Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pilot for School?
Who can use it?
How does the system work?
How much does it cost to use Pilot for School?
Why should a teacher use Pilot for School?
Can students create profiles on the system?
Do students have access to the same features as teachers?
Are reader comments allowed under stories at Pilot for School?
How do I register?
I'm registered. How do I get started?

What is Pilot for School?

Pilot for School sorts local news coverage from PilotOnline.com and allows teachers to find relevant content quickly by grade level, academic subject, and academic concepts as outlined in Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Teachers are provided profile space, and they can “clip" useful content to a file cabinet in their profile, upload related documents (such as quizzes, presentations, activity sheets or lesson plans), and connect with other registered teachers. An activity widget at the bottom of your profile will show which of your connections have clipped articles, made new connections, uploaded files and created class pages. We want the system to be useful and fun, but we also hope it strengthens our sense of community and bolsters civic engagement.

Who can use it?

Teachers in public and private schools, and parents who home-school, in Virginia and North Carolina are eligible to register for accounts. If you don't see your school in the registration form, or if you home-school, please contact us.

How does it work?

We've analyzed Virginia's SOLs and curriculum frameworks for keywords that are likely to appear in our content and illustrate academic concepts. A text-reading software program scans stories for keywords that we've identified, and it directs the stories into grade- and subject-appropriate content streams. The system's not perfect; occasionally, a story that doesn't belong ends up in the wrong stream. When that happens, please let us know by clicking the "Provide feedback" button at the bottom of the story. We appreciate your help!

How much does it cost to use Pilot for School?

The service is provided for free to teachers and students. Pilot for School is part of The Pilot’s Newspapers in Education program, which is supported by the generous donations of sponsors and Virginian-Pilot subscribers.

Why should a teacher use Pilot for School?

Pilot for School offers the best of the offerings from the former NIE website (including access to ePilot, our digital replica of the print paper, and dozens of tools, resources and booklets) while making it easier to find and share useful local news. The system quickly connects teachers with content that illustrates concepts in Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Plus, this system helps connect you with other professional educators and provide a space for sharing resources.

Can students create profiles on the system?

No, not at this point. But teachers can give students access to the system. Teachers can create a class page and provide students class ID and password, which they can use to access readings and activities assigned by the teacher.

Do students have access to the same features as teachers?

No. Students cannot access a teacher's profile, and they can't see a teacher's activity on the site (e.g., making connections, clipping articles, uploading documents, etc.). When a student logs on, he/she is taken directly to the class page that the teacher has set up. They do, however, have access to ePilot.

Are reader comments allowed under stories at Pilot for School?

No, there are no comments under stories at PilotforSchool.com. Reader comments are permitted at PilotOnline.com and HamptonRoads.com.

How do I register?

When you create an account, you'll need to provide your name, email address and school. We'll ask you to specify the grade group where you teach, as well as the academic subject(s). After you submit your form, we'll send you an email to confirm your registration. You'll need to click the link in the email to complete your account.

I'm registered. How do I get started?

Now that you're registered, it's time to start clipping stories for class! Navigate the streams by clicking on a group of grades. Next, click on an academic subject. Now, click on an academic strand to see related content.

You can click on a story to read it, and if it's something you'd like to save, click "Clip this article." Add a title as you’d like it to appear in your file cabinet, select your grade and subject areas, upload any related documents that you’d like to pair with the story and press “save.” Keep browsing content, or click on your profile at the top of the screen to view your file cabinet.

You can register a class to give students access by following these steps:

  • Click “Register a class” at the top of the screen, name your class, select the number of students in your class, and select the appropriate grade group and academic subject.
  • Click “Create a page for your class,” name it, select the associated class registration, add any files that you would like to connect to the class, create differentiated reading groups (optional), set a password to share with your students, add a clipped article from your file cabinet, and click “save.”
  • Click on your profile, and in the “Class ID list,” note the five-digit class ID. This is your students’ username. Provide them with the class ID and password that you set.