I hope and pray that you are all doing well. We are certainly in uncharted territory, as we find ourselves navigating through very different realities than those we were used to just 10 days ago when we started March break. A lot has changed in terms of our mobility, finances, and other barriers that are now present in the way we go about our daily routines. The one constant that has not changed is God on how we depend on him for wisdom, strength, and protection.
Over the break, our administrative team and teachers have been hard at work to convert our classroom teaching into a format that is conducive to home-learning. This has meant many extra meetings and research, instead of time away. I’m proud of the way our team has responded and what we will be able to provide our families while we work outside of our school building.
Before we even tackle our curriculum, I encourage you to have a conversation with your children about what is happening around them. Much educational research suggests that in order to learn well, our brains, specifically our amygdala, cannot be on high alert or under a lot of stress to process new information. With this in mind, we suggest that you have conversations with your children to make them feel secure and provide them with routines that will keep some stability. We recognize that this will look differently from one home to the next, but reminding them of the peace that God provides is something that we can all do. If you are looking for some good resources to talk things through with your children, here is a good place to start.
As we transition into Remote or Home Learning, we have tried to keep in mind some of the essential components to our regular day at Trinity and to make things as simple as possible for you and your children. This includes elements such as Responsive Classroom, which incorporate prayer and daily key questions for your children to think about and respond to as a family. The key questions will be provided daily and can be done at any time of the day. We also want to maintain a sense of community despite the virtual distance that exists between us. One of the ways to do that is to have daily touchpoints for students and parents with teachers. Please see the attached Home Learning Daily Schedule Suggestion. This document can also be found in Sycamore under Documents, COVID-19.
Our goal is for you to be a facilitator or supporter for your children, NOT a teacher, as we will be providing full teacher support. There will be some opportunities for students and parents to touch base with teachers daily during their office hours. You can ask questions to make sure that you and your children feel informed. This will include a mix of Google Hangouts and emails. We are asking that you respect the daily office hours and recognize that teachers will need to be offline for portions of their day. They will get back to you within 24-48 hours at most if you send them an email.
We will be providing you with materials and lessons that your children will be able to complete at home. We will also send you a weekly schedule of work that is required to be completed and some suggestions as to how this can be broken up daily to make it more manageable. We realize that your schedules will vary significantly based on your current family situation and want to create space for your children to succeed regardless of the routines that you land on. There will also be an adjustment period, for our staff, students, and parents alike.
For this week, we will be re-engaging students through Math and Literacy activities. This will be extended to more subjects next week. We have given some guidelines to staff to provide an adequate balance for various subjects. Our homeroom teachers have been or will be in touch with you today to give you an idea of what this looks like specifically for your child’s grade level.
In an effort to maintain community, we will also be trying a “live” chapel service on Thursdays starting at 9 am. It will be broadcast through Facebook Live. This is very much a new endeavour for us, so please work with us through any of the kinks.
Despite the challenges, we also feel that this is a great opportunity to “Shine Our Light” to our community and have a positive impact on our neighbours. As a result, we will be creating a challenge for all of our students, so that they can look for opportunities to be a blessing to others and share the impact they are having. Please stay tuned for more details as to the format we will be using to share our experiences.
As usual, you can expect to be receiving a weekly community newsletter to keep you up to date on what is happening in the school along with a message to our families. We are here to serve you and look forward to partnering with you in this capacity.
May God continue to bless and protect each of you,