As you begin to work as a family within our home learning program, I want you to hold fast to an important psychological understanding. We enjoy sharing projects with our students; indeed, gifted students thrive when they have the chance to engage in problem solving that has a real-world connection. However, the global pandemic is a different kind of problem; it is a stressful part of each of lives. This project-based learning model we are currently in is exhausting, frightening, and very real for each of us. We need to give ourselves, and each other, the space to work through the emotions we are feeling as we try to balance work/home structures that are new and challenging. We need to know that the stresses we feel as adults exist in our children, and they need our care. We need to remember we are not alone as we work through the critical project of caring for our families and our community.
Please know our faculty has been working with heart and tenacity to construct systems that keep our gifted children connected to school and community. We know that when students are at home it is easy to lose focus, get distracted, or fall out of the routines that give us structure and sustain our well-being. Our teachers are working to keep the learning process both purposeful and joyful. Just as we don’t want students to spend endless hours connected to devices during normal times, we don’t want the Home Learning Program to be merely about receiving content through devices.
The schedules we will share are meant to help students and parents pace the day, find balance between academic work, physical activity, long-term projects, and social engagement. You will find faculty, club sponsors, coaches, counselors, and advisors participating in this program so that there is a richness to the engagement.
As I shared with you earlier this week, we are learning, growing, and experimenting with new teaching models as educators. We are trying to stay true to our core values and philosophy as we work to support students and families in what we know are trying circumstances.
We are committed to provide an educational experience for your child that George and Annemarie Roeper would recognize as child-centered and holistic. The news will be filled with information that changes by the day, and most of that news will be difficult for us to absorb. The Roeper Home Leaning Program will provide families with a level of normalcy and daily structure to keep our children connected to their academic, social, and emotional growth.
There are many questions families have and will have in the coming days. Know that I continue to work closely with our school leadership team to support our program today, and to think through how we can best support our families in the days, weeks, months and years to come. The one known that I will share with you, the one promise I will make today, is to our seniors – the Roeper Class of 2020. I know this is not the way any of us anticipated your senior year to take shape. I promise you that we will have a graduation that celebrates your hard work, your dedication, and the legacy you will leave our school. While there is much I cannot answer today, I promise you we will celebrate your class with a commencement program, it may take time, but– we will do it!
This community is strong, and together we will help each other to thrive in the unknown future.
Head of School
LS Home Learning Plan Overview
Here is a preview of what families can expect next week.
Overview for the Week of March 23 only
Zoom: Morning Meeting 2x/Week
Teachers will hold a whole class Zoom Session twice per week to replicate the Morning Meeting and maintain community. Homeroom teachers will send the link to students.
Seesaw: Daily 4
The Daily 4 will be posted on Seeaw, which will include academic expectations with the goal of maintaining and strengthening math and reading skills. A health and wellness/movement activity will be included, as well as an activity on a rotating letter day basis from Specialist teachers.
Daily Program: options for 4 activities a day
- One language art
- One math
- One health and wellness/movement from PE/Dance/H&W
- One choice from specials option board- students choose the special
With love and gratitude to all,
Lower School Director
MS Home Learning Plan Overview
Overview for the Week of March 23
A number of teachers are using a project-based learning model which allows students to work at their own pace without an extensive instructional period. Teachers can introduce the project at the start of the week and utilize teaching periods throughout the week for formal check-ins or for additional work time for students. Students can present their work through a shared document, video, Edmodo, etc. Others will use a mixture of modalities and interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum design and delivery. The goal of each grade is to create a level of consistency and grade-appropriate learning experience for all students.
Lecture throughout the week is not the best format to utilize. If teachers decide to video conference or share a recorded video, they will use the following formula to gauge student attention spans: Students' age +/- 2 = MS attention span before modalities need to be switched. Meaning, if a student is 12 years old, the "sweet spot" to capture that student's attention is 10-14 minutes. At that point, a teacher would ask students to journal about their experiences, digitally chat with a peer, or summarize what they've heard in writing. Teachers can go back to the same modality; however, the break up in instruction style helps students stay focused.
The middle school looks forward to a whimsical week, full of exploration, risk taking, mistakes, successes, troubleshooting, and most importantly connections.
Please reach out to homeroom teachers and/or me if you have concerns or successes to share.
Middle School Directo
US Home Learning Plan Overview
Overview for the Week of March 23
Although we are working through unprecedented circumstances, I am continuously reminded of how deeply our teachers care about their students and families. I am so grateful for the creativity and flexibility with which every teacher is approaching their courses for online and home learning next week. Here's what you can expect:
- Upper School teachers have been communicating their learning plans for their courses directly through email or Edmodo to students in their classes.
- While many classes could have touch points throughout the week, you can expect that most classes will offer one or two simultaneous (live) learning sessions next week. We are planning to publish to the Upper School community a grid that indicates when simultaneous learning is happening throughout the week, so that both students and parents can visually understand when they will need access to a computer/internet and for how long on each day. My intention is to have this grid to the Upper School community by Sunday afternoon.
- We are planning to hold Upper School Homeroom every day next week from 3:30-3:45pm. This 15-minute live check-in at the end of the day provides a venue for socializing and problem-solving, both important at this time. Homeroom advisors will be in touch with their students about how to connect during afternoon homeroom.
Even though there will of course be hiccups and bumps along the way, I am confident that our faculty efforts to sustain learning in their courses and community at large will pay dividends. Please do not hesitate to reach out to homeroom advisors if your student is experiencing difficulties engaging with our Home Learning Program; we will leave no one behind and we are committed to working out solutions in short order.
Please also do not hesitate to reach out to me with issues, insights, and kudos for our endeavor next week- it is crucial to keep our communication lines open, so that we can address snags early and provide the encouragement for our teachers as they too navigate these circumstances.
Upper School Director
MyRoeper: Home Learning Resources
As we work out the kinks and learn how to navigate the various apps and platforms used in our Home Learning Program, we have consolidated the resources that students need to access in one easy-to-find place.
Log in to MyRoeper. Under Resources, the first post listed is Roeper Home Learning Program
. Click on that button to view the resources. If you have a need assistance, please contact Brian Durst
with technical questions or Kari Papadopoulos
with general questions. Homeroom teachers and academic directors are also available to field questions.