What will my child experience using a virtual learning platform?
Learning is self-paced, so students can work ahead and/or request support to ensure their understanding. All of the instruction is aligned with MN Academic Standards and is delivered by a licensed teacher. The instruction is developmentally appropriate and provides a variety of learning pathways for students. There are instructional videos, demonstrations, guided practice, and tutorials. Each of the elementary courses has a supplemental materials packet that will be provided for each student. Materials will be available for all online students upon request. For our K-5 students caregivers will serve as the at-home “learning coach” to help students access and navigate the online learning platform.
How does online learning differ from distance learning my child may have experienced last spring?
Big Lake teachers who teach in-person and/or hybrid learning will also organize distance learning as students may move among the three options depending on guidance from MDE and MDH. In some cases, we expect distance learning to be more temporary. For the online learning option, students will be taught virtually (online teaching) and will have support and coaching available from Big Lake teachers.
How much time will my child need to spend online each day?
The following are recommended guidelines for the amount of screen times students each day:
- Elementary students = 1-2 hours online per day
- Middle school students = 2-3 online per day
- High school students = 3-4 online per day
The suggested times serve as a guideline, and the recommended amount of time does not need to be all at one time. Additionally, students will have at-home work to support their online learning. Because the program is self-paced and because of student interest, students online time may vary from day-to-day. Aside from online practice, there are supporting materials for children to use for practice, reinforcement, and/or enrichment. Big Lake Schools will provide those materials for families. A protocol for accessing the materials will be finalized before the start of the school year.
Will there be any offline work for my students?
That will vary based on your child's interests and needs. Supplemental materials are available, and there are a number of at-home projects that students can complete with materials and resources easily accessible from your home. K-5 students and families can use Seesaw to share projects with teachers. Also, our media center can be accessed for students to checkout books. A protocol for accessing materials requested from the media center will be finalized before the start of the school year.
Are there deadlines for my child to complete assigned work?
While the learning is self-paced, a Big Lake teacher will conference with your child and you regarding pacing. More information about conferences and scheduling online visits with your child will be shared before the start of the school year. The instruction provides practice and online tutorials, so as your child is learning, the system uses intelligent design to respond to your child's level of understanding. A Big Lake teacher will monitor your child's progress and provide support and coaching so that your child is on target to meet grade level expectations.
What will a typical day look like for my student?
Because learning is self-paced, students may have varying schedules from day to day. The elementary schedule includes typical core courses and special course offerings, as well. Please note that the amount of time and amount of work that happens daily will vary based on your child and their interests and abilities. Learning will also happen offline when students are engaged in at home projects, independent reading, and/or independent research.
Who is teaching my child?
Licensed teachers provide all of the instruction that your students will experience online. The model is aligned to Minnesota Academic Standards and is structured to meet the needs of a variety of learners. The licensed teacher explains concepts, models problem solving, and provides references to supplemental materials.
What support will Big Lake teachers and staff provide for my child?
Big Lake teachers will be assigned to support and coach your child. Big Lake teachers will schedule meetings to learn about your child and arrange times when your child, you, and their teacher can meet via Zoom and or phone to discuss your child's progress and needs.
What instructional supports are available for my child?
Aside from the learning supports your child will receive online, their Big Lake teacher will provide coaching and support based on weekly progress monitoring. Based on the progress monitoring that occurs, your child's teacher will identify resources and supports to best support your child's learning. Students who enroll in Big Lake online school will also have access to our school's counselors and social workers.
Will my child have access to district provided technology?
Yes, if your child needs a device, we will provide them with a district-issued iPad for students in grades K-2 or a Chromebook for students in grades 3-12. Please email BLonline@biglakeschools.org to request a device. Device distribution will be scheduled for the week of August 31. More information will be shared with families who enroll their child in Big Lake Online.
Can my child move from online to in-person learning?
To ensure a smooth transition for your child and to provide time for your child’s in-person classroom teacher to identify your child’s needs, transition between online and in-person learning will be available at the end of each trimester. If there are extenuating circumstances, the school’s principals will meet with your child and you before transitioning to in-person learning.
Can my child participate in school activities and athletics?
As a student in Big Lake Online, your child is a member of Big Lake Schools. We encourage students and families to explore, in partnership with your child’s school, the activities and athletic programs that may be available.
How can I learn more about the platform BLS will be using for its online program?
One of commitments that Big Lake Schools has to families is to provide additional support for students and families who attend Big Lake Online. We are committed to ensuring exceptional results for your child and want to be certain the quality of instruction online and the coaching provided from Big Lake teachers meets your child’s needs. To learn more about Edgenuity, please visit: Elementary Online School Curriclum and Online Courses and Curriculum (6-12)
You can also learn more about the awards and recognitions they have received and the correlation to results for students in Minnesota.
Can I expect quality instruction and support for my child?
Absolutely. Big Lake Schools is committed to partnering with students and families to ensure the online learning experience results in student engagement and learning. Scheduling conferences with your child’s Big Lake teacher will elevate your experience with Big Lake Online. With standards-aligned learning, immediate feedback, intelligent design, and developmentally appropriate learning experiences, Big Lake Online will support your child’s needs. On top of that, you will have access to caring, responsive Big Lake teachers.
What if my child has an IEP?
A case manager will work with your child and you to guide how you access the instructional materials and resources your child needs. More guidance will be provided in conjunction with your child’s IEP meetings.
How do I enroll my child?