Dear Hunnewell,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the principal coffees. For those that were not able to join, I want to provide a brief summary of the meetings, provide more recent updates, and to let you know that that I will host other meetings in a few weeks.

The first item I want to highlight again is my sincere appreciation for all you are doing to support your child/ren at home. These are challenging times and we know that your children need your support more than ever. It is hard to believe that we have been out of school for seven weeks today. There is one thing that is as true today as it was on March 12th. We as a school community and district remain committed to the safety and health of our students, their families and our staff. Through each extension of the school closure, we have worked to make sure our students are engaged in meaningful and productive learning. We are seeking to maintain balance for students between synchronous, asynchronous and independent learning experiences in a way that optimizes time on the screen and encourages time off screen to practice taught concepts.  The three lesson components are as follows:

  1. Our Morning Meetings are an important time for students to connect with one another. Teachers may also use this time to provide some direct instruction, but usually in the form of a game or activity. 

  2. The Small Group Work are times for teachers to provide instruction or feedback that supports the lessons taught asynchronously by our literacy, math and science specialists. This is the newest part of our RL 2.0 and I ask that you be patient as teachers work to develop a streamlined loop between the release of the lessons, the expected work for submission, and the Small Group time to discuss concepts and provide feedback

  3. The asynchronous lessons are to provide direct instruction on a particular concept. Teachers are recommending daily schedules to support consistency for your student. We recognize that you have many competing priorities in your homes at this time, so these lessons are responsive to that reality, as the students can watch them at a time that works in your home. They can slow the pace of them and rewatch them as needed. 

Additionally, we are introducing Seesaw, our new K-2 Remote Learning Platform next week. Lessons will be provided right into Seesaw and this platform will allow students to share their work for feedback very easily. Our students in Grades 3-5 will be using Google Classroom as the platform for teaching, collecting work and providing feedback.  I hope you were able to partake in these trainings offered over the course of this week. 

One final component of Remote Learning 2.0 is that we expect students to engage in remote learning. Attendance is taken at meetings and teachers will reach out to support participation.

In conclusion, I want to offer some additional information in response to questions and to provide updates from the district:

  • Conferences were postponed and we are considering how we can provide a meaningful check-in between parents and teachers. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime if you have a specific question or concern reach out to your child’s classroom teacher. 

  • There will be no Standards-Based Report Card issued at the end of the year.

  • When school was closed for the remainder of the year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a list of Prerequisite Content Standards that students need to be successful in the next grade. We are addressing those standards in our asynchronous lessons.

  • WPS has issued a survey for your feedback. Please take the time to complete this. We want and need the feedback, so that we can consider ways to improve the remote learning experience.

  • We are in conversation with the Facilities Management Department to consider opportunities for staff and families to get items from their classrooms. More information to follow. Retrieving medicine will be given top priority.  

  • I am working with our fifth grade teachers, Ms. Haskell and Ms. Sullivan, our music teacher, Katie Dexter, and two parents, Naz Hassenein and Candace Lee, to discuss ways to honor our fifth graders.

  • We will have a virtual K orientation in June. Date TBD.

  • We are in the process of purchasing a license that will allow us to live stream, so that we can have an All-School Meeting. Stay tuned for more information.

I apologize for the length of this email. I hope it provided information that you find helpful. I look forward to a time when we can be together again. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe and thank you for your ongoing support. We are fortunate to have such a strong community on which to depend.

Enjoy the nice weather this weekend!

Sincerely,

Ellen 


Summary and Updates from Principal Coffees

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