COVID-19

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    4.3.20 Parent Letter from Superintendent

    Text and download file of the April 3, 2020 Parent Letter from Superintendent, Dr. Eric Jones is available on our COVID-19 webpage linked here.

    COVID-19
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    Schoology Experiencing Some Service Interruptions

    Due to the recently increased usage of students using Schoology for distance learning during COVID-19 closures across the country, Schoology is experiencing some service interruptions. This is not an issue with our local internet networks or PCPS. Schoology is providing more information about their efforts to increase their capabilities on their website Scaling Schoology Information Linked Here

    COVID-19
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    Xfinity & Other Free Wireless Internet Available

    Find information on Free Xfinity WiFi Hotspots as well as Powhatan County Schools & Powhatan County Gov WiFi access at http://www.powhatan.k12.va.us/home_page under "Where & How to Connect to FREE WiFi"

    • Powhatan County Schools Best Wi-Fi Locations: 
      • POCES:
        • Network Name: PCPSNet
        • Location: Staff parking lot
      • POWES:
        • Network Name: PCPSNet
        • Location: Visitor parking lot
      • FRES:
        • Network Name: PCPSNet
        • Location: Visitor parking lot
      • PHS:
        • Network Name: pcps-student
        • Location: Bus loop
    COVID-19
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    FAQ's

    PCPS has updated FAQ's for staff, students & parents. https://boomi.to/qbtm linked here

    COVID-19
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    Student Meal Distribution

    Any student under the age of 18 will be able to pick up meals while schools are closed.  These meals are provided free of charge.  Students must be present in order to pick up meals.  Food will be distributed on the following dates:

    • Monday, March 30, 2020 – 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
    • Mondays, April 6, 2020 to May 18, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
    • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – 6 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
    • Monday, June 1, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
    • Monday, June 8, 2020 - 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.

    Food will be distributed at the following school locations:

    • Powhatan High School - 8:00am to 10:00am.  Bus loop at the rear of the school.
    • Powhatan Elementary School – 8:00am to 10:00am. Bus loop on the western side of the school.
    • Powhatan Middle School - 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Door 11 located on the western side of the school.

    Please follow the lead-in signs at each location and drive up to the distribution station and open your trunk.  Children must be with you. State the number of children you have in your car. Food Service staff members will look to verify the number of children and then place the appropriate number of bags in your trunk. If you are in a pickup truck or other vehicle without a trunk the food may be placed inside the vehicle. 

    If you are unable to pick up meals during the scheduled times, please contact Sodexo by email foodservice@powhatan.k12.va.us or phone 804-598-5700 extension 123 for an alternate time or delivery method.

    COVID-19
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    Chromebooks Pick-Up & Support

    Parents & students:

    In order to facilitate distance learning, PCPS will make Chromebooks available to any K-5 student. If a student has not already received a Chromebook, we will hold a distribution at all three elementary schools next week.

    Monday (3/30) 8-11am
    Tuesday (3/31) 12-3pm
    Friday (4/3) 3-6pm.

    We will also hold help desk hours for students who are experiencing hardware issues with their Chromebooks. Help Desk hours are 10am - 2pm at the following locations:

    PMS - Concession Stand (Monday and Wednesday)
    PHS – L100 (Tuesday and Thursday)
    Elementary Schools (Friday) - beginning after Spring Break

    In addition to wifi availability outside of PCPS buildings, all Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID. Public hotspots can be found in small/medium businesses and outdoors in commercial areas. Non-Xfinity subscribers need to accept Terms and Conditions to access the network and repeat when requested to continue to receive free unlimited access. Additional information is available through the Xfinity wifi site linked here.

    Chromebook & assignment support may also be obtained by emailing: helpdesk@powhatan.k12.va.us

    COVID-19
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    PCPS COVID-19 Information

    For PCPS documents, updates, and archived communications related to COVID-19, please visit http://www.powhatan.k12.va.us/groups/79021/covid19/covid19

    COVID-19
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4.3.20 Parent Letter

April 3, 2020

Powhatan Families,

I hope that you are all safe and well. Since the Governor announced that schools will be closed for the remainder of the year last week, well over 75 virtual meetings have been held to discuss next steps. Every teacher, administrator, coach, instructional assistant, and specialist has been invited to participate in creating a plan for the remainder of the school year.

Throughout all of those meetings some core beliefs have emerged:

  1. Continuity of instruction is important for our students, both now and for future learning. Our students cannot afford to have a six-month gap in their learning.
  2. Equity of learning opportunities is vitally important. This continues to be our greatest challenge, but we have devised a personalized plan for students for whom barriers to distance learning exist. Staff will be contacting families to create an individual plan to continue learning.
  3. We have kept families at the forefront of our planning. Our goal is to balance essential learning skills and concepts without overburdening families. We understand that this is a time of great stress and pain. We commit to being compassionate and flexible and will take each families’ unique situation into account.

