MCCHS ~ We Remain Strong!

Updates on School Closing & E-Learning as of 3-27-20

School Closing and Access to School

Building Availability:

As of Saturday, March 21, Governor Pritzker declared a Shelter in Place for the state of Illinois, which means in-person instruction will continue to be suspended through at least April 7, per the ISBE. Although personnel who are ensuring that students have access to remote learning instruction are performing essential functions that are exempt from the "Stay at Home" mandate, we would still suggest that you limit your time at school to running in and out for something you need to do your job (is at all)... but nothing more. The school's alarms will still be off (allowing access) between 7 am - 7 pm Monday through Friday... but please, only come if there are no other alternatives. Please remember...NO MORE THAN 10 people grouping together...which means that if you need to meet with someone from your department, you can, but keep it small and keep it short!


Dearest Marian Family,

As we are transitioning to Spring Break, I wanted to send my sincere thank you to the teachers and support staff that have been on the front lines through this, our first week of E-Learning. It was new, it was different, it was challenging, and even frustrating at times! What I saw, though, were teachers developing amazing online lessons that continued to move students' education forward. What I saw was support staff at the ready any time of day to push out communication and resolve attendance issues. What I saw were students who were reaching out to their teachers and teachers reaching out to students and parents, in order to ensure that each student has access to the educational resources that we were trying to provide. What I saw... was the Marian Central Catholic community coming together in a difficult time, doing their best with a smile on their faces (I saw it through the computer screen!), encouragement in their voices, and trust in their hearts. I saw God.

I want to wish you a quiet, calm, and safe Spring Break. One where you can focus on what is most important... your health, the health of your family, and reestablishing face to face connections (even if by Facetime or Whatsapp) with those you love. Know I am praying for a quick resolution to this situation, and for us to find our "new normal" whatever that may be. Love & prayers...



Please click here for the most updated communication from the Diocese of Rockford. This communication deals with the concepts of whether we are making up days and grading or not... very important.


>>3 Ways to Use Video Conferencing during E-Learning

>>Best Tutorial for Teaching Remotely

>>Read Lights, Camera, Action: How to Command the Virtual Classroomto learn more about the value of:

  • Encouraging engagement through digital chats
  • Taking moments of silence during class
  • Varying the tone of your voice while presenting
  • Looking warmly in the camera

>>ZOOM Conferencing Tool: Zoom enables quick adoption with meeting capabilities that make it easy to start, join, and collaborate across any device. It enables internal and external communications, all-hands meetings, and training through one communications platform. Zoom is temporarily lifting the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for schools affected by the Coronavirus. Here's a great video showing how to "teach" online with Zoom!

>> Dr. Costello has been using Intermedia Cloud Communications to provide face-to-face lessons to his students. He says he uses his webcam, powerpoints, and other software and that this is a free 30 day trial of the software for his live online lessons. Check it out! Surely, Dr. Costello would be happy to share more about how he does this with anyone who reaches out to him! Thanks, Dr. Costello, for sharing!

>>GoToMeeting: Gotomeeting allows teachers to video conference with students. They are doing 90 day free accounts for schools. Licensing information will follow... as this program will be available through a Diocesan account. Here is a video that shows how it works.

>>Microsoft Teams: To use Teams, you would have to create a Team for each class and send the students a code to join just as in Google Classroom. If you use this option, you can have "meetings" and all the students can actually join the meeting and a teacher can share their screen and teach a lesson. Here is a link to some webinars.


There are many resources providing FREE training to help educators transition to an online learning environment. Try some out in your spare time (and who doesn't have that!)

>>Google’s Teach from Home Webpage

Graduation Alliance: Register for free webinars designed for classroom teachers who are converting to online platforms.

Delivering instruction synchronously and asynchronously, simple to use technology

This was amazing! Here are the links from it!

Formative and summative assessments in blended environments

Another very interesting presentation!

Communication, outreach, and student engagement

3/26 @ 12p PDT | 3p EDT

Creating a teaching presence

3/27 @ 12p PDT | 3p EDT

Arrupe Virtual learning Institute:


(Use this link to join,

EVERY TUESDAY at noon ET/11am CT, 10am MT, 9am PT

This open weekly session provides teachers the opportunity to share and discuss what's working and what's not in their move to online.

