Nichols families may choose to begin school with full-time online instruction in lieu of on-campus instruction. Symptom-free students who are self-isolating due to a COVID-19 exposure will also be expected to participate in full-time online instruction.
If you plan to have your child(ren) in a full-time virtual learning setting at home for the first grading period, please reach out to your child(ren)’s Division Head(s) as soon as possible, but ideally no later than Friday, August 21: Paul Errickson in the Middle School (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sarah Jacobson in the Upper School (email@example.com).
Students who are at home due to documented illness (for example: a parent or guardian has called the Middle or Upper School Front Office to let the school know their child is home sick) are not expected to participate in full-time online instruction until they are sufficiently recovered to do so.
Remote Learning During On-Campus Instruction
Our schedule will stay the same regardless of whether we are in school or online. Courses are being designed by teachers to enable flexible movement between taking courses in or out of school.
Middle School students will not need to bring computers to school. Middle School students will use the computer labs and school iPads for on-campus instruction.
Upper School students will be asked to bring devices to school each day. Those who do not own devices will borrow devices from the school. Training will be provided at the beginning of the year on all technology platforms.
Zoom links for all classes will be posted each day. Students who cannot be in school will use the Zoom link to check in. The teacher will provide instruction to students in class and online. Additionally, we will survey students to ensure that everyone has proper access to the internet.
Attendance will be entered for all classes each day regardless of whether students are participating in person or online.
We require all teachers to provide some form of assessment (formative or summative) each class period to ensure engagement.
Throughout the school year, we will follow the grading policies outlined in the Student Handbook.
Expectations of Students in Virtual School
- Students are expected to join each class period on time via Zoom for attendance purposes.
- Students will attend and participate in classes synchronously via Zoom.
- Faculty may allow students to work asynchronously when appropriate.
- Students attending Nichols virtually will be held to the same standards set forth in the Student Handbook.
- All students will need a computer for on-campus and at-home instruction. An email will be sent to families recommending the minimal and optimal specifications for the computer. Families that are not able to provide a recommended computer to their student will be issued a school-owned computer. Middle School students will not need to bring computers to school. Middle School students will use the computer labs and school iPads for on-campus instruction. Students will be trained on all software required for instruction during the first two weeks of school.
- Nichols School is committed to providing equitable at-home instruction for students. Teachers will publish daily Zoom links students can use to participate in classes from home. Teachers will also publish all assignments and instructional materials on our web-based learning management system.
Remote Learning During a Closure
Should the entire Nichols community need to move to virtual instruction, we will continue to follow the same daily schedule and grading policies.
All students and faculty will begin each class period synchronously via Zoom for attendance and a check-in. Instruction, practice, and assessment will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous at the discretion of the instructor.
Nichols faculty have all participated in a three-week course on designing for hybrid learning. Each faculty member will maintain a robust online presence through MySchoolApp that will allow for a seamless movement between in-person and online learning.
Virtual Classroom Expectations
- Students are expected to attend class virtually, just as they would in-person.
- Faculty will take attendance, noting absences and tardy students.
- If a student cannot attend for any reason other than illness, they must contact their teacher within 24 hours of missing class, preferably before missing class.
- Faculty and student should arrange another means of checking-in, either a one-on-one Zoom session or in writing, even if the missed Zoom session has been posted.
- Teachers may offer individual Zoom sessions for extra-help, conferences, or feedback.
- Extra help via Zoom should be arranged by the student and teacher or the advisor. Extra help may be given during the assigned class period, during a mutual free period (including X), or before/after school hours.
- Students must keep their video on, unless they experience significant technical difficulties and receive permission from the teacher to turn off their video.
- Students may ask a teacher before or during (via chat, if desired) a Zoom session for permission to keep their video off for personal or family reasons.
- Faculty and students must use an approved Nichols Zoom background.
- Students must be upright. They may not be reclining.
- Student attire must follow the dress code.
- Students may not record Zoom sessions.
- Faculty will enforce classroom expectations during Zoom sessions. Behaviors that warrant blue slips or disciplinary action in a classroom may also warrant blue slips or disciplinary action during a Zoom session.
- Students should not use cell phones or other electronic devices during a Zoom session for any purpose other than Zoom.
- Nichols expectations for student behavior and Nichols policies on student accountability as outlined in the Student Handbook apply to the online environment, including MySchoolApp (MSA), email, Zoom, and other digital platforms.