Second Week of Distance Learning Begins and Indispensable Services Continue at M-DCPS

MIAMI-DADE, Florida – Following a weeklong Spring Recess, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) resumes its Instructional Continuity Plan (ICP), the District’s distance learning model that engages hundreds of thousands of students and their teachers in meaningful and innovative online lessons.

“During these challenging moments, I am hopeful that students, employees and their families used this past week to spend quality time with one another, while staying home and finding comfort in knowing that we are all in this together,” said Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.

“The M-DCPS team is refreshed and ready to continue providing distance learning to our students, with guidance and expertise from our dedicated teachers, and with the support of parents and caregivers.”

Beginning Monday, March 30, we can expect the following:

  • Distance Learning: Students and teachers return to their second week of distance learning, engaging with one another through a variety of virtual means based on the District’s ICP. As part of the established plan, the District has also adapted content to be accessible for students with special needs and English Language Learners. More information can be found at icp.dadeschools.net/ or by calling the Distance Learning Helpline (305-995-HELP) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Helpline will be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole. The next phases of Distance Learning, ICP 2.0,   will soon be announced.

 

  • Device Distribution: Six high schools throughout the district will continue to serve as distribution sites, utilizing a drive-through pick-up method. The distribution hours are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the list of locations can be found at covid19.dadeschools.net. In order to ensure that all students are able to participate in distance learning, principals will continue contacting parents to determine the mobile device needs of their children. For additional information, parents are encouraged to contact 305-995-3000. To date, more than 57,000 mobile devices have been distributed.

  • Connectivity: The District will continue to collaborate with private and public sector partners to ensure geographic areas lacking Internet connectivity are addressed, eliminating any digital deserts that may exist.

 

  • Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are available for free to anyone who needs them – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. A map of available hotspots can be found here. Comcast has also created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Customers say “education” into their X1 or Flex voice remote to use.
  • AT&T offers internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through their “Access from AT&T” program. They are also offering new “Access from AT&T” customers two months of free service. Learn more here.
  • High school students can request a Samsung phone from their school, which can be used as a hotspot. So far, the District has distributed more than 11,000 hotspots/smartphones to high school students. The District has just received an additional 1,000 phones for student use.
  • Visit distancelearning.dadeschools.net for more information about connectivity.

  • Adult and Career/Technical Education: M-DCPS launches its distance learning plan for adult, career and technical education. All teachers and adult students can access instructional lessons and resource content through active, program-specific links provided online. Adult Education students may visit www.adulteducationworks.com/. Career/Technical Education students may visit www.careerinayear.com/. For more information on either of these programs, please call 305-558-8000.

  • Parent Academy Offerings: The District’s Parent Academy is launching two new Virtual Campus workshops entitled The Instructional Continuity Plan for Parents and Helping Children Cope During Forced Isolation. Please visit the Parent Academy’s Virtual Campus at https://parentacademymiami.com/ for these and other important workshops addressing issues such as online safety, vaping, Open Educational Resources (OER), anxiety, and mental health. You can also follow the Parent Academy on Twitter at @FamilySS_mdcps.

  • WLRN At-Home Learning: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., WLRN will be airing At-Home Learning, a new educational programming schedule to complement the District’s ICP. To learn more about these innovative offerings, visit http://www.wlrn.org/athomelearning/.

  • Magnet Program Notifications: Notifications will begin on Monday, March 30.  Parents/guardians have until April 15 to accept offers of admission. If parents/legal guardians applied online or with a paper application, and provided a valid e-mail address, they will receive an e-mail notification and can accept their seat online on or before April 15. If parents/legal guardians applied with a paper application and did not provide a valid email address, they will receive the notification via U.S. mail and can accept their seat by calling the HELP desk at 305-995-HELP on or before April 15.  For questions regarding the Magnet acceptance process, please call the M-DCPS help desk at 305-995-HELP.

