Middle School Online Learning Plan

We want to keep our PDS community connected! Send us photos, brief videos and reflections that we can share on our PDS digital platforms about Panthers Online learning HERE!

A Note About Technology:

In preparation for online home learning, please check that your child's iPad's IOS version is at 13.3.1., and update your IOS if it is running a prior version.  (Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install). Make sure the iPad is connected to WiFi and a power charger before updating.

Also, please check that the Google Meet app has loaded on your child's iPad. If the app has not fully loaded and won't open when tapped, please perform a two-button restart on the iPad. (Two Button Restart: Press and hold the top power button and the Home button at the same time.  When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.) This should fix the problem. If after restarting the iPad, the Google Meet app still hasn't fully loaded, please contact Mr. Atkeson directly jatkeson@pds.org.  

  • Please review the Acceptable Use policy and technology guidelines in your PDS Handbook.
  • If your child is using an iPad you already have at home, please contact Jamie Atkeson, MS Technology Coordinator at jatkeson@pds.org regarding questions about apps that have been loaded.
  • Please check the status page for updates regarding the status of Schoology, Seesaw and other school technology platforms.
  • Contact help@pds.org if you have technology access issues not related to issues that providers such as Schoology and Seesaw are experiencing.

Class Assignments and Instructions

Teachers will post class assignments and instructions on Schoology by 8:00am two cycle days prior to the scheduled course meeting. The instructions will include expectations for due dates for assignments.

Student Expectations

Students are expected to check their PDS email and their teacher course pages on Schoology by 8:00am each school day.

Daily Classes

Ask to see what your child's class Schoology pages look like, and their homeroom or advisory page, so that you can see where they will be checking in each day. Know that their teachers are working hard to create engaging and meaningful lessons!

  • Teachers will provide a lesson and/or assignment every cycle day the class would normally meet.
  • Classes will utilize asynchronous online instruction and assignments. The program will also be enhanced, where possible, by synchronous moments of community connection.
  • Teachers will hold office hours during class time, when they will be available to connect with students by email or Google Meet videoconferencing.
  • Students can access Schoology and Google Meet on their PDS iPads along with other required technology apps.
  • Parents can use the Schoology portal to access course assignments and instructions.

Advisors

Every school day, Middle School advisors will post a check-in for their advisees on their Schoology Homeroom/Advisory page.  This update will have instructions for how students should formally check-in for attendance purposes, such as liking or commenting on a post, or sending a quick message to their advisor.

On Cycle Day 4, we will be posting optional activities for students to serve as our Advisory period. Each activity will be fun, active, and low-stress. The activities will be available on each Schoology Homeroom/Advisory page for the full day, to be completed at any time convenient for your child. Again, our goal is to provide opportunities for students to stay in touch with each other and their advisor. 

  • Students must respond to the check-in by 3:00pm each school day, but are encouraged to do so when they first sign-on.
  • From 8:00am-3:45pm, advisors will be available on email and Schoology message each school day.
  • During Resource from 12:40-1:20pm each day, advisors will also be available for their advisory on Google Meet or email.
  • Cyclical advisory will continue on cycle Day 4. Advisors will share asynchronous and synchronous advisory activities that promote community.

Office Hours

Teachers will be available each school day through email and Schoology message from 8:00am-3:45pm.

  • If students require a one-on-one or small group session: teachers will open Google Meet as needed.
  • During resource time from 12:40-1:20pm each school day, teachers/advisors will be available to students to help and answer questions.

Middle School Deans

As always, we are here to assist you in any ways we can. We welcome and value your feedback as we move into this period of remote learning. As Deans, we see ourselves as advocates for each grade-level and resources for each student. If there is anything you need from us, please reach out.
 
Kimberly Ballinger - 5th Grade
Channing McCullough - 6th Grade
Jonathan Martin - 7th Grade
Nicole Mangino - 8th Grade

Counseling and/or Learning Support

We know that this is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone. We also know that our students are resilient and that, over the coming weeks, they can learn valuable lessons, spend quality time with family and take some time to slow down. Our Middle School Counselor, Danielle Santoro, and Learning Specialist, Cloey Talotta, are available during school hours for any students or families that would like to speak with us about counseling or learning concerns. You may schedule a 15 minute consultation using the following links:

Danielle Santoro https://calendly.com/dsantoro-pds             
Cloey Talotta https://calendly.com/ctalotta

We can also be reached by email (see links in prior paragraph) should your concerns necessitate a timeframe longer than 15 minutes. Our Student Services department has gathered a variety of useful resources to help parents during this transition. These resources can be found under the Parent Resources section of our COVID-19 News and Resources pages on pds.org.
 

Middle School Library Resources:

Libraries Services will be open on school days from 7:45am–3:45pm for anyone to email or Schoology message us. (Of course, teachers and students may email other times for help if needed!)

