School Day Schedule
The school day for students is 8:45 am – 3:15 pm. 8:45 am – 9:00 am will be time at home for “Student preparation for learning” time. This is not time in the class with the teacher. This is time for students to log in to their Zoom class waiting room, get settled and be ready to learn when class begins at 9:00 a.m. each day. Lunch will be 90 minutes each day from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Wednesday afternoons will be self-paced learning that is not live with teachers. Teachers may assign brief assignments on Wednesday afternoons or provide students with screen breaks. Additionally, there will periods during the week where teachers will focus on intervention support with small groups of students. During these times, and other small group times, students not working directly with the teacher may receive self-paced work to do off camera or be given a screen break from the teacher.
Please note, the school system will continuously evaluate the reopening plan and take guidance from the State Department of Education. As a result, this schedule may shift as we move through the fall. This week, you will receive a welcome email from your child’s teacher. They will provide you with the daily schedule for your child’s class. As we are STILL going through the staffing process, some specials (art, music, pe) times may shift as well in the next few weeks. We will keep you updated on all schedule changes. See current Belmont Virtual Schedule Here.
The First Few Weeks of School
Our first two weeks of school will be dedicated to building classroom community, connecting students with teachers and students with one another, building online routines, practicing using digital tools, and building student stamina for their virtual school experience. Therefore, the first week of school, students will attend live classes in the morning (9:00 am-11:30 am) and then have independent assignments in the afternoon dedicated to practicing using tools and programs they will engage with this year. During this time, homeroom teachers will conduct virtual home visits to meet briefly with you and your child one on one to continue to build relationships between the teacher and student and build a strong home-school connection.
Classes with specials in the afternoon will still attend live specials classes. During week 2 (week of September 7th), teachers will complete virtual home visits in the afternoon and then move into conducting live afternoon instructional blocks. These will be abbreviated live afternoon sessions to begin with, followed again by independent practice assignments using virtual tools. Week 3 (week of September 14th), we will engage in our full instructional live schedule.
Recording of Lessons
It is important for you to know, that in order to provide an equitable educational opportunity for all students during this time of crisis, all MCPS teachers at all levels will be recording whole group academic lessons. The purpose of this is to support families and students by creating flexibility in accessing learning experiences when attending live instruction is a barrier, and enhance the opportunity to review lesson content and resources. When students first log in, their video and audio is off by default. If students should not be recorded, they should leave these off. Recordings are protected, available only to students in their class through a protected myMCPS site, unavailable for download, and will delete after 72 hours.
We recognize that even with these protections there may be students or families who do not want their children’s images or voices to be captured. If you would like to have your student opt out of being in the recording, they should keep their video off and microphone on mute in each class from the start of the school year during whole class portions of lessons. Parents/guardians are asked to indicate an opt out in the Parent Vue portal by September 11, 2020. Please note, opting your child out of recording may prevent the classroom teacher from interacting in any way with your child during the whole group lesson. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Evan_J_Pinkowitz@mcpsmd.org.
Zoom Expectations and Helpful Hints to be Prepared to Learn
-We strongly encourage for students to have their cameras on. Having cameras on does help teachers engage with students in various ways. However, we know for many reasons, students may want to have their cameras off. If this is the case, we encourage you to have a conversation with your child about why and ensure they understand that it is still important to be engaged in the lessons, even though their camera is off.
-ALL students must wear appropriate tops and bottoms at all times. While we know pajama days can be fun, we do need all students to be in tops and bottoms, even if they are pajamas.
-We encourage your child to have a regular school day routine of waking up, out of bed, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, and whatever other morning routines you engage in, in your individual home, to be ready for school. Not waking up right at 8:45 will help students to be prepared for learning.
-We know students may need different places to learn virtually, sometimes sitting at a desk or table, sometimes standing, sometimes laying down. Pre-set these learning areas with students if possible so they know they are available. Have them practice trying to stay in one learning spot until the class transitions to a different activity, if possible.
-Try to have the learning area free from distractions if possible. We know some students need or like to have items to fidget with and it helps them concentrate. Again, if this is the case, have the discussion with your child that this is not the time to play with toys and we want them to be able to be engaged in their learning.
2021supplylist_1 you will find the school system approved student supply list for virtual learning. You do NOT need all these items for day 1, and most of them your child will not need even week 1. It will be helpful for them to have pencils, paper/notebooks, and crayons to start with. Your child’s teacher will let you know about other items needed for the first week. As always, if you need assistance with student supplies, please contact your child’s teacher, our counselor, Mrs. Jazzy at Farrah_T_Jones@mcpsmd.org, or me at Evan_J_Pinkowitz@mcpsmd.org.
Friday, September 4th, is a half day of school for students.
Monday, September 7th, there is no school due to Labor Day.
Parent Information Form for Teachers
Please complete the following form that is easily accessible by teachers: https://forms.gle/EDQmeRUmaVCGkNak6
We are looking forward to a great year at Belmont, and whether we are online or in person, our dedicated staff is excited to connect with students and engage them in a wonderful learning experience. Please feel free to reach out to me at Evan_J_Pinkowitz@mcpsmd.org should you have any questions.