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April 29, 2020

To: Community and Family Members

Re: Distance Learning for All During Extended School Closure

Our hallways, music rooms, sports fields and classrooms have all gone quiet during this unexpected state-wide school closure. We miss your children and adjusting to this “new normal” is difficult when we are hardwired to seek connection and community. We hope you are taking care, and we appreciate all you are doing to support one another in a time of community need. We are committed to serving you for the duration of the school closure, staying focused on your child’s well-being and learning. We are Cardinal Strong.

Our district, along with all other districts in the state, is implementing a distance learning model that virtually connects students with teachers to provide access to grade-level learning and extends support from school staff to students and families. While distance learning will not replace the complete school experience, it will provide an important anchor of care, connection, and continuity of learning during school closure.

Distance learning is a model for teaching and learning in which the teacher and student are not in the same location. While it may include online learning, it does not require online learning. Distance learning in our district will include [list strategies, tools, resources]. To be most effective, we’ll need to establish a variety of learning strategies, educational materials, and modes of communication between teachers, students, and families. This effort will require all of us working together in close partnership. We will learn from each other as we go, working side by side to ensure learning for all of our students.

Here are some key elements of distance learning:

  • Every student regularly connects with their teacher(s).
  • Teachers and students prioritize time together to focus on the most important or relevant learning.
  • Teachers, families, and caregivers work as a team.
  • Together, teachers and families establish consistent routines and a learning environment that leads to success.
  • Teachers continue to monitor, report, and record each student’s progress towards learning goals and standards. Distance learning activities encourage critical problem solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity.

If you are a parent, guardian, or family member, you can help your child by establishing a routine. Teachers are beginning to build schedules, like the sample found here. Mr. Davis SampleYou play a critical role in determining what education looks like in your home. Teachers will work with you to help establish a routine that works for you and fosters learning. Remember that we are all learning how to do things in new and creative ways and to give yourself grace during this change. Please let your teacher know how this schedule is working for you and your family.

We understand that distance learning is happening in the context of many challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. We want to keep students learning and growing, while keeping our expectations realistic. Please refer to the chart below for guidelines about how much time to spend on activities (especially the recommended maximum times).

Instructional Day Recommended Guidelines

Grade Level Teacher-Led Learning Structured, grade-level learning directed by teacher and supported by teacher. Learning and Supplemental Activities In addition to Teacher-Led Learning, led by the student and/or family. Meeting Nutrition and Wellness Needs Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Recess/Play breaks.

6-8 30 Minutes per Subject; 3 hours Maximum 1-2 Hours Recommended 2 Hours Recommended

Thank you for your patience as we work together to keep students safe, engaged, and learning. If you have questions or are looking for additional resources to support your child’s learning, please contact one of the following:

Your child’s teacher or teachers

Your school administrator

Be well!

Mr. Dennis Tauscher
Winlock Middle School Principal