Welcome to PDLCS Welcome to PA Distance Learning Charter School 2013-2014
Discussion Objectives • PA Distance Learning Overview • PA Distance Learning Benefits • Curriculum • Admissions Process • Contact Information
School Overview Making an Educated Decision for Your Child • Public school operating under the PA Department of Education • Instruction for students in grades kindergarten through twelfth • PA Distance Learning opened in the fall of 2004 • Class sizes are approximately 15-25 students • Interactive online curriculum aligned to PA state standards • Live learning and instruction (Angel Learning) • Courses are taught by highly qualified teachers
Connect The face of education is changing. PA Distance Learning helps students connect to academic success in a vibrant online environment. Students will: • Join our state-wide virtual learning community with their provided computer system • Learn using high-quality curriculum, • Attend online real-time classes taught by highly qualified teachers • Maintain regular communication with teachers via phone and e-mail • Enjoy peer interaction during online classes, in clubs, or through discussion boards • Learn in a safe, familiar, comfortable environment
Engage • A mix of independent work and virtual classrooms address different learning styles. • Students apply and extend their learning through: The flexibility and dynamic interaction of an online school allows for many innovative learning opportunities. • Exams • Purposeful Discussions • Group Tasks • High quality curriculum • Projects • Experiments • Writing Activities • Presentations
Engage • Students engage with teachers: • In a group • Individually • Via online classes • By phone • Through email
Engage • Students engage with peers: • Through supervised chat rooms • By writing for the school newspapers • Becoming involved in various clubs • Through working on a literary magazine • By participating in field trips • In class group work • By joining discussion boards • By volunteering for peer tutoring
Succeed • The first step to success is providing a comprehensive orientation to learning in an online environment. • Next, we provide strategies for effective study. The best practice of curriculum and instruction is to help learners make sense of and master skills and ideas. • Throughout the year a mix of independent work and virtual classrooms address different learning styles. • Students learn differently and we support them throughout the year. • The school and teachers continuously help students by clearly communicating: Expectations Assignment guidelines Grading Criteria
Succeed • We prepare all students for continuing and higher education. • Our unique environment gives students 21st Century skills: • Communication competence • Technological proficiency • The ability to work independently as well as with others • Self motivation Our ultimate goal is for our students’ success to continue beyond graduation.
PA Distance Frequently Asked Questions • Our school calendar follows the traditional school year • Attendance is taken each day and recorded by the parent/guardian logging hours. The daily hours logged must be substantiated by completion of course assignments. • Students are required to attend school • 2.5 hours/day for kindergarten • 5 hours/day for grades 1-6 • 5.5 hours/day for grades 7-12 • Flexibility in scheduling the school day at home is available, with the exception of scheduled live learning sessions, which are mandatory for all students.
PA Distance Standardized Testing Requirements • Pennsylvania System of Schools AssessmentThe Pennsylvania System of Schools Assessment (or PSSA) is a mandatory standardized test administered in all Pennsylvania public schools. Students take the Writing PSSA while enrolled in grades 5, 8 and 11. Math and Reading are administered during grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. The Science PSSA test is also given to students in grades 4, 8 and 11. Testing locations are generally within 45 minutes of student’s home. Travel to testing is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
PA Distance Standardized Testing Requirements • Scantron Testing – Grades 2-12Scantron's Performance Series provides students with individualized tests. The online test adjusts automatically to each student's ability level, generating questions that will appropriately challenge each student. Scantron tests provide results immediately so that teachers can impact instruction and properly asses the enrichment and remediation needs of a student. The test will be administered at least two times per year to provide teachers with the data necessary to provide individualized data driven instruction. Students complete the Scantron tests at home by accessing the Scantron testing website from their school computer.
PA Distance Benefits Why Choose Our Public Cyber Charter School? • Safety – working in the comfort of your home • Highly qualified staff members • High technology instruction • Increased family involvement • Remediation opportunities • Acceleration opportunities
PA Distance Benefits Why Choose PA Distance? • Staff • Certified, highly qualified teachers • Special Education teachers • Academic Advisors • Administration • Support Staff • Technical Support • Family Outreach Coordinator • And more!
PA Distance Benefits Why Choose PA Distance Learning? • Equipment – Students are loaned the materials necessary to be successful in our online learning environment! • Computer • Printer/scanner/fax • Microphone • Graphing calculator for students in 8th grade and up • Online textbooks, novels and workbooks • Supplemental resources and curriculum • FLEx Funds: Money supplied to supplement additional educational opportunities
PA Distance Benefits Why Choose PA Distance Learning? • Family involvement • We actively encourage parents to be involved with every aspect of the learning experience. • We believe that a successful student is the product of a strong curriculum and highly engaged parents and teachers. • Training • Students and parents are provided training on all curricula and instructional programs used by PA Distance via our course delivery system Angel Learning • Support • Teachers, technical support, and student service staff are available by phone or e-mail • Help is at your fingertips!
