Dear Parsons Families,
As I write this letter, I am listening to my three daughters “working cooperatively” on completing a large family puzzle. All of us have been looking for different ways to enjoy our time together, limited by the way we can spend that time both in, and outside of our homes. Whether you took time to enjoy a sunny Sunday in the garden, ran a virtual 5K, or have been watching Disney’s Family Sing-A-Long on an endless loop, my hope is that you are discovering opportunities to find joy and grace together.
Resources and suggestions for parents and families are everywhere we look, from newspapers, to emails, to social media feeds. To support families with options, the District and school leadership teams have created a wealth of resources that can be found in the Parent Resources tab on the Learning from Home page. The Family University K-5 page offers suggestions for optimizing learning and educational activities that are fun for the entire family. Resources continue to be added throughout the time we are learning from home.
Learning from Home
Teachers continue to work in collaboration with the school and District leadership teams to plan for delivery of curricular content. Teacher and student interactions are an essential piece of learning and ongoing social emotional development. As remote learning continues, these interactions will be a combination of pre-recorded videos, video conferencing, simulations, and virtual field trips.
To that end, in the coming days the District will continue to enhance the Learning From Home experience with the following:
Students in Grades 3-5 will gain access to email through their District approved Google accounts, enabling students and teachers to communicate more freely to ask questions and provide feedback. This email account only allows communication to others within the District. Teachers will instruct students on how to utilize this email.
Students in Grades K-2 will be assigned District approved Google accounts enabling them to access District approved programs in a secure environment. Parent permission for account creation, your child’s username, and password will be sent to you via email by HCSD Director of Technology, Brian Seligman.
Google Hangouts/Meet and Zoom will be utilized as tools to support teacher and student interactions. All students will be able to access these tools using their secure District provided Google accounts. Families can learn more about the District’s Video Conferencing Guidelines.
Teachers will continue to receive support with digital platforms that allow them to interact with students remotely. We are monitoring students’ experience to ensure that the learning is maximized.
With each passing day and an updated Governor’s Executive Order extending the closure of schools until May 15th, we are sensitive and aware that whether a student is in Kindergarten, or is a 5th grader wondering about graduation, the loss of school traditions and celebrations can be difficult. Please know that the elementary and District leadership teams are working together to examine all possibilities and plans for multiple scenarios. As Dr. Wool stated in his recent message to the community, “We are determined to conclude this school year by filling it with memories both positive and unique.” Any alternative plans will be shared with families when finalized.
As many families may have noticed, many of our extracurricular activities have restarted remotely in the past few weeks. Other clubs will look to restart in the very near future. If you have any questions about clubs, please contact myself, or the teacher who was leading the club prior to the school closure.
As I looked across our school this past week I got to see our students and teachers engaging in high quality work such as kindergarten teachers using programs like Screencastify to teach students about blending CVC words, first graders creating a Word Cloud in response to a library assignment asking them to describe the season of Spring, second graders sorting books by genre, and fifth graders just beginning the process of brainstorming ideas to write an opinion piece.
Each week I truly enjoy seeing your children engage in this exciting work and look forward to what is to come from them this week!
Ongoing items to note:
The Governor has directed schools to remain closed until May 15, 2020.
The District provides free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. If you are currently eligible but have not yet applied, please complete the request form. If your circumstances have changed and you are in need of food assistance contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.
If your child needs a device, if there is a problem with your equipment, or if your family does not have internet access, the District will provide a device and/or a mobile hotspot to deliver internet access. If you require technology support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630-3389) or (firstname.lastname@example.org).