Academic Resources » Academic Resources

Academic Resources

As things continue to develop throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, changes have been mandated at the state level for public education.  Late last week, the district received an email from Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, indicating that the Department of Education is expecting all public schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to move to a Planned Instruction approach for the remainder of the school year for ALL grade levels.

 

To this point, the district had chosen the Enrichment and Review path, in which work was not mandatory, but encouraged to be completed in order to review and extend previously taught material and prepare students for the next grade level.  With the new expectations from PDE, we will be moving to a very similar approach.  We will continue with our packets and digital options in the same manner, but with attendance and completion accountability measures in place.  The instruction that we offer will consist of a combination or Enrichment and Review, which consists of informal activities that reinforce or extend students’ prior learning and Planned Instruction, which provides new learning based upon state standards.  Many of the standards were covered in preparation for the PSSA tests prior to school closing, so the majority of our instruction will be extension and review of that material for most grade levels.  We understand that most parents/guardians are not educators and we will keep that in mind as we plan activities for our students moving forward. 

 

Accountability for Attendance.  Families will call in to report their child’s absence, if they are not able to complete school work for the day.  If we do not receive a call, the child will be counted as present.  Families need to call the main line at 724-397-5551 and choose option 8 “report an absence”.  Please leave the child’s name, building, homeroom teacher and reason for absence on the voicemail. 

 

Returning Packets. Packets will need to be returned for assessment purposes.  They can be dropped off during scheduled packet pickups or can be dropped at the HS Auditorium entrance or at Rayne Elementary Entrance in the drop boxes at families’ convenience by the day packets are due.  We are asking that families put their child’s name and homeroom teacher on the elementary packet and make sure high school students put their name on every packet.  Drop offs will occur on May 11th and June 5th for the elementary buildings and on May 11th, May 26th, and June 5th for the High School. 

 

Accountability for Grading/Assessment.   Grading students during this unprecedented time brings many challenges.  Family challenges continue to increase as the pandemic continues, and we recognize the struggles, stress, and unfamiliar territory that our families are in at this time.  We will only be requiring work in the core subject areas in grades K – 8 and courses required for graduation in grades 9 – 12.  Elective/Special Area course work will be provided but will not count toward grading for the last nine weeks.  The score received at the end of the third nine weeks will be the final grade for elective and special area classes. Grading in required classes will be based upon student’s effort, work completion, and growth rather than through a traditional lens for the remainder of the school year.  Typical letter grades will be suspended for the remainder of the school year.  Students will receive Outstanding, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory marks based upon the amount of work they complete.  Although packets will not be returned to students, teachers will be providing feedback to students via the communication system that works best for your family.  A good faith effort is required for students to receive credit for completion.  If the work within the packet does not indicate a good faith effort, teachers will be in contact with families.   We would expect to see student work when appropriate on the papers submitted to teachers.  For example, math assignments should show the problem solving process. 

 

The chart below demonstrates how the O (Outstanding), S (Satisfactory), and U (Unsatisfactory) will be accounted for within our current grading system. 

Performance Levels

% of required work completed

Effect on Final Grade

Outstanding

85 – 100% completed

100% averaged into final grade

Satisfactory

50 – 84% completed

85% averaged into final grade

Unsatisfactory

49 and below completed

69% averaged into final grade

Examples of Effect on Sample Students’ Final Grades

Examples

MP 1

MP 2

MP3

MP4

Final

Student 1

94%

89%

85%

O = 100%

92%

Student 2

75%

78%

65%

S = 85%

76%

Student 3

84%

89%

75%

U = 69%

79%

 

Retentions/Promotions will continue to be based upon performance at the time school was closed, unless an individualized plan is developed to pass and goals are met. 

 

For Seniors, class rank, which determines valedictorian and salutatorian, will be calculated based upon academic standing at the end of Semester 1 for the 2019-20 school year.  GPA for transcripts will be based upon all 4 marking periods.  For underclassman, all students have the same opportunity to complete work within courses required for graduation to boost their GPA.  Students that choose not to complete the required work may see a decline in their final grade, which will effect GPA. 

 

We know this new direction adds a whole new level of anxiety for families.  We will continue to do the best we can to support you, your children, and the education process as we move through the last seven weeks of school.  Over the next few days, teachers will be contacting families to ensure you are aware of our new direction and answer questions that you may have.  We have also attached a Planned Instruction outline for both elementary and high school to help understand the requirements.  We look forward to supporting you and working together with you as we move ahead.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need us.  We are here for you! 

 

Stay safe, healthy, and happy in the days to come.  Hug your kids for us.  We miss them!