minutes. This will enable each grade level to be completed within the period of 1 hour. Students can watch their grade level lessons on ETV during the following times:

  • Kindergarten: 8-9:15 a.m.
  • 1st grade: 9:15 -10: 30 a.m.
  • 2nd grade: 10:30 -11:45 a.m.
  • 3rd grade: 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • 4th grade: 1:00-2:15 p.m.
  • 5th grade: 2:15 p.m.-3:30 pm

These videos will also be available on the HCS website located on the Blended Learning Videos page and displayed on the ETV channel for public viewing.  Students will have the option of viewing the ETV lessons live or viewing the recorded videos found on the district website.

The lesson presentation schedule will also provide parents access to lessons in the event internet access is limited. 

What should my child do in the mornings if their ETV lesson will not be on until later in the afternoon?

Students can work on their assignments from the previous day. Also, academic engagement activities will be available. Families are also invited to contact their student’s teacher for additional activities.

What methods will be used to provide K-5 assignments?

 

Assignments will be displayed during ETV instructional lesson presentations; school principals will provide assignments via SchoolCast; Teachers will provide assignments via Class Dojo and school email; Teachers will use Google Voice as needed; Teachers will use online platforms (SeeSaw, Google Classroom, etc.); 

How will K-5 students access instruction and assignments?

Use home device and/or district-issued device (grades 3-5); communicate with teacher online via online platforms; use curbside school-based wifi on school campus.

How will K-5 students receive academic support?

Classroom teachers will provide instructional support to students; classroom teachers will conduct virtual office hours; classroom teachers will use multiple methods to provide support (Class Dojo, school email, Google Classroom, Google Voice, other online platforms).

How will K-5 students submit completed assignments?

 

Students can submit assignments using online platforms used by their classroom teacher; students can submit their assignments via Class Dojo, email, and by telephone to their classroom teacher.

Q&As for Grades 6-8 Students
What will the grades 6-8 Learning Plan look like?

The instructional plan consists of a blended learning approach where our students can learn anywhere at any time and attend sessions that will allow our teachers to connect with their students to improve understanding. Students will be allowed to work at their own pace.   Students should check the communication of each course enrolled. Students should use their school-issued or personal device to log in to Clever to access assignments and course materials.

How often will teachers post lessons?

Each teacher will post weekly lessons using Canvas or Google Classroom; however students may be given assignments that may cover an extended period of time (such as reading a novel or writing an essay). Elective courses will post assignments weekly.

How often will teachers communicate with students?

Teachers will log in daily to communicate with students, check daily learning objectives, and add new learning opportunities. Teachers will hold virtual office hours daily to be available to answer questions. Questions may be submitted via email, Canvas, or Google Classroom.

How often will grades be posted?

Teachers will post at least one grade per week per course.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your School Administrator or Counselor.

Q&As for Grades 9-12 Students
Will HCS still host graduation exercises?

HCS administrators reserved the Von Braun Center (VBC) for commencement exercises June 25-26, 2020 if health conditions permit. Times have not yet been determined as HCS is awaiting further guidance from the ALSDE relative to the number of people in large social gatherings.

What should my student do if they are involved in a dual enrollment, dual credit, or college course?

Students should continue completing their assignments according to the procedures established by that institution.

What should my student do if they are involved in ACCESS or a Credit Recovery Course?

Students should continue completing their assignments. Students may contact their school counselor for information concerning their progress.

When will course credits be issued?

Course credits will be issued at the end of the semester.

What if my student is involved in athletics?

HCS will not have any athletic events or practices.

What happens if my student is participating in an Advanced Placement (AP) course?

The College Board will administer electronic AP exams for students to take at home for the 2019-2020 school year to accommodate the unique circumstances presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated AP Exam dates are featured on p.3 – p.4 and are also accessible on the AP Exam Schedule Website.

AP exams will be shortened and will not test end of course material that teachers have not covered. Each AP exam will last 45 minutes and will only contain free-response questions. On exam day, students will have the option to write their responses by hand and submit a photo of their work. Students that qualify for accommodations will receive all documented services on the AP Exam. More information about exam features can be found on the College Board Online Exam website.

