Online Learning November 30 – January 15 – Schedule
As we prepare for an extended period of online learning, I want to again assure you that our faculty and staff are fully committed to providing the education of the whole person and the care of the person that we all value in a Brebeuf Jesuit education. This message is to update you on our plans and our schedule for online learning, which is planned to extend from Monday, November 30 through Friday, January 15, in keeping with Marion County Public Health Department directives.
Our students and teachers all learned a lot about effective online learning during the spring of 2020, as well as during the hybrid setup of fall 2020. In preparing for this transition, we conducted several focus groups and listened to our students about their experiences and needs in an online environment. What we heard was that our students value and need:
- Consistency and predictability in schedule
- Live synchronous and engaging class sessions
- Screen breaks
- Time apart from scheduled classes to get work done
- Ability to get help from teachers outside of class
- Opportunities to sustain community and wellness
So, our academic schedule for these five weeks is built around those needs. You can see the weekly academic schedule here. Also, as a reminder for what was announced last week, recall that this Monday & Tuesday, November 23-24, are not school days for students. Here at school, those days will be devoted to our faculty & staff preparation for online learning, and the building will be open and staffed if you have any questions or needs.
One significant change from our spring online learning schedule, is the setup of Wednesdays. In the spring, students highly valued having Wednesdays free of class sessions to get work done, but we also want to use Wednesdays for continued connection with teachers, as well as opportunities to plug into programs for community and wellness. Wednesdays will be treated as workdays, not free days. Teachers, counselors, and other staff will be available and proactively connecting with their students in a variety of ways, which the Wednesday flex sessions will make possible.
In addition, our online classes will prioritize live synchronous learning time, each time the class meets, just as we have been doing all semester in our hybrid setup. Teachers will be guiding their students this week on what to expect for the class meetings, and reminding them of our expectations of them for online learning etiquette.
In keeping with the public health order, co-curricular, in-person activities, including athletics, are able to continue, with safety measures in place. Students should plan only to come to campus for those planned co-curricular activities. Other meetings with teachers and counselors should be able to take place online.
For their own safety and the safety of our community, we are asking all of our students to continue to practice the measures we have learned together regarding COVID safety, such as wearing a mask in public places, social distancing, and hygiene. All of our students will continue to receive a daily Medbot self-screen push notification to their phones, and we encourage them to continue that daily practice of self-screening for their own awareness. Students who are coming to campus for athletics or other co-curriculars will need to show their Medbot green screen to their coaches when they arrive.
In consultation with our Medical Task Force, we are also asking for families to continue to report to our attendance line any COVID-related precautions, absences, or positive test results. This is so the school can continue to accurately track the data of our school population, which will help us to know when we have safe conditions to bring students back to school, in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. If we can keep good track of this data, it can help us get back to in-person school as soon as it is safe. So, please continue to report all absences from online class to our attendance line. And, even if your student is still well enough to attend their online classes, please continue to report to the attendance line if your student:
- has been in close contact with a COVID-positive person
- have any symptoms of COVID
- has tested positive for COVID
As you know, we are always seeking feedback on these experiences as we learn and grow together. Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can expect to receive a community survey on your experience after we have moved to online learning for a week or so, along with online Q&A opportunities.
On behalf of our entire faculty and staff, we are grateful for your trust and support as we navigate these challenges. I hope that you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.