Below you will find updates to a wide variety of topics for your review.

CONTINUITY OF INSTRUCTION

The instructional team has been working to create a distance learning plan with a focus on preparing students for future learning. We have identified the essential skills and content for each grade and subject area. Our teachers have begun planning activities in grade level and content groups around those essential skills and content for distribution after spring break.

We will begin the continuation of student learning on Tuesday, April 14.

Elementary

Students will receive weekly calendars of learning activities (a sample template is linked here) from their teachers each Tuesday to be completed by the following Monday via Seesaw . This will provide a consistent time and a single means of communicating the instructional plan for the week from all of your child’s teachers. We will be working individually with families who are not able to use Seesaw for this purpose.

The learning activities are being designed with the following timeframes in mind.

  • Reading/Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies 15-30 minutes each per day
  • Resource 15-30 minutes per week
  • 2 hours per day for grades k-2 - not to exceed 10 hours per week
  • 2-3 hours per day for grades 3-5 - not to exceed 15 hours per week.

Secondary

Students will receive a weekly overview from their teachers each Tuesday via Schoology to be completed by the following Monday a sample template is linked here. This overview document will be different by level and content area, but will provide a consistent time and means of communicating the instructional plan for the week from each of your child’s teachers. We will be working individually with families who are not able to use Schoology for this purpose.

The learning activities are being designed with the following timeframes in mind.

  • 2-3 hours of work maximum per week per class
  • Maximum of 15 hours per week per student

Students Receiving Special Education Services

During the extended closure, we will provide Special Education services through distance instruction that will take place virtually/online, through video recordings, with paper/pencil materials and other modes. We will make every effort to provide services for students during this time. Teachers will be in contact with parents to discuss individualized plans and updates as needed. Our Special Education team is committed to helping parents and students through this process.

Teachers will be updating assignments in Power Teacher Pro so parents can see student completion and teacher feedback. We also understand that some parents may need additional technical support so we are creating short tutorials for SeeSaw and Schoology.

Finally, if this plan is creating undue hardship for your child or family, please contact your child’s teacher(s) or principal and let them know. We will see if we can identify additional supports or make a plan to fill in any gaps when we all return to school.

GRADING AND STUDENT FEEDBACK

Third Quarter Completion

The third nine weeks marking period will be closed out as of March 13th. All students in grades 6-12 will have the opportunity to make up any missed or outstanding assignments. All makeup work must be completed prior to May 4th in order to be graded and counted into a student’s grade.

All elementary students’ third nine weeks’ grades will be closed out as of March 13th and any outstanding assignments will be excused.

Fourth Quarter

Starting on April 14th instructional activities, created by teachers and staff, will be provided and assessed based on effort and completion with a final pass/fail designation. This will enable us to determine that a student has completed a majority of required standards, competencies, and objectives, including those that are essential for success in subsequent coursework.

Teachers and support staff will be using a variety of methods to document students completing work. This includes technology platforms, emails, phone calls, and other methods.

Teachers will also be providing feedback in a variety of ways, including Seesaw (elementary), Schoology (secondary) and Power Teacher Pro to students on the work they complete to facilitate successful learning.

Year-End Grade

For yearlong courses an average of MP1, MP2, and MP3 as well as First Semester Exam, if taken, will be used for the final letter/numerical course grade. In addition to the final numerical course grade, students will need to receive a passing grade for the fourth nine weeks in order to pass the course.

Any student failing a course at the end of the third nine weeks will have the opportunity to complete new work during the fourth quarter for a number grade to be averaged with the rest of their term grades in an effort to pass the course.

TECHNOLOGY

In the coming days, families with identified technology needs will be contacted by staff to discuss what options and alternatives may be available to utilize technology for distance learning. If we are unable to identify options or alternatives with technology, we may provide other options, including paper copies, and summer or fall alternatives as needed.

We will also hold help desk hours for students who are experiencing hardware issues with their Chromebook. Help Desk hours are 10am - 2pm at the following locations:

  • PMS - Concession Stand (Monday and Wednesday)
  • PHS – L100 (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Elementary Schools (Friday)

In addition to Wi-Fi availability outside of PCPS buildings, all Xfinity Wi-Fi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID. Public hotspots can be found in small/medium businesses and outdoors in commercial areas. Non-Xfinity subscribers need to accept Terms and Conditions to access the network and repeat when requested to continue to receive free unlimited access. Additional information is available through the Xfinity Wi-Fi site linked here.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR STUDENTS

Any student under the age of 18 will be able to pick up meals while schools are closed. These meals are provided free of charge. Students must be present in order to pick up meals. Food will be distributed on the following dates:

  • Mondays, April 6, 2020 to May 18, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – 6 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Monday, June 1, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Monday, June 8, 2020 - 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.

