Remote Communication / Teaching & Learning Plan for Monaghan Model School

In response to a time of uncertainty regarding school closures due to the spread of Covid-19, we have formulated this policy to outline how the school will maintain positive and meaningful communication between all partners within the school community.

Email will be the main means of distribution and dissemination of information from the Department of Education & Skills and all other useful correspondence to all members of the school community. Our school website www.modelnsmonaghan.com will also be regularly used as public platform for posting school news and updates.

Informal teacher/staff communications will be facilitated using two WhatsApp Groups and staff meetings will be held using Zoom.

Board of Management meetings will also be facilitated using Zoom.

Communication with parents will be maintained using email, Text a Parent, Seesaw and our school mobile phone.

In the event of a whole or partial school closure, we aim to continue to maintain two way communication with our pupils through various means listed in detail later in this document.

We recognise that online safety is of huge importance and the aim of this document is to help to protect both school staff and pupils, while teaching and learning online.

This policy does not set out to replace our Mobile Phone or Acceptable Usage Policy. Rather, it is proposed as an important addition to the area of learning from a digital platform. The policy presented here should be read also in tandem with our school’s Code of Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying (including Cyber Bullying) Policy.

The primary obligation of all schools is to the welfare of the learners in their school. This policy, therefore, seeks to ensure that remote learning is safe for all student learners and that personal and sensitive data is also protected under GDPR legislation. Schools must ensure that learning takes place in an environment that is respectful and fair and meets its statutory duties.

This Policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Education and relevant sections of:

  1.  The Education Act (1998)
  2. Education (Welfare) Act (2000)
  3. Equal Status Act (2000)
  4. Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
  5. Disability Act (2005)
  6. Children First Act (2017)
  7. GDPR
  8. Data Protection Act (2018)
  9. Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary schools
  10. NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008).
  11. DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary Schools (May 2020)
  12. DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling: Supporting Primary Pupils at very High Risk to Covid 19 (August 2020).

This is a working document. As we continue to explore options available to support distance learning, the document will be updated accordingly.

Context

Teaching and Learning is always evolving, especially, as we move deeper into the 21st century. Developments in IT provide us all with great opportunities as learners and teachers. Never before has there been greater scope to learn using technology and it continues to change the learning relationship between teachers and students. Advances in technology mean that assignments can be delivered remotely and that greater access to information on the internet affords the opportunities for real learning to take place under the watchful and professional guidance of the teacher. However, whether a child is being directed remotely or via a traditional classroom environment, it is very important that all partners are aware that once a learning exchange takes place between a student and teacher, whether at home or school, the same statutory rules apply i.e. the school’s Code of Positive Behaviour and all of the school’s policies apply.

We recognise that online collaboration is essential for distance learning and that families are in favour of increased opportunities to maintain the connection between school and home. Monaghan Model School uses a variety of child friendly, online tools, which assist in providing more effective teaching and learning, while also enabling greater communication between staff, families and students.

Guidelines for good online communication in the Model School:

  1. Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken during video calls.
  2. Staff, families and students are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and kind manner online.
  3. It is the duty of parents/guardians to supervise children while they are working online and to ensure that any content submitted to their teacher is appropriate.
  4. Staff members will communicate with pupils and their families via Zoom meetings or through use of the Seesaw app.
  5. Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.
  6. Students and staff will communicate using tools which have been approved by the school and of which parents have been notified (Seesaw, Zoom)
  7. Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum.
  8. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable.
  9. Model School cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are compromised.

Our School will use a variety of methodologies for communicating and connecting with families/pupils. Our ‘Remote Communication /Teaching and Learning Plan’ will include a combination of assigned work via email, pre-recorded explanations/demonstrations on Seesaw and occasional live catch up sessions on Zoom.

  1.  Seesaw App:

Staff will communicate regularly with parents and pupils via the Seesaw App. All families are encouraged to download the Seesaw app and to check it daily for updates and important information. Teachers will post work for pupils regularly on the app and respond appropriately to work posted by pupils.

Each teacher will register a class e-mail address through which he/she will communicate with parents/guardians and vice-versa.

Parental consent is required prior to using this app. Each child will be assigned an individual access code.

  1. Zoom

Zoom is a video-conferencing platform which will enable teachers, staff and pupils to connect via a live link. Teachers may connect with pupils using pre-arranged Zoom Meetings. Parents will be asked to sign a once off Zoom Consent Form prior to pupils logging engaging in any Zoom meeting. This form also outlines some Zoom Etiquette Rules to be adhered to during any meetings.

