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Continuity Of Education Program
Continuity of Education Program
BETHEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT CONTINUITY OF EDUCATION PLAN FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR--Updated May 29, 2020

The Bethel Park School District began its Continuity of Education Program for all students K-12 on Monday, March 30 and the program will continue through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 
 
OVERVIEW
The Continuity of Education Program has been designed to be educational and engaging, but not overwhelming to students or families who may need to provide assistance to their children. 
 
We understand that not all of our families are in the same place with regard to technology in the home, so the first nine days of the Program served as a period of acclimation.  The District previously distributed Chromebooks to students who did not have access to devices in their homes.  If you were unable to procure a device during the distribution times, please call or email your child’s principal.

Initial assignments (March 16-April 9) were reviewed and evaluated by the teachers but did not receive a formal letter grade (with the exception of students in grades 5-12 who submitted unfinished Third Quarter assignments prior to the closing of school on March 13).  This will change with the Fourth Quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, as all Pennsylvania School Districts have been directed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to formulate a Continuity of Education Plan that necessitates a procedure for keeping attendance and grading assignments.  Participation in the Continuity of Education Program for the Fourth Quarter will be mandatory for all BPSD students and begins on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
The Bethel Park School District is proceeding with a modified approach to instruction for ALL Bethel Park School District students.  This modified approach will include: 
  • Enrichment and Review Activities- These learning activities will enable students to reinforce the knowledge and skills that they have already attained through their program of study prior to March 13, 2020.
  • Planned Instruction- These are formal lessons focusing on the essential skills and knowledge, and are designed to introduce new concepts that are contained within the approved curriculum.
Within this framework of learning, students will be engaged through multiple methods and strategies, including but not limited to: Google Classroom, Microsoft TEAMs, Schoology, Zoom, YouTube and other avenues in which the teacher deems appropriate for distance learning.

Bethel Park teachers have been granted the flexibility to use various methods of instructional delivery to engage with their students daily, and will also perform regular check-ins and reach out to students as necessary to provide feedback on student learning.  This delivery of instruction of the Bethel Park curriculum ensures that Bethel Park teachers utilize available strategies, resources and supports to continue the learning process for ALL of their students. 

ASSIGNMENTS--Updated April 17, 2020
Every Friday, Professional staff will send students lessons for the upcoming week for the students to complete and submit back to the teacher by the following Thursday.  The assignments will be reviewed by the teachers to determine completion that will generate a Pass/Fail grade for K-8 and a letter grade for 9-12.  Staff will be reviewing the plan on a weekly basis and making any necessary adjustments, to ensure that everyone has access to the content and that it continues to provide a quality experience.

GRADING FOR THE FOURTH GRADING PERIOD--Updated April 17, 2020
Students are expected to participate in learning during the Fourth Quarter.  Assignments from the previous week are to be turned in the following Thursday. (For example, assignments sent to students on Friday, April 17 need to be completed and returned to teachers by Thursday, April 23.)  A Pass/Fail grade, rather than a letter grade, will be given for all fourth grading period courses K-8.  High school students will receive a letter grade.  Students are expected to communicate with their teachers if they are unable to meet expectations or having difficulty.

Elementary (K-4)--Updated May 29, 2020
Completion of assignments is mandatory for students.  For students in grades K-4, teachers will assess student work on a Pass/NP rather than a traditional grading scale for the Fourth Grading Period.  Student work will be evaluated based upon engagement and work completion.  Letter grades and competency grades for students in Grades K-4 will be replaced by either a “P” for “Pass” or an “NP” for “Did Not Participate.”  
We believe that during this unprecedented time, the focus of our youngest learners should be on content exposure and engagement rather than traditional grading methods.  Teachers will directly contact the parent/guardian of any student who is not actively engaging.

