Dear Lancer Family,
Well, it appears this Spring Break is certainly unique in many ways. Despite the circumstances around COVID-19, we hope you have enjoyed some family time this past weekend. We have intentionally waited to begin to communicate with you in order to allow families some down time. However, as Mr. Minks communicated last Friday, we will resume classes March 30th. This means for the week of March 23rd we will continue school virtually. As of now, our plan is transition to online learning fully understanding the timing may be extended due to the fluidity of the situation at hand. We will send an email by the end of this week with details on how we will transfer to online schooling. For now, I have attempted to capture some of the questions I would have as a parent, in order to help you prepare for this transition. I personally met with all students present on Friday, and we have been meeting and training with teachers since last Wednesday. The students present on Friday left processing this new notion of “virtual school.” As you can imagine, a transition like this requires much effort on all parts. I can reassure you that the teachers left school on Friday in the right mindset and equipped to make this transition to online learning. This is not what any of us desire, but we will come together and each do our part to assure that our efforts are successful.
How will “virtual school” work?
We have intentionally set the “virtual school day” to reflect how we would experience school on campus in order to establish a sense of normalcy. The day will begin at 7:45 am for all students and they will check in with their teachers as if they were at school, per period. By taking this approach, we hope to do the following:
1) Stay on course with meeting course standards and learning objectives in order to validate credits.
2) Capture learning hours in order to avoid having to extend the school year.
Therefore, students will be required to be present from 7:45 -3:15 (depending on schedule) as if they were on campus. More details on the virtual schedule and attendance will be forthright later this week.
What do we need to do to prepare?
We recommend you and your student agree on an area where they can set up to do school. They will need their computer (it will need to remain charged or plugged in for the duration of the day) and access to internet. They will be participating in virtual classes, therefore I recommend an area that is conducive to privacy and limited noise. Students should have their course materials available to them as well. Optimally, I would seek an area in your home for them to successfully complete their school day that reflects these recommendations and allows for accountability. If your family does not have internet, I understand that Spectrum is providing access to free-internet for the purpose of virtual schooling. Keep in mind they will be working from this area potentially from 7:45 – 3:15, therefore giving this thought is highly recommended. Again, we will share additional details on course work later this week.
What if my student needs to get things from their locker?
If your student was absent last week or if they forgot something they need in their locker, the school will be open for them to stop by and retrieve materials from their locker during normal business hours the week of March 23rd. Do practice social distancing while on campus, pick-up what you need and leave campus swiftly to protect yourself and others. If additional limitations are in placed between now and March 23rd, we will address the concerns with you at that time.
Our goal is to provide support and encouragement to all involved in order to successfully navigate the days ahead. Our students will have access to our technology personnel for assistance Monday-Friday, from 7:45-3:15 by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have had folks from within our Lancer family, with technology expertise, offer their assistance with our transition. This is what times like this provide us, the opportunity to come together and unite.
As I communicated with the students and teachers last week, it is vital that we keep the lines of communication open and we communicate well along the way. In a virtual environment, nothing can be assumed and communication is the key to success. Please, feel free to reach out to us with your questions and/or as things arise. Be on the lookout for an email detailing how we will conduct virtual school towards the end of this week. Please, discuss the context of the email with your student and work together to provide them with the support they will require. Until then, continue to pray, be safe and enjoy your family time for the remainder of Spring Break.