Teacher responsibilities are defined through Florida Statute, Florida Administrative Code: Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida, and the local collective bargaining agreement. Please note this document is fluid and may change as information is acquired from the Florida Department of Education and/or any future Memorandum of Understating established with the Polk Education Association.
Teachers work 7.75 hours per day by contract. Teacher hours will coincide with the schedule of the respective school of enrollment.
The teacher evaluation system for all Polk County Public School teachers is in effect for the 2020-2021 school year. SAO and observational timelines can be found by logging in to TheHub at thehub.polk-fl.net and then navigating to Professional Development > Evaluation Info > Teacher. The following documents are available: Employee Evaluation Manual, SAO Manual, Instructional Evaluation Rubrics, and Evaluation Timelines.
The district’s program of instruction shall provide all courses for promotion, ultimately leading to graduation. Instruction is designed to meet State Board of Education adopted standards in the following subject areas: reading, English Language Arts, mathematics, science, computer science and technology, social studies, foreign languages, health and physical education, the arts, and career technical education courses. Instructional staff members, subject to Board policy and State Board of Education rules, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using instructional materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism. Board Policy 2215 – Program of Instruction provides additional guidance. During the time in which this Instructional Continuity Plan is in place, Campus Learning, Campus eSchool, and Polk Virtual School will abide by all policies, procedures, and timelines outlined by PCPS. In addition, PCPS’s state approved Innovative Reopening Plan is also in effect.
Teachers will input student attendance daily, by period. Student attendance in either Campus Learning or Campus eSchool is of critical importance. Student records must be accurate and timely. Student attendance is also directly linked to funding under Florida’s Full Time Equivalent formulas for student’s participation in school. PCPS Policy 5200 in regard to student attendance is in full effect.
Teachers will monitor, provide feedback, and input student grades for each instructional setting. Student grades in either Campus Learning or Campus eSchool is of critical importance. Student grades must be accurate and timely. The Student Progression Plan, Elementary Grade Reporting Handbook, and the Secondary Grade Reporting Handbook are in effect along with PCPS Policy 5420 regarding student grades.
Students participating in Campus Learning, Campus eSchool, and Polk Virtual School will participate in regularly scheduled progress monitoring three times during the school year. Progress monitoring tools include Star Early Lit, Star Reading, Star Math, Unique Learning System Benchmark Assessment, district-developed text-based writing assessments and district-developed quarterly exams for science and social studies. Teachers are responsible for implementing instructional supports and/or enrichment to promote student progress based on progress monitoring.
The Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), which measure student success with the Florida Standards, include assessments in English Language Arts (grades 3-10), Mathematics (grades 3-8), and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for Algebra 1 and Geometry are also scheduled to take place for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, other standardized tests including, but not limited to, the Statewide Science Assessments in grades 5 and 8, NGSSS EOC Assessments, Advanced Placement, IB, and AICE exams, as well as other national and state assessments will be given. Information on Florida’s assessments and general calendar can be found here: www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment
COMMUNICATION WITH ADMINISTRATION
Faculty and staff communication are essential in creating a high-performing learning and working environment. Principals, teachers, staff, parents, and students aim to keep all lines of communication open and professional. Principals may meet with staff at designated times outlined in the Teacher Collective Bargaining Agreement and any accompanying Memorandums of Understanding. All mediums of support provided to staff must be maintained in the various working/learning settings: Campus Learning, Campus eSchool, and Polk Virtual School.
As professionals, students and parents look to teachers to model appropriate behaviors in virtual learning settings. Consider the guidelines below:
- Maintain separate sites for personal and professional use. Do not use your personal email addresses, websites, or social media sites for online teaching or communication.
- Dress appropriately when appearing in video streaming. Students need to see that you are taking this seriously and it is “business as usual.”
- Be cognizant of background noises in phone and streaming conversations. This is especially true if you are working from home. Background sounds from pets, television, and conversations from others in the household can be distracting in a distance learning setting. Find a quiet place when meeting online.
- Prior to appearing online, make sure you blur your background or are in a professional setting. This includes removing food and drink from your workstation when meeting online.
- Make sure all links, streamed activities, and online content is completely vetted and appropriate prior to sharing with students.
