We are so grateful to have you with us on our journey of distance learning. Rest assured, we are listening to the feedback and aiming to be as responsive as we can to support the program. We wanted to highlight a few areas in this week’s letter, providing more detail and where we are headed:
Building and balancing synchronous and asynchronous learning in the Primary
With regards to synchronous and asynchronous learning in Primary, we requested teachers to start very ‘gently’ the first two weeks as students and families settled into their new rhythm, whether that be a transition to a new country and/or a new routine at home. We wanted to begin by having students utilize Seesaw in a way that was comfortable and have teachers begin building a structure for their class(es). Beginning in Week 3, synchronous learning sessions were introduced in many grade-levels as well as from our Guidance Counselor and Teacher Librarian.
This week, in Week 4, all grade-levels from ELC-G5, Guidance and Library have set up synchronous learning sessions. Our Student Support Team continues to work with students they currently support. We hope everyone takes the opportunity to engage in the Parent-Teacher Conferences this week. Homeroom teachers sent out a sign-up sheet to families, while the specialists can be contacted via email to arrange a time.
Beginning in Week 5 (27-30 April), we will be introducing synchronous sessions for French/Spanish for G3-5, Visual Arts for KG-G2 and Performing Arts for ELC.
Beginning in Week 6 (4-8 May), we will be introducing synchronous sessions for French/Spanish for KG-G2, Visual Arts for G3-5, and the Performing Arts (KG-G5).
A full schedule of specialists’ sessions will be shared in next week’s newsletter. We realize that your child may not be able to make each synchronous session every week, but we want to make them available to you as part of our commitment to providing a high-quality, holistic program. These sessions are not meant to create additional stress for families, but rather, make them available to students as opportunities to connect with teachers and peers. If, for some reason, your child is unable to join a particular session and needs teacher support in that area, please remember that all teachers are available to be contacted between 12:00-15:00 each day for questions and feedback.
Engagement with the Specialist subjects: (Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Modern Language)
Our hope is that by having your child connect with one synchronous session per day with a specialist, it will also aid in helping them pace their engagement across the week with all of their subjects. Up until this point, we have not seen the same level of engagement from students in their specialist classes as we have in the homeroom classes. The synchronous sessions will provide a time for students to ask questions, share their work, connect with each other, and reflect on learning standards. We hope that this will also support students in being able to follow through on specialist learning engagements independently.
Physical Education should be an integral part of a child’s day everyday. The child should be engaging with the activities posted by Kate Luwisha on a daily basis to make sure they are getting enough physical exercise. At this stage, this subject area will not be taught via a synchronous session.
Celebrating students’ work
Speaking of specialist classes, we have seen some amazing work emerge from our Performing Artists!
A spotlight on Paco (KG) for performing his interpretive dance; Anna (G3) for her interpretation of a piece of music through drawing; Gabriel (G4) for practicing his recorder; and Sophie (G5) for sharing her singing voice through Chatterpix.
Supporting parents with learning platforms (Seesaw, ManageBac, Google Meet)
Parents should feel free to reach out to us and let us know what areas of tech they could use the most support. If we don't have the answers, we can point them in the right direction to get the support needed. We have linked a 'Distance Learning Tech Support' form below where parents can identify the areas where they would like support. Frank Louw will assist with Seesaw support, Tony Potts will assist with ManageBac and Google Meet and our IT Department can support with any other issues. Please remember that our team is ready to help.
Please keep communicating with us...
We will continue to include our feedback survey in each week’s newsletter. Please continue to communicate with us and let us know how things are going. We are here to listen and refine.
Until next week,
Darlene Huson, Primary Principal
Christine Kelly, Primary Assistant Principal and PYP Coordinator
Tony Potts, Primary Assistant Principal and Tech Integration Specialist
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend: