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May 27, 2020
FCPS is printing NTI packets that can be picked up at schools or were mailed to students. FCPS’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School announced in an email on April 23 that “final exams will not be given for the 2020 spring semester.” Additionally, PLD is similar to JCPS in that it “will assess students using the grading procedures set by the SBDM council; however, no students will be assigned an ‘F’ or failing grade for the spring 2020 semester. Students will receive an incomplete ‘I’ and will be given an opportunity to recover through a variety of options on a case by case basis.”
JCPS has advised teachers to rely on Google Classroom as the main source of communication with students. Virtual instruction can be given through Google Meets, but should be recorded for students to view at a later time. If you’re confused about how NTI works, you can visit the online support portal here for tutorials and access to each school’s NTI page. Paperwork packets are now available at 14 emergency food sites. View the list here. Work packets can be returned at any emergency food site.
FCPS: “Each school is communicating academic expectations directly with families, but I want to assure you that work done during NTI will not lower any student’s grade. We will provide plenty of flexibility to help students complete work and allow safety nets for students who need additional help,” FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk said on April 20 in an email to parents.
JCPS: According to a parent letter from JCPS on April 20, the elementary and middle school curricula will be evaluated on a “met” and “not yet met” system. High schoolers, however, can receive letter grades for their work. Many have criticized the choice to keep the current system during a national crisis, while others appreciate the opportunity to raise their grades. Non-participation will result in an incomplete, and will not harm grades.
FCPS has set up a temporary hotline to help students and parents with NTI-related issues. You can reach them from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays at (859) 381-4410. “As far as how Chromebooks are being distributed, that’s up to each school,” Mrs. Kim Overstreet, PLD technology resource teacher, said. “Some FCPS schools are not distributing any Chromebooks at all, and others are giving on a need basis, while a few were already one to one.” FCPS’s technology department is providing online platform training for teachers in addition to many other school-specific requests. FCPS did not respond to our inquiries.
JCPS faces a unique ‘digital divide’ as Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio has dubbed it. The district is the largest in the state with nearly 100,000 students, and at least 20,000 needed a Chromebook from the district to complete virtual instruction. JCPS is working to raise funds for more in the future. JCPS had 25,000 to allot, so the remaining 5,000 will go into a lottery system for any student, regardless of their enrollment in the free and reduced lunch program. Additionally, Spectrum is extending two months of free internet nationwide as part of an initiative that began March 16. Call (844) 488-8395 to apply for the offer. Paper packets of work can be picked up at these emergency food sites. If you’re having technical issues other than the need for a Chromebook, you can contact JCPS NTI support here.