A Letter from the Lower School Headmaster
Dear Lower School Families,

We would like to begin by saying thank you. Thank you for the overwhelming support we have received. We are grateful for what you are endeavoring to do at home. We truly wish we could be together on campus, with your scholars, providing the rich curriculum that brought you to Great Hearts Irving. We will continue to persevere in providing the best learning opportunities for your children throughout this period of distance learning.

This message is unfortunately lengthy, as it includes the following information:
  • Survey Results
  • Packet Pick-up and Return
  • Google Classroom
  • Graded Work
  • Student Material Pick-up

Survey Results

We are so thankful for your participation in the survey. The vast majority of feedback was full of positive encouragement from families who are joyfully struggling through this new normal of distance learning. We are thankful for the observations and critiques on areas we need to improve.

Independent Work
We recognize that attempting to oversee your students’ at-home learning while also working from home presents significant challenges. Our teachers are working hard to design activities that can be done independently and require as little parent supervision as possible. Upcoming digital resources including Zoom tutoring and videos will also help students be able to complete their work more independently. Students will have access to Spalding instruction by video and may see other videos made by our teachers to supplement your home learning environment.

Increased Rigor
Some parents expressed a desire for work with intensified rigor. While we appreciate the interest in this desire, the majority of families in our community are struggling to balance all their many responsibilities, causing Great Hearts America to set reasonable limits on how much is being asked of our students during a time when they have limited access to their teachers.

Simplicity v. Technology
Many families have expressed gratitude for the simplicity of the paper packets while others have expressed frustration at the speed with which we have implemented Google Classroom. Packets will continue to be the primary source of instructional material for your children, whether via paper, online through Google Classroom, or the Remote Learning page on our website. The number of videos will be increased to supplement your child’s learning and we hope there will be balance with this remote learning plan.
 
Packet Pick-Up and Return

Packets will continue to be available for pick-up in the courtyard each Monday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The week’s prior packet can be dropped off at the same time. Packets will also continue to be uploaded to the Great Hearts Irving website .

Google Classroom

Please read the Great Hearts Texas resource for families on Google Classroom. By providing consent for your student to use Google Classroom, you were added to the list of recipients for login credentials. If you provided consent but have not received your student’s login information by Monday, please email info@greatheartsirving.org .

Graded Work

In accordance with TEA Covid-19 guidelines, packets dropped off will remain in bins for 24-48 hours before our teachers begin grading work. Thank you for your patience as we work to maintain the health of our faculty. Once graded, the teachers will share a weekly progress report on Thursdays. That feedback will use the grading scale of ESNU; Quarter 4 final grades will be a Pass/Fail. It is our hope that this feedback will help ensure the best academic use of this distant learning environment.
 
Student Material Pick-up

Finally, materials from students’ desks and cubbies will be available to be picked up this Monday, April 20 from 8:00-10:00am and 2:00-4:00pm. Please come through the green car line with your students’ placards, and faculty will place the materials directly into trunks. It is important for everyone’s health that you remain in your cars throughout this process.

As you know, Dr. Scoggin has sent a message to our community closing our schools for the duration of the school year. We remain committed to our students. Laura Ingalls Wilder said, “The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” We are going to navigate through this together; we will support one another; and we will continue to uphold all that is true, good, and beautiful.

Sincerely,
Marcy Finn
Headmaster, Lower School
Great Hearts Irving