Virtual Learning Information

Dear Students at Ponaganset Middle and High Schools,

As you are aware, RI schools will be moving to Remote Learning/Virtual Instruction Days from 3/23/20 - 4/3/20 with the possibility of extending further. These virtual learning days count as instructional days. Thank you again for all of your flexibility as we wade into uncharted waters. 

I’d like to recognize our teachers, support staff, and administrators for all their efforts during a vacation week to ensure that our schools are prepared to begin remote / virtual learning next week.  I’d also like to thank our parents and guardians for your flexibility this week as we all adjusted to an unplanned vacation week. Our shift to virtual / remote learning would not have been possible without people throughout our learning community taking collective and independent action toward the same goal - ensuring our students continue to have high-quality learning experiences through virtual and remote learning. 

We are in a great position to be successful with remote/virtual learning. We are so very fortunate to have a supportive team of educators and administrators that are here to help! Now more than ever, we will need to support each other, pull together, and fully engage in this virtual learning process. This is a new world for all of us and there will be some bumps in the road. We will be sharing a FAQ document, tech support, and other support available over the next few days. This information will be available on our district website

Students will be expected to complete their daily assignments and discussion boards for attendance. Students are expected to engage with each class on Canvas that meets on that day. We will be following our regular school calendar for class meeting schedules. The schedule can be found in the Student Remote Learning Course in Canvas. There is no minimum required seat time for students daily, they will work at their own pace to complete assignments. Students with IEP’s should work closely with their special educator to get any additional help and support as needed. Special educators will be in touch regularly. Due dates will be provided for each assignment and our district approved Grading Policy will still be followed if students do not reach proficiency on an assessment or submit assignments late. 

School counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other support personnel will be reaching out to students and families regularly to check-in. Please do not hesitate to contact teachers, administrators, technology support, and support personnel if there are any questions or concerns.

If your child is sick, please call the school secretary to excuse your child from daily attendance. Also contact your school nurse if you have symptoms common to COVID-19. 

Class assignments will be available in Canvas on an ongoing basis, so students may complete assignments at a later date if they missed the assignment due to an absence. Please continue to communicate with each teacher to make sure assignments are done in a timely manner in accordance with our District Grading Policy

Remote/Virtual Learning Schedule:

On Monday 3/23/20, all students are expected to login to Canvas to participate in a Student Remote Learning course. There is a short quiz at the end of the course. They must accept the invitation to this new course. We ask that all students and families assess their technology and address any issues as soon as possible with our technology support staff. After these initial virtual learning technological experiences on Monday all regular content area classes will resume starting Tuesday, 3/24/2020. Teachers will be available to answer student questions via email and Canvas until office hours are posted to support student onboarding to our virtual learning platforms.

Starting Tuesday 3/24/20, all teachers, special educators, and other support personnel will hold daily “office hours” (3 hours daily) through Zoom to answer any student questions. The times of office hours will be posted and scheduled through Canvas. Ponaganset Middle and High School staff will be available Monday to Friday to also answer emails and hold parent conferences. Those times will also be clearly communicated in each Canvas Course. If a teacher hosts a live lesson, then it will be held during regularly scheduled class times so there are no conflicts with other classes. Live lessons will be recorded and uploaded to Canvas in case a student misses it. Live lessons allow real time interaction, but the district knows that adhering to a specified time schedule may not be feasible depending on each family’s schedule and circumstances. Students will not be penalized for not being able to participate in live lessons, but will still be responsible for the material and able to watch the lesson at a later time. 

Student Meal Services:

Students in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District who qualify for free or reduced lunch will be provided boxed lunch and breakfast for the week to be picked up on Tuesdays from 10:00am-2:00pm at Ponaganset High School starting on Tuesday 3/24/20. The pick-up location for this student meal service will occur in the back left-hand corner of Ponaganset High School near the Agricultural Science Building. 

On-line Behavior & Etiquette:

The school district expects all students to adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy found on our district website. Students will review the policy as part of the Remote Learning Course taken on Monday. Teachers and/or administrators will be contacting families if they become aware that a student is not adhering to appropriate online behavior. 

Technology Information Missing or Damage Laptop Chargers?  Click here for more information on ordering a replacement. 

IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT  General Support Requests: Please use this technical support request form or use the one located on the home page of the website.  Examples of general support: - Keyboard/Trackpad unresponsive - Forgot my login - Webcam/sound issues - Login/Canvas issues - Wireless issues - The screen has a crack PLEASE NOTE - If you have a NON-FUNCTIONAL device we are asking you to swap out your device at our upcoming device swap day on Saturday, March 21st from 11 - 1:00PM.

Examples of NON-FUNCTIONAL devices
- The device will not start or keeps rebooting - Windows will not load - Chromebook will not load - The screen is shattered In the unlikely event that your child needs to swap his/her device for a loaner device to engage in virtual / remote instruction you must come to Ponaganset High School on Saturday 3/21/2020 between 11:00am - 1:00pm. The device swap will occur in the front circle of the building. This will be a drive-up service. 

IF YOU NEED TO SWAP A DEVICE PLEASE BRING THE POWER ADAPTER AND INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON A PIECE OF PAPER: - Name - Grade - Brief description of the problem with the device. (this needs to be placed between the keyboard and screen)

Final Thoughts:

As we continue to wrap our heads around this new normal, thank you again for your flexibility and patience. We will become a better and stronger community as we approach the challenges we face together. Our communities are resilient, kind, and supportive of each other. Please do not feel you are alone and approach these challenges and opportunities in isolation. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, a neighbor or a member of our school community.

Again, I’d like to thank our students, families, guardians, teachers, staff, and administrators for your patience and good will throughout this process. We recognize these plans, our initial approach to virtual learning, and the roles we all play will evolve as we assess what is working and what is not. We will continue to reach out throughout this process as new information comes available.  


Michael Barnes

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