Full Distance Learning Begins Thursday, Dec 3, 2020

Dear River Grove Families

On Thursday, December 3, classes will resume in a full Distance Learning (“DL”) format. We’d like to let you know what to expect from our revised DL program. 

We’ve had the experiences of conducting full DL in the spring, every other day with Hybrid Learning, and three of our classroom teachers instructing full DL students so far this school year. In addition, the feedback we got from families told us what went well in the spring, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to be changed completely.

Full Distance Learning:

  • Begins Thursday, December 3 and Friday, December 4
  • Continues at least through January 13 (model after semester break is TBD)

See the website calendar here

Starting Thursday December 3, you can expect your student to participate in the equivalent of a full and balanced school day. Students will receive a mixture of direct instruction online with brain breaks and flexible daily learning activities, many not directly online such as science experiments, art projects, reading, and math puzzles and games. Teachers will also provide enrichment and support such as one-on-one meetings and optional extension activities or project ideas. Efforts will be made to limit overall screen time and to get students moving and active, and to incorporate daily life tasks into the curriculum (such as cooking). Our goal is to continue learning at the similar pace as the first part of the year in order to minimize “learning loss” and continue your child’s growth and development.

2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook

Please refer to the 2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook for up-to-date information on our learning models, health and safety procedures, the “Decision Tree for Potential Cases of COVID-19,” our quarantine protocol, and other modifications we’ve made.

Weekly Schedule for Full Distance Learning

Mondays to Thursdays
  • Daily live online morning meetings (required for attendance)
    • Teachers will take attendance at these meetings, so it is very important that students attend morning meetings. Students must check in on a Zoom meeting everyday; submitting Seesaw assignments will not count as being present. Your child’s teacher will provide specific instructions and Zoom links. 
      • Tardy (Unexcused/Excused):
        • Students will be tardy unexcused if a morning meeting is missed without prior notice to the teacher.
      • Absent (Unexcused/Excused):
        • Students will be absent unexcused if a core subject lesson on Zoom is missed without prior notice. 
    • Morning Meeting Times: 
      • 8:30 Beck, Johnson
      • 8:40 Diedrich
      • 9:00 McBride (Mr Eric), Dick, Geffert, Clepper, Henschen, Fuerst
      • 9:30 McDonald, Hansen
  • Each teacher will provide daily student-teacher interfaces in the core subjects math, language arts, social studies, and science. These may be for the full class, small groups, or individualized as needed.
  • Supplemental activities will include PE, art, and music.
  • Teachers will provide individualized additional support such as “study hall” or office hours and enrichment activities for those looking for help or extra work.
  • Special education services will be integrated throughout the school day.
  • Fridays will primarily be for review, reteaching, and catching up as needed.
  • Teachers will hold online morning check-ins instead of a more formal morning meeting (at the same time as morning meeting). Attendance will be taken at check-in.

Curriculum Pick-Ups Dates/Times

Curriculum packets will be placed outside your child’s classroom (not in the Commons). Please note that it is possible that the teachers will be with students during those times. Please park in the Guest (Parent) Lot. Check with your teacher for alterations to this schedule:

  • For classes now moving to from Hybrid to Distance Learning:
    • Monday, December 7: 2:00-5:00pm
    • Tuesday, December 8: 9:00am-12:00pm
  • For current Distance Learning classes (Beck and Diedrich):
    • Friday, December 11 (your teachers will give you specific details).
  •  Additional curriculum pick-ups will be scheduled as needed.

Attendance Policies During Distance Learning

Please email attendance@marineareaschool.org in advance if your student will be late or absent during any part of Distance Learning.

Tardy (Unexcused/Excused):
* Students will be tardy unexcused if a morning meeting is missed without prior notice to the teacher or attendance email.

Absent (Unexcused/Excused):
* Students will be absent unexcused if a core subject lesson on Zoom is missed without prior notice to the teacher or attendance email.

Digital Citizenship/Expected Behavior

Online classes are an extension of in-person classes at River Grove, and appropriate behavior is expected. 

  • When students participate in video conferences with their video ON, other participants can see them and their surroundings. During audio calls, other participants can hear the students (unless the microphone is muted).
  • Video lessons may be recorded and posted for students to use for review at a later time.
  • The Student Code of Conduct and School Discipline Policy are in effect during video and audio conferences and apply to all school-related materials, content including online classrooms, and devices. 
  • Screen time with pets and siblings will be reserved for designated social times. Please consult with your teacher.
  • Please support your student by creating a dedicated/quiet “learning space” in your home.

How to Get Help During Distance Learning

Teachers will provide individualized additional supports such as “study hall” or office hours. Please contact them for more information. Teacher and administration emails can be found here on our website.

COVID Tracking Continues During Distance Learning

Please continue to report your child’s COVID-19 illness and quarantines to the school’s health office throughout Distance Learning. Tracking this information is vital to our planning for a shift back to in-person learning. Megan Lapos, Licensed School Nurse, can answer your healthcare questions and help find testing locations. Email her at: mlapos@marineareaschool.org 

Students attending critical worker childcare at River Grove and all staff should also continue to report COVID symptoms.

Technology Needs

The use of technology will be a key component in the delivery of lessons during Distance Learning. If your household is in need of technology resources such as Chromebooks or hotspots during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to the front office or your child’s teacher.

Front Office Hours/Contact Info

The front office will be generally open from 8:30 to 3:00 during Distance Learning. Office staff will be available via appointment to assist with in-person business as well as remotely via email and phone if necessary. Please use the following contact information if you have questions:

We know that the Distance Learning model isn’t the perfect fit for student learning and our unique educational opportunity, so we appreciate your patience and collaboration with us to make this period the best it can be in the interest of our students. Each teacher as well as the office staff team is open to feedback and conversations that drive solutions to make the experience a good one for our families. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Thank you,

Drew Goodson, School Director

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