AP teachers will continue to provide remote instruction via Canvas and the College Board AP Classroom portal. The College Board will also provide free live AP review classes for students via the AP YouTube Channel. 

For students without a device or access to the Internet, they may request mobile tools or Internet connectivity from the College Board. Each content area AP exam is $94. There is no AP exam cost for students who qualify for fee waivers. Your school’s AP exam coordinator or bookkeeper will contact you if an AP exam fee balance is owed. AP exam fees may be paid electronically with a debit or credit card through the My School Fees online portal located on your high school’s homepage.

What happens if my student is participating in an International Baccalaureate (IB) course?

Per the IBO Organization the IB Assessments have been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.  However students will work with the IB Coordinators to complete necessary assignments in the following subject matter:  Language and Literature, Theory of Knowledge, Art, Music, Internal Assessments and Language and Literature Orals.

What happens if my student is participating in a Career Tech/credentialing course?

Students enrolled in a career technical course will receive the final portion of the course online with assignments provided by their teachers. Credentialing and other career technical related certifications are not needed for graduation and students will have the opportunity to take the required test once the social distancing guidelines are lifted. Seniors who were in the process of completing the Guest Services credential will be allowed to complete this online. Also, teachers that have the ability to test and proctor their program certification test online will coordinate with students to complete.

What should my student do if they need test scores or letters of recommendation for applying to colleges?

Each school’s administration and counselors are prepared to help seniors with college applications, essays and transitional activities.  Students should contact their school counselors for assistance with these items.

What if my student is in Drivers Ed?

Students who have completed the coursework  and the driving requirements will be issued their appropriate document for completion by their respective school.  Students still needing the required driving test inorder to receive their driving testing completion will have the opportunity once the social distancing guidelines are completed.  Students completing the course will receive the high school credit for the course.

How can I get reimbursed/refunded for payments to the school?

Parents and students should contact their school’s administration in regards to any remaining school fees.

How will ACT WorkKeys Assessment be Administered?

Any graduating senior who needs to take any section of the ACT WorkKeys may take it at either Calhoun Community College or Drake State Community and Technical College.  The cost may range from $0-$45.  Student may contact the school’s testing center.

Both Calhoun Community College and Drake State Community and Technical College offer the state-certified Ready to Work program to provide workplace environment training that helps participants develop the skills necessary for successful employment.

Participants who complete the program earn two certificates: the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and the Alabama Certified Worker Certificate (ACWC). These certificates document specific skills and aptitudes and give job seekers an advantage over the competition.

The NCRC is earned by scoring a minimum level 3 on three WorkKeys assessments that test the skills required for more than 85 percent of all jobs. WorkKeys is a national online assessment series developed by the American College Testing Program, Inc. (ACT) to document and improve workplace skills and measure skills that employers believe are critical to job success. More information is available on the ACT Website.

The program certifications will also complement diplomas, certificates and degrees, and can be listed on your resume and job applications. In addition to the NCRC and ACWC certificates, students who successfully complete the course will receive a 3-hour tuition credit to assist in covering tuition costs for any qualifying degree or certificate program at that school.

More Information
Q&As for Students Receiving Special Education Services
What happens if my child receives special education services?

Teachers will continue to provide specially designed instruction to meet the individual needs of students

How can students access instructional lessons and activities?

School teams of general and special education teachers will work collaboratively to ensure students can access instructional lessons and activities.

What if my student receives instruction based on the Alabama Alternate Standards?

Students will receive instruction and activities from their special education teacher.

How will speech/language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and behavioral services be delivered?

These related services will be delivered via video segments, broadcasts, one-to-one dialogue, and other resources.

Will Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings still occur?

IEP meetings will be held virtually and by telephone conference to remain compliant with appropriate timelines, when possible.

What about students in referral and how will this impact eligibility processes?

For students in referral and eligibility processes requiring face-to-face testing, processes will be delayed until buildings are ready for re-entry for students according to ALSDE guidance.

What is a FAPE?

HCS students will be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to the greatest extent possible in light of the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How will special education teachers assist students?

Special education teachers and the HCS Department of Special Education team are available to assist students and families in addition to continuously supporting schools with resources and assistance during this transition to blended learning.

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