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Extended school closure Q&A

Revised Wednesday, May 6, 2020

As Berkeley County School District proceeds with a blended learning platform to prevent the loss of valuable instructional time, the district is here to work with families to provide the best support for students.

In this Q&A, we answer questions that parents may have shared while school buildings remain closed to students for the remainder of the school year.


Instructional time and grading

What is the difference between eLearning and blended elearning?
BCSD was blessed to be a part of the South Carolina Department of Education's eLearning Pilot. While our participation in the pilot enabled us to quickly provide valuable instruction in the early days of the closure for COVID-19, it's important to understand the eLearning Pilot was designed as an inclement weather day makeup tool. To improve the experience for teachers, students and parents, we moved to a blended learning platform that can now include virtual methods of instruction.

Where can I learn more about the eLearning pilot?
More information is available on the district web page for eLearning.

Is BCSD aligning with the state’s guidelines for instructional minutes? What does that mean for my child?
Yes, BCSD has adopted the state recommendations for the maximum amount of instructional minutes. For students in kindergarten through eighth grade, this will reduce the amount of instructional time. Students in grades 9-12 will continue with 200 minutes of instructional time. 

What are the new instructional times?

  • Pre-Kindergarten students: 60 minutes/day
  • Kindergarten through second grade: 90 minutes/day
  • Third through fifth grade: 120 minutes/day
  • Sixth through eighth grade: 180 minutes/day
  • Ninth through 12th grade: 200 minutes/day

How are students being graded for the rest of the school year?
Teachers are grading all work for completion and mastery demonstration. Student engagement is still expected, and students should continue to submit work from home. Per the State Department of Education’s guidance, the third and fourth quarter grades will be combined into one semester grade. Therefore, the grades reflected for third quarter on the report card issued prior to the closure will be considered interim grades, not end of the quarter grades. Students’ third quarter grade will be the baseline for the fourth quarter. Special consideration will be taken for students who fail to respond or comply to any of the opportunities the school has provided. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

How will a non-credit class be graded in comparison to a credit class? 
Grading is consistent across all classes.

What if my child misses a class?
Just as if a student misses a class, the work can be made up. It is important that the child and parent are in communication with the teacher.

 

State testing and ACT/SAT

How will my child advance in grade level in the absence of state testing?
Formative assessments will be utilized along with other measures to determine promotion.

Will SAT/ACT deadlines for state scholarships be extended?
The College Board sets the dates for the administration of ACT and SAT. We will update our website as needed.

 

Individual needs

What if my child needs extra help from their teacher?
Please reach out to your child’s teacher to request additional help. BCSD teachers have a variety of tools they can use to collaborate with students and parents. Please check with your teacher for updates on office hours.

How does a 504 plan work with blended elearning?
The student will be a part of the eLearning educational opportunities. The school team will ensure 504 accommodations are followed during this blended learning model. 

How will students with IEPs continue to receive virtual instruction?
Team leads and/or related service providers are providing supports for both specialized instruction and related services during eLearning. While the delivery method may be different, teams, including the general education teachers, will continue to follow IEP accommodations to ensure access to the general curriculum. Individual student needs are being addressed through various methods including virtual, blended approaches, and/or paper and pencil. 

What can I do if my child has fallen behind?
Please share your concerns with the teacher and principal. Communication with the teacher and principal is essential during this time. 

 

Graduations and summer programs

Will there still be a graduation ceremony for seniors?
After considering multiple options and surveying community members on the delivery of meaningful graduation ceremonies for seniors, BCSD has decided to hold in-person commencement ceremonies on school football fields.  District administration adjusted the graduation schedule and venues in order to provide a meaningful experience for graduating seniors with guidelines in place to ensure the health and safety of those in attendance. Additional information can be found with our newly released graduation schedule.

Should seniors proceed with purchasing caps and gowns and paying senior fees even if graduation is postponed?
You will still need to pay your senior dues. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your school administrator.

Will summer programs still be available after the school year ends?
Information will be coming in May about robust summer program opportunities. 

 

Who to contact...

What should I do if my child’s Chromebook breaks/stops working? 
If your student has a damaged device, please email elearning@bcsdschools.net. Include in the email a name, email address, the issue with the device, and the closest school feeding location to the parent/student. You will need to take the device to the nearest feeding site on Tuesdays and Thursdays  from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. A technology tech will be at each feeding site to switch out the equipment. Equipment will only be available if you have emailed elearning@bcsdschools.net.

We have moved here before the end of the school year. What do I need to do to register?
Please call the main phone line for your school. Someone will assist you in getting your child registered. 

How do I get in touch with my school’s administrators?
Call the main line of the school and ask to speak with the school’s administrator. School phone numbers can be found on the district website.