NTI / 2DL = Non-Traditional Instruction / Differentiated Distance Learning
Message from Principal Betsy Rains
The FCPS Board of Education voted unanimously to begin the 2020-2021 school year with Non-Traditional Instruction/Differentiated Distance Learning (NTI/2DL) and the first day will be August 26, 2020. We are excited to start the school year and we are looking forward to meeting incoming freshman and families, reconnecting with returning upperclassman, and getting back into a routine, even if it is a virtual routine! This letter contains general school information as well as a detailed plan for how NTI/2DL will operate for Paul Laurence Dunbar students and families. We know you have questions about starting school virtually and we have tried to answer your questions as best as possible.
Class Schedules: Student schedules are enclosed with this letter and all schedules will be available online on August 19th through the Infinite Campus parent portal. The user ID and password used last year will still gain access, even if a student attended a different FCPS school. If you are new to the district or have never set up your parent portal, please use the IC Parent Portal Support Tool and follow the “Register” instructions. You can also use this site to reset your password or if you have questions about how to use the portal. Dunbar cannot assist you in gaining access to your portal account; you must go through this support tool for assistance. If there are any errors on your student’s schedule, please alert your counselor as soon as possible using this Google form. Your student’s counselor is listed below, on the portal, and on the schedule. Please be aware that not all requested changes can be accommodated, even if they fall within the guidelines of the policy.
Counselor Assignments: Please see below for your student’s counselor assignment.
Last Name begins with:
A – Bal & MSTC
Ban – D
E – I
J - Mon
Moo – Scho
Schw – Z
9th grade orientation: For incoming 9th grade students and families we will have a drive thru orientation on August 20 and 21. PLD families will enter campus and follow the signs through six stations. Please see the schedule below and plan to drive thru during your designated date/time. If you cannot attend and you have questions, please contact the assigned counselor for your student.
Students with LAST name starting with:
Drive Through Assigned Block TIME:
A – Bal & MSTC
9 AM – 10:30 AM
Ban – D
11 AM – 12:30 PM
E – I
1 PM – 2:30 PM
J - Mon
9 AM – 10:30 AM
Moo – Scho
11 AM – 12:30 PM
Schw – Z
1 PM – 2:30 PM
Schedule for the first day of school, August 26, 2020: Students will Zoom meet with all classes for an overview of each course on the first day of school. Access to each scheduled class will be through Canvas. Thursday will be an A-day; Friday will be a B-day.
Zero Hour: 7:50 – 8:20
Homeroom/CCR: 8:25 – 8:55
A1: 9:05 – 9:35
A2: 9:45 – 10:15
A3: 10:25 – 10:55
A4: 11:05 – 11:35
Lunch: 11:40 – 12:15
B1: 12:25 – 12:55
B2: 1:05 – 1:35
B3: 1:45 – 2:15
B4: 2:25 – 2:55
Instructional/Class Fees: All students will be required to pay an instructional fee of $64. There may be additional fees depending on the courses the student is taking, however this year fees will be reduced due to virtual learning. All fees need to be paid (cash or check) by the end of the semester. If needed, you can make a partial payment of at least half with the remaining payment being made by the end of the first semester. All fees will be mailed home with an addressed, stamped return envelope. An itemized listing of fees will be available on the parent portal. If your family qualifies for assistance based on the Federal guidelines for the free or reduced lunch program, complete the forms, which are located on our website. Updated forms are required each year.
College & Career Readiness Block: During NTI/2DL, College & Career Readiness (CCR) information and activities will be provided each Wednesday. Students will connect with their CCR teacher at 11:00 AM to receive grade-appropriate information about careers, the college application process, financial literacy, global competency, test-taking skills, mentoring, and various other topics.
College and Career Center: The College and Career Center is a dedicated center to assist students on exploring career options, developing a career path, and understanding how to be college or career ready at the time of graduation. The center hosts college representative visits, business and industry representative visits, military representative visits, FAFSA days, guest speakers from a variety of careers, and student group college & business site visits. Due to COVID, we will not be participating in any on-site visits and all representative visits will be virtual for the fall semester. A monthly newsletter will be sent to parents via email on the activities from the College and Career Center. This information will be posted on the College and Career Center webpage under the Student Support tab on the PLD webpage. Virtual and phone appointments can be made with our College and Career Coach, Pamela Bates. Directions for scheduling appointments are on the CCC webpage.
