Phippsburg Elementary School
1047 Main Road, Phippsburg, Maine 04562
Telephone: 207-389-1514, Fax: 207-389-1516
Think - Care - Act
March 25, 2020
Dear RSU 1 Phippsburg Families,
We hope this letter finds you well. Life has changed drastically for all of us within the last two weeks and we greatly appreciate how open, positive, and flexible you have been as we tackle this new challenge of how to run school from our homes!
The purpose of this communication is to review updates related to our work with students and families now that we are going to be out for a more extended timeline (until April 26th). We will be making the below adjustments to our original “two week closure” expectations as we want to ensure we have a plan that will best engage and support students socially, emotionally, and academically.
Updated Distance Learning Expectations:
In order to support students with multiple learning opportunities, an at-home academic structure, and continued enrichment, you should expect to see the following shifts to our distance learning expectations for your RSU 1 student/s starting on Monday, March 30th.
Students will be given a daily schedule from their classroom teacher (PK-5th) for their work. Providing a daily schedule will help families better understand how to manage at-home school expectations and will provide more structure to the day. Here is a sample of what you might see: K-8 Sample Student Schedule Link
Students in grades K-8 will be expected to participate in a total of 6-8 hours of “academic work” a week within their teacher proposed schedule. This amounts to approximately 1-2 hours of academic work daily and it will be in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. PK-2nd grade students may have slightly less. Your child’s teacher will provide specific details about what this will look like via their own communication to you.
In addition to the 6-8 hours of academic work planned by the classroom teacher, physical education, art, library, and music will also be part of the schedule. These activities will be sent out via your child’s teacher/s as well.
Independent, choice reading time will be an additional item on each teacher schedule for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the age of your student.
All students will attend one virtual community meeting weekly with their class and teacher/s as part of their distance learning plan. Teachers will communicate the day and time, as well as how to connect, directly with families. We feel that maintaining a home-school connection is one of the most impactful and helpful things we can do for students at this time to check on their well being, make them smile and laugh, allow them to say hello to their friends and teachers, and provide a time to answer their questions, worries, or wonderings.
Teachers will continue to connect weekly with students and families, as they already have been doing via emails and phone calls, both to answer your questions and offer you support.
Students in all grades will only be completing paper packets if they do not have the internet. All students, starting Monday, March 30th, are therefore expected to be receiving their work and expectations digitally. Thank you for understanding that this is the best way for teachers to share engaging classroom content and it also keeps all RSU 1 staff safer as it does not require coming into the school buildings for packet creation and copying. There will be grade level work packets for those students who do not have internet access at home. There are many places in our area to get free or reduced price internet. If you would like this information, please click here: Link.
The purpose of our updated distance learning approach is to engage students in both academically focused work, as well as fun activities during their days at home. In addition, it is so important for students to get outside, take movement breaks, and stay connected with others. We are hopeful that our new schedule allows for all of these things to happen each day. We know that having your children at home for distance learning when you may also be trying to work can be challenging, so we have tried to create a plan that is both manageable and flexible.
With the quick turnaround time before our first closure, we were not able to prepare and organize K-5 classroom devices to go home for two weeks. Now that our closure is much longer, we feel it is essential to get devices to all of our students who need them.
K-5 families were contacted by email last week, asking that they complete a form to request a device if one were needed. Chromebooks are being prepared for those families, and will be available for pickup Monday, March 30th. Those families will receive a follow up email from the Technology Department with basic how-to instructions, guidelines for use at home, how to access support, and their obligations for care and return of the device.
Families who did not complete the request form, but need a device for their student, may still pick one up Monday, March 30th, but should plan extra time.
Materials Pick-up Times, Monday, March 30th:
K-5 Chromebook pick-up for those who need a device and packet pick-up for those who do not have internet will happen at Phippsburg on Monday, March 30th between 7:30-9:00 am and 5:00-6:30 pm. Families will not get out of their cars or be allowed to enter the building. Your materials will be brought to you at your car in the student pick-up area. Unfortunately, I will not be able to be a part of this pick-up. My daughter has just had a baby and in order to keep her safe and healthy, we’ve been instructed not to have contact with the public. Technology Director, Mr. Emmerson and Mrs. Doran will be there to give out devices.
Additional Online Resource Guides:
We would also like to share an additional resource with families. These are all free online enrichment experiences your students can use should you want them to do more than their daily schedule of teacher-assigned work. These are all free and very engaging!
Parent/Teacher conferences are cancelled and will not be made up at a later date. Should you have a concern about your student, please email their teacher to set up a phone conversation instead.
We plan to send home report cards on April 13th, which will be primarily based on the trimester ending on March 13th (our last in-person school day).
We still plan to take the week of April vacation off. Students are not expected to do their distance learning during the week of April 20th - 24th.
All children, ages 0-17, are eligible for free RSU 1 meals : Link. Our meal delivery locations have recently expanded to new areas: Stoney Brook Rd/Bowker Rd and Phippsburg times are 10AM-12PM.
Please email me should you have any further questions. This is a trying time for all of us. Please know that RSU 1 staff are here to support you and your children. Be well!
cc. Katie Joseph