Grades 6-12

Quality distance learning is...


  • Lessons address the 2020-21 Priority Learning

  • Students and families are aware of goals and assignments with as much notice as possible

  • Students and families have frequent, predictable, and substantive contact with instructors

  • Routines are established to create structure and familiarity

  • Stick to familiar resources; introduce new tech sparingly


  • Flexible due dates and timelines for work completion

  • Understanding that students may have different responsibilities during this time (ie. caring for siblings), and aren’t always in control of their schedules / how they spend their days / lives

  • Meet individual student’s needs as they arise (ie. accept late work)

  • Opportunities to access materials in multiple modalities (audio, video, print)

  • Open ended assignments for summative assignments

  • Menu of options for students to choose what interests them

  • Support students in understanding current events -- not necessarily sticking to previous content/ curriculum

  • Alternative ways to show learning (ie. take a picture and text it, or give multiple ways to access something)


  • Prioritize low-bandwidth activities

  • Keep students and families informed ahead of time

  • Provide multiple ways to access content when possible

  • Leverages technology and visuals to support language learners and student with special needs


  • Support both social and academic needs

  • Give authentic opportunities for families to share and learn together

  • Assign activities students can do with items from home

  • Give students as much choice as possible

  • Support student understanding of relevant current events

  • Use Zoom to promote student interaction, collaboration, sharing

  • Office hours that support social and academic needs

  • Engage students in the content through multimedia like videos, podcasts, etc. when possible

  • Provide meaningful, encouraging feedback

  • Consider activities that support students to process their experience (ie. “Life During Quarantine” journals, contrasting different categories before/after lockdown)

  • Balance online tasks with activities that don’t require a computer


Instruction plans should recognize that:

    • COVID-19 is affecting Black and Latinx people at rates many times that of White families.

    • Students are experiencing trauma, grief, and anxiety as the virus affects their families and communities.

    • Technological access and familiarity are not equitably spread among our students and families.

    • Students may not be in control of their own schedules and time.

    • Synchronous learning structures can put extra stress on students who don't control their schedules, don't have a quiet place to get online, or don't wish to share their home environments.

With this in mind,

  • Flexibility is important to reach all students.

  • Providing tech and tech support is vital for our students.

  • Explicit language instruction should be given to all learners of academic language.

  • Scaffolded assignments and extra support should be provided.

  • Language Link and translation services can be used to make sure that parents who are not native speakers of English have access to your curriculum and instructions

Written by Jan Maiuri / Icons by Freepik