NEWS AND ANNOUNCMENTS
Update on Distance Learning
I hope all of you are healthy and safe and sound during these extraordinary times. I am writing today to share with you the district’s plan to maintain student learning during these upcoming weeks. There are many considerations, but perhaps the best place to start is with three core values that will drive our decision making process during this difficult time.
Health, Family, and Community Come First. We are aware that the context is different in all of our students’ homes. We are cognizant that we have situations where a parent may be ill, in quarantine, working from home, or possibly unemployed or displaced due to the crisis. There is potentially much stress and anxiety in our students’ homes caused by this situation. Therefore, the initial emphasis will be on providing practice or reinforcement of previously learned concepts/skills, not on teaching new content. Our focus will be on student learning and feedback, not assessment and grades. Accordingly, any work/practice that is posted will be reasonable in length and complexity.
Second, Relationships Matter. Our intent is to establish some type of normalcy with regard to student academic practice, but all of that pales in comparison to the importance of the relationships between our students and their teachers and professional staff. I have asked all staff to be available to their students and families during this time to help wherever we can. Our teachers will be using existing platforms, such as Google Classroom, as well as email to communicate and provide student and family support.
Third, We Support All Learners. Providing online/virtual learning opportunities during this crisis is important, but we will do everything to meet students where they are. All staff, including special educators and paraprofessionals, will avail themselves as a support if a student is struggling to understand any content.
With these values as guiding principles, the following are the basic expectations and parameters for the scheduled weeks that we will be out of school:
Websites aligned with the existing textbook series
Reading followed by a virtual written prompt that students could respond to
Student practice using existing applications such as IXL or Gizmos
Posting of interactive websites that enable students to practice skills
For our middle school students:
If you have additional questions about any aspect of our district’s system of Distance Learning, please contact the school or your child's teacher. I am attaching an email directory to this letter. We will answer ALL questions and post them on our newly created website, https://www.nsps.us/dl. We hope this website will be a helpful resource to you.
I realize that many have questions about a multitude of issues, ranging from scheduled events in the spring (athletics, dances , etc.) to other things such as RICAS testing. I do not have definitive answers to these questions as many issues are still undecided, but when we know you will know. I will continue to share updates as warranted. I hope all of you are safe, healthy, and doing well.
My very best,