Wolfpack Wire

Social Distance Edition - Volume 5

FOCUS MORE ON LEARNING THAN GRADES

We are living in a time of crisis and challenge. We have choices and decisions to make that we may not see the impact of immediately; some will play out in years to come. For students at Mt. SAC ECA, dual-enrollment courses add to this challenge. Many students are rising to the occasion and have been able to learn and work well with the unexpected change and challenges involved in distance learning.


While all the changes this semester come with advantages and drawbacks, a focused effort to leverage the advantages and diminish the drawbacks will help students set themselves up for success in the future. This is the time to revamp the way students study and learn in a lower-pressure environment. Try to emphasize comprehension, relevance, and application instead of memorization.


Whether you’re learning from home with some peace and quiet, struggling with limited access to reliable internet service, or suffering an emotional toll from the impact coronavirus has had on your life and your family, I hope that the options in this newsletter help you refocus and learn for the sake of learning.

STUDENTS WHO ARE FULLY PARTICIPATING IN DISTANCE LEARNING WILL BE AUTHORIZED TO ENROLL IN COLLEGE COURSES THIS SUMMER AND FALL

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How Do I Know if My Child is Participating?

While letter grading has been limited during this unanticipated stay-at-home distance learning, parents can still see if their child is participating in online courses through SchoolLoop. All high school teachers at Mt. SAC ECA are entering marks, although you may not see much movement in the grades.


Click on the progress report in SchoolLoop for the classes your child is enrolled in and you will see one of the following options for every assignment or activity in the gradebook from March 14th forward:



  • A numerical score = the assignment was submitted and was done properly


  • I = Incomplete – the assignment was done but was not complete, was done poorly, or was not done properly


  • NS = Not Submitted or No Show – the assignment was not submitted, there was no attempt at this assignment, this student is not participating



Students with multiple NS marks in any class will not be eligible to enroll in college courses for summer or fall. If there are multiple NS marks in the progress report, please contact the instructor for options to complete these assignments.


Progress in college courses can be viewed through Canvas. Only students can log-in to this platform to view their current grade and progress.

All Dual-Enrollment Courses will be Online for Summer and Fall Terms

Dual-enrollment courses are real college courses, for real college credit, and the grades earned in these courses will be a part of the student’s permanent college transcript. Dual-enrollment courses will be online this summer and, most likely, in the fall as well. The EW (excused withdrawal) and P/NP (pass/ no pass) options will NOT be available for college courses beyond the current term.



Students who are fully participating in all classes, showing that they are able to work from home, and are demonstrating the skills necessary to learn in a distance learning environment will have the authorization to enroll in college courses this summer and fall. Students who have NOT participated regularly in distance learning in all classes this spring, will NOT have the dual-enrollment courses as part of their summer or fall schedules. NS marks are an indication that a student is not participating. This is a preventative measure to protect college transcripts from permanent unfavorable marks. When the model for the delivery of instruction changes, or when the students demonstrate they are able to fully participate in all courses, they can petition for college course enrollment approval.

TRANSCRIPT MARK OPTIONS

Credit/No Credit or Letter Grade Options for High School Classes

This Friday is the deadline to submit a petition for semester grades. Students who have not completed the petition for letter grades will receive Credit or No Credit for their classes this spring.


Credit/No Credit courses do not impact GPA. The Credit/No Credit option could become an issue if students need a letter grade to improve their GPA or they plan to apply for scholarships in the future. A Credit/No Credit has potential to reduce the impact of a competitive GPA on your resume or college applications.

College Grade Options and Questions

Do you have questions about Pass/No Pass, Early Withdrawal and Special Admit? Come to one of our information sessions on May 27th, Wednesday at 11am – 12pm and 5 - 6pm led by the Mt. SAC College Counselors, Destinee and Valerie. You and your student will learn more about your options when it comes to college classes and Mt. SAC’s response to COVID-19. See you there!


Here is the link for 11am meeting:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/95152394466

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16699006833,95152394466# or +12532158782,95152394466#

Or Telephone:

Dial:

+1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)

+1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)

+1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)

+1 301 715 8592 (US Toll)

+1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)

+1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 951 5239 4466


Here is the link for 5pm meeting:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/93470048985

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16699006833,93470048985# or +13462487799,93470048985#

Or Telephone:

Dial:

+1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)

+1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)

+1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)

+1 301 715 8592 (US Toll)

+1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)

+1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 934 7004 8985

International numbers available: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/u/aeB9Ddn7IO

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THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING NEW INFORMATION

By Mary Gaul


There are multiple benefits to learning new things, no matter what it is that you’re studying. Whether it’s for business or personal reasons, there are learning opportunities all around you. From something as difficult as a new language to something as simple as making pancakes from scratch, every day presents a new chance to broaden your horizons. Aside from being super fun, what does learning do for you? Here are some examples:


1. It rewires your brain.

Studies have shown that whenever something new is learned, fresh connections can form between neurons. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to change throughout life.

2. It can help fight dementia.

Experts say that learning new skills is one of the best ways to help ward off dementia. In the same way that physical exercise helps keep your heart healthy, mental exercise helps keep your brain in shape. Anything that challenges you to think about things in a new way, from crossword puzzles to learning to crochet, can help keep your mind fit.

3. It may improve your memory.

Just like you can train your body to run an 8-minute mile or do a perfect squat, you can train your mind to remember things more efficiently. Learning new skills – especially when you share that knowledge with others – helps flex your memory muscles. The simple act of learning something new, and then repeating it, helps improve your overall recall.

4. It can help you learn faster overall.

As you build your internal database of knowledge, it becomes easier and easier to learn new things. This is because many skills are interconnected, and build off each other. For example, if you learn how to make homemade pastry dough, it will then be easier to learn to make turnovers, tarts, and pies, since pastry dough is the foundation for each.

5. It makes you a more productive person.

This one is simple: the more you know, the more efficiently you can operate. Say, for example, you work in IT. You need to constantly keep up with the latest technology in order to do your job properly, or you’ll quickly fall behind. Regularly learning new skills will allow you to do your job more quickly and easily, rather than taking the time to look up the necessary information every time something pops up.

6. It can increase your understanding of others.

Every new skill you learn makes you a more well-rounded person. It creates more common ground and helps you to relate to a larger number of people in general. This can come in handy in a variety of situations, from hunting for a new job to trying to land a date. The more you can understand and empathize with others, the better all your relationships will be.

7. It fights boredom.

Last, but certainly not least, learning is exciting. The next time you’re sitting around mindlessly scrolling your Facebook feed, think about what you could be doing instead. Pick up a book. Take a walk. Go chat with someone at the coffee shop. Whether you realize it or not, even the simplest everyday tasks can present learning opportunities! You never know what you’ll find when you venture out into the world.

Make it your mission to learn something new every day! It will expand your horizons and make you a happier, healthier person.

A crisis is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before. – Rahm Emanuel