I hope this newsletter finds all of you enjoying good health and the comfort of your loved ones in this uncertain time. As I sit here writing to you on a Sunday evening, it is difficult to believe that we will not be greeting your children in the morning. While it pales in comparison to the difficulties currently being faced by so many in our country, it has been extremely trying for the faculty and staff of SCS to have our school closed. We care deeply about our students and we miss them dearly.
While it is probably a bit too early to look for silver linings in this whole ordeal, I feel strongly that we have the potential to find quite a few as a school. Challenges like this, by their very nature, bring about creativity and innovation. They force us to think differently and escape some of our own constraints, either real or imagined. Currently, we cannot plan, communicate, or teach in the manner we are accustomed to. In the short term, these will be limiting factors, but in the end, the challenge to adapt will make us better. Our professional community feels stronger, tighter, and more compassionate amidst this crisis than ever before. I hope that feeling endures, and makes SCS an even warmer and better-connected community in the future.
This Monday (April 6th) we enter the final week of the period the Agency of Education has referred to as "maintenance of learning". In this period we have prioritized maintaining relationships with our students and providing them with a consistent menu of optional learning opportunities through the SCS Remote Learning Website. We have tried to use every means of communication at our disposal to draw students back to school, back to learning, and back to the faculty and staff who care so much about them. This work will continue this week and students and parents should head back to the site looking for updated learning opportunities. They should also expect continued outreach from teachers and members of our student services team.
Next Monday (April 13th), we will begin an 8-week period of remote learning. There is an expectation that all of our students will be engaged in the learning/work over this period of time. While the focus of the previous 3-4 weeks was on providing optional experiences to keep student skills from lagging. The design of remote learning will be to introduce new learning to move our students forward. It will be slightly more structured and will provide students regular formative feedback on the work they are completing. The SCS Remote Learning Website will continue to be the location where parents and students will go (each Monday) to begin their learning experience.
Families can expect an email this Wednesday afternoon/evening from both Ms. Celmer and myself. In this email, we will share two separate remote learning plans, one for K-4 and one for 5-8. These plans will provide families an understanding of what to expect in the remote learning period. This will include the areas of student workload, teacher communication, assessment and feedback, and student support.
We thank you all for the feedback you provided us in our recent survey, the data from over 300 respondents has been invaluable in planning this next phase. We also want to thank you for your patience and your trust as we move forward together.
I recently asked our staff to consider just how much time we spend and have spent artificially trying to define our learning community through the creation of missions, norms, values, and the like. You can have those things written on the wall of your school, and every school does. But, the true character of a community is only revealed in the face of real challenges. I am extremely proud to be a part of this school community and to share in its values of caring and connection.
Have a great week and be well!
Students Needing Support and Check-Ins
While most of our students utilize the Remote Learning Site to access work from their teachers and teams, there is more there than they may realize.
If your student could use support from our counselors, clinicians, SAPs, or just need some ideas about ways to stay active and healthy during this unique period. Please check out our Student Wellness page for access to both the adults and for information that could help.
If your student is looking to explore digital tools, support, or resources that could help them better access remote learning, please check out our Library and Digital Learning page.
2020/2021 Placement Process
For families with students currently in grades K, 2, 4, & 6, our registrar will be sending out our annual Parent/Guardian Input form to help us with our student placement process. Please keep a look-out in your email (and spam) starting on Monday, April 27th from Informed K-12, where you'll receive an online form to complete by Sunday, May 3rd. Please note, Placement forms submitted after May 3rd will not be included in the placement process. Our placement teams will begin this work throughout the month of May and students/families will hear about final placement plans on 'Step-Up Day'. Please keep in mind that these forms will be shared with current teaching teams to help us with the placement process.