April Remote Learning Calendar Posted

April Remote Learning Calendar Posted
Posted on 04/09/2020
Wilmette Public Schools
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-512-6000
www.wilmette39.org

Dear District 39 Community,

 

As a follow-up to last week’s communication, I am pleased to share our District 39 Remote Learning Calendar through the end of April. We developed this calendar after reviewing the feedback collected through our stakeholder remote learning surveys (more on this later), so thank you to everyone who took the time to share valuable perspective and input.

We created this monthly remote learning calendar with connection, balance and flexibility in mind as our foremost priorities. The calendar is color coded to show the expectations for the three types of school days that occur throughout the month:

  • Peach Days – Peach Days afford students and families a break from remote learning due to local holidays or district-wide non-instructional days. No remote learning will take place during Peach Days.
     
  • Green Days – Remote learning will take place on Green Days.
     
  • Grey Days – Monday Grey Days afford students the opportunity to work independently on assigned work. Students may focus on longer project-based activities, wrap up unfinished work from the previous week, work independently on enrichment activities, or complete service learning projects. Our K-4 students will also be provided lessons and projects for Science and Social Studies on these Grey Days.  While teachers will maintain office hours on Grey Days, there will not be synchronous (live) core instructional meetings scheduled on these days. 

As part of our collective focus on remote learning for our students, all parent events scheduled for April have been cancelled, including K-4 parent/teacher conferences. Progress reports for grades 5-8 will be provided as scheduled. Should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s academic progress, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers.

As I mentioned at the onset, we collected useful feedback and input from our students, staff and parents through our recent stakeholder surveys. This valuable feedback will guide our adjustments and areas of emphasis in our remote learning planning. After reviewing all of the feedback, we identified several key themes present throughout the surveys:

 

Meaningful, Manageable and Connected Learning

As a district, we continue to focus on providing meaningful and manageable remote learning experiences that nurture strong, positive connections between students and teachers and emphasize the most essential learning targets in each grade level or subject area.  We were very pleased that most parents and students report that we are reaching these goals. The majority of our parents report that the amount of work assigned to their child is about right each day, that the work assigned is meaningful, and that their child is feeling connected to their teacher. 

Although we recognize that this is not the instructional environment any of us hope for, we celebrate the results which indicate that most parents categorize their child’s overall remote learning experience as Good or Excellent, thus far. Similarly, the majority of students categorized their remote learning experience as Successful or Very Successful.  Students like having flexible schedules and choice in their learning and, while they miss their teachers, friends and school in general, they appreciate the meaningful connections they are able to experience within their new remote learning environment.  

This positive feedback is affirming to receive and a true testament to the hard work of our teachers and students, as well as the strong partnership and support from our parent community.  We will continue to refine our practices, and to focus on our goals of providing remote learning that is meaningful, manageable, connected and targeted. 

 

Focus on Student Connections

Students and parents identified opportunities for student connections – both with teachers and other students – as one of the most important elements of remote learning. We value and appreciate these connections with and among students. We will continue to work toward increasing weekly structured opportunities to connect in synchronous ways, with flexibility and understanding that everyone’s home life requires balancing multiple responsibilities.

While school devices are intended to be used for instructional purposes only, in these unprecedented times we are allowing students to use devices to connect with their friends, as time allows and as parents permit and supervise. We created a Guide for Helping Children Stay Connected to their Peers that we encourage you to review as a family if you chose to support these connections within your home.

 

Streamline and Organize Assignment Posting

When asked how District 39 could improve remote learning, many surveyed parents suggested that we consider ways to post student activities and plans in a consistent location and time. Our faculty and staff will look for ways to streamline their communications in predictable ways on a daily or weekly basis as part of our ongoing effort to improve remote learning experiences for families.

 

Review Expectations for the Instructional Day

Finding a healthy balance between home and work remains a key priority for our entire school community. The emotional health and well-being of all members of our community is critically important. We include Monday Grey Days within our remote learning calendar in order to afford our students (and supporting parents) ample time and flexibility to complete work together as schedules allow.  Additionally, we remind all members of our community of our teachers’ posted office hours (typically between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.).

 

We heard your feedback and we appreciate how much time and effort you are dedicating toward your child’s remote learning. While a long-division problem or a community service project may pale in comparison to the realities of an affected local business or the daily stress of an essential worker, your support and involvement means the world to our students. Thank you!

To our doctors and our nurses, to those who work in hospitals and those who serve as first responders, to those who serve in the essential businesses at our pharmacies, grocery stores and social service agencies and to all the families who support these dedicated community servants - We sincerely appreciate all that you are doing to keep us safe and healthy in these challenging times.  We thank you!

 

Your partner in education,

Dr. Cremascoli
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

 

A Few Reminders and Resources:

  • Remote Learning in D39 Parent Resource Page
  • Giving and Receiving Support in D39
  • Fostering virtual connections among children
  • Please continue to practice and encourage social distancing. We are all in this together.
  • All school playgrounds remain closed until further notice.
  • We look forward to providing our families with additional resources and information on how to best support children during this difficult time. Please plan on joining us at 7 p.m. on April 16 for a digital webinar entitled, "Stress Management During the COVID-19 Crisis." A second webinar, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, will provide families with strategies for connecting kids virtually at a time when they cannot be physically connected.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.