Virtual/Distance Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How often do students need to log in to participate?
Students need to log in daily to check assignments and communication from the teacher, administration, and classmates. In order to comply with Mississippi Department of Education guidelines, attendance will be taken daily using the distance learning attendance indicators. The teachers will report the attendance to the attendance clerks daily. Students who do not sign in will be counted absent. The Natchez-Adams School District Attendance Policy applies to students participating in online learning. Without daily, consistent, participation in online learning, a student will very quickly find himself or herself behind the pace of the course and struggling to catch up. Getting behind will make transitioning back to the classroom very difficult for those who choose to return to school after the first nine week grading period not to mention it will adversely affect his or her grade. When students aren’t successful in an online learning environment it is typically due to not dedicating the necessary time to their coursework.
Would students set aside each week for coursework?
Each course is designed to meet the requirements of MDE Accreditation and local district requirements. Traditional instruction requires students to dedicate 45 - 90 minutes a day to learning per course depending on the type of school bell schedule. Due to online learning not being completely synchronous, learning time may vary from student to student. (Daily instructional minutes: 240 minutes for grades K-5; 360 minutes for grades 6-12)
Is the course entirely asynchronous, or are there synchronous activities?
NASD online courses are synchronous with the traditional classroom setting meaning students will be learning the same content standards at the same time as those attending school in person. This will ease the transition back to the traditional classroom setting at the end of a 9wk grading period if a parent/student chooses. Online courses are asynchronous in nature due to the flexibility of due dates on particular assignments that may slightly differ from students participating in face to face instruction. Students enrolled in NASD Virtual Learning will have the opportunity to participate in live teacher instruction via video conferencing. NASD online courses are dynamic and not static. Changes will be made to ensure that students receive the best educational experience. The live sessions will be recorded and available for those students who are unable to attendance a live session for whatever reason.
What learning management system will be used for NASD Online Learning?
Canvas is the learning management system that will be used for all students. A Parent Academy video on “How to use Canvas” is accessible on the NASD website. Other learning platforms include i-Ready (K-8th) and Edgenuity (6th – 12th).
Where should parents and guardians look for updates, announcements, or other pertinent news regarding their child’s course(s)?
Most school or district communication comes through School Status and/or NASD News to the cell phone number or email address on file with the district. If you are not receiving messages from School Status and/or NASD News, please contact the district office and update your information. Teachers and administrators may also post announcements in the learning management system. (Canvas)
Are there proctoring requirements for assessments?
All major assessments and state testing will take place at the school in which the child is enrolled. Teachers and School Test Coordinators will arrange these assessments and announce when this will take place. Transportation to and from the test site will be provided if requested 48 hours in advance. In order to properly social distance, a maximum number of students that will be allowed to test in a testing area at one time. Students will be required to wear masks as an extra precaution. A test administrator and a proctor teacher will administer every test session. The online learning coordinator will also be on site.
When can a student transition from online learning back to the classroom setting?
Students will have the opportunity to transition back to the classroom setting at the end of each 9 weeks. Transitioning at the end of a grading period creates a smooth transition for students, teachers, and school administration.
Can a student who chooses online learning participate in athletics and/or activities during the school day?
Students choose online learning will not be able to participate in athletics and/or other extracurricular activities. Those students will have to participate in on-site learning. Seniors who have met certain requirements and whose classes are only offered online will be able to participate in online learning and athletics and/or other activities AFTER school hours.
How often can I or my child expect to hear from his online teacher?
In regard to communications, teachers are expected to send weekly emails to parents of online learners, provide office hours to assist students with assignments as needed, and conduct at least two video check-ins each week to keep students on pace with course content. As a parent of an online learner, you are always welcome to email your child’s teacher for learning progress updates or you can check Active Parent for grades on submitted assignments. Teacher-Parent communication is expected to transpire at least every 10 days. All communications should take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Virtual conference can be requested.
How will students participating in online learning be graded?
Online courses will contain the same rigor and expectations of traditional “brick-and-mortar” classrooms. Students are expected to view all instructional materials and complete all assignments. Failure to do so will adversely affect the student’s grade. The Natchez-Adams School District grading policy will be followed for all online learners just as if they were in the classroom. Parents can track the academic performance of their online learning in the learning management system (Canvas) or in Active Parent.
If my child receives special services, will he or she receive them as an online learner?
We also recognize that students learn at different rates and some students need additional learning support, such as academic support, special education services, English Language Learner services, and gifted services. All of the aforementioned services will be provided to your child as if he were in the regular classroom setting. For more information on any particular student service please contact the Natchez-Adams School District Exceptional Services Department at 601-445-2800.
How will online learners be scheduled?
The online classroom structure will be very similar to that of a traditional classroom for all online learners. The students will receive two days of real time live instruction (synchronous instruction). The other days will be student independent work which may include of videos, teacher recordings, or other supplemental resources to aid with the completion of the assignments (asynchronous instruction). Each student will receive a schedule from the school in which the student is enrolled.
How will distance learning students who do not have a computer or internet access receive instruction?
Those students will receive instructional packets by request only. Those instructional packets will include the standard, directed instruction, guided practice, hands-on activity, independent assignment, and possible assessment. There will be a schedule that includes a one-day pick-up every two weeks and return packet every two weeks. Buses will be utilized to deliver materials to students without transportation. Instructional packets can be requested by completing the Instructional Packet Request Google Form that located on the districts website or by contacting Mrs. Rankin at 601-445-2810 or Mrs. Allen at 601-442-7728.
How will attendance be tracked for distance learning students who do not have a computer or internet access for virtual learning?
Those students or parents will have to call in to the schools each day to the attendance clerk at the child’s school to report daily attendance. Attendance is taken each morning by 9 a.m.