MARCH 29, 2020
APRIL 13, 2020
The new (for now) normal
I sat with each of you in my office when you were considering Lang for your child. We spoke about partnership, how Lang looks for good-fit parents as much as it looks for good-fit students, because when things get tough, we need to be able to partner in helping your child clear new hurdles.
We are in week four of remote learning, and the hurdle of the week is remote learning itself. The question is how we as parents can partner with the school, so part of our homes can become our child's Lang classroom — and how can we maximize their success together in that classroom each school day.
I imagine that one of the reasons you chose Lang was for the individualized, research-based support we offer our students. A lot of that support is baked into the design of our classrooms, woven into each lesson by hand in response to student needs in the moment, and offered uncritically as a tool to be used until its utility has been internalized.
We need to work together to get your child prepared for and stay engaged in learning; to help your child take the movement and other breaks they need, then return to class; and — despite what siblings or friends might or might not be doing or thinking about during this period — to encourage your child to see this remote learning semester as the real school experience it is. This counts. At Lang, there aren't any do overs for what students could have learned this semester. We didn't take the shortcut, pass/fail, no homework, two hours a day with a pile of paper route. Because we believe in our partnership and we believe in our students.
Below is a starter kit of tools and advice that will help transform some part of your home into a Lang classroom
FOUNDER & HEAD OF SCHOOL
Watch this seating ergonomics youtube video & do what you can to emulate this at home:
Read the Lower and Upper School remote learning checklists attached below, then print and post the appropriate one near you child's work area to help them stay on task.
Lower School remote learning checklist
Upper School remote learning checklist
I highly recommend looking into buying the Circle Home Plus parental controls device (Amazon sells it for $99) to keep your child from gaming, surfing, using Discord, or using social media during school. It's also a great tool for organizing their homework time after school. We used GoGuardian for this purpose at school. There are altneratives, certainly, but we've experimented with Circle in our home for the last week, and it has produced both fleeting arguments and lots of completed homework by our college sophomore and our high school sophomore.
As I mention in News below, Andreas is integrating a tool into our Student Information System (SIS), Pathmaker, that will text parents or email them (parents' choice) when: their child is 15 minutes late for class, and when a teacher needs a parent's help in redirecting a student. A few examples of times when teachers will ask for your help would be if your child has their video turned off during class (so the teacher can't see them); your child is audibly playing a video game during class; or if your child has left class for break and hasn't returned.