Teton County School District learning plan approved for isolated education

JACKSON, Wyo. – As of Thursday, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) approved the Adapted Learning Plans for all 48 school districts. Each district was required to submit a unique plan that lays out the strategies each district is implementing to continue to educate students while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am impressed by the agility of Wyoming school districts to create learning plans designed to meet the needs of all students in this COVID-19 environment,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “In the span of three weeks, the WDE and school districts worked together to build and approve these plans that will result in continued teaching and learning for more than 90,000 students and 20,000 staff in every school district across our state.”

Teton County School District (TCSD) Information Coordinator Charlotte Reynolds spoke of the hurdle in creating the educational plan in such short notice.

“The biggest challenge in the creation of the learning plan was how quickly the plans needed to be developed and then approved by WDE,” Reynolds said.  “Normally such a plan would be developed over several weeks or months with input from various stakeholders. We had to create the plan during spring break when few staff were available to provide input and feedback. Because of this, we know we will need to make some adjustments to ensure that all elements of the plan function as we envision and meet the needs of our students.”

The Adapted Learning Plans include strategies to deliver a combination of virtual lessons, hard copy packets of assignments, phone calls, emails, and limited in-person instruction. Other aspects of plans include details for attendance, student progress, staff utilization, parent and community engagement, compliance with special education law, considerations for graduating seniors, and student privacy.

“The district’s plans meet the guidance provided by WDE in terms of outlining how we will engage students, ensuring their participation in content, including taking attendance and completing assignments while providing support for students and families,” Reynolds said. “It also outlines how we will ensure we serve all students, including those with an Individual Education Plan or other individual needs.”

Making sure that students have resources needed for isolated learning has been a top priority for TCSD. With county-wide support, TCSD is providing iPads along with wifi hotspots for students who do not have access to the internet at home.

Reynolds added, “We will continue to work with families to ensure students have what they need to access learning materials and content. All secondary students already have district-issued iPads or laptop computers through our 1:1 model. We have also provided iPads for elementary students who do not have devices at home. Additionally we are providing, through the generous support of the Fund for Public Education and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, hotspots to any student who does not have WiFi in the home. Elementary students will also be provided with hard copy materials to ensure age/grade appropriate materials for students.”

TCSD will continue to monitor the learning plans and update them accordingly throughout the rest of the spring semester.

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