Free Courses for Online Teachers

1) TeachOnline: Michigan State University’s Virtual University Design and Technology website offers text-based lessons in topics including pedagogy and best practices, online course content, enlivening techniques, course structure and design, and hybrid courses.

2) Learning to Teach Online Video & PDF Lessons: The Learning to Teach Online project has been developed by COFA Online, an academic unit at the College of Fine Arts, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. It is designed to be practical and easy to access for time-poor teachers. The video- and PDF-based episodes each examine specific successful online teaching strategies from many different disciplines, offering tips, guidance and pointing out the potential pitfalls to both novice and experienced online teachers. Best of all, the more than 50 lessons can be accessed for free through iTunes.

3) Promising Practices in Online Teaching: Originally developed for Texas Woman’s University, this course includes modules showing how to design a course, along with explanations of best practices for distance education.

4) Visual Design for Online Course Content: Also from Texas Woman’s University, this course gives tips to help you successfully create the navigation, layout, colors, and design of your course content.

5) Teacher Training Videos: This step-by-step video resource shows teachers how to use technological tools such as Blackboard, wikis, online surveys, podcasting and more.

Rediker: Live Webinar Wednesday at 12 noon (EST): Using PlusPortals to Support Remote Classrooms and Online Learning

Join us for an overview of how PlusPortals supports remote classroom workflows with useful and easy-to-use features. This is not a training, rather an overview of the features in PlusPortals that can support your online learning. This webinar is for school administrators and school staff only. It is not for parents or students.

On-Demand Recorded Webinar: Using PlusPortals to Support Remote Classrooms and Online Learning

View the previously recorded PlusPortals webinar:

Resource Information

We are working hard to find beneficial resources for you to be able to provide engaging and meaningful work for our students throughout this situation.

>>The College Board has begun posting lectures for AP courses that are outstanding. They are available on the AP youtube channel.

>>ALBERT: Albert is an instructional companion that personalizes and accelerates learning. Marian has recently signed up for an entire school pilot that will continue through at least the duration of the current school closure. Please follow the directions here to get started!

1. First things first, check out this video Colin made explaining how to set up your account.

2. Next, we would like every teacher... the entire team, to sign up for a set-up webinar by clicking here. Very highly recommended to avoid frustration and effectively implement Albert.

Get started in less than 5 minutes by following these instructions today.

>>Did you know that you can develop lesson plans, create and push out assignments and quizzes, provide resources via attachments and links, have students participate in online discussions, and even have students submit work through your Rediker Plus Portals? Check out this video that explains how!

>>Nepris: Nepris connects educators and learners with a network of industry professionals, virtually bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students. Now through April, they are opening their live virtual industry chats to everyone to help students stay engaged. Click for help documentation.

>>Kaplan: Kaplan is offering a free month of SAT On Demand, which helps students master the exam in a little as 30 minutes a day. They also have free live lessons for the AP exams including World History, U.S. History, and Biology. There’s a lot more in our full resource hub—including free ACT prep.

>>Quizlet: Quizlet is now providing free access to Quizlet Teacher through June 30, 2020. Quizlet Teacher includes Class Progress, a formative assessment tool that can help track students' progress. You'll also get access to advanced content creation tools, such as diagrams and audio, which enable you to create custom study materials for your class. Get free Quizlet Teacher

>>National Geographic: Keeping students engaged online with relevant math for grades 6-12 free webinar March 24~

>> Rediker Lesson Planner: Rediker has a feature called Lesson Planner that is open up f teachers. Here is an overview of it.!

In addition, Rediker has a process with Google Classroom to simplify the transferring of grades. We do have to return the assignments to the students before you can upload the actual grades, and it does save time. It is explained pretty well in this link.

>>Remember that you have this resource available to you!

Your SchoolShelf URL:

>> www.ISBE/keeplearning: ISBE is providing some free or temporarily free resources to assist districts, teachers, and parents

>> World Book: To further support you and your remote learning efforts, World Book is providing all of our valued educators with access to additional Pre-K to grade 12 learning resources through April 30, 2020. To gain access to these additional complementary resources, please click here.

