Good afternoon Spring-Ford community,
First and foremost, I’d like to say “great job, Spring-Ford” in making the move with us to Online Learning! This was a big move, and while we were expecting some bumps, overall our teachers were happy to start working with their students online. Though, just as our first day of Online Learning was coming to a close, we received an update from Governor Wolf that schools will be closed “indefinitely.” I will be honest, the term “indefinite” took the wind out of my sails, especially after we celebrated successfully moving our entire school district online. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students to schools in the coming days. I will continue to provide daily updates as we receive information from the state along with important reminders. I encourage you to read through this message as we share important information for the upcoming week.
Students must log in to their Google Classroom to log attendance each day. Each day, attendance will be recorded with a posted “Attendance Question of the Day.”
- K-4: Each day the homeroom teachers will create a “question” in the google classroom under classwork. The Questions should be labeled “<date>: Attendance Check-In: Question of the Day”
- Grades 5-6: Every day each class (pair of switch teachers) will create a “question” in the google classroom under classwork. The Questions should be labeled “<date> Attendance Check-In: Question of the Day”
- Grade 7-12: Every day, each class will create a “question” in the google classroom under classwork. The Questions should be labeled “<date> Attendance Check-In: Question of the Day”
- Attendance can be logged anytime during the day, up until 11:59 p.m. Teachers will record the attendance in Skyward the following school day.
Click here to review more information from the full Instructional Continuation Plan for Parents.
- Monday, March 30th: On-line learning becomes mandatory! Going forward, our Online Learning will count as regular school days. Please call your school's Attendance Hotline if your child is ill and not able to complete their online assignments for the day.
- Tuesday, April 7th: End of the 3rd marking period
- Spring Break: April 8-13, 2020. Governor Wolf waived the school days from March 13 through March 27, which means the 2019-2020 school calendar has not changed.
- As of this message, all events scheduled through the month of April have been canceled and/or will be postponed.
Google Quick Start for Students and Families: here, you’ll find helpful information such as finding your student(s) email address, how to enter a Google Classroom, how to see classwork, how to submit an assignment, etc.
Technology Support: we understand that this transition to online learning can be difficult, and we have a full staff of Technology Support available to assist you and your family! From figuring out how to log into a Google Classroom, to uploading files, we can help you! Please reach out to our Tech Support Team with any question you may have! ZOOM Room Address: https://zoom.us/j/790380856
Home Device Access Form: please click here to be included in the Phase 3 device distribution. Please note, Spring-Ford does have a limited number of devices available. Based on the rigor of the online curriculum, we have determined that students in grades 7 through 12 will each receive their own device, while students in grades K through 6 will be issued a device to share with siblings. For instance, a family with two high school students and two elementary school students will receive three devices total. A family with one high school student and one elementary school student will receive two devices. A family with two elementary school students will receive one shared device.
In addition, we are encouraging families to take advantage of the resources below if you or your family is in need of internet access:
- Click here to learn how to use your cell phone hot spot
- Xfinity Internet essentials, two months free and then $9.95 a month: https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19
- Fios is offering the Lifeline program, which is also two months of internet for free and then a reduced rate based on what you qualify for: https://www.verizon.com/support/consumer/account/manage-account/lifeline-discount
The Spring-Ford Area School District has made reasonable efforts to ensure that such conferencing is confidential and access is limited to students in the assigned groups. However, some of these services will be provided in a group format and when this occurs students will be able to see other students in the group. In addition, the Spring-Ford Area School District is unable to control who else may be in the room in which a student is receiving these services remotely, including other family members or others who are living with the other students, who may observe the session and what other students are in the group. Due to the nature of distance learning which may include Zoom meetings and other internet-based platforms, parents also acknowledge and agree that the District (although it will take precautions to try to do so) may not be able to ensure confidentiality per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). By agreeing to have their child engage in distance learning, Parents agree to waive the protections under FERPA during the time period of the mandatory school closing and understand that the recording of Zoom or other virtual meetings by parents/guardians or students is prohibited. If Parents do not wish to waive FERPA during this time, they may opt-out of distance learning, but understand that due to the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, other types of instruction may not be available.
As always, thank you for your support.
Dr. David Goodin