Distance Learning Plan for Parents and Students


Dear Good Shepherd Families and Students,

We hope this email finds you all well, and we understand this time of uncertainty is having a great impact on all of our families. The school is confident it has a strong educational plan in place to address the needs of all of our students. This is a critical time in the development and progression of our students, and we are working to ensure we are fostering their growth, while maintaining a focus on their learning. As this will be a period of adjustment, we are asking for grace for all.

As we move forward into these next few weeks, we would like to outline some directions to help guide and form our work through our suspension of on-campus learning and transition to distance learning. This plan is fluid and will be subject to modifications as we move forward and embrace these new opportunities. 

STUDENT LEARNING:
Faculty members are planning content and skill-driven lessons. Our faculty will continue to provide our students with quality instruction through a variety of technological tools such as Schoology, Zoom, Flipgrid, Google Classroom, Google Hangouts Meet, and/or Seesaw to interface with students, depending on their grade levels. Faculty members will share the specific technologies they will use with their students.

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES:

Middle School 

  • Learning action items (lessons, homework, assessments, projects) will be posted by 10:00 a.m. each day, following the COUGAR rotation schedule.  For example, all assignments for U Day will be posted by 10:00 a.m. of U Day.  
    • Lesson items (homework, quizzes, assessments, resources) will be posted through Schoology for each class.
    • Some lessons will be ‘live’ and/or interactive via the Zoom Cloud Meeting app, Flipgrid, or Google Hangouts Meet.
    • Faculty members will create a weekly schedule for live instruction or recorded videos and share with students via the Schoology platform.
    • There will be pre-recorded videos with some of the student lessons; these are not considered ‘live’ lessons.  
    • Faculty will determine ways to assess student work/accountability; Schoology  and Flipgrid are two of the many tools that may be utilized for this purpose.
  • Faculty members will respond to parent and student emails daily, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., to provide clarity around any questions students may have.  
  • Advisors will continue to check in with students and families via email during the hours between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Lower School

  • Learning action items (lessons, homework, assessments) will be posted by 10:00 a.m. each day, following the COUGAR rotation schedule. For example, all assignments for U Day will be posted by 10:00 a.m. of U Day. 
    • Lesson items will be posted through Seesaw and/or Google Classroom. 
    • Students may tackle their work as they see fit through the course of the school day. There will be deadlines for assignments, and some may extend over the course of two or more days. Students will be informed how to share/submit their work.
  • Faculty will determine assignment deadlines and share with their students.
  • Faculty members will respond to parent emails and student questions daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 
  • Some lessons will be ‘live’ and/or interactive via the Zoom Cloud Meeting app, Flipgrid, or Google Hangouts Meet.
  • Parent communication will be provided through S’More and email, while student instruction will be given through Seesaw (1st - 4th grades), Zoom (1st - 4th grades), Flipgrid (1st - 4th grades), and Google Classroom (3rd - 4th grades).
  • Faculty members will work with their colleagues to ensure there are no more than 3 ‘live’ lessons on any given day. 
  • There will be pre-recorded videos with some of the student lessons; these are not considered ‘live’ lessons.  
  • Faculty members will determine ways to assess student work/accountability; Seesaw and Flipgrid are a couple of the many tools which may be used.

Early Childhood  

  • Faculty members will post learning action items by 10:00 a.m.
    • Items will be posted through Seesaw. Parent communications will be sent through S’more. Some lessons will be ‘live’ and/or interactive via the Zoom Cloud Meeting app, Flipgrid, or Google Hangouts Meet.
  • Faculty members will provide schedules to families with time frames and activity explanations to aid in implementation.
  • Faculty members will be available by email to parents between 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. to answer questions.  
    • Faculty members will create a weekly schedule for live instruction or recorded videos and share with students via the Seesaw app or S’more newsletters.
    • There will be pre-recorded videos with some of the student lessons; these are not considered ‘live’ lessons.  
    • Faculty will determine ways to assess student work/accountability.
  • Faculty members will be available for students and families during the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily.

All Divisions

  • Early Childhood and Lower School Specials faculty will coordinate with classroom faculty to provide lessons/activities.  
  • Instructional Specialists/Counselors will coordinate with classroom teachers to provide lessons/activities.  
  • Each department/division will have availability between 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily, but will also be available during specific office hours for student questions (times listed below). 
    • PreK-4th Grade
      • Each homeroom faculty member will be available between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. for email response period.
      • Specials faculty will be available between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for email response period. 
    • Middle School
      • All middle school faculty will be available to answer questions or participate in a Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet during Instructional Office Hours as follows:
        • 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Math, Science, and Technology Courses (SPARQ and Media Arts) 
        • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - English and Social Studies Courses (including Faith Studies)
        • 12:00-1:00 p.m. - Spanish and Fine Arts Courses
      • Purpose of office hours are:
        1. Student communication of upcoming assignments and weekly progress
        2. Answer questions and clarify any misconceptions
        3. Reviewing student work and providing feedback on evidence of learning
        4. Parent communication of upcoming assignments and student progress, as needed
      • Advisors will be available to students and families via email during the hours between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
  • Division Heads will be available via email daily during the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS:

  • Middle School and Lower School students must check student email, Schoology, Google Classroom or Seesaw regularly (i.e. daily). They should be prepared to do academic work on each school day during the time of suspended on-campus learning. 
  • For Middle School and Lower School: Schoology, Google Classroom, Zoom, and Seesaw are the primary resources – these should be the first-stop for getting information each day. Each class will post daily assignments (with due dates).
  • For Early Childhood: Seesaw and S’more will be the primary resources for daily work.
  • Students can communicate with their teachers from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each school day, but teachers will also hold specific office hours for faster responses, as noted above.
    • PreK-4th Grade
      • Each homeroom teacher will be available between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. for response period
      • Specials teachers will be available between 11:00am and 12:00pm for response period 
    • Middle School
      • Subject teachers will be available as follows for office hours to answer questions: 
        • 10:00-11:00am - Math, Science, and Technology Courses
        • 11:00am-12:00pm - English and Social Studies Courses
        • 12:00-1:00pm - Spanish and Fine Arts Courses
      • Advisors must be available to students and families via email during the hours between 8:00am - 4:00pm.  
  • Students should complete assignments and submit them by the deadlines to their teacher(s) via the requested format (e.g., Schoology, Google, email).

PARENT TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:
You have likely seen on social media many resources, tips, and schedules to help children navigate the new learning format. We have several listed here which we believe are specific to our community and will hopefully be helpful:

  • Set up structure and routines for your child/ren. It is important for students to understand serious learning will be going on in all grades. Setting up routines will help emphasize that point. If you have one or more adults also working remotely, these schedules and routines will be even more important!  
  • In the first few days, check on your child/ren’s progress daily. This will be new so review accomplishments at the end of each day. Communicate quickly with your child/ren’s teacher if your child is feeling overwhelmed or unsure. 
  • Know we are here to partner with you as we create this remote learning environment. The teachers will provide the content, skills, and assessments, and work with you to help establish routines and instruction.
  • If you have questions or are unsure, please feel free to contact your child/ren’s teacher or advisor. We are here and active virtually and want to create a virtual learning environment that is engaging, productive, and growth oriented, just like our physical learning environment! 

If you have any questions regarding these expectations, please reach out to your division head.  Please take the steps recommended by the CDC and state authorities to keep yourselves and your families safe and healthy. We are blessed to be such a dedicated, connected community.  We know we will be able to navigate these troubling times and come through stronger on the other side.  

Thank you,

Lori Rolke
Casey Martin
Liz Fleskes