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Blended Learning FAQ

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How are students on Summit blended learning teams graded?

This video provides a very thorough explanation of the grading structure used for all Summit blended learning students.
 

I've heard there are no grades all year--is this true?

Students do have grades.  The grades are not posted in Infinite Campus, however.  As the video above explains, students are assessed for content mastery as well as cognitive skills.  All scores can be seen at any time using your parent log in to your student’s Personalized Learning Platform (PLP).  Students will still receive quarterly progress reports showing if they are on pace for completion as well as on pace for their grade goals they set at the beginning of the year in each subject.  Their final grade at the end of the year would be posted in Infinite Campus as the final grade for the course.
 

What happens if my child struggles with the transition to this program?

One of the biggest and most effective parts of the Summit blended learning program is the mentoring process.  Every student will receive 10 minutes a week with a teacher mentor to discuss their learning plan for the week, make goals, assess previous goals, and discuss any concerns they are having about their progress.  This student-teacher relationship has empowered our students to self-direct their own learning.  This video provides a great example of a mentoring session between a student and a teacher.
 

What happens if a student finishes all the focus areas early?

First of all, there are three levels of focus areas.  The “power” focus areas are the content that must be covered in order to pass the course.  There are also “additional” and “challenge” focus areas that can be completed either concurrently with the power focus areas or separately whenever time allows.  In a teacher’s weekly mentoring session, a progression plan will be discussed and then monitored to ensure what is best for each individual student.  Should it be discovered that a student is indeed able to complete all these focus areas and has a passion to move forward, that plan would be discussed as well.
 

How much screen time do students have daily?

Screen time will vary by class day to day.  The Chromebooks are used for many things including some instruction and document preparation.  Often times, however, students do not use the Chromebooks as they are completing some projects that do not require them.  Teachers often choose to use traditional whole group or small group instruction to deliver content information as well.
 

How do parents know if their child is behind?  Does a teacher contact them?

Parents are able to log in to their student’s Personalized Learning Platform (PLP) at any time to check their grades and progress.  The PLP provides in depth information about a student’s grades, personal and academic goals, and even the track for future learning.  Midterm and end-of-quarter progress reports are still sent home with students as well.  As always, the teacher would contact a parent with any concerns. 

The Personalized Learning Platform is explained in this video.  Parents with students on Summit blended learning teams will also receive extensive on-boarding at the beginning of the school year to ensure they fully understand the platform.   
 

Will homework be assigned or is everything done at school?  What if my child is absent?

In general, homework is not assigned.  However, students can absolutely work on any focus area or project at home to either help them stay on pace or even work ahead on additional focus areas.  The only item a student is not able to complete at home is a content assessment.  All assessments are first approved and then monitored by the teacher. 

If a student is absent from school for any reason, they can also choose to log in to their platform and work from any location.
 

Is OMS now a “Summit School”?

Ockerman Middle School is not changing.  We are simply using the Summit Schools digital platform to support our own curriculum as we continue to improve our instruction with more project-based and blended learning opportunities for our students.
 

Is Ockerman Middle School using a Summit Schools curriculum?

The Summit digital platform is aligned with state Common Core standards for English and math as well as Next Generation Science Standards.   These are the same standards that OMS teachers have always followed.  Teachers do have the autonomy to edit, delete, or add any content focus area or project resource to the platform to meet the needs of students.  Changes were made by OMS teachers this year, for example, in 8th grade English when a teacher added her own project, in 7th grade history when a Judaism focus area was added, and in 7th and 8th grade science to vertically align the standards ensuring all standards were met between 6th and 8th grade.  The teacher is in charge of what is taught to students and the methods of instruction.
 

Will students on Summit teams still be allowed to earn some high school credits?

Absolutely!  All 8th grade OMS students, including students on the Summit blended learning teams, can earn high school credits in Algebra I.  They will also be able to earn credits during their arts and humanities rotation in Digital Literacy and Spanish I.  All of these classes do have prerequisites that are listed on our website.  Digital Literacy and Spanish I classes will not interfere with a student’s desire to be involved in chorus or jazz band. 

 

Does the Summit digital platform help everyone learn? What about students that require accommodations or students that are gifted in certain areas?

Based on our own practice and results we’ve seen this year, incorporating the Summit digital platform in OMS classrooms has benefited all students.  The instruction can be personalized to meet any gaps students may have and provides an opportunity for deep, meaningful learning with the projects.  Overall, the platform has provided teachers with more instructional methods to meet the needs of every student.