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Abraxas and FIRST School Ready for Remote Learning

With COVID-19 still a major concern, the Abraxas School of Ohio and FIRST School, the Private Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) programs partnered with Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, have put plans in place in case there is a need to educate students solely through remote learning. 

Vanessa Wagner, principal of FIRST School, said, in their unique environment, it is extremely important to have alternative plans to meet the needs of all learners. “The students who attend FIRST School and Abraxas are often in need of credit recovery or access to GED prep. If we did not have a remote learning plan and quality partnerships with the facilities, we would have struggled greatly to meet the needs of these students.” 

The following procedures will assure, if the need arises, that educational opportunities are still being provided to all school-aged youth at both programs.  

  • Teachers will prepare standards-based packets for all youth for a minimum of two weeks. Packets will be assigned to students and held in the assigned classroom in the facility or placed on the assigned unit.  All students will be allowed to participate in direct instruction through Zoom, as facilitated by the PRTF staff and the Mid Ohio Educational Service Center faculty.
  • All students with an IEP or 504 plan will have the opportunity to work either one-on-one or in small groups with the teacher during the scheduled Zoom time to meet the accommodations and specially designed instruction outlined on their individual plans. 
  • The building administrator will work with the teachers to develop a Zoom schedule along with detailed login information and instructions to provide to the facility staff. The Zoom teaching schedule will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FIRST School and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Abraxas in accordance with the school calendar. 
  • Building administrators and the Technology Manager at MOESC will provide continued support to the facility staff to ensure all students have access to educational opportunities.
  • Teachers and facility staff members will take attendance each block throughout the day. 
  • Once a week the administrators will gather completed work from each student for the teachers to assess.  Work will be graded with appropriate feedback and provided to students the following week. In addition, the teachers will keep their grade books up-to-date to ensure all students are aware of their academic progress. 
  •  Administrators will continue to review received educational information from the district of residence (DOR) and place students in the correct academic courses to ensure students remain on the appropriate graduation pathway. In addition, records will be reviewed at the end of every term by the administrators to ensure grade promotion is accurate and communicated to the DOR upon discharge from the residential facility.
  • IEP and ETR meetings will continue to be held via Zoom. Teachers have online access to progress reports and will still be required to complete these reports at the end of each term per the designated reporting period. These reports will be sent to all necessary parties at the end of each term along with grade reports and any other relevant education documentation.  

At this time, both Abraxas and Foundations for Living are holding in-person class, according to Wagner. “We have very clear guidelines which were developed with guidance from the Richland County Health Department to keep our students and staff members safe. Because of our partnerships and the willingness of the teachers to adjust quickly to remote learning earlier this year we’ve been able to help our students get caught up or stay on track to be promoted.” 

Wagner said the continued flexibility of the teachers in each facility has been a crucial part of maintaining a structured educational program. “Abraxas Principal Shelly Patrick and I are extremely grateful for their dedication and hard work. In addition, the forward thinking of [MOESC Technology Manager] Candy Bores and her ability to anticipate our needs has been outstanding. We believe face-to-face instruction for our at-risk populations is the best type of instruction, and we hope that our extended safety protocols continue to keep everyone safe so that they can continue to learn in a healthy environment.”