Elementary Schools Planning

The School Committee voted on August 12 to move forward with the In-Person + 1 Hybrid Model in our K-5 elementary school.

To read Gloucester's full submitted plan for school reopening, please click here.


K-5 Elementary Schools

Given the ages of students in our K-5 program, and given the importance of direct in-person instruction for beginning learners, we are actively pursuing In-Person and Hybrid Learning Models that will allow for the safe return of as many students as possible to return to their classrooms. GPS has purchased a new standards-aligned online assessment system that will allow teachers to quickly assess student learning gaps for areas of instructional reinforcement. We are also investigating an approach that would help us identify if particular students need additional social-emotional or mental health support.

In-Person Learning @ K-5

In general, our elementary schools are already equipped, or can be prepared to receive all students for in-person learning at the start of school in September.

  • With class sizes averaging 16 - 22 students, rooms have been evaluated and can accommodate students at a 3 foot or greater distance from each other.

  • Considering “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch and modified start and end times because it will be difficult to achieve six feet between students during meals due to table design, cafeteria size, and staffing limitations.

  • Students will remain in grade-level cohorts or “bubbles” and careful scheduling and monitoring will ensure limited contacts with other cohorts.

  • Considering both full day in school and a shorter day in school because of challenges with serving lunch

  • English Learners will follow the General Education schedule unless they need significant additional support

  • High needs students in Sub-Separate and Partial Inclusion special education programs would be in school for the full 6 hours

Hybrid Learning @ K-5

Two primary Hybrid Learning Models are under consideration: the In-Person +1 Hybrid, and the 50% A/B Alternating Hybrid.

K-5 In-Person +1 Hybrid

With the In-Person +1 Hybrid, all K-5 students can return to school on a daily basis every day for four (4) hours per day. Students work with their teachers and interact with peers everyday, allowing them to maintain academic learning and regular social relations

  • Physical distancing maintained between three and six feet in accordance with state guidelines

  • Challenges related to safely providing breakfast and lunch to all students mean students would take home a “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch.

  • Students complete the school day with an additional 45-60 minutes of remote learning at home.

  • High needs and vulnerable learners would stay in school for the full day

  • School would start 30 minutes earlier to maximize the four hour block of instructional time before lunch,

  • With the remote learning block, the school day is only shortened by 15-30 minutes of learning time

  • Provides 20 hours of in-person instruction per week for general education students and 30 hours of in-person instruction for high needs students

K-5 50% A/B Hybrid Model

Students split into A and B cohorts, with students alternating between in-person school days and remote school days. Most students have two days in person with teachers and three days in remote learning.

  • Cohort A attends school on Monday and Thursday. Cohort B attends school on Tuesday and Friday to limit the number of days in a row students are not in person with their teachers and peers.

  • One day per week would be remote for all students except high needs students

  • In-person sessions would follow the normal six (6) hour school day

  • Average class sizes would range from 8 - 12 students, allowing for more physical distancing

  • Fewer total students in the school at one time allows for more physical distancing and makes serving breakfast and lunch possible

  • English Learner (EL) students would attend in-person, four days per week, and all High Needs students could attend up to five days.

  • Provides up to 12 hours of in-person instruction per week for general education students and up to 30 hours of in-person instruction for high needs students

Full Remote Learning @ K-5

If required to close our buildings to students due to increased local community transmission and infection rates, K-5 schools would move into a remote learning model. Since May, an elementary team has been working to strengthen our remote learning practices. Also, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has required more structures to make remote learning more accessible and more effective.

  • Students and classes will follow a daily and weekly schedule just like they do when students are in our school buildings

  • Live, daily morning meetings and check-ins for all students will allow for attendance-taking, building and maintaining social connections and academic motivation, and opportunities for small-group and individual support.

  • Teaching and learning would be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous models, small group support, and for those with high needs individual support with related service providers

  • Each teacher would use a base platform such as Seesaw, Class DoJo, or Google Classroom as the foundation of their communication and remote teaching practice.

  • Teachers would still work in and teach from their classrooms, thereby increasing their access to technology and teaching materials.

  • Our K-5 Standards-based report card will continue to be used to grade student progress even in a remote model.

  • Teacher planning time will be coordinated across the district to allow for grade level teams of teachers to share lessons, expertise, and best practice.

Remote Learning Academy
Regardless of which learning model we are in at any time, GPS plans to create a Remote Academy to serve students whose parents have indicated a preference for fully remote learning. At the elementary level this may involve the creation of a districtwide instructional team that teaches single grade or subjects or multigrade instruction depending on enrollment.