You will notice that I have been maintaining a few common threads throughout the past couple weeks of updates. You will read them again today, and you will read them again in the future. Especially in uncertain times, repetition of the most important themes is important.
You may hear from your student’s classroom teacher that the schedule for this upcoming Wednesday is a little bit different. We have encouraged our staff to take Wednesday as a planning and meeting day to kick off the collaborative planning for remote learning after our April break. Teachers may choose to postpone, reschedule, or cancel things for Wednesday of this week in order to connect with their colleagues.
Our district will be honoring the April break time, so you will not receive remote plans from classroom teachers for the week of April 13th-17th. We are working on compiling a list of resources that you may choose to access with your family during this break time.
After the break, we will be making a few subtle shifts in our remote learning after meeting as a staff and reviewing your responses on last week's survey. I look forward to sharing more about those subtle shifts in the update next weekend.
We know that many of you are working during this crisis. We are so grateful to have a community that steps up in extraordinary ways when things get tough. In the Hanover and Ray School community, many of us are juggling multiple roles: parents, caregivers, doctors, nurses, counselors, teachers, cooks, and more. Some of the roles we trained for, and some of them are new. At any given moment, we may be forced to shift roles or wear multiple hats with varying levels of comfort or discomfort. Please put yourselves and your family first.
There will be frustrating days when it feels like nothing got done, and there will be days that feel productive and positive. That is ok. Remember this link from last week, Dear Parent? Read it again. It holds true, week after week.
“Remember that their (read: the Ray School’s) first priority is that you and your family are well, happy, and healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally. All the rest is secondary. Read that again. All. The. Rest. Is. Secondary.”
Speaking of which, this visual about the hierarchy of needs is useful and will continue to guide our work at the Ray School as we move into the next phase of remote learning.
We are developing our new normal, and this means focusing on connection over content. Piling on work, giving a bunch of mandatory assignments, or trying to follow the normal schedule of a normal school day will not meet our children’s needs. Sitting in front of a screen for hours of “schooling” will not meet our children’s needs. Remember the recommendations from the International Society for Technology in Education (here are just a few), which we will continue to follow:
- Don’t try to mimic an actual school day. It’s not a normal situation
- Lessen the workload (it takes longer to complete work online)
- Choose 2-4 subjects a day to focus on
- Try to keep students off of screens when possible
So, what are the continued messages and take-aways?
- Academic workload: less is more
- Connection over content.
- This is remote learning, not homeschooling.
- Priority #1 is caring for yourself and your family.
I will end this message the same way I have ended others. Please reach out if you need anything. We are here, ready to support you. We are all in this together.
*Be physically distant, but not socially distant! Follow us on Twitter @lauren_amrhein and the hashtag #RayRemoteLearningAdventure*