eLearning

FAQs for eLearning Success at CSS

What is meant by the term “asynchronous instruction?”
What is meant by the term “synchronous instruction?”
What will my synchronous/asynchronous eLearning schedule look like and how long will the average class session be?
Should a pivot to eLearning be required in the Children's School, what can I expect in my students first day of eLearning?
Will my child have access to a teacher beyond the eClassroom? If so, when?
When and how will students’ attendance be tracked?
Will class sessions be recorded and posted?
Which platform will be used for distributing eLearning assignments, communicating and facilitating instruction?
How do I access my respective Google Classroom page?
What is the process for submitting an assignment?
How do I access a Google meeting?
Which Web browser should I use when accessing Google Meet?
What are the computer/device requirements for using Google Meet?
Are there any CSS loaner devices available for my child to use in the event we pivot to eLearning?
How do I activate my camera and/or microphone when using Google Meet?
What can I do to best ensure my Internet connection is stable and clear?

What is meant by the term “asynchronous instruction?”

Asynchronous instruction occurs when teachers have prepared lessons that students have access to throughout the course of the day. CSS students will have access to materials through Google Classroom or email. Completion of asynchronous assignments is one of the ways teachers will track student attendance.

What is meant by the term “synchronous instruction?”

Synchronous learning refers to all types of learning through which learner(s) and instructor(s) are in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place. This includes in-person classes and live, online meetings when the whole class or smaller groups get together. During synchronous instruction, CSS students go through the learning path together, accompanied by their instructor who is able to provide support while students complete tasks and activities.

What will my synchronous/asynchronous eLearning schedule look like and how long will the average class session be?

All eLearning schedules at CSS support the continuity of instruction. Schedules may, however, be arranged in a manner that decreases screen fatigue and promotes social emotional learning. Each eLearning schedule, by division, can be found below:

  • Children’s School – The Children’s School schedule will appear in the form of a daily and/or weekly plan, depending on grade level. Parents will have access to grade-level information through Google Classroom for children in all grades. See below for additional information on what to expect on the first day of eLearning.

  • Middle School – The Middle School schedule will mirror our current daily period schedule. Teachers and students will log-in to a Google Meet at the beginning of each period, students will receive a session of direct instruction, and then continue working independently or in small groups with the teacher remaining in the Meet for questions and support. Google Classroom will remain the primary location for assignments, communication and guidance for each Middle School class.

  • Upper School – The Upper School schedule will mirror our current daily period schedule. Teachers and students will log-in to a Google Meet at the beginning of each period, students will receive a session of direct instruction, and then continue working independently or in small groups with the teacher remaining in the Meet for questions and support. Google Classroom will remain the primary location for assignments, communication and guidance for each Upper School class.

Should a pivot to eLearning be required in the Children's School, what can I expect in my students first day of eLearning?

An 8 a.m. Morning Circle (9 a.m. if it is a Wednesday) will occur online, and should be used as a time to gather as a class and share assignments for the day. Our intention is a “soft start” so that everyone can ease into eLearning. Teachers will assemble bags (PreK–1) and crates (Grades 2–5) containing school supplies needed for your child to continue with at-home eLearning. These “care packages” will be available for pick-up between 3 and 3:45 p.m. that day, in the same fashion and order followed during your regular carline each afternoon. Should you require that a neighbor or friend collect these supplies for you, kindly alert your child’s teacher in advance.

Will my child have access to a teacher beyond the eClassroom? If so, when?

Office hours will be built into each respective division’s schedule. If additional support is needed, please email the respective teacher to arrange for help via email, chat, or in real-time.

When and how will students’ attendance be tracked?

As with on-campus learning, eClassroom attendance is essential to the continuity of a child’s growth and success. As such, all faculty will track student attendance during eLearning instruction. Parents should notify the teacher in advance via email whenever their child will not be participating in class for the day. If a student is not present and advance notice was not provided, they will be marked “absent unexcused” and the parent will be notified by the School. For extended absences, parents should contact their respective division director, who will ensure the attendance record is kept up-to-date.

