Good Afternoon to our Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Academy Families,
Please know that we understand that none of what is occurring is at all easy for any family. We are embarking on SFDS@HOME in an effort to continue the educational opportunities for your child(ren) now that we are closed for a minimum of four weeks.
These few weeks are a time for our school population to assist our communities in not adding to the spread of a disease. Therefore, students should be home engaged in academics that we are providing.
You know that the “snow day” is one where the school must make up that day to comply with the 180- day school year mandate. However, during this “social distancing” multi-week school closure, we are providing the student the educational assignments, through SFDS@HOME to be marked present for the day.
Attendance is achieved by the student being actively engaged in the learning assignments and completing the assignments provided by the teacher each day.
It is also good for your child to have a set schedule for the day, a time to wake up, a time to engage in learning and a time to relax at home. Below you will find some suggestions for setting up a work location and a schedule for engagement in the educational opportunities provided by our teachers.
Embarking on SFDS@HOME is not easy for you, as it is new to you and your child. But, most of the platforms we shall be using are ones your student(s) have been engaged in within our school.
If there are any issues with Wi-Fi at home please remember that all iPads and the majority of Chromebooks in Grades 5-7 can access the Sprint Data Plan and get the internet through that. Any major technology issues please email Mr. Scharbach at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers over the past week have been posting assignments the first few days to get students comfortable with our new efforts of SFDS@HOME. So, there will be a learning curve. But, again, your child must be actively engaged and must complete the assignments.
Let’s take a look at some common questions from the first week and some exciting new things in week two of SFDS @HOME
- What will assignments look like from teachers, following are examples:
Bulleted lists of assignments given on a class page
Videos posted to Webpages or Class Dojo
Classroom Zoom or Meet Meetings
Some PDF Worksheets
STEM, Spanish, Physical Education, Art assignments
- What will the Daily Schedule look like?
In grades Nursery-Grade 2 assignments will be posted at 8:30 am daily.
The assignments are recommended to be started at 8:45 am. We understand circumstances may deem that difficult especially with working parents please email the teacher if there are any issues.
In grade 3-8 all students have their first Google Meet or Zoom meeting at 8:45am. Please follow the schedule on your class page.
- How will assignments be turned in?
Students in Grades 3-8 will be told where and when to post to sites most of the time this will occur through Google Classroom.
Younger students will need parents to send an email or post on the Classroom Dojo to the teacher when work is completed.
- When will Special Education Services start?
Once we are approved by the NYC Department of Education and the individual agencies we believe that majority of Special Education services will start during the middle of this week.
All services will take place through an App called Zoom. Your individual provider will reach out to you about a schedule. Please note that in Grades 3-8 students will not be pulled during their Meet or Zoom session with their teachers. You can find your child’s provider’s classroom from our SFDS@HOME page or by clicking here.
Any questions please reach out to Mrs. Buckley at email@example.com. Please note that Mrs. Buckley will also be reaching out to a few families that have annual meetings to schedule them in the upcoming weeks as well.
- What events are postponed or canceled due to the mutli-week school closing?
In terms of cancellations and postponements please click here for more information.
- Where does Wit and Wisdom (Grades K-2 ELA curriculum) fit in my child’s day?
As you may know we started this year a new ELA curriculum called Wit and Wisdom. This literacy program goes hand in hand with the Wilson Fundation phonics program. Wit & Wisdom is a English curriculum that brings rich, knowledge-building content into your classroom. Wit & Wisdom helps us meet the expectations of the new standards while celebrating the joy of reading and writing with our students. We will be starting this week posting 15-20 minutes Wit and Wisdom lessons from Great Minds on each of the class pages. We do ask that the K-2 students watch each of these lessons and work on the activities given. Please note they are breaking up the lessons into two parts to give students a quick 5 min break. The videos can always be paused if needed. Any questions please email Mrs. Faughnan at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How do I receive my child’s Report Cards?
As of this morning all report cards have been posted and digitally distributed through Option C. Please see the attached document that will walk through the process of how to retrieve your child(ren)’s report cards for the second trimester. Of course, if there are any issues or if you need to check in with a teacher please email them and they will do their best to set up a phone conference during the week of March 23rd. Please note you must sign in as a parent not a student to retrieve the report cards.
