SDoL Back to School 2020 Plan

All School District of Lancaster students will return to school in a virtual learning environment this year, beginning Aug. 31. You can read the school board-approved plan, along with supplemental documents at the link below.

Back to School Plan

Find Cyber Pathways Academy answers from the July 22 Q&A

Administrators and counselors from SDoL’s Cyber Pathways Academy hosted an info session on July 22, during which a panel answered 100 questions from the audience.

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The Q&A is provided below. Use the search tool to find specific answers to questions you may have. Please note: These questions were submitted by viewers and answered rapidly by staff. Please forgive spelling or grammatical errors!

QuestionAnswer(s)
How many screen contact hours will be required for Kindergartners?Good question. Time varies according to assignments but typically a cyber student will have a routine of daily time spent in core classes (approx 30-75 mins/course) and special area classes 2 to 3 times/week for approx 30 mins.
So what day exactly are they having them start ?Applications received by August 10th will be attempted to start for the first day of school. During times of high volume families may experience a delayed start.
can i transition my kids back to in school in January? what if my child has an IEP?The presenters will talk today about transition times between schools. We recommend marking period or semester breaks. Your counselors will discuss your child's IEP during your application process.
how does this impact the dual language program?Cyber does not have a dual language program
Will Cyber Pathways courses mirror the curriculum of in-school courses, especially at the honors level?Cyber is a complete replacement program. It is not the same teachers as bricks-n-mortar. The curriculum meets PA state standards. Courses are taught by online PA certified teachers and supported by SDoL cyber advisors.
How will IEP tutoring services provided? Over zoom or in person in the school?Zoom and face-to-face are both possible options. Details would be discussed at the initial cyber interview meeting and be supported by the cyber advisor who services students with IEPs
My daughter is in the dual immersion program. I would like for to continue with that. Is that an option with the cyber pathways and would she lose her spot at Wharton if / when she returns?Cyber does not have a dual immersion program. Being a cyber student is a complete replacment program not a supplement of building learning.
are there Zoom formats for all classes? How does this work with IB Pathway at High SchoolSome of the lesson work is pre-recorded and other parts live with opportunties for help through Zoom. IB courses must be taken in the building at McCaskey.
are there any in person contact with teachers at any timeThere are opportunities for in-person tutoring and counseling at Cyber hubs throughout the district. These sessions are designed to support student learning and are available by appointment.
I signed up to start the application process, when will someone contact me to fill out the application?Please complete the interst survey on the district website: https://sdlancaster.org/explore-our-schools/cyber-pathways-academy/
How difficult will it be to transition kids back into the classroom after covid is done? And for middle school students does a parent need to be home? (I work outside the home and am an essential employee)We understand this will occur and buildings will gladly welcome students back. There will be a process and it will be shared in this presentation.
If there is a delay in due to high volume will our students be required to report to their traditionally assigned school buildings?Not necessarily, but we recommend submitting your application prior to Aug. 10 to ensure enrollment in Cyber on the first day of school.
We applied to the Cyber Academy for our 1st grader last Tuesday...how quickly will we receive a reply as we have no heard anything back yet..If you've completed the interest survey on district website: https://sdlancaster.org/explore-our-schools/cyber-pathways-academy/
Quiero saber si puedo cambiar mi niña de las clases cyber a las clases normales después que ella este en la academia si siento que no le esta llendo bien en cyber academy?Si puede cambiar con un cita a las tiempos del marking periods.
Where are the teachers recruited from? Bricks and mortar or do they have specific training for online teaching?Cyber courses are not taught by SDoL teachers, but rather by the online PA certified vendor teachers. Cyber students are supported by SDoL PA certified teachers who have various years of experience with the Academy.