When attending remote classes, students are expected to participate, engage, and communicate with their teachers and classmates as part of their overall class grade. Upper and Middle School student grades will continue to be posted in the School’s FACTS Family Portal.

Will class sessions be recorded and posted?

We realize there may be limitations – either due to access or scheduling – that may prohibit students from participating in a live eLearning session. If unable to attend, please contact your respective division director to request a recording of the class session(s) missed. If unable to view the shared recording, please download the content directly to your device.

Note: it is also necessary to notify the teacher in advance via email whenever your child will not be participating.

Which platform will be used for distributing eLearning assignments, communicating and facilitating instruction?

The Colorado Springs School is a Google-based school. This year, the School will continue to utilize Google Classroom for eLearning (parents, learn more here). This secure platform will be used to distribute grade-level assignments, provide feedback, and report on progress when applicable. Students are also asked to check their CSS Gmail accounts frequently when participating in eLearning.

Google Meet will be used to host synchronous, real-time video instruction. Video links will be communicated by each teacher in advance via Google Classroom. The following are best practices for eLearning via Google Meet:

  • As we move forward with eLearning and an increased reliance on digital communication platforms, we ask all families to R.I.S.E. to the standards of Netiquette, guided by Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence. Students should adhere to Netiquette while using Google Classrooms, Google Meet, and other educational tools as well as social media.

  • At a minimum, students involved in eLearning at CSS should have access to a computer with reliable high-speed internet, a printer for getting hard copy assignments, a scanner for uploading assignments to your device when due, and a portable device (phone, tablet, laptop).

  • Attendance is expected in order to maintain an important connection between the teacher and classmates, and to better retain information. It is important to notify the teacher in advance via email whenever your child will not be participating or else be marked “absent unexcused.”

  • Come to class prepared. eLearning should be an interactive experience between the students and their teacher(s). Students are expected to participate, engage, and communicate with their teachers and classmates as part of their overall experience.

  • Be respectful of others and mute your microphone when not presenting or speaking.

  • Choose a quiet place of study void of disturbances that may pose a distraction (audibly or visually) both for yourself and for your classmates or teacher.

  • Dress appropriately and be sensitive to wearing clothing that can be either distracting or offensive to others.

How do I access my respective Google Classroom page?

Google Classroom is available at https://classroom.google.com. It can be accessed using a child’s assigned CSS email address and password. Though there are special circumstances, (e.g. a hyphenated last name) the majority of CSS email addresses are assigned using an individual’s first name initial, followed by their last name. Should you require assistance in identifying your account username or resetting your password, please email your child’s first name, last name and grade level to helpdesk@css.org, and indicate the nature of your request. If unable to access an assignment, please email the respective teacher directly.

What is the process for submitting an assignment?

To submit an assignment, one must be signed into their respective CSS Gmail account. From there, most students can visit https://classroom.google.com and find the specific assignment that’s due. There are several ways to submit an assignment, depending on instructions received from each respective teacher. For example:

  1. Google Classroom may have created the assignment for you. When this happens, all you need to do is have your child fill out the worksheet and click "Turn In."
    eLearning - Turning an assignment in via Google Classroom
  2. You may be asked to complete the assignment either as a Google file (such as Docs or Sheets) or to upload a file to Google Drive either as a photo, PDF, etc.
    eLearning - Turning an assignment in to Google Drive 1eLearning - Turning an assignment in to Google Drive 2
  • Files may be completed and housed on your device’s local disk drive prior to uploading to Google Drive.
    • Note: If you are using an Apple Device, please make sure the file you are uploading was not created from the Apple Creative Suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote). Google Drive cannot open these files and some teachers may not have an Apple Device to open them.
  • If the file is already in Google Drive, you may select the file through the same browser window.eLearning - Selecting a Google Drive file from the same browser window


How do I access a Google meeting?

