LEA Guidance for Chapter 27 Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Programs for the 2023-2024 School Year - Benway School
Benway School is committed to the constancy of instruction, especially when faced with the current situations where the safety of all involved require alternate plans. In the event of Benway or a student’s home district pivoting to Virtual Instruction, Benway will implement a virtual instruction school platform, which is a way for instruction to continue while students are unable to attend school due to either school and district closures. While the virtual instruction plan is not intended to replace the customary classroom environment, teachers have prepared and are able to deliver standards-based instruction to students utilizing online technology until the normal school schedule can resume. This plan outlines how Benway will continue to provide instruction in a Virtual Instruction format while a conventional school setting is not recommended. The plan includes roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders, as the success of the Virtual Instruction model will be dependent upon the dedication of faculty/staff, students, parents, and administration.
As per the signed Local Educational Agency Guidance for Chapter 27 Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Program for the 2023-2024 School year, districts and schools have been asked to update alternative School Closure plans for their students due to school closing. As a private school for students with disabilities, Benway School has developed an action plan to ensure students’ continued exposure to educational material for a period of time where they are not physically attending school. This plan includes resources for instruction during this time period, ongoing consultation and support from Benway staff, and an overall structure to support the organization of students’ days.
As per the Local Educational Agency Guidance for Chapter 27 Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Programs for the 2023-2024 School Year sent by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), Benway School has worked tirelessly to plan and prepare for the necessity to pivot to Remote Instruction at any point in the 2023-2024 School Year. Our goal is to provide the most substantive education, including related services, to our students in the event of an emergency pivot to Virtual Instruction.
Benway’s Emergency Virtual Instruction Program will be effective September 7th and will follow the same schedule as the 5 days of week of in-person learning.
Instructional time will be 4 hours and 30 minutes. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and staff and we will rely heavily on the advice and expertise of our public health officials and health care professionals. Our main goal is to have students safely access a comprehensive education.
Additionally, as an integral part of our planning process, we will be designing guidelines and plans for enhanced Virtual Learning in the event that we need to utilize this platform again in the future. We are all aware of the need to be flexible and the need to continuously monitor any changes in all of our community’s health status.
Virtual Plan for Benway School
In the event of Benway or a student’s home district closing, Benway will implement a Virtual Instruction school platform, which is a way for instruction to continue while students are unable to attend school in person. While the Virtual Instruction plan is not intended to replace the customary classroom environment, teachers have prepared and are able to deliver standards-based instruction to students in a home utilizing online technology until the normal school schedule can resume. Within the school day, students will meet for class virtually (Google Meet, assignments, and resources will be available on Google Classroom and Google Drive). Furthermore, students will be provided opportunities to meet with staff individually to accelerate learning opportunities and meet for credit recovery, enrichment, and extra educational support. Additionally, Administration and School Social Workers will be contacting staff and students on a consistent basis to check in on their health and well-being. Benway Staff will be provided ongoing training to improve Virtual Instruction, including effective use of technology and best trauma-informed practices. This plan was initially developed in accordance with the NJ Department of Education Broadcast on May 5, 2020, and is now being adjusted to meet the needs of our students for the 2023-2024 School Year.
Length of School Day
Benway School’s Virtual Instruction day will consist of 4 hours and 30 minutes of instruction. This will include 6 academic classes, excluding a lunch break, recess, and transitions between Virtual classes.
Student attendance will be taken by teachers on a daily basis and recorded in our Student Information System. School Staff will be contacting absent students' families each day, District Case Managers will be updated regarding student attendance.
Equitable Access to Instruction Plan
All students enrolled at Benway School will be provided a device to participate in Virtual Learning. In an extenuating circumstance that prevents a student the ability to utilize technology or there is a safety concern, other learning modes will be provided, and communication and support will be planned accordingly. Access to WiFi will be coordinated in conjunction with students’ home districts to ensure equitable access to Virtual Instruction.
- Demographic profile: All 70 students currently enrolled at Benway have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and are sent as out-of-district placements.
- This plan applies to all our students that are between the ages of 6 and 21 with varying levels of need.
- All components of this plan are individualized based on student/family needs.
- 95% of the families are known to speak/read English.
- 90% of the families are known to have access to computing technology which includes internet access.
Any difficulties with access will be addressed on an individualized need by the school’s Administration and Technology Department.