- More information for various stakeholders on digital supports can be found here: Resources for Online Classroom Teachers tinyurl.com/PolkTeachOnline and CurriculumApps tinyurl.com/PolkInstructionalApps
ESE ASSIGNMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES; DOCUMENTATION
Teachers and related service providers of students with disabilities will continue to provide documentation of students’ accommodations and services within their lesson plans and various service delivery documentation methods. Districtwide IEP documentation forms will be recommended for these purposes as are routinely provided throughout the traditional scheduled school year. District level staffing specialists and other Exceptional Student Education (ESE) personnel will assist in supporting teachers with documentation as well as with monitoring the services provided to students.
ELL ASSIGNMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES; DOCUMENTATION
The district’s English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department will work with individual school-level English Language Learners (ELL) Committees to review the progress of ELL students within the context of proficiency/achievement prior to the school closures and proficiency data at the beginning of the 20-21 school year to identify ELLs who have regressed and determine if additional or supplemental ESOL services are needed. ELL Committees will review Star Early Lit, Star Reading, and Star Math data from last year and the beginning of 20-21 school year to determine any regressions that may have occurred. Additional data from Smarty Ants, IStation, Freckle Math, and Achieve may be used, as needed, to confirm committee determinations.
The district’s ESOL department will continue to support school-based ELL Committees by assisting with data disaggregation for ELL students after each state-approved progress monitoring period. The district ESOL department will also support school-based ELL Committees with analyzing student’s scores from standardized assessments, including Star, ACCESS, and FSA, if applicable, to determine if the student was on level or below level prior to school closures and whether they are continuing to make expected progress. The district’s ESOL department will ensure each school-based ELL Committee review student performance in core academic subjects (ELA, math, science, social studies) after each interim report period and grading period to ensure ELL students are making satisfactory progress in all core academic areas. The district’s ESOL department will support the ELL Committees and work with their assigned schools to develop procedures to progress monitor and identify the ELL students who need additional or supplemental ESOL services. The ESOL department will also deploy district-level support to work closely with teachers and students to ensure students receive intervention to address regression and proficiency needs throughout the school year.
Teachers and instructional personnel are expected to follow all assignment, documentation, and responsibilities associated with supporting ELLs.
OTHER SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS
> Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Career and Technical Education Instructors will provide instruction while using COVID-19 precautions during instruction, industry certification, and skills training. Teachers are encouraged to meet the state curriculum frameworks through skills or alternative tests/assignments. Students in eLearning will be offered opportunity to obtain necessary skills or industry certification testing. Students who choose not to participate in onsite skill instruction or take the industry certification exam should not be penalized in their grade. CTE Instructors should contact their subject area Teacher Resource Specialist Trainer (TRST) for support or information.
> Dual Enrollment (DE)
Instructors must use the student Learning Management System provided by the college (CANVAS or MyFire) as the Campus eSchool platform. Instructors are expected to incorporate the Learning Management System from the college, and the content resources contained within, as much as possible during in-class face-to-face learning formats for all Dual Enrollment courses. Virtual trainings will be available, and teachers are expected to complete training prior to the scheduled start date of the Dual Enrollment course(s). Students and instructors can access help services from the college if in need of assistance during the course.
> Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE)
Teachers will adhere to the requirements and expectations that are described in this plan for all other non-CTE or non-DE courses, unless otherwise noted by school administrators.
Building principals provide the vision and leadership necessary to develop and administer educational programs that optimize the human and material resources available. For the duration of this Instructional Continuity Plan, principals will ensure their essential job functions in all settings: Campus Learning and Campus eSchool. These programs will ensure implementation of learning processes for all students leading to enhanced student achievement within the context of providing a safe and successful school for students, staff, parents, and the community in support of enhanced student learning.
SPECIAL SUPPORT FOR STAFF DURING EMERGENCIES
Principals will follow recommendations from Human Resources and Risk Management in regard to responding to COVID-19. The most up-to-date information is available on TheHUB: thehub.polk-fl.net/infoforemployees.
PLANS AND PROCEDURES THAT DELINEATE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS
Essential functions are given to principals in the Instructional Continuity Plan, Student Progression Plan, and related board policy for instruction. Essential functions for operations are outlined in the Administrator’s Operational Guide. During the pandemic, essential functions are delineated in each school’s individual Pandemic Response Plan, which is submitted, reviewed, and approved by the respective Regional Assistant Superintendent.
In the event of a local school, cluster of schools, or district-wide closure due to health, safety, or natural disaster, principals will review the following ICP checklist in consultation with their Pandemic Response Plans.
ICP PLANNING CHECKLIST
- Share this plan with school administrators and teachers.
