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DSA Student Ignite at Home Online Learning Portal

Overview

At this portal students and parents will be able to review our online norms, see a visual of the learning schedule for online learning and then proceed to their teachers' learning portal to find out their specific class schedule for all of their teachers and classes. This will be necessary so students can resume a routine of daily instruction on Monday, April 6th through the end of the school year.  If you have difficulty accessing any of your teachers’ sites, email your teacher or me.

 

State Decisions on Covid19 Grading for DSA Middle School Students & Grading Post 3rd Quarter

We wanted to clarify any questions about grades during the time period of April 6th to the end of the school year.  Even though students had until April 24th to turn in work from the 3rd nine weeks which technically in PowerSchool ended on March 26th, new learning started on April 6th for all students online and will continue through the end of the school year.   Your child received a numeric grade for the 3rd nine weeks grading period that was available online in your child’s PowerSchool Portal.  The State of North Carolina School Board has made the following decisions that impact your child.  As far as your child’s final grade, Students will receive a Pass “PC19” if they are passing or Withdrawal “WC19” if they are failing a class for the Final Grade for all middle school courses; determined by their numerical grades through the end of Quarter 3 grades and now with opportunities to improve through remote learning from April 6th through the remainder of the school year.  Even though middle school students will not be graded on a report card like they have in past traditional 4th quarters, teachers will continue to provide feedback and even tell students how they would score if the assignment was graded.  It is vitally important that students continue to engage in their own learning during this time period so they will be successful next year in for their next grade level.  Please note, middle school students enrolled in high school courses should follow the guidance below provided for students in grades 9-11 which will be provided by their high school teacher. 

State Decisions on Covid19 Grading for DSA High School Students Grades 9-11 & Grading Post 3rd Quarter

Breaking the Year into Semesters

  • Students must have a semester 1 average of 60% or higher to earn .5 credits.
  • Students must have a semester 2 average of 60% or higher to earn .5 credits.
  • Students must earn BOTH half-credits.  Otherwise, the course must be repeated if needed for graduation.

Let’s take a closer look at each semester. . .

1st Semester

If your first semester average is already 60% or higher, you are done with the first semester.  You have earned .5 credits.  The grade you made will be part of your GPA.

If your first semester average is below 60%, your teacher has sent you a contract.  If you complete the contract satisfactorily, your first semester grade will be changed to a 60%, you will earn .5 credits, and the 60% will be part of your GPA.  If you do not complete the contract satisfactorily, your 1st semester average will remain what it is right now, you will not earn .5 credits, you will have to repeat the entire course, and the failing average will be part of your GPA.  Contract work is due by 9:00 AM, June 1st

2nd Semester

For the sake of convenience, we are referring to the time period between April 6th and the end of the school year as the 4th quarter, but in actuality it is what the North Carolina School Board has classified as a period of “remote learning opportunities” that allows students to improve their grades if they choose to participate. Even though it is not same as the traditional 4th quarter, we have created a system within this framework that is equitable and legitimate due to the impact grades have upon student GPA’s and class rank. For the sake of transparency, we are recording these grades in the PowerSchool 4th quarter student portal so students and parents can view these grades if they choose to participate in this period of remote learning. As far as your child’s report card there will not be a 4th quarter grade, just a semester grade which will be the same as the 3rd quarter grade and if the 4th quarter improves that grade it will be the average of the two grades.

If your 3rd quarter average is 60% or higher. . .

  • You should continue to work on 4th quarter assignments (any assignment from April 6th forward).  These can only help your grade and will make sure you are prepared as possible for next year.
  • The 4th quarter assignment grades will be entered in PowerSchool.  
  • Zeroes will be entered for missing assignments.  
  • When you complete an assignment after the due date, the zero will be replaced with your grade, and there are no late penalties.  If you never complete an assignment, the zero for that assignment will remain.
  • If your 4th quarter average is higher than your 3rd quarter average, then it will help you.  That average of 3rd quarter and 4th quarter will be used for your 2nd semester grade.
  • If your 4th quarter average is lower than your 3rd quarter average, then you will keep your 3rd quarter average as your 2nd semester grade. 
  • Once 2nd semester and 1st semester are finalized your teacher will help you determine if your S2 average will raise your GPA.  If it does, you will be advised to ask for a numeric grade for 2nd semester.  If it does not, you may be advised to ask for  a “pass” for the semester, and only 1st semester would be part of your GPA.

 

If your 3rd quarter average is below 60%. . .

