Friday Focus

August 28, 2020

The Concern of Too Much Screen Time

Dear Families,

I have heard from countless parents about a concern regarding too much screen time during remote learning, so I wanted to take a moment to address this concern.

Our teachers are working very hard to provide students with a virtual learning experience that mirrors the instructional opportunities they would have in-person. At the same time, they know that screentime/movement breaks are needed and that students may need flexibility.

During synchronous sessions, lessons are designed to have students and teachers spending a short time working through instructional materials together. This is often called the mini-lesson. After the mini-lesson, the teacher may have students stay connected but send them off-screen to independently read, practice a math strategy, work on a project, etc. The teacher will remain "on-screen" and available during the instructional block for the purpose of pulling small groups or working with students 1-1. The students will often come back together near the end of the institutional block for reinforcement of the lesson, to share their work, and/or to participate in an exit slip (check for understanding). The workshop model both in-school and in the virtual setting are designed for the student to learn a skill or strategy, practice, and receive feedback from their teacher.

The first week of school is heavy with introductions, the establishment of routines, and other tasks that set the stage for learning. As we move into curricular units, our school teams will continue working to find an appropriate balance of direct instruction screen-time, off-screen practice, and movement breaks.

Feel free to work with your child's classroom teacher if your child is having a difficult time with the demands of the school day. You will find that the staff at South Park Elementary School is highly collaborative and open to partnering with our families to make school as successful as possible for all of our learners!

Have a great weekend!


Curriculum Night - Save the Date!

Curriculum Night is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9th.

We will be trying a new format this year. See the schedule below so that you can put these times on your calendar. Specific Zoom links for the various schedule will be sent out as we get closer to the event in a separate email.

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Specials Update from Ms. Bergmann

Tech Support Videos and Zoom Office Hours for Parents (2nd Posting)

We've added some support videos for 109 Online Communication Tools on the 109 Online website: Innovation Specialist Videos and Support Office Hours We've also added Zoom Office Hours with Maria Galanis, the district's Innovation Curriculum Specialist.

Office Hours Zoom Link information:

AUGUST [Daily] at 9:30 am

Zoom Meeting Info:

Meeting ID: 986 4679 2292

Passcode: 808096

SEPTEMBER [Tues & Thursday] at 10:30am & 1:30pm

Zoom Meeting Info:

Meeting ID: 938 8648 9099

Passcode: 805390

You can feel free to contact Maria Galanis for any support you may need with digital tools via email, as well, at

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Don't Miss the PTO Spotlight Below!