Grading: PLD uses Standards Based Grading for all of our classes except Dual Credit. SBG emphasizes accurate reporting of student learning focused on the key content for each course. The details of our grading policy are on our webpage and included in our SBDM policies. Class syllabi will also include specific information about classroom expectations and procedures related to grading.
Your student will receive a final letter grade of A-F in all classes. Advanced, AP, and DC classes continue to receive an extra quality point on the weighted GPA. The main differences that you will notice are that the grading scale is 0-5 instead of 0-100 and that students have opportunities to improve their learning results if they are struggling with content.
Communication: During NTI/2DL, all communication from school to home will be communicated via email. There may be an occasional message sent via text and/or phone message. All communication will also be posted on our website and reported through the PLD Lamplighter. All parents/guardians need to update contact information (email and phone) in Infinite Campus. Parents can change email and phone numbers only in the Parent Portal by following the instructions on page 7. To change your physical address, you must send two forms of proof of address (deed/lease and utility bill or other bill) to the registrar. You can scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring copies to school.
Student Code of Conduct: The link to the FCPS Student Code of Conduct
SBDM Polices: All SBDM policies are located on the PLD SBDM page.
- Virtual Academy: FCPS’s completely online, asynchronous learning program. Students who select Virtual Academy will commit to remaining 100% online for at least a semester. Students may participate in sports through their attendance area school.
- NTI-2DL: FCPS schools will begin instruction virtually with a re-evaluation of the academic format every 6 weeks. Students may transition to hybrid classes or traditional in-person classes as determined by the FCPS Board of Education. NTI-2DL structures will resemble a traditional school day in order to support a transition to in-person structures when they become available.
Start Time: Virtual classes will start at 8:25AM and dismiss at 3:15PM. Students taking a zero hour (MSTC students) will begin class at 7:25AM.
Accessing Canvas and live instruction links: All teachers will use Canvas to communicate class assignments, due dates, office hours, etc. with students and families. Links to live instruction will be on Canvas as well. Students can access Canvas through this link. Parents also have access to all of their student’s classes via the Canvas Parent app. For information on how to link to your student’s information, please follow the instructions found in this video.
- Families, please check your contact information in IC for accuracy and make corrections if needed.
- FCPS email should be the primary means of communication between teachers and students.
- Students who are not able to attend a scheduled class or appointment should email their teacher in advance or, in case of an emergency, as soon as possible.
- Teachers will be available to answer student’s questions during their scheduled class time on live instruction days and during individual/group help sessions or by appointment on Wednesdays.
- Teachers are expected to respond to emails within 24 hours and are not required to respond after 4:15 pm or on non-school days.
- Students/families who are concerned about their progress in a class should first contact the teacher. If the problem continues, students/families should reach out to their counselor or assigned administrator.
- Teachers who are concerned about student attendance or academic performance will contact the student/family. If the problem continues, the student may be referred to the student support team (guidance counselor, administrator, etc.).
NTI/2DL Instructional Schedule & Guidelines
- All teachers will use Canvas as their primary instruction platform this year. Teachers may direct students to other secondary instructional platforms from their Canvas page; however, Canvas should be home base for all classes.
- All teachers will provide live instruction via a district-supported platform (Zoom, Google Meet) 30-90 minutes during each of their regular live class days (M,T,Th,F). These sessions will be recorded and made available for students on Canvas.
- Class instructional recommendation: I do, we do, you do format
- 15-30 minutes of direct instruction and guided practice -- recorded for archive on Canvas
- 10-20 minutes of collaborative/independent application
- 10-30 minutes to regroup to answer questions, extend learning, assess learning, etc.
All classes will be live for 30-90 minutes at the beginning of their designated class time on live instruction days. Teachers will remain available for questions and student support for the entire 90 minute period. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of live instruction. There will be an NTI employability grade for each live instruction day.
Zero hour will meet the same days as other live instruction days.
Technical school students will attend their technical school classes at their scheduled time.
0 Hour: 7:25-8:20
1st block: 8:25-9:55
2nd block: 10:00-11:30
3rd block: 12:10-1:50
4th block: 1:55-3:15
Office hours: 3:15-4:15 (club meetings, update grades, call parents, respond to emails, etc.)