Addressing Special Education Needs Plan
During the period of necessary Virtual Instruction, Benway School’s special education staff (which includes Special Education Teachers, Social Workers, Paraprofessionals, 1:1 Aides, and Related Service Providers) are providing special education services using a variety of strategies and online platforms.
Special Education Teachers collaborate with the Administration and Social Workers regarding each student’s progress. Progress is reported quarterly for grades 1-12. Special education teachers provide feedback on student work that is submitted and review student progress and provide additional support and materials as needed. Necessary accommodations and modifications are consistently being evaluated.
Implementation of Educational Programming
- Goals and objectives in the students’ IEPs are implemented to the maximum extent possible given the remote learning environment.
- Special Education teachers are providing instruction as aligned to the student’s IEP that best meets each student’s individual level.
- Supports for the organization provided in order to simulate a regular school day include utilizing the following tools for Virtual Instruction:
- Google Meet
- Google Classroom
- Related Services are scheduled to accurately reflect those required in the student’s IEP. This includes OT, PT, Speech and Language, and Counseling. Sessions are conducted through online platforms (Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom) and dispersed hardcopies when necessary. All sessions are logged and follow necessary SEMI procedures.
- Paraprofessionalsx and 1:1 aides work closely with students to provide academic, emotional, and social support. All correspondence with students is logged on a daily basis.
Collaboration with Sending School Districts
Student progress will be shared on a consistent basis by sending District Case Managers to update student progress. Administration, Social Workers, and Teachers will be in communication with parents to collaborate and address any concerns.
- Communication with parents will be held through email or phone, based on parent preference (phone calls will be initiated through Google Voice, during school hours).
- Any meetings that arise (Parent concerns, annual IEPs, etc.) will be held in the mode preferred by the District Case Managers (phone conference, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.)
- Students’ Case Managers are provided with both a mid-marking period progress report and an end of the marking period report card electronically.
- Benway staff are in communication and collaborate with the student’s District Case Manager on a regular basis to provide updates, as well as work together to engage and motivate students who may be struggling.
- This has included, meeting through Google Meet to brainstorm ideas to motivate a student, collaborate to provide extra in- home support for students and families, and work with the District Case Manager to follow up with families to support our requests and needs.
Safe Delivery of Meals Plan
Students who receive free and reduced meals are still entitled to this service. As a “receiving school,” we have students from many different districts.
- We have and will provide our families with their home districts meal information and designated community sites.
- his information is shared with families on an individual basis and is posted on our school’s website.
Virtual IEP Meetings
For Virtual Annual Review meetings held during this time of remote instruction, the following procedures will be used to develop new goals and objectives.
- Any IEP meeting will be held in the mode preferred by the District Case Manager.
- For any skill areas that have adequately met goals/objectives or are not sufficiently rigorous, the previous year’s assessment and aligned to the New Jersey State Learning Standards will be referenced, taking into account progress that has been made during the academic year.
- Input regarding additional goals/objectives desired by family members will be solicited in the form of discussions with families.
- When in-person instruction resumes, additional assessments may be conducted and the student’s goals and objectives will be amended as necessary to ensure that appropriate goals and objectives are being implemented.
The administration will work with Special Education Teachers to monitor student academic progress and determine if accommodations or modifications need to be adjusted. The administration will collaborate with Related Service providers and determine if services need to be adjusted. Administration and Social Workers communicate with parents and District Case Managers to discuss student progress and any adjustments to the student’s IEP. Student accessibility to technology and learning platforms is consistently evaluated.
ELL Bilingual Needs Plan
English Language Learners/ Bilingual Plan
- All plans, updates, and written correspondence will be translated from English to address language barriers.
- When necessary, a translator assists in communicating and assisting with parents via phone conversations.
There are no students at Benway School who are English Language Learners (ELLs).
The building will receive an in-depth cleaning from the custodian. Routine maintenance of the building will continue as needed. All surfaces will be disinfected, floors have been stripped and waxed, and high-volume surfaces have been repainted.
- Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, including cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops
- Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. For disinfection, the most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
Danielle Bourne (Director), Matthew Bijas (Assistant Director), Patrick McAloon (Principal), Chris Mingoia (Supervisor), Kameron Reylado (Technology), Julie Morganti (Special Education Teacher), Elisse Lama (School Nurse), Wilmer Lavado (Building and Grounds), Lizmaris Mantilla- Avilles (Business Officer), Bernadette Ihne (Administrative Assistant), JoAnn Concha (Administrative Assistant)