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Distance Learning Plan

Distance Learning at Saint Peter Public Schools

The purpose of the SPPS Distance Learning Plan is to outline steps that have been taken as a result of the COVID-19 school closures. SPPS Schools will be able to support high quality student learning. These may include hard copy materials, web-based instruction, and online materials.

The teaching and learning staff at SPPS are trained in using technology as a learning tool to deliver content, set academic milestones and expectations, and collaborate with each other. During the COVID-19 closure, the District will require the full partnership of students, parents, teachers and staff to provide meaningful instruction that meets state guidelines for distance learning.

COVID-19 School Closure

The district recognizes that the first priority is the health and safety of staff and students. Should staff and students become ill during the COVID-19 closure, the expectation is for their priority to focus on their health and getting better. Academic instruction and learning can happen once staff and students have regained their health and conditions improve.

During the COVID-19 school closure, SPPS teachers and staff will deliver instruction through distance learning and all school buildings will be closed to the public.

Communication Pathways During Distance Learning

Frequent, timely communication between the school district and families is critical as policies, practices, and guidance for distance learning and staying healthy change daily. In order to effectively communicate with families and the Saint Peter Community, the district has implemented the following communication pathways:

District Communications

  • The district will communicate updated plans and practices at least once per week via the main district communication channels including: email, website, social media, and our parent phone notification system, including text and voicemails.
  • All written district communications and resources will also be available on the school’s Covid-19 response page (
  • District communications will be translated into Spanish and Somali for families needing translated messages
  • A weekly e-newsetter, The Saints Scribe, will be sent to families and published on the school website to share program news and the good things happening across the district (
  • Districtwide messages will include - but will not be limited to - the following:
    • School closure information
    • The SPPS Distance Learning Plan, which will be posted to the district website
    • How to access meals
    • How to access childcare
    • How to access mental health support
  • As the situation and circumstances change, more frequent communications from the district will take place as needed

Building/Program Communications

  • Principals and Program Directors will communicate with families as their programs, expectations, and schedules change over the course of distance learning
  • Information will be sent via email, SeeSaw or Google Classroom, social media, as well as text and voicemails as needed.
  • Messages will include, but will not be limited to, the following:
    • How to reach school leaders
    • Additional information related to districtwide messages
    • How students will be able to retrieve their belongings from school at the end of the year, if needed
    • Student expectations (attendance, assignments, hours, due dates, etc.)
    • Staff expectations for reporting attendance
    • Reminder about Student Information System and how to sign up
  • Daily communications and updates can be delivered to families through their student’s teachers and the programs shared virtual space

Community Feedback and Input

  • The community can provide feedback and ask questions through the district’s Covid-19 information email ( at any time and receive a response from the school within one school day
  • The district will seek input from all families and students through surveys and use that information to monitor and adjust the distance learning delivery model

MDE Guidance on Distance Learning

As defined by MDE: Students engaging in distance learning have access to appropriate educational materials and receive daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s).

Schools will provide materials for students to continue their learning. Each school will determine the most appropriate way to communicate and provide instruction for each student, including some/all of the following:

  • Paper packets or worksheets
  • Textbooks and print materials
  • Telephone instruction
  • Online resources
  • Instruction via the school’s shared virtual space (SVS)
    • Examples: SeeSaw, Google Classroom

Teachers’ responsibility

During the time of Distance Learning, teachers will work remotely.

  • Staff will have their school issued laptops and iPads with them to provide remote instruction.
  • Staff will provide guidance and feedback on class work through email (Pre-K-12), the school website (Pre-K-12), Homeroom (Early Childhood), SeeSaw (South Elementary), SeeSaw (North Elementary), and Google Classroom/Moodle (Middle School and High School).
  • Teachers will also be accessible by district communication tools. Each instructional day, teachers will plan and prepare materials from 7:30-10:00, be available to students for distance instruction from 10:00-3:00 with a 30 minute lunch from 12:00-12:30, and have collaboration or work time from 3:00-3:30.
  • If a staff member is not available during Distance-Learning Days due to illness or a personal day, the teacher will communicate with the students/families within 24 hours of their return to work.
  • Teachers may be asked to cover for other teachers in the event of extended absences as licensing allows
  • Staff will provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations for students who are on 504 plans, IEP, and/or additional reasons appropriate to assist students in achieving the learning outcomes.

Student expectations if schools are closed

  • Students will log into their courses through the district’s Shared Virtual Spaces to access the educational activities and complete them.
  • Students who do not have electronic access or are not provided a school district device, educational activities will be sent home for students to complete the educational activities through paper/written format.
  • Assignment completion requirements continue to follow the expectations set by individual classroom teachers.
  • General questions and technical support requests can be made to teachers, and school staff will reach out to help resolve issues as able.

Impact on Home-Based Programs, Homebound Instruction, or additional Services

If schools are closed, the district’s home-based programs or services will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Considerations for student absences and attendance

Homework, grading and instructional decisions will be consistent with current practices.

  • Grading and assessments may be modified for students, but this model of delivery (Distance Learning) will ultimately aim to parallel what students would have studied in school.
  • Students’ login access to Shared Virtual Spaces will indicate attendance in the instructional setting established by the District. Completion of assignments may also be used as an indication of attendance.
  • Other means of checking attendance for younger students will be communicated to parents via email or phone and they will require parent partnership.
  • Individual teachers will be responsible for assessing student progress.