  • You must work on 4th quarter assignments (any assignment from April 6th forward).  It’s your only chance to earn .5 credits for semester 2 to avoid having to repeat the course.
  • The 4th quarter assignment grades will be entered in PowerSchool.
  • Zeroes will be entered for missing assignments.
  • When you complete an assignment after the due date, the zero will be replaced with your grade, and there are no late penalties.  If you never complete an assignment, the zero for that assignment will remain.
  • Your 2nd semester grade will be calculated by averaging 3rd quarter and 4th quarter.  If the 2nd semester grade ends up lower than 60%, you will receive a W (withdrawn) as a semester 2 grade.  That means you have not earned .5 credits and will have to repeat the entire course, but the low grade will not become part of your GPA.
  • If the semester 2 grade is 60% or higher, your teacher will help you determine if your S2 average will raise your GPA.  If it does, you will be advised to ask for a numeric grade for 2nd semester.  If it does not, you may be advised to ask for a “pass” for the second semester only.  The 1st semester would still be part of your GPA, as a separate grade.

 

How the Final Grades Will Appear on Transcripts

Because we are breaking the year into semesters, this year’s grades will be listed on the transcript by semester (rather than by a final overall grade for the entire course).  The first semester grade will definitely be a numerical grade, and .5 credit will be listed.  The second semester grade will either be listed as a numerical grade or as “pass,” and .5 credit will be listed.

Timeline Details:

New‌ ‌learning‌ ‌began‌ ‌on‌ ‌April‌ ‌6, 2020.‌  ‌Work‌ ‌from‌ ‌April‌ ‌6‌th ‌going‌ ‌forward‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌calculated‌ ‌into‌ ‌4th ‌quarter‌ ‌grades.‌  ‌We‌ ‌understand‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌from‌ ‌April‌ ‌6‌th ‌to‌ ‌April‌ ‌24‌th ‌was‌ ‌confusing,‌ ‌so‌ ‌we‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌care‌ ‌of‌ ‌students‌ ‌who‌ ‌might‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌catch‌ ‌up.‌ Therefore,‌ each department will plan at least one “make up week” prior to May 29th where no new assignments will be given.‌

  • No new assignments will be given to students after May 22nd.
  • All remaining work must be submitted to your teacher no later than Friday, May 29th by 5:00 PM; earlier is appreciated.
  • S1 contract work (for students earning below a 60% for S1) must be submitted by 9:00 AM, June 1st.
  • S2 grades will be posted in PowerSchool by 9:00 AM on Tuesday, June 2nd.
  • Decisions regarding S2 grades (numeric, PC19, or WC19) will be made by students and families no later than June 4th.

Common Questions:

I failed one of the semesters, but my other semester average was high.  Can’t I average them together like we do in other school years?

No, not this year.  The grade for each semester must be 60% or higher on its own.

 

Are you saying if my average is below 60% for just one of the semesters, I have to retake the entire course?

Yes.

 

One of my semester averages is below 60% right now.  Are there any steps I can take so I can avoid repeating the entire course?

Yes!  If your semester 1 grade is below 60%, your teacher has provided you a contract.  If you complete the contract satisfactorily, your semester 1 grade will be changed to 60%.  Contracts are due June 1.

If your quarter 3 grade is below 60%, you can work on quarter 4 assignments to improve the semester 2 average.  If your quarter 3 grade is a 55%, you need at least a 65% in quarter 4 to pass the second semester.  If your quarter 3 grade is a 50%, you need at least a 70% in quarter 4 to pass the second semester, etc.

 

Can I choose “pass” for the first semester?

No.  The “pass” option is connected to semester 2 only.  Even with semester 2, it’s just an option.  If you have a passing grade for semester 2, you can choose “pass” as the semester 2 grade or you can choose to use the actual grade you made for the semester 2 grade. 

 

If my semester 2 grade is below 60%, can I choose “pass” for my semester 2 grade?

No!  Only students with a semester 2 grade of 60% or above have that option to consider.  If your semester 2 grade is below 60%, you will receive a semester 2 grade of W (withdrawn).  You will not earn .5 credits and will have to repeat the entire course, but the low semester 2 grade will not become part of your GPA.

 

If my semester 2 grade is 60% or above and I choose “pass,” I still get credit, right?

Yes.  You would still earn the .5 credits for semester 2.

 

The directions above keep using the phrase “advised to ask for”  Does that mean students have to make those decisions instead of the teacher making the decisions for us?

