Family Newsletter ~ March 19, 2020
I hope this finds you well and hopeful in the midst of trying times. As a school staff, we are working through the details and have formulated a plan for the time being. Likely we will need to adapt plans in the weeks ahead as the situation evolves. Be reminded that we are available to help and here to answer questions. We plan to be working largely remotely but will be in the school building on Fridays. If you need to get in touch with us, we are always available via email and can set up phone meetings or Zoom appointments as necessary.
1. Online Learning Tools. At this time, we are preparing to use two primary learning platforms – Zoom and Seesaw. You already received Seesaw login information from your child’s classroom teacher when you picked up their materials. If you received extra Seesaw logins, please only use the one from your child’s homeroom teacher. Seesaw provides a platform for teachers to drop lessons and activities for their students. Zoom will allow classes to come together and have a little time to talk and possibly do some instruction.
2. Daily Learning Plans. You can expect to receive a daily email from your child’s classroom teacher that will give you the learning plans for the day. If students/parents are being asked to join a Zoom meeting, the link for the meeting will also be included in the daily email message.
3. Weekly Pick-up/Drop-off of materials. In addition to online learning, teachers will provide packets for learning activities. Fridays will be our pick-up/drop-off days from 7:30-3:30 PM. Your child’s teacher will communicate what will be needed on a given week. It is possible that much of the work can be emailed to you and downloaded/printed at home, but there may be a need to pick up instructional materials. Watch for updates from your child’s teacher.
4. Consistency. In an effort to keep students on a steady track, work will come out on a daily basis. We know that most children thrive on regular routines, so it would be in your best interests to design a daily schedule with set work times for your child. If your child is sick and unable to do the daily work, please follow regular practices and contact the school office and the classroom teacher.
5. Family Online Tool Training. I will set up two optional Zoom sessions to give parents a chance to practice with Zoom and receive an introduction to the learning tools. Watch your email for a link and join me for either of those sessions next Monday (7:00 PM) or Tuesday (4:30 PM).
We know that these online learning platforms are likely to be as new to you as they are to us. If you need assistance in getting started, please visit the link below. The quick instruction is to click on the link, allow the download, and you will come right into the meeting. You can access Zoom from both cell phones and computers.
*If you run into problems, know that each session is designed to be recorded so we can email recordings following a given Zoom session.
*If you are planning to use a desktop computer without a built-in microphone, please let us know so we can send home your family’s headphones/microphone.
The form that was sent home earlier this week contained the login information needed for Seesaw. Please only use the one from your homeroom teacher. Our specialists are now linked to the classroom teachers’ accounts.
Several families have inquired about our plans for the Hospice Bag service project. Perhaps the most effective procedure at this time is to have you simply drop off your donations at the Ecumen building. Please use the northernmost door on Holcombe Ave. Thank you for helping us with this project even in the midst of this trying situation. It is good to be reminded that others are undergoing much more suffering.
A couple of parents have reached out to me to suggest our students take time during these weeks at home to write letters and/or draw pictures to be sent to local nursing homes. Without visitors for a long period of time, these days are very lonely for their residents. My hope is that our children can continue to bring cheer to the lives of others –even while at home. Please drop the letters in the mail using the following addresses.
Know that I pray for you daily and ask the same of you. Perhaps most disheartening in all of this is our inability to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist, but let’s not allow the situation to keep us from our time with Jesus and dedication to doing His work. I may not understand this or feel qualified to speculate about what God’s plans are, but I know that He’s got this. I know that He’s carrying us through it. I’m choosing to remain hopeful through the sadness. We’ve got quality time with our kids, extra time for prayer, and an opportunity to tune in more closely to our kids’ learning. I’ll focus on that instead of the empty, quiet building.
Hug your kids for me.