IND begins process for remote learning - update from Lisa Wetzel, Assistant Head of School for Academics
Dear IND Families,
Good afternoon. I hope this communication finds you well. I wanted to share information about how IND is preparing for continuity of teaching and learning should we need to close because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In December of 2019, IND teachers received professional development and targeted instruction on the use of online, distance learning tools in the event of a long-term closure. We continued this type of professional development into the winter months of 2020. Teachers used a variety of platforms to prepare virtual lessons. Our goal in designing these lessons was to maintain rigor, deliver instruction in a meaningful way to our students, and minimize the disruption of learning due to unforeseen circumstances. Teachers prepared lessons for a “flipped classroom” and shared them with me. Be assured, the faculty is prepared to continue instruction using our long-distance learning protocol.
To that end, tomorrow will be a half-day for students. We will run a full (8 classes), modified schedule so that all students can meet with their teachers and discuss what long-distance learning looks like and how it will be implemented for each class. The students received general information today about our long-distance learning protocol during an advisory assembly. Our school nurse, Mrs. Rizzi-Ayd ’86 addressed the students about the importance of proper hygiene and wellness practices, etc. Today’s assembly gave us the opportunity to reassure students about COVID-19 and discuss the importance of social distancing in containing the spread of the virus.
We will dismiss students at noon; however, lunch will be available for all students from noon-12:30 p.m. We are asking that all students leave the building by 1 p.m. Teachers will be engaged in professional development for the remainder of the afternoon. We understand there may be extenuating circumstances that could make the pick-up of your daughter difficult. If that is the case, please email Ms. Adamski in the school office.
Classes for students will be cancelled on Monday, Mar. 16 and Tuesday, Mar. 17. Students should not report to the building and do not need to engage in remote learning. Staff and teachers will be preparing for our long-distance learning roll out on these days.
On Wednesday, Mar. 18, we will hold a practice “distance-learning day.” These are important items to note:
- Distance-learning days will follow the SAME, real-time schedule as if students were in the school building with a few exceptions:
- No advisory time in the morning
- No help time
- Lunch time will not be monitored by the school
- No assembly time
- Each student will be REQUIRED to log in to myIND at the beginning of each class and email the instructor that she is present and ready to engage in the learning activity. Attendance will be taken for each class and each student will be held accountable for all work.
- If a student is ill and unable to participate remotely, a parent or guardian must email our school nurse Mrs. Rizzi-Ayd ’86, Mrizzi-Ayd@indofmd.org and report the student’s “absence.”
- Teachers will post instructions on myIND explaining the lesson for the class and how to access necessary materials. Teachers may use a variety of methods for instruction including ZOOM Meeting where the teacher can see the students and students can see the teacher as he/she teaches a lesson. We will be recording our Zoom Meeting lessons. Students will be provided detailed instructions by the teachers as to how to use the Zoom platform or whatever method each teacher uses.
- We will maximize our use of myIND (where class discussions can occur), OneNote, teacher created YouTube Channels, etc.
- Students must be dressed in school appropriate, “out of uniform day” clothing. (See Handbook)
- Due dates for all work will be enforced.
- Tests and quizzes may be given remotely.
- If your daughter does not have internet access, please let me know as soon as possible.
Wednesday, Mar. 18, is a BLUE Wednesday. Class blocks meeting that day are D, A, B, and C. Students are responsible for noting the meeting times of these classes, logging in to myIND to check assignments, and emailing their teachers to let them know they are “present.” Students will be responsible for all lessons taught that day and homework associated with such.
We will reevaluate the need to continue long-distance learning after our Wednesday test run.
Our main priority is the health and safety of our community. We appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and navigate these extraordinary circumstances. If you have any questions, please email me.