April 17, 2020
CornerStone Preparatory School Virtual Learning Survey
A Note From Mrs. Lile
Instruction and Academic Engagement
You've probably quickly learned that instruction is not "one size fits all". While some students may thrive on intense, highly-structured, academically rigorous activities, others may need time to learn through experiential activities at their own pace. Neither way of learning is better than the other; what works for one student may not make sense for another, and that's OK.
During traditional instruction, teachers prepare lesson plans which serve as a scaffold for learning. These plans are constantly adjusted to meet the individual needs of every student. Teachers are also able to monitor student performance in the classroom and adjust the flow of instruction as needed. Monitoring student performance and adjusting instruction to meet individual student needs during non-traditional instruction, however is much more difficult. We must rely heavily on the feedback of both parents and students to help in making necessary adjustments.
If you feel that the work provided for your child doesn't best fit their needs, find ways to help them adjust. For example, if the workload is too "light", provide them supplemental work; give your child an opportunity to go "old-school". Even though many school materials are being accessed online, it is a perfect opportunity to add some low-tech activities to their life. Encourage them to pull out the art supplies and get their hands dirty. Writing an old fashioned letter to friends or family--or even fan mail to their teacher--helps them not only feel connected but also supports communication and fine motor skills. If the workload seems too "heavy", help your child break down the tasks and create a completion schedule. Give your child choices. Let them have a say in how, when and where they want to do their work. This is a great chance to build their metacognition--where they can become more aware of how their own learning and thinking process works. Most importantly, communicate with your child's teacher(s). Give them the opportunity to work with you to best meet your child's needs. Remember, we are modeling for our kids that we don't have to strive for perfection or imitate what others are doing.
While our kids may not have access to traditional instruction in their academic subjects, they can still learn essential emotional literacy skills that will serve them their entire lives. Social-emotional skills are at the core of all meaningful learning and are key to our overall well-being.
Grades and Promotion
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted instruction, but measuring academic performance and grading processes as well. CornerStone Prep Faculty & Board recognize the hardships faced by students and parents during the school closure and are working toward a resolution that will allow us to acknowledge the work the students are doing without causing harm to their grades. Since three of the four nine-week grading periods were completed prior to the closure, those marking periods will most likely carry more weight than the final grading period. Students should continue to complete coursework and finish the school year strong.
We do plan to have a Graduation ceremony for our Senior class as well as for our Kindergarten students and will provide the date and time as soon as those plans are finalized.
End of the Year
Our current school closure is scheduled to end on May 1. If the closure is extended, I will notify parents and students.
It is important to remember that the entire world is standing still. Your child is not falling behind. When school starts again on the other side of quarantine--in May or in September or whenever--every teacher will remember, and take into account, that nearly every child in the world experienced the same learning hiatus. If your child learns nothing during this pandemic but how to deal with the unexpected and how to care for themselves amid chaos, they will have learned more than any book could teach them. Take a deep breath!