COVID-19 Learning Models » Online Distance Learning Model

Online Distance Learning Model

Online Distance Learning Model – Quarter 1 of 2020-21 School Year     

       (Details as of August 10, 2020)


St. Joseph Catholic School will provide a full time Online Distance Learning Model for families wanting a SJCS education but not ready to have their child attend school in person at this time.  This Online Distance Learning will look different than the emergency spring distance learning.  Online distance learners will follow a regular daily school schedule. Keeping to this schedule will provide structure to learning online.  The schedule will include synchronous (live) and asynchronous (video, practice) instruction in core subjects (Religion, Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies) and specials classes (PE, Art, Music and Spanish).


What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

Remote synchronous instruction is two-way, real-time/live, virtual instruction between teachers and students when students are not on campus. In this method, the required amount of instructional time is scheduled each day. Synchronous instruction is provided through a computer or other electronic device using Microsoft TEAMS.  The instructional method must address the required curriculum of the Diocese of Dallas. 

Remote asynchronous instruction is instruction that does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real time. This type of instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper. The instructional method must also address the required curriculum.


Distance Learning has obvious limitations in its ability to address all areas of development. Without effective support at home from parents in the Online Distance Learning process, children can easily become disengaged and frustrated. Parents should consider their ability to play an active role in the process before committing to Distance Learning.

The teacher will ensure opportunities for remote learners to participate in classroom discussion and to ask questions, but these opportunities are not unlimited.  At times, the teacher will be available to answer questions and check for understanding, but there may be a delay.


Attendance and Participation

Online distance learners will be assigned to homeroom teacher classrooms and will be a ‘part of the class’.  They will need to take part in attendance at 8:00 am each morning and will be expected to start the day with their class in prayer/pledge and announcements.  If your child is unable to participate in the day’s schedule due to illness or other reasons, parents must send an email to the homeroom teacher or call the office before 9:00 am. 


Students will be responsible for participation and completion of all assignments according to the teacher’s policies and procedures just as they would in the school building. Students should have materials ready for activities, follow the honor code, and complete and turn in assignments on time.  Students should communicate with their teacher if they are having difficulty.  Don’t wait to do this until an assignment is late or days have passed.  Ask for help!


Parents will follow Safe Environment guidelines to establish the student’s workspace in a common area (no bedrooms) for their student to participate in distance learning. Parents will monitor their child’s assignments, assist their child in collecting and turning in work (email or pickup/drop off on campus), and communicate directly with the teacher as needed. Parents are expected to manage the engagement and behavior of students learning from home when participating in livestream instruction while teachers manage the behavior and engagement of those students in the classroom.


The homeroom teacher is responsible for all students in his or her class, including remote learners.  The teacher will plan and deliver all instruction and upload necessary materials to Seesaw, Teams, or SIS, deliver feedback on student progress, and grade all assignments. Your child’s assigned teacher is the point of contact for all questions regarding curriculum and instruction. Participation (questions and comments) from the students during livestream classes will be managed by the teacher.  Parents are asked to communicate with teachers via email; a phone conversation or Zoom call can be arranged by email.  Teachers will respond to emails as soon as possible, but within 24 hours.



Parents will receive their child’s daily class schedule at the beginning of the year.  You can expect to receive a weekly calendar of assignments and homework each week. You can also expect to receive a weekly calendar of days/times for synchronous (live) instruction.   


Students will turn in work through Seesaw and/or Microsoft Teams or possibly/rarely at a location on campus (depending on assignment).  Teachers will make it clear as to how to turn in work in their weekly instructions.


Technology Requirements/Learning Management Systems

Online distance learners must have a computer or other electronic device (other than a smartphone) available to them throughout each school day.   They must also have internet access.   During our orientation time, we will take note of each student’s device(s) and assess needs.   We want to ensure that each child taking part in the Online Distance Learning Model has the technology needed to successfully take part in learning each school day.


Three management systems will be used for instruction and communication. Seesaw is a robust digital portfolio and learning system, where teachers assign tasks that engage students with a variety of work in the form of videos, photos, text, images, files, and drawings. Microsoft Teams is an application in the Office 365 suite of services, providing teachers the ability to share and stream live lessons, collaborate virtually in real time, share resources and documents, create assignments, and provide personalized feedback to students all in one hub.  Grades and assignments, as well as lesson plans, will continue to be found in FACTS/SIS. 


To simplify and organize multiple online programs/applications and passwords, we will utilize ClassLink.  This will provide a single sign-on into web and applications and also, instant access to files for school.  


Library Resources

Online distance learners will have the opportunity to check out books from our library.  More details will follow.


Quarterly Commitment

You will be given the opportunity to switch learning models for your student quarterly. The first quarter begins on September 2nd and ends on November 6th, 2020.  If there is a family circumstance that requires immediate change, you can contact Ms. Thompson or Ms. Kim to discuss a transition.


The Distance Learning Model will be available for any child who is diagnosed with illness or is self-quarantined in the first quarter of the school year.