Will teachers provide videos of lessons for students to watch?
    Yes, when instruction via video is necessary. Students will be assigned daily activities in their LMS that will include periodic instructional videos.

    Will teachers be available during the school day for virtual learners if they have questions or need tutoring?
    Yes, at a set time each day.

    Are STAAR testing requirements the same for virtual learners? Will retesting be available to those that choose virtually learning?

    Will special education services, 504 services, ESL services, and GT services be provided to virtual learners?
    Van ISD remains committed to meeting the needs of EVERY student and is actively planning how to meet the needs of special populations.

    Can my child switch to on-campus instruction from virtual instruction?
    Yes. Van ISD is asking students to commit to an instructional model for 9 weeks. Students may switch to a different instructional model at the end of a 9 week period. 

    What do attendance requirements look like for a student participating in online learning?
    In order for online students to be counted present each day, they must log in to their learning management system (LMS), SeeSaw (PreK-3) or Google Classroom (4-12), before 11:59 pm each day and complete one of the following:

    1. Daily progress in the Learning Management System (LMS) as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    2. Daily progress via teacher-student interactions as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    3. Completion/submission of assignments from student to teacher (potentially via email, online, or mail).

    Will the Vandals Online curriculum be consistent with the curriculum used in the face-to-face environment?
    Vandals Online will have a virtual instructional design but will utilize the same curriculum and similar grading guidelines as face-to-face instruction. Vandals Online assignments may look different, but they will address student mastery of the same content and skills as on-campus instruction. The rigor and expectations in both options will be consistent and will be aligned to state standards regardless of the instructional environment.

    What will a typical week or day look like for students?
    Students will generally follow a typical school day in a virtual environment. Depending on the student and his or her grade level, selected coursework and individual needs, the amount of self-paced learning time and live Zoom or Google Hangout meetings with teachers may differ from student to student and course to course. Students will be expected to access the learning management system daily to engage in learning activities and complete activities and assignments as issued.

    Will lessons be taught live or via pre-recorded video?
    Students will have both live interaction with their teachers through Zoom and Google Hangouts in addition to pre-recorded lessons. They may receive instruction in the following ways including, but not limited to: 

    • Live, direct instruction from a teacher in a group setting through video conferencing
    • Authentic student work/assignments with timely and relevant feedback
    • Instructional activities within the learning management system
    • Portfolio tasks and turning in of assignments
    • Assessments
    • Video lessons
    • Project-based learning/assignments
    • Group/partner projects
    • Intervention and enrichment opportunities as appropriate

    Will assignments be due every day or every week?
    Students will have activities that are due daily and/or weekly at teacher discretion just like face-to-face classrooms. Activities and/or assignments will be given based on the appropriate rigor level of the content standard as well as course requirements. Students will be expected to engage in the LMS, SeeSaw (Pre-K-3) or Google Classroom (4-12) each day before 11:59 p.m. and complete one of the following:

    1. Daily progress in the Learning Management System (LMS) as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    2. Daily progress via teacher-student interactions as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    3. Completion/submission of assignments from student to teacher (potentially via email, online, or mail).

    How much of the learning will be live instruction versus independent, self-paced learning?
    In Vandals Online and Vandals On-campus, there will be a blend of live teaching and independent, self-paced learning. We believe that optimal learning occurs when students and teachers can engage together and share ideas during a live interaction.

    Elementary students will have a developmentally appropriate schedule and have daily check-ins and lessons with their teachers. In PreK-2nd grade, students will not spend as much time online as older students in 3rd-5th grade. Per the guidance of the Texas Education Agency, all PreK-2nd grade students will receive instruction online in an asynchronous format, which is defined as a curricular experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher via the computer, other electronic devices, or over the phone.

    At the secondary level for students in grades 6-12, similar to an on-campus learning experience, the instruction may include live, direct teaching with some instruction and learning experiences being independent, self-paced assignments as appropriate.

