Distance Learning Plan - Guidance for Grades 9-12

Tools, learning activities, and time frames provide a picture of distance learning in grades 9-12.

Guidance for Grades 9-12 Distance Learning

Distance learning at the high school level provides teacher-designed and teacher-directed instruction for each enrolled course. The guidance below applies to distance learning experiences through the end of the 2019-20 school year. 

Priorities and Considerations, Grades 9-12

  • Primary tools for communication between teachers and families are FCPS 24-7 Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, and email.
  • All learning opportunities are placed in FCPS 24-7 Blackboard or Google Classroom, as has been their practice prior to distance learning.
  • Teachers are required to use only standard, approved digital tools for instruction (e.g., FCPS 24-7 Blackboard, G Suite for Education). 
Learning Activities
  • Teachers create synchronous and asynchronous activities, which are placed in FCPS 24-7 Blackboard or Google Classroom.
  • Students should have both off- and on-screen learning activities.
  • Teachers assign formative assessments toward essential course standards.
Teaching Tips
  • Actively focus on maintaining attitudes of inclusivity. Now more than ever, students should feel valued and welcomed, regardless of their background or identity.
  • Seek ways to build relationships with students and foster a positive online classroom.
  • Communicate clearly to students both when assignments are due and when students should expect to get feedback from you on those assignments. Be flexible when considering due dates, recognizing the different challenges and priorities that students and families may face during distance learning.
  • Create learning opportunities that are as self-directed as possible. This allows more flexibility for students and frees you up to focus on students in need and on giving students feedback.
  • Consider assigning virtual collaborative work so that students may connect with each other outside of synchronous time.
  • Remember that all of a student’s teachers are providing learning opportunities for them. Additionally, the fact that students are learning at home may impact their ability to participate and complete assignments. Seek feedback from students to ensure they are not getting overwhelmed with too much work.
  • Encourage students to be proactive in reaching out to teachers when they have questions or when assignments are unclear.
  • Assist students in connecting with school counselors and clinical staff, as needed, for support with academic, social, or emotional needs.
Teacher Expectations
  • Collaborate with your content team to plan both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
  • Provide feedback to students during synchronous chats and for written assignments.
  • Set office hour(s) for students to communicate through email or Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Clearly define for students and caregivers when you will be accessible to students electronically.
  • Work with other staff, as needed, to reach out to students and families who are not engaging in distance learning.
  • Respond to caregiver or student communication promptly, as defined by your administrator.
  • Participate in staff meetings, collaborative team meetings, and professional development, as scheduled by your administrator.
  • Take into consideration the needs of your students while also keeping a healthy work-life balance.


Approximate Time Frames for Distance Learning, Grades 9-12

The time frames below apply to distance learning during spring 2020.

Learning Format

Time Allotment

Learning Activities


3 hours per day, 2 days per week

Meet virtually with class at scheduled time for teacher-directed instruction in all courses

Connect with teachers through virtual office hours


3 hours per day, 2 days per week

Complete distance learning packets or other activities as directed by the teacher.

Complete assignments independently or collaboratively.


Flex Learning


Student/family choice

Read for pleasure. 

Be active.

Explore personal interests/passions.

Continue to develop and engage with academic language.

Engage in College and Career Planning.



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