Virtual Parent Meeting Recording

April 07, 2020

Our Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Virtual Parent meeting was recorded on Friday, April 3rd.

You can listen to the recording here:  HMS Parent Meeting with Principal Klena - recording_1

For more information on the FCPS Distance Learning plan and resources for families, please visit the FCPS Website.


Distance Learning - Parent Q&A - 4/3/2020

Asynchronous/Synchronous & Schedule

Q. How does asynchronous and synchronous instruction work and what will the schedule look like?


Synchronous learning will have direct interaction between teachers and students in real time and at a specific scheduled time.  This will allow for instant feedback and clarification. Synchronous learning will occur through the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) platform.  Once students have been properly instructed on the different tools (video, audio, chat, etc) in BBCU, teachers may allow the use of them during synchronous learning.  Synchronous learning sessions will be recorded.


Asynchronous learning is where teachers will provide materials that students can access at different times and work at their own pace.  Communication is not in real-time. Feedback to students will be provided through collaborative tools and email. 



Q. How will attendance be monitored?


School Staff will be monitoring students attendance in synchronous learning sessions as well as monitoring their engagement and work completion for asynchronous learning as well.

Blackboard/Google Classroom

Q: Do students need to make sure to check both Google Classroom and Blackboard separately?


All teachers will be posting information on Blackboard during Distance Learning.  Some teachers will be utilizing Google Classroom as well and are expected to put the information for accessing Google Classroom on their Blackboard page.  Blackboard should be the primary/initial site checked.

Building Access

Q. What about items left in the building (notebooks, library book, PE clothes, school supplies, etc.)?


The safety and welfare of our students and staff are our highest priority.  The school building is closed and not accessible to students or staff at this time.  Only “essential” items will be made available for pick up. An example of what an essential item might be is special education equipment deemed essential to participate in Distance Learning Instruction.  Late fees will not be charged for any overdue library books.

First Day

Q. How will the first day of distance learning work?


Distance Learning begins on Tuesday April 14th.  Information will be sent to students/families letting them know what to expect and how to access the assignments.  


Q. What will grading look like for 3rd and 4th quarter?


3rd Quarter-Teachers will be working directly with students and families to make sure all students can finish third quarter work that was assigned up to March 13th and receive the grade that fairly reflects their understanding of the material. Third quarter grade books are not closed and students will have the opportunity to complete and retake missing assignments.  April 24th is the deadline for 3rd quarter work. Final 3rd quarter grades will likely be posted in May.


4th Quarter-Work assigned during Distance Learning.  Decisions will be coming from our superintendent and shared by Principal Klena when available.

Laptop/WiFi Access

Q. What about laptops/wifi for students?


Communication has gone out to the community about requesting access to a school laptop for those without a computer at home.  Three separate laptop distribution dates were held to accommodate this. 


At this time, WiFi hotspots are not available from HMS.  Several internet providers in the community have announced different offers to support internet access.


Students are able to “call in” to class but accessing through a computer is the preference.

Learning Packets

Q. What are the learning packets all about?  


FCPS is providing Learning Packets as one part of the distance learning plan. The activities in the packet provide opportunities for students to practice and apply skills while supporting student needs for engagement, critical thinking, and movement. Learning Packets are mailed home for all HMS students and posted to Blackboard. Packets are intended to be used by families and students throughout the week.  Packets are optional and will not be graded. The packets are grade level specific. They however are general and not specific to teachers/courses. 

Seventh Grade Algebra Placement

Q. If a student has met the Iowa score requirement, how will 7th grade Algebra placement for next year work when SOL scores usually play a factor in that decision?


FCPS has not given guidance yet on this.  

Schedules for Rising 9th Graders

Q. How will schedules be created for next year for rising 9th graders?


Class requests were sent over to Herndon High School in February, students had entered their class information themselves.  Course requests can always be seen in the “Course Request” tab on ParentVue. (This information is the same for other grade levels as well.) 


More info needed? Contact Ms. Niles, HMS Director of Student Services,

Office Hours & Communication

Q. How will “office hours” and communication work for teachers?


All Teachers will have “office hours” for 60 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays within the timeframe of 9:15-11:15 and 12:15-2:15.  They will post/communicate the times for this once Distance Learning begins.  During this time, students can work with their teacher in a small group or conference with the teacher as needed.  This will be done through the “Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU)” platform. Teachers will communicate with students and families about how to “sign up” for office hours.


Teachers will be communicating through multiple platforms with students and families. These platforms include email, Blackboard, and Google Classroom.  Should there be a question or concern about communication, reach out to HMS Administration.

Service Hours/NJHS Hours

Q. What happens with Service Hours for Social Students or NJHS?


FCPS has not given guidance yet on this.  Once more information is released, we will communicate to our families.


Q. What is the status of SOL’s?


There will be no SOL testing for the remainder of this academic year.  SOL score reports from the 8th grade writing test will be mailed out later this year. 

Student Engagement During Distance Learning

Q: How will we know if our child is engaging in this learning and how will teachers know if work is being completed and students are engaging in their classes? 


A: FCPS guidelines for 4th quarter are not available yet and when the guidelines are published, we anticipate there will be information about communicating progress to parents.  


Q:Will students need to have audio and camera on for “in class” time on Wednesdays and Fridays? Or will they be able to just listen/watch? Will “in class” sessions be recorded?


A:  Teachers will explain each of the tools for students when they meet in synchronous settings with their English, math, science, and social studies teachers starting on Wednesday or Friday during the first week of distance learning.