    How will the learning in Vandals Online be different from at-home learning this past spring?
    Vandals Online has numerous differences from at-home learning in the spring. Vandals Online will be more consistent with the face-to-face instruction delivered to learners on a daily schedule. Teachers will develop their own lessons from the guided, aligned curriculum framework established by our district. Students who receive supplemental services will receive those services as appropriate. Key aspects of Vandals Online include: 

    • Daily attendance is required. This will be accomplished through a daily check-in on their own time within their learning management system before 11:59 p.m. each day. We understand that every student has a unique home situation influenced by COVID-19 and student check-in times will be individualized based on the needs of their family if parent help is required.
    • Daily/weekly assignments to demonstrate mastery of grade-level/course content.                                                                     
    • Content learning and activities will be planned by the teacher to make sure each student receives personalized learning opportunities.                                                                                
    • A mix of pre-recorded videos and the ability to meet with teachers live via services such as Zoom or Google Hangouts when students need clarification on assignments or additional instruction. 
    • The same curriculum scope and sequence as students participating in Vandals On-Campus.                       
    • Increased rigor and accountability.
    • Daily expectations for learning and progress, not weekly completion grades.
    • Daily engagement with teacher(s) via the learning management system, SeeSaw (PreK-3) or Google Classroom (4-12).
    • Grading guidelines are the same as Vandals On-Campus and count toward credit and promotion requirements.

    How will my child receive feedback in Vandals Online?
    Feedback from assignment completion and assessment data will be aligned to the feedback of a face-to-face environment. Teachers will engage with students daily during regular school hours. The grading guidelines will be the same online as it would be on-campus. As always, teachers will reach out to students directly through email and parent phone calls as needed to support student learning.

    How will Vandals Online courses be graded?
    Grading for all Vandals Online courses will follow the same grading policy as the courses in the on-campus model. According to TEA guidance, the grading policies for remote instruction must be consistent with the District’s grading policies for on-campus assignments.

    How will my student get extra help when they have questions?
    Teachers will respond to student questions as they arise. The students are assigned to teachers just as in an on-campus environment. Teachers will continue to provide multiple opportunities for additional student support. This support could be in the form of additional tutoring and one-to-one instructional opportunities via teacher “office hours” or through a variety of means set by the teacher.

    Will there be any kind of training to help guide families on how to best support their students?
    Yes, the District will communicate these resources at a later date.

    How will enrichment and intervention be handled through Vandals Online?
    Additional learning opportunities will be provided based on teacher assessment. Teachers can provide enrichment and intervention in the same way they provide initial content instruction, direct student-teacher interaction or prerecorded instruction found in their learning management system, SeeSaw (PreK-3) or Google Classroom (4-12).  

    How will testing be handled to prevent cheating in a virtual assessment?
    The District is investigating ways to ensure assessment integrity. We expect students to exhibit academic honesty, and we will work toward solutions to ensure this. All Van ISD-issued devices have a secure, lockdown browser for proctored, online tests. 

    In Vandals Online, will students still be associated with their campus?
    Yes, each student will continue to be connected to their home campus. Families will continue to receive communication from the campus and will be invited to engage in various virtual activities throughout the year as feasible. 

    Can we pick up (borrow) physical textbooks for students who prefer not to read on a computer screen? 
    Most textbook publishers have moved to online textbooks, which all students have access to through their Dashboard. In elementary school, we do have some consumable books, and the campuses will determine a distribution of these books as needed for students in Vandals Online.

    How will dyslexic students have access to their programming in Vandals Online?
    The District will provide program options for our dyslexic students to access online aligned to their individual needs.

    Will my child be offered Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities through Vandals Online?
    As Social Emotional Learning has been a key focus in Van ISD for several years, we will continue to make SEL a priority for students in all grade levels virtually in Vandals Online.

    Can students participate in fine arts/PE?
    Students will be able to participate in their Fine Arts and/or PE courses by logging in to their learning management system and participating in given assignments. 

