MCCHS ~ We Remain Strong!

Updates on School Closing & Remote Learning as of 4-2-20

School Closing and Access to School

4-3-20: First, thanks to our pilot team for attending meeting with Elevated Learning. As the pilot team, they were the first to receive a training session that was developed in cooperation with both Administration and Elevated Learning, a company that provides technical training for businesses.

Now that they have provided the feedback and Administration have discussed some adjustments, we feel that your upcoming training is going to be very helpful to all of you moving forward with this new normal of remote learning/teaching. To tailor the training to your needs, even more, we will be pushing out a brief survey on Monday morning that we would ask you to complete by end of day Monday. That data will help us prepare for your training.

So, when is the training?

We are scheduling your training to be Wednesday, April 8th. (This will be ONLINE) Teachers (besides our pilot team) will be split into two groups (determined on Tuesday) for training either for the morning (9 am - 11 am) or afternoon (1 pm - 3 pm). Because we do not know yet which slot you will be in, please plan NOT to "live video conference" with your students on Wednesday... you can still prerecorded or push out lessons other ways.

We are looking forward to your participation in this training and hope it will be beneficial for all.

4-2-20: The Administration team just wanted to tell you how impressed we are that so many teachers are trying such innovative things to reach their students! Tomorrow our wonderful math team will be participating in the first wave of training from our partners at Elevated Learning. Once the math team has experienced the training and provided their feedback, the rest of the faculty will be informed of when we will be rolling out the training to you! Please note that the purpose of this training is not meant to tell you how to teach... you are already amazing teachers! It is more on guiding you to translate what you already do in the classroom to the online platform and how to use the tools that are available in the most effective ways that fit your personality and teaching style!

A quick scheduling note: As our calendar already indicated, there will be NO SCHOOL on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. Please allow our students to enjoy their Easter weekend!

4-1-20: Please see the attached letter to parents from Mr. Shukis

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!


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.

Special Education Information: "Other Health Impaired (OHI)"

What does it mean when students are identified with Other Health Impairments?

These are students on our typical ISP/504. They do not have a specified learning disability. Typical diagnosis is ADHD, Autism, OCD, Depression.

~The following is taken from Michigan Virtual Learning Institute

Pedagogical Considerations:

The complexity and multiplicity of issues that students eligible for services under the other health impairments programming rules require professionals to consider a wide variety of pedagogical interventions. Some of these might include:

  • Understand the impact that the student’s condition has on their stamina, patience, and ability to interact with others in the environment. Students that are emotionally or physically stressed may not have the ability to process content at the moment, and the use of recorded content either for instruction or student assignments might allow them to participate more fully in the program. Although online and blended learning environments might be a less stressful situation, with more relaxed social interactions, at times, these settings can cause a great deal of stress on the student experiencing the impact of their health impairments. For our students, the inability to have questions answered immediately is causing them a great amount of stress, as well as not having that “safe” place to have an advocate. Recorded information, even in audio-only would benefit every student. Having video office hours would be an example of this. Zoom lets you schedule recurring meetings so you could have video office hours where students could drop by and discuss any issues you have. See Mr. Taylor's MCCHS web Page for examples and reach out if you need assistance doing so.

  • Educational programs, even those delivered in online or blended learning formats, often require students to attend to long periods of content or activity. For students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) it might be important for them to have instructional content or activities broken into smaller segments, thus allowing them to focus on the objectives in a way that does not cause undue stress or anxiety. Our students are not unlike other students that are at home. While many are feeling the effects of being locked up, many have never been given the training or opportunity to self-pace and time manage. In fact, time management is what many students on 504 plans lack in their executive functioning abilities. An example that would be beneficial to students and parents alike is explicitly stating how much time they should be spending/planning to spend on this assignment. This would help students learn to time manage, help parents supervise, and help some students not spend more than the required time on the assignment.

