Family Resources

Rethinking School Start Times

Simsbury Public Schools is conducting research on later start times for school. Please see our Rethinking School Start Times page.

Other Resources & Information

Annual Notifications

Brochures & Publications Used in the Simsbury Public Schools

Elementary Report Card Handbook

Scientific Research Based Interventions (SRBI) in the Simsbury Public Schools (pdf brochure, updated August 2014)

Tips for Parents: When Your Child Is Reading to You (Brochure, September 2010)

Chrome at Home

District-Wide Assessment Calendar

The district-wide assessment calendar for 2018-19 will be posted in the spring. If you have any questions about the schedule, please contact your child's school.

Educational Online Services

Simsbury Public Schools utilizes many online applications and web-based tools to foster student learning through personalization, collaboration, and exploration. Online or "cloud" based applications and services extend student learning beyond the school day and building and provide accessibility to useful learning tools.

Considerations for approving an online service

We use educational accounts for most of our online services in order to have more control of settings and ease of classroom setup. Prior to recommending a service for classroom use, we review the service's privacy and security policies and inform teachers of best practices for using them responsibly. We do not approve providers who use personally identifiable information outside of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) standards. Since October 1, 2016, renewed or new online services that house student information, records and/or student work on their servers must also meet the minimum requirements of the  Connecticut Student Data Privacy Law; Public Act 16-189. See the Student Data Privacy resource tab for more information on the law and a complete listing of third party services utilized by the district for operational and educational purposes.

These services include G Suite for Education, which is used extensively by our students and teachers in grades 3 through 12 for classroom and homework assignments. In keeping with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and our licensing agreement with Google, if you as the parent/guardian of a student under the age of 13 is concerned about this usage and would want to discuss opting out please contact jlytwynec@simsbury.k12.ct.us for more information.

District-approved online educational services

Compiled below, by grade-level, are the most widely used online educational services presently recommended for classroom use that require students to log-in with a student account. For some of our online educational services we provide students with generic school log-ins that are not unique to a user and/or their directory information. For complete information on each app's terms of service, please click on the provided links below.

For questions about the district's use of online educational services, please contact Joncia Lytwynec, Director of Instructional Technology, at (860) 658-3898 ext. 835 or JLytwynec@simsbury.k12.ct.us

Grades K-2

Each K-1 classroom is equipped with 7 student iPads. Most of the apps with these iPads are downloaded apps that do not require Internet access or student log-ins.

There are a few apps and online services that can be personalized for student learning, and these require a unique log-in.

Available apps that require a student log-in or username include:

Product and Website

Lexia Learning Core 5
 
link to Raz-Kids
 
link to Seesaw
 
link to TypingClub
(Grades 1,2)
 
link to XtraMath
(Grades 1,2)
 
link to Splash Math
 

link to Renaissance Learning
(Grade 2)
 

link to Class Dojo
Class Dojo

 

link to Discovery Education

Grades 3-4

Starting in third grade, students participate in the online Smarter Balance Assessments. To help prepare students for this testing environment, they are given limited Google Apps accounts (there are no active email accounts for grades 3-8) to use at their teacher's discretion. Teachers may also choose to have students participate in group projects, e.g., online reading discussions, through the district Wikispaces Campus service. This is a teacher-moderated space used as an online extension of the classroom.

Available apps and online services that require a student log-in:

Product and Website

link to Google Apps
link to Typing Club
link to Xtra Math
link to LearnZillion
link to Newsela
link to Read&Write
link to Discovery Education
link to Brain Pop
link to EDpuzzle
link to Lexia Reading Core5
link to Renaissance Learning

link to Class Dojo

Class Dojo

Grades 5-6

In grades 5 and 6, students continue to have the online services described in grades 3-4 available to them with the addition of Explore Learning concept simulations-GIZMOS. Teachers at this time may also explore the use of moderated blogging applications, which requires approval by the district and possibly parent sign-off.

Available apps and online services that require a student log-in:

Product and Website

link to Math & Science Gizmos
link to Google Apps

link to Khan Academywithout student log on

(Grade 6)

link to TypingClub
link to XtraMath
link to LearnZillion
link to Newsela
link to Read&Write
link to Discovery Education
link to Brain Pop
link to EDpuzzle
link to Lexia Reading Core5
link to Renaissance Learning

link to Class Dojo

Class Dojo

link to Kidblog

Grades 7-8

At the middle school, some of the online services provided are aimed at giving students more help with managing their workload and obtaining online feedback from their teachers and peers. Teachers may have students use district-approved Chrome extensions/apps for class projects when using the Chromebooks. Students are expected to follow the HJ Way and the Responsible Use Policy when online as stated in the Student Handbook.

