Dear Families,

We are thinking about you during these difficult and uncertain times. Hopefully, you're taking good care and finding ways to stay healthy and connected to friends and family. We're here if there's anything that you need. 

Now that we've settled into distance learning, we've been able to get a better sense of the rhythm of the daily and weekly routines. Having taken student and parent feedback into consideration, the faculty and staff have worked to develop  revised weekly and Mod 6 and 7 schedules that we believe will improve the experience of continued distance learning. A few of the goals of this revised schedule are:
  • Shortened class times
  • Compressed school day to allow for other activities away from the computer, as well as additional time for one-on-one meetings/office hours. 
  • A "we & me" day (now Wednesday) to focus on community (Morning Meeting, SIP, Stewardship, Talking Leaves), as well as individual work in the afternoon. This will provide extra time to catch up on homework and projects to reduce homework time on the other days.
  • Core academic classes in the morning hours to allow for increased focus and engagement during synchronous learning.
  • An extended final deadline of May 18th for coursework submissions for ABCZ block classes
The faculty is also working hard to tailor curriculum, assessment and instruction to the online learning environment. Don't forget that Monday, 4/6 and Tuesday, 4/7, will be Staff In-Service Days (No School) to allow for more collaborative time to do this important work. Parents and students, please join me in thanking your teachers when you can. I am so honored to be a colleague of these dedicated professionals who care so much about your wellbeing and learning.

Please take a moment to review the new schedules and other updates. These schedules are currently reflected in the Family Portal, so students and parents can also look there under "My Day --> Schedule" to see what time class begins.



Here's a link to the revised Mod 7 schedule above.

OTHER UPDATES
  • Grade level coffees for parents - Next week you will receive an invitation to a virtual grade-level coffee. This is an opportunity for us to connect and discuss questions that come up.
  • Social connections for students - The student Steering Committee has been working on various ideas to create social spaces for students. We'll provide more information once we're back in session after break. 
  • Senior Events - Seniors, we haven't forgotten about you! We're working on various plans to celebrate you in these last months. We will also have a grade-level meeting soon to discuss and brainstorm together. Stay tuned! 

INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND SUPPORT
There are a number of ways we can provide additional support for your child. 
  • Students who need technology support can should email techsupport@sequoyahschool.org. Our technology team is also able to assist with issues remotely. Our tech team also has office hours: Zoom sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:00-4:00 this week. Link to Zoom here
     
  • Encourage your child to utilize Office Hours. Each teacher has an appointment slots link on their Family Portal class page that students can use to sign up. 
  • Encourage your child to talk to their Advisor about any challenges they are experiencing or any suggestions they have. 
  • For students needing extra coaching to manage their work, our Student Support Coordinator, Carolina Arango, can help. We ask that you have your child email their Advisor saying that they need extra support and they can copy you. 
  • For students who need emotional support, please have them contact our Social Emotional Learning Specialist, Anais Plasketes MFT, aplasketes@sequoyahschool.org. She's available for individual consultations via her appointment slots page on the Student Resource Center in the Family Portal (it's under groups).
  • Students who are unable to attend classes or complete work should contact our Dean of Students, Viviana Palacio, vpalacio@sequoyahschool.org. We will work with your child to come up with a plan, which could include setting up an Incomplete so that students have extra time and support to fully benefit from the curriculum. 

ATTENDING VIDEO CLASS MEETINGS
Zoom links are posted on the class Bulletin Board on the Family Portal. 

NOTIFY THE SCHOOL ABOUT ABSENCES
It is important that families contact Debbie Deems via email, ddeems@sequoyahschool.org, if your child is sick and unable to attend online classes.

ATTENDANCE POLICY
As stated in our Student Handbook, we require 85% attendance for students to be eligible for credit in a course. We will continue to take attendance during distance learning. Students below that percentage for a particular course may not be eligible for credit. As always, the school will take into consideration the nature of specific absences and may excuse them. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Deems, ddeems@sequoyahschool.org.  

NORMS
In addition to what is articulated in the Student Handbook, students will be held to the Technology Acceptable Use agreement they signed at the beginning of the year. Other important norms for online learning include but are not limited to:
  • Be presentable. You should be dressed as you would for school. 
  • Sit at a table/desk during your online class. This will allow for increased focused, workspace and will minimize distractions to others. Don't sit in your bed.
  • Be present and put away all other distractions (phones, video games, etc.)
  • Be on time (you will be marked tardy). 
  • Come prepared with all that you need to learn (charged computer, reading, supplies, etc.)
  • Ask for consent before taking screenshots or recording.
  • Ask for help from your teacher/Advisor if you need it.
ASSIGNMENT DETAILS AND SUBMISSION
Assignments for each class will be posted in the student's gradebook. Your child already has access to that gradebook. There they will see how the assignment addresses any of the course Learning Outcomes (LOs), and once submitted and evaluated, what feedback they have for each LO. 

Students are expected to submit assignments according to the instructions for the course. 







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