Remote Learning

Remote Learning Overview

The majority of HPS students started the school year remotely.  We have developed an improved distance learning  program for the fall that is designed to meet every student’s needs and includes:

  • A digital device for every individual student
  • Learning materials, such as math books, math manipulatives and composition notebooks for elementary students.
  • Live instruction
  • Virtual small group support
  • Internet access for more families, with the support of our city governments and private donors
  • A check-in with the same adult each week for one-on-one support

Students are learning five days a week from their homes with a combination of live (synchronus) full-class instruction and small group instruction, as well as independent (asynchronous) learning activities.

Remote Learning Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child get a device and when?

All students will have a device.  Students in grades 3-12 will be issued a chromebook, with the exception of grades 6-8 students at Peck and Holyoke STEM who already have iPads as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program.  View the Technology Distribution Schedule for each school and mark your calendar today for the date and time to pick up your child’s device!


Students in grades PreK-2 will be issued an iPad.  We have all the devices, with the exception of some of the iPads, which we expect to receive in mid-September, and then will image the devices with the appropriate software.

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How do we get Internet access?

Families can take advantage of the following through the Internet Essentials sponsorship program:

  • Free internet to the family (HPS and the city is sponsoring for the whole school year) – Please note that families are not eligible to participate in the program if they already have internet access through Comcast. Families who signed up for this program in the spring will have their service continued.
  • Low-Cost Computer. Customers can purchase a low-cost computer
  • Digital Literacy Training

Read more about this opportunity.

If you have any questions about this service, please call the hotline at 413-561-0862 (English) or 413-314-3560 (Spanish), visit our website to send an email by clicking on the following link:

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What will the remote learning model look like this year?

Types of Instruction


  • Live instruction (also known as synchronous) will include direct teacher instruction, student collaboration time, and independent work time while the teacher confers with individual students – just like would happen in a traditional classroom.  Self-paced learning (also known as asynchronous) will mostly take place in the afternoon, where students will primarily work independently, and teachers will be available to answer questions.  Students who receive additional services (e.g. language support, therapies, reading intervention, etc.) will have opportunities throughout the day to work with additional staff.
  • Students will have access to all content areas (mathematics, english language arts, science, social studies, arts/music, physical education, and social emotional learning).  Teachers and other staff will also be available to provide additional academic or social emotional support.

The remote learning day for K-8 will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for high school from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

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What is the timing of the school day for remote learners?

General Overview of Remote Schedule

Time 9-12 Remote
8:45-8:55 Squad / check ins / advisory
9:00-1:00 4 Content Class Sessions
1:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Conferencing
Time PreK-8 Remote
8:00- 9:00 Asynchronous work, direct service, check-ins
9:00- 12:00 Synchronous Content Sessions
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30-3:00 Asynchronous learning, direct instruction, interventions, conferencing

Students will engage in learning five days a week.  A set schedule, with both live teaching (“synchronous”) and self-paced learning (“asynchronous”).

    • Grades K-8 live teaching (except Veritas): 9 am – 12 pm
    • Veritas live teaching: Various times throughout the school day, according to student schedule. Reach out to Veritas with questions.
    • Grades 9-12 live teaching: 9 am – 1 pm
  • Standards-aligned curriculum in all content areas.
  • A device and internet access for every student who needs them (schools are reaching out to families this week about devices).
  • Attendance will be taken, and grades will count.
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What learning platforms will be used?

The district Google Classroom in all grades as the learning management systems (LMS).  Zoom is the video conferencing platform for live classes.

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What supports are available for remote learners?

  • Breakfast & lunch are available M-W-F, 12 pm- 2 pm. Tentative locations: Kelly, Morgan, Lawrence, Donahue, HHS North, and Sullivan.
  • Advisory groups and learning squads are small group support structures designed to support students’ mental health and academic needs.
  • Additional support from counselors, therapists, teachers will be available throughout the day.
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Where will the educators be during remote learning?

Many, but not all, educators will work from their classrooms, even when teaching remotely, in order to:

  • “normalize” being in school, so that students see their teachers in a classroom setting;
  • give teachers access to classroom resources, including Internet, materials, and equipment;
  • enable staff to meet in teams and collaborate with colleagues (with safety precautions).
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If students miss a day of remote learning due to medical reasons, would that be considered an absence?

Students are expected to attend class daily and throughout the full day.  If a student needs to miss a day for any reason, the parent/guardian should be in contact with the teacher to inform them of the situation and ask about making up missing work.  More information about taking attendance will be released before school starts.  Read more about attendance at HPS.

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How will grades be given and accessed in a remote environment?

Grades will be collected in SchoolBrains to generate student report cards.  The district is still determining if access will be set up for parents/guardians to access a web portal linked to SchoolBrains so that they can access grades- otherwise, report cards will be mailed out.  

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With full remote learning, will students still have opportunities to see their friends/classmates?

Schools may set up “The Scholar’s Lounge” for their school. This is a virtual socialization space staffed by a school-based staff member where students will interact with classmates and school-peers in their age group (grades may vary but based on developmental stage). This is a non-academic virtual session where students are able to socialize, connect, and support each other to stay connected while in remote learning.

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