Message from Principal Chardin: April 3, 2020

Message from Principal Chardin: April 3, 2020
Posted on 04/03/2020

Hello Putnam Ave. Family,

I hope that you and your families are safe, healthy, and that you are prioritizing spending time together and doing things that bring you all joy. We have heard from many of you how helpful the daily suggested schedule has been and are appreciative of the feedback we have received! 

With the extension of our time out of school through May 4th, comes uncertainty, and I am sure that that brings with it a wide range of emotions. This can be an opportunity to practice Steps to Gain Control of Your Emotions and Emotional Self Management -- calming our amygdala might just be what we all need in these unprecedented times! In light of this extension, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has released some updated guidelines for remote learning during this time, which can be found HERE. I’d like to share a few highlights from the DESE Guidelines, which have informed our planning and instruction:

  • The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff has been and must continue to be our top priority as an educational community. Maintaining connections between school staff and students is paramount, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our school communities.

  • Nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, and we should not expect that remote learning can replicate the traditional school day.

  • Remote learning can take place in a multitude of ways, including by helping students engage with resources in their everyday lives and in the natural world around them. Remote learning also provides unique opportunities to further engage students in the arts or interdisciplinary work. Finally, we must be conscious of the effects of increased screen time and seek balance between learning through technology and remote learning that happens offline to support students’ curiosity and understanding.

  • We recommend that districts support students to engage in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day. We expect this learning to take place via a combination of educator-directed learning and student self-directed learning.

In accordance with the DESE guidelines, we have refined our suggested schedule further. Here are the shifts that you will notice:

  • On Mondays, you will receive a suggested schedule for the entire week with a menu of learning options (all assignments will be uploaded by Monday morning to the appropriate Google classrooms, where students can access them),

  • We have suggested the amount of time for each learning option, and

  • Each day will include two core classes, an option for movement, an option for Math Practice or Independent Reading, and a Specialty class.

It might also be helpful to configure the settings in your child’s Google Classroom to streamline notifications. While we do not recommend turning all notifications off, you can select which notifications you receive. Instructions can be found HERE

I know that this is an uncertain time and that can be unsettling, and I’d like to offer another perspective from Dr. Edith Eger (Holocaust survivor, author, and clinical psychologist), “There is opportunity ...in crisis. Indeed life is full of unexpected and expected experiences, it is the power we all have to look at those moments as an opportunity to grow...and not to shrink. May you all find the power in this today, as life goes into transition.” Despite the uncertainty, our commitment to supporting students and families and to creating time for balance and self-care during this period remains the same. During our time at home, I urge you to take time for yourself and your family to: listen to a bookwork out, visit a museum (virtually), practice some yoga, watch the penguins and jellyfish, take an art class with your kids, Zoom with friends or family...do something that energizes and inspires you. Plus, make it a priority to be goofy and have fun.

Best,

Mirko Chardin
Founding Head of School

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