Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on our virtual learning initiatives through our online survey or email. We’ve received more than 100 responses.
Overall, parents expressed their gratitude and are pleased with Hudson’s elementary online learning initiatives. Parents recognize there is a learning curve for teachers, students, and parents with respect to technology use and scheduling. More than ever, our teachers have been working extremely hard, long hours to ensure an immersive and engaging online learning environment flourishes as we go forward. Parents also need to appreciate that each teacher has similar but also dissimilar home circumstances (i.e. children, spouses still going to work, etc.) that have a direct impact on their planning time. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
Parents also expressed their understanding that these unprecedented circumstances require the Hudson community to work together to establish an online learning program that meets the unique needs of each group of learners: primary, junior, and middle school.
We recognize that our youngest learners require parent support in navigating technology, learning and completing assigned work. We recognize the complexity of online learning in families that share devices between working parents and/or several siblings. We appreciate that some students—irrespective of their grade—require individualized support in their learning that is difficult for parents and teachers to provide, as teachers normally and happily would under more regular circumstances.
Acknowledging that individual family needs and expectations are present under any learning situation, and based on the feedback received, we are establishing the following guidelines for our elementary online teaching program (please note we are working on a Monday to Friday teaching schedule to make it easier for our families to follow):
- Homeroom teachers will provide a consistent Monday to Friday schedule that identifies two (2) online meetings per day with students that are 30 to 40 minutes in duration, depending on the grade. There will also be assigned independent work periods.
- Grade 7 and 8 teachers will host 3 sessions some days as the teachers share core subjects of Mathematics and Geography.
- Grade 3 and above: the online meetings will include a teaching/discussion period with time for students to work and the teacher is available for questions.
- The teaching schedule, including independent work periods, will begin at 9:00 am (depending on the grade) and end at 2:00 pm (for all grades). This allows teachers to prepare for the next day’s lesson.
- One-on-one student assistance is not provided under these circumstances as the demand for the teacher would be excessive.
- Each homeroom teacher will identify when the specialty subjects of French and Music will be in their schedule. French will be provided 2 to 3 times per week, Music will be provided 1 or 2 times per week.
- Teachers will ensure work assigned covers core expectations and provide sufficient time for submission. The focus will remain on Language, Math, and Science for homeroom teachers (including Geography for Grades 7 and 8).
- Teachers will choose a platform they will use consistently, and the specialty teacher will use the same platform so that expertise can be developed by parents, teachers, and students (Zoom, Google Classroom or Seesaw).
- Teachers will choose a ‘place’ where work is located and specialty teachers will use the same ‘place’ for their assigned work, videos etc. (Google Classroom, Seesaw, Google Drive).
- Teachers will provide realistic due dates and will provide feedback on a timely basis.
- To support the need for students to interact with each other as a group, teachers are asked to provide a few minutes in their online meetings to allow students to greet each other.
Questions related to summative assessments will be reviewed once we hear from the Ministry about a potential return-to-school.
We want to reassure parents that when we return to the classroom full-time, our teachers will assess student learning in core subjects and resolve any potential gaps resulting from the school closure period.
We have also reviewed over a dozen private schools’ online programs and our elementary program exceeds—or is in line with—these schools.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation.
Jeff Bavington & Rose Bastien