Table of Contents

March 27, 2020, 12:00 p.m. – New Brebeuf Jesuit E-Learning Schedule for April
March 26, 2020, 4:30 p.m. – AP Exams Update
March 23, 2020, 6:30 p.m. – Brebeuf Jesuit Operations Update
March 19, 2020, 3:30 p.m. – Brebeuf Jesuit Campus Operations Update

March 18, 2020, 4:00 p.m. – E-Learning and the Importance of Social Distancing
March 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m. – Important E-Learning Details
March 13, 2020, 2:00 p.m. – SAT on March 14 Has Been Cancelled
March 13, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – Boys Basketball Tournament Postponed
March 12, 2020, 6.45 p.m. – COVID-19 Update – Brebeuf Jesuit Closed, In-Person Classes Cancelled


New Brebeuf Jesuit E-Learning Schedule for April

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Students and Families,

As we near our spring break, our faculty and staff are looking forward to a much-needed break after two weeks of hard work to transition to E-Learning. But foremost on our mind are you, our students, who have also had two weeks of hard work, change, and dispiriting news. We’re glad for a time of rest for you too, though we are feeling compassion for the disappointment of your spring break being less fun than you had anticipated. Please do take a well-deserved rest, and find new ways with your time to stay healthy, active and connected to one another.

I’m grateful for all those who took the time to send feedback through our survey about E-Learning. As I mentioned in my previous message, we could already tell by the end of last week that we would need to plan differently for April, to make this a sustainable pace for everyone. Your survey feedback helped us to stay focused on the optimal experience for our students as we make this quick transition to online schooling, and we are certainly learning a great deal.

We have created a brand new E-Learning schedule for the month of April (and that would be able to extend to the month of May, if necessary). Monday, April 6, will not be an E-Learning day for students; it will be a Prep Day for teachers. Then, beginning Tuesday, April 7, we will begin a new rotation of E-Learning days, as shown on the calendar below:

On Maroon Class Days, classes that meet during periods 1, 3, 5, and 7 will post activities and/or assignments. They may have live online class meetings at their designated times, as shown on the calendar above. Teachers will post a schedule of virtual office hours where they are available for responses to questions.

On Gold Class Days, the same framework repeats, just for classes that meet during periods 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Prep Days are teacher and student workdays. No new assignments will be posted, no deadlines will fall on these days, and no classes will meet, except for sophomore seminar with their college counselors. The purpose of these days is for students to work on assignments they have received over the previous days, to allow them to catch up or work ahead, and to ask questions of their teachers. The teachers will spend those days working on planning and grading, as well as responding to student questions during virtual office hours.

Assignments for Maroon Day classes will have deadlines on later Maroon Days. Assignments for Gold Day classes will have deadlines on later Gold Days. There will no longer be the “universal deadline” time of 4:00 p.m., so you will see different deadline times, but none will be later than 5:00 p.m., or on weekends or Prep Days.

The main goal of this schedule is to stagger the workload for students, to make it more manageable for everyone, while still keeping students engaged daily and moving the learning forward. We also heard that so many of you appreciated the virtual face-to-face opportunities with your teachers and classmates, so this schedule facilitates that, but allows them to happen on different days rather than all on the same day.

We sincerely hope and expect that this new schedule will make for a better student experience for an online school environment over an extended period of time. Again, we are learning as we go, we appreciate your patience and feedback, and we’ll be ready again to adapt as needed, as we manage this journey together.

May God bless each of you and your time as families together over spring break.

AMDG,

Greg VanSlambrook

Principal


AP Exams Update

March 26, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Community,

As you may already know, the College Board announced that it would be moving all AP testing online. Students will be taking AP exams from home in May. The format will be a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. Educator-led development committees are currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered. [seen under: Course Specific Exam Info]. We are proud to have over 418 students at Brebeuf Jesuit taking over 841 exams, so this also means there is a lot to consider.

The College Board’s announcement has raised many questions. For example: When exactly will the tests be taken? What should we do for students with accommodations? How will these exams be scored, and credit awarded? We expect this information to be forthcoming from the College Board, but we don’t have it yet.

