The Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan

Flexible Learning 3.0 graphic

About the Plan

Virtual Town Hall Announces Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan

PLSD’s Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan is an upgrade to the Flexible Learning 2.0 Plan, which the district has been following since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible Learning 3.0 will be implemented if Pickerington Schools needs to move a building(s) or the district to remote learning due to staffing or transportation issues.

PLSD’s leadership team presented our new “Flexible 3.0 — Pickerington’s Proactive and Prepared Plan” to public via Zoom on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Please visit our PLSD Communications YouTube channel to view the recorded event.

During the Virtual Town Hall, Superintendent Dr. Chris Briggs, Chief Academic Officer/Asst. Superintendent Alesia Gillison, Executive Director of Instructional Technology and Innovation Brian Seymour, and Human Resources Director Scott Philabaum detailed the plan’s timeline, general principles, rationale, general health and safety measures, and more. Click the link below to download/view the full version of the plan and/or the presentation slide deck in pdf form.

Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan and Slide Deck (pdfs)

You may also find additional information such as student and staff COVID impact rates on a weekly basis on our COVID-19 Dashboards webpage, or by clicking the big blue “COVID-19 Dashboards” button at the top of this webpage.

We’ve also broken down the plan into Q&A’s in the sections below.

Understanding the Three Types of Closures/Delays

With the implementation of the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan, there are now three main types of possible closures/delays for PLSD classes and buildings. The determining factor is the reason for the closure/delay:

  • Staff shortage/illness in a specific building(s) or districtwide — The Red or Orange Status Level Closure/Delay procedures associated with the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan will be announced and activated.
  • Transportation staff shortage — the Emergency Transportation Plan will be announced and activated. Keep in mind that parts of the Emergency Transportation Plan may need to be implemented alongside one or both of the other two types of closures/delays on this list. Transportation modifications will be announced along with the other details of each closure/delay.
  • Inclement weather or other type of Calamity Day — Calamity Day closure/delay procedures will be announced and activated.

Please note that the color coding system for the Emergency Transportation Plan does NOT correspond with the color coding system for the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan — they are two completely separate systems. 

 

Plan Q&A's

Could This Plan Change if There Is a Large Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

PLSD will follow mandates/requirements required by the Governor, Ohio Department of Health, and Ohio Department of Education. 

These mandates/requirements may affect any/all proposed courses of action.

The latest information on the number of positive, probable and quarantined cases can be found on our COVID-19 Dashboards page.

What Are the Color-Coded Levels of the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan?

Status Levels image

COVID-19 Status Levels

Green = Fully back to school

  • All students are expected to attend school
  • Enhanced health and safety cleaning

Yellow =  Hybrid Model

  • Two days in school and three days virtually

Orange = Specific buildings closed and moved to virtual learning

  • Virtual learning in closed buildings only
  • Could be an immediate change, if necessitated by the health department

Red = 100% virtual learning

  • All students stay home
  • Virtual learning for all students

The factors that the administration and the leadership team will look at include the following: guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, mandates from the State, health of PLSD students, the health of PLSD staff, virus outbreaks, the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, and comfort level of the community.

Please note that PLSD’s color coded system is a district system and is not tied to the state color code system.

Is an Orange or Red Level Closure the Same as a Calamity Day Closure/Delay or an Emergency Transportation Closure/Delay?

Calamity Day closures/delays are handled differently than Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan closures) Red or Orange Status Level Closures/Delays). Emergency Transportation closures are a third type of closure/delay which its own set of procedures. The determining factor is the reason for the closure/delay.

If a closure/delay is due to a shortage of transportation staff, the Emergency Transportation Plan will be activated. Please note that the color coding system for the Emergency Transportation Plan does NOT correspond with the color coding system for the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan — they are two completely separate systems. 

If a closure/delay is due to a PLSD staff shortage in a building or illness, the district will follow the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan and transportation services will adjust routes as needed. However, the Emergency Transportation Plan will not be activated because the closure/delay is not due to a transportation issue.

If a closure/delay is due to inclement weather or other reason that would be classified as a Calamity Day, Calamity Day procedures would be implemented and followed.

