Greetings, Hillcrest Families,
We wanted to take a moment to share some important information with you about our approach and commitment to teaching and student learning during these last several months. There have been a variety of conversations and reports on the news and through social media about student “learning loss.” This idea of halted learning or even a decline in learning has also been referred to as the “COVID Slide.”
We are definitely aware that not having all students fully attend school each day is not ideal and can present some challenges when it comes to teaching and student learning. Because of this, we wanted to share with you what we have been doing and what we will continue to do to maximize student learning.
Our team of teachers, administrators, and support staff have been continuously analyzing and evaluating what students need most during this time. Below are our continued priorities when it comes to designing and delivering instruction on a daily basis with your students, whether they are in-person or remote:
- Social Emotional Supports: We start our days and classes with opportunities to truly connect and get to know each other during our morning meetings. Establishing and continuing to strengthen trusting relationships with students is a critical and foundational step to maximizing student learning.
- Curriculum: This is the “what” of teaching and student learning. We have followed and will continue to follow Kansas Standards for all subject areas as our guide. We also have the ability locally to determine which standards are the most essential for our students to know and apply, we call these priority standards. Our teachers plan instruction for each subject area focusing on the priority standards.
- Instruction: This is the “how” of teaching and student learning. We have experienced the most growth in our profession during these last several months as our traditional method of delivering instruction has varied and may continue to vary in the future. Our teachers receive professional development and have opportunities to practice these new skills and techniques to use with students.
- Assessment: We constantly gather data and information from students through observations, questioning techniques, discussions, and more traditional assessments or tests. Combined, this information tells us if students are growing and achieving. If they are, we continue to the next concepts or work to deepen their understanding. If they are not, we go back re-teach concepts and provide additional opportunities to practice and master the concepts.
In partnership with families, we know that the items below are critical to your student’s success, and we stand ready to help you with any questions you may have:, we call these priority standards
- Attendance: When a student does not attend school, there is the potential that he or she could end up behind his or her peers. Whether we are in person or remote, you can help by helping make sure your child is on time and remains in school throughout the day.
- Engagement: Asking your child questions about his or her day is a great way to stay engaged in what is going on with each class or subject.
- Communication: Please be sure to let us know if you have questions, concerns, or notice anything about your child that you would like to discuss.
Since we started the school year late and focused first on getting everyone familiar with the technology, checking in with school families, and building relationships, parents and guardians will note that there will not be as many items marked on our first-trimester progress reports. We appreciate your continued partnership as we work to support the achievement, wellbeing, and success of all students.