Distance Learning

March 26, 2020

Dear Parents,

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and full of challenges never experienced.  Last week, Governor Northam announced the closing of all K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year.  Of course, we will follow the directives of the Governor and hope that our community remains healthy.   Since my last email, I have been involved in several meetings to discuss how this will look for our students.  Several decisions were made at the diocesan level and are outlined in the attached letter from our Superintendent, Kelly Lazzara.

The first, and most important decision, was to continue with a distance learning platform. The hope is to keep a similar school schedule and continue to engage our students in learning activities.  This decision was made at the diocesan level.   Each school within the diocese is given the opportunity to determine how to implement a distant learning platform based on resources and community needs.   With the first order to close for two weeks, Sacred Heart decided to use the Google Classroom platform.  This platform has been successful, and we believe with a few minor tweaks, we will be able to finish our school year using Google Classroom.

We recognize that students cannot always continue with a traditional school schedule in a distant learning platform.  Some are fortunate to have the ability to work at home during these hours, but we need to be sensitive to those that are not on a traditional school routine. The new schedule is designed to give flexibility to allow for learning to take place when parents and students are available without penalizing anyone.

I have outlined our platform below.  Please note that the changes apply to all classes and will go into effect this Monday, March 30th.

Purpose:  

Our purpose, during the distance learning time, is to provide students with learning opportunities to keep them engaged in education, while understanding the unique challenges a distance learning platform can present.

Platform:  

Google Classroom

Weekly Schedule:  

Monday-  Teacher Workday-   Assignments will be posted by teachers by 11:59 PM.  Free Day for students

Tuesday- Working Day

Wednesday- Working Day

Thursday- Working Day

Friday- Working Day.    Teachers will have work graded by midnight from the previous week

Saturday- Working Day (if needed)

Sunday- All assignments due by 11:59 PM- Assignments can be submitted earlier in the week

What you can expect at each grade level

Early Learner and Junior Kindergarten

Developmentally appropriate activities that engage students in reading, writing and math

Elementary

  • 3-5 Reading, Math, and Religion assignments per week.
  • 1-2 Social Studies assignment per week
  • 1-2 Science assignments per week
  • 1-2 Writing Assignments per week

Middle School

  • 3 assignments per class per week in core subjects- Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Science, Religion, Spanish

Specials (All Grade Levels)-

During this time our special teachers will provide several suggestions to our students in each of the following subjects.  We hope that your child participates in some or all these activities, but we are sensitive to our current situation.  These activities are encouraged but not required.

  • Library
  • PE
  • Art
  • Technology
  • Music

Communication:   

One challenge we have noticed is in the area of communication.   We realize that everyone’s schedule is not the same and each child needs to work at a different time of the day.   Questions are welcomed and encouraged during regular business hours (9:00AM-5:00PM).  If you have a question after hours, please email your teacher and know that you will get a response within 24 hours.   One reason to implement the new schedule is to allow for flexibility for the variety of times students have to work on assignments.

Please note that teachers will continue to give grades to students.   It is important for students to participate and do the best that they can on the assignments.

Sincerely,

Kira Kania

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