Middle School (5-8)
Completion of assignments is mandatory for students.  The determination of Pass/Fail for each class will based upon completion of assignments for the Fourth Grading Period, including all Unified Arts classes in Grades 5-8.  Students who complete 60% or more of the assignments in the Fourth Grading Period will receive a Pass ”P”.  If students do not complete 60% of the 4th Grading Period assignments, they will receive a Fail “F.”  If students get a Fail in the Fourth Grading Period, that will be reflected in their Final Grade for the course.

Bethel Park High School
Completion of assignments is mandatory for students.  Grades will be based on a student’s submission of work.  Grades will be awarded as follows:
  • 75 - 100% Submission--Pass      Student receives an A (95%)
  • 60 - 74% Submission--Pass      Student receives a C (75%)
  • 50 - 59% Submission--Pass      Student Receives a D (60%)
  • 49% or less Submission--Fail      Student receives an F (50%)
If a student submits no work, that student will not receive credit for the individual course.

ATTENDANCE--Updated April 17, 2020
Because students are given 7 days to complete their lessons, rather than being required to be online at specific times, they will be considered to be present at school each day.  However; if student work is not turned in on Thursday, all days in that week will be counted as absent.  Make-up of student work as a result of an excused absence will be consistent with district policy. 

VIDEO CONFERENCING--Updated April 17, 2020
The Bethel Park District has the option to provide video conferencing as an additional tool for use in the Continuity of Education Program.

At times it may be necessary or advantageous for one or more of your child's teachers and staff to request to meet with your child in a video conference/virtual classroom for small group help, concept development, related services, and/or to talk with their teachers related to their school work.  Prior to hosting such a conference in an online forum such as Zoom, we will need your acknowledgment of expectations for the use of live conferencing. If you would prefer your child not participate in live conferencing please fill out the Video Conferencing Opt Out Form available by clicking here
 
While the School District is seeking to provide students with services and instruction through various technology platforms, the safety and privacy of our students remains one of our top priorities.  As such, please be advised that the recording, photographing, or sharing of the virtual learning program by anyone other than the teacher is a violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Law, which makes it illegal to record a conversation without the express consent of all participants. 18 Pa. Const. Stat. §5703. Conduct of this nature may also be considered a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as School District Policy. As such, violations of these laws and District policy may result in both criminal penalties, individual liability in a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party, as well as discipline consistent with District policy.  Please do not record, photograph or share any of the virtual learning sessions/videoconferences, as it is illegal, and violators will be subject to legal action.

Remote livestreaming delivery of instruction or related services is not designed to be delivered on a 1:1 basis with students, and the District will provide multiple employees for each virtual session. Where multiple employees are not available to hold a virtual session, teachers retain discretion to hold a virtual session so long as the student’s parent/guardian is present to supervise the session.
 
If you prefer that your child not participate in live video conferencing, fill out the form by clicking here.

BPHS
BPHS Teachers began posting weekly learning lessons/activities beginning Monday, March 30.  Students will use Google Classroom, Classroom Websites, and/or District Email to receive their materials and submit it back to the teachers.  Learning will be asynchronous, in that each individual student will have the option of when they decide to login and complete the weekly assignments.
 
While self guiding, teachers will be available Monday through Thursdays during two instructional blocks for teaching, feedback, and communication directly with the students and parents.  Students may reach out with questions at any time but should not necessarily expect an answer from the teacher until the AM (10 -11:30 am) / PM (1 - 2:30 pm) Academic Blocks. Other parts of the days and Fridays will be dedicated towards planning, collaboration, and growth in developing further online instruction. 
 
Students are encouraged to develop daily routines and dedicate 20 minutes per day or 80 minutes per week per subject/class.  Teachers will post lessons/activities on Fridays, and students will have until the following Thursday to submit their completed assignments.  PLEASE NOTE: At the high school level, students receive credits towards graduation.  In order for a student to receive coursework credit, they must have submitted work to their respective teacher for that individual class during the Fourth Quarter.  Failure to do so will result in a non-credit for the course.

