McAuliffe Families,

I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.

I am writing today to give you information about our next phase of distance learning, which will launch on Monday, April 13th. Per the Department of Education’s guidance, participation will now be mandatory for all students. Now that we know that we will be out past the initial closure date of April 7th, we have made some adjustments to our program. Most of our goals remain the same: we aim to provide connection, structure, and intellectual engagement to students. In addition, in line with guidance from the Department of Education, we are working to ensure that students are deepening, and in some cases extending, their understanding of academic standards. You can see the p owerpoint from this week’s family meetings for more details. Unfortunately, the audio recording of this meeting was corrupted so we cannot share it. We will do our best to share future virtual meeting recordings as we are able.

As recommended in the DESE Commissioner’s letter , this document provides specific guidance around credit for student work, report cards and grading at each level of the district, use of real time, criteria and consent for the use of two-way real time video, and specific sections regarding support special education and English learner student needs.  ICYMI - We sent this email to special education families on April 6th.

Here is some key information as we launch this new phase of the program:

Student schedules: Students will be creating their schedules using the templates below. They will receive instructions in an email that we will send out today, and can ask for help from their crew leader Monday morning if they need assistance.

Office Hours / Live Help Sessions: The majority of teachers will be offering live support during the time that courses are scheduled. A few teachers will be offering office hours at a different time, either in lieu of or in addition to the opportunity during class time. Teachers will post office hours at the top of their google classroom stream. Teachers will also be available to answer questions over the course of the week via email.

Attendance and Grading: In alignment with guidance from the Department of Education, participation in distance learning is now required , and we will be giving students a grade of credit / no credit for each class, including crew. Because of the set up of our online grading platform, Powerschool, a grade of “credit” will appear as a “Meeting” and a grade of “No Credit” will appear as a “Beginning.” All classes will be graded on the target “I can demonstrate genuine effort when participating in class and completing my work.” Teachers will also give students feedback on the content of the work they complete (for example, whether or not they answered math questions correctly). 

We will also be taking attendance in classes. Our goal is to add a layer of accountability that will help students be “leaders of their own learning” and participate in classes to their best ability. It is not our goal to increase the load of responsibility on families -- we know how much many of you have on your plates! -- though of course we always welcome your support.

Accessing your student’s class information: Many of you have asked how you can access information about what your student is doing in each of their classes. Google classroom will be our launching pad for all classes. Your student’s crew leader will send you an invitation to your student’s google classroom; please accept this invitation! Once you have done so, you will be able to see classrooms for each of your student’s courses, which will allow you to see class assignments.

Access to technology: If your student does not have the device or internet connection to allow them participate in this program, please contact your student’s crew leader or Cori Jacomme, Director of Student Services ( ). If you have not yet done so, 

Fun Fridays: We are inviting members of our family community to lead a Fun Friday option! Examples of possible classes could be a craft or art, a beginner or advanced language class in a language McAuliffe doesn’t offer (such as Portuguese), a movement activity, or something else that you would like to share with students in a virtual format. If you are interested in leading students in an activity, please reach out to me with the topic, a brief description, and when you are available.

As always, please be in touch to let us know what’s working or how we might better support you or your student. I’ll be sending out a feedback survey at the end of next week.

Wishing a happy and meaningful Easter or Passover to those who celebrate. Please be safe and well. 

All the best,
Director of Teaching & Learning