Lee's Summit R-7 School District
Staff

LSR7 Alternative Methods of Instruction
(Snow/Inclement Weather Days)
Information & FAQs

***The information in this plan is aligned to the DESE Implementation Guidance for Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) click here

ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION (AMI) 

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, a new state law allows schools to create a state-approved alternative methods of instruction (AMI) plan to fulfill up to 5 days of time lost in the classroom due to events outside of the district’s control, including inclement weather, a utility outage, or an outbreak of a contagious disease, where school would otherwise be cancelled.  In the event of a cancellation, the district may choose to hold instruction virtually.

Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools remains committed to providing students instructional activities and connections to the learning environment during periods of school closures.  We are fortunate to be a 1:1 district in which K-12 students have district-issued Chromebooks and R-7 staff have a platform in Schoology to reach students remotely.  While virtual instruction cannot replace time in the classroom, Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools believes it is critical that we stay connected to our students and continue to provide learning opportunities to the best of our ability.  The district’s Technology Department continues to work with families and staff if needs of connectivity and internet accessibility are not being met.  

If the decision is made to hold school virtually:

  • District communication will be sent to families announcing that school will take place virtually along with reminders regarding how to access instructional materials.
  • Every teacher will use the Schoology platform to share lessons, assignments and resources with students. 
  • Teachers will post assignments and learning opportunities each day by 9 a.m. Teachers will hold daily office hours to guide and assist students. Teachers will communicate with students via email, Google Meets and Schoology Messaging.
  • Students are expected to access and complete assignments, meet deadlines, engage in the work and communicate with their teachers, peers or parents if they are needing assistance.
  • Work must be completed in order for student attendance for the day(s) to be counted.

FAQS

CLOSURE

What do I need to know about the decision to close schools?

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District buildings will not be open when it is considered too dangerous for buses to travel or too cold for student safety. Announcements will be made through the courtesy of School Messenger and major Kansas City radio and television stations between 6:30 and 8:00 a.m. if schools will be closed. No announcements will be made if schools are to be in session. All schools have direct radio communication with the Lee’s Summit Fire Department and the authorized civil defense agency for severe weather warnings. Fire and tornado drills are held periodically.

The district will provide virtual learning opportunities, as well as services such as nutrition, during this school closure period as noted below.

How will LSR7 be communicating?

Announcements will be made over the major Kansas City television and radio stations, the district web page, school information lines and School Messenger should it be necessary to dismiss school early due to weather conditions. Parents should make sure their child knows what to do and where to go should this occur.

Will any buildings or Central Office be open during closure?

A limited number of critical staff may report to the district’s Central Office or to other district sites as part of their job function. Families should expect that most employees will be working remotely and are best reached via email.

VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION

When will LSR7 families be able to access virtual learning?

Students will access virtual lessons on the first day of school closure as communicated by the district. 

Why is the district providing virtual instruction? 

Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools remains committed to providing students instructional activities and connections to the learning environment during periods of school closures. We are fortunate to be a 1:1 district in which K-12 students have district-issued Chromebooks and R-7 staff have a platform in Schoology to reach students remotely. While virtual instruction cannot replace time in the classroom, Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools believes it is critical that we stay connected to our students and continue to provide learning opportunities to the best of our ability. The district’s technology department continues work with families and staff if needs of connectivity and Internet accessibility are not being met.

What will a virtual instruction day look like? 

We know that providing learning outside of our schools will look and operate differently for each of our students and staff. We will provide structure and normalcy for our school community by setting clear expectations regarding how students and staff should engage in virtual learning each day, while offering a level of flexibility and autonomy appropriate for the situation we find ourselves in.

  • Every teacher will use the Schoology platform to share lessons, assignments and resources with students. The platform has a video conferencing tool, a parent access portal and ways to organize digital content. Parents/students should plan to download that app if their child doesn’t already have it on their device.
  • Teachers will post assignments and learning opportunities each week day by 9 a.m. Teachers will hold daily office hours to guide and assist students. Teachers will communicate with students via email, Schoology Conferences, Schoology Messaging and voicemail, which will be updated each day with assignments for students without Internet access.
  • Students are expected to access and complete assignments, meet deadlines, engage in the work and communicate with their teachers, peers or parents if they are confused. Lessons per content will range from 10 to 30 minutes depending on age level. Teachers will decide if assignments are graded.

Will the district need to make up the days spent out of the classroom during closure?

The district completed an AMI application from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education which allows the district 36 hours of Alternate Methods of Instruction to make up school hours lost or cancelled due to exceptional or emergency circumstances.

What other resources are available for at-home learning?

The Schoology platform will provide multiple resources for students to support learning and engagement via links and other connection opportunities.

What’s the best way to contact a teacher or building leader?

The best way to contact your child’s teacher or a building leader is to email them or leave them a voicemail during this time.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to contact teachers via Schoology messenger. 

TECHNOLOGY

What are my options for virtual learning/teaching if I don’t have the Internet at home?

We are fortunate to be a 1:1 district and all of our students K-12 have district-issued Chromebooks. Prior to the pandemic and as part of its normal protocols, LSR7 issued hotspots to high schoolers who needed them and allowed middle schoolers to check out hot spots from the library. Moving forward, LSR7 is exploring for students and staff who have Internet accessibility and/or connectivity issues at home. Last week, the district issued a survey to students and staff to determine these needs. The district is working directly with students and staff to dispatch additional hotspots and Chromebooks, and/or other solutions, to families and staff members who need them to learn or perform their job remotely. Building leaders/teachers should also reach out to families they have identified as having Internet challenges to see what they need at this time.

  • Read more information about Internet options here.

Where can I find technology assistance? 

  • The technology department is aware of staff members in need of Internet access and will work directly with those employees in partnership with their building leaders. For more information about Internet access options, click here.
  • FAQ for Staff – Technology Items
  • Report tickets: https://bit.ly/virtuallearningR7
  • Please charge Chromebooks properly: click here 
  • NOTE – lack of charging or improper charging will cause the unit to stop functioning and may result in an issue that can’t be fixed remotely.  It is important to understand the proper way to charge the device.

INSTRUCTION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES 

What special education services will my child be able to access during this time?

  • Students on IEPs will be provided with materials in the same manner as general education students and have access to instructional support via email, phone call or video call. Modifications and accommodations will be provided by general education and special education teachers as they would for courses taught if we were in person.
  • Special education services will be provided to students by special education teachers and related services providers as identified in the IEP. Beginning Fall 2020, IEP teams will complete Form G: Distance Learning Plan to support individualized student planning for the delivery of special education and related services through Alternative Method of Instruction (AMI) on days when school facilities are closed. 
  • Specific materials and/or video conferencing will be provided, as appropriate, for making progress on IEP goals. 

OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL AREAS 

Homebound

Homebound instruction will be conducted virtually if possible.  Homebound instruction may be provided via telephone, email, schoology, or through google hangouts. The most important opportunity we can provide for our homebound students are connections, encouragement, and support to learning. Teachers can add Homebound Instructors to their Schoology courses in order to assist the students.  Homebound instructors will communicate with teachers if there are concerns or questions.

Early Education:

  • Every teacher/therapist will use the Schoology platform to share lessons, individual student schedules and resources with families. The platform has a video conferencing tool, a parent access portal and ways to organize digital content. Parents/students should plan to download that app if their child doesn’t already have it on their device.
  • Teachers/therapists will host large and small group interactive instruction time via Schoology, Google or PresenceLearning platforms.
  • Families are expected to access the schedule links and partner with their child in this educational platform.

Parents as Teachers:

Home Visits will occur as scheduled but will be done virtually.