As a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, schools are closing temporarily at an unprecedented rate to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus in their communities. We provided a Campus Closure Checklist to FACTS SIS schools in FACTS SIS Help, but we wanted to offer a similar checklist to schools that don’t use FACTS SIS.
Here are a few things to be thinking about as you work through these initial weeks of your campus closure:
- Create an email or newsletter cadence to your entire school community. You may want to send a daily email for the first weeks of closure and then slow that communication or rely on teachers to communicate with parents. Coordinate an all-administrator meeting to determine the best course of action for all-school communications via email. You may also want to send an all-school email with a reminder to log into your school’s SIS portal to be sure parents are familiar with that process.
- Create announcements via your SIS portal to communicate with families about the closure, school events that will be impacted (graduation, prom, etc.), and whom to contact with specific questions about tuition, logistics, or distance learning.
- Encourage teachers to create classroom-specific announcements in the SIS portal, school LMS, or in other classroom-specific communication tools (like ClassDojo).
- Be sure you’ve configured all emergency notification solutions in case you need to send emergency alerts to the entire school community. Communicate with all appropriate admins about how and when to use the service.
- Add a COVID-19 alert to your website with updated hours, contact information, and admissions details. Don’t forget to change instructions to your admissions page indicating that you are still admitting new families, but conducting virtual interviews, online admissions processes, and so on.
Configure Classes for Online Instruction
- Consider asking a teacher, teacher cohort, or an administrator to take on the responsibilities of a resource teacher during this time in order to coordinate distance learning, training, professional development, and technology deployment needs in the school.
- Be sure all teachers are comfortable with using your SIS to complete and upload lesson plans and to create assignments. If you have an LMS, be sure you enable it for all teachers, provide training on how to use it, and set up Zoom conferences with teachers to provide a brief overview on how to add assignments, quizzes, etc.
- Read our blog post on 923+ resources for online teaching for ideas, tools, and solutions that can assist with online instruction and distance learning.
- Decide how/if you are counting or recording attendance during the closure to properly keep your SIS data clean.
- Record attendance each day based on decided school policy.
- Verify if your SIS day setup needs to be updated for no school days.
- Verify if any payments (i.e., lunch) need to be noted, refunded, or delayed.
- Review automatic tasks that may be running to disable unneeded notifications, social media posts, or other automated items while your school is closed.
- Determine a grading policy by school or grade-level and communicate that grading policy to parents.
On behalf of all of us at FACTS, we’d love to know what your individual campus checklist looks like and how you’ve creatively addressed some of these concerns and issues. As always, we are here to help and to listen.