It is hard to believe that this message is coming to you as we finish our 5th week of remote learning! I know that there have been ups and downs for you, and I appreciate the feedback we have received. As our students continue to learn remotely, we also continue to discover what works best for them and their families.
Our students' well being and the well being of each member of your family continues to be my number one concern. I encourage you to be open with your child’s teacher if your family is struggling with any needs, including those related to remote learning.
Regarding technology, we are excited to announce that google has responded to the requests of educators across the globe with needed enhancements to the G suite platform that will help teachers and students. Teachers can now utilize a tiled view when working online with larger groups. This allows a better view of participating students. And, enhanced audio and video capability will improve both live sessions and pre-recorded lessons and messages. We know that improvements will continue to come online. Though we wish that they could come faster, the current situation calls on us to be patient while we look forward to better things to come.
I have heard from many of you that this week was particularly hard. The workload was difficult, new learning was challenging, and the students were pushing back. I myself hit many roadblocks as a parent this week that caused me to scratch my head and take many deep breaths. We truly forget how resilient our children can be, but sometimes we expect them to roll with the punches when we ourselves are struggling to do just that. I urge you to take a moment to evaluate what is going well in terms of remote learning for your family. In order for us to take a look at why certain aspects of our lessons and learning are not working, we need to take a close look at what is working. We will be moving towards creating assignments that allow students to work at different speeds and still complete the tasks. We will also be working to provide options for families who are looking for a more manageable workload. And, we plan to have the ability to provide additional work for students who are ready for more, too.
A message about comparing our families to others: I know this is tempting and is something we all do. Is anyone else feeling frustrated by seeing images on social media, or in the news, of families living a seemingly perfect quarantine life filled with perfect lighting and inventive projects, no mess and all smiles across childrens’ and parents' faces? Yup, me too! Sure, we have great days, but we also have hard days. Many families have sick loved ones and have family members on the front lines filled with worry and stress. No one expects our homeschooling routines and results to be perfect at this moment in time. Please take a moment to decompress when you feel the world around you may be doing it “better” or more “perfectly.” You know what is best for your family and you are doing your absolute best under incredibly difficult circumstances.
As we move forward I want to talk about some of the questions that have come up frequently in the last few weeks about the end of the year functions and expectations. Next week, we hope to receive guidance from the DOE so that we can update you on policies for grading, promotion, attendance, as well as procedures for retrieving personal items left at school before we closed. I will be sending an FAQ document with more information next week.
If you have not done so already, please be sure to visit the Parent Help Hub site that Joan Bredthauer has created. There is a plethora of information and helpful resources there for families.
We all continue to be so grateful to those members of our community who continue to keep us safe during this time. Our essential workers have never been more needed.
I wish you a good and restful weekend!
All the best,