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Letters from LREI@home #1
Hello! We are writing to you our first “letter from LREI@home”! We’re channeling our experiences of being at a distance--summer camp, going to college, traveling on study abroad--to think about our communications with you. Each week during the duration of LREI@home, we’ll send a letter updating you on the experiences of your students in this new, digital school space. We will try to answer your questions and keep information coming, and we will certainly highlight all of the creative ways our teachers are engaging with your students in their classes. NOTE: This letter is long, as we have a lot of information to give you this week. Our future communications will be much shorter!
So, first and foremost, it has been an incredibly successful week in the High School! Every single student has shown up to class, and we have had minimal tech issues. This means that 260 high schoolers and 30+ faculty and staff have moved through our regular school day (with longer breaks in between classes) all together via Zoom--WOW! We are grateful to all of the support we have received from our Tech Team to ensure that running a HS LREI@home school day is possible.
Students have engaged in their Trimester 3 classes with enthusiasm and determination, and have expressed appreciation at the familiarity of the schedule, and appreciation for Zoom features like breakout rooms, which provide them with the option for small group work that mirrors their regular classrooms. We have lots more to learn and to try as we move through the weeks of this trimester, but this week has been foundational, and we are so thrilled that all is going so well!
Today, we want to make sure you have the information you need to help your student continue to navigate LREI@home successfully. Below is important information regarding attendance, guidelines for engaging in class, and upcoming programming for students.
If your student is going to be absent from school (i.e. is sick and can’t join via Zoom) please continue to email email@example.com.
Our nurses are on call and are holding office hours every morning for students, families, and LREI faculty/staff. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at their shared Zoom ID: 352-519-0162
For tech issues for your student’s laptop, or for issues of internet instability, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from our Tech Team will contact you/your student asap.
For academic support, students should continue to reach out to the Learning Center team via email or Zoom (students have the Zoom IDs for Jess, Jonathan and Jerry).
For any question regarding other areas of school, your student’s Advisor is still your first point of contact.
As always, Allison and Margaret are available via email and Zoom meetings.
Next week, we are excited to launch our online X-Block and new Y-Block activity and exercise options for students!
X-Block will still run at the same time in the schedule (2:15-3:10). Now, students will have the option to join new X-Blocks as they go through the trimester. They can stop by them once, or stay in them all trimester. Students will receive an email by the weekend regarding the X-Block options with Zoom ID numbers. We hope that students will take this opportunity to try something new, and to fill their X-Block schedule since they may not have extracurricular commitments right now.
Y-Block is an additional activities period that is going to run from 3:15-5pm and will offer a range of community building and social activities, including exercise options. Students will recieve a code to add the Y-Block session to their Google Classroom accounts, and from there they can select the sessions they want to take. Options range from Yoga, and Strength-Training, to Cooking, Knitting, Volunteering from Home and more! We are thrilled to offer this new block of options as a way for students to engage in community activities with their friends. Advisors will be talking with students to help them understand how this new block works.
And finally, a few notes about upcoming communication for families:
Tomorrow you will receive a separate email from us regarding the grading plan for the high school this trimester.
Next Monday evening, April 6th, we will host a series of “Back to School” meetings for families. The schedule for those meetings is as follows:
As we prepare to leave for Spring Break we want to end our trimester with a note to you. As Phil mentioned in his letter yesterday, we are communicating our Distance Learning Plan with you today. Some important notes:
I was able to talk through our plan at the High School PA meeting on Tuesday, so most of our grade-level reps have this information, and can answer questions you may have.
If we start our Distance Learning Plan, it will begin on Tuesday, March 31st.
All of your students have their laptops and have downloaded Zoom. In advance of Tuesday, March 31st, we would love for you to check with your student to make sure this platform is working on their computers. We have checked in with them, but an additional family check-in would be great!
Please click the following link, and it will take you to our new LREI@home microsite where you can find our High School Distance Learning Plan.
And some final notes from us regarding our high school students’ work these past weeks:
First, we want to CONGRATULATE OUR SENIORS on completing their final trimester of classes! We are so proud of their work and of all the ways they have led the high school this year. There will be many more celebrations to come, but we want to acknowledge their accomplishments now as we head into the break.
We also congratulate our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders for completing trimester 2, and for the work they put into their studies this last week. Well done!
In the coming weeks, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions, and please keep us updated on how your children are doing. If we can give you support during these uncertain times please let us know.
One final note. Today the High school faculty have spent their final day before break talking through and finalizing plans for online learning. I cannot emphasize enough the amount of hard work and creativity that they are pouring into their courses; we are so grateful for their dedication and commitment.
February 2020: A Snapshot
This past month, I watched as every student in the 4s through the Fourth Grade engaged in division-wide learning experiences covering a breadth of topics and subject areas. These experiences resulted in powerful, joy-filled moments of learning as our students realized they were immersed in projects and ideas that their friends, siblings, and schoolmates — both younger and older — were immersed as well. I am excited to highlight some of these topics:
During Lower School Gathering, our fourth graders spearheaded our 100 Days of School Math Exploration. Then, in math, I watched our five-year-olds count 100 objects in multiples of 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s and then discuss which was the most efficient way to count so many objects.
The Kindergarten through Fourth Grade Music Shares offered a glimpse of how much is packed into our students’ music classes. I joined many of you in watching our nine-year-olds read music, play instruments, and choreograph dances.
The Lower School Art Show highlighted the creativity and artistic expression of our students. Our students’ integrated learning experience, which is rooted in social studies, was on display. I watched ten-year-olds share stories of the immigrants they had interviewed and the art that brought these immigration stories to life in great detail.
As a school, we participated in the 5th Annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School Community Readings, which support transgender and gender non-binary youth. I listened as one five-year-old shared what the word “transgender” means to her: “It is when a friend’s body feels it is one gender and their brain feels it is another.”
While these topics were vastly different, they all shared a focus on the many skills that we value most in our education, those that are important to our children’s future success: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and inclusivity.
Please take a moment to look through some of the pictures below with your child and share in the experiences with them!
THE 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL
LOWER SCHOOL ART SHOW
ALL SCHOOL READ OF GENDER IDENTITY BOOKS
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Open Principal Forums
Part 1: Raising Passionate Lifelong Readers & Learners (For parents of children 0-10)
There are many different ways that we as parents work with our children in order to teach them to read. This workshop will focus not only on what kind of approach results in our children reading proficiently but loving to read profusely. Join us in the Sixth Ave Library on Monday, March 2nd at 8:45 a.m.
Part 2: Early Language Development and Reading: Surrounding Your Child With Language, Sounds, and How to Model Reading (For parents of children 0-5)
What are the most important foundational skills I can use to nurture an avid reader?
How can I naturally integrate literacy into our daily lives? Join us in this session geared toward families with children ages 0-5. Join us in the Sixth Ave Cafeteria on Monday, March 9th at 8:45 a.m.