>>If you use a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbook in your classes, they have provided an At-Home Learning Support, blog, engaging videos on our HMH YouTube channel, and free downloadable resources on HMH Pinterest boards.

>>If you use a McGraw Hill textbook in your classes, they have provided a Support for Remote Learning page which provides a collection of resources that will help you navigate and refamiliarize yourself with our digital products. Their Digital Program Components will help you identify what components of our programs can be accessed in a fully digital teaching environment.

>>For Theology Teachers: Join a team of teachers and instructional designers for a webinar to help you explore and plan research-based solutions to create meaningful, online learning experiences. Walk away with practical strategies that will transform your classroom instruction into meaningful, online learning experiences for your students. Learn to integrate faith-based practices into online instruction. Attendance is limited. Register for one of the following session times for Tuesday, March 17:

10:00 AM EDT:

1:00 PM EDT:

4:00 PM EDT:

>>For Math & Science Teachers: Almy Education is pleased to announce a FREE, live 90-minute webinar designed to give math and science teachers hands-on information to use immediately in a virtual environment. Register for the immediate access to the free webinar (includes recording, slides, and helpful links)

>>NEWSLEA: They are making their entire product suite available, free of charge, to all districts and teachers through the end of the school year. To help your teachers gain access, simply have them visit our coronavirus resource center, click “Get instant access”, and they’ll immediately see Newsela ELA, Newsela Science, Newsela Social Studies, and The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection in their new or existing Newsela account.


Some considerations on E-Learning...

- In order for attendance to be done, students should be touching base with you daily by 4pm. After that time, you are to ensure that you submit attendance for EACH period so that Kris Johnson can receive it daily. She will be resetting the attendance daily (M-F).

- Work should not all be pushed out at once (ie: giving a week's worth of work on Monday) as it should act like students are "in class" each day receiving the assignments. Each day's work should take no more than a typical class period (unless you are expecting work to be completed over a number of days.

- You may consider assigning projects to your students. If you do, you should still determine a way in which your students still check in daily, possibly showing you proof of progress on the project via Google Classroom, OneNote, emailing a pic, sharing a document, etc.

- Though you may be inclined to just assign Formative work online, you have the autonomy to choose to give Summative work as well. You have to find your comfort level on this. Please just make sure that you indicate that to your students as you push out assignments/activities.

As you can see, consistency and clear communication are going to be key elements in E-Learning... especially since this is going to be 5+ days.

Important Information for AP Teachers! (3-20-20)

AP teachers...look at this carefully. For every content area, the College Board has eliminated units for the exam. This takes a lot of pressure off you and the students. Instead of panicking to still cover all of the material, you can spend the coming weeks reviewing and preparing for the exam.

**Teachers... please make sure you communicate to your students (via your online platform) that the exam is only a part of our curriculum and that you will be continuing to teach new information which may not be on the exam... so that students and parents alike do not interpret this as... they're going to be "reviewing for the rest of the school year."

As of March 20, 2020, the College Board has decided that face-to-face AP testing will not take place this May 2020. Instead, they are working to determine the process and dates in which students will be able to take their AP tests online from their homes. Please click here to find out more information and stay updated on what continued decisions the College Board will be taking.

Great Article... Keeping Things in Perspective!

If you get a chance, read this article. We all know that Marian teachers are doing the best they can... and have continued to learn new ways to reach students, train, and keep students motivated! Thank you!

Sharing the Positive Things that are Happening during Distance Learning!

- Dr. Pinnau's APUSH students went on a Virtual Field Trip to the Smithsonian...

- Dr. Costello virtually "meets" with his students daily as he provides "face-to-face" teaching/learning through Intermedia...

- Mrs. Keogh shared an image of a project one of her Spanish IV students (see side image)

Please continue to share some wonderful things that your students are doing during this E-Learning time!

- Is there an amazing PowerPoint, lab, creative story, or poem?

- Did a student share a new piece of art created, a song sung, or fabulous instrumental recorded and sent to you?

