Hi Everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and staying well and staying home! These are unprecedented times, and like it or not, we are part of what will certainly be recorded in history as hugely significant global event, life changing for all of us.
As we all know, it's important to do everything we can to keep our communities safe.
I just wanted to communicate with everyone. I do not have an update yet as far as the calendar or use of days. Everyone is still waiting for the Commissioner's interpretation as it relates to the Governor's waiver of the 180 day requirement. Some good news is the grades 3-8 testing has been canceled so that tells us that the duration of this closure may very well be more significant than the initial 2 weeks the Governor ordered. I think that is very likely.
I want to add my commendations to those of the district when I say it was an amazing showing on Tuesday, March 17th when we were able to in one day, launch a fairly large scale distance-learning program. The district's request that we check in twice a day on Google Classroom seems very reasonable when compared to what many of our sister locals are being asked to do. Some examples include real-time engaging with students at designated times, posting video lessons, and the like.
Be very cautious if you do opt for any kind of live video interaction on your Google Classroom, or any platform. Be particularly careful using Google Hangouts with students. Any platform where students have the opportunity to be commenting and sending messages to each other, could create problems by sharing inappropriate content that you would not even be aware of. While there have been many emails flying around containing links, ideas and suggestions to various platforms and online teacher resources, these things are suggestions and you should feel free to include whatever YOU feel comfortable with on your Google Classroom. My advice is to keep it very simple and manageable for yourselves and your students. We do not know the online access/capabilities of our students and what they're dealing with in their homes throughout this situation. I know that we are all mindful of that.
As soon as I have any other news to share I certainly will do so. I will be continuing to use our MITA Memo format as opposed to Longwood email going forward. Be safe. Be well. Stay home!