WEST NEWBURY — Superintendent Justin Bartholomew announces that Pentucket Regional School District will fully launch its remote learning model on Monday.
Gov. Charlie Baker has extended school closures statewide through May 4 in an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and as a result, districts will be providing remote learning opportunities in the interim.
Pentucket first closed its school facilities three weeks ago, and since then the district has provided optional engaging educational opportunities. However, the district’s remote learning program will require students to participate and engage in order to earn credit for their classes beginning on Monday, April 6.
“This is a new situation for all of us, and our teachers and administrators have put in a significant amount of time and effort to make sure our students will be engaged and grow as a result of this remote learning plan,” Superintendent Bartholomew said. “I’d like to recognize and thank them for their dedication to our students. I’d also like to thank our students and their families for their patience and cooperation throughout this situation.”
Formal grades will not be given to students during the remote learning process. However, teachers will be providing regular verbal and/or written feedback and students will hear from their teachers multiple times a week through various channels such as email, Zoom and Google Classroom. Teachers will also provide remote “office hours” during which they will be available to answer student questions through platforms such as email, phone, Google Classroom or Zoom.
Teachers will be reinforcing lessons taught earlier in the school year through remote learning and will support students in applying and deepening those skills. Students will also have opportunities to engage with their peers.
Students will not be asked to dedicate more than half the length of a regular school day on their studies, meeting with teachers, and working on projects. Instead, they will spend between an hour and three hours depending on their grade level as is age appropriate on schoolwork.
Educational experiences provided through remote learning will vary and will accommodate student needs and their ability to access technology.
While teachers will utilize online learning platforms that students are already familiar with throughout the remote learning process, educators have been encouraged to also be cognizant of screen time and to provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, take part in hands-on projects, be creative and pursue artistic endeavors. Students are additionally being encouraged to take part in daily physical activities such as walking, running or yoga, as well as enrichment experiences such as painting, playing an instrument or drawing.
Earlier this week, the district’s School Committee also voted to halt payments for PreK/Full Day Kindergarten, athletics, the lunch program, and the before/after school program. Parents and guardians are being advised to temporarily end any automatic payments, and to contact Business Manager Greg Labrecque at [email protected] with any questions. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the district will provide families with further updates regarding payments.
For more information, visit the district’s website at https://prsd.org/.