Thanks for offering this time to learn more about the cyber program. I'm wondering about the IB/AP track for high schoolers. My daughter will be in 10th grade, and we're wondering about course availability, when Pharoah would have access to live teachers, and any in person events for IB/AP/Gifted.You should speak with counselors at Cyber and your child's school about specific courses. AP courses are offered through Cyber. IB courses are only offered at McCaskey, but they can be blended with other Cyber courses to limit time in the building.
how do we know what experience the teachers have? is there support for gifted IEPsThe Cyber Pathways Academy (formerly cyber program) was established in 2012. SDoL cyber advisors are PA certified teachers with various years of experience in the district and online platform.
Will I have to unenroll my child from his current school?No, we handle that process for you.
If student enrolled in Cyber can they take spanish? or is that only offered in brick mortaryes we do have Spanish for high school students
My children are in 2nd grade and 4th grade in the dual language immersion program. If I decide to have my children in cyber until I transition them back will they lose their spot in dual language?Cyber Pathways Academy is a complete replacement program not supplementaly to building programs/activities.
What is a typical or expected ratio of students to advisors?The Cyber Pathways Academy has developed a plan since 2012-2013 school year to fully support students.
Is this a new cyper school that you are just starting or is this a school that has been in operation for a while? I'm interested to understand how much experience you have with it and in particular the user friendlyness of the online platform.Same program since 2012-2013 school year but expanding to elementary K-5 this year.
As far as the hubs, will there be a list of hubs and hours available?Yes, but we have not confirmed the locations yet. Since they are new, we want to place the hubs at convenient locations. We are tracking Cyber interest to determine the best schools to host these hubs. The district cyber teacher will schedule with families for times they would need to meet in person.
How do we reconcile the figures you give with the classic schedule that was just shared? I ask as an Early Childhood educator. In PA, kindergarten is not mandatory. (In normal years, I advocate for universal full day pre-K and K.) I want to avoid uber-structured screen time but I also want to make sure SDoL receives state funding based on head counts. Are there ways families like mine can accomplish both?Each lesson will require different times of student active invovlement to complete the lessons. Perhaps some of your specific questions may be more clearly answered during the cyber interview so i can be sure i understand your needs/questions. Interviews for students who completed applications will be in August and on-going. Having a meeting does not require you to attend. You can still choose to remain bricks-n-mortar.
If in person school is four days a week, will it be the same for Cyber Pathways?Cyber is a complete replacment program, so students are expected to following the cyber expectations to time daily. This may not always match schedules for bricks-n-mortar buildings.
Will live tutoring only be avaiable on Cyber Pathways or also on regular hybrid/school platform?Yes, live tutoring available daily from 8am-8pm M-Th, and 8am-5pm F with online vendor teachers. Students will also be assigned a district cyber advisor available through zoom, phone, email and face-to-face during school day.
If dual language is not supported at all, can my child return to the program after the covid situation is over?This question would need to be answered by the dual language program, as placement may depend on space and/or time out of the program. As far as cyber, there are times students transition back to the building. Typically, when students leave dual enrollment, they are permenantly withdrawn.
Can I homeschool my son on the evenings and weekends? I work 8-4:30. He will be a kindergarten student.The Cyber Pathways Academy is not homeschool. In the cyber program, the expectation is to follow a daily schedule and parent/learning coach is involved in supporting the student during that process.
If a high school student transfers from a different school, are they able to be involved in the IB program through Cyber Academy ?IB courses are only offered at McCaskey, but Cyber students can blend their schedule to take some courses online and only IB courses at McCaskey. Talk to your child's counselor about building a schedule like this.
Is this entire presentation specific to elementary grades, not middle schools?Most of the information in this presentation applies to all students, K-12. The first slides introduced the expanded offerings K-5.
Are the field trips connected to the brick and mortar schools or just for cyber pathways students?Cyber students would be able to attend field trips that occur at the brick and mortar schools.
You shared an example schedule for k-5. My kids are in 4th and 5th grade. How might their schedules be different?The schedules are very similar. There may be one less brain break or some extended time in ELA or Math. It will depend on the day and the teacher's lesson plan.
