Greetings, Timbercrest community!
I hope this note finds you healthy and safe during these extraordinary times. As you most likely read, Dr. Reid has announced that we will be resuming remote learning on Monday, March 30. While we are returning to remote learning, it will not look the same as our first iteration.
First, it is important to know that all of our middle schools will be on the same schedule. The beginning and ending times are the same across all levels K-12. (The middle school schedule can be found at the end of this message and you can download a printer friendly version here.)
Second, instruction will look different as well. During Northshore Learns 2.0, teachers will be focusing on the big ideas and concepts in each of their classes as opposed to trying to replicate what would happen in a brick-and-mortar setting. Teachers have been asked to think about engaging projects, interesting explorations, etc. as students will only be meeting with their classes once a week. Beginning Monday, teachers will reach out to their students in the ways they did previously (Zoom, Google Classroom, etc.) to explain what will happen in each of their classes and to check in with students to see how they are doing. Many teachers will send email links prior to class on Monday so have your student check their school email Monday morning.
Third, as of Monday, students are expected to “attend” classes per the schedule to the extent possible. Teachers will take attendance – but only for the purpose of making sure they can check and connect with each student. Our big concern is for those students who are not connecting at all. Northshore Learns 2.0 is as much about the social and emotional connections our teachers have with kids as it is about formal academic learning. If a student cannot attend the class as scheduled, teachers will post materials that may include recorded videos for students to access later in the day or week. Teachers will use their office hours to connect with individual students or small groups of students to provide extra help, give feedback, or just check and connect. Teachers will also let students know about how they plan to use office hours as they launch next week.
Fourth, given that instruction is going to look different and given that teachers are going to be focusing on just big ideas and concepts, grading will also be different during Northshore Learns 2.0. All grades during this remote learning time will be either “pass” or “no credit.” We want kids to engage with the projects and explorations for the sake of learning and not because they need to earn a grade. I’m sure you have questions about how these pass/no credit grades will blend with previously earned grades, and, honestly, I don’t have those answers yet. But, I will in the near future.
In conclusion, I know that even after reading this, you may have questions. I will work with my colleagues and the district to get you answers and more guidance in the days and weeks to come. It is important to remember that this is a fluid and changing situation, and everyone is doing the best they can. I hope that everyone will give our staff grace and understanding as they work to provide meaningful tasks and feedback to our students during this time. If there is an issue or a concern, please contact your student’s teacher directly. They will work with you.
In the meantime, please do have your middle school student get ready to return to remote learning on Monday!
Timbercrest Middle School Principal
Click the above image or here to download a printer friendly version of this schedule.