Good Evening! 7-12 parents
What a whirlwind this week has been! We have been working hard all week to prepare for the possible extended closure that has been announced today. As of now, schools will remain closed through April 7th which means we will begin to implement E-Learning next week. I have been in communication with teachers and staff and our goal is to begin E-Learning no later than Wednesday morning at 9am. Some teachers may have announcements earlier so students should begin checking their Google Classroom and email on Tuesday. Students should also be enrolled in the LSA 7-12 grades classroom - if they are not, let me know.
If you are not enrolled as a guardian on your student's Google Classroom - now is the time. Email one of your student's teachers and request an invitation - once you are a guardian in one class, you will automatically be listed as their guardian in others. You should also plan on checking your student's account regularly so that you can see detailed assignments. You can even sign in as your student on your device and see all that they see regularly.
I know there are a million questions going through your minds and school may not be in the forefront as health and family are far more important. I want to assure you that teachers are working hard to plan what this new class looks like, many missed out on a spring break with their families to research and prepare for this new normal. I want to assure you your students will continue to learn and be prepared to the best of our abilities. I want to ask you to be patient as this is new to all of us and we are all having our own worries at home as well. Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you are unclear, but remember that they are potentially answering questions from up to 100 other parents and students at a given time so patience and grace are needed. Your question may be asked by many and so at times you might find the answer to your questions was addressed to everyone in the Google Classroom as opposed to a separate email - that is why it will be important for you to check your child's account regularly.
We will be sending out a guideline of expectations as a whole and then the teachers will send out their individual classroom expectations and plan prior to Wednesday. Rest assured - your kids will not be doing 8 hours of homework each day. We know that parents cannot help their students with all subjects. We know that parents are not trained educators. Teachers will make sure that instructions are clear so that all students understand what is being asked of them. They will be in consistent communication with their students to help in any way that they can. We know that many parents will still be working and cannot come home, feed their family and then do homework for 5 hours each night. We know that some teachers are parents who will also be working with their kids on homework. Teachers will be available during school hours via email, but again, give them time to respond. Students can send direct message through Google Classroom if they are having trouble with a task.
If at any time you are concerned about the amount of work or difficulty of the work in a particular class - please contact the teacher. If your student is struggling - reach out. If your student has a 504 Plan or IEP - contact Mrs. Luecke via email - she is ready and willing to help. We want to make sure all students continue to learn and are prepared when school resumes, but it will look differently for the next weeks. It will be more creative and collaborative than a typical classroom. Rest assured - they will be learning!
Though we are all nervous, we are also excited about this chance to grow as educators and as learners. Many colleges have an online component and so our students will have a chance to become more independent in their learning which will help them in their future as students. There will be issues that arise, I'm sure, and we will deal with those as they come with kindness, grace, and respect to all involved. We will answer the many questions that you have as soon as we can. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have checked emails and Google Classroom and you feel your question is unanswered.
Some things I CAN answer right now:
What about grades? 4th quarter grades will begin on Wednesday - no grades given during this time will negatively affect your students achievement. What does that mean? Students need to do the tasks given to the best of their ability by the given due date. Students need to ask for clarification or help when needed. The only way to not do well is to not DO. Teachers will be in communication with parents if students are not completing tasks/work, but parents should also be checking to be sure that they are. This is a team effort - teachers cannot make your student do the work, but you can!
What will assignments look like? What should we expect? Tasks such as researching topics, journaling, writing, collaborating between subjects, projects - both individual and group as before, creative projects, using technology to create such as FlipGrid, Goosechase, Parlay, Creatability, etc. It will be a more interactive approach to learning than your typical classroom!
What about service hours? Students have lots of time to complete their hours - they can do things at home for their families. Older siblings can tutor younger ones. Students can cook, clean, etc at home. If you have family service hours completed, but not submitted- just send an email to me or firstname.lastname@example.org with the date and activity and we will log it for your virtually. No problem. If you are still needing family service hours, we will worry about that in the weeks to come.
What about class selection for next year? Those were all emailed last week - you can print them off, fill them out, and email back or your can mail them to the school. I am working on a program to have online conferences with individual students/families to help if needed. You can always email me to ask questions and I will answer as soon as I can.
The best thing you can do as parents is check your email regularly, check your students Google Classroom, and make sure they are completing the tasks assigned. If you have questions, ask. If you have concerns, reach out. If your family has a need that is not being met, please let us know. If your student is feeling isolated - reach out. We want everyone to remain healthy in their faith, body, and mind and will do what we can to help.
This is all new and scary, but it can be a great time of learning for us all. We will be better and stronger because of this! I will leave you with the verse that has resonated with me for the last seven days as I've learned how to be an online administrator :)
1 Peter 5:6-7 - "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you."
Enjoy your weekend.
Blessings to you all. Stay healthy!