Watson Institute Continuity of Education Plan

Watson Institute Continuity of Education Plan (PDF)

Continuity of Education Plan
Approved Private School: The Watson Institute’s school programs

  • The Education Centers Sewickley and South
  • LEAP Preschool
  • Friendship Academy
  • WISCA (Private Academic Licensed School) Watson Institute Social Center for Academic Achievement

Chief Operating Officer: Marilyn Hoyson, Ph.D.
Address: 301 Camp Meeting Rd. Sewickley, PA 15143
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 412-749-2860
Website: www.thewatsoninstitute.org

Goal of Plan: 
The goal of Watson’s Continuity of Education Plan is to present lessons and activities to students and their families in the form of Planned Instruction and Review and Enrichment.  We are committed to support our students and families whom, as all of us, have had many changes in their lives. We seek to provide education to our students so they can reach their potential in all aspects of their lives.

This plan has evolved. We began working on it immediately, March 16th.  We put information on our website for families first and then began work as programs and then teams within the schools.  We worked with our IS Department to test out what worked best for each program. Below is an outline of our plan to date.  We may make small changes with family feedback. 

Each Program Director has a schedule for their staff in regard to:

  • The number of lessons presented to students each week
  • The number of phone contacts to families per week
  • The schedule for planning and recording lessons (some lessons are live and some are recorded).
  • The lessons presented are based on IEP goals of the students in the class.
  • Resources are made available to families and students through our individual teacher websites and/ or our Watson website to support the lessons or as enrichment and review.
  • Student RR/IEP meetings are being held with collaboration and direction of the school districts.  We are following the directions of the school districts we serve.
  • We are being as flexible as we can with our families; we are sharing this with them and many/most are taking advantage of this type of contact. 
  • Our social workers, nurses, transition coordinators, related service staff, clinical staff, behavior staff and supervisors are also on teams and are supporting families and helping students with concerns they may have at this uncertain time. 

Expectations for Teaching and Learning:

  • Teaching : The Teaching Teams and the Support Teams are expected to adhere to the schedule put forth by their respective Program Directors. They are expected to maintain the schedule of teaching and planning and individually contacting families/students on the schedule.
  • Learning: Learning is individually dependent on the school and the students.  With some of the students, the families must be actively involved in the learning process.  Families are also asked to communicate with the teams regarding the changes they feel may be more helpful to them. 

The families of some of the other students, we want gentle monitoring of the student as he/she works on their learning activities and lessons.  The families are being asked to see that the student maintains the schedule given to them by the teaching team.
In all cases the teams need feedback from the families on student progress.

Communication Tools and Strategies:

  • Families are able to access a schedule of when the staff is available to communicate with them.  They are also aware that they can contact their teaching and support teams through email, voicemail or the classroom websites.
  • Families have been informed about where to find information regarding their child’s education along with helpful information pertaining to COVID-19 on the Watson website.

Access (Devices, Platforms, Handouts):

  • Surveys were sent to families, to determine their level of access to online platforms or phones with data. We learned that most families have access to internet services. We are providing work packets to families through the mail if they do not have access to our online resources.

Staff General Expectations:

  • All staff are following a schedule for developing lessons and then presenting them to students in real time or taped and providing the activities to go with them.  Staff are also contacting families as directed by their supervisors.

Student Expectations:

  • Depending on the student and family, all are being provided access to remote learning in the ways explained above.  We are communicating that we hope all students take advantage of the resources being provided.


  • We are not taking attendance.  Some students are eager to do their work and receive feedback from their teacher.  For families who are facing considerable obstacles, we may only be able to provide gentle monitoring of students’ academic progress.    We will continue to evaluate accountability as time goes on and will make decisions with the school district of each student in regard to grading or pass/fail.
  • There are other students that need a family member with them to help support their participation in the activity.  The teaching staff ask the family to rate the students in completing the tasks independently, with support or not at all. Teachers will then have an idea of progress on an IEP goal.

Good Faith Efforts for Access and Equity for All Students:

  • All of our students are students with special needs.  We are providing our “Good Faith” effort to implement the IEPs for the students with the education and related services they need.
  • We also learned how each family can access the services and we are providing the education in the modality appropriate for them.

Special Education Supports:

  • The Watson Institute is an organization that educates students with special needs.  Our LEAP Preschool includes typically developing preschool children.  The families of all the children in our programs have the ability to use all of the resources. The focus of our Continuity of Educational Plan is for the students we serve.

EL Supports: NA
Gifted Education: NA

Building/Grade Level Contacts:

Education Centers Sewickley and South:
Michele Trettel, M.Ed., TVI, Program Director, [email protected]

LEAP Preschool: Nancy Draftina, M.Ed., Program Coordinator, [email protected]

Friendship Academy: Alexandra Salcido, Program/Clinical Director, [email protected] and Samantha Generalovich, M.Ed., Education Director, [email protected]

WISCA (Watson institute Social Center for Academic Achievement):
Marcia Laus, M.Ed., Program Director, [email protected]  

Resource Links: www.thewatsoninstitute.org has many resources for families.