VIRTUAL LEARNING

WHAT IS VIRTUAL LEARNING?
Virtual Learning at Portage Township Schools will take place for the first nine weeks of the school year. During this time, PTS staff will be supporting students in the following ways:

INTERACTIVITY: Teachers provide live instructional sessions to foster an interactive environment and provide immediate help. Sessions are archived to allow for follow-up and review.

INNOVATION: Students complete augmented learning assignments using innovative methods of showcasing knowledge and learning.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT: IEP supports and services, as well as lesson enrichment, are provided to meet the needs of each individual learner.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Social & Emotional enrichment, access to nutritious meals, and the promotion of healthy habits support the ability of every student to learn and succeed.


SCHEDULES
Students will participate in classroom lessons via a conferencing service, such as Google Meet or Schoology Conferences, at various times during normal school hours. Teachers will also provide assignments as a check for learning using our innovative apps and programs. All direct instruction will be recorded and posted for later review.

ELEMENTARY: Teachers will use a combination of video conferencing and assignments to provide learning throughout the normal school day. The following schedule outlines the daily routines for our students in grades kindergarten through 5. Independent Work Time at each grade level may include small group instruction, support, or remediation; teachers will communicate with parents and students when this is scheduled to occur.

 Kindergarten 9:00-10:00 Reading
10:00-11:00 Independent Work Time
11:00-11:30 Specials
11:30-12:00 Lunch
12:00-1:00 Math
1:00-3:00 Independent Work Time
   
 Grade 1 9:00-10:00 Reading
10:00-11:30 Independent Work Time
11:30-12:00 Lunch
12:00-1:00 Math
1:00-1:30 Specials
1:30-3:00 Independent Work Time
   
 Grade 2 9:00-10:00 Independent Work Time
10:00-11:00 Reading
11:00-11:30 Independent Work Time
11:30-12:00 Lunch
12:00-12:30 Specials
12:30-1:00 Independent Work Time
1:00-2:00 Math
2:00-3:00 Independent Work Time
   
 Grade 3 9:00-10:00 Independent Work Time
10:00-11:00 Reading
11:00-12:30 Independent Work Time
12:30-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Math
2:00-3:00 Independent Work Time
   
 Grade 4 9:00-9:30 Specials
9:30-11:00 Independent Work Time
11:00-12:00 Reading
12:00-12:30 Independent Work Time
12:30-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Independent Work Time
2:00-3:00 Math
   
 Grade 5  9:00-10:00 Independent Work Time
10:00-10:30 Specials
10:30-11:00 Independent Work Time
11:00-12:00 Reading
12:00-12:30 Independent Work Time
12:30-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Independent Work Time
2:00-3:00 Math


MIDDLE SCHOOL: Students will follow their assigned class schedule, which will be available to view in PowerSchool.

Fegely Middle School students will adhere to the following schedules:

6th Grade Schedules
7th Grade Schedules
8th Grade Schedule

Willowcreek Middle School students will adhere to the following schedules:
Willowcreek Middle School Schedules

HIGH SCHOOL: Students will follow their assigned class schedule, which will be available to view in PowerSchool. Each teacher will provide the students with updates so they know what to expect in each class each day. Classes will follow the schedule below.

Quarter 1 Schedule Quart 1 Wednesday Flex Days


2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR
Portage Township Schools students will follow the approved 2020-2021 school calendar. Click here to view and download a copy.


E-LEARNING vs. VIRTUAL LEARNING

   E-Learning  Virtual Learning

 TIME
 Intended for short-term online instruction  Intended to be conducted over a longer period of time
 
GRADING
Students held harmless from effects of e-learning Normal grading resumes
 
VIRTUAL
INSTRUCTION
 Limited virtual face-to-face contact between teachers and students  Daily face-to-face contact between teachers and students
 
SCHEDULE
Limited schedules with more flex-learning Scheduled class time with daily objectives
 
TECHNOLOGY
Students used assigned devices Students will continue using assigned devices. Families of kindergarten, 3rd, and 9th grade students will receive device pick-up information soon.
 
MEALS
 Weekly meals distributed to families in no-contact fashion from Portage High School Meal distribution will continue to take place via our Mobile Meals Program. Our bus drivers and food service staff will deliver meals to stops near your home. Click here for more information.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How will students receive their instruction?
A: Teachers will provide instruction through a video conferencing service, such as Google Meet or Schoology Conference. This will be live direct instruction where students can ask questions and receive teacher feedback in real time. All sessions will be recorded so students who need to review the instructional session at a later time that day may do so. Teachers will also conduct small-group sessions to provide remediation and enrichment.