What Does Status Level Green Mean?

Status Green image

Status Level Green = Fully back to school

  • Provide in-person instruction for all students as much as possible.
  • Provide a fully online option for K-12 students. 
  • Create rational procedures for use of facilities, transportation, child nutrition, student activities.
  • Green is the goal status level for district operations.
  • Prepare to shift between delivery models at any time due to COVID-19.
What Are the Action Steps Parents Can Take for Success During the Green and Yellow (Hybrid) Status Levels?
  • Conduct a student wellness check including temperature prior to sending a student to school. Students with a temperature over 100°F should stay home. For more on isolation/quarantine protocols as well as the latest face mask requirements/recommendations, visit our COVID-19 Dashboard webpage.
  • Provide your students with a water bottle (non-glass) as water fountains will not be available for use.
  • Limit your visits to school as much as possible. If you do have to visit the school, conduct a personal health screening prior to coming to a school building and do not come if you have a fever higher than 100°F or are showing other symptoms.
    • It is preferred if you can call the building and see if your question can be answered through the phone or by using a virtual platform like Google Meet. 
  • Follow the posted guidelines and read all signage whenever entering the building.
  • Ensure that your student’s contact information and medical information is updated through the online forms process within the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.
  • Ensure that emergency contacts have been designated and pre-arranged methods of getting a student home from school should they become ill or exhibit symptoms.
  • Support the district in reminding your child to follow physical distancing recommendations.
  • Read all communication from the district, building principal, and teachers.
What Are the Expectations of Each Student During Status Level Green?

Entering and Exiting the Building

  • Conduct a wellness check including temperature prior to reporting for school. 
    • Students with a temperature over 100°F must stay home. For more on isolation/quarantine protocols, as well as the latest face mask requirements/recommendations, visit our COVID-19 Dashboard webpage.
  • Students will need to bring a water bottle as water fountains will not be available for use. 
  • Students will be asked to follow social distancing recommendations throughout most of the day.
  • If students feel ill or are showing symptoms they will be asked to go to the quarantine area for further evaluation. 
    • Teachers/Staff need to notify the clinic before sending the student.
  • Students will be asked to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer numerous times throughout the day.
  • Follow the posted guidelines and read all signage whenever entering the building and throughout the building.

Entering and Exiting the Building

  • Students will be required to stay outside of the building until the designated time to report to 1st period/homeroom. 
    • Students are recommended to wait in their vehicles or on the bus until the designated time.
    • No congregating at the entrances or in common areas.
    • Depending on the building, there may be separate entrances for different grade levels. 
  • There may be a staggered release at the end of the school day. 

Hallways and Transitions

  • Bell schedules and transition times may be altered; students need to follow the new schedules.
  • Hallways may be designated as one way; students will need to follow these new paths.
  • Students will be asked to limit the use of lockers or cubbies.
    • Locker access may be limited throughout the day.
  • Students are asked not to congregate in bathrooms. 

Classrooms

  • Students will be asked to follow physical distancing recommendations to the greatest extent possible.
  • Students are asked not to share supplies with other students. 
    • If certain supplies/equipment must be shared, then they should be cleaned in between student uses.

Lunch/Cafeteria

  • There will be a limited number of students allowed at each table in the cafeterias, students will need to sit in designated areas (additional new areas will be utilized in high schools).
  • Lunch periods may be modified, allowing for additional lunch periods, reducing the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.
  • Students will use new touchless scanners for food purchases, which have replaced all pin pads. 

Bus expectations

  • PLSD requires that all students (PK-12) wear a face mask/covering while on the bus.
  • There will be a maximum of two students allowed per seat. 
  • Bus drivers will assign student seats in conjunction with students’ assigned stop, that will allow for loading from back to front, and unloading from front to back.
What Does Status Level Yellow Mean?

