Dear High School Parents and Guardians,
We are up and running with extended flexible learning! Thank you for your partnership and patience as we navigate this new learning environment as a whole school community. We are truly in this together.
Monday morning (and a few times since) we had real challenges for students, teachers and parents alike as our learning platforms – used worldwide – experienced technical difficulty. Things have been improving, and we know we will need to continue to be patient and flexible in the coming days.
A few days in, I’ve heard consistently from teachers how great it is to see their students, and they look forward to connecting with more students as the week goes on. Our staff have worked diligently to transition their classes to this environment, and I have witnessed high levels of creativity and commitment to making this a valuable learning experience for our students.
Already in these first few days, teachers have created several ways for students to connect with the learning and peers in their courses through video, message boards and daily updates to build positive classroom communities. Staff have used several new tools to try to make the learning come alive in an online platform, and many teachers are creating multiple open “live” sessions for students to check in and connect.
Some tips for students
It doesn’t take long to identify some best practices for the online experience. Here are a few we’ve found in these first few days – and want to pass on to you to reinforce with your students:
- Be mindful of your physical environment and surroundings when they enter an online environment.
- Be sure there isn’t loud music playing in the background.
- Wear headphones or earbuds when in a WebEx.
- Engage respectfully in class conversations and silence microphone when not talking or contributing to the class discussion.
- Use chat features/tools when you have a question.
- Relax if you can’t make a “live” session. These are all being recorded so students can watch later if needed.
See the Need to Know section of the High School Newsletter for additional information and resources, including:
- Tutorials for families to familiarize yourself with the tools and platforms we’re using
- How to access tech support
- Options for low and no-cost wireless services
- Resources for social and emotional health during this time
- Spirit week information for next week’s virtual spirit week
Many of our staff are parents, too, experiencing, as you are, the balancing act as we all work to find a new normal and new routine in these extraordinary times. I want to encourage families, as I have our staff, to create routines and some consistency during these highly irregular times. I hope you all are able to also schedule time to disconnect from online environments and screens to focus on physical and emotional wellbeing.
This really does feel like the first week of school all over again. We appreciate all of you and your students. It’s our privilege to be a part of their lives, and we’re grateful to continue to be connected as a learning community focused on supporting each other and the learning during this time.
Be well. Together, “We got this!”