September 6, 2020: Update from Principal Hanson
Good Evening, Caleb Families,
Wow, it has been a busy weekend around here as we prepare to head into the week with a more rigorous plan in place for student learning. We spent today preparing for student materials distribution beginning on Tuesday and your teachers have been balancing their personal and family lives with the need to adjust and fine tune learning plans to align with our new schedules. I know you all have lots of questions about expectations and such. Please know that we are doing our best to get information to you and respond to your questions in a timely manner. I ask that you continue to exercise patience as we work through these first few weeks of school toward consistent routines and communication.
Distance Learning Schedules: You can find Distance Learning Schedules, which begin this Tuesday, for kinder, 1st-3rd and 4th-6th here.
One of the concerns raised about our new schedules is that it feels like a lot of scheduled synchronous learning time. If you think of synchronous learning in the narrow sense of basic direct instruction provided in a live session, it is a lot. However, the intent of synchronous instruction is to provide students with both live instruction AND access to their teachers to provide support as they engage in rigorous learning opportunities with their peers. This does not mean that your child will be sitting in front of a computer, expected to listen to a talking head for hours each day. Quite the contrary. Just as they would in a brick and mortar classroom, teachers are working tirelessly to develop engaging learning opportunities that include direct instruction and modeling of new concepts and skills, frequent checks for understanding and feedback, interactive and independent practice, collaboration with peers and differentiated support as needed. Transitioning this model to distance learning is a challenge, but it is not impossible. In a 50-60 minute Language Arts or Math block, you can expect your child to learn directly from their teacher, engage in interactive learning opportunities, complete tasks independently and with peers, and receive support as needed. They will have tasks to complete during this synchronous learning, engage with their peers in collaborative problem solving, and ask for and receive real-time help from their teachers.
You can expect your child to have a single Zoom login, with the teacher moving students in and out of the waiting room, rather than logging off, for breaks and transitions. You can also expect breaks to sometimes be a little more fluid, depending on the pace and progress of instruction and learning. Just like brick and mortar, sometimes we stay in class and take a bit of delayed recess because we are in the middle of meaningful learning. Other times, we may take a break early for a smooth transition to a new subject or lesson. We might adjust the order of subjects in order to maintain engagement or emphasize specific learning. But the overall instructional minutes will stay consistent, and as such, you should plan for your child to be available and engaged with their teacher and classmates for the duration of synchronous learning everyday. For our kinders that’s 8-11 and 12-12:20, for first through third grade that’s 8-10:55 and 11:55-1:10, and for fourth through sixth grade that’s 8-10:55 and 11:55-1:20.
Teachers will send this week’s Weekly Learning Plans via email and Google Classroom by 8:00am Tuesday morning. While some of you may be hoping to get these earlier, I ask that you give our teachers grace as they have been working over their three-day weekend to adjust and prepare for these new schedules.
Materials Distribution: In order to accommodate our Distance Learning schedule, we’ve adjusted the times for materials distribution. Students will receive textbooks, curriculum-related consumables, teacher-created materials and a variety of supplies. These tools are necessary for your child to engage in Distance Learning, so please be sure to pick them up this week!
Tuesday, September 8: 1:15-2:30 Last Name A-M & 2:30-4:00 Last Name N-Z
Wednesday, September 9: 1:15-2:30 Last Name N-Z & 2:30-4:00 Last Name A-M
In order to keep both our staff and families safe, it is critical that you carefully read and adhere to the schedule and guidelines here. Please know that every appropriate precaution will be taken by staff to follow safety guidelines with regards to social distancing, personal protective equipment, and symptom checking.
Please refer to these directions and safety guidelines!
Emergency Contact Form: It is critical that we have up-to-date emergency information each year for EACH child. Please complete this Emergency Contact Form one time for EACH child who attends Caleb Greenwood.
Chromebooks & Internet: Chromebooks are intended for children who do NOT have access to a device at home. To be added to our waitlist, please complete this form: Caleb Greenwood Fall 2020 Chromebook Request. Principal Hanson will reach out to you via email when a Chromebook is available.
Free wi-fi is available here. Hot Spots are available for families who are not able to access these free wi-fi options or who have three or more children in the same household. If you meet this criteria, please send me an email to request a Hot Spot for your family.
Trouble with Technology? First, check out the Technical Support and Tutorials on the SCUSD Return to Learn website. If you still need assistance, fill out our Caleb Greenwood Technology Trouble Ticket for one:one support. And parents, if you’re willing to be a Tech Assistance for your child’s class to help other parents and children troubleshoot problems, please email your child’s teacher!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. And as always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
We’ll see you on Zoom at 8am Tuesday morning!
Principal Erin Hanson