PA Distance Benefits Remediation • Our priority is having each student reach his/her potential. • Sometimes a little extra help is required for a student to be successful. PA Distance Learning is committed to providing the extra help for students to be successful including: • Extra tutoring opportunities by our teachers • Individualized study sessions • Classes or curriculum designed to build skill levels • Intervention programs • Recorded classes for review
PA Distance Benefits Acceleration • Our priority is having each student reach his/her potential. • Part of individualized education is catering to advanced learners. • PA Distance offers a wide range of academic acceleration including: • A variety of course choices • Honors level options for high school students • Curriculum availability 24/7 • Extended learning opportunities for students to explore material in greater depth
Field Trips Honors Courses 24/7 Online Curriculum Student based clubs (Spanish, Literary, Recorder) FLEx Funds: Parent Supplemental Education Account PA Accredited Diploma Graduation Ceremony Student Assistance Program PA Distance Benefits Other PA Distance Learning Services:
PA Distance Benefits Student Assistance Program • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues, including problems with alcohol and other drugs, which pose a barrier to a student’s learning and success in school. SAP is not a treatment program; rather, it is a systematic process using effective and accountable professional techniques to mobilize school resources to remove those barriers to learning, and where the problems are beyond the scope of the school, to assist the student and their parents with information so they may access services in the community. The SAP team does not diagnose, treat or refer for treatment but they may refer for an assessment for treatment.
PDLCS Mission MISSION PA Distance Learning ’s mission is to offer a valuable educational alternative; to practice and promote academic integrity; to present quality curriculum, technology, and support; and to foster academic excellence in our students. To help us carry out our mission, the University of Pittsburgh Tri-State Study Council, an independent team of auditors, is working with our staff to conduct a three-tier curriculum audit of our school. Well renowned in the field of education, Tri-State was hired by our Board of Trustees to ensure every student in PA Distance receives the quality education they deserve. Tri-State has commended PA Distance Learning for the course delivery system (Angel Learning), the consistent template used for all courses, the use of discussion boards to enhance instruction and informal assessment, and for integrating study aide resources into the courses.
Angel Homepage This sample homepage shows how easy it is to access current grades, course curriculum, and email.
Kindergarten • Math • hands-on activities to support learned skills • Language Arts • Leveled reading material to build letter/sound recognition • Daily live interactive classes with peers • HeadSprout/Star Fall • Highly interactive Internet based program that encourages and supports emerging readers • Online lesson plans and activities
Curriculum – Elementary (1st-6th) • Think Central – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt http://www-k6.thinkcentral.com
Curriculum – Elementary (1st-6th) • Creativity Express Online Art Courses (grades 3, 5, 7) http://www.madcaplogic.com • Tritone Online Music Courses (grades 2, 4, 6) http://www.tritonemusic.com
Curriculum Supplementals - Elementary Brain Pop Jr. (Study Aid) • http://www.brainpop.com Study Island (Standardized Test Prep Aid) • http://www.studyisland.com
Children’s Progress Academic Assessment • The Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) is an early childhood assessment system that helps teachers focus classroom instruction to achieve the greatest learning gains for each child. • The software is linked immediately to generated reports and helps teachers, parents and administrators gain essential insights about each child’s understanding of Language Arts and Mathematics concepts. • Best of all, our assessments are independently completed by students, allowing educators to spend more time teaching instead of grading and administering tests! Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade will take the CPAA in the Fall,Winter, and Spring.
Title I Program(3rd – 6th Grade) What is Title I? • Title I is a federal assistance program that was enacted in 1965. • It is intended to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic standards and assessments. • Title I provides funding that is used to provide extra help to the students who need it most. As the largest federal program supporting elementary education, Title I is designed to: 1. Help children learn better in school. 2. Help teachers better understand the needs of your student. 3. Help parents become more involved with their children’s education. 4. Help schools purchase the training supplies and equipment necessary to reach its academic goals.
Curriculum – Middle School (7th & 8th) • Holt Online http://my.hrw.com • Creativity Express Art http://www.madcaplogic.com
Curriculum – High School • Holt Online http://my.hrw.com • Creativity Express (Art) http://www.madcaplogic.com/
Admissions Process How to Apply • Log into www.padistance.org • Click on the Enroll Now link (as seen below). • Create an account • Compile all required documentation as specified • Submit all forms to Admissions Department
Admissions Required Documentation • In addition to the forms you will print from the Online Application, you will need to provide the following documents: • Immunization Records for every child no exceptions • Private Dentist Form (K, 1, 3, 7) and ALL new students • Private Physician Form (K, 1, 6, 11) and ALL new students • Student Birth Certificate • Proof of Guardian Residence • Complete Academic and Testing Records (Report Card K-8, Transcript 9-12 and PSSA scores if applicable) • Custodial Papers
Contact Information Questions?
Contact Information PA Distance Learning Charter School 2100 Corporate Drive, Suite 500 Wexford, PA 15090 www.padistance.org 888-997-3352 Call us anytime with questions! Our staff is committed to helping parent/guardians make an informed decision!