We want to thank you for your patience as we navigate the waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we make sure we do our best to reach out to our students and take care of them and our faculty. The latest change has been the Virtual Wednesdays schedule that will begin on October 28. There is a lot of information on our website at www.wmsd.net under the tab "Virtual Wednesdays". We will post the schedule separately on Facebook as well.
Each Wednesday, the teachers will have set aside an hour and a half for virtual help for any child that needs additional assistance. The schedule can be found on the website in the document. During those virtual help sessions, your child will just need to join by clicking the Zoom link that will either be sent through their Seesaw account (for Kindergarten through Second grade) or through their teacher's landing page on Lincoln Learning/Buzz (for grades 3rd-9th). The high school will be providing Google Meets information for their virtual help meetings.
If you have any further questions, feel free to call the school after 8:00 am on Wednesday and someone will be able to assist you or your child with logging on for virtual help.
Virtual Wednesdays Student Support
Students (or their parents) will be able to log on to a Zoom or Google Meets session at a set time each Wednesday. During those virtual help sessions, your child will just need to join by clicking the Zoom link that will either be sent through their Seesaw account (for Kindergarten through Second grade) or through their teacher's landing page on Lincoln Learning/Buzz (for grades 3rd-9th). The high school will be providing Google Meets information for their virtual help meetings. The schedule for each grade level and/or subject area is below.
K-2—All subjects 9:00-10:30
3rd-6th ELA (Reading, Writing, Spelling, English)—9:00-10:30
3rd-6th Social Studies 2:00-3:30
ELA/Fine Arts/ Foreign Lang/SPED—9:00-10:30
Math & HS CTE/SPED—10:30-12:00
Science & Jr. High CTE Self-Contained—12:30-2:00
Social Studies & Non- Content Coaches—2:00-3:30
Please call the school on Wednesday, after 8:00 am, if you have any problems or questions about logging on or the schedule itself.
The West Memphis School District will offer virtual learning days for students on Wednesday of each week, beginning Wednesday, October 28th and continuing through the end of January 2021. In January, we will re-evaluate and assess the need to continue or discontinue the practice.
Virtual Wednesdays give parents the option to have their child learn from home or attend school on campus. Students who choose to learn from home on Wednesdays will not be counted absent as long as they complete the required assignments. Instruction on Virtual Wednesdays will be 100% virtual/digital instruction with no new content. Virtual Wednesdays are designed to be beneficial days for both teachers and students.
Bus transportation will be provided for students who need to come to school on these days, and meal service will be provided on-site for breakfast and lunch. Access to campus services will not be denied to any student needing additional services. Students who remain at home can pick up meals at bus stops previously publicized in our community updates posted on WMSD social media and our website (www.wmsd.net).
WMSD is making this change primarily to help ease the burden on our school faculty where all classes are combined with on-site and virtual students. We have surveyed our teachers, listened to their concerns, and their feedback is clear: the amount of work required with our current model of instruction is not sustainable. Virtual Wednesdays will give teachers protected time for the added tasks that have come with this unusual school year, and are designed to bring relief and additional support to both our students and our teachers. The day will be very structured for staff with specific blocks of time dedicated to such things as grading and providing feedback to students, time for instructional support and interventions with students, and time for developing instructional materials (videos, resources, hyperdocs).
New schedule for onsite/blended students (beginning October 28)
Wednesday: Virtual Learning (on-site/blended students may login to their online platform from home for virtual learning OR come to school in person to complete virtual work on campus.) Onsite/blended students who choose to come to school on Wednesdays to complete their virtual work on campus will check in as normal, follow screening protocols, and be assigned to a designated area to complete their assignments for the day. On Virtual Wednesdays, students will focus on attending any virtual help sessions with teachers, completing any missed assignments or assessments, completing their review lessons for each class.
Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday: Onsite/Blended Learning students continue to come to school in person as normal and virtual students continue to work from home.
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for all Staff
All staff will report to school at their normal report time. All staff members will remain on campus all day. If, for some reason, staff are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave. Any staff member who has duty will still report for duty as students are allowed to attend school on Virtual Wednesdays and will still need screening and supervision. Staff members will have a 30 minute lunch. Administrators, specials/pull-out teachers and paraprofessionals (who are not working directly with WMSD students) will supervise and assist the students who elect to come to school.
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for Teachers
All teachers will report to school at their normal report time and work a full day. If, for some reason, teachers are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave.
Elementary day 8:00-3:35
Secondary day 8:00-3:35
6.5 Hours with a 30 Minute Lunch - - 7 hours total with lunch
We surveyed our teachers and found that their top three areas of need were all about additional time for grading/feedback, providing additional time for students and developing and planning for digital instructional content (videos, hyperdocs, etc). Therefore, as a result of the feedback from our teachers we have structured the Virtual Wednesday teacher work day as follows: The first hour of the day will be a content team check in. The purpose of this check in is for teachers who teach similar content to get together, across the district, to decide what they need for the week and see how they can work smarter, not harder by dividing some of the work as it relates to creating and planning for digital lessons. These can be done through Zoom and will be hosted by an instructional facilitator. Each teacher will have an hour and a half dedicated to student intervention. Teachers are expected to have (3) 25 minute live stream sessions with small groups of students who need additional help during the intervention time. Each teacher will also have 3 hours in which to plan for and develop instructional materials for students and record lessons to post in their instructional platform. Additionally, each teacher will have an hour and a half for grading student assignments and providing feedback. The schedule for each group of teachers and counselors is reflected here:
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for Counselors
Counselors will report to school at their normal report time and work a full day. If, for some reason, they are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave. Counselors will have one and a half hours to make contact with “at risk” students identified previously. The expectation is that virtual meetings are scheduled with these students during that time (individual or small group counseling with high needs students, SEL). Counselors will also have an hour and a half to work on the attendance task force calls and emails for those students who are attending sporadically or not at all. A log of these contacts will be maintained and shared with building and district administration. An hour and a half will be allowed for collaborative work on the Comprehensive School Counseling Plan and the last hour and a half of the day will be spent working on scheduling tasks in preparation for next year’s schedule.
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for Administrators/Specialists/Security
Building Administrators and specialists will report to school at their normal report time and work a full day. If, for some reason, they are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave. Building administrators, security guards and specialists will supervise any students who report to school on Virtual Wednesdays. Administrators and specialists will also provide assistance to teachers during the planning for and development of digital instructional content, during the 30 minute content check in, and they will also assist with the attendance task force and at risk student contacts. Building administrators and specialists will work with the content area and grade level to which they are normally assigned. Interventionists will also assist with students on a rotating schedule.
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for Paraprofessionals
Paraprofessionals will report to school at their normal report time and work a full day. If, for some reason, they are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave. Paraprofessionals will supervise and assist the students who report to school on Virtual Wednesdays. In the event that there are very few to no students who report to school on Virtual Wednesdays, paraprofessionals may be assigned to assist with the attendance task force calls and emails, or to assist with interventions.
Virtual Wednesdays Expectations for Secretaries/Custodial Staff
All secretaries and custodial staff will report to school at their normal report time and work a full day. If, for some reason, they are unable to report to school, they must complete the appropriate paperwork to request either sick leave or personal leave. Secretaries will answer the phones, work on attendance reports, update information in E-School and assist with the attendance task force calls and emails on Virtual Wednesdays. The Custodial staff will use this time to deep clean all classrooms and high traffic areas.