- Ensure teachers have devices, login, and use access to resources.
- Develop a plan for providing mobile devices to students based on prearranged needs and availability of resources.
> Upon Notification of Closure
- Direct students, parents, staff, and the community to com
- Deploy mobile devices to students (must have signed acknowledgment form on file). Ensure devices are checked out using Destiny Resource Management, Appendix C (Mobile Device Agreement/Acknowledgement). Devices deployed by priority: seniors, high school core credit bearing courses, etc.
- Teachers will inform students of their online and/or paper-based learning opportunities and digital resources that are available to them during the school closure.
> Upon Return from Closures
- Collect and check in mobile devices.
- Follow guidance from the Florida Department of Health in Polk County and the Florida Department of Education.
EMERGENCY DECISION MAKING PROCESS AND DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Emergency decision making is specified in state law and board policy to the Superintendent of Schools. In the event an emergency decision needs to be made at the local school level, the principal will work in conjunction with their respective Regional Assistant Superintendent to communicate with the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent.
SCHOOL COUNSELING AND MENTAL HEALTH
> Campus Learning
School Counselors are essential to the overall success of the school environment. In promoting the well-being of all students, school counselors provide a comprehensive program to support development in the areas of academics, social/emotional health, and college and career planning. School Counselors provide culturally relevant services to students, while serving as liaisons to teachers, parents, and community partners to ensure that students receive equitable services. While school counselors do not provide ongoing therapy, they assist students and families with gaining access to external mental health services, as needed.
School counselors participate in regular progress monitoring of students. This allows school counselors to identify students that may need more intensive support to ensure promotion and/or graduation requirements are met. School Counselors also use data and research to effectively lead, facilitate, and participate in Problem Solving Teams, Crisis and Threat Management, and implementing a Multi-Tier Systems of Supports framework of services.
> Campus eSchool Learning
School Counselors will support students enrolled in the Campus eSchool Learning option with relevant and ethical school counseling services. Student records will continue to be monitored at the school site. Parents and students will be provided flexible opportunities to contact the school counselor by phone, email, or through a district-approved virtual platform. In addition, School Counselors will provide and encourage the use of online resources for students and families. The American School Counselor Association’s Ethical Standards for School Counselors will help guide the work in addressing challenges or limitations that may arise in a distance learning instructional model.
> Polk Virtual School (PVS)
Students enrolled at Polk Virtual School are assigned to a designated school counselor. The school counselor works to provide equitable and relevant services and support, as would a traditional school counselor. However, considering the nature of the instructional model, the services provided by the PVS school counselor would be closely aligned to that of the Campus eSchool Learning option.
Mental health services are provided for all students throughout the district through a coordinated system of care that may include community service providers as well as district employees. School teams consider the entire continuum of supports psychoeducation; group counseling; crisis prevention and intervention; individual counseling; as well as wraparound supports that a student may require. Services can be provided by a school counselor, social worker, school psychologist, or mental health facilitator through individual face-to-face sessions, small group, and/or virtual telemedicine sessions through a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant platform. Services and supports for students, as well as professional development opportunities for staff related to trauma-informed schools and social emotional learning will be provided in accordance with the district’s Mental Health Plan.
ESE, RELATED SERVICES AND 504 SUPPORT; MEETINGS, CONTINUED SERVICES, PARENT SUPPORT
Administrators will maintain responsibility for school-based oversight of all ESE program services, personnel, and the necessary provision of support in coordination with district-level personnel. School-based LEA Facilitators/Contacts will continue to serve as a valuable point of contact for parents, staff, and leadership team members.
The district ESE department will provide protocols for schools to prioritize IEP team meetings for students with disabilities. Areas to consider will include the student’s prior participation in distance learning activities in spring 2020, access to and ability to participate in distance learning and related services, and results of the student’s participation and end-of year performance. As IEP teams meet, the student’s individual education needs and option for participation in the back-to-school setting will be discussed. If a student has not received services for an extended period of time, the student’s IEP Team, or appropriate personnel under Section 504, will make case-by-case determinations regarding the extent of services missed and the necessity of applicable make-up services, increased IEP services, compensatory education, and/or other changes. Student IEP teams, including parents, will meet virtually through a GoToMeetings platform, as well as telephone attendance options for parents, which have always been in place.
Principals will direct the work of non-instructional staff per collective bargaining agreements for the respective employee classification.