Students and Parents/Guardians are asked to communicate directly with teachers, school counselors, special education supports, or with the building administration if there are any factors preventing student(s) from accessing their learning.
 
College In High School--Updated April 24, 202
Bethel Park High School will continue to offer College in the High School courses throughout the closure of school.  Please address any specific questions or concerns to your student's teacher. 
 
Steel Center
The Steel Center for Career and Technical Education began its Distance Learning Program on Monday, March 30.  Please refer to the Steel Center web page for more information.
 
Parkway West
The Parkway West Career and Technology Center is offering educational continuity during the closure of school.  Assignments will be "released" to students through the online platform, Schoology.  Attendance will be taken and assignments graded (for now).  Parkway West CTC staff is working remotely from 7:30-2:30 to support students. 
 
IMS
IMS Teachers began posting weekly learning lessons/activities on Monday, March 30.  Students will use Google Classroom, Classroom Websites, and/or District Email to receive their materials and submit it back to the teachers.  Learning will be asynchronous, in that each individual student will have the option of when they decide to login and complete the weekly assignments.
 
While self guiding, teachers will be available Monday through Thursdays during two instructional blocks for teaching, feedback, and communication directly with the students and parents.  Students may reach out with questions at any time but should not necessarily expect an answer from the teacher until the AM (10 -11:30 am)/PM (1 - 2:30 pm) Academic Blocks.  Other parts of the days and Fridays will be dedicated towards planning, collaboration, and growth in developing further online instruction. 
 
Students are encouraged to develop daily routines and dedicate 20 minutes per day or 80 minutes per week per subject/class.  Teachers will post lessons/activities on Fridays, and students will have until the following Thursday to submit their completed assignments.

Participation in the Continuity of Education Program for the Fourth Quarter will be mandatory.

Students and parents/guardians are asked to communicate directly with teachers, school counselors, special education supports, or with the building administration if there are any factors preventing student(s) from accessing their learning. 
 
NAMS
NAMS Teachers began posting weekly learning lessons/activities by Monday, March 30.  Students will use Google Classroom, Classroom Websites, and/or District Email to receive their materials and submit it back to the teachers.  Learning will be asynchronous, in that each individual student will have the option of when they decide to login and complete the weekly assignments.
 
While self guiding, teachers will be available Monday through Thursdays during two instructional blocks for teaching, feedback, and communication directly with the students and parents.  Students may reach out with questions at any time but should not necessarily expect an answer from the teacher until the AM (10 -11:30 am) PM (1 - 2:30 pm) Academic Blocks. Other parts of the days and Fridays will be dedicated towards planning, collaboration, and growth in developing further online instruction. 
 
Students are encouraged to develop daily routines and dedicate 20 minutes per day or 80 minutes per week per subject/class.  Teachers will post lessons/activities on Fridays, and students will have until the following Thursday to submit their completed assignments.

Participation in the Continuity of Education Program for the Fourth Quarter will be mandatory. 

Students and Parents/Guardians are asked to communicate directly with teachers, school counselors, special education supports, or with the building administration if there are any factors preventing student(s) from accessing their learning. 
 
ELEMENTARY
The program began on Monday, March 30th.  Teachers will plan and distribute instructional activities and lessons each Friday for the following week.  These learning activities will encompass primarily ELA and mathematics, but will also include a social studies or science assignment on Fridays, as well as daily work in one of the special areas. 
 
