Materials, Devices and Services
All students will receive the educational materials that they need to be successful in the remote academy. This includes a district-issued Chromebook. Student Chromebooks are handed out September 3 and 4, 2020, at the student's home school location. If you missed a device pickup, please contact your home school.
Unified arts classes and specials will be taught in the afternoons for Virtual Academy.
The district will continue to deliver meals at bus stops or have distribution of breakfast and lunch on a regular basis, just as other students in EWSD will receive.
Welcome to Virtual Academy
Dear Essex Westford Remote Academy Families and Students,
It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to the 2020 - 2021 school year! We are about to embark on an exciting journey together, and the vision is clear. We want each one of you to have an engaging and outstanding learning experience with all of your teachers and in all of your classes.
On these web pages you will find information about each grade level as well as links to help you with technology and general District information. As you know, the Remote Virtual Academy is a new initiative from EWSD for students who are requesting remote learning.
Students enrolled in the EWSD remote academy are still students of the Essex Westford School District and will maintain a connection with their home school through a common curriculum and instructional sequence and other opportunities.
The Academy is made possible by the collaboration of many, many colleagues in Essex Westford. We look forward to partnering with you and learning together.
We will be continually updating this site, so please do check back regularly. Please reach out to your teacher or to me if you have any questions. Take good care!
Director of Learning and Instructional Impact and Remote Academy Principal
Essex Westford School District
How the Academy works
Students will receive instruction five days per week. Instructional time is defined per VT Agency of Education guidance. The EWSD remote academy meets or exceeds the required time for each grade level.
Direct instruction and expected independent work can be combined to meet those hours. Teachers will communicate the instructional plan for each week with each grade level/content area.
These weekly plans and schedules will be created in collaboration with the teachers at the child’s home school. The remote academy will follow the same weekly outline as the hybrid option, so Wednesday will be mostly asynchronous learning.
Who can enroll
Any currently enrolled EWSD K-8 student who resides in the Essex Westford School District is eligible for the Essex Westford remote academy option. We do have pre-K as an option as well. Parents/guradians must have selected the "fully remote" option on the August survey.
Certified and highly-qualified EWSD School District educators will be teaching the online curriculum. EWSD educators who are teaching remote classes will have completed additional training in remote instruction. Many of our teachers have worked in the district for years, and they'll also be teaching remotely, just like their students.
Contact with home school
While Virtual Academy students will still have a spot or seat in their originally assigned homeroom at their home school, their group of peers in Virtual Academy will act as their new homeroom.
Students will have contact with their home school through a variety of activities, including library, social and emotional learning, unified arts and other support services.
One of the most essential connections that we will be making between the hybrid and remote models is with our curriculum, instruction and assessment. The remote learners will have opportunities to engage in the same curricular opportunities as the hybrid learners. This will create naturally occurring opportunities for the remote learners to connect with their home schools. We have also redesigned our local assessment system so that assessments can be done in person or virtually. We will also be purchasing online modules for literacy instruction that align with the hybrid curriculum. The ability to ensure curriculum alignment for remote and hybrid learners was one of the deciding factors in keeping the remote model “in house”.
Schedule and Academics
The academy begins on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, which is when hybrid learning begins inside school buildings and at homes, across the district.
On M,T, Th, F, a synchronous session at a common time in the morning to overview the day's lessons and activities will occur. Total time that students will be expected to engage in learning will be aligned to the VT AOE recommendations for minimum instructional time. Teachers decide how best to cover the material for the week based on the online content and grade level.
Students will still have access to many of the same resources the school district offers, including extracurriculars, and arts classes. The Unified Arts will be taught by an EWSD teacher in a blended model.
A parent or guardian must have selected “remote learning” as their preferred modality for learning this year, on the parent survey that EWSD sent out in the summer.
If a parent/guardian has any questions about this, please contact the Principal at your home school. If you have concerns about what might work best for your child, your child’s principal can help you.
This program was designed for families to “opt” into - it is not a requirement. Therefore, it is completely the responsibility of the family to determine if they want to take advantage of this educational option. However, due to the hiring of teachers and limits of space inside school buildings, we are asking enrolled families to make an 8-week committment once they begin.
When Issues Arise
EWSD Recommending a Change: There may be individual circumstances in which the EWSD would recommend an in-person or hybrid model for your child. We will work with families and students on determining the best learning scenario possible.
Difficulties with Program: In the event that the Virtual Academy program does not work for a student, parents/guardians will be asked to reach out to their child’s remote learning teacher to schedule a conference.
If that is not successful, families can contact the Principal of the remote academy/EWSD Director of Learning, Jackie Tolman, to assist in problem-solving. She will work in collaboration with families, the remote academy teachers and the building Principals to find a successful solution.
Health Situations: If a child or family’s health situation changes and there is a need to enroll a child in the Virtual Academy AFTER the deadline, or at a leater date, we will determine whether we can provide this option on a case-by-case basis
For information about the EWSD Virtual Academy
For general questions for the EWSD for K-8 students, contact Jackie Ramsay-Tolman the EWSD Director of Learning and Instructional Impact and the EWSD remote academy Principal.
For student specific questions, please contact your child’s Virtual Academy teacher. (See class list on the left.)