Deer Lakes

School District

Distance Learning @ Deer Lakes

Deer Lakes School District is committed to providing the optimal educational experiences to all learners. That is why we have developed Distance Learning @ Deer Lakes (DL@DL), a new option for unexpected closures and for district students who choose not to attend in-person classes but who still want to maintain the same academic rigor, pacing, supports and opportunities they have come to expect, all while being taught by the Deer Lakes teachers they already know.   
Deer Lakes students in grades K-12 are eligible for this program, which has been developed based on years of research and best practices for excellence in virtual learning as well as feedback we received from families and faculty based on their experience in the Spring of 2020. The primary objective of the program is to deliver a Deer Lakes quality education right in the comfort and safety of your own home.
Students who participate in DL@DL will enjoy all the benefits of being a Deer Lakes student, including participating on our athletics teams and other extracurricular activities.  They may also attend AW Beattie Career Center, which is planning in-person education.  

Distance Learning Daily Schedule

Daily learning plans are developed using a district template and guidance to provide a framework and allow for flexibility and personalization. The home learning schedule will determine when the learning will take place. It is recommended that a daily routine is followed to provide for consistency, familiarity with routines and opportunities for one or teachers to connect with their learners.

What Distance Learning and Teaching Looks Like

Instruction will be provided through district approved learning management systems (LMS): Schoology and Google Classroom. Other applications will be used by teachers to support communication, collection of work and daily interaction between the teachers, students and families like Seesaw, Class Dojo and Smore. Curriculum content and daily lessons may be delivered in a variety of applications based on preexisting classroom use and the personalization of the video, recordings, books, documents and learning activities.

Distance Learning and Special Education

  • Access to Education: The template that K-5 classroom teachers are using to develop their daily lesson plans includes a section for students with IEPs.  Each lesson should have general strategies, accommodations and modifications for students with IEPs.  Special education teachers are also working with their general education colleagues to add resources and strategies to those lessons.  
  • Communication: Our PPS team continues to provide information through a variety of methods, including family phone calls, emails, and video conferences.  Most notably, we have set up and continue to add resources to the Deer Lakes website on our page:  Special Education Distance Learning Resources. Also, at least one member of your child’s team (special education teacher, speech therapist, psychologist) should be in contact with you at least weekly (unless you have requested less frequent contacts). 
  • PPT: During this unique time of emergency school closure, school districts and families are not required to revise IEPs to reflect distance learning or to conduct PPT meetings related to the method of delivering instruction.  We encourage parents to contact your child's classroom teacher, special education teacher, related service provider (psychologist, speech/language pathologist, etc.) or your school administrator if you need assistance. If you feel that your concerns represent a unique set of issues, the school may convene a virtual or conference call PPT.

Tips for Supporting Your Child During Distance Learning

  • Establish routines and expectations to maintain a familiar rhythm of the day. Use the Distance Learning at Deer Lakes Student Checklist to support your learners at home.
  • Balance screen time and non-screen time activities.
  • Students should take brain breaks and move regularly as they engage in the activities and study.
  • Discuss what your child is learning and ask questions.
  • Establish times for quiet and reflection.
  • Remain mindful of your child’s stress.

Supplemental Resources

The resources listed below are intended for supplemental use to enrich the Distance Learning lessons and content shared by the classroom teachers and building administrators. Click to expand staff, student and parent resources for updates.

For Technical Support Access

Need technical support from Deer Lakes School District's Instructional Technology Department? Submit an email to [email protected]


Bobbi-Ann Barnes
Assistant Superintendent

19 East Union Road
Cheswick, PA 15024
Phone: 724.265.5320 Ext. 1213
Email: [email protected]
E: [email protected]
Directions to Deer Lakes School District 


Please click this link to enroll in our Distance Learning at Deer Lakes program or to solicit more information on specific questions you might have from one of the members of our team.

Hours of Operation

Weekdays: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will this be live/synchronous instruction?
A: DL@DL will offer both synchronous (live) and ascynchronous (recorded) learning opportunities.  That best of both worlds approach will give students the opportunity to interact with their teachers and classmates and it will also provide them with the flexibility to complete their lessons at their convenience and may complete the corresponding assignments when they choose.

Q: Will DL@DL students still have access to Deer Lakes' extracurriculars, sports, clubs, etc.? 
A: Yes. The DL@DL student will be a Deer Lakes student and has access to the buildings/facilities, extracurriculars, clubs, sports, and anything else he/she chooses to participate in.

Q: How much work a day will be required with DL@DL? 
A: That largely depends on the student’s grade-level and instructors. In accordance with school code, students in grades K-6 should have the equivalent of 5 hours a day of work, and students in grades 7-12 will have the equivalent of 5.5 hours of work per day.

Q: What about technology?
A: All Deer Lakes students are issued his or her own personal learning device.  For students in Kindergarten through third grade, those devices are iPads.  Students in grades four through 12 have their own Chromebooks.  If your student is heading into fourth grade this year, East Union Intermediate Center is conducting a swap event on Wednesday, July 29 from 9-11 a.m., and 3-5 p.m.   Accommodations will be made for those students who do not have reliable internet connections.

Q: I’m worried about my student falling behind in DL@DL. Will one-on-one tutoring or help be available? 
A: On an “as-needed” basis, yes. There will be live one-on-one videoconferences will teachers or other school staff weekly for each student. If the student still needs additional help, the teacher or staff member and student will work together to come up with a plan on a case-by-case basis. There may also be additional GM teachers to do specific online tutoring.

Q: How do I sign up? 
A: Parents can enroll their students in the DL@DL program by clicking this link.  Please note that the last day to lock in your choice of in-person schooling, Distance Learning at Deer Lakes and Lancer Academy is Friday, Aug. 7.  Anyone who fails to register for for DL@DL and Lancer Academy by that date will be automatically assigned to the in-person instruction cohort.

Q: What happens if my child wants to return to live learning?
A: This pandemic and resultant school closures has for months required an incredible amount of flexibility by all concerned, including the schools themselves as well as their students and their families.  We intend to maintain that flexibility as much as we possibly can.  However, we need to start planning now for what school may look for the first nine weeks.  That means we need concrete numbers in each of our three learning tracks, so that we can devote the resources necessary to support those students.
Q: What learning platforms will be used for online learners?
A: For grades K-3 at both elementary buildings, Seesaw will be used. In grade 4 at Edinboro Elementary, Schoology will be used. In grade 4 at McKean Elementary, Seesaw will be used. In grades 5-12, Schoology will be used.

Q: How will this be different than what we were doing in the spring?
A: We’re anticipating improvement in the learning platforms, greater and smoother communication between home and school, more curriculum available daily and daily instruction.

Q: Will paper packets be available like they were in the spring for remote learners?
A: No. Each student will have everything they need to complete their education online, including an iPad. No paper packets will be provided for any students.