September 8, 2020
Dear Yellow Springs Families & Staff,
I hope all of you were able to safely enjoy the long holiday weekend! We have just completed our eighth day of remote learning. All in all, despite some bumps, the opening of school has been successful.
We have been working overtime to address technology and access issues that you may be facing. Please remember that we have a technology support request form online. You can find this form on Abre (linked here).
I want to give parents a few reminders about how to help your children during remote learning. Both buildings have established schedules for students at each grade level/course. All of these involve a combination of synchronous (face-to-face; at a specific time) learning and asynchronous (not face-to-face; anytime). Teachers will be recording many asynchronous lessons, and these will be posted in either Google Classroom or Abre. However, they will not record synchronous sessions. These are designed to be real-time interaction between teachers and students; time to build relationships; time for question and answer type sessions; and for teachers to assess student understanding of ideas and topics. In most instances, teachers and students will have personal information visible (including image, voice and name), so to ensure the educational privacy of all students, these sessions will not be recorded.
A large part of the educational experience is for students to work through productive, academic struggle. Teachers are trained in these processes, and how to guide your child in their learning. As parents, I ask you to help support that learning by refraining from participating in synchronous class sessions with your child(ren). We find that when parents actively participate in the live sessions their students are more reserved and teachers aren't able to get an accurate sense of their strengths and weaknesses. It can also be disruptive to the other students in the class. For our youngest students (Kindergarten and Grade 1), we understand that you may have to provide more guided support than what we would expect for older students. For all students, at times, you may need to assist your child with technical or other issues. This is understandable and acceptable.
Again, this is new for all of us. If you have specific questions I ask that you reach out to your child’s principal, Michelle Person at MLS or Jack Hatert at MMS/YSHS
Even though we are learning remotely, the health and safety of our students and staff are our first priority. Our student-athletes, students in our Safe Centers for Online Learning (SCOL), and all-district teachers and staff members are following our required COVID-19 safety protocols.
We will be taking the following steps based on Governor DeWine’s newest order for schools, effective today. Parents/guardians of students and school staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are encouraged to notify their school no later than twenty-four (24) hours after receiving a confirmed diagnosis. Within twenty-four (24) hours of becoming aware of a positive COVID-19 case of a student, teacher, staff member, or coach, the district will:
Notify parents/guardians of all students who share a classroom space or have participated in a school activity during the COVID-19 infectious period with the affected person.
Notify all parents/guardians of students at the school building of a positive test result.
Regularly notify the school community of COVID-19 active cases and quarantines using a template that will be posted on the website.
Within twenty-four (24) hours of becoming aware of a positive COVID-19 case, each district shall report the information to their local health department.
So far, our preventative measures have worked. We all must remain diligent and wear masks, practice social distancing, and maintain good hand-washing hygiene to continue to keep COVID-19 in check.
Finally, I want to thank all of you for your continued support of Yellow Springs Schools and for giving us the space to navigate this new normal. We are all in this together.
Please reach out with any questions.
Dr. Terri L. Holden