Status Yellow image

Status Level Yellow =  Hybrid Model

  • Two days in school and three days virtually

Cohort schedule image

      • Provide in-person instruction for all students as much as possible.
      • Provide a fully online option for K-12 students.
      • Prepare to shift between delivery models at any time due to COVID-19.
      • Create rational procedures for use of facilities, transportation, child nutrition, and student activities. 
      • We will continue to follow guidance by ODH, ODE, OHSAA, and health departments.
      • All students and families will have access to quality educational materials that align to State standards and the supports and equipment needed to successfully access those materials.
      • Students will have access to meaningful/high-quality educational materials. 
      • Students and schools/teachers will maintain a personal connection that supports necessary, rigorous academic work in a manner that is respectful of students’ contexts (their mindset, feelings, responsibilities, home considerations, etc.).
      • Simplicity is best during this time — simplicity of the framework, of communication structures, and of expectations.
      • Support the whole child — their mental health, nutritional needs, and safety needs.
      • Parents and other caregivers need access to clear information and ample resources.
      • Teachers may need support, encouragement, and compassion to ensure their success and resilience.
      • Teachers need to work collaboratively in their Teacher Based Teams in a shared delivery model. 
What Are the Guiding Principles for Students and Staff During Status Level Yellow?
    • Students will have instruction five days a week.
    • Students would be divided into two different cohorts A and B by households.
    • Students in Cohort A:
      • Attend school face-to-face on Mondays and Tuesdays.
      • Attend school virtually on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
    • Students in Cohort B:
      • Attend school virtually on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
      • Attend school face-to-face on Thursdays and Fridays.
    • On Wednesdays staff would:
      • AM Hours would be for:
        • Teacher Based Team meetings
        • Professional learning opportunities
        • Planning purposes 
        • Giving student feedback on virtual instructional tasks
        • Creating instructional videos
      • PM Hours would be for:
        • Virtual instruction 
        • Virtual office hours
        • Targeted virtual meetings with students on Google Meet
    • Students that are involved in athletics, band, or clubs/organizations that need to have practice or meetings may return to school for those practices after school on virtual learning days. 
    • Some students with intensive and complex special educational needs may attend school four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday); a team meeting will be held to determine their placement. 
What Are Student Expectations When Attending Class In-Person During Status Level Yellow?

Health and Safety

  • Conduct a wellness check including temperature prior to reporting for school. 
    • Students with a temperature over 100°F must stay home. For more on isolation/quarantine protocols, as well as the latest face mask requirements/recommendations, visit our COVID-19 Dashboard webpage.
  • Students will need to bring a water bottle as water fountains will not be available for use. 
  • Students will be asked to follow social distancing recommendations throughout most of the day.
  • If students feel ill or are showing symptoms they will be asked to go to the quarantine area for further evaluation. 
    • Teachers/Staff need to notify the clinic before sending the student.
  • Students will be asked to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer numerous times throughout the day.
  • Follow the posted guidelines and read all signage whenever entering the building and throughout the building.

Entering and Exiting the Building

  • Students will be required to stay outside of the building until the designated time to report to 1st period/homeroom.
  • Students are recommended to wait in their vehicles or on the bus until the designated time.
  • No congregating at the entrances or in common areas.
  • Depending on the building there may be separate entrances for different grade levels. 
  • There may be a staggered release at the end of the school day. 

Hallways and Transitions

  • Bell schedules and transition times may be altered; students need to follow the new schedules.
  • Hallways will be designated as one way, where applicable; students will need to follow these new paths.
  • Students will be asked to limit the use of lockers or cubbies.
    • Locker access may be limited throughout the day.
  • Students are asked not to congregate in bathrooms. 

Classrooms

  • Students will be asked to follow physical distancing recommendations throughout most of the day.
  • Students will be required to all face the same direction in classrooms when sitting at their desks.
  • Students are asked not to share supplies with other students. 
    • If certain supplies/equipment must be shared, then it will be cleaned in between student uses.
  • Students may be asked to help clean off desks between class changes. 

Lunch/Cafeteria

  • There will be a limited number of students allowed at each table in the cafeterias, students will need to sit in designated areas. (additional new areas will be utilized in high schools)
  • Lunch periods will be modified, allowing for additional lunch periods, reducing the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.
  • Students will use new touchless scanners for food purchases, which have replaced all pin pads. 

