On July 16, 2020, the Board of Education approved modifications to the Academic Calendar for the 2020-21 School Year due to impacts created by the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. The calendar modifications include a delay in the start of the school year to provide critical time for staff training and preparation for a return to teaching and learning, the implementation of new safety procedures, and preparation to ensure facilities are ready for social distancing protocols. The calendar modification has students begin instruction in a virtual learning format on August 19, 2020.
At this point, it is not known when schools will re-open for in-person instruction. The District will work with health experts to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We look forward to seeing our students back in the classroom once the spread reaches a low enough level that it is considered safe to gather in school facilities. Data will drive the decision!
The information below is intended to provide answers to many of the questions our parents and staff have about our virtual return to school. Please check back frequently as this page will be updated when new information becomes available.
Please view this message from our Superintendent.
Click here for an overview of our school re-opening plan.
Click here to see the updated SY 2020-21 Calendar.
Student Devices for Distance Learning
If you are providing your own device for distance learning, any Windows 10 Desktop or Laptop, Chromebook, Android tablet, iPad, or MacBook that is less than 4 years in age and/or is still capable of receiving updates and using Chrome or FireFox browsers are appropriate. itsLearning can be accessed using any Internet connected device, including all devices above as well, as any SmartPhone. For online communication, earbuds or headphones, speakers and microphone are necessary. For video interaction, a camera is needed.
NOTE: Internal speakers, microphone and camera can be used on devices with these options.
SCCPSS Announces Virtual Open House Meeting Dates
It's finally Back to School time! We can't wait to see our students' smiling faces and kickoff the 2020-2021 School Year. This school year may look a little different, but there's one thing that has not changed and that's our commitment to doing all we can to ensure your child succeeds at the highest level.
It all starts with Open House! We'll share class information, learning tips, and provide an opportunity for your child to meet his/her teacher. We're ready for the August 19th Return to Learn virtual start of the school year and we want you to be ready, too. While we would much rather see our students in person, our need to ensure safety has us on a continued virtual format for special events, so our schools have some very special plans to “virtually" meet our families and share the information you need to know for a successful start.
While schools remain closed to the public, Open House virtual formats will be offered to include, but not limited to:
- ZOOM Meetings
- Google Classroom
- Video Message
Families will receive information from your school about how to log on for the virtual open house format. Please make sure to check your email, school website, or e-newsletters for additional information. In the meantime, save the date, and plan to join us on the dates listed below.
SY 2020-21 Virtual Open House Schedule:
*All Open House events will be conducted virtually
- Elementary Grades (K-5 Students): August 11, 2020 / 3:30pm-6:30pm
- Middle Grades (6-8 Students): August 12, 2020 / 3:30pm-6:30pm
- High School Grades (9-12 Students): August 13, 2020 / 3:30pm-6:30pm
- Pre-K Classes: August 11, 2020 / 3:30pm-6:30pm
*Virtual plans are determined by individual schools (details will be provided by your school)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
On e-Learning Days, does my child have to log in every day?
Time spent online will be dictated by the individual teacher, but students will be encouraged to log in to the system each day to check for assignments, participate in classroom discussions, seek individual assistance, and receive assessments. Schedules will be provided.
How will attendance be taken?
Attendance will be defined by a student's participation. Students will be considered in attendance when they are participating in active instruction and/or educational services. This will apply to in-person, virtual, remote, or hybrid model.
Examples include time spent in the online platform, log-in to the online platform, attendance during live instruction, submission or student assignments, and student/teacher interactions.
Will there be assessments?
For SY 2020-2021, the existing formative assessment will be used to measure COVID-19 student learning loss. This information will assist schools on student support and learning recovery. An Assessment Calendar has been posted to sccpss.com. Concerning GMAS testing, the Georgia Department of Education submitted a request to the United States Department of Education for a waiver of standardized testing and accountability requirements for the 2020-21 school year. If the waiver is approved, there will be no administration of the Georgia Milestones EOGs, Georgia Milestones EOCs, or Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) 2.0 during the 2020-21 academic year. Should this occur, the Assessment Calendar will be updated.
For the E-Learning Academy School, will I be allowed to change my student's learning option before the first semester ends?
When making a selection, parents are committing to at least one full semester of instruction. Students enrolled in the E-Learning Academy may return to their zone school at the end of a semester. Students who transfer from a Choice program would need to reapply for admission to their chosen program.
Will there be support for students who need special education, ESL, IEP, speech, gifted instruction, etc.?
Yes, students will receive their support services. Our gifted eligible students will receive their gifted curriculum through their assigned teachers. Lessons will be aligned with state gifted standards. Students with disabilities will continue to receive services as indicated in their IEP. An IEP meeting may be held to determine most appropriate services. Educational evaluations will resume with additional safety protocols.
Who will have access to school meals?
