Porter Township School Corporation Weekly Update: March 10, 2014

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Building Relationships, Communication, Culture of Achievement, Instruction, Instructional Leadership, Leadership
Tags: , , ,

Virtual Learning

Thank you, again, to those that completed our survey.  One area that was very valuable was the open response area about our current online learning days for grades 6-12.  There are a variety of opinions out there such as:

  • “This concept was wonderful!!!!!!”
  • “At first, I was concerned about how productive my daughter would be and with its success. I have come to see how well designed the online classes are and that online instruction encourages my daughter to be independent and self motivated.”
  • “I think it is great. I am looking forward for my other child to start it next year.”
  • “Online day prepares them for the future and what colleges are expecting them to come prepared to know about technology and online courses.”
  • “It seems like the work is over the amount they would get on an in school day.”
  • “I don’t feel the online days are an effective use of a school day. My son’s work was completed by 10:30am today having the rest of the day off.”
  • I don’t like online days. This year things have run much smoother due to the new system, however having student learn on their own is not productive in my opinion. I’m not a teacher and helping them with questions is draining.”
  • “I prefer students attend class rather than online.”

In reading many of the responses, I definitely learned that there are things we can do better and that we also need to provide more information to parents about how these online days are providing skills that students need to be successful when they leave our walls (which has been confirmed by our graduates).  With that in mind, I will be writing a series of blog posts about virtual learning (or blended learning) to help share some of the thoughts behind it and also to clarify some concerns.  In addition, we will be using the feedback provided to help shape future online learning days as we want to continually grow and become better at what we do.  Thanks for your feedback–you help to make PTSC stronger!

There were also some questions that came out.  Some of them have quick answers and I will answer them now–others take longer answers and will be addressed in the series of blog posts to come.

Q:  Why does it take so long for my child to complete the online day work?

A:  That is by design.  Since this is an instructional day, the length of the day is supposed to mirror a traditional day at school.  That means it should take 7 hours to complete–and on a typical day there may be homework, too, which would be in addition to those 7 hours.  Of course we all know that is an average.  Some students will work quickly and be done much faster and for others it may take longer.

Q:  If my student has an IEP and attends school on an online day, what would they do if we used a day like this in place of a canceled day of school?

A:  Teachers would provide materials that are appropriate for students with IEPs to work on at home.

Q:  Weren’t these days originally supposed to be used in place of canceled school days?

A:  I’m not sure of the original intent, but I can tell you that until this spring the state would not allow an online day to be used to make up a snow day.  They have only recently provided guidance making this allowable–and that expires at the end of June.  There is a legislative study council being formed to look at the issue of using online instruction in place of school cancellations–so there is hope that the flexibility will continue beyond June.

I look forward to continuing this in future blog posts!

PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to freshman artist Emma Awdey who was awarded a $100 cash prize
for her pointillism at the Art on the Lake exhibition in Portage.

Congratulations to the BGE Math Bowl Team for a successful competition!

Important Dates:

  • March 3-21, 2014:  ISTEP+ Applied Skills Testing Window Grades 3-8
  • March 10, 2014:  Arts-A-Budding Reception and Awards Presentation at Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection.  Doors will open at 1:30 pm and the Awards Presentation begins at 2:00 pm.
  • March 11, 2014:  MS & HS Choirs’ “Multicultural Folk Music” Concert.  Come enjoy watching our talented students as they sing and dance to popular folk tunes from around the world. The concert begins at 7 pm in the High School Auxiliary Gym.  The cost is $3 for adults and $2 for students/children.  We hope to see you there!
  • March 13, 2014:  BGHS and BGMS Band Concert at 7 pm at Boone Grove High School.  Come out and enjoy a night of great music!
  • March 14, 2014:  Boone Grove High School Wolfpack Football Club will be hosting their 5th Annual All You Can Eat Fish/Chicken Fry & Silent Auction at Boone Grove High School from 4:30 to 7:00 PM in the BGHS Cafeteria.

FF Poster_2 fix_2-001

  • March 17-21, 2014:  IREAD-3 Assessment Grade 3
  • April 1, 2014:  Come support the BGHS Girls Tennis Team at Panera Bread from 4-8 pm.  Bring in the flyer below (paper or show on your smart phone) and the team will get a portion of their receipt; the more receipts the higher the percentage.  The team is working hard to earn enough money to buy a set of tennis uniforms for BGHS.  Come out and support our Tennis Team!

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 11.33.10 AM

  • April 15, 2014:  American Teens in Crisis Conference (www.pathblazer.org/ATIC2014)
  • April 21, 2014:  Regular day of school–snow day make up day for January 8, 2014
  • April 21-June 4, 2014:  ECA Algebra 1, English 10, and Biology 1 Testing Window
  • April 28-May 9, 2014:  ISTEP+ Multiple Choice Online Testing Window Grades 3-8
  • May 5-16, 2014:  CoreLink Online Assessment Grades 3-8
  • May 23, 2014:  BGHS and BGMS Band Concert at 7 pm at BGHS.  Come out and enjoy the last band concert of the year!
  • June 2, 2014:  Regular day of school–to make up for our snow day on January 27, 2014
  • June 3, 2014:  Regular day of school–to make up for our snow day on January 28, 2014
  • June 4, 2014:  Regular day of school–to make up for our snow day on February 5, 2014

Things to Know:

  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start.  If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
  • Now hiring substitute teachers!  Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs.  If you are interested, please apply online.
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