As we spend more of our days at home, I pray that all of our students, families, and staff remain in good health and good spirits. Though I miss seeing you in person, I have enjoyed seeing many faces and hearing many voices in our online classrooms and digital meetings. By staying at home, you are doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and support our health care system.
Please read some important updates below, regarding our calendar, learning tools, and assessments. Significant changes are highlighted.
During this shift to distance learning, teachers are continuing to provide instruction, assignments, and support to all Preschool-Grade 8 students. This instruction is a continuation of our curriculum for the year, and teachers are working each day to provide your student (and you) with any support that your family needs.
CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE:
- Calendar: At this time, Messiah Lutheran School is using a distance model. Based on modeling from the Ohio Department of Health, we now know that we will not return to campus for classes before the end of spring break (April 20). This date is subject to change, as we respond to guidance from the CDC and Governor Mike DeWine. Distance learning will continue for the school days that we are away from campus. Messiah’s teachers will offer instruction through the end of the year, either in a distance learning or on-campus model.
- Spring Break will remain unchanged, from Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 19, with a return to classes on Monday, April 20.
- Hours: Teachers are working full time through the shift to distance learning. They are offering a mix of Google Meet live classes and communication through Google Classroom, email, phone, Google Hangout messaging, and Google Meet video chat. They are available 9 am - 3 pm, and in office hours or by appointment.
Our campus is currently closed to all school and church gatherings. Teachers and staff are working from home to prevent the spread of infection. Teachers have access to campus, but are required to take and share their temperature before working on campus. All materials required for the first two weeks of distance learning were either sent home on Friday, March 13 or delivered to homes on Wednesday, March 18. Families who need to pick up materials may request those materials in advance by contacting their teacher. Arrangements will be made for you to pick up those materials on campus.
TEACHING AND LEARNING: We know many of you are working from home while trying to support your student as they work from home. Where you need additional support or flexibility, please don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher(s). Our faculty is here to serve and support you. We know you’re doing the best you can. Create a schedule that works for you, and a little bit of workspace for your students.
- Classes: Teachers are working full time through the shift to distance learning. They are offering a mix of Google Meet live classes and communication through Google Classroom, email, phone, Google Hangout messaging, and Google Meet video chat. They are available 9 am - 3 pm, and in virtual office hours or by appointment.
- Getting to Google Classrooms: To navigate to your child’s classroom, visit classroom.google.com. Google Classrooms will be linked on our website. While the link will take you to Google Classroom, only authorized people with a designated messiahfp.org account will be able to log in to your child’s Google Classroom.
- Google Help: To learn more about Google Tools, visit the GSuite Learning Center. I can also create some short videos with tips for using Google Classroom at home. Have a topic request or question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Devices: Notify your teacher if you do not have an internet connected device to access Google Classroom and Meet. We may have additional devices becoming available.
- Assignments: Teachers are creating assignments for students to complete during distance learning. Students are expected to complete these assignments, which will be scored and factored into their grades. We know that the impact of the public health response to COVID-19 vary by household. If your child needs assistance or an extension on an assignment, reach out to your teacher. We are here to support you.
- End of 3rd Quarter: The last day of the third quarter was Friday, March 20. Teachers have been working to offer continuing education to your students, and to help students and parents learn new modes of communicating and completing assignments. Report cards are ordinarily published one week after the end of the quarter, though these are not ordinary days. Report cards are near publication, and parents will receive them via email in the first half of next week. This gives teachers and students a bit of extra time to account for third quarter assignments that were difficult to submit because of our shift to distance learning.
- Grading: Your principal, faculty, and school board are responsive to the changing conditions of the public health response to COVID-19. Continuing distance education allows us to continue offering grades and course credit as a means of communicating students’ progress. As modifications to our grading system are deemed necessary and appropriate, you will be informed.
- Standardized Tests: Today, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law. HB 197 includes, among other provisions, a waiver of standardized tests for Ohio schools, as well as a waiver of any additional consequences tied to testing.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
- Survey: Most of you have completed the Distance Learning Survey. It covers academic topics, such as access to supplies and devices, as well as other impacts the public health response may have on your family (such as employment impact, financial impact, and possible food insecurity). If you need to, as things change, you can edit your response.
- Lunch Program: The Cleveland Metro Schools are providing bagged lunch (plus bagged breakfast for the following day) each day at designated sites throughout the city. Shuttles from other schools will be provided. Designated sites, shuttle sites, shuttle times, and more are in the flyer linked here.
- Health: In light of the medical findings that continue to be published, I urge you to increase isolation/distancing measures wherever you can. This closure is unlike others we have previously experienced, and is not a good time for extra family outings, playdates, or social events. If you or a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, please inform me at email@example.com so that your child’s contacts may also receive the necessary health supervision.
- Community of Care: If you have a need, and you don’t know where to start, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you learn of a friend or neighbor's need, and you’re not sure how to help meet it, contact email@example.com. We’ll do our best to help directly where we can or connect you with resources.
- These days at home give us an opportunity to devote more time to some of the things that our brains love best: quality time and conversations with our loved ones, playtime outside, reading books, playing games, doing puzzles, making music, getting some exercise. Enjoy those times too!
COMMUNITY AND CONNECTION
- Facebook: Find us on Facebook [Messiah School of Fairview Park / @MessiahSchoolFP]! Like Messiah School on Facebook, and follow us to make sure we show up in your feed.
- Chapel: Chapel will be offered live on Wednesday mornings at 9 via Facebook. If you miss it live, you can always view it later.
- Story Time & Prayers: Every weeknight at 7:15 on facebook live. We’ll have guest readers, books by request, and prayers by request as well. Like chapel, you can view live (which allows you to dialogue with the reader and other live viewers) or you can view it later.
- Photo exchange: When Messiah posts a challenge or special dress day, you can post your photos of your family’s participation.
- Google Hangouts/Meet: Students/parents may use their Messiah accounts to study/work during the shift to distance learning. Abuse of these accounts, or any inappropriate behavior conducted through these accounts, will result in the revocation of access to Messiah accounts or devices.
- Bible Study: Interested in an online group Bible study? Check out https://my.bible.com/ and watch for an invite to join a Bible study.
- Online Worship: Worship online with Messiah Lutheran Church. Service will be broadcast live on Sunday at 8:30, and viewable anytime thereafter.
- Prayer: Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This is an opportunity for us to be creative about connecting. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with together! Share your ideas with us!
As we move into the days ahead, we do so together, and with the help of our loving and ever-present God. Find ways to extend help, and please, ask for help when you need it. Your feelings of uncertainty and worry are expected and normal in this time, as are your children’s. Your response to changes in the world around you, changes in your life, and your feelings, will be a model for how your children will respond to change and difficulty now and throughout their lives. Take a break from the news cycle when you need it; take deep breaths and/or a break when you are worried or upset; remind yourself and your children to take things one day at a time; and identify those things you can control (your own choices, actions, and words). We are in this together.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
In Christ’s Love,
LINK TO PREVIOUS MESSIAH SCHOOL CORONAVIRUS UPDATES