Blog for Semester Courses

  • Semester 2, April 19

    Posted by Cindy Leaman on 4/18/2019

    Good Evening Online Parent/Guardian/student:

     

    This is week 11 of the second semester.  The School Messenger is being sent today as the district is closed tomorrow.   We will be at Pioneer in the cafeteria from 4 pm – 7 pm on April 24 for Parent-Teacher conferences.  Please feel free to reserve any open spots today.  The link to the sign-up sheet is here.

    Proctoring:  Please remember that students may not take two tests in one sitting.  If a student is taking the District Common Assessment they must arrive by 5:00 pm and be situated in the testing room by 5:15 pm.  Students arriving on Thursday mornings need to arrive no later than 8:15 am.

    Midterms should have been completed this week.  If your child has not completed their midterm encourage them to find a time next week to get this done so that they do not fall behind.  

     

    Two up coming dates to be aware of:

     

    April 24, 4-7 pm Parent-Teacher Conferences at Pioneer Cafeteria, Signup will be sent in next week’s School Messenger

                In addition to the conferences there will be three seminars that parents can attend:

                            Middle School Acceleration in Math and World Languages

                            Middle School to High School transition

                            Summer Term opportunities

    May 1, Signup for Summer Term and Fall 2019 online classes begins

     

     

    Parent Hint for the Week:

    This week’s topic is a little deviation from the normal online how to be a success advice.  Instead, I want to discuss social media.  There is just so much to say about social media and students.  It is definitely something that should not be taken lightly.  Much of the social media activity is conducted on a phone.  A student’s phone is as dangerous as any weapon for a variety of reasons but mostly due to the fact that almost every student has a cell phone.   Cell phones, especially smart phones, are great tools but they are also often a source of trouble.  Here are some examples:

    • Getting caught up in texting so much that a student will spend hours and hours responding to texts
    • Inappropriate use of the camera, taking photos of kids in locker rooms and bathrooms are just an example and unfortunately as students get a little older (and yes for some still in middle school) sexting
    • Social media apps that become bigger than life – SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, etc.
    • Downloading files from the internet that are inappropriate
    • Sharing of inappropriate photos or files (This can even lead to legal troubles, passing on of a nude or semi-nude child can be prosecuted even among consenting children.)
    • Writing things that are hurtful to others because they can’t see the eyes of the receiver but only a screen. This is also a contributor to cyber-bullying because the victim is invisible when words are written on a screen and several others can instantly chime in.
    • There is a chance of an increase in anxiety and depression in students because of the reactions or lack of reactions to the posts of an individual in a social media context.

     

     

    What are some signs that a phone is not being used properly?  Here are just a few:

    • Your child can’t live without it (withdrawal symptoms or tears if asked to put away)
    • Preoccupation with the phone even during meals and family time
    • Your child refuses to allow you to review the phone
    • Their grades go down or they stop participating in activities
    • Friendships have changed
    • Interests have changed

     

     

    Here are some simple actions to help with keeping social media and the phone positive:

    • Buy the phone to be used a tool, resource, way for parents to keep contact
      • Don’t buy as a gift as the child then believes it is “his/her” phone
      • Tell your child that the phone belongs to you and you pay the bills. The phone is on loan and can be taken away but most importantly you are entitled to all the usernames and passwords.
    • Check your child’s phone often. Look at the texts and pictures.  Have a conversation about what you see.
    • Students should charge their phone (devices) in a public place such as the kitchen at night and not charge in their room where will have access and can be easily obsessed with using it at all hours.
    • Do not allow phones at meals or during family activities.
    • Model the behavior you want to see from your child with your devices. Remember not to use your phone while you are driving because your child will pick up on your habits, good and bad, and will imitate when they are old enough to drive.
    • Talk with your children often and especially anytime you can link it to something real that is happening in the community, on TV, or in the news.

     

     

    It is important to monitor your child’s phone activity and be proactive.  There are a few new apps out that help with this process and I have linked an article about them here.

     

    Have a great week.

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  • Semester 2, April 12

    Posted by Cindy Leaman on 4/12/2019

    Good Evening Online Parent/Guardian/student:

     

    This is week 10 of the second semester.   We will be at Pioneer in the cafeteria from 4 pm – 7 pm on April 24 for Parent-Teacher conferences.  There are limited spots so we kindly ask that if your child is getting an “A” or if you have met with your child’s instructor through the drop-in centers or by appointment since winter break that you will allow a fellow parent the opportunity who might have a need to see the instructor time to sign up during the next several days.  We hope that parents of students who are struggling have the opportunity first.  However, if you look on Monday and spots are open, please feel free to reserve yours.  Our teachers have about 150 students each and as you will see there are limited spots.  Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have a specific question to be addressed you should send an email to the instructor or stop by the drop-in centers.  The link to the sign-up sheet is here.