Rules for pupils using online communication methods:

For submitting learning:

  1. Submit work and pictures that are appropriate – An adult should check work before submitting it.
  2. Use kind and friendly words.

For video calls/Zoom:

  • Log in to the Zoom call a few minutes before your time slot, you’ll be allowed into the waiting room and then be admitted by the teacher.
  • Please ensure your child is in a suitable place for the call (e.g. at a kitchen table or desk)
  • Make sure your child is wearing suitable clothing for the call (no pyjamas please!)
  • Before the Zoom session parents should remind their children that this is a school session and all the normal rules of school shall apply; turn taking, good manners when speaking about others etc.
  • During the Zoom session other members of the family such as siblings, parents etc. should not be permitted to ‘join in’ as this can prove very distracting to all those attending the session.
  • Ensure there is an adult in the vicinity while your child is on the Zoom call. It is not necessary for the adult to sit with the child.
  • Zoom calls may not be recorded.

It is important to note that any breach of the above guidelines will result in a discontinuation of this method of communication. A breach may also result in a person being immediately removed from a meeting or a meeting being immediately terminated.

Guidelines for parents and guardians:

For learning

  1. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that pupils are supervised while they work online.
  2. Check over the work which pupils send to their teacher, ensuring it is appropriate.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Students:

  • Check assigned work each week
  • The normal school calendar will apply
  • The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Anti- Bullying Policy
    • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply, with students expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible in this evolving and unprecedented situation
    • In so far as possible, provision for SEN students will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies
    • In so far as possible, provision for student at very high-risk to Covid 19 will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Parents

  • We ask parents/guardians to ensure protocols for students are adhered to
  • Check-in on their child’s school work on a daily basis and talk to their child about the work being assigned
  • The health and wellbeing of all is paramount. Circumstances may change for any of us unexpectedly, teachers or parents, so please keep schooling in perspective and do not allow anything school related to impinge on your child negatively. You are the primary educator of your child and you make those calls. We encourage a little work every week day for routine. We provide work and guidance and ask parents and pupils to do their best and that is all.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers/SNAs

  • Check uploaded work each week
  • The normal school calendar will apply
  • The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:
    • Child Protection Policy
    • Data Protection Policy
  • Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply with students expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible.

Remote Teaching and Learning Provision specifically for the following Covid 19 related scenarios

  1. Provision for children who are at very high risk to Covid 19:

The school will engage directly with relevant parents, regarding remote educational provision for children who are deemed to be at very high risk to Covid-19 (see HSE Guidelines) where medical certification has been provided to the school.

In the case of all other children who are instructed to self-isolate by their GP or HSE Public Health, educational provision will be provided as follows:

  1. Children who are awaiting Covid 19 test results for themselves or a family member and have been instructed by their GP to isolate at home for a few days. These pupils will be supported to catch up on their learning on their return to school
  2. Children isolating at home on instruction from their GP due to a confirmed case within their own family/close contact outside of school (10/14-day isolation period). Teacher will link in with the pupil via See-Saw, sending home work with sibling or by email.
  3. School POD instructed by HSE Pubic Health to self-isolate. Teacher will link in with the pupils via See-Saw, sending home work with sibling or by email.
  4. School bubble (whole class) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate (10/14 day isolation period). Teacher will engage with the bubble using the blended method of emailing work, Seesaw supports/videos and possible occasional Zoom meetings.
  5. Whole school closure as instructed by HSE Public Health (duration of closure will be advised by Public Health) Teachers will engage with pupils, using a blended approach of emailed work, Seesaw and possible occasional Zoom meetings.

Please note that the current situation is quite fluid and these circumstances may vary throughout the year.

Summary:

→Do what you can, within your circumstances. 

→There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays. There will be no interaction on Seesaw or zoom during these times

→We ask parents/guardians, students and teachers to ensure protocols are adhered to at all times.

→ If you are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of remote learning please email the school and we will assist you in any way that we can.

We thank the school community for adhering to the above guidelines for everyone’s safety and welfare.

This plan was ratified by the Board of Management Meeting on: Monday 22nd March 2021

It is subject to change, in light of any guidance or instruction received from Department of Education and Skills/HSE Public Health.

Signed: Ian Berry                                                Date: 22nd March 2021

(Chairperson Board of Management)

 

 

Get in Touch!

Telephone: +353 (047) 83070
Mobile: +353 (086) 057 7885
Email: info@modelnsmonaghan.com
Website: www.modelnsmonaghan.com

The Model School, North Road,
Monaghan, Ireland