April 17, 2020

Dear St. Mark Families, 

I hope you and your family had a blessed and Happy Easter holiday. Thank you to those who have shared their feedback after our first few weeks of Distance Learning. Our faculty and staff have been working hard over the school break to address concerns and put your ideas in action including more regular video lessons and improved and streamlined communication from teacher teams to parents. We will continue to listen to you, our parents, and make course corrections as needed. Towards this end, please consider joining my office hour for parents on Thursday, April 23rd at 7:30pm b y following this link or reach out to me by email with a few good times to connect via phone call. During our first office hour, we will focus on the new school schedule and creating a daily schedule that works for your family.

Live Teaching and Learning through Zoom

As we move into Phase II of St. Mark School’s Distance Learning Plan, teachers’ use of Zoom has been formalized to facilitate real time teaching and learning with fixed, scheduled classes for grades PK-8. The expectation for these classes are as follows. 

  • Students are required to join the class at the scheduled time each day, just as they would attend class in person at school. (Accommodations may be necessary on an individual basis for our youngest learners, facilitated by the classroom teacher.)

  • Students must log in, enable the video, and their face must be visible for the duration of the lesson. This is to facilitate participation as students will be required to raise their hand to be recognized.

  • For security, each student’s name must be displayed in order to join the zoom class.

  • Students must dress appropriately (uniform not required) and conduct themselves as they would in a traditional classroom.

  • Students must seat themselves in an environment that is conducive to learning.

  • A parent or guardian should be in ear and eye shot of the student throughout the lesson. 

  • Students that are acting inappropriately or distracting other students after sufficient warning, will be removed from the class and referred to Mrs. Warner to address the behavior concerns. 

Teachers will spend time during Zoom lessons to set specific classroom norms and include student input into the discussion. 

Each classroom teacher will communicate their fixed class schedule with their homeroom students and families prior to Monday, April 20 th . Zoom classes will include whole group and small group instruction. While every effort will be made to keep to the fixed schedule, we recognize that adjustments may be necessary, and ask for your patience and understanding. As real time teaching and learning progresses, more Zoom classes may be added to the schedule, dependent on grade level.


In order to maintain personal connections with students and families, PK-8 teachers will be making weekly phone calls to their homeroom families. While some teachers may choose to make these phone calls from St. Mark School, others may use their personal phones. In order to maintain privacy, teachers may choose to utilize the block phone number function on their personal phones. Please be aware, if you receive a phone call from St. Mark School or a blocked phone number, it could be your child’s teacher calling to check in.

Teachers will continue to be available via email and Google Classroom from 8:30-3:00pm, Monday through Friday and will strive to respond to emails within 2 hours of receipt. However, we ask for your patience, as teachers will be spending an increased amount of time having real time contact with students via Zoom class during the school day. Teachers will do their best to respond in a timely fashion to any emails received between 3:00-6:00pm. All emails received after 6:00pm will be answered by 10:00am on the following school day.

Google Classroom

As teachers and students are utilizing the Google platform for assignments and communication, we hope that you find the following videos helpful, created and shared by our own 3rd grader, Mia, and her family!

Click here for video instructions to turn in assignments in Google Classroom
Click here for video instructions to upload work into Google Classroom

Further Details

Preschool Families, click here for more details regarding Phase II teaching, learning, and communication.

Grades K-4 Families, click here for more details regarding Phase II teaching, learning, and communication.

Grades 5-8 Families, click here for more details regarding Phase II teaching, learning, and communication.

As we begin this new Phase of Learning at a Distance, we ask for your patience and understanding. We would very much prefer to be together in our school building, and I pray that we get that opportunity soon.

Yours in Christ, 
Melissa Warner 

If you are a room parent for your child's classroom, kindly forward this and future communications regarding distance learning to your parents, to ensure all St. Mark families have the most up to date information.
St. Mark School
500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford CT