I hope you are doing well as we head into the final four weeks of school at PDS. Today, I want to share a few important details with you.
First, all of my communications over the past weeks are archived on the PDS COVID-19 page on our website. This page also has information regarding contacting teachers and technology help. Additionally, our calendar cancellations and postponements are listed on this page.
Dear PDS families,
As you know, I have been communicating with families on Mondays and Wednesdays during this time of distance learning. In light of Governor Lee’s announcement this past Wednesday regarding schools remaining closed in Tennessee and President Trump’s announcement yesterday about reopening the country, I wanted to provide the following information to you today.
Dear Elementary Parents,
One of my favorite picture books is a story called A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech. In this book, the principal was so proud of all the teaching and learning happening within the school walls that he decided students should come to school on weekends, holidays, and even during the summer! As you can imagine, both children and teachers became very worried. After some time on this new schedule, a small student helped the principal realize that children do need to learn valuable things at school, but they also have valuable things to learn at home. A balance of the two is necessary. It didn’t take long for the principal to reverse his decision!
Thank you to the hundreds of families who completed our recent survey. I was pleased to see that over 90% of you feel the school is serving the boy’s needs during this time. We have read every comment and taken to heart what families are telling us about this time of distance learning. As you might imagine, the comments run the gamut from positive to frustrated.
First, I want to acknowledge that doing school remotely is difficult and challenging. Not only have our teachers implemented the most significant educational pivot in history, but you have had to change in so many ways as well. This type of learning is especially difficult for our youngest learners. This way of doing school is temporary and not ideal. I am so proud of the teaching staff who is adapting and changing to this situation daily. Thank you for continuing to partner with us.
You may have seen some stories in the news about some issues with online meeting software. At PDS, we take the online safety and security of our family seriously, and we want to keep you updated on how we are using these tools. We believe it is important for us to provide opportunities for your sons to see and connect with their teachers and classmates; therefore, we have implemented two tools for this purpose!
- Student Google Hangout Tutorial
- Creating Your Shared Journal
- Locating Your Journal
- Making a Bookmark
- Moving items into your folders.
- Setting up your Journal
- Writing Journal Entries
- Joining a Google Classroom and Accessing it
- 3rd Grade signing into Google and Logging into BrainPop
- Student Quia Test Movies
Dear PDS Parents,
I appreciate the extra effort that has gone into shifting PDS from our campus into your home. Our teachers have been working more than ever to provide an outstanding experience for our boys. In fact, I have never seen them work harder. You, as parents, have also been working harder than ever, and we appreciate the continued partnership.
I would like to have your perspective on how you believe we are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Please complete the following brief survey to help us know how we are doing and where we might need to make some changes. Please complete a separate survey for each of your sons as we gather data for each grade level.
PDS understands that a shift to distance learning will require our boys and families to make adjustments. At the Hancock Home, we have been doing distance learning for the past three years. Some of you may know that my son, Clay, is an accomplished violinist and a traditional “bricks and mortar” school was not the best plan for him. He started online learning after his Freshman year of high school to allow for travel and practice. Now, he is heading towards graduation from online high school. We have experienced and adjusted a lot through these past years and you can click here to see some of the things we have learned that might help you during this time.