Good Morning Headwaters River Community,
In response to the COVID-19 situation, and as noted in a previous communication, Headwaters School is moving into a period of distance learning until at least April 5, 2020. For students on the River Campus, distance learning will entail a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. In brief, we will be holding regular class meetings online while also giving students space to learn and work on their own. The intention of our approach to distance learning is to maintain a semblance of regularity, class cohesion, and valuable interaction that creates dynamic education--all of which we value and have maybe taken for granted until recently--while honoring the current need for social distancing.
Guides have spent the past two weeks learning best practices associated with distance learning. On
Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24
, students will extend their spring break while guides and staff continue translating their courses into online formats. You should expect to see changes reflected in the Nest in terms of daily schedules, course topic pages, and assignments.
Wednesday, March 25
, River Campus will begin distance learning with a one-day schedule intended to allow guides and students to touch base and interact online. A sort of 'welcome back' day, it will give each of us the opportunity to test out our gear, make sure we understand how to connect, and identify any hiccups in the plan.
The schedule for the first day back and additional information for students can be found here
. Students will see Google Calendar invites to first day classes early next week--they should 'accept' those invitations and notice the included links to classes. They should also navigate to their Google Calendar, where they will see each course meeting populate (complete with a Zoom link in the description). Parents may need to assist students with this initial set up.
Thursday, March 26
, and running through
Friday, April 3,
students will follow a more traditional A-Day and B-Day schedule. That schedule can be found
This schedule provides two synchronized meetings per class, per week. It also provides a Flex Day format on Wednesdays when guides will be available online for one-to-one tutoring, workshopping, or questions. You will also note established times for online office hours. Students should email guides directly to set up meetings for office hours or on Flex Day.
Over the course of our foray into distance learning, we will use the Nest for continued communication of assignments, schedule, kudos, academic concerns, etc. For synchronous classes we will be using Zoom, a well known video conferencing platform that is working with schools as we navigate this situation. Students do not need a Zoom account to attend class sessions, all they need to do is click the link in their Google Calendar Event.
Campus will be closed during the period of distance learning. If you need to retrieve something from campus, you will need to set up a time with Dan via email to do so. Dan will be able to meet you and let you into a building to retrieve your items.
This short note is an introduction as we begin this journey together and we are sure there are still questions in the air. Please take time to read through
this Distance Learning FAQ
with your student, and if you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Over the next few days, I encourage you and your families to do the following before Wednesday, March 25:
Set up a work space with supplies and things your student will need for the day.
Watch for Google Calendar Invitations to each of your classes--accept them by saying "yes" in the invite
Navigate to your Google calendar and see the Event Invitations for your courses populate there
Note that each event on your Google Calendar has a link that will take to you to your appropriate class at the appropriate time
Starting on Tuesday, March 24, check out your daily schedule in the Nest--it should reflect the distance learning class times
In addition to these distance learning updates, I did want to also let you all know about some cancellations and updates for events:
March 26 & 27: Project Week Fair
has been cancelled. We are looking into ways for students to be able to share their presentations. Please stay tuned.
March 26: Senior Colloquium
has been cancelled. We are considering ways for students to be able to share their presentations. Please stay tuned.
April 3 & 4: The High School Musical,
Bonnie and Clyde,
has been cancelled. Stay tuned as we look for a new way to showcase our talented actors and crew.
This is an unprecedented and brand new experience for all of us. As we move through the next few weeks please practice patience, kindness, and communication. There will need to be compassion, flexibility, and awareness for all (families, students, and guides) as we move through this period of time. We expect to make mistakes, learn, and grow together. Lastly, we are not alone in this. K-12 schools around the world, as well as colleges and universities, are in this transition. We will continue to work with our professional colleagues in order to improve our practice as we go.