Continuous Learning Plan Frequently Asked Questions
What is Voluntary Continuous Learning?
This is the plan Indianola CSD has chosen to use during the current school closure. With Voluntary Continuous Learning, teachers can assign work and give feedback, but no formal grades will be given.
How will assignments be given and work completed with Voluntary Continuous Learning?
The main communication tool will be PowerSchool Class Pages, where teachers will post weekly lesson plans no later than noon each Monday. A video tutorial that shows how to use Class Pages will be shared with families.
What should we do if we have questions about the work throughout the week?
Teachers will have office hours posted on their Class Pages, sharing specific times they will be standing by for questions. Teachers will also check email daily, with the goal of always responding within 24 hours. Teacher emails are in the format of firstname.lastname@example.org
What can we do if we do not have Internet and/or a device to access it?
The district sent out a text survey to help identify who might have these needs, and principals are following up. If you did not do the survey or have not been contacted about access needs, please reach out to your building principal. The district will be working to make some devices available to connect and has been in contact with some Internet providers, too. Please see this post of internet options. Additionally, the district anticipates that there will be some paper packet work available to at least elementary students who have that need.
Why is this called “Voluntary” learning? Does the district see this as important?
The term comes from state guidance, but the district sees this learning opportunity as very important. There will not be daily attendance taken or grades assigned, but this learning will be important for student progress. We want students to progress academically and stay connected to school while allowing families the flexibility they need.
How will my high school student be able to earn credits if work is not graded in Voluntary Continuous Learning?
Only concurrent enrollment courses and credit recovery work can be graded during this period. However, once the district knows the extent of the closure or how long we will use Voluntary Continuous Learning, we will communicate about grades and credits. Students will get credit for work done before the closure, and work done during the closure can be considered when determining if competencies have been met. The district is going to be flexible and make sure that this closure does not unduly burden students and families.
What will happen with spring sports and other events?
As long as the district is closed, events are postponed or canceled.
How will this closure affect graduation?
No determination has been made at this point. The district is following the recommendations and requirements of the Governor and Department of Education. If it is deemed safe to return to school, graduation could still happen or be modified and take place.
Can students work on late work or re-do work they failed during third quarter during the Voluntary period?
Communicate with your teachers and principals about the late work policy and ability to re-do work, but Department of Education guidance allows this work to be done and graded or assessed later, once school re-opens. For seniors, schools are encouraged to “do whatever you need to do” for them to graduate and be successful.
Could the district decide to switch to Required Continuous Learning for some or all grades in the future?
Yes, the district can move to Required Continuous Learning if that is deemed appropriate and beneficial, and this can be done for some grade levels even if other remain Voluntary.
If my student has an Individual Educational Plan, will the IEP be in force during Voluntary Continuous Learning?
School is not technically open during Voluntary Continuous Learning, and there are not direct IEP services. The district will attempt to provide access to all, but there is not specially designed instruction.
Does Voluntary Continuous Learning meet the requirements for instructional hours?
Yes, additional days will not need to be made up.
Will counselors and at-risk teachers be available during Voluntary Continuous Learning?
Yes, they will have office hours like teachers and may also have 1:1 and small group interactions with students.
Will there be any state tests (ISASP) this year?
No statewide assessments will be given this year.
If we are able to return to school in May, will there be any special steps taken to ensure safety?
The district will continue with additional cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and will consider other steps to minimize spread of the COVID-19 virus once we are back in session.
If pass/fail grades are assigned, will that have any impact on college-bound students who will be participating in NCAA athletics?
The Department of Education has received assurances from the NCAA Clearinghouse that athletes’ eligibility will not be impacted by pass/fail grades. There will be revised policy on the NCAA Clearinghouse website or sent to people who have registered with them.