Question: Is PSD Virtual its own program, or will each PSD school have its own branch of PSD Virtual?
PSD Virtual is being created as a stand-alone program in which PSD students need to enroll for the 2020-21 school year. Each school will not have its own branch of PSD Virtual. Students who enroll in PSD Virtual will be co-enrolled in their home school. You need not do anything if you plan to attend your home school in any of the four phases and not PSD Virtual.
Question: Will PSD Virtual have unique start and end dates or breaks?
No, PSD Virtual will follow the approved 2020-21 PSD school year calendar.
Question: Can my child participate in PSD Virtual alone? Or will they need someone, like a parent, to help them?
Students will need a designated adult at home to partner with their teacher and support their learning. The time commitment of this partnership will vary based on the age of the child and their readiness for online learning. This will look different from student to student. More information is available on the PSD Virtual website.
If my child completes 12th grade at PSD Virtual can they participate in graduation at their home school?
PSDV students will be co-enrolled at their home school and this is the school they will officially graduate from. They are welcomed and encouraged to participate in graduation ceremonies at that school.
Question: How will PSD Virtual handle enrollment while my child has dual enrollment in Front Range Community College classes? Poudre High School IB program?
Our intention, in scheduling students in PSD Virtual, is to provide course content that closely matches the courses a student would normally take in their home school. FRCC currently offers several courses in an online only format. If your child is currently enrolled in a FRCC course, they may:
Remain in that course if it is offered in a remote format at FRCC.
Enroll in an alternate course if it is not offered in the remote or hybrid format.
Requirements for completion of the IB Diploma Programme are unique and rigorous. Additionally, IB teachers receive extensive training. So, it would not be possible to plan for successful implementation of the IB Diploma Programme at PSD Virtual. However, leadership at Poudre High School is working to provide opportunities for all students currently enrolled to successfully complete their program. Please contact Cori Hixon, IB Director at Poudre High School, for more information on those specific options after July 24.
Question: Will my child be able to take AP classes with PSD Virtual?
PSD Virtual currently plans to offer several AP courses, though it’s possible not all courses available at home schools may be offered. In the event that a course your student would like to take is not offered, we will seek to support them in registering for a FRCC course in that subject area for which they could receive college credit.
Question: How will PSD Virtual accommodate my child who has an IEP/504? Or if we need more one-on-one interaction with our teacher?
Because transitions are difficult for students, efforts will be made for the team that knows the student to collaborate with PSDV staff in meeting student needs.
When a student with an IEP requests to enroll in PDS Virtual, the home school Integrated Services Team will conduct a re-evaluation and determine supports the students requires in the virtual setting. Students on IEPs will maintain their current case managers at the home school. Those case managers will collaborate with PSDV staff to deliver support services.
Students and families will work with their home school’s 504 coordinator to update the 504 for the new virtual setting. Coordinators will collaborate with PSDV staff to ensure awareness of student accommodations and familiarity with student needs.
Teachers will be working with students in small groups and individually to meet student needs. If your student needs more interaction with the teacher, please communicate that with the classroom teacher.
Question: Will my student lose their seat with our choice school if I enroll in PSD Virtual?
No, students will be co-enrolled in PSDV and their home school (whether choice or neighborhood school) for the 2020-21 school year. So, they will maintain their enrollment at the home school for the 2021-22 school year.
Question: Will my student still be able to participate in sports with their school? What about music or theater? Extra-curricular activities?
Students will remain co-enrolled at their home school, so will be able to participate in extra-curriculars and athletics (any activities outside of school hours) at that school. Decisions about enrollment in courses held during the school day will be a home school decision, based on space and supports and resources the home school has to provide virtual opportunities. However, students with PSDV will have synchronous lessons and supports scheduled with their PSDV teachers, so it would likely be difficult to coordinate this.
Question: If my student enrolls at PSD Virtual, will they be with classmates from their home school?
It is not likely. PSD will hire educators from across the district to teach specifically at PSD Virtual. The third-grade teacher a student would normally have at their neighborhood elementary school, for example, will not likely be their elementary teacher at PSD Virtual. A PSD Virtual third-grade class, for example, will likely be comprised of third graders from across the school district who enrolled in PSD Virtual. If there are students enrolled in PSD Virtual from the same home school, an effort will be made to keep them together in a PSD Virtual class.
Question: Who will teach at PSD Virtual?
Regardless of where a teacher comes from, they will receive ongoing professional development in best practices in online education, based on the National Quality Online Teaching. PSD Virtual is working with the PSD Human Resources Department to identify positions needed for the program and develop a hiring process for PSD Virtual positions. It is likely that PSD Virtual staff to be hired are current PSD educators.
Question: Do you know if PSDV teaching and learning will be synchronous or asynchronous? What will a student’s day-to-day experience look like?
You can find more information about the PSD Virtual student experience throughout the PSDV website (vrt.psdschools.org).
Question: Will specials (i.e. band, orchestra, art) still be taught online for students at PSD Virtual? Or would they take those courses at their home school and take core classes only through PSD Virtual?
Online specials will be available for students at PSDV. However, they will not look like the traditional specials opportunities at your home school. Budget, staffing and the tight timeline for school opening will not permit the addition of electives such as orchestra and band at PSDV.