THE MEALS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND! All SCCPSS students will be provided school meals throughout the virtual learning model. When school starts, each week on a designated day, meals will be delivered by school buses traveling across Chatham County. Parents and guardians will have through Sept. 30 to complete the application process for free and reduced meals, but if an application has not been fully processed, an alternative meal will be available, so no child goes without food. The application is available online here.
The goal is to deliver meals one day a week; however, the schedule has not been finalized. Families will be provided information on how to receive meals prior to school opening with regular schedule updates available at sccpss.com.
What is Google Classroom?
Google Classroom is a digital learning platform that teachers use to interact with their students online. Teachers use this tool to create classes, provide instruction, distribute assignments, give tests, send feedback, and see everything in one place.
What is Its Learning?
ItsLearning is a cloud-based Learning Management System. This solution will provide parents, students, and staff a “one stop shop" for all things relating to curriculum and content management, instruction, tools for assessment and communication, and reporting and analytics. The system will integrate with 3rd party software and content providers to provide a seamless process for remote learning.
Will the district provide devices to students?
Yes, the district is moving to 1:1 as quickly as possible. Chromebooks have been ordered for student use. Plans for distributing devices will be announced on our website, sccpss.com
My family does not have internet access. What should we do?
High-speed internet service is being provided to families at affordable prices. Comcast Internet Essentials, AT&T, and others provide deep discounts. Additional information can be found here. In addition, the District is purchasing SmartBus technology to deploy throughout Chatham County. A limited number of personal MiFi devices will be purchased for checking out from the Media Centers.
Is there a way to lock down or secure devices to keep them from reaching both non-school related materials and/or social media?
We have upgraded our Internet filtering solution to better support students outside the district. All student devices are locked down and can be updated remotely as needed. They no longer need to be within the school for internet monitoring and filtering updates.
Is there a way in which the Chromebooks are trackable?
The district uses several management platforms that keep track of all student devices. Once a device is reported missing, we can easily track it and lock it down. This will render the device unusable until it is returned. In addition, the Chromebooks are etched with the district logo and name.
|SPORTS AND OTHER EXTRACURRICULARS|
Will students take field trips?
No field trips will be taken at this time.
If my child is enrolled in the E-Learning Academy, may he/she participate in extracurricular activities?
E-Learning students may participate in district team sports for grades 9-12 and e-sports for grades 6-12.
Will we have sports this year?
Our district is in close communication with the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and are following their guidelines. Currently, all our schools plan to begin athletic programs as scheduled. However, due to the fluidity of the public health condition we are facing, we cannot guarantee a normal season. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child's athletic director or principal regarding concerns. They will be able to speak in more detail about school-specific plans.
Will we have band this year?
Band will be offered in a manner that is consistent with safety guidelines and state stipulations for large gatherings. Virtual instruction for music will be provided when possible.
What communication tools will you use to stay in touch with students and parents?
Our district uses a notification system that allows us to email, call or text messages to parents and staff. You will be able to tell us your preferred method of contact. Please make sure we have your current and accurate email address and telephone numbers on file. In addition, our social media channels and our website are updated daily to provide the most current information about our schools.
How will we have parent-teacher conferences?
Parent-teacher conferences may be scheduled virtually using our Learning Management System or may be held by phone conference.
How will parents access the most current information?
Your school and district websites will have the most current information. Make sure to check sccpss.com regularly and follow us on social media.
Five Things You Need to Know About School Uniforms
You may have seen some conflicting posts on social media about the school uniform policy. Let's set the record straight. Here are five things you need to know about school uniforms for the upcoming school year.
- At the June 3 board meeting, the Savannah-Chatham Board of Public Education approved a temporary relaxation of the dress code policy for the 2020-2021 School Year. That's right…it's for the 2020-21 SY only. See the resolution here.
- The action was taken to provide parent choice for following the dress code OR the dress code requirements of “non-uniform" school days. The flexibility allows families to make determinations that best suits their needs in the face of uncertainty with the pandemic.
- Book bags, tote bags, backpacks, athletic bags and all other similar items must have the contents clearly visible (read: a see-through, clear plastic or mesh.) That hasn't changed. Keep it clear!
- The Student Dress Code remains unchanged; however, during the 2020-2021 School Year, any parent/guardian whose child, for whatever reason, is not able to adhere to the clothing requirements of the school uniform policy may defer to the dress code for non-uniform days. That means that students may wear clothing of a non-uniform nature provided it adheres to the guidelines for Acceptable Dress for Non-Uniform days as described in policy.
- What's appropriate for the school day and consistent with the dress code? Basically, students must wear schools IDs, no midriffs, pants that don't fit, or “short shorts" (or short skirts, jumpers or dresses) and no revealing clothing. There are a few other guidelines so take a look at your student handbook or district policy to be certain your school wear is in compliance. Here's a refresh on the policy.