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Distance Learning: Family Guide

It has been two weeks since your children have been out of school and we are ready to welcome them back into their virtual classrooms. Palisades administrators, faculty and staff have been working diligently to create a learning environment that is engaging while keeping all children safe in their homes. 

We recognize the stress this sudden social isolation and work at home environment has caused for our families. The goal of our online program is to continue the academic and social growth of Palisades students in an effort to bring about some level of continuity and normalcy to their education.  As we all acclimate to this new mode of education, please know that there will be challenges but we are here to support you and your children through this process. 

As you prepare yourselves and your children for this new endeavor, please use this document as an initial source of information. This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

Thank you for partnering with us as Palisades learns from home and especially, thank you for your patience as we continue to work through this process in the upcoming weeks.

  1. When will students start to receive assignments from their teachers?

On March 30, 2020, teachers will begin instruction using Google Classroom in grades K - 5 and teachers in grades 6 - 12 will continue to use Canvas as they have all year.  Students will be required to log in daily to access assignments and complete work, which will be assessed and graded.   

  1. What will happen with grading and report cards?

The third marking period will end, as planned, on Thursday, April 2, 2020; however, students will only be assessed up through March 13th.  If students have any outstanding work at this time, please encourage them to contact their teachers via email to complete these assignments.  Few, if any, new assignments will be given to students to complete for the third marking period. Report cards for secondary students will be available in Power School on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  Report cards for elementary students will be sent home on Thursday, April 16.

  1. How will I make sure my child is recorded as present? 

Teachers will be monitoring attendance based on the participation of students in class.  If work is assigned, is it being submitted? For our secondary students, how much log-in time have they accumulated?  As is the practice with our longstanding cyber program, attendance for students is achieved through course progress (e.g. percentage of course complete/assignment completion) and course grades.  Coursework must be completed regularly and teachers will notify students and their guardians if they are not demonstrating success in their assigned courses. Parents are encouraged to monitor student progress through Canvas parent observer accounts.

  1. What is required of my child each day?

Teachers will post assignments by 8:30 a.m. each day.  Students will have enough work presented to them to constitute a half day of instruction. We recognize that each of our students will approach this new model of learning very differently.  We also recognize that there is a difference between face-to-face (synchronous) and cyber (asynchronous) instruction and the amount of time it could take for students to successfully complete their work.  We are providing instruction to continue education while, at the same time, recognizing the unique challenges that each student may face in this virtual environment.  

For specific grade level expectations and school schedules, please refer to communication from the Principal which you will receive on Friday.  Students will submit completed assignments and communicate with their teachers through Google Classroom (elementary) or Canvas (secondary).

  1. How can my Kindergarten - 5th  grade child view and complete assignments for the day?

Students in K-5 will get information from their teachers via Google Classroom.  For login steps, tips on viewing work, and turning in assignments.

For access to your child’s username/password, please contact your child’s teacher or [email protected].

  1. How can my 6th - 12th grade child view and complete assignments for the day?

If your child is in grades 6-12, he/she will continue to access coursework through Canvas to get the assignments that teachers have posted as they have done all year.

  1. What access to the learning assignments do I have as a parent/guardian?

Parents/guardians cannot join students’ Google Classroom, but you can receive guardian summaries via email, either daily or weekly, depending on the setting you choose. Your guardian summary will include information such as what was posted and any missing assignments.  

Information on how to create a Parent Observer Account for Canvas is attached to this message. Canvas - Parent Observer Account

  1. What is the best way for my child to get support for assignments?

Teachers will be holding online office hours for 90 minutes each day, Monday - Friday.  The times for each teacher’s availability for immediate questions will be posted in Google Classroom or Canvas along with their email address.  Students can email the teacher during these office hours and get a more immediate response.

  1. How will my child receive support if they have an IEP or a 504?

Special Education Teachers will be collaborating with Regular Education teachers in our effort to provide modifications and accommodations for students with IEPs who are receiving Regular Education programming.  Students who normally receive pullout support/ instruction will likely receive a lesson from the special education teacher focusing upon the student’s individual goal. Where appropriate, students may also be asked to login to specific software or programs such as Lexia, Khan Academy, etc.

School counselors will remind Regular Education Teachers of the students who require accommodations noted within their 504 Plan.  

  1. What is the status for my child that is enrolled in an AP course?

Palisades high school administration, counselors, and teachers will continue to monitor CollegeBoard updates and will provide this information and electronic resources through student Canvas courses.  Starting today, March 25, CollegeBoard has shared “free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country”. During the 2019-20 exam administration only, students will take an online AP exam. More AP Information.

  1. What is the best way to get support for technology related issues? 

If you have a technology question please email [email protected], or if you are in need of any Chromebook repairs please submit a repair request form at

For families who have cellular service, you may wish to use your cell phone as a “hotspot” for internet access.  You can do so by going to settings and turning that capability on. If you do not have reliable cell phone or internet service, please contact 610-847-5131, ext. 2401 and we will work with you to set up an alternative.

Your children are welcome to use their own devices; however, the district devices come loaded with our applications and settings for students as well as filtering for your child’s protection. 

  1. How can I communicate with my child’s teacher?

Please use email to communicate with teachers regarding concerns relating to your student.  Please allow 24 hours for a response.

In closing, you probably have many more questions about distance learning. Building principals will provide you with further guidance as we ramp up in this new environment for our students.  Again, thank you for your patience and for your support.