Bus expectations

  • PLSD requires that all students (PK-12) wear a face mask/covering while on the bus.
  • There will be a maximum of two students allowed per seat. 
  • Bus drivers will assign student seats in conjunction with students’ assigned stop, that will allow for loading from back to front, and unloading from front to back.
What Does Status Level Orange or Red Mean?

Orange & Red Status Levels image

Status Level Orange = Specific buildings closed and moved to virtual learning

Status Level Red = 100% virtual learning

  • All students and families will have access to quality educational materials and to the supports needed to successfully access those materials.
  • Students will have access to meaningful/high-quality educational materials that align to State standards.
  • Students and schools/teachers will maintain a personal connection that supports necessary, rigorous academic work in a manner that is respectful of students’ contexts (their mindset, feelings, responsibilities, home considerations, etc.).
  • Simplicity is best during this time—simplicity of the framework, of communication structures, and of expectations.
  • Support the whole child—their mental health, nutritional needs, and safety needs.
  • Parents and other caregivers need access to clear information and ample resources.
  • Teachers may need support, encouragement, and compassion to ensure their success and resilience.
What Is the Instructional Plan for Orange And/Or Red Status Levels?
  • All students will be loaned a device which they can take home:
    • K = iPads
    • 1-12 = Chromebooks
  • Grades PK-4 will utilize Seesaw as the main delivery platform.
  • Grades 5-12 will utilize Google Classroom as the main delivery platform.
  • All grades will have access to Classlink to access digital content programs.
  • All teachers will hold daily office and regular mini-lessons with students.
    • Daily office hours – open time for all students to get support.
  • Check-Ins will be made available if determined to be necessary.
    • Regular Check-Ins
      • Students will be scheduled to attend check-in with the teacher(s) on a regular basis depending on grade level.
      • Check-ins can be on an individual basis or in small groups of students.
        • Additional targeted check-ins for students that need additional support. Specific office hour times will be created by each building.
  • Virtual instruction will be held through:
    • Synchronous live instruction or through Google Meet with assignments through Google Classroom/SeeSaw.
      • Teachers will teach mini-lessons of no more than 10-15 minutes of instruction per subject area/period.
      • After the mini-lesson students will have asynchronous assignments to complete.
      • Teachers will remain available in the Google Meet after the mini-lesson if students need additional help.
    • Asynchronous learning through pre-recorded instructional videos that teach the lesson/standard/instructional outcome.
      • Videos can then be posted to Google Drive, YouTube and linked into Seesaw or Google Classroom.
  • Virtual instruction schedule will:
    • .All buildings/grade levels – follow the two-hour delay bell schedule
      • First two hours will allow the teachers time to adjust/create lessons that can be taught in a virtual environment.
      • Students will then be expected to follow the period-by-period schedule of the two-hour delay days.
  • Students and Staff have access to the PLSD Every-1 Connected Program with 200 hotspots.
How Will Teachers Track Attendance During 100% Virtual Learning (Orange and Red Levels)?
  • During Red or Orange Level virtual learning days, students and parents will need to login on a daily basis to the Infinite Campus portal to mark the student as present. The Infinite Campus instructions are divided into grade levels so that parents are responsible for entering attendance information for grades k-4, and students are responsible for entering their own attendance information in grades 5-12. You may download the instruction file(s) by selecting the appropriate link(s) below:
  • Teachers will be responsible for reporting student attendance in accordance with state requirements and ODE guidelines, whether instruction is provided in person or remotely. The administration, with input from teachers, shall develop guidelines for tracking attendance in a remote learning environment (e.g. requiring student log-in to a synchronous online class or communication between students and teacher at the beginning of each class/class period by email, text, or phone).
  • Teachers will also be responsible for assigning and documenting student’s completion of work in a remote learning environment and/or participation in online classes, and for following up with the student’s parent/guardian as appropriate when it appears that a student is not participating in learning opportunities.
  • Technology resources that can be used to determine if a student is participating in learning opportunities:
    • Google Classroom/Seesaw login and assignment submission.
    • Using Classlink login data — principals and the Technology Department have access.
    • Using Lightspeed – Relay (filtering system) login data — Technology Department can provide this data as needed on an individual student basis.
What Are Parent/Guardian Expectations During 100% Virtual Learning (Orange and Red Levels)?
  • Utilize the PLSD Parent University for support with technology, curriculum, or social emotion resources.
  • Monitor and support student progress on coursework.
  • Follow the school’s two-hour delay schedule to keep routines in place for students while working at home.
  • Communicate questions and concerns to PLSD staff immediately.
  • Read (and respond when necessary) the communication from the district, building principal, and classroom teachers.
  • Make WIFI available to students or apply for a hotspot through the PLSD Every-1 Connected Program.
  • Complete virtual learning day attendance through the Infinite Campus portals.
What Are Student Expectations During 100% Virtual Learning (Orange and Red Levels)?
  • Grades PK-4 will utilize Seesaw and complete and submit assignments.
  • Grades 5-12 will utilize Google Classroom and complete and submit assignments.
  • Check Seesaw or Google Classroom numerous times during the day.
  • Check PLSD email.
  • Follow the school’s two-hour delay schedule to keep routines in place for students while working at home.
  • Maintain appropriate daily progress with learning activities to complete assignments on time.
  • Communicate questions and concerns to PLSD staff immediately.
  • Attend assigned synchronous mini-lessons and check-ins with teachers.
  • Adhere to positive digital citizenship routines and follow the PLSD acceptable use policy while online/using PLSD devices.
  • Follow proper safety precautions to keep your device in good working order.
What Are the Determining Factors That Go Into Moving Between Instructional Models (Levels)?

