Learn about synchronous and asynchronous instruction, the differences between content delivery and instruction, and create self-guidance to prepare for remote classrooms. 

Understanding my School/District’s Plan for Remote Instruction

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As you dig in and understand your school/district’s plan for remote instruction, below are key questions to guide your internalization. Answer as many as you can. This will create guidance for your own classroom preparation.

If you cannot find a specific answer, schedule follow-up time with someone at your school to understand those components.

What remote instruction models will your school be using?





What is the hourly requirement for students across the various models your school is using?

  • How much time is synchronous?
  • How much time is asynchronous?


What curriculum choices has your district made?





Are you using any content delivery programs?


If so, what is the corresponding plan for engaging instruction?


How do curricular choices play out in the remote instruction model being used?

(For example: is the CKLA listening and learning strand happening in a synchronous online lesson?)


What are the expectations for taking attendance?






What are the grading requirements?






Is there a requirement for frequency of student log-ins?






Who are the most instructionally vulnerable students? How do you know?






What information did your school/district already collect from students and families to plan remote instruction?





What additional data do you need to collect from students to ensure you can effectively plan for their engagement in learning?



What other questions do you have?





Distance Learning Models- Key Vocabulary

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Note: all vocabulary below, in addition to other relevant definitions, can be found here in the Reopening Schools: Overview Guide for LEAs.


  • Asynchronous learning – students learn the same material at different times and locations (location independent)
  • Blended learning – students learn through electronic and online media as well as through face-to-face instruction
  • Digital learning – learning accompanied by or using technology (in this document, specifically computer-based) and includes synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities
  • Distance learning – primarily defined as when students and teacher are not housed in a classroom or school building
  • Learning Management System (LMS) – software application for a variety of education programs conducted online
  • Remote learning – Please see: Distance Learning
  • Synchronous learning – students learn at the same time using the same or similar activities
  • Virtual learning – a form of distance or remote learning that is done using the internet and electronic instruction and usually involves both synchronous and asynchronous learning methods
  • Vulnerable populations – those students most likely to be negatively impacted by closures