With the AP courses, do the students still need to complete the summer assignements for the McCaskey Campus.The AP cyber courses do not have the same teachers so the McCaskey campus summer work is not part of the requirement for AP cyber courses.
What about parents that work during the day? How does that factor into our child's schedule?Students enrolled in Cyber Pathways Academy are expected to be supervised by an adult during the school day. For elementary, adults at home are very involved in the learning as the learning coach role.
Do we need to get on the website and sign up our kids?Please complete the interest form on the website and a representative from cyber will reach out to you with additional information.
I appreciate that there is a cyber option that allows funding to remain in SDoL -- something that Charter's do not offer.Thank you! Cyber charter school tuition is very expensive, not related to the school's actual costs, and drains resources away from students who continue to attend our schools.
Marking periods. Is that like if by the end of the first “semester” I feel like my daughter would be better off in school that’s when i would have to make the transition?Typically, yes. Cyber counselors and counselors at your child's brick-and-mortar school will collaborate with you to support the transition.
Will there be oppotunities for students to have discussions/interactions with other cyber students in their courses with a teacher like in a brick and mortar school?Being enrolled in cyber is mostly independent. There are not group discussions, but cyber does have hubs to support students and during those times several students can interact together.
Is all of the time spent online or are there supplemental activities (workbooks, hands on activities, etc.) especially for younger students?Yes, handbooks and interactive work are part of the curriculum for elementary students.
We applied to the Academy last week after having already completed the interest survey. Is there a time frame we will hear back for the interview? We realize there is about a month until actual brick and mortar schools return and we want to be sure we hear backWe are responding to them as quickly as possible. You will get an individual response from the cyber secretary for next steps.
Do I have to coordinate my application/interest with my childs gifted teacher or will that be done on your end?Cyber does have an IEP advisor who works with the family and current IEP case manager for best academic plan of action.
I'd like to advocate that SDoL provide extra flexibility for Kindergarten families. I want to help keep funding SDoL while not signing on for too much screen time. Early childhood students, especially, learn by doing, learn by working with concrete manipulatives and activities.Elementary courses do have workbooks and a learning kit with manipulatives to help enhance the experience for younger students. While the work for all students is through an online platform, many of the assignments utilize multiple ways of learning.
Is there any differentiation in the program as there would be in a typical classroom - for students who may need remediation or extra challenge?Yes. We do offer varous levels of the courses to meet various student needs, but the coursework is somewhat set, so we can't add or delete lessons.
If my child is not granted a position will I be expected to send her back to a brick and morter school? What other options will I have?In general, students are not "denied" enrollment in Cyber. The application process is to ensure the right fit and plan for your child's continued academic growth.
What if the whole school needs to shut down the in person. Will people have a chance to transfer to Cyber Pathways if this is the case?In general, no. Cyber is a different school that will continue to operate regardless of the status of in-person instruction at our other schools. If PA schools are shut down, all teachers will shift to at home learning based on their curriculum and lesson plans. Conversely, if all schools are shut down, we do not recommend transfering back to your child's brick-and-mortar school, because the lessons may be tracking differently.
How do I know that my inquiry for application was received? I did this over the weekend and did not receive any acknowledgment. How do I start the application process now so that I don’t delay enrollment?All families that completed the interest survey online have been received and will be responded to: https://sdlancaster.org/explore-our-schools/cyber-pathways-academy/#enroll
I have submitted applications but have no meetings yet.Meetings will take place in August and on-going. During times of high interest, families may experience delays in start.
Will school books for student and parents be available?Students receive a device (iPad or laptop) to access and complete assignments. Most of the work is embedded online in the program so no to textbooks, but younger students will recieve workbooks and a kit of learning supplies.
Are the kids expected to be online at certain hours or can the assignments be done at any time?There is an expectation of a consistent daily schedule and attendance is taken to meet SDoL requirements.
SDoL is doing great work.Thank you for your support!
