- Ewing Township Board of Education
Ewing Public Schools Emergency Virtual or Remote Instructional Program Plan for the 2022-2023 School Year
In April 2020, Governor Murphy signed A-3904 into law (P.L.2020, c.27, or “Chapter 27”), which, in part, requires each school district, charter school, renaissance school project, and Approved Private School for Students with Disabilities (APSSD), hereinafter referred to as Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), to annually submit a proposed program for emergency virtual or remote instruction (Plan) to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). In July 2022, the NJDOE readopted N.J.A.C. 6A:32, School District Operations, with amendments and new rules which includes updates to the components of the LEA’s Plan. This law provides for the continuity of instruction in the event of a public health-related district closure, by permitting LEAs to utilize virtual or remote instruction to satisfy the 180-day requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:32-13.1 & 13.2. To assist LEAs in the submission of Plans, the NJDOE is issuing “Local Educational Agency Guidance for Chapter 27 Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Programs for the 2022-2023 School Year (SY),” which includes a checklist to identify components that must be included in the Plan.
The New Jersey Department of Education (Department) is providing the following guidance pursuant to
N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9(c) and N.J.A.C. 6A:32-13.1 and 13.2, to assist LEAs in the development of their 2022-2023 virtual or remote instruction plans. The Department encourages LEAs to reflect on the previous school year to enhance elements of the prior year’s plan to provide the most substantive education, and including, but not limited to, related services, for all students in the event of an LEA closure.
Equitable Access and Opportunity to Instruction
Question 1. Is the LEA ensuring equitable access and opportunity to instruction for all students?
The Ewing Public Schools is prepared for the continuity of instruction (for all students) in the event of a public health-related district closure, by permitting LEAs to utilize virtual or remote instruction to satisfy the 180-day requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:32-13.1 & 13.2.
A school day shall consist of no less than four hours, except that one continuous session of two and one-half hours may be considered a full day in Kindergarten N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3.b
Question 2. Does the program ensure that all students' varied and age-appropriate needs are addressed?
The emergency virtual or remote learning plan ensures all students with an individual technology device and access to multiple-age appropriate digital resources which provides for the continuity of instruction in all settings. The district now provides one-toone device access for PreK-Grade 12. Digital resources are available across all content areas that are developmentally appropriate for students, including students with IEPs and ELLs. These resources are integrated into our in-person instruction with flexibility to be used if we are in a virtual learning situation.
Question 3. Is the program designed to maximize student growth and learning to the greatest extent possible? Synchronous and/or asynchronous virtual or remote learning plans which will maximize student growth and learning.
The Emergency Virtual or Remote Learning Plan ensures that students have access to synchronous and asynchronous learning which maximizes student growth and learning. This is achieved by re-instating the virtual learning schedule designed for each grade span during the 2020-2021 school year.
Question 4. Does the program describe how the LEA will continuously measure student growth and learning in a virtual or remote instruction environment?
The district has implemented additional online assessments such as diagnostic testing grades PreK-Grade 12 to continuously measure student’s growth and in virtual instructional learning environment. Locally designed and administered assessments, aligned with Board approved curriculum, are partnered with the iReady diagnostic assessment to continually monitor student growth and progress.
Question 5. Does the program describe how the LEA will measure and address any ongoing digital divide issues, including a lack of internet access, network access and/or sufficient access to devices?
The district has provided access points and other supports for families requiring additional digital assistance. When appropriate, hard copy text books and other resources can be provided to families with this need.
Addressing Special Education Needs
Question 1. Does the program address the provision of virtual or remote instruction to implement Individual Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, including accessible materials and platforms?
All district students are assigned a device to use for in-person and virtual instruction, including students with IEPs. Teachers will continue using the in-person instructional resources in the virtual learning setting. Instructional materials and platforms which support the needs of students with IEPs are available and provide fluidity if the district transitions between being in-person and a virtual learning environment. If appropriate, additional hard copy resources will be provided to students with specified needs. All digital platforms provide accessibility features to facilitate student’s access to the instructional information.
