GPS Global Academy Update

August 19, 2020

Thank you for your patience and support

Hello students and families,

We hope this message finds you safe and well!

We've recognized the need for us to share more consistent updates with you about our program and goals. This has most certainly been a time of transition, learning, and problem solving on our part and we're grateful to you for hanging with us. This is a tumultuous time but our focus is on improvement for the benefit of our students.

Here's what we're working on:

  • Coaching teachers to ensure we're providing students with as much meaningful learning opportunities as we can, both online and offline
  • Working with the district technology team to assist with troubleshooting and to help ensure students are in a Buzz class and able to access their lessons
  • Developing a plan to communicate with our families as changes need to be made and successes need to be celebrated
  • Preparing procedures to ease the transition of families who wish to return to in-person schools when they reopen
  • Adjusting our email procedure to ensure requests do not get lost and are completed
  • Refining our attendance process to ensure all students are properly counted

There's a lot of information in this newsletter. Please read on to learn more about what we're working on and we'll share more next week!

Stay well,

Dr. Peter Bartanen

Director, GPS Global Academy

Attendance Information

Attendance works differently in the online setting compared to an in-person school.

In the online school, students’ attendance comes from two sources:

  • Automatically, from Buzz, for all time the student spends working in the Buzz platform

  • Manually, from student or parent submissions, for times when a students spends time working on their course either offline or on a different site away from Buzz

Q: How do I take attendance?

The following procedure works for students and parents, and is shown in these screenshot instructions.

  • Log in to the student or parent Infinite Campus portal (K-2 students must have offline attendance recorded by a parent)
  • In the left menu, click “More” and then “Online Attendance Submission”
  • Choose the course to record attendance for
  • Set the date (note that is must be a date no more than 7 days in the past, and not the current date), starting and ending times
  • Complete the form and press Submit!

Q: Does the time my child spends on Webex count as attendance?

You will need to enter that attendance as "offline" attendance (which includes time spent on the course away from Buzz). They are not collected automatically.

Q: Do Global Academy students get an email notification if not logged in by noon?

No. Global Academy attendance is completely based on how many minutes a student spends working on their course. This time can take place any day of the week, and at any time.

Q: Why can’t I submit offline minutes for today? Why do I have to wait until the next day?

Buzz must first upload any time spent by the student, and that process happens overnight. After that is complete, students and parents can enter any additional time spent offline.

Q: Can students/parents log offline work under just one subject to make it easier or do they need to log under each subject? (ELA, Mth, SS, Sci.)

Per the state’s procedures, minutes should be logged in the appropriate class.

Q: When I log my attendance in Buzz I receive an error message. What could be the problem?

The most common problem is that the time being submitted overlaps with time that is already logged in the system. Check the attendance history (see next question) and then update your time so that it does not overlap.

Q: I have no visibility of what is already entered in Buzz except for cumulative time per subject therefore I can't check my entries against Buzz to prevent any conflicts. Where do I find the times my student already has logged?

Two options:

  • Go to Infinite Campus, then choose ‘Attendance’ from the left side menu. You should see the amount of time your student has spent in their course. Click each class to get a more detailed view. OR

  • Go into the “Progress Report” page of Buzz for a student’s course. Click “Activity” at the top of the page to get a breakdown of the time the student has spent in the course (and what they worked on)

Q: Can students or parents back-enter attendance for days they missed?

Yes - students/parents can complete attendance for up to 7 days in the past.

Gilbert Public Schools Parent Onboarding

How is Online Schooling Different?

We're often asked to compare the online learning experience to that of in-person schooling. Good teaching is good teaching no matter the location, but in the online setting significant emphasis must be placed on relationship-building and individualized instruction. Meaningful lessons and conversation, where the student is involved and highly engaged, are critical.

Our schedule is designed so that our teachers can spend significant time meeting with students in small groups or individually, as research shows this practice is highly effective in the online setting. We have grouped students into smaller cohort classes so that the teacher interacts with all of her students, and every student has the opportunity to participate.

Our expectation is that in addition to their live lessons, teachers will leverage their small group time to work with students individually and in small groups to provide additional support. We expect our teachers to help build students’ capacity to complete individual tasks as well, both online and offline.

We have worked with our district leadership to identify places where we need more staff to ensure the cohort classes are small. It is also our focus to support teachers in their use of the whole-group and small group time to ensure they’re equipped to reach and support all students.

In many ways this is a work in progress, and we appreciate your feedback, support and patience as we work to perfect our approach.

Updated Support Email Procedure

We want to ensure we receive your request and process it in a timely manner. To that end, if you send an email to you will receive a response email with instructions:

Hello and thank you for reaching out to Gilbert Global Academy.

At this time we are receiving a high volume of emails. In order to better serve our families, we ask that you fill out the following form. This will aid us in filtering emails to the correct support specialists.

For any student scheduling issues or concerns, please choose the appropriate grade level and you will be directed to our scheduling specialists inbox.

Elementary Scheduling Correction

Junior High Scheduling Correction

High School Scheduling Correction

The Parent Technical Support website offers a lot of information to troubleshoot issues as well. Thank you.

We appreciate your help in using these forms, and commit to resolving these requests as quickly as we can.