Middle School and High School Distance Learning

 Preparing for Distance Learning 

Establish a routine - Since we are following the same daily schedule that we would if students were in the building, continue normal school routines at home such as getting up in the morning, getting ready for school, lunch breaks, and bedtime routines. It will be tempting for students to sleep in or game during this time at home.

  • Set up a “school / work zone” in your home - As you consider where to have your student work each day, think about what is most conducive to learning and interacting with teachers.  Students should not video conference from their bedrooms and should ensure the background visible to others is appropriate for students and teachers.
  • Limit distractions such as phones, social media, and TV.
  • Hold students accountable to complete all coursework, including assessments, with academic integrity.  This is their learning and their future.  Using other sources (person, print, online) only hurts their relationship with the Lord and damages their integrity.
  • Take breaks to get up and move - After a class has logged off for the day or during a study hall, have your student take a break to get up and move.  Maybe it’s a few minutes outside shooting hoops, maybe it’s a quick snack, maybe it’s a moment to visit with you - do something to take a break from the screen and sitting.
  • Be patient and full of grace - Reach out if you need help, let us know if you’re struggling, stay connected to your local church or small group for ongoing support, and most importantly recognize this is unchartered territory for all of us. When tempted to be anxious or have a complaining heart, take time to reset and spend time in God’s word. He knew we’d be here and He knows exactly what you are feeling.  Who best to comfort you than the Great Counselor.
  • Be flexible - None of us know what will happen over the course of the next three weeks of distance learning and working from home. We may have to make some difficult decisions in the near future about the rest of the school year and planned events at school. I am praying this is not the case but I trust the Lord that He has our best interests at heart and if we are called to stay home, it is for good reason.
  • Download Zoom - Teachers will be using Google Meet (part of our Google Academic Suite) or Zoom for video conferencing.  The two tools are very similar so the tips shared below can apply to both.  Student Tips for Participating in Online Learning

Ensure students follow guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus by avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more. Students are going to miss their friends and need us, as adults, to help them stay within the boundaries of social gathering guidelines. All IHSAA and IGHSAU sports are now in a prohibited period for practice, competition, and sanctioned activity until the closure is lifted. This prohibition means no in-person contact for the duration of the period. See the White House Coronavirus Guidance for more information.

Reporting Attendance. Please continue to report absences through the online attendance form and have students obtain missing schoolwork from teachers like they would during any other absence in the school year. In light of the situation, absences for illness related to the coronavirus will be exempt from the 10-day absence rule outlined in the student handbook.

 High School Flex Schedule

High school will follow their normal, daily schedule. 

High school will follow a modified schedule to allow for asynchronous learning.  In collaboration with other departments, we created schedules where Elementary / Middle School do not overlap with High School to alleviate the toll on home WiFi systems. The advice from experts is to limit the number of devices streaming or using the Internet when family members are online for work or school.

High school will condense mods into 30 minute “check ins” where students and teachers can briefly interact to discuss concepts or go over assignments for the day or cycle.  Each morning is ILT for students and teachers to connect in virtual spaces such as Google Hangouts or email to answer questions.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 High School Daily Expectations 

Check lesson plans for high school to keep track of your classes.
Follow a Routine

  • Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and prepare for a great day of learning.
  • Limit distractions such as phones, social media, and TV.
  • Work in the designated space (office, kitchen table) that is most conducive to learning and interacting with teachers. Students should not be sitting on beds to do class; nor should they be in pajamas. Consider a desk or table where the background is appropriate for other students and teachers.

Attendance 

  • We will be taking attendance during each mod to ensure students have checked in with teachers. 

  • Parents must report “virtual” absences by emailing Mrs. Miller to let us know your student is too sick to be online during afternoon classes. This helps our teachers know who missed the lesson.

  • Students are expected to obtain missing work from teachers like any other absence in the school year. In light of the situation, absences for illness related to the Coronavirus will be exempt from the 10-day absence rule outlined in the student handbook.