This is a fluid situation with both tangible and intangible variables. Those include:

  • Guidance from ODH
  • Mandates from the state
  • Health of students
  • Health of staff
  • Virus outbreaks
  • Comfort level of the community
  • Ability and time needed to pivot between models
What Are the Levels for Preschool Students?

Preschool Levels image

COVID-19 Preschool Status Levels

Green = Fully back to school

  • All students attend including peer models.

Yellow =  Hybrid Model

  • Only students with disabilities will attend 4 days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday).
  • Staff will conduct evaluation on Wednesdays, students will not attend.
  • No peer models will attend due to class size restrictions, registration will be suspended.

Orange = Specific buildings closed and moved to virtual learning

  • Virtual learning in closed buildings only.
  • Could be an immediate change, if necessitated by the health department.

Red = 100% virtual learning

  • All students stay home.
  • Virtual learning for students with disabilities.

The factors that the administration and the leadership team will look at include the following: guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, mandates from the State, health of PLSD students, the health of PLSD staff, virus outbreaks, the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, and comfort level of the community.

Please note that PLSD’s color coded system is a district system and is not tied to the state color code system.

 

How Will School Transportation Be Handled?

As part of Flexible Learning 3.0, there is an Emergency Transportation Plan. To read more about this plan, visit the Transportation page on our website and scroll down to the Emergency Transportation Plan section. Please note that the color coding system for the Emergency Transportation Plan does not correspond with the color coding system for the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan — they are two completely separate systems.

Please keep in mind that as it pertains to transportation, challenges exist to implement social distancing on school buses. Financial constraints, a limited number of licensed bus drivers, and total number of buses in our fleet, make social distancing on buses difficult. In turn, this could hinder the district’s ability to meet social distancing guidelines. 

  • Parents should conduct daily health checks of their child and not send an ill child to school.
  • Students will be assigned seats on all buses.
  • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
  • Students will be required to wear a face mask/covering to ride on buses, unless there is a documented medical reason that this is not feasible for the student.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on buses and at entrance and exit points of school buildings prior to loading and unloading buses.
  • Drivers will be required to follow employee guidelines for wearing face masks/coverings.

Parents should notify the transportation office if their student intends to utilize an alternative transportation method other than district-provided transportation. 

Does the Emergency Transportation Plan Use the Same Color Coded System as the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan?

No it does not. The color coding system for the Emergency Transportation Plan does NOT correspond with the color coding system for the Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan — they are two completely separate systems.

A Transportation Emergency is one of three main types of closures that can affect classes at PLSD. In addition to the cancellation of bus routes/classes due to a shortage of transportation staff, there are also Calamity Day closures/delays, and Red or Orange Status Level Closures/Delays, as detailed in our Flexible Learning 3.0 Plan. 

