Local high school holds ‘cyber school' while closed for weather

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PITTSBURGH —

Seton-LaSalle High School was closed Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean students didn’t have to do school work.

Seton-LaSalle High School Principal Lauren Martin told Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic (@JenniferTomazic) that Tuesday was the second time the school held cyberclasses.

“It’s really nice when you consider it. It’s not really a day off, but you get to go to school in your room and can do it on your own time,” Kailyn Martino said.

According to Martin, the teachers post assignments online or email them to students, and the kids have a certain amount of time to complete them from home.

“At 10 a.m. they send us all of our assignments and email us,” sophomore Colleen Bench said. “Some of it is just reading articles and others is stuff you have to print out and look up.”

The first time Seton-LaSalle held cyberschool was earlier in January. Martin said it went well, but they had to change a few things for Tuesday.

“I honesty really don't mind that much. I like it better than having to make up school day in June when it’s hot and miserable,” Bench said.

Here is the schedule for students:

  • By 8 a.m. - Students will receive a daily attendance email to which they will need to respond to have their daily attendance taken.  Students need to respond to this email by 1 p.m.
  • By 10 a.m. - Teachers will post assignments, sending an email to students with directions for completing the assignments.  Many teachers will share assignments prior to 10 a.m., so students may begin checking their email as early as they like.
  • By noon - Students should log in to their Google accounts to check school email accounts for their assignments and determine if they have any questions for their teachers.
  • By 1 p.m. - Students will respond to their daily attendance email.
  • 1 - 2 p.m. - Teachers will be live online to address student questions via email or Google Chat.  Students should review all assignments prior to this time, so they are prepared to ask any questions they have about the assignments.  Students may communicate with teachers at other times as scheduled by or with their individual teachers.
  • 5 p.m. - Student assignments should be completed and submitted, unless otherwise directed by individual teachers.  Provided that students have checked their attendance and assignment emails by the designated times and communicated questions to their teachers between 1 and 2 p.m., students should not work on assignments later than 5 p.m.  If students encounter problems and questions with their assignments and cannot complete the assignments by 5 p.m., they should email their teachers.  The email should inform the teachers of the issues they are experiencing and indicate that they cannot complete all of the work by 5 p.m.  Students will remain responsible for completing the assignments according to their teachers expectations but will be provided the opportunity to ask the teachers questions the following day in class and extra time to finish the assignments.  Student communication with individual teachers is essential.

Martin said Tuesday counts as a day of instruction, but they won't make the students do more than three cyberdays in a row.

“It's a little hard for students to learn by themselves at home. So if we would get into four or five days, then we would close,” Martin said.

Martin said teachers like the concept of the continuous learning.

“They're all pretty tech-savvy, so it’s not too difficult for them to come up with assignments, even if it's last-minute,” Martin said.