Secondary Remote Learning
Welcome to the Secondary Remote Instruction webpage. This page is designed to inform and support secondary 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.
- Teacher - Led Instruction
- The First Days of School
- Remote Learning Daily Schedule
- Remote Learning Assessments
- Supporting Students
- Role of the Family
Remote Instruction Overview
Remote Instruction is a model whereby all students will be learning from home. The delivery of Remote Instruction includes the use of the District’s online tools to facilitate teaching and learning, as well as synchronous and asynchronous instruction. What is imperative is that this teacher-led experience that our students receive most resembles their in-person classroom experience. Throughout Remote Instruction, students will remain with their assigned teacher(s) and follow a schedule similar to their In Person Instruction schedule.
In this fully remote launch to the school environment, faculty have the opportunity to use various instructional technology tools to facilitate the teaching and learning process, while more importantly focusing on how to provide students with a dynamic learning environment that offers real-time access to them. Students will be expected to attend and fully participate in each of the daily synchronous learning experiences that faculty provide, at which point attendance will be taken. If a student does not attend, they will be considered absent from the class unless prior arrangements have been made with the teacher. In our secondary delivery model, these synchronous experiences will vary in length each period of each day depending on the instructional objectives and activities as established by the faculty.
To balance a student’s amount of time involved with synchronous learning activities, students will be expected to attend to the asynchronous instruction provided by their teacher and complete/submit their assigned work as directed. One tool, Edgenuity, provides foundational curriculum in a range of courses and offers asynchronous delivery as needed by the faculty to meet the lesson’s learning objectives. Particularly in our secondary program, we have a number of courses in our extensive course catalog for which this tool may not be available or enhance the teacher-led experience in a synchronous environment. Additionally, we have courses where the tool may be pointed to in order to supplement the teacher-led experience in a synchronous environment. Faculty are to examine where the foundational curriculum can be purposeful in enhancing the students’ experience.
In all cases in this synchronous environment, teachers are to provide students with a dynamic learning experience that may utilize Edgenuity, and if the student learning experience is enhanced, utilize another tool, like Google Classroom for the 1st 9 weeks, to facilitate the online experience. Currently, our focus is on the synchronous delivery of instruction using relevant tools, and where appropriate during the 1st nine weeks, insert available asynchronous instruction from Edgenuity or other sources.
The First Days of School
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 teachers.
Remote Learning Daily Schedule
Mt. Lebanon School District understands that COVID-19 presents many challenges that may affect attendance. The District will work with each student and family individually to address attendance and instructional needs.
Students are required to follow their school’s bell schedule and attend all daily synchronous sessions at the beginning of each class, at which point official attendance will be taken. Middle School students will follow the Middle School Grade Level bell schedule. High School students will follow the High School Building bell schedule. Alternative bell schedules will be used for the opening day(s) and school specific events, which will be communicated to the students/families by the Principal.
The Day Rotation system will continue to be utilized. August 31 = Day 1.
Remote Learning Assessments
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
evaluating and reporting student performance to ensure the flow of communication among the faculty, the student, and the families in the interest of providing information on the level of the student’s achievement of course objectives.
Communication as to the student’s grades will be reported via the student’s Dashboard (Student Information Management System - PowerSchool). Faculty will report percentages and letter grades for middle school students as an indication of the student’s achievement of course objectives. Faculty will report percentages and letter grades for high school students as an indication of the student’s achievement of course objectives, which will be reflected in the student’s GPA on the transcript (weighted and unweighted). Additional details about grading practices can be found in the High School Parent-Student Handbook, Middle Schools Parent-Student Handbook (Jefferson Middle School; Mellon Middle School), and the teacher’s individual syllabus once available.
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.
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.
Role of the Family
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. They can also support students by serving as a translator 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.
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