If We Move Levels, Will It Be the Entire District or an Individual Building?

The entire district will move, with the exception of Status Level Orange, which could be just one building.

What Will Happen if a Grade 2-12 Building(s) Is Closed?
All students will learn virtually. That specific building will have no students present, including special education students.
If an Elementary Building Is Closed, Should Preschoolers and Special Education Students Still Report to That Building?
The building would be closed for all students, including special education and pre-school students.
What Happens if a 7-12 Building Goes Virtual and PLSD Staff From That Building Is Reallocated to a K-6 Building?
The students in the K-6 building are expected to attend in-person as usual, including preschool students. Students in grades 7-12 would learn virtually.
What Happens if a 7-12 Building Goes Virtual and a Teacher(s) Is Absent?
The teacher(s) will post the lesson plan(s) to Google Classroom and there would be no expectation for them to do Google meets or come to the building. Student learning would occur asynchronously.
How and How Often Will the District Re-Evaluate Status Levels?

As a reminder, plans are “at this moment,” and we will continue to re-evaluate based on evolving conditions, data about the status of the pandemic, and recommendations and guidance from public health departments and the scientific community. Our goal is always to move as safely as possible to Status Level Green. We will provide updates to the public weekly about the status levels in the district.

Hybrid Model Q&A's

How Does a Hybrid Instructional Model Impact the Use of Calamity Days?

Calamity days are no longer be needed. In the Spring of 2020, the district passed a Plan of Distance Learning per HB 197. This allowed for the extension of our ‘Blizzard Bag’ policy to cover the days we were closed due to the COVID-19 closure. For more on our calamity day procedures, visit our Calamity Day webpage.

Can We Choose Our Cohorts (Assigned Learning Groups)?

No. While we understand that a particular cohort (assigned learning group) might work better with a parent’s work schedule, we simply do not have the ability to accommodate requests to change a student’s cohort.

Can the Hybrid Model Be Every Other Week Versus Mixing up the Days Within the Week?

The task force evaluated this possibility and determined that it was not the best instructional model for us to pursue. Most of the virtual instruction in a hybrid model will need to be done asynchronously as teachers will be teaching the face-to-face group during that time.

Are All Courses Still Being Offered in the Hybrid Model?
  • Yes, all courses will still be offered, including the full course offerings at the high school.
  • There may be some modifications to curriculum as some courses may be impacted by the hybrid model.  
  • All AP courses will still be offered.
  • All CCP courses will still be offered in a hybrid model and some will continue to have an online option as listed in the high school course catalogs.
  • Gifted services will still be offered in the hybrid model through both face-to-face class times and virtual learning days. 
  • Gateway services will still be offered in the hybrid model.
Are Special Education Services/Accommodations Still Offered in the Hybrid Model or Virtually?
  • Yes, services and accommodations will be provided in the hybrid model.
  • Services will be delivered while the student is at school or virtually if needed and planned with the parents.
Are English Language Learner Services Still Offered in the Hybrid Model or Virtually?
  • Yes, services and accommodations will be provided in the hybrid model.
  • Services will be delivered while the student is at school or virtually if needed and planned with the parents.
What Does the Kindergarten Schedule Look Like in the Hybrid Model?
  • Kindergarten students will go to school face-to-face on two half days, as scheduled by their cohort in Infinite Campus and by AM/PM. 
  • Once the students are identified for the KLIP program, those students will attend school on two full days as scheduled by their cohort in Infinite Campus.
  • The remaining days of the week will be virtual learning days.
Will There Be a Full-Time Nurse at Each Building in the Hybrid Model?
  • We will maintain our current rotation of our nurses and health care assistants to cover our building clinics.

Misc. Questions From the Community and Staff

Can a Student Use Her/His Own Electronic Device for Instruction? Are There Particular Apps Loaded Onto District Devices That Students Will Need?
If they are coming to school, students need to use the PLSD-owned device. Personal student devices will not be permitted to join the WIFI network. All grades except preschool are issued PLSD-owned devices that they may take home.