April Break District-Wide Project
Information for PK-12 Students and Families
Dear LLCS Students and Families,
We are excited to share our PK-12 project-based learning experience that kicks off today, Thursday, April 8, and goes through Friday, April 17. During this timeframe school is in session. Please read this letter to gather details and expectations for each grade level.
I think we can all agree that the past few weeks have been very challenging. If nothing else, this experience has taught us all to do the best we can with what we have. As I shared previously, Governor Cuomo initiated an executive order that extended school closure and included language that requires school districts to continue to provide remote instruction in order to receive a waiver from the 180-day instructional requirement – even if that time was scheduled to be spring break.
To meet this requirement, we have created a district-wide approach that creates the opportunity for our students to continue to learn and grow, while also having the time to recharge, shift gears, and spend time with their families. As our team brainstormed ways to come together, springtime naturally jumped out as a PK-12 shared theme.
Our district-wide project creates a learning experience for students that compliments the growth and spirit of springtime in the Adirondacks. We have created grade level groups that include PK-K, 1-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Each group has a variety of activities for students to choose from and the activities are presented on “choice boards” that you can find by visiting our website (www.longlakecsd.org). All of the choice boards are linked on the home page, and also on the “ School Closure Academics Home Page” per grade level. If your child's teacher uses Google Classroom or Class Dojo, the choice boards will also be linked there. (For 7-12 students they will be posted on their grade level daily update Google Classroom). We've created multiple access points for convenience and ease. If you have experience any difficulty, please let me know.
A choice board is just what it sounds like, a board that presents choices. The activities on each choice board are designed to meet students at their grade levels, and to also provide students and families with flexibility. What ties each grade level together is our springtime theme, family activity options (these are the same on each choice board, regardless of the grade level), the goal to earn at least 10 points from one choice board, and the accountability measure to submit photos of your completed work to your classroom teacher (PK-4) via email or via our Google Form (5-12).
I will be working on mailing all families hard copies of the choice boards before the end of the week. You have everything you need via the online version, but our team felt that having a hard copy could also help families keep track to check things off and to see all of the choices in front of them. With all of the online time we are spending, we felt this contrast could help you stay organized. Please check your mailboxes in the coming days!
The number of choices and the complexity of the activities increase with grade level, so you will see that PK-2 has one choice board, and grades 3-4 has two choices boards and grades 5-12 has three choice boards. All 3-12 students need to choose just one board to complete but if you feel compelled we encourage you to keep going and learning! You are more than welcome to use additional activities from any board for enrichment, but at a minimum please complete 10 points on one board. At the end of this letter there are specific instructions for grade level groups to help frame expectations and instructions.
We worked hard to create a project that offers students and families flexibility, but we do still need to see completed work for an accountability measure. We are asking students and their families to submit photos of their completed assignments, whether it is an actual product or a family activity. This will help us keep track, but will also result in a beautiful portfolio of a really challenging, but also special time, in our school year. As a district we are required to be in session during this time, so your completed work photo submissions help us to help you, but also provide the district with the needed materials to document our continuity of learning during this timeframe.
For PK-6 students, please email photos to your child's classroom teacher, just like you have been doing throughout this whole experience. For 7-12 grade students, to simplify things, we have a created a Google Form (this is also posted on the school website) for you to submit work through. Students will be able to submit this form multiple times so they do not need to wait until completing 10 points worth of work to turn in individual assignments.
We will be shifting during this time period from a daily check-in with your teacher to a check-in as needed procedure. We are here to help, guide and support, but also want families to have the flexibility to take these learning activities and run with them.
All teachers will be available to answer questions and to support students and families each day. They will continue to check their email throughout the school day, and will also host “office hours” from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. During this time each PK-12 teacher will be available to speak over the phone or via videoconference. They will also be available to answer emails. If you would like to setup a time to talk with a teacher over the phone or via videoconference, please reach out to them via email. This will allow teachers to make sure that they can organize time for everyone that requests it. All students have a school email account which can be used in the event that a parent/guardian doesn’t have an email address of their own. If you have any trouble with this, please reach out to me and I can help you troubleshoot.
I am really proud of our team for working thoughtfully to meet the requirements of the New York State Department of Education while also meeting the needs of our students, staff, and families. We appreciate your partnership and look forward to seeing photos of student work and reading/hearing your stories from this project-based learning experience. If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to me. It’s best to start with email and then if you’d like to talk over the phone or videoconference we can set something up from there.
It is important for us to note that we ask all of our families to follow the guidelines published by the Hamilton County Public Health, New York State Department of Public Health, and the CDC. In sum, stay home and stay strong. If you cannot stay home, please do your part to social distance at a minimum of six feet and practice good health hygiene for yourself and others.
We thank our healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers for the endless hours they are putting in to keep our communities safe and healthy. We are thankful to our staff at LLCS who are working hard to prepare and deliver meals and to make sure that our building and district continue to move forward.
Please do your part and stay home to stop the spread. Governor Cuomo has initiated a #IStayHomeFor campaign. I encourage you to share your thoughts. I stay home for my parents, family, friends, and LLCS. You all mean so much to me, I need to make choices that keep you healthy, and me too! Remember this virus is not just about you, but the people around you who you may infect.
Be kind. Stay healthy. Be smart.
Ms. Noelle J. Short
Grade Level Project Specifics
PK & Kindergarten Students will have one choice board with a Springtime theme. Students should complete a minimum of 10 points worth of activities from that board. Parents can email pictures of completed work to their child’s teacher.
1st and 2nd Grade Students will have one choice board with a Springtime theme. Students should complete a minimum of 10 points worth of activities from that board. Parents can email pictures of completed work to their child’s teacher.
3rd and 4th Grade Students will have two choice boards to choose from: Maple Sugaring and Nature’s Springtime Stories. The two choice boards will also be linked in the Third/Fourth Grade Google Classroom. Please choose one board to work from and complete a minimum of 10 points worth of activities from that board. Parents can email photos of completed work to their child’s teacher.
5th through 8th Grade Students will have three choice boards to pick from: Learning from Local Knowledge, Nature’s Springtime Stories, and Maple Sugaring. Each student should choose ONE choice board, then needs to complete a minimum of 10 points worth of activities from that board. Students can submit completed work using the provided 5-12 Google Form. The Google Form may be submitted multiple times as they complete each task that they choose.
9th through 12th Grade Students will have three choice boards to pick from: Learning from Local Knowledge, Nature’s Springtime Stories, and Maple Sugaring. Each student should choose ONE choice board, then needs to complete a minimum of 10 points worth of activities from that board. Students can submit completed work using the provided 5-12 Google Form. The Google Form may be submitted multiple times as they complete each task that they choose.