Question 2. Does the program address methods to document IEP implementation including the tracking of services, student progress, as well as provision of accommodations and modifications?
Case managers and teachers will follow up with families through phone call and video conferencing (Google Meet) to maintain open and ongoing communication regarding student progress and program implementation.
The PK-5 and grade 6-21 Special Education Supervisors have implemented systems to: track missed related services, provide timely reporting to families regarding missed sessions and ensure that all students have an appropriate digital device with appropriate software applications. Classroom teachers can digitally and virtually access IEP documents to provide student accommodations and modifications. All digital platforms provide accessibility features to facilitate student’s access to the instructional information.
Question 3. Does the program describe how case managers will follow up with families to ensure services are implemented in accordance with IEPs to the greatest extent possible?
Case Managers will communicate with families regarding IEP services through phone calls, in-person meetings and/or virtual meetings through Google Meet discussions. This includes IEP services such as: Speech, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and any other service provided in the IEP, which have transitioned to a virtual format as a result of an emergency situation.
When we return to in-person learning, the Case Manager will determine individual student eligibility for additional services.
Question 4. Does the program address procedures to conduct IEP meetings, evaluations and other meetings to identify, evaluate and/or reevaluate students with disabilities?
When appropriate, evaluations will take place in-person with the strictest precautions for both the student and staff members, including but not limited to both parties, wearing a mask plus a shield, gloves with social distancing. Any IEP or other meeting can be held in-person or through a Google Meet video conference.
Addressing English Language Learners (ELL) Plan Needs
Question 1. Does the program include an English as a Second Language and/or a bilingual education program aligned with State and Federal requirements to meet the needs of ELLs?
Students are provided sheltered instruction ELL services in a virtual format through Google Meet as reflected in their in-person learning scheduled services aligned with State and Federal requirements. The district provides a variety of digital programs differentiated for newcomer and other ELL students. Through these platforms, teachers can screen, monitor and determine both entrance and exit process.
Question 2. Does the program describe how the LEA communicates with families of ELLs including providing translation materials, interpretative services, and literacy level appropriate information?
Translation services are available through Google translate on each Chromebook device. The district's LMS system Canvas provides directions to translate the platform in over 15 languages. Videos are available on the district Canvas and Technology page with directions to set up Google translate and Canvas translations.
Question 3. Does the program include the use of alternate methods of instruction (that is, differentiation, sheltered instruction, Universal Design for Learning), access to technology and strategies to ensure ELLs access the same standard of education as non-ELL peers?
The district provides ELL students both hard copy (Cengage and Insight) and digital resources to support their instructional needs, including BrainPop for all ELLs and Imagine Learning for newcomers. These programs provide differentiated learning opportunities based on a student English acquisition. Additionally, students have access to all other digital programs utilized by non-ELL peers such as iReady, Nearpod, and Flocabulary which provides students personalized pathways in the areas of reading and math.
Question 4. Does the program include training for teachers, administrators, and counselors to learn strategies related to culturally responsive teaching and learning, socio-emotional learning, and trauma-informed teaching for students affected by forced migration from their home country (e.g. refugee, asylee)?
All teachers have received training on trauma-informed teaching practices and building-based socio-emotional learning programs. A culturally responsive teaching lens is used during grade level, department and district level professional learning experiences. Through Nearpod SEL lessons, teachers have access to resources on a variety of topics such as SEL skills, trauma informed practice and the impact of forced migration from their home country.
Staff will continue to implement daily “check-in” and wellness questions to open instruction and infuse the trauma-informed strategies appropriate for student needs.
Question 1. Does the program address the LEA’s attendance policies, including how the LEA will determine whether a student is present or absent, how a student’s attendance will factor into promotion, retention, graduation, discipline, and any other decisions that will reflect the student’s performance?
Attendance will be taken daily as outlined in our district attendance policy. Phone calls will be made to students who do not login to virtual learning as a reminder that attendance is still expected in a virtual learning environment.
