March 30, 2020
Dear BB&N Families,
I write at the end of an exciting and productive day in which our faculty and staff gathered virtually to prepare for our transition to Online Learning, and I connected with over 600 of our students. I’d describe the general mood as one of anticipation, nervous excitement, and pride in our BB&N Community. From the many questions I received from students today, I could tell that our students are ready to reconnect with their teachers and classmates. I was able to answer a lot of questions during the sessions, and as I told the students, from this point forward their campus directors and teachers will start to be in touch with a lot more information.
We did hear from a handful of families that they had issues connecting with the LS seminar; we’re sorry for anyone who may have been unable to access but we’re also looking at this as useful early data to troubleshoot any potential connectivity issues moving forward. Both of the slide presentations from the student webinars
are shared here
, and I thought you might be interested as well to see the results of a
couple of poll questions
that I asked the Lower School students.
As I’ve noted previously, tomorrow is a day when our teachers will reach out to their student groups to make sure that everyone is able to connect successfully. The US outreach schedule for Tuesday
is listed here
, MS advisors will connect with their advisees between 1:30-1:45PM. Teachers/advisors will communicate the invitation links to students in advance of these sessions. And Lower School Director Anthony Reppucci will email LS families later this evening with guidance on how students and parents can access the daily schedules moving forward.
In advance of our transition to online learning, I ask you and your children to please review the school-wide
Norms & Expectations for Online Learning
that we have established for our school-wide community. I reviewed these with many of our US and MS students today. In addition, all teachers B-12 will review these expectations with their classes. Again, this is a new landscape for all of us, but it’s very important to remember that we should all hold ourselves to the same high standards of mutual respect, civility, and compassion in the online environment as we did when we were meeting in classrooms just 3 weeks ago!
You will see I also include a special note to parents. One of the topics I address there is our new use of the Zoom video conference platform, which our teachers, advisors, and counselors will have the option to use in moderating synchronous classes or one-on-one meetings. I ask that you review this note carefully, as with any new platform, we want you to understand its privacy policies and be comfortable with the degree to which we have vetted Zoom before introducing it to our community.
One other suggestion relates to what is the right role for parents in this uncharted territory that is at-home learning. We are all trying to figure out what is the right balance in our homes, now that work and school and home are all blended together in ways that we have never dealt with before. Naturally, the question about the right role for parents depends very much on your child’s grade, since the younger grades at the Lower School will understandably demand much more parent interaction with the daily program.
Beyond the younger grades, the best advice I can offer parents is try to give your kids distance with online learning. We have heard from schools who have already begun online learning that it can be tempting for some parents to take a more active role in managing children’s school work. Remember, however that our BB&N teachers, advisors, and counselors are proud—justifiably so!—of their ongoing commitment to help students be in charge of their own learning. This focus on student self-advocacy and independence has always been a hallmark of a BB&N education. That said, an excellent, ongoing role for parents is simply to check in regularly with your children to make sure that they’re engaging with the work. And, of course, your teachers and campus director will always want to know if your child is having trouble accessing the technology, or is struggling in any way to engage with online learning.
You’ll probably remember that I will be posting a new Head’s Challenge every weekday on my
as well as the
Online Learning Hub
. You can also submit that you completed today’s challenge under today’s date, March 30th. Tomorrow’s challenge for students will be Set Up Your Work Space, which hopefully will help transition some of your children from “March Break” mode to “Online Success” mode!
I know our teachers and advisors on every campus are really looking forward to reconnecting with their students. As I told the kids in our webinars today:
We Knights are still together, even if it’s virtually for a while!
Dr. Jennifer Price
Head of School