Coronavirus [COVID-19]: May 4, 2020

On Monday, May 4, Minuteman High School Principal George Clement issued the following email to students and families with updates to the remote learning plan and requirements for course credit:

Dear Minuteman High School Community,

I hope this message finds you well, and that you are all safe and healthy. We look forward to the day when we can see all our students and get back to business as usual. Until then, we are announcing some changes to our remote learning plan.

Because of the ongoing school closure, Tuesday, May 5, marks the first day of the fourth-quarter grading period, which will remain in effect until the end of the academic year. As Superintendent Bouquillon shared in his most recent letter, Minuteman is shifting how it conducts scheduling and how students receive credit for remote learning coursework for the remainder of the year. With school remaining closed, it’s critically important that all students continue to engage in learning.

Please note these important changes:

  • All students are now required to participate in remote learning in order to receive course credit. This includes seniors who must complete senior-year coursework in order to graduate.

  • Students in grades 9, 10, and 11, will have the opportunity to participate in remote learning at scheduled times with exceptions granted due to extenuating personal circumstances.

  • We will provide as much support and flexibility as possible for students who may be experiencing barriers to remote learning, such as work obligations or home difficulties, which may include caring for ill family members. We will provide generous flexibility for students.

  • Special education teachers will continue to provide individualized support for students.

Minuteman’s administrative and teaching staff have developed a plan to help all students attain course credit for fourth quarter. The goals of this plan are to increase student engagement and allow flexibility to accommodate students with extenuating personal circumstances.

Additionally, because remote learning cannot replace the education that occurs in a typical classroom setting, students will receive course credit largely based on their level of participation.

Students in 12th grade are required to complete their Senior Portfolios and Senior Projects as outlined previously. Seniors will not receive additional academic assignments for the reminder of the year but should remain connected with their instructors to complete these tasks in order to graduate in June. As we stated in a previous letter, the Senior Portfolio is due Monday, May 11, and the Senior Project is due Friday, May 22. In addition, all seniors must participate in a virtual exit interview with their guidance counselor. Lastly, please note that all teachers and staff members are available to assist senior students virtually.

Grades 9-11 Scheduling
For the remainder of the school year, all students in grades 9-11 will follow a remote learning schedule. One week will be designated for vocational classes, and the following week will be designated for academic classes, just as we do typically. Please note that ninth-grade students will only have math and English team sessions during their scheduled academic weeks and not during their vocational weeks.

A detailed schedule is being created and each student will individually receive information pertaining to their specific classes. However, for academic classes, the overall schedule is as follows:

  • Monday: English Language Arts
  • Tuesday: Math
  • Wednesday: Science
  • Thursday: History
  • Friday: Humanities and Physical Education

Vocational classes will be planned throughout the week. Special education staff will attend their assigned classes and provide individualized support to students throughout the week.

It should be noted that we are eliminating online office hours for teachers, which we instituted during the most recent version of our remote learning plan. Because we are now shifting to required participation, we no longer believe office hours are necessary. However, teachers and staff are always available to provide individualized support as requested by students. We also have outlined a plan for our teachers for identify students who are at-risk for not obtaining course credit.

Grade 9-11 Course Credit
Teachers will provide students specific information about how their remote learning work will translate into course credit. Generally speaking, and in following the most recent guidance issued by Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeff Riley, Minuteman will provide course credit largely based on participation and engagement with the material. The more students engage with the material, the more credit they will receive to improve their overall grade point average. Course credit will be provided largely based on the quantity of participation and engagement.

For both vocational and academic classes, the guidelines for issuing course credit are as follows:

  • “A” or 100%: The student’s end-of-year portfolio artifact and reflection for each class are completed, and 80% or more of the remote learning assignments are completed.

  • “B” or 85%: The portfolio artifact and reflection for each class are completed, and 50% or more of the remote learning assignments are completed.

  • “C” or 75%: The portfolio artifact and reflection for each class are completed, and less than 50% of the remote learning assignments are completed.

  • No Credit: No submissions.

As a friendly reminder, please note that Governor Baker has suspended MCAS testing this year. Typically, 10th grade students are required to take MCAS. If a student does not pass MCAS in 10th grade, they have at least two years to be re-tested and pass in order to graduate in the 12th grade. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not provided a make-up testing date for this year’s 10th graders.

Tech Support
For any student who needs support with technology, they may call Minuteman’s Information Technology “GeekOut” team at 781-243-3802. Select “1” for support with Aspen, or “2” for all other technical issues. GeekOut is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.

Everyone at Minuteman is working hard to continue to provide a level of learning that engages our students remotely. Above all, we are trying to maintain a level of consistency that’s required to keep students engaged in learning while also providing support and flexibility that recognizes individual circumstances. Please email me if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued support.