    What courses will be offered through Vandals Online?
    Secondary students (6-12) chose classes for the 20-21 school-year during the course selection process last spring, and Van ISD will make every effort to honor those selections. We anticipate offering as many courses as possible. Some courses at the secondary level require hands-on or practical experience, and teachers will share expectations with students for completing these requirements. Elementary students will have all of their required coursework assigned to them in the virtual environment. 

    How will my student get their new LTE device for Vandals Online?
    Families will be notified in future communications when device pick-up days will be.

    If I choose Vandals Online for my student, will he/she still have access to free breakfast/lunch?
    The provision of student meals will be dependent upon waivers granted by USDA and TDA for the National School Lunch Program. At this time, this information has not been made available to Van ISD.

    If a student receiving remote instruction is struggling academically, with attendance, or in any other way, can a district require the individual student to come on campus? (Updated November 5, 2020) 

    Given certain parent concerns about the health and safety of their family during the COVID-19 crisis, LEAs who choose to offer remote instruction consistent with the requirements and exceptions of this document, including the exceptions listed in the preceding question, must ensure those families have access to remote instruction unless the LEA determines that the student's attendance and/or academic performance in one or more classes puts them at significant risk of severe learning loss, as outlined in the criteria below. In these cases, the LEA must provide notice to the student's parents, provide an opportunity for appeal for medical or other reasons, and hold a meeting (which can be virtual) if required by the appeal. If an LEA follows these steps fully, they may ultimately discontinue remote learning as an option for a student while continuing it for other students. 

    1. If an LEA wishes to discontinue remote instruction for individual students (as opposed to for all students, or for particular grade spans of students), the LEA must submit an attestation to TEA.

    2. An LEA can identify students to be discontinued for remote instruction if one or both of the following are true in any class: 

    • Student has a class average of 70 or below (or the equivalent)
    • Student has 3 or more unexcused absences in a grading period 

    LEAs can decide on criteria that include one or both of the above, and may make the thresholds more lenient (e.g., only identify students who have a class average of 65 or below, or only those who have 4 or more unexcused absences). However, the LEA must apply the criteria consistently for all students in a particular grade. 

    3. LEAs must notify parents at least 2 weeks prior to requiring the student to come on campus, with language consistent with that provided by the TEA sample.

    4. Parents may agree to change their child's learning environment to on-campus, or may appeal in one of two ways: 

    • Submitting a medical exemption. LEAs must provide an opportunity for parents to email this exemption request to the district or campus, along with medical authorization.
    • Requesting a transition meeting. If the parent requests a transition meeting, the LEA must schedule the meeting with no less than 3 days notice, and must allow the student to continue to learn remotely until the meeting has been held.

    5. If the parent does not appeal or if, at the conclusion of the transition meeting, the LEA does not conclude with the parent that the student can be successful learning from home, the LEA may require the student to transition to on-campus learning.

    As a reminder, parents can choose for their students to transition to on-campus instruction at any time (subject to a local restriction, if implemented, to align with grading periods, as described elsewhere in this document). 

    When students are struggling academically in the remote setting, teachers and principals should talk to families about their options before making any remote instruction setting change. Certainly, health and safety of the student and their family should remain the primary consideration. Assuming those considerations are addressed, there are a few issues that should be considered when discussing with families the educational benefit for a student to return to campus. First, with a feexceptions, TEC, $25.092, requires students to attend at least 90% of the course in order to obtain credit. This applies to individual course subjects at the secondary level, and to all grade levels at the primary level. Students who cannot meet this requirement while enrolled in public school may be required to repeat the grade and/or subject the following year. Second, truancy laws still apply to students enrolled in public school but who are not attending (either remotely or in person), although school systems have flexibility in their approach to truancy enforcement. Third, course grades may still be an issue. Semester grades are issued based on local policy, but in the event local policy supports it, students who ultimately fail to earn a passing grade for a course (or an entire grade level) could be required to repeat the course (or grade level).