Here is what we know so far:

  • The College Board will make a final announcement about testing by April 3.
  • The College Board has released [seen under: Free AP Review Classes] live, online review classes.
  • With the exception of AP Drawing, each exam will have a 45-minute, ‘Free Response’ exam.
  • The exams will focus on curriculum from earlier in the school year, curriculum it is likely the teachers were able to cover before our extended e-learning period began.
  • Tests can be completed by computer, tablet, phone, or on paper and submitted by photos.
  • Universities are generally on board with the changes made to this year’s examinations.
  • The College Board would like to help with technology access. Because of this, it would be good for us to know which students need technology support for testing.
  • AP insists that the exams will be secure; they have anti-cheating measures in place.

There are still many questions unanswered. We will let you know as soon as decisions are reached about the process and procedures. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to your AP teacher with content related questions and to Brebeuf Jesuit AP Exam Coordinator, Mrs. Davis for AP examination process questions after April 3. We are here to support you through these unprecedented changes.

AMDG,

Greg VanSlambrook
Principal


Brebeuf Jesuit Operations Update – March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Students and Families,

We hope you all had a restful weekend, and a good start today to our second week of E-Learning. I am writing today with a short update on E-Learning, and to invite your feedback as we look ahead to April.

I want to again thank and commend the efforts of all of our students and teachers last week. The work you did to adapt to a new structure, along with all of the challenges happening around us, was truly impressive. As our faculty leaders debriefed at the end of the week, our consensus was that the pace and demands of the week were greater than will be sustainable by our students and teachers. We’ve also heard that feedback directly from students and parents, and we are listening.

So, the first thing we did as a faculty was to aim to dial back the student workload in this second week. That will take a variety of different forms depending on the class, but I hope you can feel the difference.

Next, we are working on a plan to structure our E-Learning classes and assignments differently, once we return from spring break on April 6. We don’t know what that will look like quite yet, but we expect to have a plan to be able to communicate to you by the end of this week. We’re working on this plan by gathering input and ideas from our teachers, and we also want to hear from students and parents as well. I invite you to please click this link to complete a short feedback survey, which should take no more than a couple of minutes. The submission window will close at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.

Lastly, Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J. will be online tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to share a message with our community via Facebook Live. Visit the Brebeuf Jesuit Facebook page here to view.  If you are unable to view it live, it will be archived and accessible to all following the broadcast.

AMDG,

Greg VanSlambrook
Principal


Brebeuf Jesuit Campus Operations Update

March 19, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Students and Families,

Good afternoon. It was good to see so many faces online today during the class meetings.

In keeping with Governor Holcomb’s statewide directive today to all schools, we are moving back our expected date of return to in-person classes at Brebeuf Jesuit to May 1, 2020.

The Governor has also announced that all remaining state education tests are cancelled for this school year. For Brebeuf Jesuit, this means ISTEP.

Other Changes Due to May 1 Directive

  • This also means that Prom will need to be postponed from its current scheduled date of April 18. Our hope at this time is to be able to reschedule Prom for a later date.
  • The Spring Musical, which had tentatively been rescheduled to April 23-25, will not be able to take place on those dates. Like Prom, we will be working to reschedule the Spring Musical.
  • AP exams, which are scheduled to begin on May 4, are at the discretion of the College Board. As of now, the College Board has not yet made any announcements about this year’s AP testing. We will let you know as soon as we hear anything.
  • We have been in contact with Clowes Hall about the Class of 2020 Graduation ceremony, and we have received confirmation that Graduation is still on their calendar as scheduled at this time, for Sunday, May 17.

We continue to pray for all of you, and we will keep in touch.

Thank you,

Greg VanSlambrook
Principal


Brebeuf Jesuit – E-Learning and the Importance of Social Distancing

March 18, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Students and Families,

I hope you are doing well this Wednesday evening. These past few days since you heard from me last, have been a lot to take in, with all of the uncertainties and adjustments in daily life. We also just concluded our third day of E-Learning, and I know we are all adjusting to that too.

All of the initial signs appear to us that e-learning is off to the best start we could have hoped for. I want to thank our students for your diligence in your schoolwork, for continuing to care so much about your learning, and for your resilience. I expected this is what we would see from all of you, but I still don’t take it for granted. I want to thank our teachers for all of their work and care to organize learning while we’re all apart. As I’ve been looking through our teachers’ communication on their pages, I’ve frequently heard them say or write to their students, “we miss you,” “we’re here to help you,” and “we’ll be okay.”