The district’s code of conduct remains the same whether students are in-person or in a virtual learning setting. Students who are not in compliance and exhibit inappropriate behavior will be addressed as stated in the policy including a verbal warning, parental contact, counseling referral or other discipline interventions.
Question 2. Does the program describe how the LEA communicates with the family when a student is not participating in online instruction and/or submitting assignments?
Students considered absent will follow the guidelines set K-5, 6-12 to submit classroom within a set number of days. Ongoing absences are addressed by phone and/or video conferences with parents as well as emails and/or letters detailing expectations and strategies to improve attendance.
Safe Delivery of Meals Plan
Question 1. Does the program contain how the LEA will provide continued safe delivery of meals to eligible students?
When the district is in-person, each school offers daily breakfast and lunch program. If the district returns to short-term virtual instruction, the district will return to its successful process of “grab and go” meals (breakfast and lunch). If the district returns to long-term virtual instruction, the district will return to weekly bulk packaged food pick-up per family.
Question 1. Does the program contain an outline of how buildings will be maintained throughout an extended period of closure?
The district developed a cleaning and disinfecting protocol for day time and night time cleaning procedures for all occupied spaces (offices, classrooms, halls and bathrooms). These procedures are aligned with the CDC and NJDOE guidelines and best practices and include but are not limited to:
- Replenishing hand sanitizer
- Removing trash/recycling
- High dust
- Spot clean and straighten out room
- Bathroom cleaning/replenishing supplies
- Dust mopping and vacuuming
- Daily inspections
Does the program contain the following considerations?
a. Accelerated learning opportunities
b. Social and emotional health of staff and students
c. Title I Extended Learning Programs
d. 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs
e. Credit recovery
f. Other extended student learning opportunities
h. Extra-curricular programs
j. Community programming
As an outcome of a year of hybrid/blended learning, the district has embraced a more clearly defined blended learning model approach to virtual instruction. Partnering this with our expanded digital instructional resources, we have enhanced our ability to deliver an engaging and more personalized blended virtual learning model to students.
SEL component of the Summer Extended Learning/Credit Recovery Program
The Ewing Public Schools Summer Extended Learning/Credit Recovery Program addresses the whole child by providing both academic and social emotional learning (SEL) experiences. Throughout the school year, a variety of intervention opportunities are provided, supporting students endangered of losing credits.
The Ewing Public Schools offer two summer learning opportunities: Summer Extended Learning for rising grade 1-9 students 2 years or more below grade level, and a credit recovery program for rising grades 7-12. We believed that a whole child/whole village approach; academic and social emotional learning, would most benefit the targeted students invited to the Summer Extended Learning/Credit Recovery program. Summer Extended Learning program students engage in weekly SEL lessons with a school counselor.
The district moved the summer extended learning from a solely virtual option to a credit recovery program which is completed in the building. Due to the credit recovery cost, many students did not participate in the program. The district experienced positive student learning when we established an on-site credit recovery with teachers supporting students engaging in the online credit recovery program. Teachers communicated and encouraged students daily and provided a weekly communication to parent about the students’ academic progress.
All students enrolled in our summer Extended Learning or Credit Recovery program, as a tier I support, receive weekly (SEL) lessons provided by a school counselor utilizing Empowering Minds, a K-8 research based resource or Move This World, a grade 9-12 research based resource.
Counselors provided tier II support for students with summer attendance concerns or students who were not fully motivated or engaged (teacher referral) in their credit recovery work. The tier II support format was either individual or group counseling sessions.
Extra – curricular activities and Title I events transitioned from in-person to virtual or video conference experiences through Google Meet. This includes clubs at the middle and high school level as well as family math night, back to school nights, parent teacher conferences and other in-person events.
Question 1. The LEA will ensure essential employees are identified and a list is provided to the county office at the time of the LEA’s transition to remote or virtual instruction.
The LEA will ensure essential employees are identified and a list is provided to the county office at the time of the transition to virtual or remote instruction.
Date of board approval (mm/dd/yyyy): 10/24/2022
Notes on Board Approval
Posted on Website
Is the program posted on the school district/APSSD/Charter/Renaissance School Project Website? Yes X No