The special areas will rotate each week by grade level. For example, music will take place with second grade in week one, third grade in week two, etc. These activities are designed to maintain student learning during this prolonged time away from school. They are not intended to be overwhelming, nor to add stress to families during this difficult time. A typical week will look like the following:

Grades 1-4
Monday: ELA (20-25 minutes), Mathematics (20-25 minutes), Special Area (15 minutes)
Tuesday: ELA (20-25 minutes), Mathematics (20-25 minutes), Special Area (15 minutes)
Wednesday: ELA (20-25 minutes), Mathematics (20-25 minutes), Special Area (15 minutes)
Thursday: ELA (20-25 minutes), Mathematics (20-25 minutes), Special Area (15 minutes)
Friday: Science or Social Studies (20-25 minutes)

Kindergarten
Monday: ELA (20-25 minutes)
Tuesday: Mathematics (20-25 minutes)
Wednesday: ELA (20-25 minutes)
Thursday: Mathematics (20-25 minutes)
Friday: Science or Social Studies (20-25 minutes)

Specials Rotation
PE/Health: Week 1 - 1st grade, Week 2 - 2nd grade
Music: Week 1 - 2nd grade, Week 2 - 3rd grade
Art: Week 1 - 3rd grade, Week 2 - 4th grade
Library: Week 1 - 4th grade, Week 2 - 1st grade

Teachers may deliver instruction via email, or another platform such as Classroom Dojo or Google Classroom.  Teachers will communicate their method of delivery with parents/guardians, based on what parents/guardians and students in each class may be used to using.  Students who receive instruction in a support classroom will receive assignments from the teacher responsible for their instruction.  Please communicate with your student’s classroom teacher on any additional instructional support you may need.

Teachers will be available Monday through Thursday to answer emails from parents and students during a 1.5 hour block in the morning (10:00-11:30 AM) and a 1.5 hour block in the afternoon (1:00-2:30 PM). 

Beginning with the Fourth Quarter, participation in the Continuity of Education Program is mandatory.  The goal during this time period is to maintain student learning and continue our students’ education despite the circumstances, not to create stressful situations for families nor overwhelm our students.
 
Parents/Guardians who have any questions or concerns are encouraged to email their child's principal.
 
SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Bethel Park School District will continue to provide an educational program to support ALL students to progress in their learning. The Bethel Park School District will continue to provide students with disabilities with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) providing special education services to the maximum extent feasible during this time.  Students with disabilities will also have access to instructional materials and specially designed instruction remotely.

If a parent/guardian has any concerns about their child’s ability to access online programming or virtual services, they are to contact their child’s special education teacher to discuss resources and/or alternatives for the implementation of their child’s program.

Support for special education students is provided directly by each teacher, along with paraprofessionals as needed.  Additional learning activities and supportive services, including activities provided by Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, ESL, Speech, School Counselors, and Student Assistance Counselors.

Related Services will continue to be provided remotely through a variety of options, including but not limited to Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Google Meet, or Zoom (video conferencing), phone calls, email, worksheets, videos, and/or consultation or planning with parents to monitor progress.  The student’s special education teacher and related service providers will contact families to discuss how instructional materials and services will be provided to the student. 

English as a Second Language instruction will be delivered by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit using the ESL Program Specialists already assigned to students prior to the closure.  The ESL Program Specialists are available for ongoing support to both the students and their families and will collaborate with the students’ classroom and content area faculty to assure that the students are able to successfully transition to remote instruction in all of their subject areas.  Support for translation and interpretation will be used where necessary and appropriate for both students and families.

Gifted students will continue to receive appropriate services in accordance with their GIEPs.  Gifted Coordinators will communicate with teachers to provide consultation, resources and enrichment guidance.  Gifted Coordinators will also communicate regularly with parents to provide support, resources and address concerns.  GIEP meetings will occur through telephone or video conferencing.

Extensions will be provided on an individual basis for those students who are eligible or thought-to-be eligible for Section 504 Accommodations or IEP services.  For further information or to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s special education services, please contact Lori Sutton, Director of Special Education, at 412-854-8405, or by emailing [email protected].  To learn more, please click on the link below.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
In addition to the lessons teachers will be providing, the District has established a list of helpful educational resources/links for students and families to use, should they want to avail themselves of this.  These resources can be accessed by clicking here.


Attachments Available To Download:
Special Education Services Letter