First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. There is a sense of relief in finally knowing we won’t be returning to our building this year and ending the uncertainty, but also an extreme sadness. I was at the school yesterday cleaning some things up and felt like the building was weeping for all the joyous laughter to ripple down the halls. I reminded myself that it will again, this is a moment in time. But, we will be forever changed.
I know there is a lot of information coming at you, but please take the time to read through this letter as I believe it will help create a smoother transition to our distance learning, which is launching next Monday, April 13th.
Beginning next Monday, assignments and attending instruction will be mandatory. Students should plan for about 4 hours of work per day which will involve both synchronous learning (live instruction/class meeting/read loud, etc via zoom, over the phone, facetime,etc) and asynchronous learning (independent work that can be done at a child’s/family’s convenience). There has been/will be plenty of resources shared with you should your family opt for more work.
Google Classroom will be the teachers’ main platform to post assignments, share feedback, etc. However, all teachers will be sending a weekly letter to families outlining all assignments for that week as well as all synchronous learning blocks, so you can plan accordingly. Teachers will also be sharing sample schedules you can use to help build a consistent routine for your child/ren. Look for teachers’ office hours; this will be an ideal time to connect with teachers if you have any questions or a set time they will be able to get back to you regarding questions you’ve emailed.
We recognize this is a time of crisis. It is not business as usual. We understand that for some families supporting distance learning is going to be a significant challenge. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your classroom teacher or me. The social emotional well-being of our students and families is the most important thing right now. We are here to work with you and support you in whatever way you need.
If there are internet/device issues/inability to log into Zoom, etc. that will prevent your child from participating, please reach out to your classroom teacher immediately so we can try and work all those kinks out as soon as possible. Philip will be having office hours from 10AM-11AM each day for both students and families that need any tech support. Email him at email@example.com during that time for live responses.
I will also be holding weekly office hours via Zoom (the link will be posted on our website) or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org on Monday mornings from 9:30AM-10:30AM. Speaking of Zoom, please make sure the name appearing on your child’s account is recognizable to teachers. We are utilizing the waiting room for security reasons and will not be admitting users unless the teachers recognize them.
I will be posting a morning clap-in video (if we can figure out how to get our videos up on the website ;-)) M,W,F mornings if you want to kick off your day in a familiar way. In addition, I’m aiming to host a few read-alouds each week via zoom. Look for upcoming announcements about that. I’m missing the kiddos and want to find ways to connect!
PK-2 paper packets - I know a message went out to families yesterday evening that families needed to pick them up and many questions have come up. If you are able and were planning to, please do go pick them up. If you have a printer at home that is also an option. We will most likely only send out the pieces you’ll need for each week. If you cannot go pick them up and do not have a printer, please do not stress. Let your classroom teacher know. We can print sheets and mail them to you.
This is a big shift for us as a community of educators. We are all stepping out of our comfort zones, some more than others. Please be patient with us as we get distance learning off the ground.
Please take care and be well,