Learning from our experiences in spring 2020, the district has made enhancements to the digital learning model. We heard the following needs from our community: the need to have continuity across teachers and schools in how students access virtual learning, the need for more direct instruction through live-lessons, and the need to ensure interaction for students by having ‘cameras’ on for both students and teachers. MyPCS Online takes all these aspects into consideration and provides for solutions for each area in order to provide high-quality virtual instruction for students.
- PCS - adopted curriculum with lessons developed and taught by PCS teachers in grades K-12.
- Curriculum and activities will be accessed via Canvas Learning Management System (newly purchased system specifically designed to support virtual learning)
- Class meetings and/or live-lessons will utilize Microsoft Teams for student and teacher interactions.
Details and Considerations
- Remain enrolled in your 2020-21 assigned school and keep your seat within your District Application Program.
- Available for students in grades K-12.
- Nine-week commitment to full-time digital learning.
- Student will stay enrolled for the entire quarter (Quarter One ends on October 9). Families will be able to extend this option each quarter so long as it is offered or can decide to return to the traditional option upon completion of any quarter.
- All instruction will be delivered virtually, following a daily schedule (live-lessons each day) aligned to the approved student calendar and bell times.
- Students and teachers are expected to be present and engage in virtual instruction each day within the designated schedule (sample schedules below).
- Students can participate in athletics, extra-curricular activities and clubs as any other student enrolled in the school.
- Depending on the number of students who select MyPCS Online at a given school, there may be a need to combine students from multiple schools in one virtual MyPCS class. Regardless of the number of students who select MyPCS Online, your teacher will be a PCS teacher who is connected to, and remains in contact with, the team at your enrolled school.
- Depending on the number of students who select MyPCS Online as their learning option, there may be limited elective courses available, especially at middle and high schools.
- Students who select this option and receive ESE, English Learner (EL) or Gifted services or have a 504 plan will be contacted to discuss the services and accommodations and supports that can be provided through virtual learning.
What will MyPCS Online look like for Students, Teachers and Instructional Support Staff?
What will be the same as previous school years in this option?
- All assignments, activities and classroom-based assessments will be developed and facilitated by assigned and dedicated PCS teacher(s).
- All students will be expected to complete and submit assignments as determined by the assigned teacher. All assignments will be graded and posted into FOCUS.
- Code of Student Conduct and all PCS technology expectations remain in effect.
- All students will follow the PCS assessment calendar and participate in all local and state assessments.
Teachers and Instructional Support Staff
- Teachers and instructional support staff physically report to their assigned school (as needed depending on the number of students who select this option at their school), so they have all materials and resources available to them to deliver robust instruction.
- Teachers develop and implement daily lesson plans for grade-level, standards-based instruction for students.
- Teachers and instructional support staff differentiate and adjust instruction to meet the individual needs for student learning.
- Teachers will be assigned to a full teaching schedule and are expected to fulfill all assigned duties as outlined in the Teachers Contract.
What will be different from previous school years in this option?
- Each morning, students are expected to be present and engage in virtual instruction each day within the designated schedule (see sample schedules below).
- All students will be expected to adhere to daily attendance guidelines, log in and attend class during the designated times. This differs from the flexibility to attend at any time during a 24-hour period and be counted present like they were during the 4th quarter of the 2019-20 school year.
- Students will access their curriculum and assignments via Canvas Learning Management System.
- Students will utilize Microsoft Teams for viewing live-lessons, meetings and small group instruction. No curriculum or assignments will be posted in Teams. Teams is just to be used as a virtual meeting/video tool.
- Parent meetings and/or conferences will be scheduled to occur virtually, until it is deemed appropriate to have larger number of individuals on campus.
- For students who receive ESE service, please see the ESE section for additional information.
- Students who need a device (laptop) will be issued one to engage in digital learning. Students will also be issued any associated materials such as textbooks, art supplies, musical instruments, and other necessary materials where possible.
Teachers and Instructional Support Staff
- Each morning, all employees must affirm they are well and symptom-free prior to coming to work each day.
- All employees will adhere to PCS health and wellbeing protocols.
- Teachers will utilize Canvas Learning Management System for all curriculum and lessons for students
- Teachers will utilize Microsoft Teams for classroom/student meetings, live-lessons and small group instruction. No curriculum or assignments will be posted in Teams. Teams is just to be used as a virtual meeting/video tool.
- Teachers are expected to be present and engage in virtual instruction each day within the designated schedule.
- Some staff meetings that traditionally occur as in-person events (e.g. professional development, PLCs, etc.) may occur virtually utilizing Microsoft Teams.
- Meetings with parents will be scheduled virtually until it is deemed appropriate to have larger number of individuals on campus.
- All teachers will receive training for Canvas Learning Management System in July and August with continued support and development opportunities throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers participating in July will receive a stipend.