- Musical Directors... could some of your Annie stars record and share their piece from the Annie performance that they were not otherwise able to perform this past week?

- Did a student create a poster or other project that showed what students learned about or researched that blew you away?

FAQs about E-Learning at Marian

On Procedures:

>>Please remember, don't overwhelm the students, have reasonable and relevant expectations and try to limit the amount of screen time expected on assignments. A reasonable framework for E-Learning includes about 15 min of instruction, some time for guided/supported practice, and some independent work... all totaling about 40-45 min in total per subject per day.

>>Don't forget that you must post assignments DAILY and no later than 9:00 am so students have enough time to complete all of their assignments for up to 7 different classes. Work should not just be "random busy work" but should still have a structure whereby you provide some instruction, some practice, and assistance for your students wherever possible. Remember that the instruction, practice, and guidance should take no more than 45 min per day (like they are in the classroom) The good majority of the lessons that have been pushed out the last two days seem to be appropriate and engaging... thank you!

>>Can we post assignments early? It is suggested that you post assignments on a daily basis rather than give an entire week's worth of work. Please think of this as you would if you were giving assignments in your class... you want to see the progress that the students are having to ensure that they are understanding the material prior to moving forward. If you are pushing out a project or assignment that may take more than one day, that's fine, but make sure that the student still "check-in" with you providing some progress so that you can mark them present for the day. We are fine if you want to post your next day's assignment the night before, but not until after at least 5pm, as you need to make sure that students have had time to post today's assignment (by 4pm) and that you have taken care of submitting attendance for each period. **Please, if you are going to be posting the day before, make sure that the posting mentions the actual date in which the post refers to... ie: if I am posting Thursday, March 19 for tomorrow's assignment, I will state "This assignment is for Friday, March 20" in order for students to be crystal clear what assignments are for what days.

>>What about students with ISPs? Continue to follow our students' ISP accommodations to the best of your ability. You should make sure that if a student is to have extended time, please work with these students individually on adjusting time expectations for any assignments that you deem summative (tests, projects, etc) Please utilize your best judgment, as you always have, within your classroom.

On Attendance:

As of 3-18-20, student attendance will be counted as present so long as they have submitted any coursework (per ISBE Guidelines). We will continue to contact families for students who have not reported in or completed any work for a given day. We encourage you to continue reaching out to students and stay connected - they need us now more than ever

TEACHERS MUST SUBMIT ATTENDANCE NO LATER THAN 5PM DAILY. (This includes all class periods as well as all study halls you supervise)

>>What if students do not submit by 4pm? If students do not submit their assignments by 4pm on any given day, you are to mark them absent for the day in your attendance. When putting the grade in the gradebook you should insert a placeholder "0" and the annotation of "ab." Mrs. Johnson will reconcile the absences each day against the parent phone calls received to determine excused absences as usual and reset the day. Then, per the policy pushed out in February, an absent student has 3 days to make up the work (submitting it to you). If she does not get a call from a parent, the absence will be marked as unexcused and formatives remain zeros and summatives should be made up immediately. If, however, she gets a call from the parent within 24 hours, she will change it to excused.

>> What if a student submits AFTER 4pm? If a student submits their assignment after the 4pm deadline, generally speaking, it should be looked at as late and you should dock their grade accordingly. Obviously, there are other situations, ie: the student notified you ahead of time that they would be submitting late or it was just a couple minutes late... like in school if at the end of the period you let a student get their homework from their locker) If that happens between 4 and 5, please unsubmit and resubmit with the corrected attendance, but if it is after 5pm, the attendance stands firm.

>>Is there a way to mark a student present as soon as they submit their assignment? Although there is no way, at this time, to mark a student "present" in Rediker, we have another suggestion. Teachers might consider printing out a blank spreadsheet for each class, put the dates across the top, and then as a student submits work, put a check by their name, and then when you are ready to submit, you have a quick glance (and your own permanent record) of who did not submit and would be considered absent.

Stay in Touch with your Department Heads & Administration

During E-Learning days (not including Spring Break) please check emails often for continual updates or important information.