Distance Learning Requirements
Opportunities for Live Interaction
Schools shall ensure that distance learning students receive adequate support and opportunities to interact with teachers and peers to guarantee equity.
The maximum number of students enrolled and participating in an online live session shall not exceed 25 students for KG/FS2-Y1 and 30 students for G1-G12/Y2-Y13. To maximize engagement, younger students are recommended to be split into even smaller groups (12-13 students each or smaller) during a live session.
Teachers shall be present and available for the whole duration of the assigned teaching or planned live sessions.
Individual or small group opportunities shall be offered via distance learning to increase teacher-student and student-student interactions and to provide interventions when needed.
Teachers’ cameras shall be switched on during live lessons to encourage and increase teacher-student interaction. Activated cameras are encouraged for students but each school has the discretion to implement their own policy as they see fit.
All live sessions shall be recorded (without featuring any students, i.e. only the content and/or teacher) and made available to students and parents for asynchronous access.
IT Systems and Resources
Schools shall reassess their IT systems and policies in line with Policy 65 of the Private School Policy and Guidance Manual 2014-15.
Schools shall regularly re-evaluate their educational technology needs based on the experience of distance learning, as expressed by teachers, academic leaders, parents, and students. Educational technology may refer to online learning apps, platforms, video communication tools, etc.
Schools shall deploy a live communication platform(s) such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google Classrooms, etc. to respond to the needs of each cycle and ensure consistent teaching and learning experiences. (a singular platform is recommended).
Schools shall appoint IT focal persons by assigning additional duties to existing staff or through new recruitment of specialised staff to support any IT-based issues that teachers, students or parents may face to ensure equitable access to online learning for everyone.
Schools shall appoint an IT trainer to provide context-relevant training to teachers, students, and parents on using the school’s specific platforms as needed.
Online Safety, Security, and Privacy
As part of their risk assessment, schools shall evaluate all online technology tools that they deploy or intend to deploy, and develop actions to mitigate risks, where identified, to protect the safety, security, and privacy of their users.
Schools shall remind parents of existing their online safety measures (as per Policy 65 of the Private School Policy and Guidance Manual 2014-15) and communicate to parents on how they can support their children to ensure their safety during online activities.
Schools shall conduct age-appropriate sessions with students on staying safe online. Schools may consider using widely available resources to deliver these messages and online safety training to students.
Advice on School-Based Evaluation of Distance Learning
The Education Quality Assurance and Monitoring Office at ADEK has shared results from the Distance Learning Evaluation process with schools. Based on these results, schools are encouraged to develop an action plan to address areas of improvement within their distance learning delivery.
Schools are also encouraged to conduct their own internal evaluations of their distance learning programs through parent/teacher/student surveys or focus group discussions.
Copyright Requirements During Distance Learning
Schools shall abide by the terms laid out in Federal Law No. (7) of 2002 On Copyrights and Related Rights while teaching online.
Under the provisions of this law, the making of one or more copy of a work (including publications such as textbooks), sound recording, broadcast program, or any performance in any manner or form, including loading of permanent or temporary electronic storage, regardless of the method or device used in copying is prohibited.
Schools shall administer the relevant assessments as mandated by the Standardized Assessment Policy.
Schools shall administer formative and summative diagnostic assessments to determine student progress and learning needs.
Schools shall assess student learning through face-to-face and distance learning if offered.
Schools shall have in place administration and invigilation procedures which they implement for remote live assessments to ensure assessment integrity.
Students of Determination must be allowed examination accommodations relevant to their needs i.e., extra time, reader, scribe, etc. without discrimination. The arrangement should be outlined on the IEP and considered in the risk assessment.
Learning Loss Interventions
Schools shall carry out evaluations of student learning to identify learning gaps including:
Diagnostic assessment opportunities to identify learning loss/gaps and develop intervention plans to address deficits.
Formative and summative classroom assessments to monitor and track students’ attainment and progress.
Data analysis processes and procedures
Spiral learning, where the focus is on moving ahead and revisiting and relearning topics as they arise, is recommended, particularly for Cycle 3 students.
Schools shall develop and deliver extra interventions to students who have experienced severe learning loss due to online learning or have underperformed on assessments of content learned during distance learning.
Meeting the Needs of All Students
As the range of special educational needs and disabilities is immensely diverse and unique to individuals, schools shall make the necessary arrangements to provide equitable access to Students of Determination based on their knowledge of the child, the accommodation available, the expertise of staff and their ability to meet the guidance outlined in this document.
Schools shall demonstrate their best endeavors to meet the needs of Students of Determination to be educated alongside their peers. Additional resources, training, adapted timetables or groupings may be required but wherever possible these should be provided to avoid discrimination.
To ensure equity of education provision, schools shall work with parents to develop an individual risk assessment and IEP for every Student of Determination, whose education requires a highly personalized approach.