Virtual Updates - April 23

Again, thank you for your patience, flexibility, support and feedback throughout our Virtual School time. The feedback many of you provided helped the teachers and I make some adjustments that will hopefully reduce some stress at home. Please know, we all understand the stresses and challenges this situation has placed on everyone, and we are sorry if any of our decisions have added to that stress. In addition to the building level adjustments, the district has been working behind the scenes to build our capacity in other areas and has also responded to feedback from the community. The following are some important updates and adjustments made that will go into effect next week:

  • Sunday Night: The new learning folder for the week will be available online on Sunday night around 8:00 p.m.. We heard from many families the challenges that Monday morning brings when students are eager to get started and many parents are expected to be working. This change was with those families in mind in order to allow some preparation time, not to have students begin their work on Sunday night. Please note that teachers should not be expected to answer questions on Sunday night about lessons for Monday. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Site Changes: Whether you log in on Sunday or Monday, you will see changes to the online school. Mrs. Irvin helped develop a page that incorporates buttons on the home page that will allow you to access grade level folders from the home page. This should feel more natural, like apps, but there will be a “Classic View” button to allow you to find the folders through the previous weeks' steps.

  • Work Collection: This past week we have worked on learning ways to collect work online from the students. This coming week, most of the grade levels are incorporating a form to collect feedback from the students to see how they are doing on the work. We have discussed many ways to physically collect the work that the students have done, but are still trying to decide on the safest, most efficient way to do this. I will be in touch on this issue in the future.

  • Grading: As found in the district’s Continuity of Education Plan, formal Third Trimester progress reports will not be issued this year. Parents will instead receive a brief summary report via email from the child’s teacher at the end of the school year in June. These communications will provide anecdotal summaries of the student’s progress with At Home Learning between March 16th and the end of the school year. Students are encouraged to participate in lessons and complete assignments from their teachers but will not be penalized for work they are unable to complete. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about how the District is adapting to the closure.

  • Connecting with the Teacher and Class: Next Wednesday each classroom teacher will conduct a synchronous or “live” classroom connection meeting for their classes. This will be done in Microsoft Teams and the teachers will be reaching out with directions on how to join the meeting.

  • Dance Party: Finally, Mr. Kelly has volunteered to create a Weekly Dance Party that I will publish on our Schoology site every Friday by 4:00. This will be a half hour of him playing Family friendly tunes and will start tomorrow at 4:00 to celebrate the changes. Enjoy!

Sorry for another long email, but I am hoping the coming week’s changes will help to make life easier at home. As always, you can reach out to me or your teacher with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued support!

Thomas Ferlick
Principal, Oak Ridge Elementary School