CASD Learning and Enrichment Plan Q & A

What is the new CASD Learning and Enrichment Plan?

We must now prepare for the possibility that the current school closure will be further extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has directed school districts to provide a plan for the continuity of education in a modified fashion. In response, CASD will implement the CASD Learning and Enrichment Plan which will enable an organized, reasonable system of learning and enrichment to be implemented in lieu of traditional schooling.

We are mindful of our families’ diverse situations, needs, and ability to be present to work with their children during this process. To this end, we have attempted to build a system which will be effective, but also simple, clear, efficient, and easy to manage for all families. 

How is this plan different than traditional schooling?

The District recognizes that it cannot fully replicate schooling in the online setting. However, we are committed to creating the best possible experience for students, families, and staff. To this end, we are committed to maximizing the at-home learning experience by focusing on these priorities:

  1. Reinforcement and Enrichment – Activities will review and solidify key content and skills which were already taught throughout the school year.

  2. Exposure to New Learning – Activities will introduce the most critical concepts and skills which would have been taught in the fourth marking period. This content will be important for students’ success in future courses and grade levels.

  3. Structure for At-Home Learning – Activities will provide structure and guidance for our students and families as they engage in at-home learning. 

How is this new plan different than the optional enrichment period from March 16th to April 3rd

While activities were optional for students in the first three weeks, it will now become the expectation that students are engaged with their teachers in an online setting and completing meaningful tasks and activities for class. Formal guidelines and expectations have been enacted for elementary and secondary teachers. Teachers will monitor student participation and engagement through online interactions and completion of activities. 

When does this plan begin?

During the week of March 30th (this week), teachers will set up their online platforms and plan the first weeks of learning and enrichment. Teachers will continue to provide optional enrichment this week. 

By next week (April 6th week), teachers will communicate with their students, share some simple and introductory activities, and ensure that all students have logged on and re comfortable in the online setting. 

By the April 14th week, the plan will be fully implemented. At that time, students will receive clear expectations from their teachers.  

This type of learning will be in effect until we return to school or until the end of the school year. This will be determined as the situation evolves at the state level and in consideration of the safety and health of students and staff. 

What is my child expected to do?

Elementary students and families will connect with their teachers through Seesaw. Secondary students and families will connect with their teachers through Schoology. Every Monday morning, a checklist of sequenced learning and engagement activities will be created on these platforms. Students may then work at their own pace – with guidance from their teachers – to complete the weekly activities. 

How much time should we expect to spend on school activities in a week?

We are hopeful that a weekly plan assists families in more manageability organizing and planning activities. Families should expect their students to receive approximately 2-2.5 hours of required activities per week, per course. Beyond that, teachers may provide optional enrichment activities which would allow students to continue their studies if they and their families choose to do so.

What is the role of the family in this new plan?

We ask that our families help to ensure that their children are interacting with their teachers and are attempting to take part in activities throughout the week. 

The District is sensitive to the fact that our families are in a variety of unique and challenging situations at the present time. In many families, parents are working from home. Some families are experiencing challenges to include the loss of employment or an ill family member. Some households are equipped with technology and internet while others are not. Many of our students have taken on additional responsibilities as caretakers of younger siblings. 

It is our fundamental goal to be good partners with our families, and to provide structure and meaningful learning, not to burden our families.

Will parents/guardians have access to Schoology and Seesaw?

At the elementary level, we recommend simply viewing students’ activity via the student’s account. 

At the secondary level, parent/guardian is continued per their previous access.         

Will traditional grading continue?

No. We are in a complex and unique situation. Presuming that we are out of school for an extended period of time, we will not issue letter grades for secondary students in the fourth marking period. Similarly, we will not issue standards-based report card indicators for elementary students. 

However, it is important to maintain some level of accountability. As our focus is on engagement and participation, each student will be rated on their engagement level as follows: highly engaged, moderately engaged, or disengaged. This rating will be based on evidence of participation and activity, and will appear on the student’s fourth marking period report card. For secondary students, this will not be calculated into the final course grade, transcripts, nor counted toward GPA (see below). 

The activities and experiences are designed to reinforce key concepts and prepare students for future grade levels and courses. While not graded, this content meaningful and important. 

How will final course grades and GPAs be determined?

We will derive a final course grade and GPA based on marking periods one, two, and three. More information on this will come from secondary building principals. 

Can this marking period impact whether my child passes a class?

We recognize that we are in a highly unusual time, and it is our goal to work with students and families. For students who have not yet passed a course, teachers will continue to work with them to provide opportunities to participate and engage in learning. While a formal grade will not be given in the fourth marking period, students’ engagement will be taken into account when making a final decision on whether the student passed the course. 

Will my child need technology?

It will be important for students to have access to the type of device that they use in school (iPads in grades K-7, and laptops in grades 8-12).  If your student does not have access to that specific type of device at home, then please note the following:

  • Elementary school families should use this this link ( to reserve a pick up time to retrieve their iPad on Thursday, April 2nd.
  • Middle school families will receive direct communication from their building principals on device pick-up.
  • High school students should already have their laptops but will be afforded an opportunity to retrieve them if left in school.

Families who have adequate access to these specific types of devices at home do not need a school device to be successful in this plan.  

Note: Though Cumberland County is operating under a stay-at-home order by state government, it is permissible for students to retrieve devices at school locations.

Will my child need school-assigned books and materials?

We must limit the extent to which students are retrieving books and materials from school. Teachers will plan activities which can be done within the learning platforms or using online resources. In special or case-by-case scenarios, students may be permitted to retrieve specific items or materials from the school building. More information will follow from the building level. 

What if we have little or no internet access?

Students/families may be able to access the internet in the following ways:

  1. The student/family can access the internet to upload/download activities and refresh apps by moving into close proximity of any district building.

  2. Internet Essentials through xfinity/Comcast – 2 months of free internet service for qualified low-income households.

  3. Free access to the “xfinitywifi” community hotspots. 

The District continues to explore individualized solutions for families who cannot access the internet. Please communicate with your building’s principal if you know that you will be unable to access the internet at this time. 

Will my child continue to receive special education, 504, ELD, and/or gifted education services?

It is our District’s intent to meet students’ individual learning needs whenever possible in this unique situation. However, we recognize that some services and activities are contingent upon being present in the school setting. Principals, counselors, teachers, and case managers will communicate with families throughout this process.  

When will we receive updates on special events and activities?

All school events and activities are cancelled during the period of school closure. The District will provide updates and announcements via the website and/or notification system.