- How should my child approach a Zoom or Google Meet classroom?
Please use the following recommendations for etiquette for your child in a Google Meet or Zoom classroom. It would be recommended that every parent sit down with their child in Grades 3-8 and review with them this etiquette. Please remind your child(ren) that none of the online platforms are an extension of their social media accounts or a texting situation.
The posts on the online platforms must be posted applying good communication and writing lessons taught over the years. That means full sentences with good grammar and punctuation. Please follow all of our school rules and policies as they are still in effect. Please note that moving forward that teachers will be calling home/emailing if there is any issue in the classroom. This includes to calling out, not staying on task, fooling around with the Zoom/Google Meet platform, making faces. If this behavior cannot be corrected your child may be asked to not join their classmates on the Zoom/GoogleMeet platform for a set of time.
- Are there any resources for me to use at home with my child?
Please continue to use the resources page on our SFDS@HOME website. Here you will find many resources that can be used at home with your help. The teachers will also be using many of these resources as a tool in their classroom.
10. How will teachers be available to communicate with parents individually?
Teachers will be accessible by emailing them at their school email addresses.
Teachers will be watching their emails throughout the day (8am-4pm), and will respond as soon as they are able.
You also know that the Mr. Scharbach and Mrs. Faughnan are also available for concerns or questions at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Will teachers track online assignments and grade assignments?
Yes, this is a plan by each teacher to monitor work on Option C, etc.
Teachers will grade work and add grade to Option C, so continue to look at that.
12. Is Attendance being taken?
As stated above, attendance must be taken by teachers, daily.
This may be in the form of a Classroom Dojo from the parent of younger students with an assignment.
This may be accomplished by students making themselves known that they are in the Zoom or Google Meet classroom at the start of the day, and they are posting assignments to the teacher as requires. But, remember that attendance is achieved by a student completing all assignments given.
13. Is there Faith Formation during this multi-week closure?
As you would expect, a portion of each of our school days is spent engaged in Religious education. It is infused within our entire curriculum, and we do have a subject period for Religion Education. We are very happy to share that that will continue via SFDS@HOME.
In addition, it is the principal’s plan to create a video posted each day to our SFDS@HOME Landing page and on Facebook Live that will include opening exercises such as our Prayer, and pledge. This will occur each day at about 8:30am.
Also, this week we will be sending emails out to all 1st-4th graders inviting them to My Catholic Faith Delivered. It is recommended that students work on this for 15-20 minutes each day. The courses are designed to make learning convenient and fun. They feature engaging lessons, interactive activities, and real-time feedback.
Please note that this curriculum is self-paced meaning that students will be at different lessons based on how quickly they complete the lessons. Any questions about this curriculum please email Mr. Scharbach at email@example.com
14. What do I do if I have questions regarding this effort of SFDS@HOME or something else?
Please, as always, start with the classroom teacher by emailing him or her via his or her school email address between the hours of 8am-4pm. If you need more assistance, you may always email your question or concern to myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. Will anyone be at the school for parents to pick up books or something my child forgot and needs?
Please note that as of Friday March 20th at 5pm the school building is closed until further notice by order of the Governor and Bishop DiMarzio.
16. Will, I have contact with the principal during this multi- week school closure?
Continue to know that I am always available via my email email@example.com If you send an email, I usually answer it very quickly. I can tell you now, that I will respond at my earliest convenience. You, our parents, teachers, staff and students continue to be my top priority.
Please know that I will be walking the virtual hallways of our teachers’ Remote Learning Classrooms. I will be looking at student work and engagement. I will, as always, continue to keep you informed and I shall share articles and items of interest throughout the next few weeks.
In closing for now: Please know we are praying that there is an end to the spread of COVID-19. We are also praying for our St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy families and our entire community, our country and our world. This is new territory for us and together we shall make it work. We may need to make adjustments along the way. Again, we will accomplish this together. SFDS@HOME still going strong! But remember this is a marathon, not a sprint!!!
May God continue to hold each of you, your family, your friends and everyone in our world very close.
Christopher Scharbach, Ed.D.
PS: Don’t forget to catch mass throughout the week on either St. Francis de Sales Parish’s or Blessed Trinity Parish’s Facebook page. We are working with Father Bill and Father Jim in trying to set up a school mass for this week.