Learning Virtually Everywhere
ACPSD's Personalized, Digital Learning Inititiative
- Learning Virtually Everywhere
On April 21, 2020, the Board approved a visionary digital one-to-one learning initiative designed to transform teaching and learning inside and outside of the classroom. This plan included equipping students in grades 5K -12 with a Laptop device to enhance teaching and learning and to prepare students with 21st Century skills needed to be successful in college and careers while providing students and teachers the opportunity to extend teaching and learning beyond the traditional classroom. It is critical for the students of today to become proficient in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Additionally, one-to-one technology provides students with a powerful educational tool that not only raises engagement and excitement for learning, but also provides students access to the vast global network of information available online. As stated in our mission, we continue to focus our efforts on providing a more personalized learning experience where instruction addresses higher order thinking, mastery and self-paced learning - all while focusing on critical skills like research, writing, communication and content.
Student online safety is a priority. Therefore, all devices access the Internet through the district’s web filter, which is designed to block inappropriate content. Even when students access the Internet on their devices away from school, all web use runs back through the district’s filter. Additionally, only teacher-recommended, district-approved applications, websites, and programs are accessible on student devices.
Virtual Learning Options
During the 2021-22 school year students will participate in one of two back to school models based upon the current Covid-environment in each school – full-time, traditional face-to-face instruction and full-time remote learning. All students in Aiken County Public Schools now have access to a computer or learning device if they or their families so choose, which will allow for a much smoother transition to remote learning should that become necessary. *All-virtual AIKEN iNNOVATE was offered as an instructional model to new and returning 6th-12th grade ACPSD students in the spring and is currently full.
Teaching and Learning Considerations
ACPSD offers two options for the return to school for students in grades 6-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. The district believes face-to-face instruction for the early grades is critical to establishing foundational skills; therefore, a virtual option for these grades will not be available in 2021-2022. The options for middle and high school students are as follows: 1) Students may attend face-to-face in a brick and mortar building; 2) Students may attend Aiken iNNOVATE (Ai), ACPSD’s full-time virtual option. The registration window for Ai for returning students was during the period of February to March and for new students was during the months of May and June. Ai maintains a waiting list and will add students up until the start of school as space becomes available.
Option 1: Traditional Face-to-Face Model
On April 22, 2021, Governor McMaster signed into law S.704, a joint resolution impacting school operations for 2021-2022. Specifically, the legislation requires every school district must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students and families who have chosen this mode of instruction during the 2021-2022 school year. The five-day, face-to-face instruction model will be implemented with safety and health protocols as indicated in this guide.
- Quarantined Students will have access to assignments through Schoology, the district’s Learning Management System, or hard copy assignments from the teacher.
- Remote Learning is defined as the temporary move from face-to-face learning in a physical classroom to learning from home. Remote learning may be provided for one student, a group of students, a whole class, or a whole school. Remote learning is not synonymous with virtual learning; however, live online sessions may be required when a whole class or whole school temporarily shifts to remote learning.
- Remote instruction is defined as instruction provided by a teacher who is in isolation or quarantine but who is able to provide instruction.
*View Remote Learning Parent Tutorial Videos for directions on the use of various ACPSD virtual programs.
Option 2: Virtual Learning Environment (Aiken iNNOVATE)
Aiken iNNOVATE is a district-sponsored, online program serving 6th -12th grade ACPSD students. Parents/Guardians and students who select Aiken iNNOVATE as their choice for returning to school can expect to have direct instruction provided virtually by local teachers certified in the specific course and grade level.
While this option for returning to school does offer families flexibility and the comfort of learning at home, it also requires an adult dedicated to partnering with Aiken iNNOVATE teachers to serve asthe student's guide at home, especially at the middle level. During enrollment in Aiken iNNOVATE, parents/guardians indicated a commitment and their understanding of the academic responsibilities and policies for students. Ai students will need access to the internet and a digital device to complete all assignments at home. Students will be assigned to a local certified virtual teacher. Instructional materials and resources will be delivered through Schoology, with links to other district supported digital learning tools.
Virtual teachers will provide direct instruction that includes face-to-face virtual connections and collaboration through Microsoft Teams according to a daily schedule. Virtual assignments are not self-paced but have weekly deadlines. Teachers will have scheduled office hours, and students are expected to participate virtually in a small group or one-on-one instruction with the teachers. Attendance will be taken daily during scheduled virtual meetings.
Aiken County Virtual Academy (ACVA)
High School Students
Aiken County Virtual Academy (ACVA), our high schoolsubsidiary of Aiken iNNOVATE, is a franchise of Virtual SC. Students enrolled in ACVA participate in courses designed by Virtual SC, that are facilitated by local, content-specific, certified teachers. ACVA offers accredited courses with access to academic advisement and college planning from guidance counselors assigned through the student's home school. Graduates earn a standard high school diploma from their home school that is accepted by colleges, universities, and other postsecondary programs. While the majority of high school credit courses are available through ACVA, Local Board Approved courses and other select high school courses may not be available through Aiken iNNOVATE virtual programs. *Middle School students taking high school credit courses will be enrolled in Aiken County Virtual Academy (ACVA).
All work will be completed at home. Students will need access to the internet and a digital device. Students will be assigned to a local certified virtual teacher that holds current certification in the appropriate grade level/content area. High School courses offered through Virtual SC will be delivered through Moodle, Virtual SC'slearning managementsystem. Instruction for these courses will follow the Virtual SC Curriculum Map for pacing and sequencing. Courses not offered through Virtual SC will be locally created by ACPSD teachers and follow ACPSD's curriculum for pacing and sequencing. Instructional materials and resources for these courses will be delivered through Schoology with links to other district-supported digital learning tools. High school virtual courses are not self-paced. Assignments for all high school virtual courses are deadline-driven with distinct due dates each week. Virtual teachers will provide direct instruction that includes face-to-face
virtual connections and collaboration through Microsoft Teams.
Virtual teachers will also be available for scheduled office hours and for virtual small group meetings or one-on-one instruction as needed. Attendance will be taken during scheduled virtual meetings.