    Proctoring:  Please remember that students may not take two tests in one sitting.  If a student is taking the District Common Assessment they must arrive by 5:00 pm and be situated in the testing room by 5:15 pm.  Students arriving on Thursday mornings need to arrive no later than 8:15 am.

     

    Students should be close to the mid-point of the class.  The midterms are scheduled for the week of April 15.  Please visit our proctoring calendar to see what time would be best.  Middle School students will have the same in-building opportunities that week as they do each week.  Midterms should only be attempted if the student is ready.  Most classes, AP courses excluded, do not give a grade penalty for taking the test late.  However, the penalty is the fact that the student is behind and may not finish the course.   Students who do not work a minimum of 5 hours a week will not be granted an extension.  It is in the student’s best interest that they are prepared and take the midterm by April 18.

     

     

    Two upcoming dates to be aware of:

     

    April 24, 4-7 pm Parent-Teacher Conferences at Pioneer Cafeteria, Signup will be sent in next week’s School Messenger

                In addition to the conferences there will be three seminars that parents can attend:

                            Middle School Acceleration in Math and World Languages

                            Middle School to High School Transition

                            Summer Term opportunities

    May 1, Signup for Summer Term and Fall 2019 online classes begins

     

     

    Parent Hint for the Week:

    If you look at PowerSchool and see a low grade how do you know it is accurate?  The grades are a snapshot in time, the date that the grade posts is most likely accurate.  Especially if it shows that your child is failing.  Although there is an occasion where the teacher could fall behind in grading; however, it is not a normal occurrence.  Don’t accept the answer from your child that the work is turned in and the teacher just hasn’t graded it.  Write to the teacher in PowerSchool to get clarification.  Or even better, have your child write to their teacher listing the assignments not graded asking when they will be corrected and have them copy you on the email.  Teachers do have up to 72 hours during the school week to grade most assignments and you can expect a little longer if it is a large project.  

     

    If you find your child is behind how can you help your child be successful?   Students who are behind will need to work at school and at home at this point.  Set up space and time that they can work where you can supervise. You don’t need to be looking over their shoulder every minute but here are a couple of tricks to ensure that they are on task.  They should not have multiple windows or tabs open while working.  If you see multiple tabs open to ask them to show you what they are so you can see if it is related to the class.  Second, if you see screens pop up when you look over, they are likely working on two windows one for schoolwork and usually the second is social or gaming.  Lastly, check the computer history when they complete their session.  This will tell you all the sites they visited and what time.  We tell students when they proctor or work with us that if we review the history and it has been cleared we will automatically assume that they were not working as they should and want to hide it. 

     

    Have a great week.

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  • Semester 2, April 5

    Posted by Cindy Leaman on 4/5/2019

    Good Evening Online Parent/Guardian/student:

     

    This is considered the end of week nine for Semester 2.   I hope that everyone had a wonderful break and a smooth transition back to learning.    I want to share congratulations to our Personal Fitness instructor, Dianne Dudley, and her husband Blair.  During the break, they finished the five-week-long competition in the 2019 Crossfit Open.  They both finished in the top 200 of their age group:

    Women (50-54) Dianne Dudley 178 / 5,578

    Men (50-54) Blair Dudley 178 / 7,625

     

    Students should be close to the mid-point of the class.  The midterms are scheduled for the week of April 15.  Please visit our proctoring calendar to see what time would be best.  Middle School students will have the same in-building opportunities that week as they do each week. 

     

    Two upcoming dates to be aware of:

     

    April 24, 4-7 pm Parent-Teacher Conferences at Pioneer Cafeteria, Sign up will be sent in next week’s School Messenger

                In addition to the conferences there will be three seminars that parents can attend:

                            Middle School Acceleration in Math and World Languages

                            Middle School to High School Transition

                            Summer Term opportunities

    May 1, Sign up for Summer Term and Fall 2019 online classes begin

     

     

    Parent Hint for the Week pertains to MVU courses:

    Progress 3 scores will be entered for Marking Period 3 today, Friday, April 5th.  Please note that these scores are just an average of your student’s current point total and the total points due by this Friday.  Progress check percentages are just an update and will not be averaged in your student’s final grade for the course. The only grade that will appear on your student’s transcript is the percentage listed in Michigan Virtual’s Student Learning Portal under “Points Earned and Total Course Points.” It is only the final grade that will appear. If your student has not yet completed all of the assignments required for Progress Check 3, please encourage him/her to work in the course after school and/or weekends in order to catch up.  In the Student Learning Portal, the suggested pacing is based on how many assignments there is in total in the course divided by how many weeks there are in the course. It is not necessarily aligned with the pacing guide provided by your student’s course instructor. If you find that there is a discrepancy, please contact your student’s Michigan Virtual instructor directly. The grade book contained within the course is aligned with the instructor's pacing guide and will be the most accurate for the current progress.  Progress checks this term are listed below and can be found in the gradebook:

    Progress check #1 February 15th

    Progress check #2 March 1st

    Progress check #3 April 5th

    Progress check #4 May 3rd

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