From the Desk of Ms. Clark
April 2, 2020
As we approach the end of another successful week in Digital Learning, I thank you for the photos, the appreciation, and the helpful feedback. Your positive responses affirm the truly amazing work our SKD faculty is doing to translate their teaching expertise into effective distance learning. We appreciate you as well for doing your best to carve out space and time in your work and home life to support your children’s learning.
We are working to get it right –- the workload, an appropriate amount of face to face time with students, the expectations for learning, and a balance of work time, down time, play time, and family time. Our teachers are focusing on some key principles as they plan their digital learning lessons, keeping in mind that their professional judgment and their knowledge of their students should drive their decisions.
Focus on core skills, not simply content coverage. This means that while we are attempting to move students along with curriculum goals, we know that nothing fully replaces what is done in the classroom. Lessons will be pared down, along with time and product expectations for students.
Present lessons in a way that allows students access throughout the day. For families, this means students can watch videoed lessons or complete assignments when it is most convenient for them and their parents. Digital learning may be more effective when students participate live with their teacher, but we know it may not be possible for every student to tune in on any given day or time. Do what works best for your family.
Provide clear directions. This is something we’re learning day by day as we receive feedback from students and parents. If you have questions, use the teacher’s school email address to ask. Don’t panic if you don’t receive an immediate answer; due dates are flexible.
Assign “classwork” only, with no additional traditional “homework”. We know students take varying amounts of time to complete assignments, be it in class or at home. Teachers will adjust the quantity and type of work they are assigning as they assess student work and progress. Flexibility along with compassion for everyone’s life situation is key for us. While we do need your help to provide encouragement and an environment conducive to learning in your home, we do not expect you to teach the course or curriculum.
Teach and communicate with compassion and flexibility. This is perhaps most important as we know significant physical, emotional, and financial strain are new realities for our families.
We do know that learning is most effective when it is a social experience, and our teachers are striving to maintain social interaction despite mandated social distancing. I am beyond grateful to our teachers for creating positive digital learning environments with instruction and guidance that is appropriate to the age and grade of their students. I thank you, the parents. We know that balancing work, family, and school isn’t easy for anyone.
Finally, I remind you that we will observe Easter Break as was planned in our school calendar. There will only be classes on Monday and Tuesday next week. Digital Learning classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th. This will give both you and your child(ren) a break from the demands of online learning and allow you some family time free from lessons and school work.
As our Lenten journey comes to an end, let us be transformed knowing that what appeared to be death has become, instead, a source of life. On behalf of Monsignor Marine, Father Mike, and our faculty and staff, I wish you a blessed Easter as we rejoice in our Savior’ s love and accept his gift of abiding hope!