Butte School District



COVID-19 Emergency

Student Instruction Resources and Best Practices

In accordance with Policy 1005FE – Proficiency Based Learning and Section 20-9-311(4)(d), MCA, “a school district may include in its calculation of ANB a pupil who is enrolled in a program providing fewer than the required aggregate hours of pupil instruction under subsection (4)(a) or (4)(b) if the pupil has demonstrated proficiency in the content ordinarily covered by the instruction as determined by the school board using district assessments. The ANB of a pupil under this subsection (4)(d) must be converted to an hourly equivalent based on the hours of instruction ordinarily provided for the content over which the student has demonstrated proficiency.”

Proficiency or satisfying aggregate hours of instruction can be achieved through an on-site, off site, or blended learning model as outlined in Policy 1906.

Best practices, including but not limited to those outlined below, will assist districts in facilitating quality learning for each student regardless of background or circumstance.

Planning & Communication

  • Providing tools for virtual learning will help ensure equity in access to learning opportunities.
  • Provide weekly learning agendas communicated to students and parents.
  • Set student meetings, teacher office hours, assignment expectations, and grades available on an established schedule. Districts may consider Policy 1902 – Alternative Grading.
  • Establish whole group virtual “class time” and/or opportunities for small group learning
    • Post assignments online early and for the entire week.
      • § During this time of challenge, providing structure and certainty will support academic, mental and emotional health.
    • Students should receive some form of communication from the school community at least once per day.

Set Expectations

  • With students and parents/guardians set expectations and acknowledgment of the importance for ownership of student learning.
  • Expectations can outline due dates for assessments.
  • Outline how much online participation is required of students.
  • Include expectation for daily submission of work or review of accomplishments toward goals.
  • Survey students and parents/guardians to make adjustments to lessons.  Remember to be flexible—time learning software, apps, etc. should be considered part of learning.

Differentiated Instruction & Learning Models

  • Embed experiential learning that fosters a learning environment that promotes connections. Districts participating in Transformational Learning funding can utilize their Strategic Plan as a guiding document and adapt to a virtual  environment.
  • Social Emotional Learning and connections.
    • Begin the day by connecting with students—a Brain Teaser or an exercise for students to share a topic of interest or something from home with others.
  • Record lessons
    • Lessons should come with visual substance and multiple types of instruction to facilitate learning—downloads, PowerPoints, videos, readings, audio recordings, etc.
  • Honor students interests and passions through experiential learning opportunities.
  • Project based learning.
    • Engage the students to do the work through research, developing, and creating a product which encompasses a variety of subject areas.
    • Encourage creativity.
    • Consider pointing students to the right resources (videos, websites, files) and allow them to be contributors to their own learning-- Creation of a science project—writing, demonstration of items needed, YouTube video with the end result being submitted to the teacher and classmates.
      • Wax Museum example: reading about character, writing about individual, dress up and record via YouTube or creation of a Power Point with pictures
    • Project based learning presents opportunities for cross-subject collaboration and flexibility in ways to show student learning.

Demonstrating Learning

  • Provide video meeting and messaging capabilities to engage students in multiple mediums to show learning.
  • Provide daily feedback to address academic growth and monitor and improve social emotional wellness.
    • Clearly communicate to ensure students and parents are aware of the importance of this mutual feedback.
  • Formative assessments can guide instruction and provide multiple opportunities for feedback and identifying gaps in student learning and instruction through a low-stress medium.

Legal Reference:

Section 20-1-101, MCA – Definitions
Section 20-1-301, MCA – School Fiscal Year
Section 20-9-311, MCA – Calculation of Average Number Belonging
Section 20-7-118, MCA - Offsite Provision of Educational Services
Section 20-7-1601, MCA – Transformational Learning –  Legislative Intent
 ARM 10.55.906(4)) – High School Credit


Cross Reference:                

Policy 1005FE – Proficiency-Based Learning
Policy 1905 - Staff, Student, and Community Health and Safety
Policy 2100 – School Calendar
Policy 2140 – Guidance and Counseling
Policy 2161 – Special Education
Policy 2168 – Distance Learning
Policy 2410 – Graduation
Policy 2420 – Grading and Progress Reports
Policy 2421 – Promotion and Retention
Policy 2150 – Suicide Training and Awareness
Policy 3125 – Homeless Students
Policy 3122 - Attendance Policy
Policy 3310 - Student Discipline


Policy History:

Adopted on: 04/27/2020
Reviewed on:
Revised on:   07/20/2020
Terminated on:

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