April 6, 2020
Good Afternoon Families:
I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather and taking the opportunity to get outside to get some fresh air and exercise. As you know, yesterday I provided information specific to the shift in our remote learning plan beginning tomorrow. I recognize that it was a lot to digest and wanted to send this update to discuss some other topics related to this emergency school building closure.
While there may be limited work opportunities for students during this time, some may find a part time job to help fill their day. As a reminder, anyone between 14 and 17 years old requires a work permit in order to be employed. Typically, work permits are provided through the high school and students must bring a completed application, along with a birth certificate to get the permit. We are currently discussing ways that we can continue to provide access to work permits during this period of closure and will provide more details as they become available.
Report cards for Mac and WES
The Macomber and Westport Elementary Schools will be printing and mailing out report cards for the second trimester. Families will likely receive the report cards in the mail by the beginning to middle of next week.
This Friday, April 10th is Good Friday. There will be no remote learning activities for that day.
Remote Learning Plan Clarifications
- Flexibility of Schedule – while we have shared a schedule of learning times with families, there is some flexibility for students to complete assigned work outside of those times. The times identified will be the time periods when teachers will be available to support student learning and when some teachers may be conducting a ‘live virtual class’.
- Remote Learning – For clarification, remote learning refers to the fact that the learning is not happening in the traditional classroom setting. It does not mean that all learning experiences will be completed online. Teachers are looking for ways to enhance learning through hands-on and experiential opportunities.
- Technology – If you have any issues with technology, either not having access to technology or difficulties with participating in the online environment, please reach out to your child’s teacher and/or the building administrator.
- Student behavior – Participating in an online learning environment is new and unique for all of us. I have heard from some staff that some students who are participating in ‘live virtual class’ blocks are not behaving in the way that we expect of students in the Westport Community Schools. WE would ask that you reinforce expectations with students at home. Teachers may speak with the families of individual students should they continue to demonstrate behavior that is distracting to the online classroom.
- April vacation – Because we are just getting into the routine of the remote learning environment, we do not want to disrupt the continuity and momentum of learning. Therefore, classes will continue to be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (4/21-4/23) during the week of April 20-24.
- Picking up items from school – We recognize that some families would like to pick up the child’s belongings from the school. We are working out a plan to facilitate this process, while not disrupting the cleaning process that is occurring in the buildings. We will update you as we have more information.
- Food locations – Thanks to our food service staff for developing a list of locations in the area that can provide food for families in need. Please be sure to check the COVID-19 Resource page on the website for more information.
- Weekly state of the schools address – Be sure to check out my Weekly State of the Schools Address. Each week, Every Friday, there is a new episode (which can be accessed from the Westport Community Schools main page – in the right hand column). This address can provide the most current updates about school closure and remote learning. I also end each episode with some type of learning opportunity (which have been more developmentally appropriate for our younger students thus far). I have also asked families to share any pictures they may have highlighting your children doing remote learning activities or just interacting during this period of school closure. Additionally, if students have a joke they want to share, I would welcome those as well.
Please send pictures and/or jokes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your continued support.