Letter to Families – New Home Learning begins this week

March 30, 2020

Dear Families:

I am writing to share information with you about the district’s plans for providing instruction to our students during this period of school closure.  

Our administrative staff, teachers, and support personnel have been busy creating Google Classrooms, planning lessons and activities, and preparing for the start of on-line scheduled meetings with students.  Though many students and staff have already found ways to connect in recent weeks, beginning Wednesday, April 1, for elementary students and Thursday, April 2, for secondary students, we will be providing scheduled opportunities for students and teachers to work together.

I have heard from some parents that the district is expecting too much during this period of school closure, while others have reached out to share what we are not expecting enough.  While I wish there was a simple means to meet both groups’ needs, there is not. What we have landed on as a district is to provide new learning for students, meaningful work and activities, and feedback about their efforts.  We do not expect you are going to recreate school in your home or that you have unlimited time and resources to educate your child. What we are hoping is that you will partner with us as we work to stay connected with our students and their families.

We have created a site to help you through this transition, please click here to visit our Home Learning Support site. This site contains classroom links (pull down links at the top of the page), technology/Google Classroom help documents, contact for technical support by phone, social emotional supports and links to the information I have shared to date around meals, requesting a computer/Chromebook, and childcare for first responders.

Teachers have spent time updating or creating Google Classrooms where they will interact with your child by posting videos, slide presentations, and teacher-guided learning opportunities. Teachers will also be hosting office hours where they can interact with students. These office hours will be used by teachers in a variety of ways depending on grade level and content area. You can expect your child to be engaged in teacher-guided learning which may include any number of different formats for learning.

We will be sending out a separate communication with details about the average amount of time you can expect your child to be engaging in school work per week and appropriate online participation. 

We have developed a virtual schedule at elementary (K-5) that will keep students at different grade levels from overlapping the times teachers will be inviting students to join them in a virtual classroom setting. The elementary schedule will begin on Wednesday April 1.  We have also developed a virtual schedule for Middle School and High School. This virtual schedule will run on the two hour delay schedule. Secondary teacher-guided learning and office hours will begin on Thursday April 2. Your classroom teacher(s) will be sharing the times and days they are going to be in their virtual classrooms to interact with your child. 

In closing, we miss your children and the opportunity to interact with you.  Staff member after staff member has reached out to share with me that of all the things they can’t do right now, meeting with their students has been the hardest.

I wish you and your family good health during these unprecedented times.  We are here to assist you and encourage you to reach out with any questions, concerns, or needs.

Susan M. Swartz, Superintendent