eLearning News for Pasco Parents

Vol 1. Issue 4: April 13, 2020

Focus for the Week: Compassion, Grace and Flexibility

As we move in to week three of Distance Learning there are so many lessons we have all learned through this experience. Most importantly, we have learned that the human connection is more important than ever and that each of us faces different circumstances and situations during this time. While it is incredibly important that our students continue to pursue high levels of learning at all times, we also realize and recognize that the learning for each student during this time looks very different. We trust families to make decisions that work best for them. We trust students and families to prioritize learning time, subjects and assignments based on what is manageable and feasible. Included in this week's newsletter you will see additional information on what Compassion, Grace and Flexibility mean in Pasco County Schools during this time. Please reach out if you need assistance, we are here for you!

Technology Help Desk

  • For fastest response from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm: Email TechHelp@pasco.k12.fl.us
  • If you are not able to email you can call: 813-794-2859 (If all lines are busy, leave a message and we will respond as quickly as possible)
  • Also, live chat is available from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on our website at: Technology Help Desk Live Chat (you will see a green chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen)

Grades in myLearning

We are awaiting guidance from the Florida Department of Education related to grading during COVID-19. We will use myLearning (Canvas) as the gradebook for quarter 4 and will share additional details related to grades in coming weeks. At this time students will not be penalized for not getting enough done, as we know students and families are still adjusting to new circumstances. However it is expected that students are logging and making progress on their Distance Learning courses. Parents are encouraged to acquire a Canvas Observer Account in order to monitor their student's progress in their courses.

For elementary students, it is important to remember that grades are NOT averaged, but instead, we review student progress over time to determine the grade for a quarter. Student progress will be evaluated and teachers will provide ongoing feedback to students related to their learning progress.

Wifi Support Request

If you do not have access to internet at home, please complete the survey at this link: https://bit.ly/39kf2YY. Please note that completing this survey does not guarantee that internet access will be provided.

Tech Tips- Setting up your Canvas Observer Account

One of the best ways to check in on and monitor your student's progress during distance learning is by establishing a Canvas Observer account.

Click HERE to view a video demonstrating how to establish your observer account.

Click here for Directions on setting up observer accounts for more than one student.

Temporary Distance Learning Plan for Students with Disabilities

In order to ensure students have appropriate access to the distance learning program, Pasco County Schools will be implementing a Temporary Distance Learning Plan for students with disabilities. This Distance Learning Plan will act to temporarily supplement a child’s IEP so as to clarify that students will be temporarily educated through an individualized version of the online distance learning program being used by Pasco County Schools. This Distance Learning Plan will ensure that the online program is individualized for each student so that it is presented in a manner that is consistent with the accommodations, services, and needs of each child, as indicated in their IEP. A member of each student’s IEP team will contact you next week to receive input and collaborate with you regarding how to best implement your student’s IEP during the emergency closure. Please see the attached documents for additional information.

Pasco County Schools Distance Learning Plan for ESE Students

Advocacy Assistance

Procedural Safeguards

COVID-19 Fact Sheet

For Elementary School Students & Families

Week 2 Reflections:

Students and families started to establish routines this week for distance learning and many realized that a traditional schedule just does not work for their current situation and environment. We encourage you to balance distance learning in a manner that works for your family. We also received positive feedback related math problem sets having certain questions identified for practice in advance.

Week 3 Updates:

For week three we have made a few adjustments across grade levels. You will notice a change in the "home page" where you will see assignments listed by subject area instead of by Day of the Week. The suggested daily routine is still available for us, but our goal is to continue to encourage students and families to develop routines that meet your needs. Covering each subject each day is one way to tackle the week, but there are many other ways to engage in the learning throughout the week-try them out until you find a fit for your child.

Also in week three you will see that we have removed mid and end of module assessments and that other "pre-tests" in English Language Arts are NOT REQUIRED. Our goal is for students and teachers to engage in meaningful learning and feedback cycles that support progress overtime. There are tasks and assignments that offer valuable feedback for teachers and will be utilized to support progress.

Overview of Science Hands-on Activities with Alternate Options:

Science exploration and discovery within the virtual modules provides students the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning. During these times, we know that materials for these activities may be difficult. We have provided a list of all science activities that require supplies and provided an alternate activity that provides the same learning without the need for materials. The table below contain information for Weeks 1 & 2 and Weeks 3 & 4.