Yes, but your teachers and counselors are here to help you make those decisions. 

 

I’m worried I’ll get confused with all of these directions and make the wrong choice.  Can I get help making all these decisions?

Yes.  You can ask your teachers or your counselor for help.

Are these decisions important?  Does it really matter if I choose if  “pass” or choose my real grade for semester 2?

These decisions are important in terms of GPA.  It would be logical to make the choices that lead to the highest possible GPA for you.

 

What if I think I understand all the instructions but just make a mistake with my choices?  I don’t want my GPA to be lower than it could have been just because I made a mistake.  Can it be changed later?

Yes.  During the first quarter of next school year, students will have the ability to change their minds about using their actual semester 2 grade or just taking a “pass.”

 

My 3rd quarter average was 60% or higher, and I’m really happy with it.  Is it ok to stop working and then decide if I want to take a “pass” for semester 2 or use the actual grade?

If you and your family are struggling due to the pandemic, then yes, you are correct that this plan would work. These policies were created in order to help you.

However, if you and your family are not struggling due to the pandemic, we encourage you to keep working:

  • Celebrate the joy of learning!  
  • Enjoy stress-free learning for a change!  (You can work on quarter 4 assignments with the safety net that it can’t hurt you.)
  • Alleviate boredom!
  • Stay connected with DSA!
  • Take advantage of a rare opportunity to improve your average!
  • Even if you are really happy with your current GPA, the numeric grade does go on your transcript.  A 98 looks better than a 92 even though they affect your GPA the same way.  
  • If other students keep working and you stop, you may be at an academic disadvantage next year.  Learning will be a more difficult and more stressful endeavor, your grades may drop, your GPA and class rank may fall more. . .there could be quite a ripple effect.
  • A lot of students may use quarter 4 assignments to boost their semester 2 averages and improve their GPAs.  If their GPAs go up and yours remains the same, their GPA could be higher than yours, and your class rank could drop.

NC Final Course Grade Options

  • The default grade format will apply for all students unless another grade preference is communicated to the school by students and/or parents.  The table below indicates grades to be included on the transcript:

Default Final Grades

DSA Student Online Norms

As we move into our new reality of online instruction, we want you to continue to be successful educationally.  That will mean students have to take increased responsibility for their learning, especially now as we are no longer in the same classroom face-to-face on a daily basis.  Students must sign in by their correct names so as to identify them as a DSA student or they will not be allowed to participate in this opportunity for online learning.  Please make sure that posts, comments, videos and student work submitted are school-appropriate and relevant to the content of the class.  Students must maintain appropriate interactions in a virtual space.  Students are expected to complete all assigned school work and submit it for feedback and makeup work for a grade moving forward.  Our teachers are working hard to figure out how to best support you without overwhelming you.  This is new for all of us and we are learning together in a new way.  To ensure the greatest possible positive experience during this time we want to be clear that we are all still part of the DSA community and therefore maintain high expectations from all of us that are part of the DSA way.  Remember, we are here to help you as we all navigate this new way of having school.  To that end, here are some guidelines to follow over this period of remote learning.

DSA Student Online Expectations

  • Students must sign in by their correct names so as to identify them as a DSA student
  • All posts, comments, videos and student work submitted must be school-appropriate and relevant to the content of the class
  • Students must maintain appropriate interactions in a virtual space
  • In general, students should follow good digital citizenship guidelines:
  1. Treat others the way you want to be treated
    2. Be respectful
    3. Be focused on learning
    4. Complete assignments by the due date
    5. Interact with others as if you were in a real classroom.

Again, remember we are here to help you, but any violations of the above expectations will result in a referral to the appropriate grade-level administrator who will contact your parents/guardians for further consequences.  Best of luck and stay well. 

DSA Class Schedules – Please Review & Proceed to each of your teacher’s learning portals below to find out your specific class schedule daily for all of your classes because it is different than when we were all in school together on our campus.  We suggest you sit down with your parents and write down your daily/weekly schedule.

 

Grade 6 online interactive opportunities

6th & 7th Grade Schedule

Grade 7-12 online interactive opportunities

8-12 Schedule



Google classroom codes are available HERE

To add a class:

  • Make sure you are signed into your DPSNC.net Google Account
  • Visit classroom.google.com
  • Click the "+" to join the class
  • Copy or type in the class code

If you need to find a teacher webpage, please check the Directory.  

Our Student Services have a weekly video available via Instagram.