Is CPA in a way a different public school? or Are the students part of the school that they are assigned to attend in a regular school year? Would they have the same teacher from their assigned schools? Thanks for all your work to make school possible for every kid.This is a good way to understand Cyber Pathways! It is a different school, different teachers, counselors, etc. BUT, it is a school in the School District of Lancaster.
Do I need to arrange for meetings with anyone at the middle school to further advance the enrollment opportunity?You do not need to contact anyone. Someone will contact you.
Are we able to do a combination of the live classes as well as working at different times?Students in high school can have some classes at McCaskey and some with the Cyber Pathways Academy.
What support/programs will be provided for gifted students?We do offer honors and AP courses. We do have a cyber advisor that supports students with IEP and GIEP's.
Time frame for classes?Classes occur during the regular school day. Specific schedules will vary by grade.
If there are more than one student in a family will they each recieve their own supplies?Yes.
Do we need a separate application for each child?Yes.
If a student begins the year with Cyber, but once the situation calms down with COVID and we feel it safe for our child to enroll into regular class, can they return?Yes, but usually done during marking period changes so work is not lost mid year but rather marking period grades can be averaged from cyber to bricks-n-mortar or vice versa.
Will this instruction offer Zoom style LIVE instruction? Or Pre-recorded lessons?Depends on grade, but yes to both.
If a child enrolls in CPA for kindergarten, do you anticipate a difficult time transitioning into first grade in person?We recognize that there would be a transition but buildings would collaborate with the cyber team to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Will Keystone testing, PSSA, and the like be required to be taken via traditional settings, or are there online options? Thank you.Cyber students are required to participate in state assessments. Typically, these assessments are administered at the cyber buildings.
Is it possible for parents to look at the actual platform so we can see a little bit better what the activities/instruction look like before making a decision?This would be available during the cyber interview. That is a time we discuss individual needs.
If SDOL is shut down again due to a possible second wave, will the Cyber Academy continue to operate as intended?Yes, as it did in the spring. Some in-person tutoring and counseling can be done remotely, if required.
In Cyber Academy, can the school schedule work with the parent schedule or is it a fixed schedule?The coursework is available 24/7 for students wishing to advance in learning, but students are expected to follow a daily schedule and cyber advisor support is available during the school day.
I understand there is an application. Can an SDOL child be denied admittance to the Cyber Academy?In general, no. But our counselors will work with your family to make sure all agree that Cyber is the right fit and we have a strong plan to ensure you child continues growing academically.
To be clear, all inquiries will be responded to in a about 1 week? This session is helpful, but I will likely have other questions. ThanskYes, We will be doing our best to reply to inquiries within a week. Replies will typically be in the form of an email.
Will kids have different teachers for different subjects, such as art, gym and math?The teachers will be different for each class. Our online vendors, Accelerate Education (K-5) and Edison Schoolware (6-12), hire Pennsylvania State certified teachers who teach the classes and assess the student work.
I'd like to support SDoL by enrolling in Cyber Pathways, but I want to know that my kindergartner will have flexibility in terms of expectations and screen time. I think there are many families thinking about this. Is this possible?This is a valid concern. The elementary program incorporates online activities, as well as "real-world" practice and extension activities that allow the students to work with content in a more ogranic learning situation.
Also, is Dual Language Immersion offered through the Cyber learning?Dual immersion is not currently available in the Cyber Pathways program.
After having already applied for the Academy with internet bill included as asked, is the response given via phone or mail?Due to the huge demand, we are doing our best to correspond via email, within a week of receiving applications and other requested information.
If a child is going to be a freshman this coming school year and they do Cyber Pathways this year will they get an opportunity to tour the school when they decide to go back to the school?If a student transitions back to their home building/campus, the guidance staff in that building will schedule a time for orientation, prior to the student's return.
Because I indicated we are interested in cyber I wasn't able to put in an AM/PM preferenceStudents in the Cyber Pathways academy will follow a full-day schedule. Details about that schedule will be shared at future time.
