Dear SciTech Families,
The challenges presented to families and school districts across the nation because of COVID-19 have been unprecedented. Yet, we have seen how our students continue to meet the expectations for continuous learning and engagement with teachers at SciTech. Since we transitioned to at-home learning April 16th, I have been pleased to hear feedback from our teachers noting the consistent engagement of students in the learning activities being provided. The support that parents are providing to ensure that students continue to remain engaged in learning has been essential during this time of crisis. We all know as educators and parents that our expectations for students influences student learning even more than a student’s own motivation.
Please note that the hardships that families are experiencing during this time was a major factor when deciding to implement the grading guidelines for the fourth quarter. The grading guidelines shared last week also take into account students’ equitable access to the district provided activity packets and lack of technology resources for all students. However, SciTech students are in a unique position within the school district given our access to technology and use of tools that support the continued engagement of all students in remote learning.
The district announcement last week included an emphasis on all students being expected to engage in PPS Remote Learning. SciTech students are able to connect with their teachers regularly in order to receive direct support. I encourage all of our students to continue to reach out to your teachers and engage in learning with them during this time. Your teachers are committed to ensuring that you are prepared for what comes next, so continue to take advantage of the opportunity given to you as a student at SciTech. My expectations for you have not changed and I am committed to my responsibility of ensuring that all students are staying engaged in learning during this time. Please do not let any grading guidelines cause you to settle as a student and ultimately miss a chance to benefit from the learning opportunities available to you.
Our goal is to continue to support all of our families who are dealing with different stressors and challenges during this time. I am encouraged by seeing our students connect in new and creative ways with teachers and persist in their learning. I am confident that this experience will help us grow as educators, learners and people. I know that our students will be successful as we support one another with the implementation of this new learning model. Thank you for all of your efforts to support learning in the home. Have a great week!
Mr. Shawn McNeil
Hello SciTech Families,
We are looking forward to reconnecting with students this week through our new model of at-home learning. Our teachers have been preparing individually and collaboratively to engage all of our students in meaningful learning experiences and we will begin providing instruction Thursday, April 16, 2020. We know that the vast majority of our students are very comfortable accessing classroom content through Schoology and Google Classroom. We will continue to incorporate these tools to support at-home learning. For parents, much of this may seem new and unfamiliar, but students will be accessing resources at home that they have used previously. There may be opportunities for students to interact with their classmates and teachers using platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Students should expect to hear from each of their teachers by Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Teachers will share information concerning where students will be able to access the lessons and resources for their classes. Teachers will share their office hours with students so they are aware of the times that their teachers are available to provide support throughout the week. Please remind your child to check their email throughout the day and encourage them to be mindful of Remind text messages they may receive from their teachers. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher(s) if you need assistance with anything. Office hours are designed to support you and your child with at-home learning. Families can contact teachers via email. Our staff emails are available online at https://pittsburghscitech.com/school-information/staff-directory/.
Beginning Thursday, April 16th students will be expected to complete a daily attendance procedure with their advisory teacher. Each students’ advisor will share with his or her students the specific procedure that students follow daily in order to record their attendance. Students must complete their attendance check-in by 10:00 a.m. each day.
As stated previously, students will use many of the programs that they have had previous experiences with at SciTech, but families should address any program related questions to the student’s teacher. If the teacher cannot resolve the issue, they may refer you to our district’s support center. Students and families can contact the District’s Support Center at 412-529-HELP or submit a ticket at www.pghschools.org/letstalk. It is also important to share this information with your child’s teacher.
Thank you for encouraging your children to engage in the at-home learning that we are implementing. We recognize that our communities and families are experiencing challenging circumstances. I want to thank you for your continued support during this transition. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns.
Mr. Shawn McNeil
Find the Remote Learning Schedule here.
Hello SciTech Families,
On behalf of the SciTech faculty and staff, I hope that this letter finds you and your families doing well. All of their teachers and the staff miss our students. I know our teachers are looking forward to reconnecting with students through our new model of at-home learning soon.
As you know, our school district will transition to an online learning option for the delivery of instruction effective Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The SciTech administration and faculty are committed to ensuring that our students continue to receive the best possible instruction as we implement this new learning model. Your feedback and support during this process will help us to know what is working best and make any adjustments as quickly as possible in order to support students with this new model of at home instruction.
We recognize that students and families are experiencing new and potentially challenging circumstances during this time. In addition to the PPS Student Home Technology Survey that has been made available to families, you should have received a call from your child’s advisor for additional information concerning technology needs. Student advisors have been able to contact 80% of our SciTech families.
As we look ahead to the start at-home learning, it is our expectation that our students engage daily in all learning activities, as assigned and facilitated by their teachers. Students can expect that their teachers will use Schoology and other online platforms for asynchronous instruction in order to enable students to work independently at any time. Teachers will be available during live “office hours” every day to provide assistance and additional instruction. Our schedule of support for at-home learning has been posted on our school website https://pittsburghscitech.com/remote-learning-information/. Individual teachers will be sharing additional information with you over the next several days. Our teachers will communicate with families by email, Remind messages or by phone. Please support the efforts of our team by replying to their messages so they know you and your child are receiving them. I am sure our teachers will appreciate hearing from you.
In closing, I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility, as we transition to at-home teaching and learning. Our teachers have been working extremely hard to prepare to engage their students in meaningful learning experiences. We recognize that this will not be perfect, and we encourage you to reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns.
Please visit https://www.pghschools.org/coronavirus#news to read the latest information provided to PPS families regarding COVID-19 updates. Thank you for all of your efforts to support learning in the home.
Mr. Shawn McNeil