- Harding Elementary School
Hello Harding Community,
As you have probably already heard, the revised date for school to reconvene is May 4th. As we all take on new practices that support public health, flexibility seems to be the one that teachers and I are finding key to navigating how to do school right now.
Teachers and families accomplished great things in week two. In addition to settling into routines, sharing time and new online links, our skill building with distance learning came from everyone sharing personal talents, stories, fun activities, and daily accomplishments that brought a little joy. Have you hunted for bears yet?
Week two for teachers and I was about establishing our work routines outside of those first distance learning plans. The learning curve for effective and varied virtual meetings continues to be steep. We are assessing student engagement, problem solving materials gaps, building resources and tech skills, and will be working with district distance learning guidelines that were negotiated and agreed upon with the union on March 27.
There have been and will continue to be a lot of questions, especially regarding the unknown on all sorts of levels. I appreciate everyone’s patience and focus on the here and now, especially the here and now of what the children need. I will continue to communicate weekly to share information and answer questions with what I know.
Here are the initial items:
Can teachers continue to provide home learning after spring break?...Yes, an agreement was negotiated with the union and teachers will receive the expectations 3/30/20.
Will there still be state SBAC testing? No, a waiver for testing has already been approved by state and federal governments.
Will this school year be extended past the original last day, June 5, to make up missed days? No, a waiver for meeting required instructional minutes for this year has already been approved.
Will next year’s academic calendar change/include more school days? Calendars have to be negotiated and instructional minute requirements are set by the state. There has been no talk yet about changing this calendar.
Will the students be retained in their current grade? How do students make up missed instruction? Retention will not be used or will solve missed instruction issues. We will all do our best to keep students academic and social growth progressing but the reality is that we will have to teach differently next year. Luckily, Harding uses workshop model instruction that supports differentiation, in any case, I anticipate the social/emotional needs to be great. Teachers understand these issues and will plan accordingly. This is also why we are trying to stay connected with all students now.
I will start a FAQ sheet that will be posted on our district website. We are currently building a site format provided by the district communications office. I hope to have basic current information loaded by the end of this week, that includes distance learning expectations by grade level with related access tools for families. One warning, the district set up the pages for all school sites and our school site banner has grammatical errors and a wolf or dog of some sort as our mascot. I am trying to get this fixed and just don’t want you all to be confused:) Errors and all, I will send the link out in next week’s communication.
Take care and stay healthy.
Sincerely, Mrs. Takimoto