  • Often, students with other health impairments are unable to meet deadlines for tests and assignments due to medical issues related to their impairments. Recognize these situations when putting together units of instruction and personalizing instruction for these students. While we currently have the 4 pm deadline, the inability to self-pace and the inability to have things clarified to their specific need by the instructor or the resource director can be an issue. Mr. Taylor points out that as long as communication exists between you and the student, the deadlines are only suggestions. This could also be discussed one to one in the video office hours.

  • Due to the variety of health-related issues that might be covered under this category of service, recognize that the incorporation of specialized equipment or assistive technology might be necessary for online or blended learning instruction. It is important for all members of the team to be familiar with the extra supports that the assistive technological capabilities provide, the limitations of the systems and the impact the assistive technology have on both learner and teacher behavior. If you have a need to know the diagnosis for the student in order to modify the assignments, please reach out to Mr. Taylor. There are several assistive technology devices that our students can use.

  • Online and blended learning opportunities often are the saving grace for students with health impairments. Many prefer and may require the low stress and impact of reduced face-to-face interactions while being able to focus more intentionally on the content. This loss of physical proximity could contribute to confusion about performance for all concerned. It is strongly suggested that online and blended program personnel provide direct one-on-one “office hours” or tutorials, at least initially, until all involved have a better feel for the areas of strength and need that might exist from the learner’s perspective, the instructor’s perspective, the mentor’s perspective, or from a technology integration perspective. While our students may learn to appreciate and even enjoy the online learning aspect, this has been thrust on not only the instructor but the students as well. Mr. Taylor points out that while we require a certain decorum in the classroom, those expectations also are carried over into the online learning space. Mr. Taylor is available for help, consultation and even chatting.


>>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

>>GoToMeeting: On Friday, March 27 you should have all gotten an email with the subject heading of Join a team account for LogMeIn products


LogMeIn <>

This is a Diocesan License for the video conferencing tool "GoToMeeting" and the Diocese is requesting that everyone use this tool.

If you did not see or respond to this email, please look in your spam or even trash folder and once you find it, please create your account. In case you can't find it, the Diocese has requested another push out of the email should have been done just a few moments ago for your convenience. Gotomeeting allows teachers to video conference with students. They are doing 90 day free accounts for schools. Here is a video that shows how it works.

Please know that we want to provide a consistent platform for all of our students. In addition, the Diocese is advising us not to use Zoom because of its vocal support for abortion. We know that several of you have worked hard over Spring Break to develop plans that you were going to push out via Zoom and we know that there may be a slight transition. Thank you for supporting our Catholic principles.


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!)

Arrupe Virtual Learning Institute is offering the following DISCIPLE-SPECIFIC TEACHER SHARING SESSIONS

Same format as the general session but tailored by discipline.

  • Foreign Language (Thursday, April 2nd, 5:30 pm CT)

Here's a great webinar (recording) on Engaging Students in Virtual Learning that I felt was a good overview of how to keep students engaged while we are Distance Learning.

>>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!

>>Arrupe Virtual learning Institute:

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: Online Learning Hub

We are here to help you and your school continue to deliver an excellent online learning experience using our array of products and tools.

This site organizes resources for Admins, Teachers, Parents and Students.

Google Classroom™ and TeacherPlus Gradebook Integration:
Quick Start Guide

The TeacherPlus Gradebook is now integrated with Google Classroom. Administrators can activate this integration in the TeacherPlus Gradebook Management Site. Once the integration is active, teachers can link their TeacherPlus Gradebooks to Google Classroom.

Live Webinar Thursday, April 2 at 2 PM (EST): Using PlusPortals to Support Remote Classrooms and Online Learning

Join us for our next LIVE webinar. PlusPortals supports remote classroom workflows with useful and easy-to-use features. This webinar is for school administrators and school staff only. It is not for parents or students.

Be sure to check out the other live webinars for AdminPlus, Admissions, Master Schedule Building and more.

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!

>>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

>> 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

Remote LEarning

Some considerations...

- 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 Remote Learning... especially since this is going to be an extended period of time.

FAQs about Remote 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 Remote Learning includes about 20-25 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 Remote Learning, please check emails often for continual updates or important information.