Elementary Remote Learning
Welcome to the Elementary Remote Instruction webpage. This page is designed to inform and support elementary families while the District is utilizing the Remote Instruction option for teaching and learning. More information about the District’s plans for the 2020-21 school year, including our Health & Safety and Reopening Education Plans can be found on our website in the Return to School 2020-21 section.
An overview and description of the Remote Option for Elementary is also provided online.
- Curriculum Audit
- Student Assessment
- The First Days of School
- Supporting Students
- Role of the Family
Immediately following the close of the 2019-20 school year, our grade levels and departments conducted a “curriculum audit” to determine the effectiveness of School@Home. They reviewed the fourth grading period standards for each subject and collected input from all buildings. This data was reviewed and organized to be shared with the next grade level teachers. For example, the grade 4 data was shared with grade 5 teachers. During our planning weeks prior to school reopening, District and school building grade level teams reviewed this data and created plans to address any gaps as needed. Also key to addressing any learning gaps or issues from our sudden switch to emergency online teaching in the Spring of 2020 will be the assessments as described in the next section.
Student progress will be assessed formally and informally in the remote learning environment, just as it is in the typical classroom. Teachers will gather feedback about students’ level of understanding during class discussions and small group meetings, as well as via independent work samples and more traditional tests and quizzes that will be delivered in a digital format.
As we begin the year in a Remote Learning Environment, we understand the importance of assessing our students to collect data in order to provide accurate and continuous learning opportunities that meet their individual and collective needs. To maintain consistency for our teachers, students, and families, we will continue to administer MAP and AIMSWeb assessments remotely. Each student will be assessed by building level Assessment Teams that include the Homeroom Teacher, a Reading Specialist, and an Instructional Support Teacher. These assessments will be conducted within the first few weeks of school, and are intended to be completed independently by each student under the direction and supervision of a member of the Assessment Team. Please understand that guardians should refrain from participating in these assessments. This time is truly intended for your child to focus on the presented task and to have minimal distractions. By having your child present and participating, it will result in an increased ability to work and problem solve independently, which is essential to the learning process. It will also provide us with a true depiction of their abilities and needs so that we may provide the best possible education to them moving forward.
The first days of school are dedicated to building relationships and establishing a sense of community among the students and teachers. Additionally, teachers will guide students through developing shared expectations and group norms for a remote learning environment; including but not limited to, navigating various technology platforms and tools, organizing student materials and workspaces at home, and participating in synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. Finally, time will be dedicated to acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic with students in a developmentally appropriate manner. All teachers have been provided with training and discussion guides based upon the Listen, Protect, Connect-Model & Teach model for recovery. These guides provide a framework for discussions with students and their Classroom and Encore teachers.
The District recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our school community. Both the spring’s School@Home and the decision to reopen in Remote Instruction has created both challenges and opportunities for our students and their families, as well as our teachers and support staff. Working collaboratively will provide the best result for our children.
The diverse community of Mt. Lebanon means that children and their families will approach Remote Instruction with a vast array of supports and resources. The District is committed to providing an equitable opportunity for all students to reach their learning goals for the 2020-21 school year. If you have any questions or concerns about the progress of your student, or are having difficulty accessing their education, please contact the teacher and principal. Together we will develop a plan to ensure that your child is getting the best education possible.
Some important things families can consider to help support their child’s learning are as follows:
Provide a comfortable learning space free from distractions.
Equip children with the tools and materials they will need. (note: if you are in need of school supplies, please contact your child’s teacher or principal)
Help your child become familiar with their schedule.
Allow time for breaks, especially movement breaks, throughout the day.
Communicate with your child’s teachers, particularly regarding barriers to their learning.
Focus on your child, not the work they are doing.
You will find resources to assist with this list in the section below.
As noted in the above section, the District realizes that our families have a variety of circumstances and situations that will impact the manner in which they support their children during Remote Instruction. Please know that one of the reasons we selected a format that included significant synchronous instruction was to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, students would be able to manage their asynchronous learning independently.
Students best gain knowledge and skills through “productive struggle.” Allowing them to attempt things on their own, make and learn from mistakes, and collaborate with others to solve problems will lead to deeper learning. Other benefits of productive struggle include student engagement, persistence, and the development of a “growth mindset.” See the Resources section for more information and research on how families can help develop a growth mindset in students.
Understanding the importance of productive struggle for student learning helps define the role of parents/guardians/caregivers during Remote Instruction. Those supporting at home should view their role as a facilitator and observer, rather than as a teacher. Adults can also support students by serving as a clarifier of information and as a messenger to the teacher, particularly when the student needs additional assistance to access their learning.
If you have questions about how to best support your child at this time, please contact the teacher or your building principal. As noted, we are committed to our continued partnership with families to benefit our students.
MTLSD Resources - The links below will lead to a quick guide and a video that instruct families on how to access Accelerate Education, our learning management system. Also note that we will continue to use CLEVER as our single sign in system. Students should always log into CLEVER first to ensure they can access all online resources without having to enter user name and password information.
CommonSense Media is a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children. They have been described as the nation’s largest membership organization dedicated to improving kids’ media lives and the largest non-profit dedicated to children's issues in the United States.
Mindset Works is the global leader in growth mindset development leveraging the pioneering research of Carol Dweck and Lisa Blackwell. The company's mission is to enable a world in which all people realize continual learning and growth. The District has used the work of these two researchers for many years in the professional development of teachers and staff.
The Intel Education Group has partnered with key leading educators in the US to create a remote learning companion guides to support parents through this unplanned transition to remote earning