How can I be a learning coach if I am working 8am to 5pm? Is there flexibility to complete assignments during evenings and weekends?The expectation is that students complete their work during the school day and that they are supervised/assisted by a learning coach who is an adult. Attendance is taken daily, Monday through Friday.
Is there a physical education component to the a Cyber Pathways Academy?The online vendors that the Cyber Pathways Program uses, offer courses that meet the state Physical Education requirements. Activites and assessments have been designed with the understanding that students are limited to basic physical activities.
My child is currently in a learning support curriculum at Wheatland Middle school. Will there be tolerances or modifications to the Cyber curriculum for kids with IEPs?Cyber Pathways Academy can support students with an IEP, but determination of acceptance into the program will be based on a review of the IEP and the student's individual needs.
If the brick and mortar schools have to shut down, will you or can you train all building schools to teach the Cyber program starting after christmas break?The Cyber program is able to operate even if the buildings must shut down again. During the shutdown in the spring of 2020, our students were able to continue with all of their courses, with minimal disruption. Students who needed additional support, were able to receive assistance from the Cyber Program staff, via zoom meetings and phone meetings. If another full-shutdown is to occur, the district will provide contingency plans for students who are not in the cyber program.
And being that there is 24/7 access, it was just mentioned that a 5,6,7 year old couldn’t go to a website for learning ... if I set it up where it’s easily accessible for her to connect to what she needs to connect to and then I can work with her further once i get home. I think it unrealistic to just “figure it out” to make this hard decision. Not every place of work is flexible or if they are of course it’s within limits. If any of that makes senseIf there is adult supervision, that adult can serve as a learning coach and your children can work on their lessons throughout the day, since daily attendance is required.
What do gym art and music classes look like with cyber?The details of the classes will be discussed at the interview since those course options vary by grade.
So to clarify, a student can enroll in cyber but has to attend the school for the IB program?That is correct. Unfortunately, at this time, the IB does not offer online curriculum.
Will Cyber students have virtual interaction with other students?There are limited interactions with other cyber students, as the courses are independent in nature.
How can we reach out to the dual language program to discuss if my child can return to the program after this year?Cyber Pathways does not have the Dual Language option and there is a possibility that if you transfer into the cyber program, you may not be able to keep you seat in any special program hosted by a home building. Please contact Wharton Elementary for more information on Dual Immersion.
How does it work if my child would be in the honors SLC in mccaskey but chooses yo do cyber this year?Cyber Pathways does offer Honors Level classes for High School. However, IB classes are not offered due to the IB criteria.
Are we able to do a combination of live classes and the pre-recorded?Each grade level has varying degrees of live instruction. There is more live instruction in the k-5 classes.
I would like to echo concerns regarding the highly-structured proposal for kindergarten and early elementary students. Is the package provided "customizable" in any way (by the district, if not the family), or is the curriculum set by the vendor? (Essentially, I would love to have my incoming kindergartner participate in some structured academic learning, as well as opportunities for family-based learning)The individual needs of your family can be discussed at the interview. We always do our best to accommodate your needs within the parameters of the program.
can we see a schedule for kindergarten and second grade?Please see the sample schedule here:
https://sdlancaster.org/explore-our-schools/cyber-academy/elementary-pathways/
Have you communicated what students were chosen for the dual immersion program yet?The Cyber Pathways Academy does not offer dual immersion. Please contatct your home school.
Will assessments be done in the brick and mortar school or also online?Course assessments are typically done online. State assessments, like PSSA or Keystone, are typically administered at the cyber hubs.
How does CPA connect with your honors and bachcalaureate program?It depends on the course. IB is only offered at McCaskey, but students are able to blend their schedule to attend only IB courses at the physical school.
Can you speak to what a blended schedule would look like for a AP/IB 10th grader? Will it be different than the hybrid model that in-person/brick and mortar schedule would offer?Please reach out to your campus counselor about scheduling. We will be able to discuss details at the interview.
I have an incoming kindergarteners. This does not seem like an age appropriate amount of screen exposure for early learners. What kind of options are there to avoid this? AAP suggest max of two hours a day.When enrolling in a cyber program, you can expect a certain amount of screen time, which varies by grade, lesson, ability level, etc.
