March 18, 2020

Dear B’nai Shalom Families,

We find ourselves in very difficult and stressful times as our daily reality changes frequently, and we strive to balance family, professional, and personal needs. This moment in our collective experience is incredibly challenging. We cannot move forward with “business as usual,” and so we are compelled by circumstance to rethink what is possible and doable. These unprecedented times can also lead us to reinvention, however.

As things revved up, our teachers changed the way they typically teach on a dime. They are actively engaged in the work of revisioning the learning experience for our children, all the while juggling the pressures of caring for their own families. Please join me in expressing profound gratitude for their efforts. 

Please know that our distance learning program is not meant to replicate homeschooling. As parents, you are not expected to teach your children. Rather, we ask for your support in ensuring that your children establish and maintain routines for the weekdays. Adhering to a daily structure for mealtimes, wake-up and bedtime rituals, bathing/showering, cleaning and organizing their workspace, etc. can help children feel more in control by allowing them to know what to expect. It can also help set the tone for a productive day of learning and a good night’s sleep. 

Despite all of our collective best efforts, we acknowledge that there are going to be missteps along the way. We will all experience moments of frustration and loss of patience. When something doesn’t work out as planned (e.g. a Zoom link doesn’t work, or a document isn’t loading as quickly as your child needs, please try hard to be as flexible as you can in the moment, and then reach out to your child’s teacher. It is our hope that eventually online learning will be a source of connection and not a source of undue stress, anxiety, and pressure.  

In the coming days you will receive a survey about our first days of distance learning. Your feedback will help us improve your children’s learning experience. Please know that we take all of your suggestions and input seriously, and the Educational Leadership Team values your reflections.

Take care of yourselves and one another (from a safe distance)!