At Brebeuf Jesuit, we have closed the building to all but essential needs, as we realize that our duty right now in terms of taking care of our broader community, is to be at home. Students, we ask you to please stay at home as well. Saying “no” to getting together with a few friends or having a friend over to the house, feels extreme – but that is exactly what needs to happen right now if we want to see many lives saved. Staying home is a worthy sacrifice, and is the most selfless thing you can do at this moment for others. It also gives us the best chance of being able to get back together, as friends and as a school community, sooner rather than later.

Please read this excerpt from a New York Times article on social distancing:

I’m young and don’t have any risk factors. Can I continue to socialize?

Please don’t. There is no question that older people and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus, but young people are by no means immune.

And there is a greater public health imperative. Even people who show only mild symptoms may pass the virus to many, many others — particularly in the early course of the infection, before they even realize they are sick. So you might keep the chain of infection going right to your own older or high-risk relatives. You may also contribute to the number of people infected, causing the pandemic to grow rapidly and overwhelm the health care system.

If you ignore the guidance on social distancing, you will essentially put yourself and everyone else at much higher risk.

Or, see this visual and interactive depiction of the payoff of social distancing.

Finally, here are a few good resources for families on dealing with the stressors of young people and parents alike during this time:

I’ll say again along with our teachers – we miss you, we’re here to help you, and we’ll be okay. You can expect regular updates and resources during this time, so I’ll talk with you again soon.

AMDG,

Greg VanSlambrook
Principal


Important E-Learning Details

March 14, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Students and Families,

I hope you are well during this weekend, as we all adapt to a challenging time. As I write this morning, I am grateful for all of you, and I am hopeful that the measures we all are taking will make a positive contribution toward arresting the spread of COVID-19, for the Brebeuf Jesuit community and for the entire Indianapolis community. Thank you all for what we are doing together to make this happen.

On Monday, March 16, we will begin E-Learning Days. This past Friday, our faculty and staff spent the day preparing to conduct classes online for this extended period, and to care for our students and their whole-person development, even from a distance. This message is meant to outline the general instructions for e-learning for students, to help you know what to expect and how to plan.

E-Learning Days are school days, and students should expect to spend good portions of each day engaged in learning while at home. The academic goals of E-Learning Days include maintaining and consolidating learning which has already taken place, in addition to moving forward with the content and advancing the learning. All of us recognize that in this new territory, we will all need to be flexible with each other. Our goal is not to plow through the academic content at the same pace no matter what. But, students, please also know that these are not days off like snow days—these are school days, and like school days, you’ll have daily responsibilities and regular deadlines.

Each morning, students should check each of their class pages on Portals, where they will find instructions and links to their assignments for the day, as well as teacher contact information. Some classes will have a live meeting online, with instructions for students on how to access it and when. Some classes will have an assignment and a deadline, without a live meeting that day. All teachers will post “virtual office hours” of when they will be available “live” to respond to student questions, along with instructions on how to contact them during those office hours.

As we have done with previous E-Learning Days, we will continue to follow our already-planned Day 1-5 schedule of classes. The Days 1-5 schedule can be found on the Brebeuf app, and on the school calendar which is posted on the Brebeuf Jesuit websitewww.brebeuf.org. For example, Monday, March 16, is a Day 3. So, any classes that would have met on a Day 3, will have an assignment posted for that day, while period 4 and 6 classes will not. 

On each Day 1, ALL classes will have live online meetings, at the time the class would have regularly met on Day 1. The Day 1’s during our period of school closure are every Thursday (except during Spring Break): March 19, March 26, and April 9.  On these days, each teacher will post instructions for how to access the class’s online meeting. This may take several formats as appropriate to the course, including teacher-led instruction, open Q&A, or others. The purpose of the Day 1 online meetings is so that at least once per week, every class has a live meeting opportunity for check-in and instruction.

We have made a decision as the entire faculty, that all assignment deadlines will be at 4:00 p.m. for submission for students. Some short assignments may be given in the morning with a 4:00 p.m. same-day deadline, while many other assignments will be given a next-day 4:00 p.m. deadline or several days in advance. For assignments that stretch over multiple days, teachers will give students guidelines for how to split up the work so that they work on pieces of it daily, culminating on the due date.

In addition to consistency and simplicity for students, the purpose of a 4:00 p.m. deadline is to encourage you to establish a healthy daily routine. We recommend students organize their academic work during school hours, complete it before dinner time, and spend dinner and evening time as family time. Parents, I recommend this clip featuring Denise Pope of Stanford University for an introduction to her acronym of “PDF” – Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time each day in balance with your school work. These are as important for high school students (not to mention adults) as they are for younger kids. 

