2020-21 Family Q&A

2020-21 FAMILY Q&A

Updated: November 11, 2020 (Marking Period 2 Information)

We hope that this information will answer many of your questions and concerns. If there is an item not addressed here, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

Click here to read a welcome letter from Principal Dr. John Demby.


 What is Sussex Tech’s plan for the fall semester?

  • Sussex Technical High School students will begin the fall on a modified remote learning plan.

  • Students will have remote instruction, independent work, and assignments five days a week through the Schoology online platform.

  • Some teachers may be holding limited, optional, and voluntary small-group in-person instruction on Wednesdays and Thursdays, such as technical demonstrations. These in-person sessions will be announced in advance. Transportation will be provided for those students, and information will be shared with students who are not able to attend.

Could this change midway through the fall or in the spring?

District leadership will evaluate the remote learning plan each marking period, examining current health statistics and state guidance. We ask for patience and flexibility, as the overall situation and our guidance can change rapidly.


What will the daily schedule look like? (updated Nov. 11, 2020, for Marking Period 2)

As we move into the second marking period that begins on Monday, Nov. 16, we are making some changes to our modified remote learning model.

    • We are doubling the number of our live video classes and extending their length to give students more direct teacher contact.
    • We are also extending the time for students to turn in their weekly work, which will now be Friday at noon.
    • We are keeping the option for teachers to hold “reverse field trips” and bring students to campus for optional in-person instruction.

    The information below explains our new schedule and how it will affect your students. We hope that your children will benefit from this improved educational experience during this challenging time.

    Dr. John Demby, Principal
    Sussex Technical High School

    Marking Period 2 Schedule

    • We will continue to follow the even/odd schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays are even days and Tuesdays and Thursdays are odd days.
      • 8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.: Period 1 or 2
      • 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.: Period 3 or 4
      • 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.: Period 5 or 6
      • 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.: Period 7 or 8
      • 12:25 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.: Lunch (for students on campus)
      • 1 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.: Independent Learning
      • 2 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.: Teachers may hold optional live video sessions.
      • 2:50 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Teacher office hours
    • On Mondays and Tuesdays, teachers will present new lessons. 
    • On Wednesdays and Thursdays, teachers will elaborate upon and extend those lessons with enrichment or remediation activities for the whole class, small groups, or individual students.
    • On Fridays, teachers may hold optional live video sessions.
    • All assignments are due Friday at noon. Exceptions are in effect for special education students and those in dual enrollment college courses.
    • There will be no midterms or final exams unless required in dual enrollment college courses.
    • Teachers may choose to schedule a “reverse field trip” to campus on Monday through Thursday. Those will be scheduled on a class-by-class basis.
    • Teachers will generally have assignments for the coming week posted by Sunday evening.

    Student Expectations

    • During all live video sessions, students must be visible on video during the entire class.
    • Students are expected to sign in and out of the live video sessions by typing their name in the “chat” function to provide a formal record of their attendance.

Will the first day of school be an even or odd day?

 A virtual freshman orientation will be held on Sept. 8, an odd day. The first virtual day for upperclass students will be Sept. 9, an even day.

How can I find out my student’s schedule?

How do I log in to Home Access Center?

  • Click this link or go to our website, sussexvt.org, and look under the Students tab.

  • Upperclass student passwords have not changed since last year.

  • If you need assistance resetting your password, please follow the instructions on the Home Access Center site. Sussex Tech staff cannot provide or reset your password. 

  • Freshmen will receive their password information in a separate mailing.

How will the schedule change if there’s a holiday or in-service day?

If the school is closed on a certain day – for example, Election Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day – the schedule will remain the same. Students will just resume classes as scheduled the next day.


How will grading work under this system?

Grading will take place as normal. Students will be taught grade-level material throughout the year.



When will freshman orientation be held?

  • Freshman orientation will take place virtually on Tuesday, September 8.

  • Students will receive login and access information in a mailing the week of August 31.

