Gloucester High School Planning
August 26 Update on Revising GHS Opening Plan
On August 26th the School Committee revised the opening plan for Gloucester High School. The high school will start on September 16 with a fully remote model that includes in-person learning for students on a rotating basis. For a full update please review the presentation made at School Committee on August 26th and August 21st. The high school will communicate with students and families with more details in the coming days with more.
August 12 Update:
The School Committee voted on August 12 to move forward with the Split Day Hybrid Model at Gloucester High School.
Gloucester High School
In-Person Learning - Gloucester High School
At the high school, a thorough feasibility study of all learning spaces revealed full in-person model would have the following limitations: (a) a comprehensive education for students would not feasible, because physical classroom sizes would not support the DESE mandated minimum physical distance of three feet because too many students would need to be assigned to each classroom; (b) a distance of six (6) feet between students would not be feasible during lunch periods due to cafeteria size and staffing limitations that would prevent the supervised use of alternative spaces (e.g. auditorium and field house); and (c) student and teacher transitions between classes would present substantial safety challenges, even when following a staggered schedule.
Hybrid Learning - Gloucester High School
The same feasibility study demonstrated that a hybrid approach could support in-person learning within classrooms, provide at least three (3) feet between desks, and provide a comprehensive education to our students. Gloucester High School’s planning team and district leaders have been investigating three different hybrid approaches: a Week On/Week Off Model; a A/B Day Model; and a Split Day Model.
All approaches would have about half of all students in the building at any one time allowing for proper physical distancing, smaller cohort sizes, and less complicated and less crowded transitions between classes. All three approaches have split the school’s student body into two cohorts, named Crimson and Cream after the school’s colors. They each have one full day of remote learning each week for all students, and high needs students will attend in-person for four or five days as long as the school building does not have to be shut down completely.
Basic Schedule of the three models that have been considered:
Week On/Week Off Model - the Crimson cohort is in school one week while the Cream cohort does full remote learning that week. The cohorts flip the following week with the Cream cohort in school, and the Crimson students doing remote learning.
A/B Day Model - Crimson students are in school on Monday and Thursday while the Cream students do remote learning. On Tuesdays and Friday, they flip with the Cream students attending class in person and the Crimson students doing remote learning.
Split Day Hybrid Model - The day is split into a morning and afternoon session with the Crimson cohort in person in the morning and the Cream cohort learning remotely. For the afternoon session, the two cohorts switch with the Cream cohort coming into school and the Crimson cohort learning remotely.
At this point, and after looking at many iterations of these three different approaches, GHS is prioritizing the Split Day Model. Compared with other hybrid models, this plan includes more days in school, fewer passing time transitions per day, and more social emotional learning, relationship building, and supportive connections through an extended homeroom period twice per week.
In Gloucester High School’s Split-Day hybrid plan students are in school four days per week for three hours. Four days per week, each cohort participates in in-person learning for three hours and synchronous, structured remote learning for three hours.
Each three hour in-person session consists of four periods (alternating between four academic periods and three academic periods and an extended homeroom advisory).
Four days per week the Crimson cohort will attend in the morning while Cream cohort engages in structured remote learning; the Cream cohort will be in the building after lunch while the Crimson cohort engages in structured remote learning.
One day per week, students engage in structured remote learning for six hours.
Grab-and-go lunch and breakfast will be provided to students at the end of their in-person session.
High needs and EL students will be accommodated for in-person learning five days per week.
Students can access a full range of courses while maintaining three (3) to six (6) feet distancing.
Within each cohort students are further split into a bubble consisting of 9th and 10th grade students and a bubble of 11th and 12th grade students.
Start times, passing times, and ending times are staggered to allow each bubble to move to and from classes without encountering students in the other bubble.
Full Remote Learning - Gloucester High School
At the high school level, if full remote learning is due to increased local community transmission and infection rates, the Crimson and Cream cohorts will be blended and all students would participate in synchronous remote learning with teacher support in the morning and would participate in structured, self-directed remote learning in the afternoon following the schedule below.
As in the hybrid model, the high school will use Google Classroom and Meet to organize instruction and facilitate teacher-student interactions. Attendance and engagement will be tracked through the student information system. The school and teachers will communicate with students and families through Gloucester School Gmail accounts (students) and SchoolMessenger emails, calls, and texts (parents and guardians). A remote learning catalogue with remote learning best practices and technologies will support remote learning aligned to the state standards in both the hybrid and full-remote models.