the heart of a virtual school.
Teacher Communication: Microsoft Teams serves as the teachers’ business platform. iMessage and FaceTime provides the communication platform for the entire staff and leadership team during the school day. Teachers from the California, Arizona, and Florida campus schools are networked together as one live team thanks to the advancements of modern technology.
Parent Communication: ParentSquare serves as the communication platform for instant messaging between parents, teachers, and the leadership team. Parents may reserve available meeting times in a teacher’s schedule for a personal teacher meeting via ParentSquare. Zoom Rooms serves as the live meeting platform for teachers and parents. The FACTS parent portal keeps records of student grades, assignments, and upcoming tests. FACTS also sends automated emails for attendance and behavioral notices. In conclusion teacher’s are very accessible and parents integrally informed.
Student Communication: The FACTS student portal keeps records of student grades, assignments, and upcoming tests. Showbie, which serves as the communication platform for instant messaging between teachers and students, is available to every student at all times. Zoom Rooms serves as the live meeting platform for classes. Student may return to the Zoom classroom after dismissal for out of class questions during the open-classroom time. A student may also meet for a private meeting in the teacher’s personal Zoom room, as in some cases this may be preferred. The students are able to view their current grades and averages on their personal iPads. They monitor their scores and request extra help when they notice their averages dropping below their personal goal.
Collaborative Classrooms: Zoom Rooms is the meeting room hub for the school’s classrooms. Individuals and even entire classrooms are able to join other classrooms as may be convenient. In addition, a single Zoom classroom can divide into smaller groups via Break Out Rooms in Zoom as may be convenient. Music classes are this year revamping to an advanced sound software presently in beta.
Collaborative Work: Teachers and classes collaborate on lessons and assignments using interactive polls, collaborative whiteboards and shared content, break-out rooms for teams and study groups. This collaboration may be done as a class whole or in smaller groups. Apps used include Showbie, Explain Everything, OneNote, PearDeck, Socrative, Quizlet and more. Teachers use OneNote and Explain Everything to collaborate with the students and work with them through any difficulty they might have. They leave written and audio feedback on students’ assignments in Showbie and Canvas. Teachers use Explain Everything to send additional tutorials to students who are struggling with a concept. They also make flashcards in Quizlet for students to study and test themselves on their own. Competitive scoring with their own previous scores and those of their classmates which are automatically posted is an incentive to study harder.
The regular feedback on the students’ work enables problems to be addressed promptly, so that the students are able to fix mistakes on the very next assignment. The constant and immediate access to the students’ grades and the open communication among the students, parents, and teachers permits early intervention both in the classroom and at home. Remedies can be applied before the task becomes too daunting and frustrating for the student, the parents, and teacher.
Through the use of these modes of communication the students come to class with more confidence and are eager to show the teacher the skills and knowledge they have acquired. Teachers are encouraged by the interest and help from the parents. Working together, the teachers and parents empower the students to set high expectations for themselves and ultimately reach their goals.