Staff letter: MMSD virtual learning launch date expected April 6

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison Metropolitan Schools have been closed since March 16, and officials are hoping to begin virtual learning to begin April 6, according to an email sent to staff.

NBC15 obtained the staff email late Thursday.

“As an educator for almost three decades, one thing I know for certain is those who teach for a living are resilient, and we will always find a way,” said MMSD Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore in the email. “As we move into unfamiliar territory with virtual learning, we must recognize that not only do we have an enormous responsibility, but also a tremendous opportunity to re-create equitable, engaging and meaningful learning for thousands of students who depend on us.”

Belmore said all staff members will have detailed roles and responsibilities, and the school district is currently finalizing those plans.

VIRTUAL LEARNING
To be successful with virtual learning, Belmore says teachers need to keep collaboration, integration and the need to possibly scale back in mind.

The amount of time for virtual instruction at each grade level was listed as:


  • 4K = 1 to 1.5 hours
  • K-2= 1.5 to 2 hours
  • 3-5= 2 to 2.5 hours
  • 6-12 = 3 hours max

Belmore noted it is not the total screen time, but the amount of virtual instruction along with offline student expectations, and social/emotional learning.

Classroom teachers will be sending an email to families once per week.

PREPARING STAFF

The email states beginning March 30, Belmore will outline the staff learning plan. The entire week will be getting staff prepared for virtual learning and presenting academic content.

MMSD Teaching and Learning Department will be posting everything online a teacher will need for virtual learning.

Staff will be allowed to get what they need during a voluntary pick-up of materials, but MMSD is not encouraging it. They stress teachers are only allowed to go into the building if they absolutely have to.

Belmore also said permanent staff will be paid to the school closure and public health emergency deadline at April 24. If the deadline changes, compensation will be extended.

When schools closed last week, MMSD said they were hoping to begin virtual learning the first week of April.