Amherst Schools Virtual PK-12
At the Tomorrow River School District, we prepare our students for 21st century career opportunities by helping them develop the academic, career, and life skills they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving job market.
The virtual option available to students will provide families a high-quality education while allowing students to take ownership of their learning. Our goal will be to provide students the resources they need and teachers that both engage and inspire.
Virtual students are eligible for school lunch at their families normal lunch rate. There will be more information on how to order and where to pick up breakfast/lunches.
Attendance is determined by the amount of time a student is actively logged into their online courses, engages in the lessons, stays on pace with the course, and makes adequate academic progress as measured by keeping up with the deadlines for completing assignments and taking assessments. If a student will be “offline” for an extended period of time (more than 2 days) this absence needs to be communicated to the coach/teacher and a plan for the student to stay on pace with learning targets will be discussed.
On average, learners should expect to spend 4-7 hours a day (depending upon age level) actively logged in and engaged in online learning. There will be required times for a student to log in to meet with their teacher. These will be communicated on a weekly basis. Adults can support their learners at home but students must engage in the lessons.
Coursework and Assessments
Online learning is not easy. Your Virtual Learning Coach/Teacher will expect at least the same quality of work as they would receive in the face-to-face classroom. Your courses will include deadlines and instructions on assignments, however, no one will be there to tell you to “turn in your assignment”
There will be required assessments as part of completing units/classes.
The Tomorrow River School District will provide each virtual student with a Chromebook. However, families have the option to use their own desktop or laptop computers.
PLEASE NOTE: If using a personal computer or laptop, the Technology Department may not be able to assist you if you have technical difficulties with the device.
Required items are:
- Reliable internet connection
- A computer for each student (either the school-provided device or a personal computer)
- Scanner or mobile device to capture images of assignments for uploading
- Headphones, microphone, and a webcam to listen to instruction, record audio or video for assignments, and cancel out potential noise in your student’s at-home learning environment
Student success in a virtual learning environment requires parent involvement. Parents will serve as a home mentor for their child. This will require a time investment each day. Parents should work collaboratively with the coach/teacher to make sure students make progress on their weekly learning goals. While staff will work collaboratively with families, parents must ensure their student is actively and regularly participating in the learning process.
Communication Parents will be expected to maintain frequent communication with the teacher. It will be important for parents to check email daily and respond to phone calls in a timely manner. Advice for parents once your student is enrolled, before class starts and until the course is completed:
- Set up a dedicated study space, including the technology required.
- Be prepared for technical issues that may come up.
- Review the syllabus with your student.
- Define expectations.
- Agree on incentives and consequences.
- Reinforce that online courses are as important as traditional, face-to-face courses.
- See that your student establishes a routine for working on his/her virtual course daily.
- Help your student maintain a regular study schedule.
- Monitor your student’s progress weekly using your access to the course Learning Management System.
- Respond to emails from your student’s online teacher.
In order to be successful in the virtual classroom, the student should have a desire to learn and the ability to work independently. Since this is virtual, increased parental support is an essential component of the student’s success.
- Attend the required orientation prior to starting the course the week of Sept. 1 for PK-8. Orientation for grades 9-12 will be held the week of Aug. 24th.
- Always display proper digital citizenship-- Being a good digital citizen means to demonstrate and practice safe, responsible, and legal use of technology. A good digital citizen is someone who understands the rights and responsibilities that come with being online and someone who uses technology in a positive way.
- Regularly access your grades and schedule on Google Classroom/Gmail/Skyward to confirm due dates, successful submission of assignments, completion rate, and current grade.
- Complete the entire course by the end date.
- Log into Google Classroom daily to access assignments.
- Attend any scheduled Google Meets. If you can not attend you need to arrange with the teacher/coach prior to the “meet”
- Ensure dependable and regular Internet access exists at home or other locations outside of school.
- Develop strong organizational skills by utilizing an e-folder and/or hardcopy folder/binder.
- Complete all assigned work in order
- Take HANDWRITTEN NOTES. These will be submitted using a scanner or mobile device.
- Follow a strict honor code of conduct.
- Submit only your own original work. (e.g., copying and pasting of course lesson material for submitted assignments is not original work.)
- Cite your sources when utilizing direct quotes/material.
Contact instructors with any questions or concerns. Proofread all emails prior to sending.
Student Not Meeting Expectations
- One-on-one conference with the teacher or Coach and student. Parent contact by teacher/coach.
- Required attendance for supervised working sessions if a student is falling behind and not making deadlines.
- Withdrawal from the course(s) with an F.
All District athletic code policies remain in effect for virtual students.
Completion of Course
Students will complete any final exams. All work in the course must be completed prior to taking the final exam. (Note: a few courses have a final project and not a final exam.)
A certified Tomorrow River School District teacher will work directly with families to provide digital learning for each student. Families can expect their child will receive a rigorous, standards-driven education facilitated by a state-certified teacher.
Teachers will schedule virtual office hours for parents and students to contact them with questions or to ask for support.
The teacher will provide frequent feedback on student work submissions.
Communication and Record-Keeping
Learning will take place virtually with no face-to-face instruction. The teacher will communicate student progress with the family and maintain a consistent and transparent record of achievement. This includes — but is not limited to — assessment results, progress monitoring of engagement, and work completion.