Sample MyPCS Online Elementary Daily Schedule
(Class times may differ slightly from sample but will be communicated prior to the start of school. Actual schedules will vary by grade level.)
Live instruction will take place every day, Monday through Friday. Students will meet with their MyPCS Online teacher each morning beginning at 8:45 a.m.* The teacher will use a schedule that combines direct teaching, independent work, posted assignments (asynchronous instruction), learning, and small group instruction. Students and parents should expect to follow a full schedule, like the sample model below. Students will be ‘live’ with their teacher a minimum of four times each day.
8:45-9:00 Morning Meeting
9:00- 9:20 Direct Face-to-Face Instruction Reading (live)
9:20-10:20 Independent Practice and live small group instruction
10:20-10:55 - Direct Instruction Writing and Independent Practice (live)
10:55-11:25 Reading Intervention (live)
12:15-12:35 Direct Math Instruction (live)
12:35-1:05 Independent Math Practice
1:05-1:25 Math Intervention, small group and independent
1:25-2:15 Specials (Art, Music, P.E recorded lessons with some live interaction)
2:15-2:55 Science Direct Instruction (live)
*For 2020-21 start times for your school, please visit www.pcsb.org/belltimes.
Sample Secondary Daily Schedule
(Times may differ slightly from sample but will be communicated prior to the start of school)
MyPCS Online ‘live’ instruction will take place four days each week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Posted assignments (asynchronous instruction), live office hours, and small group or individual instruction will occur on Fridays. Students should expect to receive ‘live’ instruction at the beginning of each period. Depending on the content, after the initial ‘live’ instruction, students may transition to independent work, collaborative group work and/or asynchronous learning.
*For 2020-21 start times for your school, please visit www.pcsb.org/belltimes.
Sample Middle School Schedule
9:40-10:30 Period 1
10:34-11:21 Period 2
11:25-12:12 Period 3
12:16-1:03 Period 4
1:41-2:28 Period 5
2:32-3:19 Period 6
3:23-4:10 Period 7
Sample High School Schedule
7:25-8:12 Period 1
8:18-9:05 Period 2
9:11-9:58 Period 3
10:04-10:51 Period 4
11:27-12:14 Period 5
12:20-1:07 Period 6
1:13-1:50 Period 7
Specialized Areas and Electives:
Pinellas County Schools is committed to providing a well-rounded educational experience that develops the aptitudes and interests of every student. If students and families select the MyPCS Online option, the following should be considered:
In elementary schools, electives will be included in the regular daily schedule. Learning will be asynchronous—students will not receive live instruction in electives every day. The learning will be recorded on video. Students will still receive all the state standards in the course.
In secondary schools, electives will be included in the regular seven period schedule and follow the normal instructional routine—live instruction at the beginning of every period. Not all elective choices will be available, as they are subject to enrollment.
Student Progress Monitoring
Students will engage in ongoing progress monitoring to support academic growth through virtual assessments and work with their MyPCS teacher(s). As in all previous years, if based on classroom-based or formative (e.g. MAP, reading assessments, cycle assessments and exams) progress monitoring a student needs additional supports, school teams will work alongside students and their families to provide the appropriate strategies and supports to meet their individual needs.
Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
In addition to the considerations noted for all students, the following considerations and processes will be in place for students who receive ESE services.
Students who enroll in the MyPCS Online option will be contacted to discuss the services, accommodations and supports that can be provided through virtual learning. Based on receiving services at home, via virtual instruction, an IEP/EP meeting would need to be held to make necessary adjustments to the IEP/EP, such as services, accommodations and least restrictive environment (LRE).
ESE Documentation and Compliance
Diagnostic Assessments- Access Standards
Students will take diagnostic assessments that will be specific to grade level and for students on Access Standards, consistent with grade level and level of access in order to assess specific skills. These diagnostic assessments should be considered in relation to the students IEP goals. In circumstances where the results might indicate that the IEP team needs to meet to review and possibly amend the IEP, the meetings should be scheduled early in the school year. ESE service providers will need to collect data on IEP goals, following the standard guidelines set forth in the ESE Handbook. Staff should track a student’s recoupment of skills and ensure that where necessary, Extended School Year (ESY) is considered.
For students who are instructed virtually– the expectation will be that students receive real-time specially designed instruction and related services, as if they were served in a traditional, face-to-face setting through a virtual platform (e.g. Microsoft Teams or Zoom).
IEP/EP, Evaluation, Eligibility and Reevaluation Meetings
For cases in which a yearly meeting was not held due to COVID-19, those meetings will be scheduled promptly upon return to school. Any IEP/EP that has gone beyond the meeting due date, will be prioritized. Further information will be provided to schools regarding IEP/EPs that will expire prior to October FTE Date Certain to ensure all meetings are scheduled and held.