COVID-19 protocols to keep students safe at our school sites have required lots of extra planning and as those sites have students return, staffing resources will be taxed in the implementation of those plans. This means it will not be possible for elementary schools to provide virtual specials opportunities for students from their home school. PSDV elementary students will have online specials opportunities in Art, Music, and PE courses managed by their classroom teacher.
Similarly, it will be very difficult for secondary schools to provide virtual opportunities for students. Teachers at those sites will also be teaching students online and on-campus for the first several weeks of school and when everyone returns to school, they will be busy ensuring the safety of large groups of students. If you are comfortable with it, you may check with your home school site to determine if it is possible for your student to attend a specials class in person at that school. This would only be possible if space was available and they did not have a conflict in their PSDV schedule. Secondary sites will vary in their ability to provide this.
Question: If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes readily available and I decide I’m comfortable with my child returning to school, if PSD is in a phase with some form of in-person education, can I transfer them back?
Enrolling your child at PSD Virtual is a year-long commitment. This helps ensure continuity of curriculum for each student as well as the overall stability of PSD Virtual. There may be a possibility of transitioning back to your student’s neighborhood school at the semester break, but that opportunity will be on a space-available basis. Staffing and budget constraints do not permit us to maintain a space at both PSD Virtual and all home schools for every student in the district.
Question: What is the anticipated teacher/student ratio with PSDV?
After reviewing the student/teacher ratios of other online schools, PDS Virtual is planning to have ratios that are approximately average for 100% online schools. Those ratios are a bit higher than you would see in a traditional classroom because teacher time will be spent primarily meeting with small groups of students rather than all students at one time. In elementary, we are looking at a ratio of about 30:1. In middle and high school, a teacher will have approximately 100 students combined in all of their courses.
Question: Will there be "classes" established so that our students are able to (virtually) develop relationships with the same group of peers and teachers?
Yes, students will be in classes and we will try to support the development of relationships with peers and teachers within those classes.
Question: How much actual instruction from the teacher will take place?
It’s hard at this point to give a specific amount of time because that will vary from day to day and class to class.
In elementary, we are expecting that every class has a time each day for students to connect with each other and the teacher – a morning meeting, circle time, etc. Then, the teacher will identify specific times of the day that are for working in each subject. During that time, there will be small group mini-lessons or one-on-one and small group time for students who are at a similar instructional level. While students can’t expect to see their teacher every day for every subject, they can expect to be part of multiple small groups during instructional blocks dedicated to each subject. There will also be a time each day set aside to support students and parents with specific questions or individual support.
Middle school and high school students will also have an identified time for each of their courses. While they do not have to do all of the asynchronous learning activities for the course at this time, this is the time their teachers will schedule any one-on-one or group synchronous sessions. They can expect to see their teachers daily, though rarely for the entire period they are scheduled to work on a subject. Middle and high school students will also have an advisory time scheduled each week to support academic skills development and connections with peers and their advisor.
Question: If my student needs help on a specific assignment, do they schedule time with the teacher?
Yes, there will be time set aside each day for students to schedule a meeting with a teacher if they need extra support
Question: Will the kids use the same curriculum as at school (for example, Big Ideas, etc)?
PSD Virtual will use curriculum based on the Colorado State standards. We wanted teachers to have a foundational course and focus on student connections, rather than having to build all of their courses. Teachers may supplement that course with curriculum that they are familiar with, but it will not be the required.
Question: Can my child enroll in PSDV if they are not currently a PSD student?
Students are required to be enrolled into their PSD neighborhood school to be co-enrolled in the PSD Virtual program. Please see the District website for additional information on registering at PSD beginning August 1st.
Question: Will students receive a PSD computer to complete remote learning through PSDV?
Yes. PSD Virtual students will be issued a PSD device. Additional information will be shared from PSDV in collaboration with the student’s home school and the Information Technology Department to meet technology needs.
Question: How much time will students be on computers in PSDV?
As a virtual program, synchronous connections and content delivery will be done via PSD computers. Work on computers will vary with grade level and with assignments. Students in the primary grades may expect to be on computers for a few hours each day, while the use of computers to complete assignments and engage in curriculum will increase in the upper grade levels.
Question: Our family is working with other families of similar aged children to offer a learning pod (a learning pod is a small group of families that share the responsibility to supervise all children in a pod during the student’s academic studies). Can our students be grouped with a common teacher to assure consistency in assignments and lessons?
We will accommodate grouping requests as best as we can, however flexibility may be limited based on staffing and enrollment numbers.
Question: Will PSD organize students into learning pods on behalf of families?
If parents wish to use the learning pod model described above, they would need to organize the groups on their own behalf, as they are not part of the PSD program.
Question: How will specials activities be incorporated at the elementary level?
Elementary students will be enrolled in online courses in Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and specials. There will be a quarter to focus on each special. However, these courses will be managed by the classroom teacher and not a separate PE or art teacher.
Question: Do the Elementary kids stay with the same teacher across class topics?
Yes, much as in a traditional elementary school.
Question: If my high schooler's classes are not available through PSD virtual, do we re-enroll in new classes?
Yes, we will automatically enroll them in comparable PSDV classes and then a counselor will reach out to adjust their schedule as necessary for courses we don’t offer before school starts OR during the first week of school.
Question: Do the Middle and High School kids rotate across teachers?
Yes, much as in a traditional school.
Question: Will my child be able to take Advance Placement (AP) classes with PSD Virtual?
Yes, a limited number of AP and college level concurrent enrollment classes are offered at PSDV.