Students and Family

Technology Help Desk: 828-255-5987, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday-Friday

Live Chat (8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday-Friday)

A Spanish-speaking technician (Técnico- Habla Espanol) is available each day from 8am-4pm.

If busy, email helpdesk@bcsemail.org

Students and Family Support

Student and Family roles in Meaningful Student Engagement in Learning through Virtual Means

Tips & Tools for Students and Families

+ Parent Portals

+ Students and Family Expectations

Students and/or family members are expected to check the appropriate Learning Management System or other communication tool provided by their educator for new assignments and/or updated communication daily after 9:00 am. Assignments will be given with ample time for completion.

For students in grades K-3, students and/or family members will be responsible for checking for new assignments daily after 9:00 am. Assignments will reflect a balance of virtual activities and hands-on tasks using “take-home kits” that are sent home by the teacher. Students in this age group will most likely need adult assistance to fully understand and complete tasks.

For students in grades 4-6, students and/or family members will be responsible for checking for assignments daily after 9:00 am. Some students may require adult assistance. Family members should communicate with their child to make a work plan that meets the individual needs of the student.

For students in grades 7-12, students will be responsible for checking for assignments daily after 9:00 am. Family members should communicate with their child to make a work plan that meets the individual needs of the student.

+ How do I Access Virtual Content?

The majority of content, including student Gmail, Google Classroom, Canvas, Discovery Education and Clever (Clever allows Single Sign On to many additional resources such as Newsela, CK-12, Code.org, Virtual Job Shadow and Virtual Job Shadow Jr., etc.) is accessed through the NCEdCloud portal at https://my.ncedcloud.org by using their UID username and their NCEdCloud password.

Google Login: Login to Google Apps on iPad

Microsoft Teams, Microsoft O365, Adobe Dream Spark and Zscaler Web Security are also available and are single-sign-on when using a Windows machine.

Students can also download Office Pro Plus on personal devices if needed by logging into https://portal.office.com/ using their UID@k12bcs.net username and NCEdCloud password.

K-2 will access Seesaw via the Seesaw App on their iPad or via https://app.Seesaw.me/#/login on their Windows laptop. Here are some new Seesaw resources:

+ Plan a Schedule to Follow and Space to Learn

Virtual learning can be more successful when students have a routine to follow and a space in which to work and learn. As you consider virtual learning, be clear about the time of day any online video sessions will be held as well as the extent of the assignments that will be completed. If you're not sure, ask your educator(s). Once you have an idea about daily time commitments, plan a schedule for to follow. Stick to as predictable a daily routine as possible. Don't forget to include times for breaks and lunch. In addition to developing a daily learning schedule, it is important to identify an at-home learning space. Ideally, this space should have:

  • A flat hard desk-type surface to support a digital device w/electrical access.
  • Good lighting
  • Ready access to learning materials and tools

A dedicated learning space for virtual learning should ideally be located in a shared area of your home such as at the kitchen table, a large kitchen counter, or a desk in a living room or family room. When a student's learning space is separate from their bedroom and distanced from the television, it sets the expectation and tone that the space is for work and not play. Additionally, an online learning space in a shared area allows family members to readily support learning while also monitoring online activity.

+ Troubleshooting WiFi Connections (Windows Laptop)

Student assigned devices are configured to allow connections to home and public WiFi networks. BCS is unable to provide support for home networks. However, here are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can try before checking with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network hardware manufacturer’s website for support.

  1. Restart your computer or mobile device.
  2. Try connecting to your home WiFi network again.
  3. Ensure that you are entering the correct WiFi password.
  4. If possible, try connecting to another wireless network such as a coffee shop or public library WiFi network and see if you can connect successfully.

If you are still unable to connect to your home WiFi, please check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network hardware manufacturer’s website for support.