Case managers will also review any students for whom there is an open reevaluation. The case manager will meet with the student services team upon return to school in August to review all open cases and to prioritize completion.
To the greatest extent possible, all eligibility and reevaluation meetings will be held virtually to limit exposure for students, families and employees. If there is a specific request for an in-person meeting, all individuals participating in the meeting must adhere to the PCS health and wellness protocols outlined within the ReOpening Plan, including but not limited to: self-screening for wellness to be in a district building, social distancing and personal protective equipment.
If parents/guardians have concerns about the status of IEP/EP or reevaluation, they should contact their case manager or school during the opening weeks of school.
English Learners (ELs)
Our English Learners (ELs), like all our students across the district, have had a disruption of their daily lives, have worries about their own families, and have experienced high stress situations. The district recognizes that students will need additional supports to rebalance and refocus on the task of learning and being productive in the school community. The goal remains for ELs to achieve the same rigorous grade-level academic standards that are expected of all students, within a reasonable period of time.
Schools will continue to be guided by the following principles in delivering EL services:
- Assets-Oriented and Needs-Responsive Schools
- Meaningful Access to Quality Instruction
- Meaningful Communication with EL Families
These principles will continue to guide the district in implementing instructional programs for ELs during the transition to reopening schools. This means that the schools will ensure that they embrace ELs as the assets they are while also providing them with the support they need to succeed. The same is true for EL students with disabilities. For dually identified students, a knowledgeable educator will be involved in planning distance learning needs for students with an individualized education program (IEP/EP).
District schools will continue to provide designated and integrated English Language Development (ELD) and have the flexibility to determine how services will be provided to ELs. Under state and federal law, there is no required amount of time that must be allocated to EL services.
In addition to the considerations noted for all students, the following considerations and processes will be in place for students who receive EL services across all settings. EL students will continue to receive including:
- Designated time for ELD instruction within the schedule with opportunities for extended instructional time (for recently arrived ELs and ELs identified for interventions)
- Specific, embedded grade-level content supports within online lessons to meet the needs of ELs at their level of English language proficiency (for recently arrived ELs and ELs identified for interventions)
- Formative ELD assessments in reading, writing, listening and speaking to monitor progress in English language proficiency in ELD classes
- Family outreach and education to support families’ understanding of the PCS ReOpening Plan in the native language, as feasible
- Counseling, social work, and psychology services for social emotional supports and advising in the native language, as feasible
Communication with Families
In addition to collaborating with classroom teachers and school, district and county educators, engaging the parents of ELs remains important during school reopening. Schools have an obligation to ensure meaningful communication with parents of ELs in a language they can understand and to adequately notify parents of the same information about any program, service or activity that is shared with parents of students who are not classified as ELs. Schools should translate all mailings and emails to parents to provide access to the information in a language they understand. For parents who need support in reading information, schools may use recorded telephone calls that go to families or LionBridge phone interpretation services. Working with parents and offering them the opportunity to be involved in their children’s education is key to the students’ success at all times, especially during distance learning and the transition to reopening.
ESOL Documentation and Compliance
Upon return to school, all students identified through the Home Language Survey form as potential ELs will be administered an English Language Proficiency assessment. This assessment can be administered remotely for students participating in the MyPCS Online and Pinellas Virtual School options.
All students previously identified as ELs will continue to receive services in accordance with federal and state requirements and based on the 2020 ACCESS for ELs English language proficiency levels.
Additionally, schools will closely monitor ELs who were reclassified as fluent English proficient to evaluate whether students need additional services. An EL’s English proficiency level may have decreased because the student has experienced limited instruction for an extended time during school closures. Therefore, close monitoring is key to ensure that ELs have the opportunity to recover any academic losses incurred during school closures. Collaboration is key to supporting ELs during distance learning and throughout the transition to reopening schools.
For students who are instructed virtually– the expectation will be that students receive real-time EL services, as if they were served in a traditional, face-to-face setting, based on their level of English language proficiency.
EL Committee Meetings
For cases in which a yearly EL Committee meeting was not held in spring 2020 due to COVID-19, those meetings will be scheduled promptly upon return to school. Any meeting that has gone beyond the meeting due date, will be prioritized.
If a school observes regression in the reading, writing, listening or speaking skills of an EL student, school staff will reach out to the family to discuss convening an EL Committee meeting.
To the greatest extent possible, all EL Committee meetings will be held virtually to limit exposure for students, families and employees. If there is a specific request for an in-person meeting, all individuals participating in the meeting must adhere to the PCS health and wellness protocols outlined within the ReOpening Plan, including but not limited to: self-screening for wellness to be in a district building, social distancing and personal protective equipment.
If parents/guardians have concerns about the status of EL services, they should contact their ESOL teacher or school during the opening weeks of school.