Dear parents and families,
As you navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you are safe, healthy and finding ways to enjoy life while you “hunker down.” The STrEaM Team is here to support you, providing continued learning opportunities in supportive, creative and engaging ways. We want to be clear that we are not here to add stress to families, and we work to resolve problems with you along the way.
Over the past two weeks our teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare digital learning. They’ve adjusted Google Classrooms, become experts in Zoom for online meetings, filmed lessons, found new resources and participated in countless workshops and trainings. We are ready for online learning to begin!
Digital Learning with STrEaM:Officially, online classes begin tomorrow, Tuesday 3/31. Our primary delivery for online learning is through Google Classroom. All our staff already use this to supplement their classes, and all our students already have access and know how to navigate this platform: viewing information, doing and submitting assignments, collaborating with peers, and taking assessments. Note this is different from ASD comprehensive schools, which are using two new platforms: APEX and Canvas. STrEaM is NOT using those.
Most learning will not happen “live” or synchronous: students will log on to Google Classroom, read announcements, watch videos, complete assignments, etc. This is “asynchronous” or independent, on their own schedule.
Synchronous or “live” interactions: Teachers have “office hours” two days per week, where they will be on Zoom and available to students who need support and instruction. Advisors have scheduled a Zoom meeting once per week to check in with their advisories.
Office hours and teacher schedules will be posted on our website today. Teachers are all emailing parents to share their Google Classroom information and office hours schedule.
Online Etiquette:Attached are some documents to provide guidance with online etiquette. Please review these, and let’s work to keep our online classrooms positive, supportive and appropriate.
Grades:We will follow ASD’s direction that middle school students will not receive final grades for 4th quarter work. However, assessment and feedback is still an essential part of learning and will still happen. Teachers will track and give feedback on assignments, provide assessments of learning, and monitor student progress.
Parent support:We understand you will have many questions and challenges as we embark on this learning journey together.
First, email the teacher with questions specific to a class or their Google Classroom, lessons, schedule or direction.
For general questions, email Mr. Mokelke and Mrs. Biondich. The school phone, 742-9000, is forwarded and we can answer/respond this way as well.
For links, resources, contact information and more, our school website is a great resource: https://www.asdk12.org/stream
Beginning this Thursday, we will host an open “Coffee with the Principal” Zoom session from 8 to 9 AM. Following this, we will do this on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is time for you to talk, ask questions, get support and information.
I know you will be inundated with information today, and this week. I apologize in advance for the emails and glut of communication. If it becomes overwhelming, step away and come back to it when you are ready. This week is a “soft start,” an opportunity to ease into this together. Reasonable goals this week may be for students to log on to Google Classroom, check in, and begin developing a schedule and routine.
Reach out if you need anything. We’re here to support you.
Adam Mokelke, Principal
ZOOM – Student Online Classroom Etiquette
• This is a virtual classroom, therefore, appropriate classroom behavior is expected.
• Log into your class or meeting from a distraction-free, quiet environment.
• Please keep your audio on mute until you want to speak. This will help to limit background noise.
• Consider using a headset with an external mic for best hearing and speaking capabilities.
• Close unneeded applications on your computer to optimize the video quality.
• If you would like to speak or answer a question, use the “Raise Hand” feature. Then unmute yourself after you are called on by your teacher.
• When you are speaking, let others know that you are finished by saying something like, “That’s all,” or “I’m done,” or “Thank you,” so that everyone knows you have finished your comments.
• If you would like to use the chatbox, remember that it is public, and a record of the chat is kept and archived.
• Keep paper and a pen or pencil handy to take notes.
• Make sure your video is on (if you have camera capabilities) so your teacher and peers can see you.
• Be mindful of your background lighting. If you are sitting with your back to a window, you may be silhouetted by the light coming through. Your overhead light might also need to be adjusted for the best image quality.
• Please take care of your personal needs (appropriate dress, basic hygiene, eating, chewing gum, talking to others in your home, etc.) prior to entering a Zoom classroom.
• Please do not use profanity or inappropriate language.
• Remember to sign out or “leave the meeting” when the session is finished.
Best Practices for Parents to Support Online Learning
The transition to online learning may be challenging for some families. Parents will need to think differently about how to support their children, create structures and routines that allow their children to be successful, and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. The best practices provided below are intended to assist parents in helping their children find success in an online learning environment.
Establish routines and expectations
Parents need to establish routines and expectations from day one of online learning. Parents are encouraged to set regular hours for their student’s schoolwork including a normal bedtime and wake up time. It is important that parents set these expectations as soon as online learning begins.
Define the physical space for your student’s school work
Your student may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time. We encourage families to establish a space/location where their student will learn most of the time. This should be a public/family space, not in a child’s bedroom.
Begin and end each day with a check-in
Parents are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. In the morning, ask what is your child learning today? What are their learning goals? How will they spend their time? What resources do they require? What support do they need? Older students may not want to have these check-ins with parents, but they should nevertheless. Parents should establish these check-ins as regular parts of each day.
Take an active role in helping your student process their learning
Human beings learn best when they have opportunities to process their learning with others. Beyond the check-ins recommended at the start and end of each day, parents should regularly circle back and engage with their children about what they’re learning.
Establish times for quiet and reflection
A huge challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children’s needs, especially when those students vary in age. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distractions. Parents may even experiment with noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions.
Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
Make sure your children remember to move and exercise. This is vitally important to their health, well being, and learning.
Monitor how much time your child is spending online
Please monitor your student’s social media use, especially during an extended school closure. Older students will rely more on social media to communicate with friends. Social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned channels of communication. Remind your children to be polite, respectful, and appropriate in their communications.
Maintain an appropriate level of decorum in your home
Please remember that your student’s online learning opens a window into your home. Role model appropriate behavior while your student is engaged in a Zoom meeting with their teacher and peers. Please do not use profanity. Enforce the schedule and guidelines you’ve set up in order for your student to be a successful online learner.