Administration answers questions about online learning


Cole Pressler

Lincoln administrators held a virtual call inviting students to ask them questions about the future of online learning and any other questions they had about Lincoln this year. Notes from the call can be found below.

A second student-administrator listening session was held Friday for students to ask questions about the future of online classes, athletics, activities such as prom and graduation, among other topics. Notes from the session can be found below. Student suggestions for future online learning can be submitted here.


What are teachers doing to prepare for online learning?

Teachers will be reporting Monday for an all-staff virtual meeting to discuss online learning. Portland Public Schools (PPS) has worked with teachers to come up with a plan for their online training and professional development for the next week. They are also working on a plan to start interacting and working with students the following week of Apr. 6; however, there is no definite time when online classes will start.

“Its fun to be on this platform and connect with students, and I know our teachers are really looking forward to [online learning],” says Lincoln’s principal Peyton Chapman.

Chapman is unsure how Lincoln will enforce and mandate online school, but stressed that it’s not about the grade– it’s about the learning.

“[Learning is] going to be student-driven,” says Chapman. “If [students] don’t take advantage of opportunities, they won’t continue to learn.”

If students need Chromebooks for online learning tools, they can email Chapman or alert PPS directly.


What is happening with current grades?

PPS is now waiting for guidance from the state of Oregon on if grades are now final. Several students on the admin listening session feel that it is unfair to take students’ current grades as their final grades since most students believed they would have additional school time to make grades up.

Chapman says that teachers will allow students opportunities whenever possible to make grades up and to resubmit assignments.

“Anything that the kids need– to retake units, proficiencies, tests– anything they want to,” says leadership and math teacher Lisa Klein-Wolf. 

Administrators believe teachers will be flexible in allowing work to be resubmitted.


Do you think we will be going back to school on the 28th?

Currently it is too soon to tell, but PPS is waiting on word from Governor Kate Brown, who will make the decision if it is safe to return by April 28. Chapman emphasized that it is more important for students to stay out of school to ensure they are healthy and safe rather than to start up again prematurely before the virus has stopped spreading. 


How will missed educational hours be made up?

There have not been any discussions at Chapman’s level about making up instructional hours. She hasn’t heard anything being proposed, but it doesn’t mean there can’t be made-up school days at the end of the year.


Could students be tested on materials that they were assigned during the break when we school returns?

Teachers and students can work on assessments or demonstrations of proficiency. But the administration is unsure of what PPS will decide specifically about testing. Chapman wants to encourage students to keep learning and keep up their skills for both potential tests and for after high school. 


Will online classes be held during class periods?

Teachers and admins will discuss this topic at the staff meeting on Monday and during the coming week. Administrators want to be mindful of not giving students too much to do– many people are occupying themselves and staying busy at their own homes so administrators are trying to decide how much online work is the right amount. Vice Principal Jo Ann Wadkins emphasized that students are missing the structure offered by a regular school day so Lincoln must figure out a structure of classes that balances that with the online routine.


Is work that was assigned before the break still due even if we don’t have school? 

Chapman encourages students to turn assignments in, but teachers have been told they can keep working with students and improving their proficiency so anything that was worked on prior to March 13 can still be graded and improved.


What is happening with prom and graduation?

Prom has currently been pushed back to May 29 at the Oregon Zoo. There is still a contract with the Memorial Coliseum for a graduation ceremony. Chapman emphasized that no contracts will be canceled until they know more about what Governor Kate Brown decides about the April 28 return date to school.


Will families be reimbursed for spring sports?

At a recent meeting, Vice Principal James McGee was informed that there would be a full reimbursement for all spring sports. As soon as Jill Ross, Lincoln’s School Business Manager, gets word that she can start making reimbursements, she will begin refunding families. 


How will IB students receive their grades?

IB will be externally grading internal assessments (In language B classes, this is the oral that students took before break) combined with a predicted score from your teacher as well as historical data from years of Lincoln’s past IB test information to determine IB scores. 

More information on how IB will be awarding scores will be emailed home later tonight.


Will there be opportunities for IB students to make up grades in the future if they do not receive their desired grade by the end of the year? 

“Students could explore retakes in November sessions if they are not happy with their current [IB] grades,” says Lincoln’s IB coordinator Kim Bliss. He stressed that it is important for students to continue to work on their IB internal assessments to receive final grades.


How will IB tests for students currently in the first year of two-year courses be affected?

Bliss is still waiting to hear from IB about how they will address the teaching hours required for students in the first year of a course. They have currently been focusing pretty much entirely on assessments for students in the testing year of the course, and he thinks they will hear a lot more from them in the next month about students in your position. 


Is the 60-day rule still in place?

The 60-day rule, which prohibits students from walking at graduation if they commit certain crimes or rule violations, will still be applied. Despite not being in school, administrators believe that safe decisions should continue to be made, not just for your own safety, but for the safety of everyone else. If the 60-day rule is not followed, discipline will occur.

“If a kid is saying something that is out of line… there will be discipline. We still have high expectations of you,” says McGee. 

Students are not only encouraged to follow the 60-day rule, but to also make sure that they stay inside and make good choices. 

“Please take this seriously. We’re on lockdown for a reason,” says Chapman. “Hopefully everyone is making safe decisions for themselves and for others.”


Virtual discipline 

In the recent push for online learning and classes, there have been incidents around the country where students have said racist or misogynistic things about others. Lincoln is working hard to prevent anything like this from happening. For this reason, in the coming week, expect a list of guidelines to come out regarding expectations and discipline for online school. Similar to the disciplinary guidelines that are followed in the classroom, students online should remain respectful to their teachers and their peers, and be thoughtful about what they are saying and doing online. 


NOTE: Students applying to European colleges can contact counselors and administrators about sending transcripts and other materials to those schools.