Voices, a Podcast from the Seneca Valley School District

Episode 43 - Additional Offerings with Synchronous Learning with Ms. Denise Manganello

August 02, 2021 Seneca Valley School District Season 2 Episode 43
Voices, a Podcast from the Seneca Valley School District
Episode 43 - Additional Offerings with Synchronous Learning with Ms. Denise Manganello
Show Notes Transcript

Additional Offerings with Synchronous Learning with Ms. Denise Manganello 

Ms. Denise Manganello, Seneca Valley Academy of Choice Principal

Ms. Denise Manganello has been an integral part of the Seneca Valley Academy of Choice (SVAOC) program since its inception in 2007 first serving as an assistant principal and then becoming principal in 2013. She is currently working on her doctorate through American College of Education with a focus on Online Education. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Principal of the Senior High School and has been with the district since 2006.   


  • What is the difference between remote learning and synchronous learning?
  • Will synchronous learning look different for elementary and secondary students? 
  • How will the schedule work for synchronous learning?
  • How does synchronous learning impact the other learning models we currently offer, hybrid, blended and asynchronous learning?


Voices E43 Denise Manganello
FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)

00:00:02:23 - 00:00:07:25

Introduction: Welcome to Voices, a podcast brought to you by the Seneca Valley School District. 


00:00:10:26 - 00:00:22:04

Jeff Krakoff: This is Jeff Krakoff today I'm with Dr. Denise Manganello, principal of the Seneca Valley Academy of Choice, which is the cyber school/program. Welcome. Thanks for joining us. 


00:00:22:18 - 00:00:23:20

Denise Manganello: Thanks for having me. 


00:00:23:25 - 00:00:38:15

Jeff Krakoff: So there's been some confusion. I want to ask you and get some clarification. The whole idea of terms like remote learning, asynchronous, synchronous, can you walk us through what they mean and especially the synchronous part? 


00:00:39:11 - 00:01:12:13

Denise Manganello: Yes. So the pandemic definitely has brought new vocabulary to everyone regarding the online world and our new focus that the district is synchronous learning, which is really live sessions with other students that are all on the computer screen also. So it's not what we were doing with the remote learning where some students were logging in and some students would be in traditional class while others were coming in through the computer. 


00:01:12:20 - 00:01:28:09

Denise Manganello: The synchronous learning is really getting everyone on that same page, having conversations, having breakout rooms, doing the different discussions. But everybody is online at the exact same time with the same class. 


00:01:28:21 - 00:01:46:13

Jeff Krakoff: Right. So if your classes at nine o'clock, everyone's on at nine o'clock, whether it's via technology or in person. Can you walk us through are there differences between synchronous learning in the elementary schools versus the secondary schools? 


00:01:47:09 - 00:02:24:05

Denise Manganello: Yes. So the plan for this coming school year is to really our elementary teachers this past year did an unbelievable job. And we're going to really take what we've learned from that experience and even expand on it and make it stronger. So we've hired additional teachers in the Academy of Choice to help with our elementary cyber piece. And the Synchronous piece in an elementary is going to be based on time frames that the teachers would give to the families and then they would work more on their ELA 


00:02:24:07 - 00:02:57:21

Denise Manganello: and math skills during that time. And then we are looking to have the social sciences and some other activities as social gatherings and monthly activities with our students, so the elementary students really are doing a blended approach, they will still be utilizing Compass, which is our asynchronous model, but then having those live sessions with their classmates online during that synchronous time will be a key component of the elementary. 


00:02:58:12 - 00:03:09:11

Jeff Krakoff: Got it. And again, for secondary. Are there other elements like project based learning or any other software or systems that come into play here? 


00:03:09:22 - 00:03:40:02

Denise Manganello: Yes. So secondary is a little bit different just because you have so many different courses and offerings for the students for this coming year, we're going to offer the core required courses as our synchronous opportunity is for students. But what we have learned also through the pandemic is our secondary students, they want to be live for a portion of that time, but then they want to go and work independently or in groups on different things. 


00:03:40:04 - 00:03:51:03

Denise Manganello: So we are looking to tie in live required time and then to go work on a project and really dive in and find your passion in learning. 


00:03:51:27 - 00:04:05:00

Jeff Krakoff: OK, what is the scheduling going to be? I know confusing, last year with this year, some things were optional. Talk us through the whole scheduling of the synchronous learning this coming year. 


00:04:05:21 - 00:04:40:10

Denise Manganello: So last year, without really knowing and having some of the students, we made all the live synchronous space optional. This year we're having parents and students decide which model they want. So if they are opting for that synchronous live streaming piece, then they are going to be expected to be in class. So at those given times they will be on with their classmates. Teachers will be taking the time to plan projects, collaborative workspaces, breakout groups within Microsoft TEAMS. 


00:04:40:19 - 00:05:02:13

Denise Manganello: So attending class is really essential and it won't be optional. It will be required and attendance will be taken. If the students don't want to have that required, e still have the asynchronous option, which is working at your own pace and doing your classes at an independent schedule and time for that. 