Q: What is expected of parents during Virtual Learning?
A: There are a number of tasks our families can complete to support our student during Virtual Learning.
     • Each school will send a Back-To-School set of videos. Review the videos and email the teacher or principal with any questions.
     • Notify the school if your child is unable to participate in Virtual Learning for a day or more due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.
     • Help your child take care of their school-issued device. Store it in a safe place and make sure it is charged each day.
     • Monitor your child's work and academic progress.
     • Communicate any concerns or questions with your child's teacher. Staff members will be available via email and phone during normal school hours.

Q: What is expected of students during Virtual Learning?
A: PTS students will be held to the following expectations:
     • Teachers will provide a "check-in" that will serve as the students' daily attendance. Elementary students should plan to complete this each day and follow the schedule provided by their teacher. Middle and high school students should plan to complete this for each class and follow the schedule provided to them in PowerSchool.
     • Students must adhere to the assignment deadlines as posted by their teachers. 
     • Grades and proficiency scales will be provided to students and families via PowerSchool. Students should monitor their progress and communicate with their teachers.
     • Abide by the PTS Student/Parent Handbook; this includes online behavior.

Q: Will students who receive accommodations according to an IEP or 504 Plan continue to receive those services?
A: Schools will continue to provide special education services as written in a student's Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan. Special education teachers of record will be in contact with families throughout the Virtual Learning and include accommodations to meet each student's individual needs.

Q: Will students receive grades during Virtual Leaning?
A: Students will continue to receive grades and proficiencies throughout their time in Virtual Learning. 

Q: What technology support is available during Virtual Learning?
A: Our IT department will continue to provide help desk services throughout our Virtual Learning. Families who have a question or need to have a device repaired should contact the ITS at your child's school.

Q: What should I do if I need internet access at home?
A: Comcast offers their Internet Essentials to families who qualify for $10/month. Families must have children who participate in the free and reduced lunch program to qualify. Additionally, all PTS schools offer sidewalk-to-sidewalk internet access. You may also call the PTS Administration Building at (219)762-6511 if you need a different option.

Q: Will meals be available during Virtual Learning?
A: Yes. The Portage Township Schools Transportation and Food Service departments are proud to offer Mobile Meals throughout our Virtual Learning. Click here to visit our web page for more information, including routes, stops, menus, pre-order forms, and more.

Q: Who should I contact if my child needs counseling services?
A: Our School Advisers and Guidance Counselors will be available via phone and email throughout Virtual Learning. They can help with individual sessions, group sessions, resources, class scheduling, and more. Visit your school's website to find contact information for your child's school adviser or guidance counselor.

Q: Will high school students enrolled in a vocational class still be able to participate?
A: Yes. The Porter County Career Center emailed information to all families regarding the requirements and guidelines for participating in classes through the Career Center. There is a waiver and a survey that must be submitted. Please contact the PCCC staff at (219)531-3170 with any questions you may have regarding vocational courses.

Q: What course are not offered during Virtual Learning?
A: All courses normally available to students will continue to be offered.

Q: Is childcare available?
A: We are remaining in contact with our local childcare providers and organizations to provide families with childcare options during Virtual Learning. The Portage Township YMCA will offer a child care program in which students can receive help during their Virtual Learning from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost is $50 per week for members and non-members. Visit their website at http://www.ymcaofportage.org or call them at (219)762-9622 to sign up. The Portage and South Haven Boys & Girls Clubs will be offering all-day care with Virtual Learning assistance from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Portage location and from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the South Haven location. The cost is $40 per year membership fee plus $90 per week. Each additional child is $20 per week. Fee assistance is available. Call the Portage B&G Club at (219)762-4613 and the South Haven B&G Club at (219)759-2565 for more information and to sign up.

Q: When will students return to school?
A: We will be conducting Virtual Learning for the first nine weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. Prior to the conclusion of this nine weeks, the PTS Board of Trustees and administration will collaborate to make a decision on the next steps for the school district.

Q: Will students have the option to continue with Virtual Learning when the schools reopen?
A: PTS Virtual will continue to be an option for this school year. Prior to our return to the school buildings, families will have the opportunity to sign up for the PTS Virtual option. Students who will receive instruction through PTS Virtual may have a different teacher at that time.


Email your child's principal or contact the district at ptscommunications@portage.k12.in.us with any questions.
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