From the Desk of Mr. Drouhard
I hope everyone is staying healthy! We have been thinking about you daily and have been working diligently to prepare additional academic enrichment for each student. I met with teachers over spring break, and as a whole staff to lay out these plans to help our students academically.
Throughout the planning process we have tried to balance a variety of different factors in coming up with how and what we send. The safety of trading documents was a top priority. The second challenge was providing a mix of academics that challenge, yet do not overstress our students and parents. We know you are balancing work and childcare with the additional task of helping your child grow educationally. We know you are doing the best you can, which is all we can ask! Thank you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if things become stressful for you or your student, as we are here to help!
Hopefully reading through the processes below will give you a better understanding of what is coming within these packets and what our philosophy is with distance learning this year.
Plan for distributing 2nd round of work:
Our Teachers are organizing second round packets of work this week. These packets will be completed on Friday, April 3rd. We will let this work sit for four days, to help alleviate any concerns that the work might contain traces of the virus. This work will be mailed home on Wednesday, April 8th.
Our teachers are taking all the precautions that Governor Dewine prescribes such as taking temperatures prior to entering the workplace, social distancing, and washing hands continuously. These precautions will help minimize the risk to you and your family.
Taking the same precautions of preventing the spread of the virus along with keeping you from having to mail heavy packets back, we will be turning work in digitally. Packets will have directions on how to submit work to their teachers for the first round and then upcoming rounds of work.
The packets that are mailed will have work organized on a weekly documents called “Amity Student Work Log” to help with structuring student lessons on a daily basis. This log will be turned in by noon on designated Mondays. Our Kindergarten through 6th grade teams are all using the same log and the turn in process to help you with organization at home. I’ve included an example of this log HERE.
Here are the digital turn in dates for work:
Monday, April 13th- Previous work from 1st round packets of March 18th-April 3rd.
Monday, April 20th- Work assigned for the week of April 13th-April 17th.
Monday, April 27th- Work assigned for the week of April 20th- April 24th.
Monday, May 4th- Work assigned for the week of April 27th- May 1st.
Monday, May 11th- Work assigned for the week of May 4th-May 8th.
We understand that our work turn in process and assigned work falls outside of Governor Dewine’s extension of the school closure to May 1st. We wanted to make sure that we provided four weeks of work, but didn’t have a way to ensure that work was received by all students. We also understand that there may be work from the first round that can be completed the week of April 6th-10th prior to the April 13th turn in date. With mailing work on April 8th we didn’t want to stress parents out with trying to complete a week's worth of work over a weekend.
Please don’t panic if you struggle to submit things digitally. This is not something we have asked students, parents, or teachers to do before, as we are trying to build this system as we go. Our teachers are here to help troubleshoot this process. I will assure you, your student will get credit if the work has been completed and you are communicating these struggles.
4th Quarter Grades: Pass/Fail
With transitioning to distance learning, we felt that it would help alleviate student and parent stress by switching to a pass/fail grade for 4th quarter. It is understandable that students will struggle without the daily instruction and help from their teachers. Our goal is not to pick out what is wrong with the work that is sent, but to celebrate students engaging and attempting to complete it, and provide meaningful feedback so students can continue to learn and grow. This completion will result in a passing grade.
We will gather work completion through our weekly logs as well as any specific document teachers request to be submitted. We understand that there will be problems with technology/internet and will work with you on these struggles. We are here for you and will be understanding and helpful. We just ask that you help us by communicating back and forth when you encounter these problems.
Daily Office Hours
Our teachers will be holding office hours daily from 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m. This is in addition to the emails or texts (Dojo, Remind, etc.) that they use during school hours. Office hours are a concentrated effort to touch base and see how things are going for our students. It might be a phone call or a video conference using Google Hangout (Instructions on using Google Hangouts will be included in your students packet.). If your student is struggling academically or just needs a jumpstart to get going please reach out to our teachers and they will set up a time to meet remotely.
How do we determine how much work comes home?
A group of teachers met to establish goals around how many hours of work should come home on a weekly basis. The numbers below reflect the volume of work that is being sent.
K-1st | 5-6 hours of work a week
2nd | 7-10 hours of work a week
3rd-6th | 10 Hours of work a week
*** Specials are not included in these numbers.***
We know that students work at different paces, so if your student goes beyond the numbers listed above, please make a note on the Amity Student Work Log and communicate with your teacher. We also understand that academic stamina differs by age. It is perfectly fine, and moreover encouraged, to break up an hour segment into smaller chunks to help keep a student engaged.
Chromebook Request for Home Use
We would like to offer parents and guardians of K-6 grade students to have the opportunity to utilize one of the district's Chromebooks should their student need a device for online learning.
If you are interested in obtaining a device for your student should the cancellations be extended, please fill out the form below by April 3, 2020. Once we have received all requests, we will reach out to those individuals to discuss our plans to distribute these devices.
Please contact your building administrators if you have any additional questions.
District Coronavirus 2019 Information Page
A page on the Deer Park website has been created which is dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date information on all things affecting Deer Park Schools. It includes several quick links to local, state, and national health organizations, along with a frequently asked questions section. Please visit the page to stay up to date with all COVID-19 information.
Click here to stay up to date with all COVID-19 information.
Providers Offering Free Internet for Students
We understand that not all families have access to wifi at home. If you need the internet at home, many telecom providers are offering enhanced services or free service. Please view a pair of options below.
Charter-Spectrum's Free WiFi Deal
Charter-Spectrum is offering free access to broadband and WiFi services to households with students who do not already have the services. The WiFi access will be available for 60 days to households with students from kindergarten to college who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll in the service you can call 1-844-488-8395 or click the link above to learn more.
Charter-Spectrum Free WiFi
Comcast "Internet Essentials" Program
Comcast says applicants who qualify will get a 25 Mbps connection for free for two months. All new customers in this program will receive a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem and WiFi router. There is no term contract. Click the link below to learn more.
Comcast Internet Essentials Program