March 23, 2020

Dear BB&N Students and Families,

I hope that everyone is faring well at home as we enter Break Week #2. It is snowing as I type this, which somehow just adds to the surreal feeling that has become our shared reality these days. 

I know that the world is throwing a lot of information at all of us these days. Being sensitive to that, I thought I’d use today’s communication to focus on one important task in preparation for our transition to online learning next week: technology readiness.

I know it’s Break, but I’d like to give everyone a homework assignment tonight and tomorrow, if possible. It is to check the following capabilities (based on grade level):

  1. Make sure each student’s device is working and you know where the charger is. If you have any issues with your device or connecting to the internet, please contact OnlineLearningHelp@bbns.org as soon as possible.
  2. Make sure Google Apps can be accessed on each student’s device. For most students, this should already be the case, since teachers and students have been using those tools to communicate and post assignments since the start of the school year. Lower School teachers will be communicating via email every morning—to the student or parent based on grade level—including a link to the Google Doc containing the day’s schedule. (Click here to see basic technical requirements for Gmail and Google Apps, based on your device.)
  3. After considerable evaluation, we do plan to use Zoom to connect with students and families  during this time. Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows up to 500 people to connect at once. Please check the technical requirements for Zoom here and make sure your family can access this platform. If you have any questions about using Zoom, please contact OnlineLearningHelp@bbns.org.
  4. Students grades 7-12 will need to access Google Meet, which is the other tool that teachers can use for video conferencing. Because this is a Google App, students with a bbns.org email address already have access to this platform (click here to see where it can be found). 
  5. Before using Zoom or Google Meet with a laptop, check to make sure that its microphone, speakers, and camera are working properly. These components are commonly built in.
  6. If you haven’t already, start to identify a space where students will be able to work effectively. There should be enough space for an electronic device and a space to be able to write/draw on paper.

If you have trouble with any of the technological tasks noted above, please email OnlineLearningHelp@bbns.org as soon as possible so that our technology team can assist you. 

In the next two days, I’ll be sending further information to you about the guiding principles, expectations, “rules of the road,” and other campus-specific information (including daily routines and schedules), that will define our school-wide approach to Online Learning starting on April 1st. 

As a reminder, we will be using Tuesday, March 31st, as a day for BB&N teachers to reach out to their students to make certain that everyone is able to connect successfully before we officially launch Online Learning on April 1st. 

Thanks for your willingness to tackle this homework assignment. Considering the way the snow is falling out my window right now, you could almost think of this as a Spring Break Snow Day Challenge!

Hoping that all of you are staying safe and well! And students, I just want to make sure you are observing all of the social distancing recommendations… this really matters. Please do your part to keep our community safe. 

Best,

Dr. Jennifer Price
Head of School


P.S. I intend to include this reminder in every email from this point forward: If anyone is struggling due to the current circumstances, please let us know via this confidential form . Or let us know if there is a BB&N family you might be concerned about. Remember, we’re all in this together!

P.P.S. We continue to be aware of no reported cases of COVID-19 within our community.