  • Meal Distribution: “Grab-and-go” meals will be distributed at 50 select school sites throughout the district. On Monday, March 30th, meals will be served between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m, and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Beginning, Tuesday, March 31st, meals will only be served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., times chosen to ensure that the virtual instructional day is not disrupted. For a list of all sites, please visit covid19.dadeschools.net/. Since the first day of school closures, M-DCPS has distributed more than 200,000 meals to families in need.

  • Sanitization of Schools: Custodians will resume sanitization of schools. To date, the teams have thoroughly disinfected more than 49 schools using hospital-grade germicides and specialized equipment to clean floors, classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, all common areas and contact points; wiping and mopping down surfaces and fogging where needed.

  • Childcare Centers for Medical Personnel: Understanding the importance of aiding  healthcare providers during this health crisis, M-DCPS and the YMCA will continue to assist in the operation of three childcare centers for children of essential medical personnel of Jackson Health and select University of Miami Health systems employees. The hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Information for M-DCPS Employees:

  • Remote Workforce: In order to support local, state, and federal advisories, upon returning from recess on March 30, the entire workforce will be working remotely, with the exception of select personnel who may be called upon by their immediate supervisors to physically report for duty.

 

  • Instructional Employees: Teachers will continue to engage with their students through various virtual means, and information on additional professional development opportunities related to distance learning will be provided early next week.

  • Hourly Employees: Since school closings were announced, the District has been exploring all legally available means to compensate regularly-scheduled hourly personnel. Provisions have been made to compensate regularly-scheduled hourly employees and temporary instructors (substitutes). Additional details regarding eligibility and compensation will be communicated directly to hourly employees.  Permanent part-time food service personnel, bus drivers, and bus aides will also continue to be paid as supported in current contract provisions.

 

  • Continuous Healthcare Coverage: Employees, retirees, and their dependents will have uninterrupted access to healthcare. Insurance coverage will continue, even if the ability to remit a premium is delayed. Once normal operations resume, arrangements will be made to collect outstanding premiums.

 

  • Free COVID-19 Testing: Employees enrolled in a District health plan will incur no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing, if it is medically necessary.

 

  • Employee Assistance Program: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all M-DCPS employees who need additional support. Employees are urged to call 305-995-7111 to reach an EAP administrator.

 

External Testing Information:

  • AP Exams At-Home Testing Option: The College Board is providing instructional support via a YouTube channel that offers free, live AP reviews for AP Courses. The channel can be accessed here.  The College Board has also announced a new, at-home testing option for Advanced Placement (AP) students. Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3.  All registered AP students are encouraged to take the 2020 AP exam from home.  For more information, please CLICK HERE.
  • IB May Exams Cancelled: The May 2020 examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 for Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) candidates will no longer be held. Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate that reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programs. For more information, CLICK HERE.
  • Cambridge May/June Exams Cancelled: Cambridge International has decided not to run their May/June 2020 examination series. This includes Cambridge AICE Diploma. We recognize that students have been working very hard towards these exams. We will be working with schools to assess students’ achievements using the best available evidence. Students will receive a grade and a certificate from Cambridge International, given the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their program of study. This will ensure students do not face a disadvantage as a result of these extraordinary circumstances. For additional information, please CLICK HERE.
  • SAT Administration Changes: The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Students who already registered for May, whose March test centers were closed, or who do not receive March scores because of any irregularities, will receive refunds. In the coming days, College Board will share additional information and details directly with registered students and test centers. College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations. They have not yet canceled the June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration and will continue to assess its status. They are also exploring the possibility of adding an international SAT administration later this school year. For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Assessments, Accountability, and Promotion:

  • All remaining State assessments for school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten and K-12 assessments are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Requirements for graduation and promotion, and final course grades will be evaluated as though those assessments, which were cancelled, did not exist.
  • Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data and results. Tests that were not available to be taken shall not be counted.

 

Telephone Hotlines:

(Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

  • District Emergency Operations: 305-995-3000
  • Instructional Continuity Plan: 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

 

Online Resources:

The District will continue to monitor all developments in this evolving situation and will communicate via the links above, as well as through automated messaging, media announcements and social media.

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