District Family Letter: September 30, 2020

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we just finished the second cycle of hybrid and remote learning.  It has been wonderful to see students learning back in our schools and online!  Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we opened school with two very different learning models – hybrid and fully remote.  This unprecedented time has turned our way of educating students upside down.

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify our hybrid model along with the fully remote option.  In the hybrid model, classroom teachers are working with groups of students throughout the four days of in-person learning – 2 days for Cohort A (Mon/Tues) and 2 days for Cohort B (Thurs/Fri). Therefore, in order to support hybrid students on their remote learning days, we are relying on another group of teachers working in the fully remote learning model. In grades K-8, this means hybrid students receive synchronous time during their remote learning days from remote teachers.  This synchronous time is meant to provide some instruction and support for the remote learning assignments.  The fully remote teachers are balancing instruction of both the fully remote students and the hybrid students on their remote days.

That being said, we also want to take time to thank you for being our partners in educating your children during remote learning!  We are aware of the different needs of our families and are working to support you as your child(ren) engage in remote learning.  From our emails with families, we have found that the following strategies have been helpful for some families:

  • Check your child’s Google Classrooms for links to synchronous learning sessions and for the remote learning assignments. At HRMS, you can also check the Team’s website.
  • Help your child advocate for themselves during synchronous sessions with the remote teacher. This is their time to ask questions and get clarifications about the assignments they are working on at home.
  • Help your child create a daily/weekly schedule of synchronous meetings along with asynchronous work time. This should mirror the school schedule but, if you are unable to work during the scheduled time, plan for when your child will complete the assigned asynchronous work.
  • Email or have your child meet with their hybrid teacher after school to get the help or clarification for any remote work.
  • Use the DPS Student Online Help Desk to report any technical issues you are experiencing during remote learning.
  • If you are unable to join a Google Meet or Zoom class session, please email your teacher so they are aware of your technical difficulty.

Finally, the Danvers Recreation Department has an update on their Remote Learning Program to support children during the remote learning portion of the hybrid model which is now adjusted to $50 per day: “New lower price effective October 1st! You asked, we listened. In an effort to better support our community we have adjusted our fees and expanded our program to include K-8 going forward. Financial aid is available for those in need.”

Remember, we are opening school at an unsettled time in a very different way. We need to give ourselves permission to take the time to adjust to our new way of learning and being at school. In order to provide some support in helping your family as we settle into hybrid / remote learning, we would like to share this resource for helping your child learn at home.

With appreciation,

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers