Re-Opening FAQ’s for 2020-2021 School Year Virtual, Online Learning Platform
We know you have questions about this new learning strategy. We would like to take this opportunity to answer questions we have already fielded from our school community. For additional information, please visit our website at www.WilkinsburgSchools.org.
Why did the district decide that a Virtual, Online Learning platform was the best fit?
With the increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide it is paramount to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe. The Wilkinsburg School District plans to begin the 2020-2021 school year by orchestrating a rigorous and engaging Virtual, Online Learning Plan which includes synchronous and asynchronous learning. The district administration and Board will review and monitor state and CDC data and protocols as it pertains to COVID-19 to reevaluate moving to a Blended Learning Instruction plan during each monthly board meeting. If, and when it is safe to move forward with the Blended Learning Instruction plan, the transition will be communicated to all families and students in a timely manner.
When will the entire reopening plan be available?
Our goal is to have everything updated on the website by the end of the day on July 29th, 2020. Additionally, there will be a video from Dr. Iverson, your Superintendent, that will be loaded onto YouTube that families can view with the same timeline. Dr. Iverson will share more detailed information during this presentation.
What is the first day of school?
August 31, 2020 – In the best interest of the students, we will maintain our current daily school schedule.
What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?
Synchronous Learning refers to a platform in which a group of students are engaging in learning at the same time while accessing a virtual platform. Asynchronous Learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time. This includes independent learning in our case online where students will be able to access lessons online through Google Classrooms any time of day or night. Utilizing both learning models will assure the safety of all students and staff.
How will my child access instruction?
EVERY CHILD WILL NEED A GOOGLE CHROMEBOOK WHICH WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT (Pre-K-6 and Special Education Students). If parents need a hotspot to access the internet, the district will provide that as well. Parents will be able to pick-up student Chromebooks at Kelly Elementary and Turner Intermediate in the school lobbies starting:
- Monday, August 24, 2020 – 9:00 a.m.-Noon
- Tuesday, August 25, 2020 – 9:00 a.m.-Noon
- Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – 1:00-6:00 p.m.
- Thursday, August 27, 2020 – 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Appointments are not necessary. If you have more than one child in the district, you will be able to pick-up a Google Chromebook for each of your children at their appointed school. When picking up the Chromebook(s), it is mandatory that everyone wear masks in our buildings. If the times and dates above do not work for your family schedule, please contact the building secretary to arrange an alternative pick-up. If you have an iPad it MUST be returned to the school during the designated times listed above. If it is not returned, you will not be able to pick up your Chromebook(s).
How will my child receive their consumables and other school supplies?
Parents can secure consumables and all necessary school supplies when they pick-up the Chromebook(s) at the designated times listed above.
What does my child do if we do not have access to the internet?
If parents need a hotspot or internet service, the district will provide that as well. You can pick up your hotspot when you pick up your child’s Chromebook at the designated times listed above.
How will my child learn to use their Chromebook and access their virtual classroom?
We will be providing a link to a YouTube video on how to use the computer. The video will be available 24/7 and will be very child friendly. For best results, we ask that all parents watch the video with their student(s) so that they are fully knowledgeable by August 25th. Additionally, we will have a handbook online that you can view and download on our website. It will outline and explain how to use the following:
• Google Chromebook
• Google Classroom
What if I am having technical difficulties with a Chromebook?
Support will be provided by your child’s teacher. You will be able to email or call the teacher.
How will both platforms be facilitated?
When synchronous learning is being utilized by the students, they will log on by clicking a designated link given to them by their teachers to give them entry to their personalized ZOOM classroom instruction. Their classmates and teacher will be visible. Classes will commence at 9:00 a.m., Monday- Friday. When asynchronous learning is being utilized, students will be given a designated link to Google Classroom where they will go to complete their assignments. You can download the online schedule on our website.
What happens if my child requires additional support after the school day is over?
The district is working on securing up to eight teachers who are interested and available in the evening to assist parents and students. Our goal is to have one teacher for each grade available from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Will attendance be taken each day?
Yes, attendance will be taken daily by teachers during their synchronous classrooms at 9:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m.
Will my child be graded on assignments?
Students will indeed be graded on most assignments and must adhere to the due dates for each assignment assigned by their teacher.
Will my child still be able to take Library, Physical Education, Art, STEAM, and Music?
Yes, we have carved out time every day from Noon- 12:40 p.m. for students to take these classes. They will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.