2020-2021 School Year's Most Frequently Asked Questions
23 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions
THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES ARE INTENDED TO ADDRESS CONCERNS REGARDING ONLINE ONLY INSTRUCTION. MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW BEFORE RETURNING TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION.
1. Will all students really receive their own laptop?
Yes! Every BR student (including households with multiple students) will receive their laptop the week of August 3, 2020.
2. What if we do not have internet access?
We will provide a hot spot (one per household) for families without internet access. One hot spot offers access for up to 15 people using the same connection at once.
3. How can BR afford to provide one computer for every student, k-12?
In 2016, the district passed a bond providing, among other things, about 3 million dollars to invest in technology. At that time, hundreds of laptops were purchased, and essential changes made to our schools and facilities to bring us into 21st Century learning. Incidentally, early this spring, we ordered 1625 computers, 575 of which have already been delivered (bringing our total to over 2500 units ready for use). BR also has the best Technology Team in rural Arizona (comparable to valley school districts significantly larger). We are prepared to assist and troubleshoot problems our online learners and teachers may experience.
4. Are you confident the quality of online instruction this year will be much improved when compared to our experience last spring?
YES! Despite everyone’s best efforts, nobody was prepared to move school completely online overnight. We have used this experience to ensure both students and teachers are adequately equipped and supported. For example, a high-quality online platform like ASU Prep Digital is required to provide teachers materials that engage and prepare students. We also discovered we must better coordinate the timing and workflow of lessons assigned to students. Further, we realized computer time should be limited to four hours per day for grades 7-12, and 3.5 or less for younger kids. These are just a couple of take-a-ways we discovered. We are better prepared to support all involved and are excited about our partnership with Arizona State University!
5. Given BR is using ASU Prep Digital for its instruction, who will be providing the direction, ASU, or BR teachers?
BR teachers will be facilitating and providing direct instruction for our students. There is no substitute for an outstanding teacher. We are proud of our faculty and are confident making use of the ASU Prep Digital curriculum and learning supports aligned with state standards, will serve to enhance their efforts. ASU Prep Digital also diagnoses learning gaps, enabling our teachers to adjust instruction on a more personalized basis without having to search for resources.
6. Is your Kindergarten program also online?
Yes, we are using Lincoln Learning Solutions as our content provider. Kinder teachers will use this platform as their curricular guide while also providing essential learning activities and supplements.
7. Will BR continue to provide meals despite students learning online?
YES! Beginning August 10, 2020, BR will deliver two meals at once (breakfast and lunch) at our elementary and high schools, as well as 22 other areas located throughout our community. BR has served over 300,000 meals since March!
8. May BR students participating only online participate in extracurricular activities?
YES. All BR students (including those participating online) may participate in oursports, clubs, and music programs.
9. If I’ve been homeschooling my kids, can I enroll them in your ASU program?
YES. We welcome families to enroll in our online only option supported by ASU Prep Digital. These kids have access to all our facilities, programs, and supports provided to students attending our schools in-person on campus.
10. My child receives special education /Title 1 services. Will these supports continue once school is online only?
YES. Students requiring additional supports, including those directed by Individual Education Plans (IEP’s), will be provided direct services onsite, in-person, or virtually depending on need, and our instructional capacities. Title 1 reading support will also continue.
11. When does the school year begin? August 10?
YES. All students will begin the 2020-21 School Year online on August 10.
12. When will high school and junior high students be allowed to participate in sports? When will the fall sports season resume?
The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) determines when schools may resume fall sports. Currently, the fall sports may not commence before August 17, 2020. The district intends to return extracurricular activities as soon as it is permitted to do so. Athletes, parents, and coaches must sign a waiver acknowledging, among other things, the risks (including contracting the COVID-19 Virus) to participate. Additionally, we are working with our Fine Arts teachers and coaches to determine what can be done to support our students participating in orchestra and choir.
