August 7, 2020 PSD Update
Dear PSD families,
With PSD’s shift to remote education through at least Oct. 16, staff are finalizing plans for the start of the year. Our priorities are building strong connections with students, creating the conditions for learning and growth in any environment, and supporting students’ social and emotional needs as they return to remote learning. We will continue to share information with you over the coming weeks and thank you for your patience as we all prepare to start a school year unlike any other together.
First day of school
- Aug. 24 is the first day of school.
- We will share more soon about back-to-school schedules and what students and parents can expect at each grade level.
What families need to do before school starts
Laptops, devices for fall remote learning: Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, PSD already had a generous one-to-one technology program that provides laptop devices to students in grades 3-12. PSD this summer ordered devices for all our kindergarten through 2nd grade students, as well. However, due to global supply chain delays, it is likely that PSD will not receive these devices until sometime later this fall. As PSD shifts to opening the school year with students learning remotely online, we are asking for your support to ensure that we can provide a laptop device to all students who need one.
- Parents should log in to ParentVUE by Tuesday, Aug. 11 to let the district know if you have access to a device (Windows desktop or laptop, Apple Mac desktop or MacBook, Chromebook) that your student can use to for remote learning beginning in August. If a family indicates they don’t need a district-issued device, PSD may distribute it to a student who doesn’t have one.
Internet access: PSD has purchased MiFi devices (portable internet hotspots that enable students to engage in remote education wherever they are) and will distribute those to families who have shared that they have insufficient internet connectivity in their home to complete their work.
- The district is assessing whether students have access in their residence to reliable internet services (internet access via cell phone does not count) to access their remote educations. Please log into ParentVUE and complete a quick acknowledgement.
Expectations for how remote education will look
- Teachers will communicate their routines to students and families on a regular basis.
- Lessons will be managed in a consistent learning management system (Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, SeeSaw, etc.) and follow consistent structure to avoid confusion (same routine and access each day).
- The district will provide Help Guides for families to learn how to navigate these primary applications to support their students (Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, etc.).
- Students and families will access messages from teachers, links to online learning platforms and course content, information about assignments and more through standardized Teacher Learning Pages that all teachers and/or departments will have.
- Teachers will support student learning through a blending of three models:
- Synchronous learning: Online learning in which teachers and students participate at the same time, but not in the same place. Synchronous learning is delivered through a virtual meeting platform.
- Asynchronous Learning: Online learning in which students learn at different times and locations. Asynchronous learning is often supported by posted media materials.
- Independent Practice: Activities that support student learning. Independent practice may include reading assignments, general practice, homework, and projects.
- All lessons will be based on essential standards and provide meaningful work.
- Over the course of the year, all essential standards will be covered in core subject areas and courses.
- Students will receive timely and relevant feedback on their learning during school hours.
- Grades will be assigned. Teachers will communicate their grading practices and expectations.
- Attendance will be taken each day.
How have teachers and staff been preparing for remote education? During spring and summer 2020, teachers and staff have collectively participated in 20,090 hours (or 169 classes) of remote learning professional development.
During Launch Learning 2020 in early August, for example, 65 classes focused upon the importance of building connections with students and were designed to help educators continue to increase their proficiency in and comfort with remote learning. PSD’s Professional Learning and many other departments will continue to support teachers and staff in these and other training areas.
Assessing student learning in a remote environment: PSD will remotely administer fall assessments (Acadience and MAPS for reading and math) for grades K-10. Results will be used by teachers to determine student learning needs and inform teaching this school year. PSD is working with CollegeBoard to determine if fall PSAT and SAT may be offered.
PSD Virtual: PSD Virtual was established as a yearlong 100 percent online education option for the 2020-21 school year as an alternative for PreK-12 families who opted for the consistency of learning online all the time. PSD Virtual will not shift among the district’s educational phases, which are dependent on current public health conditions, guidance and orders. Watch this video to learn more about what is different between PSD Virtual and remote education in a student’s home school.
- The deadline to enroll in PSD Virtual is Aug. 8. Submit your “PSD Virtual Intent to Enroll” through ParentVUE.
- For more information about the PSDV student experience, instruction, course offerings, answers to frequently asked questions, how to unenroll from PSDV and more, visit the PSD Virtual website. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Enrolled PSDV students will pick up their laptops at their home schools. Information regarding the distribution schedule will be shared with families next week.
Meals: District staff are actively planning for the critical distribution of meals during this period of remote education. We will share more information soon.
Athletics: Boy’s golf, softball, cross country and tennis seasons have started in PSD, following CHSAA’s Aug. 4 announcement of its 2020-21 interscholastic athletics and activities calendar. PSD coaches and athletic directors developed health safety plans that align with guidance from CHSAA and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. Read more here. PSD has paused middle school athletics at this time with the goal of hopefully offering a modified season for all 10 sports beginning in early January.
Frequently Asked Questions: For answers about the shift to remote education, including the rationale for the decision; as well as PSD’s educational, health and safety plans and more, review 2020-21 school year FAQs.
Again, you can expect to receive more information before the start of school, both from the district and your student’s school. Up-to-date information is also available on the 2020-21 School Year web pages.
We hope you can enjoy some time with family in these last days of summer.
Poudre School District