Remote Only Learning option now available to GASD families, sign up online no later than Aug. 19

amsterdam logoThe Greater Amsterdam School District has revised its Reopening Schools Plan to give parents the option of choosing a Remote Only Learning (ROL) at home model for their child(ren) for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Parents/guardians must complete this online form no later than Aug. 19, 2020 to choose this ROL option and meet all procedures and requirements posted below:

Parents should understand that Remote Only Learning is NOT the preferred and recommended learning model for the Greater Amsterdam School District Instructional Program during this COVID-19 reopening. The recommended plan combines hybrid part-time, onsite, in-person classroom instruction with face-to-face, proper socialization opportunities for students/teachers two days per week combined with remote learning from home three days per week. For Special Education students who are part of a special class (i.e. 12:1:1, 12:1:2, etc), attendance under this plan would be onsite daily. For those special education students who receive Consultant Teacher services, these students will attend two days a week with their cohort. While onsite, all students and staff will follow social-distancing school protocols and wear masks with the exception of designated times such as scheduled lunch breaks and various classroom mask wearing breaks.

The Remote Only Learning from home instructional option will be substantive, but it will not be equivalent to the onsite/combined remote learning model the district is recommending for ALL general education students. That being said, the district will offer this ROL model to reopen the 2020-21 school year for students/families who have voiced concerns about sending their child(ren) back to school and interacting in-person under COVID-19. ROL is also being made available to our fragile populations (any student who requires it due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, and/or have parents/guardians who are deemed medically vulnerable – per Department of Health guidance).

Under the ROL model, families may choose to have their child(ren) engage in a completely virtual/remote instructional option, committing to remaining in ROL for the first trimester (elementary – through November 20, 2020) or first quarter (middle and high school – through November 13, 2020). The ROL model will entail both synchronous (live online) and asynchronous (not live, pre-recorded lessons) engagements. Students participating in the ROL model, however, must meet all of the following criteria to enroll:

Procedures and Requirements for enrolling in Remote Only Learning (ROL)

  • Students enrolling in ROL will be assigned to online only learning. This includes online only participation in any clubs and/or extracurricular activities, if so offered for in-person attendance. Students in the ROL program will not be eligible to participate in onsite interscholastic activities should they be offered, with the exception of interscholastic athletics as per Section II guidance.
  • Parents must notify the Greater Amsterdam School District of their intent to enroll their student in the Remote Only Learning (ROL) program no later than Wednesday, August 19 (form link above).
  • Students enrolled in ROL will remain in the virtual classroom to which they are assigned, minimally for the entirety of the first trimester at the elementary level (through November 20, 2020) and the first quarter (through November 13, 2020) at the middle school and high school levels.
  • Parents of elementary students who would like to shift their child to the onsite/combined remote learning option for the start of the second trimester must notify the school district registrar of the intent to shift from ROL to the in-person/hybrid model no later than November 1, 2020. This will provide time for the district to reassign teachers between ROL and in-person instructional assignments as student enrollments shift.
  • Parents of middle school and high school students who would like to shift their child to the district’s onsite/combined remote instruction model for the start of the second quarter must notify the school district registrar of the intent to shift from ROL to the in-person/hybrid model no later than November 2, 2020. This will provide time for the district to reassign teachers between ROL and in-person instructional assignments as student enrollments shift. 
    Instruction and instructional materials will be provided both through synchronous and asynchronous means.
  • Parents of younger students will need to be engaged in supporting instruction from home.
  • Student attendance will be taken. Student work must be returned to the teacher(s) completed. Students will receive grades and progress reports. 
    At the elementary level: instruction will be provided in ELA, math, science and social studies for each grade level. Students will also have access to weekly lessons for PE, art, and music. PE, art and music lessons will be designed for multiple grade levels (i.e., K-5, 6-8, 9-12), will not be grade level specific, and are likely to be asynchronous.
  • In the event onsite instruction is suspended and the students who had been participating in onsite instruction shift to an entirely virtual setting, students enrolled in the ROL model will remain in the ROL program unless the district needs to make a change due to staffing needs.
  • Due to social distancing requirements and the assignment of staff to in-person and virtual classrooms, students returning to the onsite/combined remote schooling may be assigned to schools other than their home-school if the home-school is at maximum capacity for social distancing requirements.
  • The ROL assignment will stay in effect for the 2020-21 school year unless COVID restrictions are lifted or families provide required notice of the intent to re-enroll their child in the onsite program. Return to onsite schooling will take effect at the start of the next trimester at the elementary and semester at the secondary level.

Special Education Services for Students Receiving Entirely Virtual Instruction (ROL Option)

The delivery of Special Education services to students who are participating in ROL will ensure that students have access to a free and appropriate public education. Special Education services will include both synchronous (live online) and asynchronous (not live, pre-recorded lessons) instruction. This will be achieved by using a variety of resources provided in collaboration with general education teachers to ensure educational materials are accessible, adapted, modified and appropriate in accordance with students’ IEPs.

Lessons, tasks and activities will focus on student’s IEP goals and may include pre-recorded lessons, synchronous teaching and teacher-designed learning activities. Students will have access to daily contact with their special education case manager. If a student receives related services, these will be provided virtually as outlined on students’ IEPs. 

English as a New Language (ENL) Services for  Students Remote Only Learning (ROL Option) 

After a case-by-case review, each English Language Learner will be assigned to an ENL class that fits the student’s schedule and instructional needs. Students will be assigned a specific time to log on for ENL instruction with an ENL teacher. 

Homeschool Option vs. Remote Only Learning (ROL) Model 

There is a difference between homeschooling your child and the Remote Only Learning model that GASD is offering this fall. Parents/guardians who decide to HOMESCHOOL their student(s) are responsible for the design and delivery of instruction, not the school district. To homeschool means to educate children at home instead of sending them to a school, especially on a permanent or long-term basis, and receive instruction from a parent/guardian. On the contrary, parents/guardians who decide on the GASD Remote Only Learning (ROL) option are signing up to receive online instruction through a GASD teacher while remaining at home.

For families who wish to Homeschool their children, the Home School Service at HFM BOCES provides families with support throughout the year providing clear expectations and regular communication to ensure compliance with New York State Education Department regulations. In addition, the service can provide assistance for completion of paperwork and help connect parents with local homeschool support groups. For more information on Homeschooling options (not the ROL learning model described above) please visit the HFM BOCES Home School Service webpage at 

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