NTI/2DL Instructional Schedule
A day live instruction
B day live instruction
Flexible Wednesday (in addition to CCR & SEL, teachers will have PLC, office hours, group/individual help sessions, student conferences/ feedback sessions, check-ins, update IC, parent contacts, etc.)
8:30-10:55 College/University/Military/Career virtual meetings/ exploration; teacher help sessions
10:15-10:55 Social-Emotional Learning groups live instruction (select students, attendance taken)
11:00-12:00 CCR class live instruction (attendance taken)
12:45-2:50 College/University/Military/Career virtual meetings/ exploration; teacher help sessions
A day live instruction
B day live instruction
NTI/2DL Employability Skills & Rubric
- Courses will include a 25% weighted category for Employability using the CTE EOP standard EA4.
- Employability grades should reinforce student dispositions and work habits that contribute to learning at high levels but not penalize students for their mental and physical health, employment, technology access, or home life disruptions.
- Teachers will record an employability grade by the end of each school day.
- There will not be a specific opportunity for students to re-assess an employability grade.
- Teachers will provide verbal feedback to students who are not demonstrating mastery on the employability standard.
- If a student is not in attendance during live instruction, the teacher will record an M (0) for the day’s employability grade. If a student completes class tasks within a week of the live class session, the teacher will change the employability score per the rubric.
- If a student/parent contacts the teacher IN ADVANCE of missing a live instruction meeting AND the student submits the class work within a week of the absence, the teacher will enter an employability score of up to a 5 reflecting the student’s work habits for that day’s tasks.
- If a student/parent DOES NOT contact the teacher IN ADVANCE of missing a live instruction meeting AND the student submits class work within a week of the absence, the teacher will enter an employability score with a maximum score of 3 for that day.
- If a student has a consistent barrier to attending live instructional sessions, they may communicate that to the teacher one time and the teacher will consider that advanced notice until the student communicates otherwise. For example: unreliable internet/4G/LTE access, home life disruptions, employment obligations, and mental/physical wellness.
- Teachers will intentionally embed opportunities for students to demonstrate the advanced mastery level of employability each class period using reflection, goal setting, revision, peer collaboration, etc.
Employability Rubric NTI/2DL
Not Yet (0.1)
Developing Skills (2)
Approaching Mastery (3)
Mastery of Standard (4)
Advanced Mastery (5)
EA4 Exhibit dependability in the workplace (prepared, engaged, on-task)
There is little or no investment of student’s energy into the learning tasks and activities.
The student needs frequent prompting to remain on-task and engaged in learning activities.
The student indicates through inconsistent focus and engagement that they are interested in completion of the task rather than learning at high levels.
The student understands their role as a learner and consistently expends effort to learn.
The student assumes responsibility for high quality learning by initiating improvements, making revisions, adding detail, and/or helping peers
Student logs on to live instruction OR completes minimal class tasks within a week of live instruction.
Student logs on to live instruction OR completes some class tasks within a week of live instruction.
Student engagement in live instruction activities is limited (seldom asking/answering questions live or in chat or responding to checks for understanding, inconsistently completing class learning tasks and assessments, etc), although they may need prompting to do so.
Student logs on to live instruction OR completes class tasks within a week of live instruction.
Student engages in some live instruction activities (asking/answering questions live or in chat, responding to checks for understanding, completing class learning tasks and assessments, etc), although they may need prompting to do so.
Student logs on to live instruction OR communicates with teacher prior to session and completes all class tasks within a week of live instruction.
Student is prepared for class and actively engages in live instruction activities (asking/answering questions live or in chat, responding to checks for understanding, completing class learning tasks and assessments, etc)
Student logs on to live instruction OR communicates with teacher prior to session and completes all class tasks and reflections/goal setting within a week of live instruction.
In addition to the student actively engaging in live instruction activities, the student is well-prepared for class and participates in reflection, goal setting, revision, and peer collaboration activities that support high quality learning.
If you have any questions about the above information, please feel free to contact us at our main number, 381-3546, and we will direct your call accordingly. I hope you have a great remainder of your summer vacation and will be ready for a fantastic 2020-2021 school year.