00:05:02:27 - 00:05:14:19

Jeff Krakoff: OK, are there any changes I know it was a little bit looser as far as everyone needing to have cameras on at all times. Any policy changes like that for the new school year? 


00:05:15:11 - 00:05:55:16

Denise Manganello: There's not really a policy change. There's going to be some procedures that we'd like to have in place for our students where and working with the teachers. Everything can be accommodated if somebody has something in need. But we'd like when students are at one on one working with their teacher or in those small groups to really have that collaborative communication and having their cameras on at that time makes it a lot easier. And the engagement level increases versus just seeing Denise Manganello across your screen, seeing my face interacting, doing those pieces is essential. 


00:05:55:18 - 00:06:05:18

Denise Manganello: So we are looking to have cameras on at specific times to take that level of engagement to the next level completely. 


00:06:05:21 - 00:06:19:05

Jeff Krakoff: OK, makes a lot of sense. So how is the Synchronous learning next year going to impact some of the other learning models, whether it's hybrid, blended, asynchronous? What impact will it have? 


00:06:20:21 - 00:06:51:04

Denise Manganello: Well, I think the pandemic actually I know we always talk about the negatives of the pandemic, but in our world of cyber, it actually was enjoyable and we were able to learn so much more and to grow as an organization. So the Academy of Choice really stopped and paused and listened to what our community and our family and everyone needed. And that's where the Synchronous piece really came in of. 


00:06:51:25 - 00:07:23:20

Denise Manganello: They didn't want their children just online working at the independent pace. And that's what we had for so many years. So we looked at that and now have expanded and continue to grow. But we still have all the things that we used to have also. So it's the highlight of adding the Synchronous piece, but having the asynchronous when students want to work at their own pace or if they are a hockey player or a gymnast, we have a lot of those in our district. 


00:07:24:10 - 00:08:07:03

Denise Manganello: We had a rap artist this year who was in L.A. at different times. When you're hitting those different time zones or the different time of school day, the asynchronous model, which is working at your own pace, using our campus and mainly at Edgenuity platforms that might work best for a student. And then our blended offerings is when we have and that's on the secondary campus. So that is grades nine through 12. We offer courses in gaming and in business that are blended and blended for us, equals two days in the classroom and then three days working independent. 


00:08:07:13 - 00:08:40:01

Denise Manganello: So we have all of our gaming classes on Monday and Tuesday. So if students want to come in and attend those classes and then work on their other courses during the day, they can and then they might not need to be on campus the rest of the week. And the same with business. We're really expanding and looking at that program. And we've added blended classes on Wednesday and Thursday this year, and those will be new. We wanted to offer them and then the pandemic hit and we had to shift. 


00:08:40:14 - 00:08:47:02

Denise Manganello: So we're really excited to offer these blended courses in both gaming and business next year. 


00:08:47:13 - 00:09:00:27

Jeff Krakoff: All right. So we talked a little bit about how the Synchronous is going to work with asynchronous, with blended. How about the idea of hybrid and and having traditional classes and asynchronous cyber? Is that still going to be an option? 


00:09:01:16 - 00:09:31:19

Denise Manganello: Yes, I think hybrid has become a term that we utilized in Seneca for the longest time as meaning taking one traditional class or more and one cyber class or more. So it's really that combination of both traditional and cyber. The world created the term hybrid of meaning you come to school on different days during the pandemic. So our district kept with our language that we had because we don't want to confuse our community. 


00:09:32:00 - 00:10:04:05

Denise Manganello: But the news and everything kind of didn't help us all the time on that. So hybrid to us will still be offered. So some students. Again, even like our gymnast there, go to the gym in the morning and that's their five hour period time, and then they come into the traditional class in the afternoon. So they are equal to a hybrid student. Some of our families opted the hybrid option of coming in late so that their students didn't hit that bus time frame. 


00:10:04:15 - 00:10:30:01

Denise Manganello: And when all of the students were coming in all at once, they came in maybe a second or third period during the day or came in maybe it took a math or live science class and then took all of their other classes asynchronous. So the hybrid option definitely will still be here. And I don't see that option ever going away as that's our most popular option in the Academy of Choice. 


00:10:30:08 - 00:10:52:13

Jeff Krakoff: All right. So it sounds like you took a great program with the Academy of Choice, added a lot of lessons learned throughout the pandemic, and it's going to be even stronger for this next school year. And I know I referred to you as Dr. Manganello when I introduced you. I just want to say congratulations. I know you recently completed your Ph.D.. It's awesome. Congratulations on that. 


00:10:52:25 - 00:10:53:15

Denise Manganello: Thank you. 


00:10:53:22 - 00:11:00:25

Jeff Krakoff: And have a great school year. I know we're coming down to the end of preparations, but I'm sure you're going to have a fantastic school year. 


00:11:00:27 - 00:11:02:01

Jeff Krakoff: Thanks for all the hard work. 


00:11:02:12 - 00:11:03:07

Denise Manganello: Thank you. 


00:11:03:17 - 00:11:04:16

Jeff Krakoff: All right. Take care. 


00:11:04:24 - 00:11:05:10

Denise Manganello: See you.