Dear Parents and Guardians,
As the school year comes to an end, the District continues to investigate ways to help our students and families best prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. We are proud of the education provided to our students through the fourth nine-weeks; however, we recognize there was an adjustment period in transitioning to distance learning. We value the feedback of our parents and students who have voiced the need for an increase in real-time (synchronous) learning. We have heard you, and we agree. In order to provide synchronous learning, it is essential that all students have access to their own District-supported electronic device. While we hope to be back in our classrooms this fall, we know there is a possibility that the District may have to deliver our curriculum in a virtual or blended learning environment while the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
In preparing for all scenarios this fall, we are excited to announce that Moon Area School Board has approved the administration’s recommendation to expand the 1-to-1 device initiative District-wide. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, K-4 students will be assigned iPads and grades 5-8 will be receiving laptops provided by the District. We have thoroughly evaluated and vetted device options to provide materials that best suit the age and educational needs of our students. iPads have proven to be durable for our young learners and easier to use than a traditional keyboard, while middle school students would benefit from a traditional laptop as they prepare for high school. High school students in grades 9-12 will continue utilizing the benefits of the 1-to-1 program with laptops for their educational needs. These devices are in the process of being ordered with a goal to implement the program by the beginning of the school year.
All District devices will be programmed with applications, anti-virus software, content filters, along with curricular materials students need in order to succeed. MASD students will continue to use Microsoft Teams and Clever in conjunction with the most-used cyber education platform in Pennsylvania, Lincoln Learning. Lincoln Learning will combine MASD curriculum with additional alternate standards-based lessons to help support student learning. This will allow for the creation of a custom learning environment for all students. Blending the MASD curriculum with the most utilized cyber education platform in the state, creates a learning environment that currently not found in any traditional cyber school program.
The traditional classroom setting is our preferred method of delivery; however, we want to assure you that MASD is prepared for synchronous digital education should students need to learn remotely at any point next school year due to COVID-19. This unexpected closure has given us a clear direction in how we can best proceed with digital learning in the future. While the start of the school year remains uncertain, we wanted to inform our families early that the District will be providing additional electronic devices to accommodate virtual learning. In order to fully support digital learning and provide adequate cyber safety measures, the District will only permit the use of these assigned devices.
We will soon provide more details regarding the cost to students and their families for this initiative. We will make every effort to keep the cost to a minimum as we understand this may be a difficult time for families.
We hope that everyone has a safe and healthy end to the school year next week!
Moon Area School District