On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our GRACE Christian School employees, thank you for the outpouring of support over the past few weeks as we have navigated uncharted waters. Concerns surrounding COVID-19 have created a volatile environment, requiring a great deal of patience and flexibility these past few days. It is in times like these that we are most thankful for our loving community.
Over the past two weeks, our teachers and administration have been planning how to deliver instruction in the event that we are unable to have classes in our traditional manner. Our hope was that we would be able to continue to gather daily on our campuses as usual but that the rapidly changing environment made that plan less likely. After meeting with our Board of Trustees and reviewing our options, we believe it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our community for GRACE to shift to a virtual learning model beginning the week of March 16 and continuing through Friday, April 3. Spring Break will continue as scheduled for the week of April 6. At that time, we will reassess the situation and return to a traditional schedule if conditions allow. In the meantime, GRACE facilities will remain open only for GRACE employees, as needed.
Please review the following information concerning the virtual learning model:
- Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 — These two days will serve as teacher workdays for our staff. Upper Campus students are encouraged to check Talon to review potential reading assignments in preparation for the week.
- Tuesday, March 17 — Beginning at 9:00 a.m., students and parents are invited to come to campus to pick up any necessary materials for remote instruction.
- For Lower Campus students, our staff will have textbooks/ workbooks packed up by name for each student. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., these materials will be ready for pickup. Please drive through the campus as if you were picking up your child for carpool. During that window of time, a staff member will meet you in the carpool line, get your name, and your child’s materials will be delivered to you. If your child brought everything home already, then you will not need to come to campus.
- For Upper Campus students, parents or students can pick up any folders or other necessary materials from their lockers anytime from 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. Since many of the courses have online resources and most of the students carry their folders with them throughout the day, there may not be many students who need to do this on Tuesday.
- Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, April 3 — Classes take place in the virtual learning environment. Each student in fifth through twelfth grade is required to review and sign the “Student Expectations” document, which is mentioned later in this document.
- Monday, April 6 – Monday, April 13 — Spring Break
For students in 5th-12th grades, teachers will create a classroom experience using Google Hangouts. In this environment, teachers have the ability to present information and interact with students in real time. Students will be able to share work, respond to questions, and participate in classroom discussions. Lesson plans and assignments will be posted on Talon as usual. Teachers will have designated, daily office hours where students can ask questions and seek additional help, as well as times set aside for group help sessions. Students are expected to attend each class session, just as they would in the traditional school environment. Students will submit work through Talon. Enrichment teachers will provide fifth-grade students with a menu of activities to complete throughout the week. Sixth-grade elective teachers will provide activities for students to track independently. Teachers will track student progress to ensure participation and check-in with students who may be struggling or non-participatory.
For students in K-4th grades, teachers will utilize the educational learning platform Seesaw. While many classrooms already use Seesaw, others do not. Each family will receive an invitation from their child’s teacher to join a Seesaw class, along with instructions on how to participate within the platform. Each classroom teacher will follow an established weekly home learning calendar/ schedule posted in Seesaw with assignments and links. Teachers will start the day with a pre-recorded, posted video welcome for students on Seesaw. They will then have activities for each predetermined content area for the day. Your child’s teacher will be emailing you to provide more detailed information tailored to that teacher’s classroom plans. Also, Mrs. Roycroft will be providing additional science materials for third and fourth grades. Enrichment teachers will provide students with a menu of activities to complete throughout the week.
For our TK students, Mrs. Murphy will provide daily activities to emphasize fine and gross motor skills, development of math and language arts skills, and continued refinement of writing skills. She will also provide video communication via email each morning, with a daily message, devotion, and activities for the day. Additionally, Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Lodholz will be checking in with individual families and students throughout the week.
Essential Links and Resources
- These resources will be the primary content delivery tools.
- Each student and parent in 5th – 12th grade must complete the Parent/Student Virtual Learning Agreement.
- Each parent in TK – 4th grade must complete the TK-4 Parent/Student Virtual Learning Agreement.
- Daily Academic Schedules
- Technical Support
- Email email@example.com with any technical support questions. Our team will reply as soon as possible to support you.
- We will be developing a “Frequently Asked Questions” document that will hopefully address any questions you may have.
We are always thankful for the GRACE community, but even more so in times like these. Of course, one could argue that there have never been times like these before. As we confront the challenges brought about by COVID-19, we are committed to continuing to provide an excellent GRACE Christian School educational experience. Thank you in advance for your patience as we deal with the unforeseen challenges ahead as we transition to this new learning environment. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.