ANN ARBOR, MI – While Ann Arbor Public Schools plan to offer five days of in-person classes in the fall, the district will also offer two virtual learning options at the elementary level.
A2 Virtual Elementary offers students the option of instruction that can be taken at their own pace, while A2 Live Online Learning allows students to participate in daily live instruction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Both programs include the AAPS program, while A2 Virtual Elementary, which launched last fall, mainly includes elements of the Florida Virtual School. The A2 Virtual Elementary allows students to access basic content like math, science and literacy at a time that is convenient for both the student and the family, said Robin Kocher, Principal at acting of the A2 Virtual Elementary.
“For a variety of reasons, we have families who always need online programs for elementary school students, whether it’s because they fear they will feel safe and comfortable with their child’s return,” he said. Kocher said. “We have families who have found that this past year has worked for them and that it has suited them perfectly. What we can’t wait to do is build a virtual village based on what we’ve learned over the past year.
A2 Live Online Learning provides a similar experience to students in the past school year with distance learning, with live online Zoom sessions led by an AAPS teacher on a specific schedule, five days a week, Kocher said.
A2 Virtual Elementary shares many of the same elements of this curriculum, Kocher said, with students receiving feedback from an assigned AAPS teacher and meeting with them online a few times a week to review their progress and adjust teaching accordingly. student needs.
The role of parents is crucial in both virtual options, with parents making sure their children participate in daily Zoom Online sessions on time, Kocher said.
The A2 Virtual Elementary experience requires families to help their child develop their own schedule and communicate with their teacher for support, Kocher said.
“We say that children access the material independently, but we also know that given the age and level of development of children in Kindergarten to Grade 5, they will need the support of an adult to do it. access, and not only to keep them on schedule, but also to help them grow. schedule, follow them and help them communicate with their teacher, ”Kocher said of A2 Virtual Elementary.
A2 Live Online’s provisional online schedule includes a morning group meeting from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., followed by two literacy periods before a block of intervention and enrichment time from 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
“This is a time when we stop further instruction and a time when students who need extra support can get it,” Kocher said. “This might be the time for kids who need to enrich themselves or work on passionate projects.”
The A2 Live Online daily schedule also includes four built-in “offline” time periods to give students scheduled breaks from screen time. Additionally, the virtual live option includes time periods for teachers to work with small groups of students. The day ends with a period of “closing circle” where the entire group of virtual A2 students meets from 2:55 p.m. to 3 p.m.
With A2 Virtual, parents have more responsibility to help create their child’s own schedule, with 60 minute recommendations for math and literacy, 30 minutes for science and social studies, and 15-30 minutes. live programming with teachers or peers. A2 Virtual students will also have the opportunity to participate in special live lessons.
“Every day of the week, virtual students have the opportunity to connect with their peers and they have the opportunity to connect with their teacher through special offers and morning meetings,” Kocher said. “We are offering clubs that we started this year to virtual, largely related to our special and we intend to expand them and offer them to our A2 Live students.”
Both programs provide a “robust” option for parents who are reluctant to send their children back to school in person, providing the district with an opportunity to serve potential students from the school of choice, said AAPS deputy superintendent. , Dawn Linden, noting that the school’s The Window of Choice for AAPS ends June 30.
“It’s really capitalizing on everything we’ve learned over the past year in live synchronous teaching,” Linden said. “I think if people were looking for options online for students, this would be the first place I would look as a parent.”
The AAPS will initially equip the virtual programs with one classroom per grade level, with the option of adding additional classes if there is enough interest, Superintendent Jeanice Swift said.
Parents who wish to enroll in one of the two virtual programs will have the opportunity to transition their child to an in-person environment during one of AAPS ” natural transitions’, with the first opportunity being at the end of the first quarter around Thanksgiving, says Swift.
Students in Grades 6 to 12 can still enroll in the district’s existing A2Virtual + Academy, an online program that offers more than 250 courses that students can take at their own pace.
More information on the A2 Virtual Village can be found on the AAPS website.
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