Food will be distributed at the following school locations:

  • Powhatan High School - 8:00am to 10:00am. Bus loop at the rear of the school.
  • Powhatan Elementary School – 8:00am to 10:00am. Bus loop on the western side of the school.
  • Powhatan Middle School - 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Door 11 located on the western side of the school.

Please follow the lead-in signs at each location and drive up to the distribution station and open your trunk. Children must be with you. State the number of children you have in your car. Food Service staff members will look to verify the number of children and then place the appropriate number of bags in your trunk. If you are in a pickup truck or other vehicle without a trunk the food may be placed inside the vehicle.

If you are unable to pick up meals during the scheduled times, please contact Sodexo by email foodservice@powhatan.k12.va.us or phone 804-598-5700 extension 123 for an alternate time or delivery method.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

VDOE PARENT GUIDE 
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/office/covid-19-parent-guide.shtml

PCPS FAQ
https://boomi.to/qbtm

I am extremely proud of all of our staff. I believe they have created an instructional plan that allows students to demonstrate mastery of essential new skills and concepts in an engaging, student-directed manner. The plan was also created to allow students and parents to easily organize and monitor their learning progress through consistent assignment checklists and teacher feedback.

All PCPS facilities will remain closed during the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Please email or call if you have any comments or questions. Voicemail will be checked regularly at all schools and Pocahontas Landmark Center.

I am also thankful for the commitment of our students and parents. I know that the Powhatan community will pull together and look out for one another during this crisis. PCPS is proud to be an important part of our community. Stay safe and be well in mind, body, and spirit.

 

Dr. Eric L. Jones

Superintendent

Zoom Meeting: Participant Guide

  • Enter the Zoom Meeting: The link to the Zoom meeting is posted on the website. Simply click the link or paste into your browser of choice to open the meeting. You should see a window similar to the one below after clicking the link. Click the button which says OpenURL:Zoom Launcher as indicated below:

 Enter the zoom meeting by clicking Open URL:Zoon Launcher 

  • You will see a window asking you to confirm audio settings. For the purpose of this meeting, we will not enable audio participation. You may close this window, and confirm that you want to continue without audio.

 Enabling Audio won't be used - close out this box and confirm continue without Audio 

  • Instead of audio participation, we’ll be using the Chat feature to send comments to Board members. At the bottom of the Zoom window you will see a series of controls. To send comments to the Board members, you’ll use the Chat feature as indicated below:

 To submit questions or comments to the meeting use the Chat feature      

 

  • Chat Click the Chat button to send a comment. After you type your comment, simply hit Enter to send your comment to the board members.
    Comments will be sent to all members of the Board and will be displayed in the board meeting room. Comments will also be visible to any community members who are also logged into the Zoom meeting.
  • If you desire to leave the meeting prior to the Host closing the meeting, you may use the Leave Meeting button as shown below.
     To exit the meeting before the end of the session, choose Leave Meeting 

 

3.27.20 Information Related to School Closure

March 27, 2020

Powhatan Families,

We were all shocked when the Governor closed schools on Tuesday for the remainder of the year. PCPS staff has worked tirelessly since the announcement to modify and update our continuity of learning plan for this extended closure. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

During this time, we have received new information and guidance from the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Health. We have also communicated with school divisions in our region and across the state to glean best practices.

Also, thank you to the teachers, parents, students, and other stakeholders who have reached out with questions and comments via email, surveys, and calls to help us develop this plan to meet the needs of our community. We will continue to provide updates to a more comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on the PCPS website.

CONTINUITY OF INSTRUCTION

During the initial school closure through April 3, we provided electronic and hard-copy learning resources that have reinforced what students have learned so far this year as part of our Distance Learning Plan. No materials will be distributed for Spring Break. We want families to enjoy that time to the extent that they can.

The Virginia Department of Education has encouraged school divisions to identify required learning objectives that had not been delivered at the initial time of closure and develop a plan to offer this missing content to all students. We plan to begin implementation of our updated Distance Learning Plan after Spring Break (April 14). We have identified the following goals for providing this instruction:

  1. Identify specific critical skills and content that had not been taught as of 3/13 with a focus on skills and content required for future learning.
  2. Develop learning activities or modules to address the missing skills and content necessary for awarding a standard credit and prepare for subsequent content (grade level, content area).
  3. Develop an equitable plan for students to access content.
  4. Encourage innovation with teachers and students to work on skill development.

