Bearcat Institute Of

Learning & Development


OVERVIEW

The Bearcat Institute of Learning and Development (BILD) is the Huntingdon Area School District's own free, online cyber program that delivers instruction to students K-12.

Our online program offers students and families the flexibility to make their own schedule, while receiving quality instruction and support from certified teachers who have received training in online teaching. Each course has a highly qualified instructor that facilitates learning and progress monitors frequently to ensure student success. Families can opt to go 100% online or build a hybrid schedule where they can come into the building at designated days and times to receive direct instruction. Students in 7-12 can receive in person direct instruction or support at Huntingdon Area High School with their BILD teachers and students in K-6 can go to Southside Elementary to meet with their BILD teachers.

Students access their online coursework on Canvas, our learning management system. Online courses are aligned to PA Standards and are provided by Accelerate Education. BILD teachers pace online content appropriately so students have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery and engage in asynchronous content and tasks as well as in synchronous meetings in Zoom. Students have access to live instruction in whole group sessions as well as live instruction in a small group or one on one setting in Zoom or in person. These face to face opportunities will help students be successful learning with access to direct instruction and building relationships with their teachers.

If your child is a student who receives special education services, it is highly recommended we have an IEP/GIEP revision meeting to ensure their needs will be met in the new online learning environment.

We encourage anyone considering online learning to enroll in our district BILD programming in order to maximize:

  • easier transition to the classroom if you decide to return to in-person learning

  • access to clubs, athletic programs, the arts, field trips, and other school in school activities such as assemblies

  • successful online learning with small student to teacher ratios

K-6 Students

We feel that our youngest students need support and connection to our school community. The Bearcat Institute of Learning and Development provides your student with all the benefits and opportunities of being a member of the Huntingdon Area School District and the flexibility to create a learning schedule that meets their needs.

The BILD teacher will assign weekly lessons in each content area (ELA, Math, etc.) in Canvas that consist of lesson content and tasks. The BILD teacher will offer whole group sessions to students so they can receive direct instruction on the week's lessons as well as opportunities to meet one on one to meet the individual needs of students. The teacher will also be available throughout the week to answer questions, help with concepts that are more difficult to grasp, and add supplementary materials through our SeeSaw app.

Additionally, we understand that some families are concerned with feeling like they "are on their own" in an online environment, so all BILD elementary teachers will be located in a classroom at Southside Elementary School to provide in-person support to learners when necessary. This will allow families, in cooperation with the HASD, to create hybrid schedules that give learners flexibility in their weekly schedule, but also offer additional supports if they are needed. The BILD program will also offer various material pick ups throughout the year so students have access to manipulatives and hands-on resources to support their learning. The Online Learning Director will also plan several activities throughout the year to bring students together.

The staff and administration of the BILD program are dedicated to working closely with parents to provide the best online learning experience for our students.

7-12 Students

We feel that our students need support and connection to our school community. The Bearcat Institute of Learning and Development provides your student with all the benefits and opportunities of being a member of the Huntingdon Area School District and the flexibility to create a learning schedule that meets their needs.

Our high school students will primarily use Canvas as a learning management platform where they can access their content and tasks for each of their classes. Some courses may be offered in Google Classroom as well. Each course will be taught by a highly qualified teacher that will offer whole group direct instruction in Zoom, office hours weekly, and weekly communication to share progress and build relationships. Our full time BILD teachers will be available to answer questions and progress monitor students as a role of "Learning Coach" as well.

Additionally, we understand that some families are concerned with feeling like they "are on their own" in an online environment, however, our full time BILD staff will be located in a classroom at the Huntingdon Area High School that will offer several times and opportunities for students to come in to work with their teachers and peers, if needed. This physical space will allow families, in cooperation with the HASD, to create hybrid schedules that give learners flexibility in their weekly schedule, but also offer additional supports if they are needed. The Online Learning Director will also plan various activities throughout the year both in person and virtually to bring students together and to get them access to other services they may need in the district.

The staff and administration of the BILD program are dedicated to working closely with parents to provide the best online learning experience possible for our students.


BILD IN THE NEWS

On 9/28/22 The Pennsylvania School Boards Association shared a story about the success of our BILD program meeting the needs of our community. Check out the piece, "NEW ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAM PROVIDES HIGH-QUALITY SUPPORT."