ASD Continuity of Education Plan

Avonworth School District

Continuity of Education Plan

School District

Avonworth School District


Dr. Thomas W. Ralston


258 Josephs Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237


tralston@avonworth.k12.pa.us  / 412-369-8738



Goal of Plan

During the school closure caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the Avonworth School District’s goal is to make a good faith effort to provide all Avonworth School District students with continuity of education through a carefully executed comprehensive virtual learning program.

Overview of Plan

As a 1:1 district, all students have access to a device at home that will allow for the execution of the District’s virtual instruction program.  Our K-3 students will utilize their district-issued iPads and engage in a continuation of learning provided by their teachers via the SeeSaw application.  Students in grades 4-12 will utilize their district-issued Chromebooks to engage in a continuation of learning provided by their teachers via Google classroom (4-6 & 9-12) or Echo (7-8).  Teachers will be available to students via office hours during each day of virtual instruction. This includes the availability of teachers, special education teachers, paraprofessional staff, guidance, and nursing staff for the purpose of providing support.  The District will run on the same schedule during virtual instruction days which will be 8:00-9:00 teacher planning time, 9:00-11:30 learning time/teacher office hours, 11:30-12:30 lunch/playtime, and 12:30-3:00 learning time/teacher office hours.  

Students that receive related services either from a District employee or outside agency will engage in services via Google Hangouts/Meet.  The District’s special education teachers will also have the ability to utilize Google Hangouts/Meet on an as-needed basis to ensure special education students receive the appropriate level of support as indicated in an IEP/504 or as requested by a student/parent/guardian.  The District has identified students that do not have wifi access at home and will also be working proactively to identify any additional students that may not have access to wifi at home. The district has purchased CIPA compliant wifi hotspots that will be distributed to these students.  In the interim, a good faith effort is taking place to provide these students with paper assignments.

Expectations for Teaching and Learning

The Avonworth School District recognizes the complicated circumstances this crisis is presenting to both our educators and our students and families.  Each employee and family is facing its own challenges at home. With this in mind, the Avonworth School District’s virtual learning program will be executed in a manner that remains sensitive to the extreme circumstances faced by all.  Our educators are expected to provide engaging and meaningful instruction/assignments using the online tools appropriate for their respective grade levels. Also, educators have been asked to keep the challenges our students/families are facing at home in mind when designing instruction, assignments, and assessments and to ensure this is done in an age-appropriate, as well as circumstance-sensitive manner.  All educators will be available during office hours and expected to respond to students/families in a timely manner during office hours.  

Students are expected to engage in his/her virtual learning daily as scheduled by the District and assigned by teachers.  Students are expected to adhere to the timelines and due dates provided by teachers for all virtual assignments. Teachers have made the proper adjustments to timelines and due dates to be sensitive to the challenges provided with virtual instruction and everyone’s current circumstances.  It is the District’s expectation that students engage in assignments and be accountable for their schoolwork as they are normally held accountable in our regular school setting. At the secondary level students are also expected to record his/her attendance daily via a Google Form that is sent daily.  Primary and elementary students will have attendance recorded by engagement and completion of daily virtual assignments.

Communication Tools and Strategies

Avonworth School District will utilize a variety of communication tools and strategies to ensure continuous communication with parents/guardians and students while executing our Continuity of Education plan.  The District will utilize our SchoolRush e-blast system to provide updates for the school community. The District website will also be utilized to post all District communications, resources for parents (educational, social-emotional support, coronavirus-related, etc.) Principals will be making use of email to send both typed messages and video messages to students and families for the purpose of sharing both inspirational messages and important information/updates.  Teachers will be making use of email to communicate with students/families for the purpose of answering questions related to student learning and to provide support for learning. The SeeSaw application also provides teachers with the ability to comment directly to students/families and provide feedback on student work. Within both Google classroom and Echo, students have the ability to post comments/questions for the class or privately for the teacher only. Teachers also have the ability to respond to those questions.  Our teachers are also making use of other Google tools to create live stream videos to provide instruction for students. These videos are one-way and also recorded so that students can access at a later time if they are not available during the live stream. There are also discussion board tools available in Google that teachers can utilize for classroom discussions. Lastly, for students that receive related services or to ensure the delivery of specially designed instruction per a student’s IEP, Google Hangout/Meet will be utilized for video conferencing with students/families, as well as a means for conducting an IEP/504 meeting.