Continuing with new instruction is in the best interest of our students and their academic careers, as we need to see that our students are adequately prepared for success in subsequent courses. We also know that there will be challenges during this time, so we have identified two ways to meet these goals:

  1. Provide instruction during the extended closure.
    1. We will work to provide equitable access and support for a variety of students.
    2. After the extended closure, we will review how the closure impacted the delivery of services to students to identify any gaps in learning.
  2. Utilize summer programming or fall 2020 for certain students who were not able to receive instruction or demonstrate adequate growth during the closure.

Starting on April 14th, instructional activities, created by teachers and staff, will be provided and assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. This will enable us to determine that a student has completed a majority of required standards, competencies, and objectives, including those that are essential for success in subsequent coursework. Again, all student work will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis by teachers.

Families will receive the updated Distance Learning Plan that includes additional information about instruction, technology, as well as student supports and services next week.

TECHNOLOGY

In order to facilitate distance learning, PCPS will make Chromebooks available to any K-5 student. If a student has not already received a Chromebook, we will hold a distribution at all three elementary schools next week.

  • Monday (3/30) 8-11am
  • Tuesday (3/31) 12-3pm
  • Friday (4/3) 3-6pm.

We will also hold help desk hours for students who are experiencing hardware issues with their Chromebooks. Help Desk hours are 10 am - 2 pm at the following locations:

  • PMS - Concession Stand (Monday and Wednesday)
  • PHS – L100 (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Elementary Schools (Friday) - beginning after Spring Break

In addition to wifi availability outside of PCPS buildings, all Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID. Public hotspots can be found in small/medium businesses and outdoors in commercial areas. Non-Xfinity subscribers need to accept Terms and Conditions to access the network and repeat when requested to continue to receive free unlimited access. Additional information is available through the Xfinity wifi site linked here.

MEDICATION PICK-UP

Student medications/supplies may be picked up by an adult at a pre-arranged pick-up appointment. These appointments can be made next week at the times listed above. Please email your child’s school nurse to schedule a pick-up appointment.

Any medication not picked up before Spring Break will be discarded.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR STUDENTS

Any student under the age of 18 will be able to pick up meals while schools are closed. These meals are provided free of charge. Students must be present in order to pick up meals. Food will be distributed on the following dates:

  • Monday, March 30, 2020 – 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Mondays, April 6, 2020 to May 18, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – 6 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Monday, June 1, 2020 – 7 days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Monday, June 8, 2020 - 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.

Food will be distributed at the following school locations:

  • Powhatan High School - 8:00am to 10:00am. Bus loop at the rear of the school.
  • Powhatan Elementary School – 8:00am to 10:00am. Bus loop on the western side of the school.
  • Powhatan Middle School - 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Door 11 located on the western side of the school.

Please follow the lead-in signs at each location and drive up to the distribution station and open your trunk. Children must be with you. State the number of children you have in your car. Food Service staff members will look to verify the number of children and then place the appropriate number of bags in your trunk. If you are in a pickup truck or other vehicle without a trunk the food may be placed inside the vehicle.

If you are unable to pick up meals during the scheduled times, please contact Sodexo by email foodservice@powhatan.k12.va.us or phone 804-598-5700 extension 123 for an alternate time or delivery method.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

VDOE PARENT GUIDE

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/office/covid-19-parent-guide.shtml

I know you may have many more questions that we hope to answer for you in the coming days and weeks ahead, but, as you can see, Powhatan County Public Schools will continue to support our students and their families during this unprecedented challenge. We will provide you with additional updates as they become available.

Stay well and be safe!

3.19.20 Message: Grading of Student Work During COVID-19 Closure

Good afternoon,

Yesterday, I sent information to the community that student work would not be graded while we are closed. I did this to alleviate stress and worry for students and parents, but it seems to have spurred more questions. Below is some clarifying guidance for students.

Based on guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, we will not be grading activities completed during the school closure. This means students will not receive letter or numerical grades for these assignments. Teachers can give credit to students for completing assignments and can give feedback to students on their work. However, students will not be penalized for not being able to complete assignments. Monitoring student growth and progress will allow us to provide appropriate instruction to our students upon their return.

Here are the guidelines for Elementary and Secondary Students

Elementary Students - The division packets provided have enough activities for three weeks, which will take students through the end of spring break. If teachers have provided supplemental work, it may be completed after the division-level packet. The materials may not exceed two-three hours per day. At this time, no further instructional materials need to be generated at the school or division level for students through April 13.

