March 14, 2020

Dear B’nai Shalom Parents,

Thank you for being patient as we needed to send this communication out after Shabbat ended.

Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that all Public Schools should suspend learning in their facilities. We will be following the same orders effective Monday, March 16th. The teachers will spend Monday & Tuesday planning and preparing for the coming weeks. 

We are committed to doing our best to provide a consistent, developmentally appropriate learning experience that will allow our students to stay connected to their teachers, growing, and developing their skills.

Please be patient with us as we navigate through these unchartered waters. The teachers will be balancing a new approach to teaching along with their own family obligations and concerns. 

The learning plan for K- 8 students will include a combination of ‘traditional’ assignments such as reading books, writing stories, and solving math problems, and 'electronic' activities such as watching short educational videos, collaborating on Google Docs for upper school, Seesaw and listening to Hebrew stories. There will be opportunities to interact virtually with students and teachers as well. When synchronous or live learning takes place, attendance will be taken. Etiquette and expectations will be shared with the students on the first day of remote learning. We will send out a sample schedule to you on Wednesday.

We are in the process of determining the most effective digital platforms for teachers to use in order to communicate with the students/parents and send daily assignments, links, and pre-recorded mini lessons for K-8 students and circle times for preschool children. Currently, the plan is to use Zoom, Google Classroom, and Seesaw as much as possible. 

The teachers and staff will do their very best to make this as easy and user-friendly as possible and we are certain there will be hiccups. We appreciate your patience as we figure things out as best we can.
 
How to support your K-8 child with distance learning: 
  • Provide a quiet distraction-free workspace for your child. Please make sure they have all of the supplies they will need for their assignments. They may enjoy creating a sign for their new ‘office’. Please help your child keep track of completed work in an organized fashion. 

  • We recommend creating a ‘school-like’ daily schedule. The children can work on a couple of subjects and then take a snack and movement break or recess. They can then continue working, break for lunch and another recess, and then finish up their assignments/activities. You and your child can decide on the order in which they do the work. 

  • While some teachers will prepare short pre-recorded mini-lessons or send written instructions for each assignment, younger children will need assistance accessing the lessons, and reading or following directions on worksheets or in order to play the games assigned. 

  • For any synchronous classes, a schedule will be shared with students and parents so students will know when to be available for online learning.

  • Each evening, K-8 parents will get an email with details about your child’s assignments for the following day. These emails will contain assignments and suggestions from all of your child’s teachers, complete with links or attachments if necessary. 
   
The preschool teachers will record themselves and post links on Seesaw. They will also try to do some live circle times, with stories and singing, so the children can see one another. The teachers will also share sample schedules to try and keep a routine in place during the day.

This situation can be stressful for any age child. Please remain committed to reassuring and supporting them and reminding them of the steps they can take to stay healthy. Be aware of your own stress as well and do your best to protect them from it. Make time to take care of yourself.

We continue to be grateful for our strong community and the support we can provide each other during this stressful and tumultuous time. We will continue to update our coronavirus web page on our website. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns that arise.