The WC Cyber Program is part of the WCASD Strategic Plan and has been in development for quite a while. This extensive planning has enable the district to build a strong foundation that includes teachers who have applied to be part of the program. These teachers have received extensive professional development, specific to teaching in a cyber environment.
In the event of extended future school closures, students in the cyber program will remain in their cyber classes, undisturbed by the need to close buildings. Students who are in our buildings will need to transition to online learning as well, rostered in their existing classes with current teachers and peers. However, as compared to the Emergency Remote Learning in the spring of 2020, they will experience more synchronous learning, with higher expectations. If we need to close again in the 2020-21 school year, teachers will be directed to continue their instruction and meet all curricular expectations, all students will receive grades.
The WC Cyber program is designed to use a flexible schedule that meets the needs of our students. Most activities are asynchronous, allowing the students to move along at their own pace. However, there are times that the students will need to be “live” with our teachers and their classmates.
Please review our sample student schedules to get an idea of how a typical day will be structured at each level, and how much time students might expect to be online.
WC Cyber teachers all provide in-person instruction in one of the 16 schools in the WCASD. While all of our WCASD teachers are provided professional development on how to effectively integrate technology into their practice, our WC Cyber teachers have been extensively trained on how to teach and assess students in a fully cyber setting. The teachers are experts in their field and use research-based instructional approaches to ensure that all students can achieve their personal best.
For students enrolling in the WC Cyber Program, we encourage a commitment for an academic year. However, we know that a cyber learning environment is not always best for all students. With that in mind, our program is designed to provide flexibility for families; if a student needs to make a change, we recommend doing so at a natural break (vacation, change of marking period, etc.).
The level of support needed will vary by the age and specific needs of your child. When you enroll your child in the WC Cyber Program, you will be asked to sign a parent agreement form. In doing so, you are agreeing to serve as your child’s Learning Coach (LC). The LC is the adult in the home who will support and assist the student at home to complete their daily coursework. The amount of assistance that the LC will need to provide depends on the student’s grade level and the student’s ability to complete work independently.
English learners and students with 504 plans, IEPs, and GIEPs will receive additional support and instruction from other professionals to support their learning. All students will receive full access to support services as needed including a school counselor and academic supports. Based on their needs, some students may receive some supports in person and other supports online. Teachers will most often connect with their students in small groups to help support learning at their level. During Small Group Sessions, teachers will provide more challenging tasks to students who have excelled and mastered the skills being taught, as well as provide remediation to students who are struggling to understand complex concepts.
The WCASD believes that assessments inform instruction to reflect the highest quality of teaching and learning. Our teachers establish clear goals and select balanced assessment methods that consider various learning styles. Through feedback, students reflect on their learning, develop deep understandings, and demonstrate continuous growth. In our cyber setting, this will look like traditional assessments (at times, through a lock down browser), project based tasks – such as an architectural drawing, or a performance based task – such as an essay.
At all levels, K-12, the teacher can provide enrichment opportunities that extend learning beyond the grade level expectations, allowing students to dive into their own areas of interest. High school students can take a variety of advanced classes. Please review our high school course guide to see the various options. In addition to our numerous Advanced Placement offerings, the WCASD partners with the West Chester University to offer a variety of dual enrollment classes to our high school students.
Yes. Any course that is NOT offered through the WC Cyber Program is available to students through our Remote 2.0 model of instruction. IF / When we return to the buildings, we would expect students to take those courses in person. If students are not able to return to in-person instruction for a variety of reasons, they would be able to remote into those classes, however the teacher may also assign more asynchronous activities as well. This includes performance ensembles, such as choir, band and orchestra.
We built social skills into our cyber curriculum. All students will learn time management and other skills necessary for success in a cyber environment. Students will also have socialization opportunities so that no one learns in isolation. At the elementary and middle school levels, this includes incorporating the Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum. School teams will determine if a student requires additional support with social skills. Additionally, students enrolled in our cyber program will remain rostered at their school and all students are encouraged to be active members of their school community through clubs, athletics, and other social events. Participation in some activities requires payment of the WCASD Activity Fee.
Cyber students are required to “check in” each day to be marked as “present”. All students in the WCASD are required to follow approved Board policies, specific to attendance.
At the elementary level, enrolled students receive a district iPad preloaded with required grade level apps and programs. Students in grades 3-5 will also receive a keyboard to complement their iPad. At the secondary level, all WCASD students are issued a District laptop. Internet access from District devices is filtered for student safety.
Secondary teachers will utilize online laboratories that are supplements to science textbooks. Teachers will implement Open Education Resources (OER) such as Physics Education Technology (PhET) which has been expanded to include all areas of science. Gizmos by Explore Learning will be made available to teachers.
Elementary teachers will utilize resources from Full Option Science System and Science and Technology for Children. Teachers will have support from the Project Ask Coordinator from the Chester County Intermediate Unit Science Kit Center. The CCIU will also assist in identify appropriate OER and to continue to develop activities and laboratory type experiences for WCASD students.
Yes, students in Grades 3-8 or Keystone courses will be expected to take the appropriate assessments at the same time as students in our brick and mortar buildings.