  • Some families were contacted in error about transportation to the school for in-person orientation. That will not be taking place; freshman orientation will be completely virtual.

Will freshmen still have rotations through technical areas?

Yes, freshmen will begin the year with remote rotations with their technical teachers.



What should upperclass students do on their first day of school?

Upperclass students should log on to Schoology for their first day of classes according to their schedule found on Home Access Center.


When can students pick up their textbooks?

Textbook pickup for students in certain classes (see list below) will be held on the following dates:

  • Juniors and seniors: Wednesday, September 9, 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

  • Freshmen and sophomores: Thursday, September 10, 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Please follow these procedures:

  • Bring a copy or screenshot of your class schedule. Freshmen schedules were sent in a separate mailing; upperclass students’ schedules are available in Home Access Center.

  • Park your vehicles in the main bus parking lot, near the gym.

  • Parents/guardians should remain in their vehicles. Student should put on a mask or face shield and walk up to the designated tables on the sidewalk to be issued their books.

Please note:

  • Students can also have the opportunity to enter the school, escorted by staff, and clean out their lockers at this time. Students will have to have their temperatures taken and fill out a COVID screening form.

  • If you cannot stop by on your assigned day, please call the high school office to leave a detailed message with a call-back number at 302-856-0961.

The following teachers and classes are using textbooks:

  •  Abbott - Driver’s Education - Grade 10 - Driver’s Education
  • Aiken - Astronomy - Grade 12 - Astronomy
  • Bendistis - Early Care and Education - Grade 10 - Early Care and Education
  • Bendistis - Early Care and Education - Grade 11 - Early Care and Education
  • Calandra - AP Spanish - Grade 12 - Temas, Repaso, Triángulo Aprobado
  • Anthony Carmen - Electronics 1 - Grade 10 - 33 in 1 Deluxe Electronic Kit C6709
  • Anthony Carmen - Electronics 3 - Grade 12 - Crow Pi - Microprocessor Electronics Kit
  • Carlson - AP US History - Grade 11 - Gary Nash, "The American People" Creating a Nation and Society; Voices of the American People, Volume I
  • Conaway - Media Broadcasting - Grade 10 - Television Production Handbook - 7th Edition by: Herbert Zettl
  • Conaway - Media Broadcasting - Grade 11 - Media Composer - Editing Essentials by: Bryan Castle, Jr.
  • Conaway - Media Broadcasting - Grade 12 - Media Composer - Effects Essentials by: Greg Staten
  • Doherty - Dental Services and Technologies - Grades 9-12 - Modern Dental Assisting 12th edition
  • Gehrke - Digital Publishing & Design - Grade 10 - Orientation to Graphic Communications
  • Gehrke - Digital Publishing & Design - Grade 11 - Advertising Design
  • Hoard - HVAC I - Grade 10 - NCCER CORE, NCCER HVAC 1
  • Hoard - HVAC II - Grade 11 - NCCER HVAC 1
  • Hoard - HVAC III - Grade 12 - NCCER HVAC 1
  • Jefferson - Environmental Technology - Grade 12 - National Pesticide Certification Manual
  • Johnson - Algebra 1 and Geometry - Grade 9 - Calculators
  • Massaro and Lewis - Health Pro - Nursing Assistant - Grade 11 - Nursing Assistant: Authored by Sorrentino
  • Massaro and Lewis - Health Pro – Med Terminology - Grade 10 - Medical Terminology: authored by Nath
  • Maull - PT-AHC I - Medical Terminology - Grade 10 - Medical Terminology for Health Care Professions 8th ed
  • Maull - PT-AHC II - Intro to PT Practice - Grade 11 - Intro to PT Practice for PTAs
  • Moore - Driver’s Education - Grade 10 - Driver’s Education
  • Rose – Choir - Grades 9-12 - Choir Binders
  • Rust & Taylor - Criminal Justice I - Grade 10 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Practice and Process
  • Rust & Taylor - Criminal Justice II - Grade 11 - Paralegal Professional
  • Rust & Taylor - Criminal Justice III - Grade 12            - APCO 911 Dispatch
  • Suchanec - Anatomy & Physiology - Grade 11-12 - Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology - 6th Edition 
  • Suchanec - Principles of Biology & Chemistry - Grade 10 - Biology (Prentice Hall) by Miller/Levine
  • Swan - AP Psychology - Grades 11-12 - Psychology, 8th edition in modules
  • Varrato - AP Literature - Grade 12 - How to Read Literature Like a Professor; 3 Novels: Dorian Gray, Purple Hibiscus, The Stranger
  • Wright - Nutrition - Grade 12 - Nutrition & Diet Therapy 9th Edition
  • Wright – Psychology - Grades 9-12 - Understanding Psychology



