Home Learning Week 12
Highlights in this message:
- Gateway Days/Last Two Weeks of School
- Student Year-End Survey
- Community Conversation Sessions
Gateway Days/Last Two Weeks of School
This week begins what we call “Gateway Days.” Just like if we were in session for a “normal” June, these next two weeks of school will be dedicated to students presenting their Gateways to audiences of peers, teachers, and family members. Just like if we were at school, students have the opportunity to attend Gateways of fellow students who have either specifically invited them or of students who have opened their presentations to a wider audience. It is our hope and expectation that each student will attend at least ONE gateway a day as part of their daily school experience between this Tuesday and next Tuesday. (There are no Gateways today or on the next two Wednesdays, which will continue to be “self-directed learning” days through the end of the year.) The daily Gateway grid will look like the image below and it will be emailed to students each morning.
In addition to attending Gateways, each day, we will email students a list of enrichment activities and suggestions for things that they can do, read, make, watch, play, try and learn about. It is our hope that students will explore these resources and find some things they think are interesting, thought-provoking, and/or fun. (The activities in these grids – see a sample below – are equivalent to the various “rooms” that students would have selected from amongst when they were not in Gateways during the school day, had we been in “normal” school.) The categories in the grid will remain consistent, but the featured selection for each category will change each day, based on recommendations shared by the faculty. In addition to the daily grid, we also recommend that students check out https://wideopenschool.org/programs/family/6-12/daily-schedule/. This website (“virtual summer camp”) has a treasure trove of interesting links to excellent resources for middle and high school students.
Please encourage your student to check email each morning to see which Gateways are happening and to poke around the suggestions from teachers for interesting resources and activities from the world-at-large! The activities are meant to be enrichment-oriented and do not require students to check in with or submit work to their teachers. But, we hope they check them out!
Finally, if a student has coursework that a teacher is still expecting from them, the teacher will be in touch individually with that student (Some Div 1 AH and MST students, for instance, may still be completing final reflection letters). Teachers will also continue to be in touch with students who have summer gateway contracts. Advisory will also continue over the next nine days, though the day/time may change because of the Gateway schedule.
Student Year-End Survey
Every year, we ask students to complete a year-end survey, in which they are asked to share feedback with their teachers and advisor(s), and to tell us about other important issues in the life of the school. This year, we have significantly shortened the “regular” part of the survey so that students will be able to do it well from home AND so that they can give us some high-quality feedback about their Home Learning experiences. (Note that there is also an annual parent/guardian survey that will ask similar questions – we will send that out to you in the next week or two.)
None of us know for certain – yet – what school will look like next year – but we have to plan for the possibility that we will have to do some form of remote learning again. This year, Parker, like the rest of the world, reacted to a new reality. We did the best we could with a situation none of us have ever been in before. Student feedback on what worked and what did not work for them (in these less than ideal circumstance for ALL of us!) will help us to know how we can proactively plan for next year. We ask parents/guardians to please encourage your student(s) to prioritize taking the survey today/this week. All the information they need to take the survey is in their email. We ask them all to be sure to please take the time to be thoughtful about their feedback for their teachers and about their Home Learning experiences. We use this information in several authentic and meaningful ways in the life of the school. Thanks!
Community Conversation Sessions
Some students have had a chance to talk about current events in their advisories over the last two weeks. However, we believe it is important to offer some Opt-in Community Conversations for students interested in discussing systemic racism, police violence, or other topics related to the events of the past two weeks. Students will receive an email later this morning with days/times and links to join these discussions, as they wish. All students are invited.
School lunch needs: