The Eagle Express

Antrim Elementary School April 4, 2020

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Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for your patience as the District plans for the future. We appreciate all you have done so far to ensure your children have been connecting with their teachers and continue to complete school work from the learning menus. We also appreciate all the feedback you provided in the parent survey. It helped us understand the successes and the challenges as we effectively plan for next steps.

Using feedback from staff and parent surveys, the administration has planned for the instructional shifts that will take place K-4. These have also been aligned with the district vision for remote learning K-12. We have focused on developing a vision for remote learning at the elementary level, while also recognizing the routines that have already been established. These shifts will occur in phases. These changes will slowly shift us from maintenance to new instruction for your child(ren). Teachers will continue to focus on the three core subject areas of math, literacy, and writing. Science, social studies, and specials will be integrated into these core subject areas, and families will also be provided with enrichment activities.

The initial shifts will focus on creating consistency and ensuring equity across the district. These shifts are meant to ensure consistent instruction for your children in the event that a staff member becomes ill. Read on to learn more about these important changes.

Daily Morning Message

A common practice of daily morning messages to families has been a valuable practice and should continue throughout our remote learning experience. Teachers will send a daily morning message, Monday through Thursday. The message will greet the children as well as provide the essential learning activities for that day. Additional/Optional activities will also be offered. If an essential learning activity results in a hard copy product, please share the finished product via a picture/scan/email.

Daily Zoom

Parents and staff agree that children have benefited from meetings through Zoom. Students are able to connect with peers and staff as well as review already learned material. As a result, all teachers will provide a daily zoom for the classroom to provide social interactions and develop a common level of expertise with the tool for staff and students. Each teacher will schedule at least one time for the class to meet virtually Monday through Thursday.

Our hope is that all students are able to join the scheduled ZOOM meetings for their class. Please let us know if your child will not be able to due to technology or other issues. We are committed to working with you to provide whatever support we can.

Communication Changes

With the feedback provided, we know a great deal of time has been dedicated to individual meetings with students/families. While this practice is appreciated and effective, it has created scheduling difficulties for some families. Moving forward, teachers will be connecting with students via whole group zoom meetings, and individual meetings may be scheduled as needed based on student or family questions or concerns.

Teachers will reach out to families if students are not participating in the zooms or completing daily learning.

Friday Flex Day

In order to effectively prepare for instruction and allow children choice with their learning, Fridays will become “Flex Days.'' Flex days will allow staff to collaboratively plan and organize for the coming week, and allow students to explore their learning in a more individualized way. It is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate suggestions from specialists, complete unfinished work, or do the extras that were listed in morning messages. Staff will not be sending out a morning message or hosting class meetings on Flex Days.

Any services previously scheduled on Fridays by a special educator or service provider will remain in place. The only exception to this will be for our first Flex day, which is scheduled for Friday, April 10, 2020. This will be a Professional Development Day for all staff, so there will be no instruction or services provided this day.

Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we shift to a more structured remote learning experience. As always, please reach out with any questions, concerns or needs.

Wishing you all the best,