 What are the attendance requirements?

Students are expected to attend scheduled class through Schoology or Zoom. If a student will be absent on a particular day for an excused reason, they should contact their teacher. Further details on attendance policies will be forthcoming.

What are the dress code and behavior requirements?

All school and classroom rules apply in remote learning as they would if we were in person, including the school dress code. These rules can be found in the Student Handbook at sussexvt.org. Please know that certain parts of the handbook are being revised due to COVID, and will be updated.



What precautions is Sussex Tech taking to protect students and staff from COVID-19?

The health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. We are taking every recommended precaution, and our leadership talks regularly with the Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Education. Precautions for anyone on campus include:

  • Mandatory mask-wearing

  • Social distancing

  • Daily temperature checks

  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-contact surfaces throughout the day

  • Deep cleaning on a nightly basis


What is the new school calendar?

The Board of Education adopted a new calendar at its August 11 meeting. The school year will begin with virtual freshman orientation on September 8 and the first day of school for upperclass students on September 9.

  • August 24: First Teacher Day

  • August 24-September 3: In-Service

  • September 4-7: School Closed – Labor Day Weekend

  • September 8: Freshman Orientation

  • September 9: First Day for Upperclass Students

  • September 15: In-Service – Primary Day

  • October 14: District Advisory Dinner

  • October 16: In-Service

  • November 3: School Closed – Election Day

  • November 5: School Closed – Return Day

  • November 11: School Closed – Veterans Day

  • November 14 – 8th-Grade Open House

  • November 25-27: Thanksgiving Holiday

  • December 24-January 1: Winter Break

  • January 18: School Closed – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  • February 15: School Closed – Presidents Day

  • March 19: In-Service Day

  • April 2-9: Spring Break

  • May 28: Last Senior Day

  • May 31: School Closed – Memorial Day

  • June 3: Graduation Day

  • June 11: Last Student Day

  • June 14-15: In-Service

When are the marking periods?

  • Marking Period 1 will end November 13.

  • Marking Period 2 will end January 28.

  • Marking Period 3 will end April 1.

  • Marking Period 4 will end June 11.


How will students communicate with their teachers?

  • Students will communicate with their teachers through the Schoology online platform and through their Sussex Tech email addresses. Links to both of those are on our website, sussexvt.org, under the Students tab.

  • Teachers will also be available for student and parent/guardian communication during regular online office hours on certain days.

How will I get notifications or find out news from Sussex Tech?

  • We know it is important for families to stay in touch with their students’ schools, which is why we offer information in multiple ways.

  • We have a call-home system which can leave a recorded message on your voicemail and a messaging system which sends messages directly to your email. Please check your voicemail regularly, and add us to your safe sender email list.

  • We also post all communications on our website, sussexvt.org, and on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

How can I make sure that Sussex Tech has our household’s most current contact information?

If you haven’t received any calls or emails from us since early August, please contact the high school at 302-854-2820 to make sure we have your family’s current information on file.



We don’t have a computer or device able to do remote learning. How can Sussex Tech help?

