Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 4/1

Thank you for the emails, appreciation, and helpful feedback over the last few days. Your positive comments are affirming the way our teachers are bringing their expertise to Distance Learning. Thank you, families, for helping your child - I know it isn’t easy balancing work and other obligations with supporting your child’s learning.

Friday, April 3rd, is the last day of the third quarter. Teachers will be issuing grade reports, which will be sent home the week after Spring Break. This quarter, students were in traditional classrooms for seven weeks and participated in Distance Learning for three weeks. Assignments and grades the last three weeks of the quarter were modified, and deadlines were flexible as students and families grew accustomed to Distance Learning and the use of technology. Specialist teachers’ assignments during this time are optional, and students’ grades will be based on work for the first seven weeks of the quarter. (Students who completed these optional assignments will receive extra credit.)

 Traditionally, we have administered the CTP V and WRaP standardized assessments during the last two weeks of MayThis year, we will be postponing testing until the Fall. We do not know when we will return to campus, but when we do, preparing for standardized testing will not be the best use of time. CAIS requires us to administer standardized tests and gives us the option of Spring or Fall testing. Doing so in the Fall will allow us to use the results as a formative assessment to drive curriculum and instruction for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

The teachers and I meet three times a week (virtually) to share and strategize. We know that nothing can replace classroom learning. We have set goals for Distance Learning:

  • Focus on core skills- As we move students along with curriculum goals, lessons are pared down, and assignments are shorter.

  • Communication- Teachers are doing their best to provide clear directions, communicate often with students, including bi-weekly virtual meetings, and answer student and family questions.

  • Flexibility- Distance Learning, staying at home, and social distancing can be daunting. We are committed to teaching with compassion and flexibility. Teachers are adjusting assignments so that there is an appropriate amount of work, student interaction, expectations for learning, and a balance of work time, downtime, playtime, and family time.

Tomorrow, I will be sending a parent survey to get your feedback on how Distance Learning is going so far. I would sincerely appreciate your feedback so we can continue to improve.

Please continue to communicate with the teacher and me. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Cordially,

Mrs. Fisher