+ Sample Daily Schedule

More and more adults are able to work remotely and most have daily schedules or routines they use to help them stay focused and on task. For a student to learn virtually, they're going to need family support to think about how to establish a regular routine. To develop your child's daily schedule, ask them about a typical school day. Consider their ability to stay focused and how long they can reasonably devote their full attention to a task. Below is a sample daily schedule. Your schedule will look different depending upon your family dynamics and any personalized learning needs.

08:00 AM - Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.

08:30 AM - Organize learning space, turn on computer/device, log into Gmail or other resources.

09:00 AM - Review daily announcement from educator(s) and get necessary learning materials (books, workbooks, etc.)

09:15 AM - Engage in a virtual session or chat session or video tutorial on whatever the topic is for the day.

09:30 AM - Begin assignments.

10:00 AM - Take quick stretch and nutrition break

10:15 AM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required.

11:00 AM - Check Gmail for any additional announcements.

11:15 AM - Lunch and movement (Walk. Dance. Do exercises. Run. Follow an online workout routine.)

12:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required.

01:00 PM - Engage in another virtual session or chat session or video tutorial or whatever has been assigned.

01:45 PM - Take a quick stretch and nutrition break.

02:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required.

03:00 PM - Summarize learning in whatever way teacher(s) have requested, and submit learning evidence online.

03:45 PM - End of full day of virtual learning

Virtual learning is just as challenging and rigorous as a day of learning in the classroom. Teaching and learning just happens in a different place. There will be certain things such as stretch and nutrition breaks as well as lunchtime that should probably be kept consistent. What might change are the times your child hops online for video sessions or online chats. The more time your student spends learning virtually, the more you and your student will know about what works best in terms of keeping focused, on task, and engaged in meaningful academic endeavors.

+ Zscaler (Web Filtering) or Microsoft Username/Password

Buncombe County Schools takes its responsibility to filter web content seriously. Federal Law requires that web content filtering be in place to protect students from content that might be harmful. Student devices are filtered when they're on or off campus using Zscaler.

Zscaler and Microsoft Username: Students UID@k12bcs.net

Zscaler and Microsoft Password: Same as NCEdCloud Password

+ Provide Learning Materials

Nothing disrupts a person's ability to do planned tasks more than having to stop and find the materials and tools that are needed for the task. Virtual learning experiences don't just require a device. Students who are learning virtually should also have the following materials and tools available to them:

  • Paper, pencils, and pens
  • Calculator, ruler, compass, counters (e.g., dry beans), or other items to support math
  • Textbooks, trade books, composition notebooks, and other necessary curriculum resources provided by your student's teacher

The above list is not comprehensive. Educators will provide guidance about how to access such materials and tools.

+ Hot Spots

BCS now has over 1000 Homework Hotspots connected to student 1:1 devices in homes without Internet access. These Homework Hotspots from Sprint, US Cellular & T-Mobile connect only to the student 1:1 device in compliance with Federal CIPA law.

If you are a student that currently has an assigned Homework Hotspot and you now have Internet access at home, please contact your school in order to return the Homework Hotspot for use by another student without Internet access.

If you are a student that does not have Internet access, please contact your school.

Charter will offer Spectrum Internet up to 100 Mbps for FREE, including in-home Wi-Fi, to new subscriber households with teachers or K-12 or college students for 60 days.*

+ Following "Netiquette"

When anyone engages online, it's essential that everyone behaves appropriately. BCS students must follow the Responsible Use Policy that is agreed to during each device login. And it's not just students who have to follow those procedures, the adults do as well. As a quick reminder, when you're online, be sure to:

  • Use respectful behavior and language.
  • Stick to appropriate topic discussions.
  • Send only appropriate video transmissions.
  • Use only appropriate icon, emoji, and avatar submissions.
  • Wear school appropriate clothing if you are attending meetings virtually.
  • Be honest and do not plagiarize or copy others’ work -- use academic integrity.
  • Do not falsify information about yourself or impersonate others online.

