You’ve Got Questions? Pottsgrove Answers Most Frequently Asked

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – From teacher assignments, to the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning, to when school days start and end, a letter distributed Tuesday (July 28, 2020) by Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Dr. William Shirk takes aim at providing answers to questions many parents seem to be asking about their return-to-education options.

Here’s the 17-item Q&A Shirk’s letter contained, with boldface questions followed by his answers:

What does synchronous learning look like? Synchronous learning is direct interaction with your teacher and other students. It includes various learning activities, projects, labs, assessments, etc. It is not just students watching a teacher lecture. Teachers engage students in a way that strengthens and deepens the learning process.

What does asynchronous learning look like? Students are not required to participate in learning at a designated time. The teacher delivers instruction through a recorded video, projects, virtual labs, assignments, etc.

When will my day start and end? Regular school schedule will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Pottsgrove High School: 7:30 a.m. – 2:17 p.m.
Pottsgrove Middle School: 7:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
Pottsgrove Elementary Schools: 9 a.m.-3:25 p.m.

When will we find out which group I am in? The district will be sharing which group students will be assigned to as we get closer to the start of the school year.

What happens if my teacher isn’t available to be in class? Those in the hybrid learning model will report to the classroom, where the class is normally held, and a staff member will assist the class in connecting virtually to the teacher.

What happens if I am absent, out sick or have a scheduled day off? Staff will post their substitute plans in a asynchronous model (just as if school was in session traditionally)

What happens if I’m virtual and my class is supposed to be doing a laboratory exercise? Laboratory exercises will be conducted either in person or via an online simulation.

If I select to attend virtually, am I still able to participate in clubs, music, sports, etc? Yes, these activities will be available to all students as long as they are being offered.

Will my child’s IEP or GIEP be implemented with fidelity? Yes, all special education and gifted education services will be provided to students in the hybrid and virtual models.

What happens to my teacher if I move from virtual to hybrid or hybrid to virtual? You will remain with your same teachers in the event you change settings.

How will attendance be taken? Teachers will take attendance at the start of each period as they would during a usual school day.

What happens if the governor shuts us down again? Since both the hybrid program and PGSD Virtual Academy are taught by Pottsgrove teachers using the district’s curriculum, all content and pacing remains consistent. All students and teachers will be able to seamlessly transition to a full virtual model. We will be well-positioned in the event the governor shuts down schools.

Will my child’s AP and Dual classes be taught by teachers who are trained in this? Yes, all AP and dual enrollment courses will be taught by teachers who have taught this before and are trained in the program.

What does scheduling for students going to the Western Montgomery Career & Technical Center look like? Due to the flexibility in spacing afforded at the WMCTC, students may choose to attend their program full in person, in hybrid set up, or virtually. Please note that students who select to attend the WMCTC virtually will need to attend in person on certain days to participate in activities required for state certifications. Details about transportation will be provided.

Will the district provide transportation to the Western Center if I am on the Virtual Model?
AM Western Center: Students may take the bus to school and the Western Center. The district will transport students back to the high school. It’s the parent’s responsibility to have transportation home from the HS. The student may complete a form to be able to drive themselves.
PM Western Center: Since the PM Western Center leaves mid-day, parents will need to drive students to PGHS to take the bus to the Western Center. PM students may take the school bus back from Western Center and back home.

May students drive themselves to and from the Western Center? Yes, these students will need to complete a parent permission form to do this.

What does Air Force JROTC look like? The Air Force JROTC will be virtual so the instructors are leading and teaching virtually.

Photo by The Post