March 17, 2020 (2:30 PM)
We spent a majority of today focusing on distance learning guidance as we begin week one of our closure. This is unchartered territory for all of us and as we learn and adjust, we ask for your patience and support for our teachers. Our dedicated professionals are also working through some remote learning of several platforms to be able to maximize educational opportunities for your child during this challenging time. Our staff is also juggling many of the same challenges as your family--having their children home with daily assignments, caring for their elderly parents, etc. So, I ask that you please be mindful of this when emailing your child’s teacher or posting on social media platforms.
Some of the current work being done:
Suggested Daily Schedule: We know that consistency, predictability, and personal responsibility (chores/pitching in) are key for our learners. Therefore, we have posted a “Suggested Daily Schedule” for families on the www.biddefordschools.me/DL webpage which can be adapted. This is simply a guideline to assist your families as we recognize the needs and routines of each home vary widely.
Access to Teachers: We have compiled a document with a wealth of teacher resources and a recommended schedule for teachers from 8am-3pm. We acknowledge many parents are working and may have questions for teachers later in the evening. Teachers are receiving a wealth of emails from parents and students and are doing their best to respond to them in a timely manner.
Current Packets: In an effort to be proactive and prepared, we asked teachers to pull these distance learning packets together in just one day. We realize that our distance learning packets can be improved and enhanced should the closure extend beyond March 30. We continue to add resources for parents online at www.biddefordschools.me/DL and printed packets are available in bins outside schools for parents to pick up if needed.
Internet Access: We continue to work with providers, such as Spectrum-Charter for free internet services and AT&T for remote hot spots, on solutions for those families without internet access. Teachers may reach out to gather technology availability at homes.
Chromebooks: We have a team working to inventory all the Chromebooks in the district and determine if it is feasible for us to assign one to families for whom internet access is a challenge. As soon as we develop a plan, we will communicate it to parents.
Report Cards: We are not going to distribute report cards at this time as our focus needs to be on distance learning activities, food distribution, etc. More decisions will be made as the situation develops.
Share Your Learning at Home: We would love for you to share your images of your kids learning, playing, and exercising using the hashtag #TigerPrideAtHome (Biddeford) or #PantherPrideAtHome (Dayton) and tagging our schools on social media platforms. One picture we received today was a mom posing in “Lunch Lady Land” with a mesh bag hair net!
We continue to manage a ton of communication so please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or use our special closure phone number of 207-391-6868. We will do our best to answer questions timely and post on the Parent/Guardian FAQs link at www.biddefordschools.me/health.
Superintendent of Schools