From Your Principal
Remote Learning - Updates and Information - March 20, 2020
I want to start by saying Thank You! Thank you for your grace and patience and flexibility as we figure out this remote learning plan together. We know that we aren't perfect yet (you wouldn't believe how hard it is for teachers to do something less than perfectly) but we are continuing to work and get better. I wanted to respond to some of the feedback that we have received on the Google Survey that was sent out.
Please know that as we navigate this idea of remote learning, situations are very different for every family. We have families with parents who are working outside of the home currently, parents who are trying to work from home, and parents who are able to be there full time to help facilitate learning. We have families who are juggling food needs, home health care needs, and trouble accessing wi-fi. As a school, we are trying to support everyone and balance what is a reasonable request for all students.
The Stott webpage is a great place to go if you need help. Mrs. Ostwald and Mrs. Watkins have been updating it regularly. Classroom pages should hopefully be updated as well. We are including links to additional family resources for things that you may choose to do at home outside of required classroom activities.
Also, please know that teachers have had to take on the role of lead learner. Again, everyone is different. We have teachers who are very comfortable with technology and teachers who were just beginning to learn. We have teachers who are trying to run their own home-school with their own children at home, teachers who are caring for aging or ill parents, and teachers who are alone and able to dedicate more time to being online. Everyone is doing their absolute best and giving everything that they have to offer in the moment. That is not to say that we won't grow and get better, we absolutely will, be there is a learning curve for everyone.
Things you love or appreciate:
- The Hyper Doc for Grades K-2 helps put everything on one page for parents
- Kids and parents really like the morning videos from teachers
- Kids have enjoyed Google Meets with teachers who have tried it so far
- Workload seems to be just about right
- Teachers have been available for kids and are able to troubleshoot most technical issues.
Questions or suggestions you have for us:
- Can we create a 1 page document for 3-5 similar to K-2 with all links and resources in one place? Answer: We are looking into a way to do this. That is the intention of the Agenda that is posted daily. We will see if we can add some more detail to the agenda for parents to easily see what needs to be accomplished.
- Can we do more live interaction? Kids are really missing it. Answer: Absolutely. We are testing out several different platforms for this. Teachers are teaching each other and we will be ready to incorporate more of this after the break.
- It feels like this has been more of a list of assignments than actual teaching. Answer: You are absolutely right. Our intention this week has been more about getting kids and teachers comfortable with digital tools and what school will be like online. Going forward we know that we will need to teach new skills and content. Teachers are prepping to record videos of themselves teaching skills and find online tutorials that can be shared with kids. However, this will never take the place of in classroom teaching, we will need parents to partner with us, especially in the younger grades.
- How will we know if our student has completed everything or was marked absent, this can be especially hard for parents to track in Google Classroom? Answer: Students are only marked absent if they don't complete any work for the day. Even if work is partially completed or is completed incorrectly, students will be marked as present. Each teacher is creating a system to connect with parents about work that is missing or needs to be corrected. Look for that either tonight or after break.
- Can we make a schedule for students? We would like to help our kids follow a regular schedule? Answer: Yes and no. teachers can create a recommendation (and many already have in their Agenda) however, we are not going to require students follow this schedule. As already stated above, not all families have the ability to work from home from the same hours as we are recommending
- What about alternative assignments for GT or students who need accommodations? Answer: We are working on this. Students in our math club will be invited to a separate math club Google Classroom. Ms. Watkins will post challenges and assignments here. At this time, we are not requiring students to complete this, as core instruction is our priority however, we know that some of these students are itching for a challenge. Mr. B, Ms. Bleckley, Ms. Globish, and Mrs. Adams are checking in with families individually to schedule times to work with students directly through virtual platforms. Mr. B is also a co-teacher in every classroom and can provide feedback there.
- What is the requirement for Art, Music, and PE? Answer. This is evolving. For this week, all activities were optional. Going forward, we will need to require this. We are determining exactly what it will look like, but it will not be overwhelming. Teachers will communicate the plan after break. Students in band and orchestra (5th grade only) have already been invited to a Google Classroom for band or orchestra.
In case you or your student missed it today, I have linked my whole school morning meeting video below. I miss our kids so much!