Available apps and online services that require a student log-in:

Product and Website

link to Math & Science Gizmos
link to Google Apps
link to Khan Academywithout student log on
link to GeoGebra
link to NewselaNewsela
link to NoodleTools
NoRedInk
link to LearnZillion
link to read&write
link to Discovery Education
link to EDpuzzle
link to Quizizz
link to Renaissance Learning

Grades 9-12

At the high school, students rely heavily on online services, especially when working on Chromebooks. Teachers may have students also access Chrome extensions for video and audio production during some projects, using their Google Apps log-in. These extensions must meet FERPA requirements if assigned for use by the teacher. Whenever using any online services, students are expected to adhere to the principles of the Trojan Code and the Responsible Use Policy as stated in the Student Handbook.

Available apps and online services that require a student log-in:

Product and Website

link to BloggerBlogger
link to Google Apps
link to Khan Academy
link to GeoGebra
NoRedInk
link to NoodleTools
link to turnitin
read&write
link to Discovery Education

link to EDpuzzle
link to Quizizz
link to PLTW

G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps)

G Suite

In 2011, we became a G Suite for Education (previously known as Google Apps for Education) district in order to take advantage of the online productivity suite similar to Microsoft Office. Teachers and students have since found the collaborative nature and mobility of a cloud drive to be extremely helpful with work flow.

G Suite for Education is one example of an educational online service account that allows the district to have more control over settings based on grade level and security concerns. Students in grades 3-12 have individual log-ins to G Suite in order to access Chromebooks and the G Suite apps. Only grades 9-12 have active school gmail accounts. For grades 9-10 these accounts are limited to our school domains: simsbury.k12.ct.us and simsburyschools.com. For grades 11-12 students can also access .edu domains for college applications. Students cannot receive or send emails outside these domains except for receiving emails from other school-provided services for password resets, etc.

These accounts are for school related work and activities only and are not to be used as "personal, private" accounts.

In keeping with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and our licensing agreement with GAFE, if you as the parent/guardian of a student under the age of 13 is concerned about this usage and would want to discuss opting out please contact jlytwynec@simsbury.k12.ct.us for more information.


Answers to many top questions about privacy and security appear on Google for Education Trust page.

G Suite for Education Privacy Statement describes how Google products and services collect and use information when used with G Suite for Education accounts.

Information about the legal commitments Google makes for G Suite for Education Core and Additional Services is available in their Help Center.

Information about how Google’s products work to protect privacy is available in the Product Privacy Guide.

Google Classroom Email Summaries

In 2016, Google added the option for parent/guardians to receive weekly or daily email summaries of assignments/ announcements/ questions posted through teacher Classrooms. The Youtube video below is an overview of this feature.


Click on the image below for written directions on how to receive notifications and how to manage settings. You can also click on the link for FAQ's to help you with how to opt back in if you opt out at some point.

Screenshot


You will need a Google Account to change settings for email summaries. You can create this account with your current email address-you do not need a gmail account. See the link below to set up a Google Account.

Setting up a Google Account

Learn to Type Program Information

We are happy to announce the switch to Typing Club, a completely online keyboarding program. Students in grades one through six have had accounts created for their use and teachers have given them their log-in credentials-these will also be shared at Open House.

Keyboarding and the Common Core

Computer literacy has become a core element of K-12 education, with students now expected to master keyboarding skills before college. In fact, several of the Common Core Standards require keyboarding.

TypingClub School Edition is designed to help your students meet and exceed the Common Core Standards within a semester’s worth of time. Our test templates are deeply customizable so you can alter settings to best prepare your students. Once your students learn proper keyboarding technique, they can practice to increase typing speed, improve accuracy, and develop stamina for typing.

Grade

Common Core Requirements in Keyboarding

3

“Use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.”

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/3/6

4

“Type ONE page in a single sitting."

(Approximately 11 WPM)*

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/4/6

5

“Type TWO pages in a single sitting."

(Approximately 22 WPM)*

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/5/6

6

“Type THREE pages in a single sitting.”

(Approximately 33 WPM)*

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/6/6

7

“Interact and collaborate with others.”

Fluently communicating with others via the internet, especially when instant messaging, requires keyboarding proficiency.

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/7/6

8

“Gather relevant information...and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.”