Google meetings can be joined in several ways, including:

  • Using a unique URL, such as the one created in a calendar meeting invite, which has the following format – meet.google.com/xyz-wxyz-xyz. This can be accessed by anyone with the unique URL.

  • Entering the following web address – meet.google.com – into your Web browser and entering a provided meeting code will ensure only individuals from within CSS are able to access the Google Meet.

  • Using a unique URL in the following format – g.co/meet/[Meeting Code] – which requires a CSS Gmail login to proceed.

Additional instructions for accessing Meet can be found here.

Which Web browser should I use when accessing Google Meet?

According to Google, the Google Meet application works on a number of Web browsers. We, however, recommend using Google Chrome.

What are the computer/device requirements for using Google Meet?

Device requirements depend on whether a student might be called upon to act as the presenter in a Google Meet session. Presenters may need more than the minimum requirements, however the following are deemed acceptable devices for using Google Meet:

  • Chromebooks, including 4GB of Ram and the ability to run a current version of the Google Chrome Web browser. If there is a need to present a Google Slideshow to the class or to concurrently run other applications that let students respond as a group to questions, some Chromebooks may not have enough processing power. A Chromebook with a quad core processor will be better at multitasking.

  • iMacs & Macbooks that are a 2014 model or newer, with 8GB of Ram, tend to perform better than Chrombooks when teachers run other apps, such as a PowerPoint presentation, in a Google Meet or require students to use the “Grid View” option.

  • Windows 10 OS is needed to securely run the current version of the Google Chrome Web browser. Windows 10 machines with 8GB of Ram are critical for participation beyond simply attending a Google Meet.

  • Other devices, including tablets or cell phones, have been used by students successfully in the past to attend class. If using one of these devices, the following Google-based apps are recommended:
    • Google Meet

    • Gmail

    • Google Docs

    • Google Sheets

    • Google Slides

    • Google Classroom

If class participation requires typing in the chat box or running another app while class is in session, a more suitable device may be required.

Are there any CSS loaner devices available for my child to use in the event we pivot to eLearning?

Loaner iMacs and/or Chromebooks are available via The Colorado Springs School technology Office on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email helpdesk@css.org should you have an interest in receiving a loaner device while participating in eLearning, and indicate which of the following options you prefer:

  • Option A: Lease a new Chromebook at $100 for the school year, which requires a payment and loan agreement;

  • Option B: Borrow one of the older iMac desktops at no cost.

How do I activate my camera and/or microphone when using Google Meet?

For computer, Android, iPhone and/or iPad users, instructions for updating your permissions, or resolving issues with your camera and/or microphone can be found here. For additional assistance, please contact helpdesk@css.org, and indicate the nature of your request.

I’ve tried the steps found above and my microphone, which has functioned
properly in the past, still is not working. What should I do?
If your microphone worked for video conferencing in the past, however, not for this
meeting, one of two issues may have occurred:

  1. Google Meet may have chosen the wrong input device for this meeting

  2. You did not select the “Allow” button when asked whether Google Meet had permission to use your microphone

What can I do to best ensure my Internet connection is stable and clear?

Videoconferencing requires a reliable Internet connection and sufficient computer processing power. To best ensure a stable and clear connection during a class session, please:

  • Close all other apps, active browser tabs and unneeded browser extensions on your device. In general, aim to reduce the number of applications that automatically start-up every time you turn on your device.

  • Be sure you do not have a tab from another Google Meet session open.

  • Switch to “Normal View” as opposed to a “Grid View” to prevent the Chrome browser from freezing up on underpowered devices.

  • Limit the number of devices in use, simultaneously, in your home as this may impact the Internet and video quality on your device. Studies by Google recommend an upload speed of 3.2 Mbps and a download speed of 2.6 Mbps for 1-to-1 video calls, and 3.4 Mbps for video calls with six or more people.

  • Set-up a working location near your home’s WiFi access point.

  • Restart your device or consider using a different device if you encounter any issues.

Find more on requirements for using Google Meet here.