As we address the daily circumstances unfolding within school due to COVID-19, I want to clarify a few things that have become apparent relative to absences and distance learning. The faculty is constantly evaluating the needs of students at this time and how we meet those needs across a wide spectrum of ages and grades when students are absent. The “Teaching and Learning” section of our COVID Preparedness Plan is being updated to reflect a few points of clarification. We know that we can’t universally approach this one way at every grade level. We also have students with specific academic, emotional, or physical needs. The size of our classes and student body allow us to manage situations more individually. What a gift!
At this time, we are seeing three trends: 1) students who are out due to general illness, 2) students who are out due to COVID-related symptoms, opting to test, and awaiting test results or a doctor’s note, and 3) students who must quarantine for 10+ days due to a variety of circumstances. For those awaiting test results, some are seeking rapid tests which give same-day results, while other test results may not be known for 2-5 days (typically 2-3).
We are currently prepared to offer all-school in-person learning or all-school distance learning. In any other COVID-related absence, we are offering a targeted distance learning option for students who must quarantine for 10 days or longer (per our protocol). Please understand that distance learning looks different at every grade level. Each teacher will communicate their grade-level plan with you if your student must be absent for this lengthier amount of time.
If your student must be at home for a shorter amount of time, he/she will still receive support that is catered to the length of the absence. It takes at least one day to coordinate a plan, and the plan is dependent on the student’s circumstances and amount of days to be missed. Please let your child’s teacher (and the front office) know if he/she won’t be in class, but don’t expect work to be sent home until after the school day has ended and the overall situation can be assessed. Teachers don’t have time to check emails throughout the day while physically monitoring students in the classroom, nor can they leave the room to copy materials, etc. Due to the need for separate cohorts, teachers don’t have many breaks in their day this year. All teachers are prepared to communicate, but may not be able to do so instantly. Once they determine what requires virtual support (live, recorded, or one-on-one) and what must be picked up or sent home, they will notify you.
It is the best interest of everyone to keep students engaged, and we will work together to avoid as much disruption as possible in this unusual year!
In joyful service,
Read our full newsletter here: https://stjlutheranschool.org/eagle-connection-10-01-2020/