Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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Virtual Learning

Throughout the 2020-2021 school year a number of students will be learning online. Virtual learning can take many forms. At OLSH, we plan to use a Synchronous or “Live” model for virtual learning.

What is synchronous virtual learning?

In synchronous virtual learning students will be expected to join virtual classes following a set schedule. Students online will view live instruction and have the opportunity to engage with the teacher and other classmates. This model provides daily structure and discipline, as attendance will be recorded in each class period, and students will be expected to participate in class discussions and activities.

How can collaboration work with other students?

There are a variety of ways that students can work collaboratively in either the hybrid or all-virtual models. Teachers can use breakout rooms to move small groups of students to separate virtual workspaces, Within the Google classroom, students can use Google tools like Docs, Sheets, or Slides for live editing and working together on a document or project. Classroom discussions in the hybrid model can be facilitated by projecting the screen of virtual learners onto the whiteboard and shifting the view of the teacher’s laptop to the classroom, so that the two groups can see each other.

How will tests or other assessments work?

Where possible, formal tests or assessments will be given on days when a student is physically in the classroom. During that time, students learning virtually will be given an assignment to complete. Teachers will develop different versions of the test, similar to what they typically do for different sections of the same subject, to limit opportunities for unauthorized collaboration. We are exploring software options for a secure testing environment in the event of a need for full-virtual learning to take place. 

How will teachers facilitate labs or other hands-on activities?

In the hybrid model, the schedule has been structured allowing teachers to have students complete a lab or hands-on activity in the classroom on the day they are on campus and have virtual learners complete a different activity during the same time. Students who are full-virtual may do an alternate activity or be provided with ways to complete the lab with materials they would have on hand at home; other labs will be done virtually by all students.

How have OLSH teachers prepared for virtual instruction?

In early August, OLSH teachers participated in a series of workshops presented by Robert Morris University that focused on blending in-person and online learning. Teacher inservice prior to the start of school will include additional training for teachers.

What are you doing to combat screen fatigue?

Many parents have brought up the concern of screen fatigue with multiple days of online learning. Because of the interactive nature of our online learning model, students will be on “screen” in a more active way, not just watching a recording and perhaps even working on an assignment on paper while listening to what’s happening in the classroom. Students are encouraged to take screen breaks during study halls and lunch and even before and after school time. In some cases, students may only need to login to class and, following the taking of attendance, may be given an assignment that does not require being “on screen”, but still must be completed by the end of the class period. 

What if we don’t have the right technology at home to participate in live classes online?

If you have not already let us know about your technology concerns, please contact us as soon as possible. We are working to meet the needs of each student to ensure they can participate in online classes effectively.

How are you working to limit or eliminate cheating when students are learning online?

From the OLSH Student/Parent Handbook:

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School strives to provide a high quality, holistic education, which includes the development of Christian Values.  Foremost among them are honesty and integrity. The faculty and staff believe that honesty is one result of personal integrity and therefore is the responsibility of each student.

An HONEST student is one who:

  • Completes all assignments in and out of class by himself/herself
  • Is responsible for all assignments and does not share them with other students
  • Prepares for tests/quizzes and relies solely on one's own ability
  • Cites research resources correctly avoiding plagiarism

Students are expected to be honest, particularly when completing assignments. Teachers will utilize project-based assignments where possible to discourage the sharing of work. Essays and other papers can be required to be submitted through turnitin.com

How can parents know what assignments are, etc?

Based on feedback from last year, this year all teachers will be using Google Classroom to post assignments. A single platform will help students stay organized with only having to become familiar with one platform.

Technology Recommendations

Students will be using Google for Education suite. They can use a PC, Mac, Chromebook, or even an iPad - any device with a web browser and a camera.