Face to Face Academy is proud to introduce its Equitable Access Learning Model (EALM). This tiered program is designed to work in concert with the Academy’s in-person services, and is an available intervention for ALL students when obstacles – either acute or chronic – prevent them from being able to engage successfully in educational and social emotional services traditionally provided in the school building. EALM’s purpose is to reduce disruption in learning and help historically truant students stay connected to school.
In consultation with a student’s family/support network, advisor, and the Academy’s interdisciplinary team, the appropriate “EALM Tier” is determined for the student. At a minimum, every student qualifies for “Tier 1” services. Higher level tiers often correspond with challenging life circumstances, which tend to be more prevalent in the Academy’s target population, threatening to interrupt progress toward High School Graduation and future College/Career aspirations. The higher level tiers are also intended for older students that are often balancing school and work obligations simultaneously and, in an attempt to maintain this balance, often struggle to adhere to a traditional school schedule.
How Does It Work?
Every Face to Face Student receives a Full In-Person daily schedule as the school continues to prioritize in-building instruction. If a student is unable to attend In-Person classes, however, they still have options to participate in both Synchronous (Live, Google Meets) and Asynchronous (Guided Independent, Google Classroom) Learning Experiences. The amount of time a student can access these Online Learning Experiences is based on their level of EALM Tier (see section “Four Tiers of Equitable Access Learning).
In order to be successful in these Online Learning Experiences, the following resources and supports are provided:
- The student will have 24/7 access to classroom content, materials, and assignments via Google Classroom.
- The student will be provided a device and ongoing technical support to ensure uninterrupted access to Google Classroom. Any students with connectivity issues will receive assistance for establishing reliable internet access.
- The student will have the option to receive instruction via Google Meets. The student will continue to be instructed by the same licensed core content teachers as if they were attending full-time, in-person learning. The Google Instructional Meet mirrors the educational experience that is provided to their peers in the building.
- The student will have other daily connections options with their teachers via phone, email, Google Classroom messaging, and/or video conferencing.
- The student will receive a daily check-in with a school social worker to address academic and social emotional needs.
- The student will have ongoing access to food, school supplies, paper copies, and other essential needs either through pickup or drop-off.
- The student will be regularly monitored and will be provided with frequent feedback about progress toward reaching their educational goals using this modality.
- Where applicable, the student will continue to work with the Academy’s interdisciplinary team to address and remove any obstacles to allow a student to return to on-site classes on a regular basis.
The Four Tiers of Equitable Access Learning:
Tier 1: Student is learning 80% – 100% of the time In-Person. This tier constitutes the vast majority of Face to Face Academy Students. Every student has the option (but is NOT required) to learn up to 20% of their course content Online via live instruction through Google Meets. This proportion translates up to 4 classes per a typical core content class that meets for a Quarter. NO approval through the school is necessary to participate in this EALM
Tier 2: Student is learning 50%-79% of the time In-Person. Students in this category may learn up to 50% of their course content online. This proportion translates to 10 classes per a typical core content class that meets for a Quarter. In order to access this Tier, a student must have a pre-approved plan and expectations signed by the student’s parent/guardian (if under 18), advisor, school administrator, and the student.
Tier 3: Student is learning 20% – 49% of the time In-Person. Students in this category may learn up to 80% of their course content online. This proportion translates up to 16 classes per a typical core content class that meets for a Quarter. This tier has specific eligibility requirements and is reserved for students that meet multiple of the following criteria:
- Member of Work-Based Learning Program
- Full/part time employment due to family circumstances
- Graduating class has passed
- Within one year of graduation
- Completed 3-6 months of enrollment on campus
- Has complex transportation issues
- Has other mitigating circumstances that make it difficult to attend on a regular basis
A student in this Tier must have a pre-approved plan with expectations signed by the student’s parent/guardian (if under 18), advisor, school administrator, and the student. The plan must be reapproved at a minimum of five weeks to maintain eligibility.
Tier 4 (Online Only): Student is learning 100% Online. This designation may apply to a single core class offering and up to 5 Core classes per quarter. A student must not only meet the Tier 3 Criteria, but this tier is reserved for students who demonstrate a capacity to learn successfully in an online format. A student in this Tier must have a pre-approved plan and expectations signed by the student’s parent/guardian (if under 18), advisor, school administrator, and the student. The plan must be reapproved at the End of Each Quarter to maintain eligibility.
What happens if the student is able to attend school more often than their designated Tier?
The short answer to this question is: “That’s Great!” The real innovation of the Equitable Access Learning Model is that each student, regardless of Tier, has a seat available in the classroom for In-Person learning every day. The Tier system is designed to help the school organize and keep track of how a student is most likely to learn (in-person or online). A student is welcomed (even encouraged) to attend in-person even if their plan calls for primarily online instruction. While communication is encouraged, the Academy has the capacity to incorporate a student In-Person without advanced notice.
- The following are possible ways for students to establish daily attendance:
- Attend In-Person Classes
- Attend Google Instructional Meet
- Attend Google Support Meet
- Complete Daily Check-in with Advisor, Member of Social/Emotional Support Team, and/or Classroom Teacher.
- Submit assignment associated with designated Learning Experience
Digital Literacy Training:
All Academy Students will participate in ongoing education to build digital literacy skills. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to attend at least 1-2 training sessions each school year either by appointment or during scheduled conferences. The Academy teachers also use these trainings with students and families to assess the strengths and weaknesses of its online programming.
Students will receive training in the following information:
- Navigating Academy gmail accounts and communicating with teachers via email
- Navigating Google Classroom and its communication features
- Accessing the online grading platform (plusportals.com)
- Demonstrating appropriate use of the Internet and displaying academic integrity on assignments
- Using expected etiquette on Google Meets
- Meeting expectations of online participation including appropriate use of the chat and camera features
- Assessing current level of digital literacy skills and setting goals in this area
Special Education & Student Supports:
Families, students, and stakeholders interested in learning more about the delivery of Special Education Services and Students Supports for students learning 100% Online (EALM Tier 4) can access this helpful resource below: