Below you will find critical information for the 2020-2021 school year. As we communicated on July 24, we will begin the year 100% virtually. This will be the case for at least the first month, and potentially longer. We will share more updates as the year unfolds.
We have listened to the feedback given to us from parents and staff and used that to create a virtual learning program that is worthy of our students. Our virtual learning will consist of a combination of live virtual lessons, assignments that students will have to complete on their own, and live small group and individual tutoring sessions to best support students academically while still maintaining the same level of emotional supports we have always provided students. This program is detailed below.
Virtual Learning Schedule
Overview of Student Daily Schedule
Our virtual learning model has an A Day and a B Day every other day, and this pattern repeats every school day Monday to Friday while we remain fully virtual. These A and B day schedules are shown in the table below. Each day, students have time at 8:00 AM to work on any coursework and receive additional supports. Then, at 9:00 AM, all students are required to log in online and attend their short Advisory period using video. From there, students will use video conferencing to attend three of their classes online at 9:15, at 11:15, and at 1:15 (on A Days, these online video classes will be their periods 1, 3, and 5; on B Days, these online video classes will be their periods 2, 4, and 6). These online classes will be “live,” meaning they will be facilitated by a teacher in real-time over video conference. During the other hours of the school day, students will log in to Google Classroom and complete coursework for the three classes that they did not attend via video that day (see schedule below). This independent work will include pre-recorded lessons.
Detailed Student Schedule – A Day vs. B Day
|Time||A Day||B Day|
|8:00 – 9:00||Independent Coursework Time & Student Support Time||Independent Coursework Time & Student Support Time|
|9:00 – 9:15||Attend Advisory Period Online (Zoom)||Attend Advisory Period Online (Zoom)|
|9:15 – 10:00||Period 1: Attend Class Online (Zoom)||Period 2: Attend Class Online (Zoom)|
|10:15 – 11:00||Period 2: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)||Period 1: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)|
|11:15 – 12:00||Period 3: Attend Class Online (Zoom)||Period 4: Attend Class Online (Zoom)|
|12:00 – 12:30||Lunch||Lunch|
|12:30 – 1:15||Period 4: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)||Period 3: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)|
|1:15 – 2:00||Period 5: Attend Class Online (Zoom)||Period 6: Attend Class Online (Zoom)|
|2:15 – 3:00||Period 6: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)||Period 5: Independent Coursework (on Google Classroom)|
|3:00 – 4:00||After-School Activities||After-School Activities|
In summary, the easiest way to remember this schedule is that students are required to attend class online using video conferencing at the following four times every single day, Monday to Friday:
- 9:00 Advisory
- 9:15 Period 1 (A Day) or Period 2 (B Day)
- 11:15 Period 3 (A Day) or Period 4 (B Day)
- 2:15 Period 5 (A Day) or Period 6 (B Day)
At the other times (in the table above), students are expected to log in and complete the coursework for their other periods in Google Classroom. Assignments are generally due at 11:59 PM of the same day they are assigned.
Additional 2020-21 Information
Attendance will be taken every day during Advisory (9:00-9:15) and again during the 3 online classes during the day (at 9:15, 11:15, and 2:15). Students are expected to be present for all online classes.
We understand how difficult a shift to 100% virtual learning will be for both students and families. Our schedule has been crafted to balance the educational needs of the student with the need for flexibility as students learn from home. Our teachers have been preparing for weeks to create engaging and meaningful lessons that will be delivered online, and additional supports and trainings will be offered throughout the year. Please, if you have any suggestions or feedback, you can contact me (Chris) directly at email@example.com.
We will continue to serve our special education students based on their IEPs and with every resource we have available to make academic and social-emotional learning happen virtually. Students will continue to be assigned case managers and co-teaching will continue to occur during instruction. If you have any specific questions, please reach out to Ms. Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this time, we will make every attempt to keep you informed about school changes and any updates. Additionally, we want to be allies with you in offering the best education possible to your students. A team member will be reaching out to you to make sure we have the correct email address, phone number, and address for your student. If this information changes during the year, it is important that you communicate this to us.
Technology for New Students
Students who are new to the community should come to the school to receive their Freire-issued Chromebook on either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of next week (8/10-8/12) between 9 AM and 1 PM. We will be limiting the number of people in the building at any given time and students and families must wear a face covering.
If you do not have regular access to the internet, please tell a Freire staff member when you receive your computer.
Technology for Returning Students
Students who were enrolled last school year should make sure their Chromebooks are functioning for the upcoming school year. If your Chromebook is not working, please contact TechSupport@freirecharterschool.org immediately.
Please remember that this computer is Freire property, and students should not assume privacy when using them. We can and may monitor usage and files remotely. This computer is intended solely for educational use, and students/parents are not permitted to load any software/apps on this computer or uninstall any software that is on it. All school rules, policies, and procedures that apply to students in school apply while using the laptop and it is not permissible to engage in illegal activity while using this computer, including harassment and cyberbullying.
This summer, members of our community participated in 5 discussion groups centered around the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. The conversations and discussions have been meaningful and a beginning to the significant and sustained work we need to do as a community to realize our goal of being a 100% anti-racist school network. We have recently interviewed and vetted several professional groups to help us in our efforts, and we are in negotiations with a group that we believe would be the best partner for us in the critical work we must do in 2020-21. We will provide you with more details and opportunities for involvement in the near future.
As a result of some of the shifts we have had to make with our instruction, our calendar has shifted slightly. The first day of school (virtual) will be on Tuesday, August 25th.
Our hope is that when conditions improve, our students will be back in our physical building. Again, safety for our entire community – students, staff, and our family partners like you – is our guiding principle on reopening our physical building to students. To ensure we are prepared for in-person instruction when it is feasible, we have developed a Health and Safety Plan, which is available on our website.
Thank you for being our partners in education as we plan for a safe, healthy, and engaging fall. We will have more updates in the coming weeks, so please check your email and the Freire High School website regularly.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and please stay safe by wearing a mask and keeping your distance when out in public.
With safety as our number one guiding principle, Freire Schools has decided that ALL students will start the 2020-2021 school year learning at home, also known as virtual learning. No students will physically be inside the building any days of the week, regardless of what you selected on the survey a week ago.
We have listened to the feedback given to us from parents and staff and used that to create a virtual learning program that is worthy of our students. Our virtual learning will consist of a combination of live virtual lessons, assignments that students will have to complete on their own, and live small group and individual tutoring sessions to best support students academically while still maintaining the same level of emotional supports we’ve always provided students.
At this time, the State of Pennsylvania has asked individual schools and school districts to use their discretion as to whether to offer in-person instruction or fully at-home instruction this fall. Given the information that is currently available regarding coronavirus safety, we have decided to proceed with the most cautious approach possible, and to begin the school year with all students learning at home.
Our hope is that when conditions improve, our students are back in our physical building. Again, safety for our entire community – students, staff, and our family partners like you – is our guiding principle on reopening our physical building to students. We will constantly assess current guidelines and data in determining when to reopen the building.
We have been hard at work planning the best learning at home experience for our students and families. Our learning will be rigorous, engaging, and worthy of our students so that they have the power to build the future.
Health and Safety Plan
Please note: Freire Charter School is beginning the 2020-21 school year using an all-virtual model. The plan linked here discusses Freire Charter School’s reopening plan at such time as conditions permit us to open the building for in-person learning. Click here to read Freire Charter School’s Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan.