Virtual Academy Program Guide
PINNACLE CLASSICAL ACADEMY VIRTUAL ACADEMY
Pinnacle Classical Academy (PCA) must consider multiple learning options for students for the 2020-2021 school year due to restrictions required to provide a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. PCA’s goal is to continue learning excellence while keeping the safety of all families a priority. Learning may look different based on the modality chosen, but the standard of education remains the same. Providing all students with a premier college-preparatory education is still the overall goal of Pinnacle Classical Academy.
LEARNING DELIVERY MODELS
Due to current conditions, changing expectations, and improved technological resources, PCA will transition from the historical version of a traditional public school learning environment to a two-pronged approach to meeting the needs of our students.
Traditional Learning, just like our normal school in that students will report to school buildings for face-to-face instruction on each day. The difference from what we may have done in the past is that all safety precautions will be followed including smaller class sizes, wearing facial masks, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, restricted access to the building other than students and staff, no visitors or volunteers, and social distancing. Instruction will be delivered by teachers. Teacher assistants and other school staff will be utilized to monitor students as well. It is the school’s intent and expectation that the vast majority of our students will be served in this Traditional Learning educational environment.
Virtual Learning is home-based remote learning with rare instances of interaction with the school campus. Virtual Learning is optional. It will be separate from, and in place of, the Traditional Learning discussed above. PCA’s Virtual Academy will serve students in a 100% virtual setting with rigorous curriculum components. Weekly goals and expectations for meeting the standards set forth in each course will be provided in an additional document. Students who sign up for the Virtual Academy will receive instruction from PCA teachers. Students will learn and work remotely from home. Due to the nature of the instruction and the home-based setting, it is the school’s expectation that a relatively small number of students will be served in the Virtual Learning educational environment.
PINNACLE CLASSICAL’S VIRTUAL ACADEMY
The K-12 Virtual Academy will be available for all students. This learning modality is not successful for all students therefore, families must strongly consider the characteristics that lead to a successful virtual school experience for students:
- ● Self-motivated
- ● Independent Learner
- ● Computer Literate
- ● Good Time Manager
- ● Effective Communicator
- ● Personal Commitment
- ● Academic Readiness
- ● Technologically Prepared
- ● Strong Parent Support/Involvement
Families who elect the Virtual Academy will provide the home support needed to guide their children through the education process with more and sometimes significant support for younger school-aged students. Early elementary students focus deeply on learning foundational skills like reading and critical mathematical skills. As students mature, less direct parent guidance should be required to be successful if the student possesses independent study skills and strong time management skills.
Students who are not on grade level, need professional intervention, or special services may elect to participate in Virtual Academy, but are best served by a traditional school environment. However, students who have severe underlying medical conditions, including heart or lung disease or diabetes or who are at risk for severe illness may be advised to participate in virtual learning.
PCA’s Virtual Academy is a form of digital learning where content is delivered primarily over the internet. This is learning that occurs in elapsed time between two or more people. Examples include recorded video lessons, class discussions, email, online discussion forums, message boards, pre-recorded video lessons, etc. Virtual Academy Teachers will regularly schedule synchronous opportunities to communicate through Google Meet and/or phone calls to maintain social and emotional connections.
In order for students to have a successful virtual education, reliable, effective home internet is necessary. If needed, Pinnacle Classical Academy will provide a chromebook to each participant in the Virtual Academy.
ATTENDANCE AND GRADING
It is important for Virtual Academy students to be consistent with daily attendance and meeting weekly course goals. For this reason, reported attendance will be tied directly to daily communication and completion of course requirements in a timely manner. If extraordinary circumstances prevent a student from keeping pace with expectations, please communicate with the student’s teacher.
Monitoring progress of Virtual Academy students will occur quarterly and at the semester marking period, just like the traditional school setting. Completion of the course requirements will be monitored throughout the marking period with regular parent communication regarding the progress of the student.
Unlike the 2019-2020 Crisis Virtual Learning, PCA’s Virtual Academy will provide a much more in-depth and comprehensive curriculum that is comparable to the content taught in the traditional school environment. Students can expect to dedicate approximately four hours or more per day to instruction that will include some digital, interactive and productive development components. Curriculum within the Virtual Academy will be in alignment with PCA standards for each K- 12 subject area and grade level represented.
Pinnacle Classical Academy will continue to provide support and services for students on IEPs or 504 plans and those who are in the ESL program who are enrolled in the Virtual Academy. PCA is committed to implementing and adhering to all guidance and regulations in order to ensure the success of all students enrolled in the virtual school platform.