Is there a round about percentage of elementary school children thus far returning to physical schools vs. those applied to the Academy? We realize there is a larger influx.We do not know for sure yet, but our data suggest at least 90% of students plan to return to physical schools in August.
If the child had been transitioned out of cyber prior to a closure would they be able to transition back to cyber?Multiple transitions in one academic school year are discouraged.
se cambiaría a la misma escuela que estaba antesSí, volvería a la escuela física anterior de su hijo.
Regarding extra curricular like Marching band and other music activities: I know this is part of what the kids are able to participate in but how easy is that for them to get involved?Your child's school counselor and Cyber counselors will assist you to make sure your child can participate in these activities.
Would my middle school honors student be able to continue on the honors pathway in CPA?Cyber honors courses are only offered in high school.
Can you show course curriculum for a kindergartner and a second grader?Specific schedule and course selection questions will be discussed at the interview.
Cual es el marking period porfavor?Periodo de calificaciones.
If enrollment is limited, is my online inquiry in interest to enroll into Cyber the only document used for consideration whether we can apply? Will I be turned down based on the inquiry form? Do we need to make dual arrangements while waiting for the application or acceptance to Cyber?If you completed the online survey your interest has been recorded. Please next respond with the completed application emailed to you and then we will reach out for interview/training/start date. You do not need to look at other options.
How will students recevie therapy services if they are required?The IEP team would need to meet to discuss.
Will there be opportunities for students to interact with other cyber students via the platform?The cyber platform is independent work mostly, with little interaction with other cyber students.
Donde debo mandar la aplicacion?https://sdlancaster.org/explore-our-schools/cyber-pathways-academy/#enroll
When you said that if the brick and mortar schools are shut down and go online, the children who signed up for Cyber school will remain in Cyber. Does this mean we no longer have the choice to switch to the brick and mortar platform (which would be online if shut down) at the end of a marking period?We want to limit transitions for academic continuity. Sometimes transitions do happen, but we want to be sure multiple transitions are not occuring in one academic school year, so students are not missing consistent instruction. We do not want students to transfer to online learning in their home school, only to return to cyber if/when in-person instruction resumes again.
Thank you for all your work in taking care of all of our students' needs. It's such a huge task, and we appreciate the options that you're building. Wishing everyone the best in these challenging times.Thank you for your support!
How will the internet reinbursment will be handle?This is through quarterly reimbursement and completion of form submitted to IU13 for up to $40/month. This will be explained in more details to families upon enrollment.
Will SDoL lose significant funding if kindergarten families choose to take advantage of non-mandatory kindergarten in PA? I really don't want to harm SDoL while looking out for our family.SDoL will lose funding if kindergarten families choose as a cyber charter school. We do not lose any funding if kindergarten students are homeschooled or enroll in Cyber Pathways.
If a child has an IEP, will the teacher in the cyber program provide accomodations? (i.e. few problems, longer time for tests, etc.)We do have students with IEP's in the Cyber Pathways Academy and accommodations can be provided when appropriate. This would be discussed with the IEP casemanager.
I'm worried about my 5 year old starting kindergarten. Will he get the same level of education doing the cyber schooling as he would in a classroom setting?Cyber courses are grade specific, so a kindergartner would take kindergarten cyber courses.
What happens August 10?August 10 is the date we are suggesting having applications completed for families wishing to start cyber for the start of 20-21 school year. That will allow us sufficient time to get everyone enrolled for the start of the school year.
We appreciate the work that the entire SDoL team is doing. We really appreciate you!Thank you for your support!
Thank you for all of your work on all of the plans. Your work is appreciated. These are tough decisions.Thank you for your support!
Thank you so, so much for all you do!Thank you for your support!
Will the cyber interview happen before the school year is set to begin?Yes, in August and on-going as we process applicants in a timely manner. At times of high volume there may be a delay.