Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Portales Schools implement Distance Learning Pilot program

PORTALES (KSEL)- Since the announcement from state officials stating the closure for the rest of the school year, Portales Municipal School District employees, and especially teachers, are preparing to have school beginning April 6.

Per a statement released on the Portales School’s website, last week teachers started to contact the families of all students in the District. They have been trying to determine which families have internet access, which families have computers, and who might have tablets or other devices over which instruction can be delivered.

If you have not been contacted, parents must do so no later than Thursday, April 2 so that schools can plan to have materials and equipment in place to provide distance instruction.

Starting April 6, the Portales district will begin a Distance Learning Pilot program. Teachers will be contacting students through their school e-mails, through Google classroom, or by phone to provide the information and instructions you will need as we deliver instruction until the end of school in May.

Methods of delivery:

Instruction will be provided in several different ways.

The prime method of delivery will be online. However, if a child does not have internet, Yucca Telecom has offered free internet service for 60 days as long as your home is accessible to their internet lines.

Students who currently or will have internet connections will, in many cases, be able to receive instruction live or recorded through Google Classroom, Zoom, or other platforms.

Instructions will be provided as to how to use these platforms. Some instruction may be accessed through a particular teacher’s webpage, while other instruction may be delivered via a conference call with several students and the teacher.

Students who do not have internet access and have not received a call from the school by Tuesday, April 7, need to call Central Office at (575) 356-7000 to advise the District that you do not have internet access.

Students who do not have a computer or device capable of receiving e-mail or video content may check out a Chromebook from the District.  The Chromebooks will be checked out to parents only for student use at no cost after agreeing to a contract that provides for the return of the Chromebook and acceptable use of the same. Information will be released at a later time for the checkout schedule.

Teacher/student communication:

Teachers will provide you with “office hours.” These are times that they can be contacted daily for assistance and to answer questions.

All teachers will be on call and prepared to answer e-mails with questions you may have about lessons, they will also be available by phone and will be in contact with parents and students to ensure that there is understanding, and that work is being completed in a timely fashion.

Class Requirements:

Only the core classes will be required.

  • This means in grades K-4, students will only receive instruction in Reading and Mathematics.
  • Students in grades 5-12 will continue with Reading/English, Mathematics, and Science.

All work moving forward must still be completed in order to pass a class.

Teachers of elective classes in which students are failing will be provided additional instruction and make-up time to help ensure that they are able to pass the class for the year. Specials in elementary schools and high school Theatre, Band, Choir, and Media Arts will also be offered to help these students maintain the necessary skills and training or as a means of providing an enjoyable time for students.

Already, many students are in on-line Social Studies and Dual Credit classes in the high school.

Those classes will continue as always and will conclude at the end of the school year with the other classes.  Students in those classes should already have been notified and should be completing the work. If not, please contact your teacher or college professor immediately so that you can get on track in those classes.

Summer School:

This year Portales Middle School will continue to offer summer school to junior high and high school students beginning June 1.

Summer school can still be used as a method to recover credit, or if needed as a means to help support a student who might have fallen behind during the Distance Learning period.

School officials will also offer a summer school in elementary schools beginning July 6 to provide support to students who will need it prior to promoting to the next grade or as a means of making up instructional opportunities during the Distance Learning program.

Senior needs/requirements:

Most seniors need to at least complete English IV or college English this semester to have the required credits to graduate.

Many seniors have other classes they need to complete to have the required 24 credits for graduation. Any senior who is in jeopardy of not graduating will be, if they haven’t already been, contacted by a school counselor to help explain your options.

Teachers will be working with students to help make sure that any missed assignments in elective or core classes are provided to you to make them up for credit. The District’s counselors and teachers stand willing to help every student who is willing to help themselves.

It is imperative that students do not believe that just because instruction will be delivered differently, that it is not important to complete and can still have a bearing on graduation.

Graduation:

“It is my hope, that by that time the congregation ban will be lifted and even if we don’t return to school buildings, we can still have the opportunity to hold the graduation ceremony,” reported Portales Superintendent. “Regardless, it is my intent that should the congregation ban last into June, then we will schedule a graduation in June or July or even December if it comes to that.  I fully intend to ensure there is a graduation ceremony for those who want to attend, even if we have to put it off several months”.

Athletics:

Until the congregation ban is lifted, there will be no athletic events or organized practice. The same goes for band, choir, BPA, Rocketry, MESA, FFA, and other extra- and co-curricular events.  The NMAA on Friday did cancel all Spring activities and athletics.

“Basically, we will be postponing everything we must and not canceling until that becomes the only option.”

“Again, thank you for everything you do for this District and your kids as we move forward.  Please let us know what we can do better during the next several weeks. I know that I can speak for the entire staff at Portales Municipal Schools when I tell you that your child’s welfare and education are always the greatest priority.”

 

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