The GMHS Hitching Post
George Mason High School Newsletter - March 18, 2020
DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN FOR STUDENTS
Good evening. As we navigate through this unprecedented time, we thank everyone for their willingness to practice flexibility and patience. George Mason High School is a community where we support one another. This past week has proved that to be true in every possible way.
The George Mason Team will be launching full-time distance learning starting on Thursday, March 19th. We will continue to use Schoology as our learning platform. We will be reviewing and reinforcing material that has already been introduced in class. We have focused on our five core content areas (Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, World Languages and English). Elective courses have also provided resources and materials for students. To enhance this experience, we have provided additional resources to our teachers as well as set up office hours to allow students to contact their teachers. Please note, students are not required to use office hours but teachers will be available to answer any questions during this time.
The instructional materials included in the Schoology courses are designed to reinforce concepts that have been learned throughout the school year or delve into topics that students have prior knowledge of but have not had time to explore in depth. Teachers will not be live streaming or providing direct instruction online via Schoology but will be available to video/audio conference with students. The lessons are self-directed, allowing students to work through the material and coursework independently. Many lessons contain video links, weblinks, and readings that will be used to support students’ learning. By focusing on reinforcing previous concepts, we are thoughtfully using this time to help us prepare for end of year assessments and thereby allowing us to re-engage in our IB/AP/SOL aligned teacher directed instruction when students return to George Mason.
Beginning this Thursday, March 19, teachers will be available during office hours. Teachers may use this time to reach out to students who have previous missing assignments. Teachers will also provide meaningful feedback to promote student engagement.
Digital discussions via Schoology Conferences Student Directions for Schoology Conferences
8-9 a.m. -- VPA, CTE, PE/HEALTH/FLE
9-10 a.m. -- World Languages/ESOL
10-11 a.m. -- Social Studies
11 a.m. -12 p.m. -- English
12-1 p.m. -- Virtual Mustang Block/Special Education
1-2 p.m. -- Math
2-3 p.m. -- Science
3-4 p.m. -- Counseling/Student Services
Online Communication via Schoology
Within Schoology there is a feature for teachers & counselors to hold 1:1 audio or video conferencing with students. Staff have the ability to initiate this feature and will do so as appropriate with students. Students can also communicate with all GM Faculty via Schoology messages and email.
School counselors will be accessible during office hours and will be monitoring email and Schoology messages throughout the day. They will also be providing 1:1 conferencing as needed with students. Our counselors have posted a folder titled “School Counseling Support” on the Counseling Class of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 courses in Schoology.
For our students receiving Special Education or ESOL support services, case managers & related service providers will be in touch with you directly. If you are not sure who your student's case manager is, or have any questions regarding Special Education, you may contact Mrs. Sia Knight, Special Education Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All IEP Case Managers and Related Service Staff (Speech, OT, PT, Behavior Specialists, Counseling, School Psychologists...) will be holding "office hours" for online/virtual and email support for your students. Your student's IEP Case Manager and Related Service Providers will be reaching out via email to touch base with you about resources and supports for your student over the next few days. Your student has access to all of the instructional resources provided to their grade level, in addition to additional support resources from their IEP Case Manager based upon their individual needs. If your student is in need of additional support or help please reach out. Please contact your child's IEP Case Manager or our School's Special Education Administrator with specific questions. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this together. This is new for us all, but our goal is to ensure that our students with disabilities are supported given this unique situation facing us all. There will be bumps and we will work through them, so please be patient. This is an evolving plan and we will be providing updates as we receive them. Please visit our FCCPS Special Education, 504, ESOL Page on Thursday for additional resources and information.
If you need technology support while at home, please reach out to the following staff members:
Schoology Support (Accessing folders, adding students to courses, etc.) - Mr. Steven Knight - email@example.com.
Technology Support (Laptop concerns, connectivity challenges, etc.) - Please submit a ticket to our IT Team - http://bit.ly/2INO0hR
Please feel free to reach out to our team below with any questions. As we move forward in our Distance Learning Plan, please know there may be updates for our students. We will communicate all changes and updates via Schoology to our students as well as via this newsletter to families.
March 19th - April 3rd: Distance Learning
April 6th - April 10th - FCCPS Spring Break (no Distance Learning)
April 13th: Teachers return for PD
April 14th: Students return to school
Matt Hills - firstname.lastname@example.org
David Serensits - DSerensits@fccps.org
Ilana Reyes - email@example.com
Sia Knight - firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Bravin - BravinJ@fccps.org
Maria Sneed- email@example.com
The GM Admin Team
PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Please visit our FCCPS Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information page for the latest information and links to resources.
SATURDAY LEARNING LOUNGE
Does your student need a tutor or a quiet place to study? Check out the link below:
Keep Calm and Check Parent University
Did you know that FCCPS has a resource for parents that pulls together all of the parent education opportunities across the schools? Anything that helps parents get smarter about school and parenting is included in Parent University.