School Closure Update to Families # 4

School Closure Update to Families # 4
Posted on 03/18/2020
Dear Parents/Guardians,

I want to begin by thanking you for the support you have been giving us. The quick responses to surveys, the great ideas you’ve shared, and the way you have been using our email address ClosureQuestions@oldsaybrookschools.org to ask questions and make suggestions have been very helpful to us as we continue to move forward planning for our students’ health and well-being and learning opportunities. Thank you.

Supplemental learning is available at this time and students and teachers have been connecting through Google Classroom. Supplemental learning is optional and ungraded. Also, students may be seeing Google Classrooms populate with assignments that don’t have due dates. This may be creating anxiety for some. Please reassure students that, when we move to distance learning, assignments will be spread out and manageable.

Official school days will resume on Monday, March 23 through distance learning. Students will engage in learning activities posted by their teachers in Google Classrooms. Teachers will be available to students between the hours of 9:00 and 2:00 each school day. Students are expected to work within this online classroom to complete assignments and take part in learning activities for roughly four hours each day. Most of that time will not be online learning but will be invested in the completion of assignments offline. At this time, the classes will be largely asynchronous.

Building Administrators will be sending information to students and families reminding them of District Policies and building expectations for behavior in our new classrooms. These communications will be sent by email today or tomorrow.

We understand that many families are sharing a computer between multiple adults and children who are all working from home. With that in mind, we are working to create assignments that can be done at any time. We hope this helps you stagger computer usage and makes the work more manageable.

What we are calling Distance Learning will be new to many teachers and students. We expect that all of us will get better at it over time, but we didn’t want to lose any more days.

Our school breakfast/lunch program for those students who may need it resumes this Friday. Families may pick up grab and go bags of food at Goodwin School or the High School between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. each weekday.

The schedule for the remainder of the year is undecided at this time. We are still working to answer questions about graduation, when school will end and whether or not we will have an April vacation at this time. The State is providing updated guidance and temporary changes to legislation on a regular basis. We will continue to monitor their communications and share with you when we know more.

Upbeat Update. The New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) renewed Old Saybrook Middle School’s Spotlight status for 2020-2023. Documentation from the school was sent to NELMS for review and a site visit was conducted on February 11, 2020. In addition to the site visit, members of the NELMS organization spoke with students, parents, staff and community partners as part of the renewal process. The final report from NELMS stated that it was evident that Old Saybrook Middle School, “continues to make progress and is committed to effective instruction, collaboration, teaming, and a solid understanding of the young adolescent”. Old Saybrook Middle School is one of only twenty-seven schools throughout New England to achieve this recognition. We can’t thank our students, staff, parents, and community members enough for helping us continue to achieve this high standard of excellence. Congratulations to all!

Stay well and try to find something to celebrate each day.