Science Support for Week 1 & 2

Science Support for Weeks 3 & 4

SMARTY ANTS- Supplemental Reading Program

All Pasco primary students K-2 will have access to SmartyAnts® to practice phonics skills necessary to be a reader. For additional information about minutes and logging in you can access the Smarty Ants Parent Letter. Any student in grades 3-5 that needs additional practice with foundational skills can also access the program as needed, please consult your child’s teacher for guidance.

ZEARN: Click Here for additional information and parent resources for the supplemental math program ZEARN.

For Middle & High Schools

Week 2 Reflections:

During week two fine arts, physical education and many Career and Technical electives courses began for students. Teachers and students spent the week adjusting to new course-loads and connecting with each other in these areas of study. Everyone is doing an awesome job to adjusting to the distance learning routine. During this time we encourage students to maintain thoughtful pace in their coursework and understand that if they are working far in advance, their work may not be graded until a later date. Teachers are currently working to support the learning of the current week's assignments and discussions. Please reference your student's school for additional information or questions related to work submission guidelines.

Additionally, week two presented a number of concerns related to academic integrity. While we are all away from school, it is important to continue to uphold the Student Code of Conduct. All of the practices and procedures in the Student Code of Conduct are applicable during distance learning and students who choose to violate the Student Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary actions from their school.

Week 3 Updates:

We are excited for the third week of school as students get into the routine and habit of distance learning. It is important during this time to be flexible and allow yourself and your student compassion and grace. If your student or family needs any assistance with Distance Learning, we encourage you to reach out to your child's school. Whether it is access, navigation issues, current barriers, etc. we are here to help and assist in any way we can.

Middle School Reading Classes

Here you will find some information on how we will support your child in their reading class during Distance Learning using a new tool called Achieve 3000.

Help Your Student Prepare for AP Exams

With schools closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that parents and guardians are helping their students navigate remote learning. As an AP® student, your child has been working hard all year, and we want to give them the opportunity to complete their AP courses and exams.

Join us for a webinar hosted by Trevor Packer, head of the AP Program, to learn more about at-home testing, the exam schedule, and AP review classes. He'll interview an AP teacher about how to best prepare for exams and a representative from college admissions about how students can earn college credit and placement with exam scores.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m. ET. A recording of the webinar will be emailed to you following the event. We encourage your AP student to tune in to the webinar with you. Click here to register.

AP Exam Update

We have received important updates from College Board on AP Exam dates and format.

  • Exams will be given in May from May 11 – 22, with make up days offered June 1-5. View the full testing schedule.
  • Students will be able to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. They'll be able to type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phones.
  • For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long, plus an additional 5 minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to get set up.
  • For more information visit: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update

Per Pasco County’s Student Progression Plan, all AP students will be expected to sit for the exam that corresponds to the AP course they are enrolled in. If you need assistance with accessing a device or internet, please visit you school’s website where you will find a place to submit your questions and/or requests.

AICE/IB Updates

  • Cambridge has decided to suspend the May/June examinations for the 2019-2020 school year. Students will receive a grade and a certificate from Cambridge International. At the end of the school year, schools will use student evidence to send predicted grades to Cambridge, and Cambridge will issue final grades in consultation with schools. It is important that students continue to complete Cambridge coursework. Cambridge is working with universities to ensure a smooth process for Cambridge transcript acceptance. For additional information, please visit the Cambridge webpage or contact your school’s administration.

  • The May 2020 International Baccalaureate examinations, as scheduled between April 30 and May 22, will no longer be held. Depending on what the student registered for, they will be awarded a Diploma or Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. Schools will be submitting student coursework to IB for evaluation for the IB Diploma; students must continue to complete IB coursework. The IB will release the Diploma results on July 5, 2020. The IB is working with universities to ensure a smooth process for IB transcript acceptance. For additional information, please visit the IB webpage.

Summer PHSC Dual Enrollment registration

Summer PHSC Dual Enrollment registration information has been released. This year is a quick turnaround due to delays from COVID19 so eligible students will need to begin the process as quickly as possible. For more information please visithttp://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/oll/page/dual-enrollment.

Florida Recognizes April as Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy Month which is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach our students how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. To celebrate the month and encourage our students to be financially smart citizens in our communities, Pasco County Schools has several virtual events/challenges planned and resources to encourage Financial Literacy Fridays.

To get the learning started, and in partnership with USF Stavros Center, we are excited to host a weekly Financial Literacy challenge. These events are designed to help parents/guardians, employees, community members and students with financial planning matters and getting more information for starting a financially successful future.

We encourage you and your students to shower our Pasco Schools Social Media with your images.

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