Secondary Students - Teachers have provided materials for two to three weeks for students via Schoology. The materials may not exceed 3 hours per week for a single course. Due dates that exist in Schoology are guidelines to help students manage their schedule and workload. They are not intended to be hard deadlines. At this time, no further instructional materials need to be generated at the school or division level for students through April 13. If additional materials are being created, we will identify how to distribute to students without internet access.

Students taking Dual Enrollment Courses

The only exceptions to students not receiving letter or numerical grades for their work are for students taking Dual Enrollment Classes. Since these classes are administered by colleges or universities, we have to follow their guidance during the school closure. This will insure that students enrolled in these classes receive college credits. We are still seeking guidance from our higher education partners, but will be communicating through Powhatan High School Dual Enrollment teachers on this topic.

 

How to Support Distance Learning

March 13, 2020

How to Support Distance Learning

Powhatan County Public Schools intends to provide continuous teaching and learning during this extended school closure. This plan was developed in collaboration with other school divisions. Our goal is to maintain student engagement with the content while providing review and enrichment. We intend to maintain the instructional experience as much as possible for the completion of coursework within the normal school calendar.

In order to do this, we are creating lessons and activities that students can use in a distance learning model. Initial lessons will be ready for students as early as today, with additional communication throughout the next two weeks, as needed. You may receive school-specific information in the coming days.

During the school closure, students will receive online materials and/or a packet of activities that they will be expected to complete. Please review this work with your child and help support him/her as they work on these assignments. In order to resume with regular instruction, students are expected to bring their finished work to school upon their return to be assessed.

In an effort to support students and families while learning at home, we have outlined a plan below.

Elementary - Students in grades pre-kindergarten through 5th grade

  • Activity packets are being sent home with students and are also available online linked here. These packets include a variety of assignments highlighted below:
    • Performance Tasks
    • Core Content Choice Board of Activities
    • Math Connections
    • Reading Connections
    • CLEVER Connections (optional online at home access)
  • Teachers may also provide additional activities as needed.
  • Parents/Guardians of students in grades 2-5 will have the opportunity to check out Chromebooks on March 16th and 17th from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. to support at-home learning.

Secondary - Students in grades 6-12
Teacher-assigned online activities using Schoology (linked here) will be developed to allow students to maintain pacing toward course completion. Paper copies will be available in the main office on Tuesday, March 17, after 12:00 p.m.

Division and School Support During Distance Learning

  • Paper copies of materials will be available at school as needed.
  • Internet access will be made available at PCPS schools for those families who may need it. A schedule will be distributed.

Teacher and Staff Support During Distance Learning

  • Teachers will set clear expectations for materials to be completed during distance learning.
  • Teachers will establish guidelines for parents and students to access teachers via email, phone, or digital platforms.
  • Teachers will continue to check school email and Seesaw/Schoology messages to respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Teachers will exercise flexibility regarding work submission, assessment, and grading of students with the goal of completing coursework within the normal school calendar.
  • When appropriate, teachers will differentiate assignments. If your child has special requirements or receives special education through an individualized educational plan (IEP), every effort will be made to adjust instruction appropriately.

Recommended Family Support During Distance Learning

  • Setting a daily structured schedule with your student for completion of assignments is highly recommended. Add in breaks between tasks. Schedule suggestions:
    • Elementary students can work in 20-30 minute blocks. Secondary students can work 40-60 minute blocks.
    • Students should spend approximately 2-3 hours per day completing activities in addition to independent reading.
  • Create a learning space for students to work in that is free from as many distractions as possible.
  • Review activity expectations and help him or her set goals to stay on track for the day. Posting these goals as a checklist will allow for timely completion of activities.
  • Completion of activities will allow teachers to assess student progress toward learning objectives.
  • Ask students questions about the topics or activities they completed.
  • Parents and students should continue to reach out to teachers and/or case managers with any questions or concerns.
  • Parent Resource Tips with more details to support students during distance learning.

Student Responsibilities During Distance Learning

  • Students will participate in instruction during this closure via these alternative assignments. These assignments are required.
  • Students will need to spend time daily engaged in the lessons that have been provided by their teachers. (Suggested Times: 2-3 hours per day)
  • Secondary students will need to check the Schoology calendar, course updates, and Schoology messages daily.
  • Students are encouraged, with parent support if needed, to reach out to teachers for help.

Talking with Your Children About the Coronavirus:

Children may experience anxiety or confusion when hearing reports about this health issue. It is important to provide them with accurate information that is developmentally appropriate. Here are some resources to consider when talking with your child: