Grading practices in all learning scenarios were clearly communicated to students and families by teachers and building principals at the start of the school year will continue to be shared at the start of any new courses.
Instructional Practices Overview
The Willmar Public School District believes that everyone in our schools has the right to a positive learning environment that provides physical, emotional, and intellectual safety and nurtures mutual respect, responsibility, and rigor. This school year, regardless of which learning environment your child attends, we will implement a consistent, comprehensive, and challenging set of equitable curricular outcomes that reach and engage all learners.
- All schools will focus on establishing effective relationships.
- Recognizing the challenges and limitations of the upcoming school year, Willmar Public Schools is revising curriculum pacing at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels to teach and assess critical core standards for the grade level course.
- All schools will take daily attendance.
- All students will receive grades per the 2020-2021 Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools, which says grades should include evidence of mastery at the end of a unit or course and that evidence should be able to be collected in a variety of manners to allow students to demonstrate their understanding.
- All classes will use similar, district-supported learning materials, texts, and instructional tools with consistent practices across the District.
- All students will receive appropriate support and services through the general education program, Special Education Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs), 504 plans, EL, intervention, and enrichment services.
- All students will receive support, as needed, from building counselors, social workers, and behavior coaches.
Attendance and Engagement
Students who attend school regularly typically achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance. Willmar Public Schools recognizes that both attendance and participation (engagement) contribute to student growth and success in school.
- The Willmar Public School District is committed to making sure every student can access and participate in school activities in all learning scenarios. Alternate plans can be arranged between a parent, student, and the teacher if joining an online meeting during the day is not feasible in the distance learning model. Flexibility will be allowed for families with extenuating circumstances.
- Attendance will be reported daily.
- Attendance is considered interaction with a teacher on an instructional day.
- A student will be reported as in attendance if they have participated in a video class or chat, a phone call with the teacher, or for younger students and phone call between a parent/guardian and the teacher, posting completed coursework to the learning management system, or turning in complete course work on a given day.
- A student will be reported as absent on any day in which there was no interaction between the student and a teacher.
- Building and district MTSS teams will closely monitor attendance and provide support to students and families who are facing barriers to regular school attendance.
- Students are expected to show engagement by completing and submitting required school work for the day.
Learning Management Systems
Willmar Public Schools learning management systems are Schoology in grades 6-12 and Google Classroom in grades PreK-5.
- Families, students, and staff will use the district iPads and the learning management systems to support and enhance communication and daily academic activities.
- Guidelines for consistent learning management practices have been developed based on feedback from students, families, and staff and will be implemented in the 2020-201 school year in all learning scenarios.
The Willmar assessment framework includes a variety of assessments that can provide different information about student learning. Students complete classroom assessments as part of day-to-day instruction and standardized assessments designed for monitoring overall district performance per MDE guidelines. Classroom assessments will occur in all three scenarios. Willmar students may participate in the following district-wide assessments in the 2020-2021 school year
- STAR (Grades K-12)
- ACT (Grade 11, in-person and hybrid only)