Remote Learning

WEEKLY AGENDAS WILL BE POSTED BY 5PM ON FRIDAYS  Each week, teachers will post either a weekly agenda or the upcoming week’s assignments, scheduled meetings, and resources by 5pm on Fridays so that families can assist their students in planning for their upcoming week.  Please keep in mind that the weekly agenda is subject to change based on the progress the students make throughout the week.  Support your students by reminding them to check Canvas daily for changes and updates.

GRADES MATTER!  STAY ENGAGED IN LEARNING  Even though the temptation to checkout of your classes is great, stay engaged and finish strong.  All final grades will be posted to transcripts and are permanent.  High School students are expected to fulfill all graduation requirements.  Junior High students are expected to successfully complete all classes in order to be promoted to the next grade level.  Honor Roll Recognitions will still be awarded at the end of the semester.

DAILY SCHEDULE WILL FOLLOW THE BELL SCHEDULE  For synchronous learning activities, students should follow the bell schedule for the school which is as follows:

Daily Schedule for Synchronous Activities

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Zoom Instruction will occur in the first 30 minutes

Students Should Check Canvas Daily for Agendas

0 Hour

7:30am - 8:20am

A Block

8:25am - 9:55am

B Block

10:00am - 11:30am

Lunch Break

11:35am - 12:10pm

C Block

12:15pm - 1:45pm

D Block

1:50pm - 3:20pm

*synchronous activities are defined as those that take place as a whole class along the same timeline

*asynchronous activities are defined as those that can take place on an individualized timeline

DAILY ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY  Attendance will be taken daily in each class.  Students must login and engage with their work in Canvas AND/OR attend their Zoom conference.  Teachers have shared the criteria for meeting the daily attendance requirement with their students.  Attendance will be recorded each day by 2:30pm.  If you believe your student’s attendance was marked incorrectly, please check with the teacher first.  If there was a mistake made, the teacher will contact the attendance office to correct it.

CONTACT THE OFFICE IF YOUR STUDENT IS SICK  Please continue to notify the school for absences from remote learning days.  We are still tracking the number of positive cases in our community.  We will be using this data to inform our decision about continuing in remote learning or returning to in-person learning.  If your student is sick, please email Angie Murray (amurray@jajags.com) and Renee McCarty (rmccarty@jajags.com).  If your student tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the office or use the Notify Now form on our website.

WEDNESDAYS ARE ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING DAYS (NO ZOOMS SCHEDULED) Every Wednesday, students will complete assignments for each class without live, teacher instruction.  These assignments may be long-term assignment progress checks, short quizzes, reading comprehension checks, etc.  They are intended for students to learn independently and should require very little teacher supervision or interaction.  Teachers are using this day to continue their planning for the upcoming week, providing individualized/small group support for students, and grading submitted work.

ZOOM MEETINGS ARE MANDATORY  Students should check their Canvas on a regular basis, at least daily, for their assignments and meetings.  Attendance is mandatory for all Zoom meetings scheduled for their classes.  It is the student’s responsibility to check in with the teacher and make up any missed learning opportunities. 

Strategies to Support Students at Home

Thank you for your support through this “interesting” time.  Hopefully, we might be able to reflect on this hopefully once-in-a-lifetime event and see that we came through it stronger than before.  Because of these times, it is important that we partner together to ensure your student is prepared for their future...whatever it may look like! 

Please read further to explore some different resources we have compiled for you.  While this is not an exhaustive list, we hope that it is a starting point.  We will continue to share helpful hints and tips throughout the upcoming weeks in Principal’s Notes as we find them.  If you have a strategy that has worked for your student, please share them with us so that we may pass them along.

JEFFCO HEALTHY SCHOOLS RESOURCE SHEET  We are fortunate to be a part of a school district that supports health and wellness.  Their Healthy Schools department put together a list of ideas and tips for Healthy Learning at Home.  Click on the hyperlink to read all about it!

SET UP A PRODUCTIVE LEARNING SPACE  Khan Academy, a resource most of our Math students are familiar with, has an outstanding article with Seven Helpful Tips.  In this article, there are additional links for apps and tools for eliminating distractions online as well.  Most importantly, work together with your student to design a focused space that leads to productivity, not necessarily comfort!  Ensure it is a space that you can monitor for their productivity.

SETUP YOUR CANVAS PARENT ACCOUNT  If you have not already done so, every parent/guardian has access to their child’s Canvas classrooms.  Please visit the Canvas for Parents page on our website to get started.

KEEP YOUR STUDENT MOTIVATED BY CHECKING IN  A major theory in motivation asserts that people are more likely to do something when they expect that they will be successful and when they value what they are doing.  So, you can keep your child motivated by helping them believe they will be successful and increasing the value of their school work.  One great way is to help them set goals for themselves and monitor their progress.

USE A PLANNER CONSISTENTLY TO KEEP ORGANIZED  Whether it is digital or paper-based, a planner outside of the Canvas environment can be helpful to keep everything organized.  The advantage to a paper-based planner is that there is value in transferring information from the screen to the brain to the paper which can lead to a higher rate of memory retention.  The advantage of a digital planner is that it can be set up to provide timely reminders through commonly used devices that can help a student stay on track.  Regardless of the format you choose, the use of a planner works!