All students, including both virtual and traditional, will participate in PCA’s assessment system so that growth can be closely monitored. Some of these assessments will require on site assessment; others may be taken virtually. The following assessments are required of PCA students:
- ● iReady Diagnostic (K-8) Fall, Winter, Spring
- ● EOG/EOCs (based on state guidelines)
- CTE exams as necessary for high school courses
- ● ACT 11th Grade (At school administration based on state guidelines)
- PSAT 8/9 (at school administration state guidelines)
- ● PSAT 10 (At school administration state guidelines)
- PSAT/NMSQT 11(At school administration state guidelines)
- When can I enroll? Parents of interested students may complete the Intent to Enroll Form (available July 11) or the Virtual Registration Form on the PCA website for fall 2020 enrollment. Enrollment will be open from July 20 - 24, 2020. The enrollment window will close July 24, 2020, so the school can determine, process, and finalize the needs of the Virtual Academy. We ask parents to be positive about their decision before filling out the Virtual Registration Form.
- Is my child a good candidate for the Virtual Academy? This learning modality will not be successful for all students therefore, families must strongly consider the characteristics that lead to a successful virtual school experience for students: Self-motivated, Independent Learner, Computer Literate, Good Time Manager, Effective Communicator, Personal Commitment, Academic Readiness, Technologically Prepared, and Strong Parent Support/Involvement
- When I choose an option, how long is my child committed to that learning modality? When families choose traditional or virtual learning, the student must complete the 9 weeks with the option of changing at the end of the 9 weeks. Parents have the option to enroll in the Virtual Academy for 9 weeks, 1 semester, or year-long.
- Do I have to provide my own computer? No, all students enrolled in the Virtual Academy who need a Chromebook will be provided one. The Chromebook remains the property of Pinnacle Classical Academy. Parents may decline the PCA Chromebook and provide an appropriate device for their child if they so choose.
- Can my student mix and match virtual and traditional? No, students must select Traditional (in-person) or Virtual. There will be a 9-week commitment. Parents may choose to change settings at the end of each 9 weeks.
- If I elect traditional learning, what specific safeguards will be in place at the school? Will my child have to wear a mask? We plan to follow the mandates provided by DHHS. At a minimum, we will increase cleaning and sanitation efforts and try to accommodate social distancing.
- Are 100% online Virtual Academy students still responsible for state assessments? Yes, all students must complete assessments mandated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Each assessment has a window of time for schools to complete the required assessment.
- What are my technical requirements to complete 100% online Virtual Academy? Students will receive a Pinnacle Classical Academy Chromebook. Families will need wi-fi access where the student will work.
- Can a homeschool or private school student have partial enrollment? Students attending the Virtual Academy will be full-time students of the Pinnacle Classical Academy and be enrolled in 100% virtual classes. We welcome any new students who would like to participate in our Virtual Academy.
- What is the format of the classes? Will there be video lectures? Will students have to log in to the classes at certain times of the day or is there flexibility in the schedule? Classes will be presented in a completely virtual setting using Google Suite (Classroom, Hangout, Keep). There will be interactive instruction for students. Students can log in any time of day or night for lessons and the units/assignments/projects will have broad short-term deadlines. Students will have opportunities to interact with teachers and peers virtually.
- Will there be dedicated teachers for this 100% online Virtual Academy program or will teachers be teaching traditional school as well? Instruction will be provided by PCA teachers. They will be teaching in the traditional setting with a smaller class size.
- Can a student’s schedule combine 100% online courses and an on-campus class? No, the options are the Traditional School environment or the 100% Virtual Academy.
- Are 100% online Virtual Academy students allowed to participate in all extracurricular activities at the campus? 100% online students are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at their campus to the extent allowed by any competitive entities involved in particular programs. This will include prom participation, after-school activity participation, etc.
- Will there be an orientation for Virtual Academy students? Yes, orientation will occur prior to the school year beginning.
- How would this work for a kindergarten student who hasn’t ever used a chromebook? For younger students, parental assistance in accessing the curriculum and staying focused will be essential, teachers and staff will offer help as support as needed.
- Would there be someone at all times to help a student who is having problems? For technical questions related to the software or resources, our IT Department will offer technical support through phone, email, or chat. For academic questions or problems, the student will have the ability to ask the online teacher for feedback or help. Students will also be able to ask for additional help from the PCA teachers.
- Will there be any live interaction with teacher, classmates, or small group activities? The online teacher will have live teaching times and make arrangements for other virtual interaction (think Google Meets) with themselves and other students. PCA Teachers will also create opportunities for virtual students to interact either digitally or in person.