FSUS Principal's Update

March 26, 2020


Hi Seminole Family,

We hope all of our students were able to enjoy spring break with their families. This has been quite the week for faculty, support teams, and our school community! We have been working remotely with our teachers and support staff to provide quality distance learning to your student. The transition to distance learning that our teachers and staff are making is significant. We're incredibly proud of how swiftly they targeted learning standards, moved lessons and curriculum online, and lined up methods for interacting with students--all while managing their home lives.

While we make this transition, it is critically important that our families recheck FOCUS to make sure that all information is up-to-date regarding addresses and emails. Our teachers will be reaching out to our families Friday with information to get Monday started.

With that in mind, it's important for all of us (students, families, teachers, and support staff) to stay physically and mentally healthy, work efficiently, and find time to rest. Please continue to practice social distancing and follow CDC recommendations and local orders.

As we enter the new online learning process, let's work together by remaining positive, supportive, and flexible and by directly reaching out to our teachers and deans with any concerns or questions. We are excited about an upcoming virtual Spirit Week, making morning school announcements available for our students, virtual book clubs, our music department virtually serenading birthdays, surprise calls from faculty and staff for check-ins, and much more. There is no doubt in our minds that we will come out stronger than ever because #wearefsus.

Stay healthy and safe!

Megan Brink, 9-12 Principal

Suzanne Wilkinson, K-8 Principal

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Next week, beginning Monday, March 30th, we will kick off our first week of distance learning. Distance learning for elementary is very different than virtual learning for older students, especially during times like these. We ask for your continued support and patience as we transition our students and teachers to a new routine. We will continue to make improvements to effectively maximize lessons for students but also provide flexibility for families.

When shifting routines and beginning a new way of work, it's important to keep in mind the following:

  • Reach out to teachers first for clarity on virtual assignments and questions about new tools. Sometimes information found on social media may not always be correct so please contact us directly.
  • Model for your student how to be positive, flexible, and a team player. One team, one goal!
  • Be patient with response times the first week. Think of this week as a transition week for all involved. Many of our teachers, staff and administration are parents balancing work and school for their students at home. Our teachers and staff are committed to being as responsive as possible as we settle into routines, but please be supportive during this time.
  • Our deans and leadership teams are working remotely. Contact information is below in case you need additional support.
  • It is our hope to see each of you on April 15th, however teachers will continue to plan online instruction as needed.
  • As we proceed and learn new ways of work, teachers and administration may make adjustments to routines accordingly.

Learning is Not Cancelled and Grades Still Matter!

NEW! 3rd 9-Weeks Report Card Date: April 15, 2020 (published on FOCUS)

As a reminder, schooling itself is not cancelled--the building is closed and extracurricular activities/trips are cancelled per Dr. Chambers' emails. At this time, students are still receiving grades for their distance learning.

Teachers, administrators, and support staff are working tirelessly to keep learning going and provide academic routines for families. We are ready and eager to connect with our students, please help us by encouraging students to keep the momentum going and submitting assignments.

To the rescue...

Classroom Assignment or Content Question

Email or contact your teacher. He/she will contact you using a variety of tools such as DOJO (for elementary) or email to answer your question or set up a conference call via Google Voice or a face-to-face meeting using Zoom. Teacher emails are on our website, on FOCUS, and on their course syllabus (for high school).

Related to online program or software

In most cases your teacher manages these programs or sites, please contact your teacher first. If extra assistance is needed, they can reach out to the appropriate support personnel.

Related to FSUS Computer/Hardware

Contact our technology department. To do this go to our website: fsus.school --> under headlines click Chromebook Checkout link --> Click FSUS Chromebook Request.

Our Deans are here for you! All of our Academic and Discipline Deans are working remotely. You may still be receiving phone calls from them and you can also reach out to them as needed.

A Few of Our Distance Learning Tools

Update FOCUS and Sign Up for ListServe

We have two different ways we send information via email: FOCUS and ListServe.

FOCUS: Specific information to certain populations is often sent through our FOCUS system. Please double check that parents and students (if older) have the correct email listed in FOCUS. Also check phone numbers and addresses.

LISTSERVE: General information to a broad group and larger community is sent on ListServe. This is an opt-in system. If you have not been getting Dr. Chambers' updates on Coronavirus, you probably are not on Listserve. To be a part of our ListServe community, please go to our homepage, click "About Us"--> "ListServe" and follow the directions.

Tips for Parents to Distance Learning

1. Personalize the learning environment for each student as much as possible.

Creating a specific workplace for your child can help them build consistent study habits. Whether students are working on a laptop or desktop, it’s important to have a designated space for learning for them to complete schoolwork.

To start with, make sure they have all the necessary equipment—computer, headphones, calendar, pencils, notebook/sketchpad, etc.—within easy reach. The workspace should be in a quiet, low-traffic area of the house so they can focus on their work undisturbed.

2. Use a schedule–and don’t be afraid to adapt that schedule as necessary

The flip side to getting your child to build consistent study habits is planning ahead to ensure they know when and what they’ll be learning each day. Build a routine that works best with their habits and energy. For instance, while a nine-year-old might be rearing to go in the morning, it might take your teenager a couple extra hours to become fully awake and ready for lessons.

3. Stay organized!

Depending on what works for your family, you might want to make it a nightly routine—going over the day’s lessons and upcoming assignments, and making sure everything is ready for the next day—or set aside time at the beginning and end of every week to do the same.

This step can help mitigate any wasted time since your child will be able to get straight to work and allow you to keep better track of how they’re progressing towards mastery with their lessons.

4. Set goals for and with students.

Setting measurable and specific educational goals will keep both you and your child on track throughout the school year. Make a list and divide it into short- and long-term goals, then revisit the list on a regular basis—during your weekly organizational sessions, for instance—to evaluate and adjust the goals if necessary.

5. Ask for help.

When you’re stuck on a situation or aren’t sure about how to approach a specific lesson, ask for help; you’re not in this journey alone.

10 Tips For Parents New To Online Homeschooling by TeachThought Staff

Online Learning Behaviors and Expectations

Although we are not on school campus, policies and procedures in our Student Code of Conduct may still be applied. Please make sure to adhere to the following expectations to ensure continued and respectful learning occurs:

1. Be PRESENT! Connect with your teachers, complete assignments, and take advantage of other tools/resources teachers and the school may provide. It is expected that you complete the assignments by the due dates given.

2. Be RESPECTFUL and KIND! Language and actions should be courteous and respectful to all students, faculty, and staff. This includes, but not limited to during, chat sessions, Zoom meetings or other online conferences, emails, assignments, etc. If you are attending an online class or meeting, make sure your background is not distracting or disruptive. Background pictures and images should also be respectful and not distracting or disruptive. Teachers will be allowed to mute or block a student's video should it be come distracting, disrespectful, or disruptive.

3. Engage in ACADEMIC HONESTY. FSUS takes the integrity and authenticity of student work very seriously. Do not cut, copy, or plagiarize internet content or the work of your online classmates. FSUS instructors may use technologies to check for authenticity.

4. Use TECHNOLOGY APPROPRIATELY. Whether or not you are using school technology to learn, our Bullying and Harassment, Title IX, and Appropriate Use of Technology policies in the FSUS Code of Conduct still apply. Please be mindful of what you are saying, sending, recording or streaming. Again, please be kind and respectful to each other.

Administration reserves the right to remove a student's access to online learning platforms, as necessary. Depending on the incident, students may still receive a reduced score on assignments and/or behavior contract for violating our policies.

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