In-Person vs. Virtual Learning
In developing plans to start the 2020-2021 school year, Springfield Public Schools has focused on strategies that allow students to return to learning while prioritizing the health and wellness of our students, staff and community.
We are balancing the impact of a global pandemic with the critical need for our students to continue their learning. By offering In-person and Virtual learning options, we are providing families a choice that allows them to access high-quality instruction provided by SPS teachers in formats which will best meet their specific needs.
The In-Person option blends seated and virtual instruction to reduce the number of people within the building in order to allow for appropriate social distancing. Students will attend seated classes two days a week but there will be a limited number of students in each classroom. Students will learn online from home three days a week. Ultimately, the objective will be to transition to five days a week of seated classes when health conditions within the community improve. Conversely, students may be shifted to full-time virtual learning, at any time, if COVID-19 exposures significantly increase. All decisions would be made in collaboration with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
The Virtual option is the best choice for families that desire full-time virtual learning. With this option, students will learn online full time from home with regular virtual interaction with their teachers.
Due to the logistics associated with delivering the two instruction options, families MUST commit to the option they select for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. At the end of the first semester, they will have the opportunity to select a different option. Families who choose the In-Person option should be aware that the number of days of seated vs. virtual instruction may fluctuate depending upon the changing conditions related to COVID-19.
Two Days in Class, Three Days Online
- Students will attend classes at school two days a week and participate in online learning from home three days a week.
- See a sample In-Person schedule here.
- To limit the number of people within the building in order to allow for appropriate social distancing and to minimize class sizes, students will be divided alphabetically into two groups.
- Students' last names A-K will be assigned to Group 1.
- Group 1 will attend in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, a teacher will lead online instruction and engage with students virtually from home. On Thursday and Friday, students will access and engage with independent online curriculum, lessons and tools with limited teacher interaction.
- Students' last names L-Z will be assigned to Group 2.
Group 2 will attend in-person classes on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, a teacher will lead online instruction and engage with students virtually from home. On Monday and Tuesday, students will access and engage with independent online curriculum, lessons and tools with limited teacher interaction.
Depending on COVID-19 exposure levels in the community at the end of the first quarter, SPS may consider increasing the number of days In-Person students attend classes at school. Conversely, students may be required to do full-time virtual learning at any time due to changes in conditions at school or in the community.
Full-Time Online Learning
- Students will be supported in their online learning by teachers who provide direct instruction, feedback and interaction five days a week.
- Elementary Students - teachers will provide approximately 4 hours of live instruction via Canvas each day. Students will be expected to participate in live online lessons daily, 2 hours per day of independent online work and 1 hour of recess/lunch.
- Middle and High School Students who choose the full Virtual option will engage with content daily and complete lessons independently. Students should plan to participate in each course six hours per week, with teacher support available three hours per course each week.
- Please see a sample Virtual schedule here.
- Grading expectations will be the same as those for seated classes.
- Teachers will communicate regularly with parents/guardians to ensure attendance and monitor for needed support.
- Students must select courses from the Launch catalog. Courses not listed in the Launch catalog will not be available in the fully virtual model.
Note: The full-time virtual learning option will be a comprehensive school experience. Students will have a more structured online learning experience than they did this spring via the SPS At Home.
Last updated July 28, 2020