13. When will parent orientations be held?
The Kinder program will be introduced on the evening of July 28, followed by a generaloverview for elementary, junior high, and high school students later this same week. More detailed parent orientations will be conducted the week of August 3, 2020.
14. Will Advanced Placement (AP) courses still be available for high school students?
YES! ASU Prep Digital is our base curriculum districtwide. However, AP coursework isalso available for BR students. BR provides 14 AP courses for high school students.
15. Will my high school kids be able to take CTE courses online?
YES. We are preparing to offer our full menu of CTE courses, despite challenges withhands-on components. Our staff is working hard to provide creative solutions. The first nine weeks of work will be completed online. The hands-on elements will be provided once on-campus learning resumes.
16. What if my kids need help with a technical problem, who will help?
Our Tech Team is among the best, and well-equipped to help troubleshoot technicalproblems. Most problems can be solved with a phone call with our computer specialist by accessing tech support.
17. How many hours a day are my kids expected to be on their computer?
Elementary students are not required to spend more than three hours a day on theircomputer (probably less time for younger kids). High school and junior high students will have about four hours of teacher-supported computer instruction daily. High school students participating in multiple AP courses may exceed this number. However, no student should exceed 5-6 hours of computer time each day.
18. What steps will be taken to ensure student mental health issues are supported?
We have formed a team of certified counselors, special education teachers, and othersto provide social/emotional supports for students requiring assistance. A list of supports will be provided before the start of school. Small groups of students will also be invited to attend in-person counseling on an individual and group basis. All participating will take safety precautions, including social distancing measures.
19. Must students login daily to demonstrate online participation?
Students must log in daily, Monday-Friday of each week to demonstrate attendanceand participation. Students failing to participate will be dropped.
20. How will I know who my child’s teacher is?
Parents of elementary students will be informed concerning teacher assignments theweek of August 3, 2020.
21. When will my high school and junior high students receive their course schedules?
High school and junior high students will receive their course schedule the week ofAugust 3.
22. Will there be any flexibility for students unable to complete work during their assigned time of classroom support?
It depends. Some students may need to wait until their parent/guardian returns from work to complete their assignments. And, some high school students may need to work to help support themselves or contribute to the support of their family. In such cases, adjustments can be made. Even so, daily login and participation are vital to student success. Some grade level instruction may need to occur live, via Zoom and other technologies. Parents are encouraged to communicate their situation with the teacher to whom their child has been assigned to determine what adjusts are both necessary and reasonable.
23. Suppose school does not return to in-person instruction. Will I be able to have my kids supervised at school?
We are working with our staff and teachers to determine who is willing to support in-person supervision for parents working in healthcare, law enforcement, and other essential roles. We are also working with local churches and other groups to expand our ability to supervise kids for parents unable to secure childcare. Stand by, as there will be more information in the near future regarding this topic.
2020-21 Laptop and Hotspot Distribution Begins Aug. 5th, 2020
2020-21 Laptop and Hotspot Distribution Begins Aug. 5th, 2020
Parents of Blue Ridge Students:
Laptops and hotspots will be available for distribution by school on specific dates, with assigned times alphabetically by last name. Reminder: students who have not returned their previously loaned laptop will not receive another laptop; students who have not returned a previously loaned hotspot will not receive another hotspot.
The elementary school distribution will be Wednesday, August 5th at the front of the school.
8am-12pm is for students with last names of A-L
2pm-6pm is for students with last names of M-Z
The junior high will distribute on Thursday, August 6th as follows from the front of the HS, based out of the NAVIT door.
9am-12pm for students with last names of A-L
3pm-6pm for students with last names of M-Z
The high school will distribute on Friday, August 7th as follows from the front of the HS, based out of the NAVIT door.
8am-12pm for students with last names of A-L
2pm-6pm for students with last names of M-Z
As a reminder: students who have not returned a laptop will not receive another laptop. Students who have not returned a hotspot will not receive another hotspot.
We highly encourage and recommend that you only arrive during your assigned times (alphabetically by last name) for traffic control purposes.
Thank you for your consideration.