Good afternoon and welcome to the 2020-21 School Year. While there has been a great deal of uncertainty for the last several months, please know that the teachers and staff have been working hard for many weeks now to prepare for our students both on campus and at home.
This year our theme is “Destination Learning” and while that centers on academic success, we know that there is no greater priority than student and staff safety. To that end, we have put in place many, many new procedures well beyond simply wearing masks. With the addition of our Digital Academy we are now in a very good place for social distancing with our brick and mortar students and all of our classrooms have hygiene kits that contain many items for keeping our classrooms safe and sanitized. There are also very specific procedures for transitioning, for accessing the bathroom, for Special Area, and for eating lunch safely. There are a couple of very specific ways you can help though if you are sending your children to campus. Please send them with a full bottle of water and at least one to two masks each day. It is also important that, if they bring their lunch that it contains items they can open on their own. Finally, in spite of all of this, we want you to know that we fully appreciate that they are still kids! In that regard, we have very deliberately put into place very safe “mask breaks” and other activities to help them adapt and cope with this “new normal” as we know all of this is hard on them too.
Aside from all of the obvious safety measures that must be put in place, the teachers are working hard on lesson plans that will fill the gaps left from last spring and that will also move all of our students to new academic heights. And please know that many steps are being taken to make sure our digital students feel connected to Kate Sullivan Elementary while they are at home. Additionally, we are also developing ways to offer meaningful interventions and enrichment so that we can meet all of our students’ needs. Our “Destination” really is “Learning” and that includes all of us. It’s going to be a great year!
Finally, as always, please, please sign up for our school listserv as well as your teacher’s Remind account. If you need to sign up for listserv, please visit our website: https://www.leonschools.net/sullivan and click the listserv link. I am looking forward to what the new school year holds for all of us and if you have questions please do not hesitate to call or email me. Go Crocodiles!
Mr. Bryan, Principal
Who is attending Digital Academy?
In a word: EVERYONE. In the event that any of our Crocodiles need to be learning from home we want to ensure that they are comfortable and confident using the Canvas Learning Management System. Additionally, this will provide us the opportunity to begin exploring Blending Learning as an instructional approach.
What is Blended Learning?
In a nutshell, Blended Learning is a research-based instructional approach where students learn partially online, partially in a brick and mortar location, and along a more individualized path designed to provide a more integrated learning experience. NOW, given the many challenges presented to us this year, we will not be able to fully operationalize a Blended Learning model but this well-established instructional approach does provide us with a wealth of information that will assist our teachers as they plan and prepare for instruction. If, ultimately, Blended Learning is a chance to reinvent what learning looks like for our students, then we see this next year as an opportunity to develop some ways-of-work that will sustain us in the future. The 1:1 commitment made by our district ensures that our students will have blended learning experiences for years to come. We all know what they say about life, lemons, and lemonade….we are going to approach the 2020-2021 school year as chance to make some lemonade!!
How will our children be learning?
Students will use our new learning management system, Canvas, to access everything!!! Canvas will be accessible to all students through their ClassLink accounts. Once in Canvas, our students will be able to link with learning modules, assignments, and more. Canvas will also be where they will turn in completed work and receive feedback from their teachers. Students will have moments of live instruction, independent work, small group instruction, and BREAKS. Any students who receive services will continue to receive those services LIVE.
What will our children learn?
Our students will still be receiving Florida Standards aligned instruction in all core academic areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. They will also receive P.E., Art, and Music. We will continue to use vetted curriculum resources such as, but not limited to, Canvas Digital Modules, Wonders, Go Math!, Fusion’s Science, etc.
At-home Student Expectations for Digital Students
All students are expected to go LIVE at 8:30 a.m. for their Morning Meeting. Daily attendance will be taken at this time. Students who are not present during this meeting will be marked absent or tardy. If you are late, please contact your teacher as soon as you are present. If you have an appointment, please provide the appropriate documentation so that the tardy/absence can be excused
Students are expected to access daily schedules, assignments, due dates, etc. through Canvas
Students are expected to complete all assignments in a timely manner; assignments are graded work not just evidence of participation
Students (and/or parents) are expected to contact their teacher with all questions and concerns about assignments
Parents are expected to sign up for Parent Portal in FOCUS in order to keep up with student grades
Parents are expected to sign up for Parent Canvas in order to keep up with assignments and other posted information; this information should be kept up with in the same manner as the agenda book and other school-to-home communications
Parents are expected to help students stick to their daily schedules
Parents are expected to make sure students are completing work as assigned
Parents are expected to assist their child in creating an at-home learning space designed for maximum success, parents are expected to offer encouragement, parents are expected help students remain on-task and on schedule
Parents are expected to help students learn ON THEIR OWN….a moment of guidance, words of encouragement, a quick clarification or restatement is absolutely okay…teachers do this all the time…however, we need our students to show us what they are capable of doing independently in order to provide them with the most appropriate instruction.