Why is PWCS choosing to use Microsoft Office 365?

The use of Microsoft Office 365 correlates directly with the Virginia K-12 Technology Standards, specifically the standard that deals with Technology Communication Tools. PWCS students will have the opportunity to learn how to use Office 365 for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities. For detailed list of the Virginia Technology Standards, click here.  Office 365 provides a cloud-based environment that allows students and staff the ability to access and use tools and resources anytime, any place  and on any device.


Does a student need to have Microsoft Office installed on a home computer to use Office 365?
No, students do no need to have Microsoft Office installed on a computer at home to use Office 365.  Students will go to https://login.microsoftonline.com to log into Office 365 and all of the applications will be available to them.  Our agreement with Microsoft allows students to install the latest version of Microsoft Office on home computers for free on up to 5 computers (PCs or Macs).  Office apps can be installed on other mobile devices including Android, iPad, and Windows tablets.  Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access. If a parent/guardian does not want their student to use Office 365 they may opt out. Click here to print and complete the PWCS email Opt-Out form and return to your school.


What is the value of Microsoft Office 365?

The instructional use of Microsoft Office 365 is a very productive instructional classroom tool. Files stored on Office 365 are always accessible and backed-up online in a safe and secure data environment. Office 365's intuitive commenting feature is ideal for instructor and student feedback. Also using Office 365 is a great way to prepare students for a society fully of technology.

What applications are available with Microsoft Office 365?
PWCS students in grades K-12 will have access to Office 365 Applications such as OneNote, Sway, Word, PowerPoint, One Drive, and Excel.  Students in grades 3-12 will also have access to Outlook email. As the use of PWCS Microsoft Office 365 continues, there may be other features that are added.  We will inform you about any significant changes to the tools students are using in the secure PWCS environment.

Does a student have to have a Microsoft Office 365 account?

The instructional use of Microsoft Office 365 is proving to be critical in preparing our students for their future. Files stored on OneDrive are always accessible and backed-up online in a safe and secure data environment. Implementation of Office 365 in the PWCS classroom is a teacher decision, but parents do have the option to opt-out of the use of Office 365 for their student.

What if a student does not have a computer at home?

The use of Office 365 is part of the instructional content and students will have opportunities to work in their Office 365 account during the school day. PWCS Office 365 is safe and web based, which means it can be accessed from the public library or other places where computers are available.

How will students access PWCS Microsoft Office 365?
With teacher/ITC guidance, students must first activate their Microsoft Office 365 account and obtain their password from a computer at school. Once the student has an active account, there are a variety of ways to log in:  
Once the student has their username and password, there are two different ways to login:

Go to http://office365.pwcs-edu.org and log in using his or her PWCS Microsoft Office 365 username and password.

  • Students can also go to https://login.microsoftonline.com and log in using his or her Office 365 username and password.
  • Teachers may choose to provide a link from within their school Web page; however students will always need to enter his or her Office 365 username and password to successfully log in to PWCS Office 365.


Will students be required to access Microsoft Office 365 at home?

The instructional use of PWCS Office 365 is optional, with decisions about Office 365 in the classroom often made at the school level by teachers. Students have the opportunity to log in to their PWCS Office 365 account from home to access their information or work on their documents.  This also enables them to collaborate on shared documents with other students and/or their teacher.

Can students send e-mail to "outside accounts" with the Microsoft Office 365 account?
Yes, students will be able to send email to outside accounts. Students in grades K-2 do not have email accounts.
 
Can students use a Microsoft Office 365 account they have already created on a personal computer at home?
No, students will be expected to use their PWCS Microsoft Office 365 account when working on school related projects, and assignments.

Do these apps work on an iPad or other tablet?

Microsoft Office 365 documents may be edited using a mobile browser.  Also, different mobile platforms make Microsoft applications available through their app store. 

Can parents use it?
Only PWCS employees and PWCS students in grades 3-12 can access Office 365.

Can a parent see what their student is doing on Microsoft Office 365?
No, there is not a Parent View account in PWCS Office 365. Parents are encouraged to explore Office 365 with their student by logging in together. Parents will be able to have their student log in to his or her PWCS Office 365 account at home to show you what they are currently working on in class. 

What about Privacy?

PWCS has an agreement with Microsoft for access to a suite of educational services described as ‘Office 365.’  Microsoft is identified as a school official for purposes of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  This means information shared within Microsoft 'Office 365' is protected by both PWCS and Microsoft as confidential under FERPA.  

Who has access to a student's account?
The Microsoft Terms of Service agreement with PWCS contractually ensures that our institution (students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of their data. Microsoft will only access content stored on Apps when an administrator from PWCS grants Microsoft explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use.
  
Does a student retain copyright of their creations?
The same copyright rules apply to content in Microsoft Office 365 that would apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner.
  
What protection will PWCS provide so a student is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?
PWCS filters and monitors Internet activity on our network in compliance with Virginia legal code §22.1-70.2. Acceptable Internet use policies for public and private schools. (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+22.1-70.2) and the Federal CIPA law, (Children's Internet Protection Act).
  
What apps are available and how can a teacher to use them?
PWCS Microsoft Office 365 will provide students with secure and easy online access to documents, spreadsheet, presentation and communication tools.  These tools can be accessed easily from home or school and enhance teacher and student collaboration and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. Teachers can use Office 365 to facilitate group projects and use the track changes tool to see the level of participation of each student in a group. Teachers will be able to give feedback to students directly in documents shared with a teacher. Turning in assignments will be as easy as sharing the file in Office 365 with the teacher, or by emailing it to the teacher through the student’s PWCS Office 365 email account.

What if another student deletes their work?
The owner is the only person who can delete a document. Once a document is deleted, no one can access it, including those with whom it was shared.

How will Microsoft Office 365 reflect in their grade?

The use of Microsoft Office 365 will not in itself impact grades. Consult with your child’s teacher/s about individual class requirements.