We proceeded on. . .
The start of a new calendar year and a new decade means that we are setting out to explore more as we venture forth in our fourth grade year. The beginning of this school year is like no other in anybody's memory. Obviously the onset and continued threat of the coronavirus has changed the manner in which we approach our school year and how we will work with our students. Currently we plan on starting the year with "Comprehensive Distance Learning" (CDL) as we use an online platform, Florida Virtual System (FLVS), to convey curriculum to students as they learn in the safety of their home environment. Use of FLVS will allow teachers to spend more time meeting with students, doing synchronous lessons live with each cohort of students, and checking in with students and their families. This is a major difference from the spring when teachers had to create the bulk of the content online and did not have permission to use ZOOM to meet or teach students in a synchronous manner.
The learning curve for all of us will be steep, but I know we are all up to the challenge and have the growth mindset to work together, ask for help and assistance when necessary, and maintain our excitement to learn and grow together as we move forward in our fourth grade year in 2020 to 2021.
Should our local counties and our state of Oregon show great improvement in lowering the risk of contagion and infection, we will move towards a true "Hybrid" model of school that will follow the same schedule as we are using for CDL. This will help to minimize disruption to established cycles and routines and will hopefully help students to find greater success in this difficult situation. When we get to that transition point, no doubt parents and students will receive a great deal of information regarding the shift.
Until that time it is my hope to build our virtual classroom and cohort communities as best as possible. We will be spending time together the first week of school developing norms and guidelines for our participation in virtual meetings, setting up our classroom schedules, and just getting a chance to learn as much about each other and our new learning tech as possible. Creating a positive sense of belonging is our first critical task and I am hopeful that every one of my students, and their families, feel that we are able to make a connection in this new virtual classroom.
Welcome to fourth grade!