MIAMI-DADE – Beginning Monday, teachers, students, and families will move to the next phase of distance learning, through the launch of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) Instructional Continuity Plan 2.0 (ICP 2.0).
This plan provides additional guidance and support for an extended period of closure. As announced earlier this week, M-DCPS is following the Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) recommendation to remain closed through May 1. The plan may be viewed and downloaded at icp.dadeschools.net.
In preparation for the transition to ICP 2.0, the District provided M-DCPS educators with two days of extensive online professional development on April 2 and 3.
Teachers engaged in more than 40 offerings covering topics such as navigating their remote classrooms, exploring best practices for distance learning, digital citizenship, and improving communication and collaboration with students and colleagues.
“Our teachers are among the best in the nation, enabling us to provide an education that is second to none. I believe their compassionate leadership, combined with the brilliance of our students and commitment of their families, will lead to the successful implementation of ICP 2.0,” said Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We will demonstrate, once again, that no matter the challenges we may confront, this school system and this community will exceed all expectations.”
ICP 2.0: Roles of Students, Families, and Teachers
Students: Under ICP 2.0 students are encouraged to dedicate appropriate time to learning, ensure they know their usernames and passwords to access the district portal and/or website, log in to the student portal daily to utilize all online platforms for information on classes, assignments, and resources , and submit all assignments by due dates established by their teachers, among other responsibilities.
Families: Parents/caregivers are essential for successful implementation of student distance learning. ICP 2.0 defines their role to includes ensuring mobile devices and internet access are available at home or to contact M-DCPS if a device or assistance is needed, monitoring District communications for all up-to-date information, instructional offerings, and distance learning resources, assisting their children in remembering their usernames and passwords, maintaining communication with teachers and school counselor(s), monitoring time their children spend in online and offline learning, and supporting their children’s emotional balance by providing time for physical activity and play.
Teachers: ICP 2.0 encourages teachers to develop high-quality distance learning lessons/assignments, addressing course standards/benchmarks while balancing online learning, volume of work assigned, and student/teacher interaction. Suggested activities for teachers during office hours during the workday include, but are not limited to, communicating with students and families, facilitating lessons, and answering questions. They are asked to communicate expectations of student progress and contact families if students are not engaged. The role of teachers is also to participate in professional development and virtual learning sessions and to monitor District and school communications for all up-to-date information. In addition to ICP 2.0, FLDOE also encourages frequent online instructional engagement by teachers during distance learning.
Grades will now be issued as part of ICP 2.0. Teachers will record a minimum of one grade per week, per subject, in the official M-DCPS gradebook. Teachers will allow students to make up any missed assignments throughout the entire grading period and/or upon the reopening of school campuses for the 2019-20 school year. Teachers will contact parents and/or the school guidance counselor if students are not engaged in the assigned lessons and assignments, as appropriate and necessary.
Beginning April 6, M-DCPS Attendance Services will also capture student attendance through the use of sign-ins to the student portal. Students, with the assistance of caregivers for Pre-K through second grade or students with certain disabilities, will log in to be recorded as present in school and will receive a confirmation alert. If a student fails to log into the portal, his or her parents will receive an automated phone call the next day by noon, indicating the student was marked absent. Absences can be appealed by emailing the school administrator. Visit attendanceservices.dadeschools.net for more information.
The District remains firmly committed to ensuring all students are connected and has so far provided 84,000 devices to students in need and assisted thousands of families with connectivity. Starting Monday, April 6, the District is transitioning from centralized distribution to direct distribution of devices from school sites. School administrators are identifying students in need and scheduling appointments. Parents may also request a device by emailing the school principal or calling the M-DCPS Operations hotline at 305-995-3000.
The security of students, families, and employees is of the utmost importance to M-DCPS, and that commitment extends to when they are online. The District has taken a number of steps to provide enhanced cybersecurity measures during this necessary time of distance learning.
Internet content accessed through the District’s network and portal is filtered to block access to web content that may be deemed offensive, inappropriate, or even dangerous. To address the need for teachers and students to engage utilizing online conferencing platforms, the District also purchased the enterprise version of Zoom, which can be used in conjunction with
Microsoft Teams, to provide the most protected conferencing experience possible. Parents are urged to ensure students uninstall any previous versions of Zoom they may have in their devices and install Microsoft Teams from the student portal and access Zoom through Teams. Parents may call the M-DCPS distance learning helpline at 305-995-HELP for further assistance.
Teachers have access to instructional guides containing lessons that address the various aspects of online safety and behavior. They have also received additional professional development on digital citizenship.
Additionally, all devices issued by M-DCPShave content filters monitoring all internet sites that students attempt to access and block inappropriate sites, however, filtering software is not a substitute for parental judgment and oversight. Parents are still urged to monitor their child’s internet access while at home, especially those parents who are using personal devices for distance learning.
Other Important Information
Graduation: High school seniors who earn the required course credits and earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale will be able to graduate even if they have not passed the Grade 10 English Language Arts Assessment or the Algebra I EOC since all statewide testing has been cancelled this year. Students in the Class of 2020 will be receiving an email with additional information and Frequently Asked Questions for seniors. All students should check their dadeschools.net email daily.
Meal Distribution: The District’s commitment to providing food security for our students and families has not wavered. Grab-and-Go meal distribution will continue at 50 select school sites throughout the county, Monday – Friday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., so as not to interfere with the hours of distance learning. To date, 374,000 meals have been distributed since school closures began March 16. Visit covid19.dadeschools.net for the list of sites.
Mental Health Services: The mental and emotional well-being of students and families is critical during these times of uncertainty. The Department of Mental Health Services stands ready to assist anyone who may feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with their emotions. Help is available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole via the assistance line listed below.
M-DCPS Telephone Support Lines:
(Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
- District Emergency Operations: 305-995-3000
- Distance Learning: 305-995-HELP (4357)
- Adult and Career/Technical Education: 305-558-8000
- Mental Health Services for students/parents: 305-995-7100
- Employee Assistance Program: 305-995-7111
M-DCPS Online Resources:
- http://covid19.dadeschools.net/ – Provides continual updates on M-DCPS actions connected to the coronavirus outbreak.
- http://distancelearning.dadeschools.net/ – Includes information on free Comcast Internet as well as digital tools and tutorials for educators and students.
- http://icp.dadeschools.net/ – Provides the M-DCPS framework for distance learning for pre-K-12 students.
- www.careerinayear.com and www.adulteducationworks.com – Provide information on career/technical and adult distance learning options.