Families in need of a device can contact Dr. Demby at the high school office at 302-856-0961, and laptops will be loaned out on an as-needed basis.

We live in an area with poor Internet access. What are our options?

Students without Internet access at home have several options:

  • On Wednesdays and Thursdays, students may work in the school computer lab with prior approval from the high school administration.

  • Community wifi locations, listed on our website at sussexvt.org.

  • Several public libraries are open for limited-time use: BridgevilleSeafordMillsboro and Frankford. Click the links or call the libraries in advance for hours and for details.

  • A forthcoming state program for equipment installation and broadband service for students from low-income households, coming after new state investments in reducing Internet deserts.

  • In extenuating circumstances, students will be provided paper copies of instructional materials that are posted on their teacher’s Schoology page. 



What is Schoology?

  • Schoology is Sussex Tech’s online learning platform, where students can access assignments, watch videos, get important learning resources, and more.

  • Weekly assignments will be available starting at the beginning of each week.

How can students log in to Schoology? Where can they find their username and password?

  • Students can log in to Schoology through a link on our website, sussexvt.org, under the Students tab.

  • For returning students, the username and password will be the same as last year.

  • Freshmen will receive their login information in a letter that has been mailed to all homes. 


My student has IEP accommodations. How will those be implemented?

  • Our goal is to provide the services from your child’s current IEP. Under the remote learning plan, special education teachers will be available for consultation as well during normal school hours.

  • Distance learning programs will include services listed in the Services, Aids and Modifications section of each goal page in formats adapted for at home learning to the extent possible. Services, Aids and Modifications during remote instruction may be adapted to comply with COVID-19 safety requirements.

  • When students return to instruction in the school buildings, the services and placement will resume as written and agreed upon in the pre-pandemic IEP or as may be updated to address your child’s needs.

Who can I talk to about specifics regarding my student’s needs?

Parents or guardians with questions about their student’s needs should contact our Student Services staff through the high school office at 302-856-0961, or our website, sussexvt.org.


How will students do the hands-on work required by their technical areas to get certifications and licenses?

During this remote learning period, our technical area teachers will focus on classroom and theory instruction, with the goal of resuming hands-on work when we return to school later in the year. 



Will seniors be able to do work-based learning under this plan?

Eligible seniors are encouraged to pursue work-based learning opportunities in their field. Students interested should contact Ms. Dona Troyer as soon as possible at 302-853-1599.



How can we get in touch with a Student Services counselor for help with a problem?



My student needs someone to talk to. Who can they reach out to?

We encourage any student, or any parent with concerns about their student, to reach out to a member of our counseling staff, nurses’ staff, or Wellness Center. Details and contact information can be found at the Someone to Talk To page on our website.



Will there be fall athletics?

The State Board of Education and the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association have determined that fall sports will be held in the spring under a compressed schedule, as will winter and spring sports. More information will be available as that time gets closer.



Will there be Homecoming this year?

The Homecoming dance will not be taking place this fall.

Will there be Spirit Week or other virtual activities?

Teachers and staff are organizing Virtual Spirit Week events, with details to come.

How do we pay class dues?

Class dues have been suspended temporarily, and will be prorated as needed once they are reinstated.



If my child is sick and won’t be able to attend a remote class, who do I contact?

Please let your student’s teacher know if they will not be attending a remote class.

If my child has COVID symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, who do I contact?

Please contact our school nurses at 302-854-2819 and leave a detailed message, or email nurses@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

Where can I find more information on coronavirus symptoms, Delaware’s statewide response, or statistics on cases?

  • People with general questions about coronavirus can call 2-1-1. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can text your ZIP code to 898-211 for deaf and hard of hearing.

  • For those with specific health-related questions, email DPHCall@delaware.gov.

  • Contact your primary health care provider if you have concerns about symptoms, particularly those with fever and coughing or shortness of breath.

  • The State has assembled a variety of resources and information, including statistics and data, at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov.

Sussex Technical School District. All rights reserved.