Dear St. John's Parents:
On Monday, March 30, we will begin our fourth quarter--in a format that we never anticipated--completely online. Our teachers have been working diligently to prepare for this new way of teaching. I am sure you will find that many of our teachers will bring impressive expertise to this model right away, while others, with help from our Director of Technology and Assistant Heads, will struggle a bit to perfect their skills.
I implore all of you to help us through the onset of this process by providing feedback to teachers when things work well and suggestions for when they don't. If shared computer usage by siblings is an issue in your household, please let teachers know that so they can stagger required online meetings.
One thing I anticipate happening is that students, especially in the Middle and Upper grades, will be taking more responsibility for their learning. I see this as a benefit, not a problem. Stronger independent thinking and personal discipline for using time wisely are assets we try to instill in our students. You can help us in this effort by asking about their learning, listening as they explain concepts they are mastering, and providing some of the over-the-shoulder supervision that teachers generally do in the classroom.
With the island under orders to distance ourselves from others, you are likely spending more time at home with your families than usual. No doubt this added family time comes with worries about the impact on career and businesses. I so look forward to the bright morning when we can watch our children getting out of your cars, with smiles on their faces, coming back to learn at St. John's School.
Our recent WASC visiting committee left us with this number one major commendation for our school:
The strength of the school lies in its people and the extraordinary efforts individuals give in order to tend to the personal and academic growth of students.
It has never been truer that we are all partners in the education of our children. I cherish your support, and I pledge the "extraordinary efforts" of our faculty and staff that the visitors observed to meet this new challenge.
Please continue to share your concerns with Mrs. Untalan, Mr. Kelley, and me, as usual.