• How Can Families Help?

     

    • Establish a Schedule: Routines are important for most people, so we ask parents and guardians to work with students to prepare a daily schedule.
      • School-day schedules include synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous learning for students.  Parents and guardians are asked to help students plan for times they are expected to be on Zoom and/or engage with their teachers/classmates in another way.  One option is to set recurring alarms on devices, reminding students to get online at specific times.
      • Once your family establishes routines and expectations for at-home learning, try your best to hold all family members accountable for meeting these (but cut yourself some slack if it doesn't work out). You may also consider beginning and ending your day with a check-in.
    • Prepare a Learning Space:  It is important that students prepare a space for effective learning, and parents/guardians can be helpful in establishing this space.
      • When a learning space is separate from the bedroom and/or distanced from a television or gaming area, it sets the expectation that the space is for work and not play. 
      • Learning in shared areas allows parents/guardians to readily support students, as needed and possible, while also monitoring online activity. It's okay if this does not work in your household, but it is worth considering.
      • Students will spend some time connecting with teachers and/or classrooms via Zoom, so please be mindful of this when considering a working space for students.  Ideally, students should have access to a quiet space in your home where they can participate without being distracted - but may have access to others if they need support. In addition, students may want to consider what could be visible behind them when on camera.
    • Review “Netiquette” Expectations with your Student
    • Monitor Your Child's Well-Being
      • Our lives have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19.  Please be mindful of your child’s stress level and/or social-emotional wellness, recognizing that varied levels of worry/anxiety are likely.  
      • Even if students are excited about online learning at first, the novelty will likely subside as many students mourn the loss of “normal” school experiences.  These losses will be especially difficult for students who are transitioning to new schools or may worry about missing key events or experiences. Never hesitate to reach out to school or district staff if we can assist.
      • As your family builds a daily schedule and routine, include opportunities for both physical exercise/movement and quiet reflection time without technology.  Getting away from technology may sound counter-intuitive during online schooling, but our students will need intentional breaks from their iPads or laptops.
      • Encourage kindness, patience, and flexibility during online learning - and try to model these behaviors for your child.  There will be missteps. There will be times when the WiFi doesn’t work well, when a Zoom link doesn’t work, or when an assignment gets lost.  Provide needed love and support if your child gets frustrated, upset, sad. Help your child problem solve without stealing their thinking, or their struggle.
    • Communicate Regularly
      • Students and parents/guardians are urged to check email and Schoology on a regular basis, the latter of which (if linked to a student account) will give you access to assignments, student work, and communication/feedback from teachers.  Some teachers may also create groups in Schoology, sharing additional information this way.
      • Parents and guardians are encouraged to proactively communicate with school staff if there are any academic, social-emotional, or technology concerns or needs.
    • Ensure Students Have What They Need to Learn
      • Make sure your child has necessary learning materials and tools, recognizing that not all tasks/assignments will be completed online
      • If food insecurity is a concern, please visit our Resource page to make sure lunch is available and/or KSD Now (Nutrition on the Weekends) has you on their radar
      • Contact our district if you need assistance in securing Internet access for your student
    • Familiarize Yourself with Schoology and Zoom
      • Schoology is Kirkwood’s Learning Management System (LMS).  We primarily use Schoology to support ongoing communication about learning and our digital workflow - the sharing of assignments/resources and collection of student learning tasks.  There are additional tools students and teachers can use to integrate with other resources, organize and manage tasks, collaborate online, and take assessments.  
      • After exploring numerous options for real-time video collaboration, Kirkwood decided that Zoom is our best solution for teachers who wish to make live connections with students, colleagues, and families.  Zoom has temporarily waived the 40-minute time limit for teacher accounts.
      • Many students and teachers regularly use iPads and/or laptops in the classroom, and most students in grades 3-12 have used Schoology to manage work and communicate with others.  This is not the case for everyone, however, so please be patient as we strive to get even better for our kids. This will also be the case with Zoom, which is new to most students AND teachers.  Our educators are learning how to best use this platform and take advantage of all it offers.  We appreciate your understanding if things don’t initially go exactly as planned.
      • Many parents and guardians have already signed up for Schoology accounts that are synced with student information - allowing you to get messages from teachers, view student calendars and assignments, and even see teacher-provided feedback on their learning.  If you’re not connected via Schoology, please visit this site for more information.
    • Teach Into and Practice Safety Measures