Expectations

  • Follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, which includes gathering in groups of 10 or more. We want to protect ourselves and others so we can return to normal routines as soon as possible.

  • Check the Google Classroom for each course to view instructions from the teacher when the class is assigned to begin with our modified schedule.  Teachers will be available during ILT each morning for video conferencing or email to answer questions.

  • Stay online and engage in discussions for the duration of the class or until the teacher gives permission to log off the video call and complete work, independently.

  • Complete all coursework, including assessments, with academic integrity.  This is your learning and your future. Using other sources (person, print, online) only hurts your relationship with the Lord and damages your integrity.

  • Keep a positive attitude! We’re all in this together, experiencing something new.  There will be days it goes really well and there will be days it flops.  As a Christian community, let’s be full of grace and patience.

  • Watch recorded chapel messages from Mr. Nikkel.  Messages will be sent to your student email on the morning of Day 2 and you will be able to watch it any time before day 4 advisory where a discussion will take place around the message. There will also be follow-up questions to respond to and turn in to your Bible teachers on Google Classroom. 

    *Note about Fitness: Fitness will continue at home. The app was updated over spring break and now includes at-home workouts. Mr. Thompson created a Fitness Google Classroom and will post class announcements there.
 Middle School Schedule

Schedule. During distance learning, middle school is running our Distance Learning Schedule.  When you open the link, go to the tab on the spreadsheet titled "DL schedule."

Chapel: Mr. Nikkel has recorded chapel messages that will be sent out to student emails on Fridays which will remain Middle School Chapel Day. Students are encouraged to watch the chapel message during the time chapel is scheduled to meet. 

Advisory: Advisory, much like the rest of our learning experience will be moving to a virtual model. Your student’s advisor will be setting up one big check in call during the normal time that advisory meets. Advisors will also be working through curriculum with their groups. 

Exploratory Classes: Exploratory classes (with the exception of band and choir) will not be meeting or assigning work during distance learning. 

Teacher Office Hours/WIN Time: From noon - 1 p.m. every day all teachers are able to meet with students virtually to go over questions from the class, concerns, etc. During this time students are also encouraged to set up Facetime/Google Meet calls with their lunch table friends and have a "virtual lunch table experience." 

Middle School Daily Expectations

Class Expectations: During this window of distance learning, students are expected to do the following: 

  • Check Google Classroom for instructions from the teacher when the class is normally scheduled to begin.  For example if a student has Pre-Algebra at 8:15 am, he / she would logon to the Pre Algebra Google Classroom for instructions from Mrs. Veenstra  that include an attendance check, conference or video call instructions, daily objectives, and assignments or assessments to be completed. 

  • Stay online and engage in discussions for the duration of the class or until the teacher gives permission to log off the video call and complete work, independently.  Students who are disengaged or begin falling behind will be reported to administration who will check in with families to discuss student needs or additional supports necessary for success.

  • Complete all coursework, including assessments, with academic integrity.  This is your learning and your future.  Using other sources (person, print, online) only hurts your relationship with the Lord and damages your integrity.

Lesson Plans/Lesson Materials:

  • Teachers will post lesson plans for distance learning on their digital lesson plans which can be found in the email sent from Mrs. Parks. Students should daily check lesson plans to see what to expect during class and what homework assignments are listed. 

  • All Middle School teachers will be posting daily and weekly assignments on their personal google classroom pages. Teachers will have the content for their day/week/unit posted by 8am of the day that they have class.

Service Learning: 

  • In response to social distancing, our program for Service/Ministry Hours is going to change to fit our current social model. Instead of “hours” we are going to turn to Ministry Interactions. Read all about the update here. 

  • The quick takeaway is that we still want our students to be the light of Christ in times like these. We are asking them to create an interaction with friends, family members, or other organizations to spread the love of Christ. This can happen through a text message, FaceTime call, handwritten letter, or making meals and dropping them off somewhere like Hope Ministries.