Refining Distance Learning in Lower School

The Meadows School Campus
Our school’s closure has been tough for Meadows families and teachers. We are not alone. Over one billion students worldwide are staying home from school. Online access to lessons has gone from nice-to-have to must-have. The uncertainty about when our schools and businesses will reopen, combined with the challenge of delivering distance learning, pushes our can-do spirit to the limit. Meadows teachers would like to express our thanks to parents for supporting your children’s learning at home. We truly appreciate all that you do.

We are working to get it right. We want to meet your expectations and our own for delivery of the appropriate amount of synchronous and asynchronous time with students. To that end, and for consistency across the Lower School and each grade level, we are asking teachers to consider a few key principles as they plan remote lessons through April, keeping in mind that their professional judgment and knowledge of their students should drive their decisions.

Teachers will:
  • Focus on core skills, not simply content coverage. This means that while we are attempting to move students along with curriculum goals, we know that nothing fully replaces what is done in the classroom. Lessons will be pared down, along with time and product expectations for students.
  • Present lessons in a way that allows students access throughout the day. Remote learning may seem more effective when students participate live with their teacher, but we know it may not be possible for every student to tune in on any given day or time. Do what works best for your family.
  • Provide clear directions. This is something we’re learning day by day as we receive feedback from students and parents. If you have questions, use the teacher’s school email address to ask. Don’t panic if you don’t receive an immediate answer; due dates are flexible.
  • Assign “classwork” only, with no additional traditional “homework”. We know students take varying amounts of time to complete assignments, be it in class or at home. Teachers will adjust the quantity and type of work they are assigning as they assess student work and progress. Flexibility along with compassion for everyone’s life situation is key for us. While we do need your help to provide encouragement and an environment conducive to learning in your home, we do not expect you to teach the course or curriculum.
  • Teach and communicate with compassion and flexibility. This is perhaps most important as we know significant physical, emotional, and financial strain are new realities for our families.
We are so very grateful to our teachers for creating positive remote learning environments with instruction and guidance that is appropriate to the age and grade of their students. With that, we are especially grateful to parents. We know that balancing work, family, and school isn’t easy for anyone.

Answers to your recent questions:
  • Student awards are still being earned and will be delivered. This includes reading, math, and Presidential Scholars (5th grade only).
  • ERB exams may be postponed or even canceled. (More on this topic to come later.)
Spring Break will be a true break. We all need to take a breath right now. During the week of April 6-10, please do just that. Relax. Laugh.

Once again, I am grateful for all that you are doing during this unprecedented time. Give yourselves a standing ovation!

Happy Spring Break!
Shana Marek
Director of Lower School
  • Lower School