Library FAQ

How should we contact you for help?  

Email or Schoology message us. We can also set up a google meet to talk individually.

Sheila Goeke sgoeke@pds.org

Janet Dickson jdickson@pds.org

Will there be times during the day to drop in and ask a question or say hello through google meet?

Ms. Goeke and Mrs. Dickson will host Book Breaks for students or faculty to drop in for help with book recommendations, research help, or just to say hello. Book Breaks will generally occur at morning break time from 9:10 - 9:30 on school days. A reminder will go out on Schoology with a link to the Book Break sessions.

Will the Booktacular Kate Messner Book Club still run?

At this time the plan is to have our own PDS Kate Messner Schoology discussions; unfortunately, the author visit will not happen this year.  We will begin the Schoology book group on Monday April 6. Book group announcements will be provided on Schoology.

How may I get help with eBooks and book recommendations?

We're continually updating our MS LibGuides! If you need help, contact Ms. Goeke through email or Schoology. Or drop in to the Book Break sessions at morning break time, 9:10-9:30. Here is a step by step screencast on how to access our online library books, also shared with students on Schoology, along with information on how to share book recommendations.

Will the library still help with library research for class projects?

Yes, for sure! We will continue to offer help with projects by creating Libguides for your classes.  During some classes Ms. Goeke will be online along with your teachers to help. You may set up help sessions by emailing or messaging Ms. Goeke. 


Middle School Sample Daily Schedule

This is a suggested schedule designed to provide students and families with structure and guidance. Many children find comfort from the routine of their school schedule. If this suggested schedule does not work for your family, reach out to the School to discuss your needs, and we will certainly assist you. Flexibility, communication and compassion will help us to set up every family for success.

Grade 5 Home Learning Schedule
Time Day 1 Details
8:00am - 8:15am Homeroom Advisor check-in. ^
8:15am - 9:10am Class Period Teachers are available. *
9:10am - 9:30am Break Take a break, go outside, jump around, burn some energy
9:30am - 10:25am Class Period Teachers are available. *
10:25am - 11:12am Flex Box

Day 1: Focus
Day 2, 4, 6: Ensemble
Day 3: Health and Wellness
Day 5 & 7: Optional DaVincis will begin on April 8th

11:15am - 12:05am Class Period Teachers are available. *
12:05pm - 12:40pm Lunch  
12:40pm - 1:25pm Resource Teachers will be available for consultation. *
1:25pm - 2:25pm PE or Classes

On Days 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, the PDS coaches and PE staff will provide students with a great opportunity to stay in shape, keep active and burn some calories.

On Days 3 and 7, students will have regular class time.

2:25pm - 3:20pm Class Period Teachers are available. *
^ During this period students will check in with their advisor. Each day, the advisor will share information by 7:45 explaining how to check in with them that day.
* Any time teachers are indicated as "available," they will be monitoring Schoology and Google Suite to interact with students as needed. Teachers may also provide more specific instructions to students about how to reach them, or schedule a specific time for students to initiate contact. Teachers may also schedule suggested "collaborative" time for groups of students to join a Google Meet discussion.

 

Grades 6-8 Home Learning Schedule
Time Day 1 Details
8:00am - 8:15am Homeroom Advisor check-in. ^
8:15am - 9:10am Class Period Teachers are available. *
9:10am - 9:30am Break Take a break, go outside, jump around, burn some energy
9:30am - 10:25am Class Period Teachers are available. *
10:25am - 11:12am Flex Block
Grade 6 Grade 7 & 8
Day 1: Focus Day 1: Focus
Day 2, 4, 6: Ensembles Day 2 & 4: DaVincis will begin on April 9th 
Day 3: Health and Wellness Day 6: Health and Wellness
Day 5 & 7: DaVincis will begin on April 9th Day 3, 5, 7: Ensembles (if enrolled)
11:15am - 12:05am Class Period Teachers are available. *
12:05pm - 12:40pm Lunch  
12:40pm - 1:25pm Resource Teachers will be available for consultation. *
1:25pm - 2:25pm Class Period  
2:25pm - 3:20pm Optional Sports & Activities or classes On days 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, the PDS coaches and PE staff will provide students with a great opportunity to stay in shape, keep active, and burn some calories.

On days 3 and 7, students will have class time.
^ During this period students will check in with their advisor. Each day, the advisor will share information by 7:45 explaining how to check in with them that day.
* Any time teachers are indicated as "available," they will be monitoring Schoology and Google Suite to interact with students as needed. Teachers may also provide more specific instructions to students about how to reach them, or schedule a specific time for students to initiate contact. Teachers may also schedule suggested "collaborative" time for groups of students to join a Google Meet discussion.