I want everyone to know that our student support staff, which includes our Academic Counseling, College Counseling, Learning Center, School Social Worker, and others, will be available to our students via email and/or phone on every school day. Those staff will be proactively reaching out to students, as groups and individually as necessary, for academic support, social-emotional support, for continuing support on the college placement process, and any other needs with which we can help. This is one example of how we hope to live our Jesuit values of the education of the whole person and cura personalis (care of the person) during this time.

We have also made provisions to support students and families who need assistance during this time with a number of things such as meals, home internet access, and other IT support. We will be reaching out proactively with such assistance, and we also welcome anyone with a need to contact Dean Brenda Adams at badams@brebeuf.org, School Social Worker Libby Pollak at lpollak@brebeuf.org, or any of your student’s teachers or counselors. 

You can expect regular communication from us in the coming days and weeks. In addition to our faculty, all of our Brebeuf Jesuit staff are working throughout this time to maintain school operations and to be available to you over email or phone. You will have plenty of caring people and resources available to you for any questions or needs. We will also continue to pray for all of our families and for our entire community, and we ask for your prayers as well. We will look forward to being together virtually though not physically, at our first E-Learning Day on Monday.

AMDG,

Greg VanSlambrook
Principal


SAT on March 14 Has Been Cancelled

March 13, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

All families that were registered for the March 14 SAT at Brebeuf Jesuit should have received an email from the College Board, that this test administration has been cancelled. That email also included instructions for rescheduling and/or refunding.

The College Board website has not yet been updated to list Brebeuf Jesuit as a site closure.  We are sending this message to make sure that our families knew that the SAT would not be taking place tomorrow at Brebeuf Jesuit.


Boys Basketball Tournament Postponed

March 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament has now been postponed.  More information can be found here.


COVID-19 Update – Brebeuf Jesuit Closed, In-Person Classes Cancelled

The message below was sent to the Brebeuf Jesuit community on Thursday, March 12.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Community,

We write to notify our Brebeuf families that, effective immediately, Brebeuf Jesuit will cease in-person classes, with an expected return date of Tuesday, April 14. School will not be held on Friday, March 13 and it is not necessary for students to come to school. Should students need to retrieve belongings from school, the building will be open for them to drop in before campus is closed. Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, campus will be closed until April 14. E-Learning Days will begin on Monday, March 16.

Please note that we currently have no known cases of COVID-19 within the Brebeuf community, nor are we aware of any members of our community who are under medical investigation for COVID-19. However, we recognize the spread of COVID-19 within the Indianapolis community is inevitable. Additionally, it is known that proactive closures have proven to be one of the most impactful interventions communities can enact when facing major health pandemics. Given this information, and after careful discernment and discussions with local health authorities, we have made the difficult decision that campus closure is the best contribution we can make to protect our community.

As indicated in previous emails, all school-sponsored trips have been cancelled. Additionally, all school-sponsored activities, including athletics and co-curriculars, originally scheduled between March 13-April 14, are suspended and all school events during that time are cancelled. If an event is rescheduled to a later date, we will notify families with
that information. Please note: at this time, the Boys Basketball Regional on Saturday will continue as scheduled, but with very limited spectators, as specified yesterday by the ISHAA. Boys basketball provisions can be found here.

As it currently stands, we aim to return to normal school operations on Tuesday, April 14. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and we will be in touch with all future
developments, including during the time of campus closure.

This coming Monday, March 16, begins our first day of E-Learning Days for all students and faculty. Class schedules, assignments, virtual meetings, and teacher virtual office hours will be posted to Portals. These are school days, and learning activities will continue. The week of March 30-April 3 will continue to be observed as spring break, with no online classes conducted or work assigned during that time. You can expect more information to come from the Principal’s Office and from faculty members to students and parents, about the protocols for E-Learning Days.

Families are again encouraged to review travel warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Should you and your family still choose to travel to high-risk areas, please know that health officials will likely direct you to self-quarantine upon your return. Brebeuf Jesuit will also ask that your family follow all health protocols in such a situation. Should any members of your family need to self-quarantine or test positive for COVID-19, please contact Dean Adams at badams@brebeuf.org.

While we know this is a difficult and disruptive situation, we thank you for your flexibility and understanding. Additionally, we encourage everyone to exercise caution during this
closure in an effort to stay healthy and safe.

Let us pray for the Brebeuf Jesuit community all those impacted during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J. and Greg VanSlambrook