April 12, 2020
Dear YES Families,
Happy Easter! I hope that you and your family are enjoying a great day together.
As Dr. Dolloff shared with us last week, distance learning will continue until the end of this school year. While we are truly disappointed that we are not going to be physically together in one place again, we also recognize that everyone's health and well-being are the most important things at this time. Our commitment and focus to make this remaining time as positive and meaningful as we can continues. This news brings many questions and I hope to answer a few of them in this update. There will be lots of news to share as we finish up this year while planning for the next. The unknown will definitely have an impact on this planning and we appreciate your patience, flexibility and support as we work through all of these tasks.
YES SPIRIT WEEK
We are so excited to have our annual "YES Spirit Week"! It will kick off tomorrow morning with a "live stream" surprise on Seesaw at 9:00 a.m. Students should log-in and click the link on their activities feed. YES staff worked diligently to put this "surprise share" together for our students. You won't want to miss it! On that note, I should also share with you that the link/share will work in it's entirety if you are not able to view it at 9:00 a.m. The share is titled: "We Are All In This Together". Enjoy!
Each morning the activity feed will also post a reminder for dress up days. This is an optional activity. Students, if they choose to participate, can send a picture of themselves dressed up in response to the activity. Student pictures will be stored in their classroom Seesaw blog where each class can only view pictures of their classmates in their spirit week gear. As you are aware, this is a secure site and only the teacher and classmates can view their Seesaw images and videos. Dress up days include: PJ Day on Monday, Hat Day on Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Yarmouth Sprit Day on Thursday (Yarmouth gear or blue/white) and Favorite Friday (favorite outfit/clothes).
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING DAYS/APRIL VACATION LEARNING
I shared an article from AJ Juliani with you that included the following quote: "The sooner we realize that there is no instructional manual for this situation, the sooner we can give each other grace to experiment, learn, and iterate to the best of our abilities in the worst of circumstances."
As our "emergency remote learning" continues to evolve we are adding what we feel will be an enhancement to the learning experience for students. As you are aware, a big part of our philosophy on motivation and student learning involves choice and ownership. This Friday we will have a "Differentiated Learning Day" that will provide students with choice to pick from several different learning activities. We recognize that students are spending a lot of time on screens so the vast majority of these options are non-screen activities. The work is designed for students to still spend the approximate 120 minutes of daily work they have been typically doing. Part of this time should also be used to catch up on work students may have missed over the course of the week. More specific details to come in Seesaw on Friday!
Also, teachers will provide one-days worth of instructional activities for students through Seesaw to be completed over the April break. These asynchronous assignments can be done all at once or spread out over the week- whatever works best for your family. This allows us to finish up the school year on Friday, June 12.
RECORDING OF STUDENTS
During remote learning there are some schools that are taping live, synchronous lessons so that students can review them afterwards. In our asynchronous model this is not an issue as we do not tape/record students in live sessions. This is occurring at the high and middle schools but not at YES. Nonetheless, we wanted to make you aware that if an educator intends to record a live session they must inform the student/parent that they intend to record it at the beginning. The student/parent has the right to not participate via video or to be recorded. Again, we don't anticipate this to be an issue at YES but wanted to make sure you were informed on the district practice.
GT INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT UPDATE
Due to our current distance learning status, eligibility processes for GT instructional support for the 20-21 school year will occur when we return to our school buildings. At that time we will have a process in place and will be in touch with how that will work. If you have any questions about this please reach out to me directly.
ITEMS AT SCHOOL/PICK UP
We have had a few people ask about picking up student materials that are still at school. We will be working on a plan for this as we move through the spring. I do not anticipate it will occur for at least a few weeks but I will communicate this to you well in advance for your planning. We will make a plan based on the ongoing direction from our health experts on the best time and way to make this happen. As I have shared before please reach out to me directly if there are any essential items that your child needs in the more immediate future.
Have a wonderful April vacation week with your family. Even if you have your own work responsibilities that week I hope that the reduced student workload allows you to catch your breath for a bit and engage in some activities that you all enjoy. I will be back in touch when we return to school on Monday, April 27. Stay well!
Ryan Gleason, YES Principal