April 3, 2020 | Elementary Parent Survey Results and Upcoming Modifications
Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent Online Learning survey. Your feedback is so important to us, and we were thrilled to receive such overwhelmingly positive responses.
While many stated there had been some initial bumps, they had worked through them and had settled into a comfortable rhythm. Directions from the teachers were considered clear by over 90% of the parents as were teacher responses to any questions.
Areas for improvement included the workload and amount of time students were spending on school work every day. While close to 60% felt that the workload and time were the perfect amount or even too easy, 40% thought that they were too much. We will work on adjustments to better suit the needs of all of our students.
Parent-written comments were helpful and so complimentary to our teachers. We appreciate that parents recognize how hard teachers are working, that your child’s teachers are willing to call, Facetime, or Zoom to give them one-on-one attention, and that your teachers are praying daily for your family. It is a huge blessing to us to know that parents and students are praying for our staff and our school as well.
We are continuing to learn every day how to improve our remote teaching, while maintaining relationships with our students and our families. Thank you for your patience and support, and feel free to click the link below to see a breakdown of the survey data:
After reviewing our survey results, we have decided to adjust the Elementary schedule to increase flexibility for our families and, hopefully, decrease daily stress.
Starting after we return from Easter Break on Tuesday, April 14, your child’s classroom teacher will be working with your students Monday through Thursday of each week. All of your specialty classes will move to Friday, and the lessons will be posted Thursday afternoon. You will have until the following Thursday to complete the specialty classwork.
Friday will become a half day with a noon dismissal, which will also allow for students to catch up on the week’s classroom work if they are behind. Your classroom teacher will also use that time on Friday morning to plan for the following week’s lessons.
Should you have a question on Friday regarding classwork, your teacher will get back to you on Monday. Your specialty teachers will be available Friday morning, but may not get back to you until the following week due to the size of their classes.
Our prayer is this new schedule will allow students and parents to better handle the workload and reduce the time spent doing classwork.
Thank you for entrusting us with your precious children. We are committed to ensuring they continue to learn and always feel loved.
Please see below for important information about the week ahead. We will provide additional updates and information as these circumstances develop.
What resources are required for online learning?
For younger elementary students, parents will need to access the teacher's FACTS page where they normally see weekly announcements and homework assignments. This can be done by phone, tablet, or computer. Teachers may post pages that will need to be printed for the child to work on. Fourth and Fifth grade students should be able to access this information themselves through their Chromebook and will primarily be working in Google Classroom.
We will be using IXL and Think Central, which many students are already familiar with. Additionally, teachers may recommend other websites or apps as resources.
How are we ensuring a quality education while the campus is closed?
Teachers will be posting detailed, daily readings/videos/assignments which will correspond to what the students would be learning in class, and will be providing feedback to parents and students on work that is returned to them.
How will students be graded on coursework during campus closure?
Each elementary grade level will be different depending on the age/ability of the students. Students may be required to turn in certain assignments in a digitally written form. Others may be turned in via a picture. On the elementary level, parents may be asked to give a written assessment, such as a spelling test, and take a picture of it to send to the teacher.
How are we facilitating lesson plans/teacher interaction, while utilizing
the online platform?
Grade level groups are meeting with one another to create cohesive plans for their grade level. These meetings may be taking place electronically, or teachers may choose to meet in person.
Will students have access to their teachers for questions regarding lesson plans?
Teachers will have regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) during which they will be available for parent and student questions.
What is the teacher communication turnaround-time policy?
During their office hours, the teachers will respond in a timely manner to questions about specific assignments. Questions received after office hours will be answered as soon as possible on the next school day.
What do parents need to know to help their students be successful?
At the Elementary level, and particularly in the primary grades, parent involvement will be necessary for students to be successful. Making daily assignments accessible to the students, monitoring that assignments are being completed, and communicating any issues with the teacher in a timely manner will ensure student success.
Additionally, we are providing general guidelines and resources to parents which will help establish healthy use of this Home Learning time.
- Keep to a regular schedule. Have your child go to bed on time and get up at a normal time. Set time aside for school work.
- Get dressed. It's fun to spend the day in our jammies but let's reserve that for the weekend.
- Give your child regular chores to do. Making the bed, picking up toys, vacuuming, dusting, etc. Responsibilities like these build character and self-worth.
- Use technology wisely. Children should not be watching television or be on their tablets all day, but you can use technology to teach, to inspire, or to entertain when everyone needs a break.
- Play board games. These games often sharpen skills like counting, logic, and decision making, and they are fun!
- Read. Read to your children and allow them to read to you. Maybe choose a longer book that you normally wouldn't have time to read. Your teachers can give you recommendations for quality literature.
- Do puzzles. Puzzles help build fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, and perseverance.
- Create your own Makerspace. Start with the recycling bin, add a few other basic supplies, and allow your child to use their imagination, but make sure they clean up after themselves.
- Write letters or draw pictures for grandparents or elderly neighbors. During this time of isolation, this will benefit your child as well as those who receive their correspondence.
- Be careful of what children watch and hear. Avoid having the news on all day. Children, especially young children, don't have the ability to critically evaluate everything they see and hear. Watching the news, or hearing adult discussions can cause stress and anxiety.
- Reassure your child. Listen when they express their fears and address them in age appropriate ways.
- Share the truth of God's Word. God promises to be with us. He tells us that we can bring our cares to Him. This would be a great time to develop a family tradition of reading the Bible and praying together.
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we work to provide a quality education in the midst of these uncertain circumstances. We will do everything we can to support each student and family, and we are thankful to be in this together with you.
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email.