March 19, 2020
I hope you are enjoying the spring break as much as possible given the unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves at the moment. It was wonderful to see so many of you today at school picking up packets - 200 packets were picked up today alone! The shutdown of school and work, along with social distancing is impacting our community in many ways and this update has resources that may help you and your family start to establish a new normal. This article has a few tips and ideas that may help with working from home with kids alongside you.
On the learning front, know that in addition to the work packets provided by DCPS for completion in the first week of our distance learning period (3/24-3/31), students will continue to have access to the online programs they have been using since the beginning of this school, including Lexia, iReady Math and ELA, Typing Agent, and many more (see the list of programs below). We ask that if your kids are using any online learning platforms, they use these first, as these programs are geared toward their specific strengths and needs. Staff also have access to these programs and can see where kids are getting stuck, which allows us to jump on the phone or video conference to provide support when necessary. We are also working on multiple ways to keep our community connected while apart. As we move into our distance learning period next week on the 24th, please help us understand how we can support your family by completing this short survey.
Finally, if your child is struggling to understand why we're out of school, please see the link for a social story on the coronavirus that may help explain this: https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can support you in any way,
What I'm NOT reading this week: For my peace of mind amid the uncertain times, I'm unplugging and taking a break from social media over spring break.
News and Announcements from Hearst
Week 1 Work Packets
Printed Information Packet
DCPS has prepared a hardcopy packet of materials that contains your child’s instructional materials for March 24 to March 31. These activities have been designed to extend prior learning and engage students during the period of school closure. It contains learning activities across content areas that were planned for all DCPS learners, including English Language Learners and students with special needs. We will have packets available for pick up at Hearst from 8:30am-2:00pm on Thursday, March 19, Friday, March 20, and Monday, March 23, at the Hearst security desk. Students in our CES programs, as well as students receiving related services (Speech and OT) have additional packets made by teachers and related service providers. The DCPS packets are also linked in the announcement on our Bloomz page.
Free Internet and WiFi Support
Comcast is offering 2 free months of internet for students to support remote learning. Please visit the following website for more information: https://www.internetessentials.com/?fbclid=IwAR2kWySAurT-9uP6x753Hd5Z-oQVLTqf-aPy-r2luj4NGIPW4WETspRkpiw
Addiitonally, Comcast is providing Wifi hotspots across the country to anyone for free - including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Please click here for a map of Xfinity Wifi hotspots. Once at a hotspot, students should select the "xfinitywifi" network name in the list of available hotspots.
News and Announcements from DCPS
Online Instructional Materials
Your child’s instructional materials will also be available online starting on Friday, March 20. DCPS created a special site that houses learning resources for download, gives access to educational online programs, and provides guidance to support your family during this time and ways to request assistance. You can access this mobile-friendly site beginning on March 20 at bit.ly/DCPS_ICP.
One of the resources for families on this site is Clever, which is DCPS’ gateway to many of our digital learning applications. Visit https://clever.com/in/dcpsk12 to access the programs used by grade in school. Students will login using their student ID and password and these were sent home on Friday with students. Please contact your child's teacher, Ms. Gray (email@example.com), or Ms. Souza (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they cannot recall their Clever credentials. If they haven't done so already, your child's teachers will be reaching out with additional information about distance learning opportunities while we're out of school, including their office hours. I'll send a collated list of staff office hours later this week.
In addition to the lessons provided in the packets, we encourage families to read, play board games, write in journals, and join in on any other activities you think are appropriate for your child. We will provide additional tips and ideas to engage your child on our DCPS social media accounts, as well as the family resources section of our distance learning site.