Welcome to SHS!

March 17, 2020


Dear Parents / Guardians,


The Superintendent has been keeping the school community updated with regard to the health crisis confronting our nation and our district’s response to this challenge. 


As indicated in previous correspondence, the district’s distance learning plan will be implemented beginning next week on March 23rd. At this time, I would like to share some specifics with you regarding the plans we have put into place here at Somers High School. I will be sending out another update toward the end of the week. 


Delivery of Instruction

As a school that provides Chromebooks to all of our students, we are well-equipped to deliver online-learning to our students. The high school faculty will be utilizing Google Classroom and other web-based applications to deliver lessons, daily assignments, and assessments to students. Our faculty has utilized this platform throughout the year which will provide a high-level of familiarity to our students and staff alike. 


Since these distance learning days will be counted as instructional time, students will be expected to log into their Google Classrooms and to their student email accounts each day and throughout the day to check for periodic updates, instructions, and deadlines for each of their courses. 


Though all teachers will be utilizing Google Classroom as a platform to curate instruction, teachers’ instructional methods will likely differ from one another. Many teachers will offer individualized and self-paced ‘asynchronous’ lessons, while others are planning to utilize Google Classroom to implement live ‘synchronous’ lessons. These synchronous lessons will be conducted via web-based video conferencing tools and will provide opportunities for live discussion and dialogue between teachers and students. Teachers will be reaching out to their classes with details regarding the format of their individual classes. Should you have further questions regarding the instructional format of a course, please contact the teacher directly via email. You may find individual teachers’ emails on our online staff directory at:

https://hs.somers.k12.ct.us/s_h_s_staff_directory.


Daily Schedule

If a teacher is utilizing synchronous learning, they will follow our rotating class schedule (STRIVE schedule) and class will meet just as though the students are in school that day. A copy of class meeting times and the STRIVE schedule for the days of March 23rd through March 31st is attached. 


Regardless of lesson structure (synchronous or asynchronous), all teachers will be available to answer questions at some point during each period or throughout the day. 


Access to Technology

A survey was recently sent out in order to ascertain which of our students do not have access to the internet. Should you have questions or concerns about access to technology, please contact the Director of Information Technology, Rob Wilson at rob.wilson@somers.k12.ct.us  


Delivery of Special Education Services

Pupil services personnel will be involved in supporting distance learning for students with IEPs or 504 plans. For our students with IEPs, the special education case manager will reach out to students, parents, and guardians and convey plans to deliver IEP instructional support consistent with distance learning.


As with classroom instruction, assignments will be modified in accordance with IEP and 504 plans. IEP and 504 support and related services (counseling, social groups, SLP, PT, OT) will be provided during this period through planned activities and digital support as feasible.

 

During this period, we expect to maintain our schedule for PPT and 504 meetings as phone conferences. If your child is scheduled to be evaluated during this period, expect to hear from the evaluator who will make arrangements for testing or reschedule.


Library-Media Services and Technology Troubleshooting

Our Library Media Specialist, Ms. Stoltz, will be available to students and staff for troubleshooting various applications and communication needs and to assist in the delivery of instruction to students.


Online books and databases will be available through the Library Media Center webpage. Login information to allow students to login from home is available at the top of the Library Media Center’s Database page.  

(https://sites.google.com/a/somers.k12.ct.us/somers-media-center/databases


We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we navigate this new learning platform. We will be in contact with students and families and as always, should you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. 


Sincerely, 




Gary Cotzin

Principal Schedule