A Letter from the Upper School Headmaster
Dear Parents,
 
Recently, parents were invited to share their feedback with the district about our transition to remote learning systems. I’m happy to report that the flexibility of our community and the hard work of our teachers meant that our satisfaction scores were the highest in Texas . Since that survey, we’ve worked hard to steer our community to a more robust digital plan, and we’ve heard from many of you that it has been a difficult transition , especially where the receipt and return of packets is concerned.
 
There are distinct advantages to transitioning to the use of digital means for the transition of packets. Aside from the positive effect of minimizing in-person hand-offs, the use of apps like Adobe Scan , Microsoft Lens, and others allows for teachers to receive and process work much faster, thereby allowing for the quicker return of work to students . If your student has a smartphone, we strongly recommend that he or she download the Google Classroom app to more easily access the material.
 
To help streamline this process for families and open up opportunities, we have instituted certain measures:
  • Reduction of work to Monday-Thursday, with Friday set aside to catch up as needed
  • Focused training with teachers to optimize Google Classroom materials
  • The filming of our own short instructional video to show families how to simplify the process
 
With this said, I’ve heard of our families’ struggles and recognize that today, tomorrow, or next week may not be the right time to completely shift over to digital means. The option remains available to pick up and drop off packets in hard copy. We know that school isn’t the only concern in our families lives today, and difficult circumstances demand flexibility and grace of us all.
 
Week 5 (April 27-May 1) Remote Learning Packets will be available Monday, April 27 at 8:00 a.m. in Google Classroom and at GreatHeartsIrving.org/RemoteLearning . Printed copies may be picked up on Monday from 8:00-8:00 p.m.
 
As teachers return grades on student work, please note that packets are being graded according to a rubric that assesses both completion and accuracy. Per the district’s grading policy , these scores will be generalized into an overall Pass/Fail grade for Quarter 4. Earning a 6 or higher out of 10 on an assignment qualifies as a passing score. As usual, parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers with questions.

The GHI National Honor Society (NHS) is pleased to offer an online tutoring program for Middle School (grades 6-8) students in the subjects of Literature and Math. Each participant will be paired with a High School student, and tutoring will take place on Zoom or by phone. If you are interested in scheduling a session for your scholar, please submit this form by Thursday, April 30. The NHS Adviser, Mrs. Celeste Wheelock, will contact parents to confirm the date and time for the tutoring session.

Warmly,
Philip Althage
Headmaster, Upper School
Great Hearts Irving