When everyone remembers to act kindly, show consideration for others, and treat one another online as you wish to be treated in person, we'll all be able to focus on learning.

You may want to read through the actual BCS Board of Education policies 3225 - Technology Responsible Use and 3226 - Internet Safety.

More helpful information can be found at Common Sense Media under the Parents Need to Know tab.

+ Video Conferencing (Zoom, Google Meet, Canvas and Microsoft Teams)

K-12 Students do not have access to Zoom through Clever, they will be able to join Zoom meetings via a link provided by the teacher only. For students using a Windows machine/laptop, install the Zoom app from the Software Center prior to their first conference. For students using an iPad, install the Zoom app from the iPad's catalog app prior to the first conference.

Zoom Installation Directions for Students - English

Zoom Installation Directions for Students - Spanish

If you are having issues installing the Zoom app, start a Live Chat with one of our "agents" If the chat agent can't help, the agent will put the request info on a remote help list and one of the agents will remote in and run the Zoom installer manually.

3-13 grade students have access to Google Meet. Teachers will initiate Google Meet conferencing from their Google Classroom.

Students using Canvas have access to the conferencing tools in their Canvas classroom and will be initiated by the teacher.

Microsoft Teams is also available district-wide.

Teachers will initiate and facilitate these conferencing tools depending on their needs.

+ Staying Informed with Gmail

All BCS students have a Gmail account. These accounts are managed and monitored by BCS by several different means.

When learning virtually, 3-12 students and/or family members will need to check their email account every day for information from their educator(s) about on-screen and/or off-screen assignments Email is going to be an important tool for sharing information everyone needs for successfully teaching and learning virtually.

The majority of content, including student Gmail, can be accessed through the NCEdCloud portal at https://my.ncedcloud.org.

K-2 teachers may use Seesaw or their BCS Teacher website.

+ Being an Active Learner and Advocating for Your Learning Needs

Getting comfortable in a virtual learning environment and participating in virtual learning might take a little time and patience. Be patient and remain kind to those who will take longer to adjust to a virtual learning environment. If you're not as comfortable with technology or virtual learning as your peers, it's okay. Stay positive. Be persistent.

+ Sharing Your Learning

Virtual educators are going to want to know whether engagement and learning is successful. Students will need to figure out how to share their learning with them. When you check for assignment messages every day, you will find out how the educator will want learning demonstrated. Be prepared to be asked to:

  • Complete a Google Quiz;
  • Submit a document into a Google folder;
  • Take a picture of a completed assignment and upload it into a Google folder or email it to the educator;
  • Record a video that demonstrates how to do something;
  • Email messages summarizing learning;
  • Engage in a virtual meeting.

There might be other ways the educator(s) may want to check on progress. If you have an idea, let them know!

Includes instructions for NCLIVE access through Buncombe County Public Library Student Accounts. Note: Students have access to create a MangoLanguages.com account as a part of their NCLIVE subscription access.

+ Checking Progress

Virtual learning will not require a big shift in the ways educators share student progress or in the way family members can check on student progress. Email, information shared via a learning management system, or assignments and grades posted in PowerSchool already used by educators and family members will remain available.

+ Create a Support Network for Unique Circumstances

When students are asked to engage in virtual learning due to circumstances that require school buildings to close, the District recognizes that this can pose a hardship on many families. Although students may be restricted from going to school, there is no guarantee that families are able to work virtually from home and therefore be able to supervise their children. In the event a school building must close and we must shift learning from the classroom to virtual means, families are encouraged to think about ways they can support one another. Everyone is encouraged to ask themselves:

  • Who in the neighborhood might be able to take care of children from multiple families?
  • How can a neighborhood or friendship group use a rotation schedule to provide supervision for students?
  • Who in the neighborhood is really "tech savvy" and willing to help teach others how to use the online tools?
  • How might older siblings and students be able to support the learning of younger children?
  • In what ways can neighbors and friendship groups share technology tools?