Academic integrity is one of the most important values we can instill in young students. Keyboarding lessens the physical burden of typing, thus making students less likely to copy-and-paste entire paragraphs.

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/CCRA/W/8

College Readiness

“Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two).”

The only way to increase stamina is to practice typing passages of varying lengths. Our Typing Tests provide an excellent resource for this kind of practice.

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/CCRA/W/10

*This calculation was made by assuming that a single sitting equals 30 minutes of continuous typing. The Common Core website is vague in its definition of “a single sitting,” so these benchmarks are estimates made by TypingClub. Tags: College Prep, Common Core

How the rating (score) is determined

The score system is optimized to value accuracy over speed. It accounts for student corrections by calculating the true-accuracy of each attempt, which reduces a student's score each time he or she uses backspace to correct an error. Then, the student's word per minute (WPM) speed is factored into the score. When a student finishes each lesson, these statistics are sent to our calculation engine which produces an overall score.

Students can improve their score by keeping the following objectives in mind:

  • Focus on accuracy before attempting speed. There is a double-penalty in the score's accounting for every error
  • Although you may be able to use backspace to correct your mistakes, there is a small penalty applied to your score if the error is made in the first place
  • Once you have a handle on the accuracy, the only way to increase your score is to work on your speed.

Stars are awarded based on a student's performance in each lesson. They are used to control whether the student can move on to the next lesson, or must retry for a better score. Each lesson has a pre-established minimum star amount required to pass, but the teacher can modify that requirement to customize the difficulty of each lesson.

School Choice Options

Bloomfield Magnet Schools

Global Experience Magnet School (GEMS)

The mission of the Global Experience Magnet School in Bloomfield is to create a learning community dedicated to educating one student at a time. This is accomplished by designing a personalized learning plan for each student, providing real-world opportunities to connect students to their learning, and expecting them to find authentic, meaningful ways to show what they have learned.

Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
If you're interested in giving your child an extraordinary education, consider one of CREC's award-winning magnet schools. CREC magnet schools allow students to focus on specific talents or interests while studying a challenging core curriculum in a diverse environment.

Vocational/Technical Schools:

page updated 3/23/18

Student Data Privacy

Student Data Privacy Law

The Connecticut Student Data Privacy(SDP) Law was enacted to provide transparency to the school community on the sharing of student data with third party service providers and to put in place minimum contractual requirements to safeguard student privacy (See Revision of Bill for update). This law does not apply to services that the district houses on our internal servers such as Powerschool and Destiny, or on district devices (computers/iPads) which includes many of our educational software and iPad apps.  District prerequisite(s) for using these services safely with students are published for teachers to reference on our faculty portal.

School district requirements set forth in this law include providing parents/guardians:

  • via our district website, a list of third party services that collects/maintains or uses student information with their signed SDP agreement (or link to online policy if in compliance); and the date of the signed agreement; how the service is used; information that may be collected by service;
  • notice of a breach within 2 days of notification from provider of service and what student information may have been involved. This notification will also be posted on the district website.
Lists of third party services
 
Please see the links below for the listing of approved third party services presently contracted with by Simsbury Public Schools that may collect/maintain/ use student information in the delivery of operational and educational services. The SDP agreement used by the district is based on the Terms of Service template provided by the state.

 

Informational forums will be held over the school year through PTO/ PTC meetings on this new law.

Tips for Typists

Please consider the following tips to help your child learn how to be an efficient typist:

  • Make sure they are looking at the screen and not their fingers (you can tape a sheet of paper to the top of the keyboard and have your child place their hands underneath).
  • All eight fingers should rest lightly on the “home row” (grey keys below) with both thumbs above the space bar at all times. The “F” and “J” keys have raised lines on them to help position hands.
  • Set aside 15 to 30 minutes for a minimum of 3 times a week to encourage muscle memory. Try to limit distractions during this time.

Web Resources for Parents

www.familyeducation.com An excellent resource with extensive links

www.pta.org National PTA site. A story by one of the nation’s leading advocate for children.

www.positivecoach.org This site is the center of a national movement to encourage positive and supportive parent participation in youth sports.

www.jbocallaghan.com Dr. Brien O’Callaghan provides an overview of Home/School Collaboration approach. Offers insights into children’s behavior and common sense approach for parents.

www.positivediscipline.com Dr. Jane Nelson offers a wealth of resources for parents and teachers. Questions of the week provide strategies for dealing with common problems experienced by parents.

Your Child's Growth & Development