CREATE AND ADHERE TO A DAILY SCHEDULE  When classes are synchronous, a schedule is easy to follow.  It becomes much more difficult if there are asynchronous days.  So, it is important that families create a routine for learning that students can follow.  Ensure the routine has body breaks built into it so that students can move.  Once you have developed your schedule, then it is important to find ways to stick with it.  Setting reminders on their phones about Zoom meetings, due dates, and other tasks can be helpful.  Using a kitchen timer to focus for small amounts of time works well, too!

STAY FOCUSED BY CHUNKING ASSIGNMENTS AND TASKS  If you are finding that your student is having trouble getting started, creative use of a timer and scheduled breaks may do the trick.  Set a timer for 25 minutes, work on a specific task without stopping, then take a 5 minute (timed) break.  Do this four times in a row and then take a longer break.  This, known as the Pomodoro technique, is just one of many time management techniques.  If this does not work for you, then keep exploring until you find one that works!

SUPERVISE AND ENCOURAGE PRODUCTIVE WORK TIME (CAN BE IN THE EVENINGS)  Much of the classwork can be submitted after traditional school hours.  So, if your student is struggling with working independently, create a schedule when you can be available to supervise their work a bit more closely.  Communicate this need to your teachers and they can offer some options for your family.

CREATE A STUDY GROUP  If your student is struggling emotionally with the lack of connection and they have friends in school, encourage them to SAFELY organize study sessions together.  They do not even have to be in the same classes to be able to study together, but simply being in the same room can make a difference.  However, it is also very important to remember that these groups should be in your inner circle or “social bubble” in order to slow the spread of the virus.

MODEL A POSITIVE MINDSET  Our students are watching us as their mentors, guardians, or adult influences in their lives.  How we react and respond to the challenges we face will often dictate how your student responds to their personal challenges.  Take this opportunity to walk them through your problem solving process and model the way you would like for them to work through their obstacles.

EMAIL TEACHERS FOR EXTRA HELP AND FOR QUESTIONS  Our teachers recognize the challenges our students face.  They are willing to help, but do not know who is struggling unless they are contacted.  All of our teachers are available through email and/or Canvas.  They also hold Weekly Zoom meetings for parents or academic support providers.  Many will schedule one-on-one Zoom meetings, provide additional learning resources and support, or make phone calls to help.  All you need to do is ask.

REDUCE DISTRACTIONS BY USING HEADPHONES AND A MICROPHONE ON ZOOM  When the entire class is on Zoom, feedback can interfere with learning for both the individual and the class.  Eliminate or reduce this by using headphones with a built-in microphone.  This can also be helpful for students by eliminating the background noise and allowing them to focus on the Zoom environment, especially if they are noise-cancelling headphones.

USE FILTERING AND MONITORING TO KEEP YOUR STUDENTS SAFE ONLINE  Ms. Davis has published a list of resources and things to consider when learning at home.  Please see our BYOD and Technology page for links to Options for Parental Control Software as well as directions for using the FREE Google Family Link for Chromebooks.  While we believe that all of our kids are amazing and responsible, it is always good to have an extra layer of protection to keep the less savory elements out of our homes!

REMOVE ALL OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND DISTRACTIONS WHEN WORKING  When we implemented the cell phone holders in the classrooms, we noticed the amount of focus increased significantly.  Learning, engagement, and productivity improved from all students.  Though you may not be popular with your student, they will be grateful for the support once they see the difference in what they can accomplish without them.

TRACK TIME SPENT ON TASK VS TIME SPENT ON DISTRACTIONS  In the remote world of learning, the number of online distractions is limitless.  Students will often feel they are spending hours on a single assignment when, in reality, they are spending more time scrolling through social media or choosing just the right “study song” from their playlists.  Sit with them during one of their work sessions, track the amount of time spent to complete an assignment, allow them to reflect on the difference of when they are working with supervision and when they are working alone and discuss how much time they spent on task and how they might be able to eliminate distractions on their own.

REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF BLUE LIGHT STUDENTS SEE  With all of the screen time that will be required in remote learning from Zoom meetings to class work, it is important to find ways to reduce our students’ exposure to blue light (click on the hyperlink to read more about the harmful effects of blue light) particularly if they are working at night and have trouble sleeping.  You can reduce the harmful effects by either changing the settings in the monitor or wear blue light filtered glasses.  Better yet, avoid using LED screens one to two hours before bedtime.

REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT  Our student support services team is ready to assist your family through these times.  Our school counselors are available to meet through Zoom, email, or phone.  If you notice that your student is struggling academically, socially, or emotionally, please reach out to us.  We are happy to offer resources, assistance, or support to our families.

We hope these tips and strategies will help your students achieve their personal success.  We greatly appreciate the extra work you are putting in to support your students.  One final tip, perhaps the most important one, is to take time to take care of yourself and each other.  Together, we will be a stronger community because we have leaned into each other during this time. 

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