Access (Devices, Platforms, Handouts)

The Avonworth School District implemented a 1:1 learning initiative at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.  Through this initiative, all Avonworth students are issued a device. In grades K-3 every student is provided an iPad and in grades 4-12 every student is provided a Chromebook.  Every teacher in the District is also provided with a laptop. Prior to and since the start of our 1:1 initiative, our technology department has worked diligently to provide professional development and support to our teachers regarding the use of best practices related to working in a 1:1 learning environment.  Our technology department also includes a position dedicated to identifying specific professional development needs related to technology and then providing professional development for teachers to address these needs. With devices in the hands of our students and teachers, along with the professional development provided, the Avonworth School District is prepared to continue learning online for students.  

In grades K-3, teachers and students regularly utilize SeeSaw, which also makes our parents/guardians very familiar with this application.  Teachers in grades K-3 will utilize SeeSaw as their learning management system to provide students with continuity of learning. In grades 4-6 and 9-12 teaches and students regularly utilize Google Classroom as their learning management system.  Teachers in grades 4-6 and 9-12 will utilize Google Classroom to provide students with continuity of learning. As Avonworth Middle School is a New Tech School, Echo is utilized as its learning management system. Teachers will utilize Echo to provide students in grades 7 & 8 with continuity of learning.  

For students that need related services or special education services delivered via video conferencing, Avonworth School District will make use of Google Hangouts/Meet.

For any student identified as not having wifi service at home, Kajeet hotspots have been purchased and will be distributed to those families.

Attendance / Accountability

Attendance at the K-6 level is taken by each classroom teacher daily based on student engagement with and completion of assignments.   Attendance at the 7-12 level is taken daily via a Google form that is sent to students by our 7-12 assistant principal. 

Constant monitoring of attendance is completed by building principals, teachers, 7-12 assistant principal, and secretarial staff.  Through this collective effort, parents/guardians of students that have not engaged or completed the attendance Google form are being contacted by staff.  Through this effort students may be identified that need an adaptation to the mode of instructional delivery, assistance with wifi access, etc. and the District will make a good faith effort to accommodate these students to ensure their continuity of education.  

Good Faith Efforts for Access and Equity for All Students

Teachers, principals, guidance, and secretarial staff will work diligently to identify students that are not engaging with our virtual instruction program.  This will be done through the monitoring of engagement and completion of virtual assignments, as well as the completion of daily attendance by secondary students.  For any student that is not engaging or completing virtual assignments, the staff will be making contact with the student/family to identify reasons for the lack of engagement.  Accommodations will be provided to ensure access, such as mailing home of assignments and providing the family with a CIPA compliant hotspot if needed.  

To ensure timely troubleshooting of any technical issue the District’s technology department has created a dedicated email address students/families can utilize to request support.  The technology department has also created a Student Knowledge Base that students can access to troubleshoot minor technology issues they may be facing.  Lastly, the District’s technology department has one staff member working onsite in the District daily.  This staff member is available to collect devices from students/families that need to be fixed and provides that student or family with a replacement device to ensure ongoing access to our virtual instruction program.

Special Education Supports

As a school district that has already been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to provide virtual instruction via a Flexible Instruction Day (FID) on an as-needed basis during the 2019-2020 school year, our special education teachers had already reached out to all students that receive special education services to discuss what instruction will look like on a FID.  This prior contact has helped identify specific needs students may have with respect to access, delivery of instruction, ability to complete assignments, etc. With the District moving to a virtual program that will provide students with continuity of education, our special education department/teachers have once again reached out to all students receiving support as outlined in an IEP or 504.  Accommodations are being made to ensure access and equity for these students. On an as-needed basis, assignments are being sent home via U.S. Mail if access is not yet available online. The District has purchased CIPA compliant Kajeet hotspots that will be distributed to students that do not have at home wifi access. Also, the District will make use of Google Hangouts/Meet to ensure students have access to related services, special education services, and will also be utilized for IEP/504 meetings with parents/guardians.

Building  Contacts

Avonworth Primary Center (K-2):

Avonworth Elementary School (3-6):

Avonworth Middle School (7-9):

Avonworth High School (10-12):

Avonworth Middle/High School (7-12):

Resource Links

Student Knowledge Base

Remote Learning Knowledge Base (for teachers)

ASDLopes Resource Page

Additional Educational Resources Page (for parents)

COVID-19 District Webpage

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