By Mary Niederberger
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer
The launch of remote instruction in the Pittsburgh Public Schools is being delayed one week until April 22, according to a letter district Superintendent Anthony Hamlet sent to staff today.
The district had been slated to start remote instruction for its 23,000 students on March 16 based on an announcement released on March 30, the day Gov. Tom Wolf said he was closing all schools indefinitely. Yesterday, Wolf announced the closure of all schools for the remainder of the school year.
The Pittsburgh district has not offered any remote learning to students since the governor initially closed schools for a 10-day period on March 13.
According to Hamlet’s letter to staff, which can be found below in its entirety, the extra week is needed to make sure that students have the materials they need, including in-home technology and the ability to “log in and access materials.”
“Preparing for Remote Learning As we prepare for instruction at home, it is also important that we remain agile. That is why, we are moving our date to begin remote instruction from Thursday, April 16th to Wednesday, April 22nd,” Hamlet wrote in the letter.
“This is in direct response from multiple stakeholder input. As you know, remote learning is new for everyone, and we want to ensure students, families and staff have time to familiarize themselves with how to engage and be successful. “
According to the new schedule, teachers will begin preparing for remote learning on April 14
“In addition to reviewing class lists, setting up classes and familiarizing yourselves with PLC teams, teachers, including special education teachers, should begin contacting their students,” the letter said.
On April 14 and 15, technology will be distributed to seniors and teachers. After seniors receive laptops, technology distribution will start for students in grades 9-11. Families who have not completed the district’s home technology survey are asked to do so. In addition, teachers will ask families about their home technology access when they make phone calls to families this week.
On April 16, printed instructional and student orientation materials will be delivered. The packets will be delivered by grade level at districts schools and other locations across the city and will include adaptations for students with individualized education plans and English language learners.
Remote instruction will behamlet letter
gin April 22.