Distance Learning Week 2

March 28, 2020

The first week of distance learning is in the books. I hope that you were able to use this last week to become familiar with the online platforms (Google Classroom/Zoom), and identify routines, procedures, and schedules that worked, as well as ones that didn’t. Routines and schedules take time to develop. It may take you another full week (or maybe two) before you find exactly what works best for your family. Please know that we have compassion and understanding for what you are managing at home. You have had a lot thrown at you, and none of this is easy. Between establishing new at-home work schedules, taking care of the house, providing academic support to your children during the day, and managing anxiety and fear within the family about COVID-19 makes any frustration you may have had completely understandable and expected. Know that this week will be better than the last. If you are struggling to create an effective distance learning schedule at home, please reach out to me or your child’s classroom teacher. Together we can identify some strategies that may create more efficient and manageable day to day routines that lighten the load and reduce stress.

Google Classroom Guidelines
The kids have really impressed us with their use of the online platforms, especially Google Classroom. We value the student questions and comments made, and have found it to be a great way for kids to stay connected and see the good work that is being done by their peers. We would ask that the students not use Google Classroom as a means to chat and have personal conversations. They could certainly Zoom each other for that, but Google Classroom is meant only for accessing/uploading assignments and having discussions about school related activities. If you could pass this friendly reminder on to your child, it would be greatly appreciated. Teachers can certainly delete student comments that refer to things outside of school, but we really want the kids to get the hang of all aspects of Google Classroom, including its purpose and how to utilize it for academic advancement.

St. Michael’s Facebook
We would love to receive pictures of your child working from home, including any special family projects that you might be doing. Please feel free to email a picture to your child’s classroom teacher so that we can begin posting pics to our FB page. We want to continue sharing the great work being done at our school with the community.

Grades & Assessments
As we move forward, our faculty and administration will be discussing distance learning grades and assessments. Remote learning is different and difficult, but it still holds great value and seriousness. We believe in every single one of our students, and expect them to be good stewards of the honor system. As schools across the country are taking COVID-19 into consideration when looking at grades and achievements for this year, so will St. Michael’s. There is much to discuss, but for now, please know that we are working to develop a policy specifically for distance learning grades and assessments.

I am looking forward to joining class Zoom meetings next week. Trust me when I say, we miss the kids just as much as they miss us.

Week two here we come!

Warm regards,
Mandy Hart
Division Director – Lower School

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