Dear Lower School Parents,

Warm greetings to you during these challenging times.  It seems as though we haven’t seen one another or your children in such a long time, yet we are still in our “spring break” period. All of us miss the children already! 

As you have heard from Dr. Flanders, we are working on new ways to  keep your children engaged and learning when we “return to school” on WEDNESDAY, April 1. Although this change is taking place for reasons that sadden and concern all of us, I am sure that we are up to the challenge. All of us–teachers, students, and parents–will learn much through this process together.  

Since we will not be experts at online learning on Day 1, our plan is to take it one step at a time. We will provide you and your children with as much support as we possibly can. The teachers and I ask for your understanding as we are learning, too.  

Devices and Google Classroom

We will be using Google Classroom to organize and present material and for communication between teachers and students/parents. We will not be using Cubsites during our Distance Learning time.  A Providence email account has been set-up for each student/parent to access together and to use for entry into the Classroom. Your child will need access to an electronic device in order to access Google Classroom, Gmail, and Google Meet. (These are all found together in the “waffle” in the upper right corner of the screen when you go to Gmail.)  A PC or Chromebook is ideal for this. iPads may be used by lower grade children if that is what is available. Some children will like to use earbuds or headphones during the online portion of their day. 

On Tuesday, 3/31, you will receive detailed instructions about the Gmail account and how to access your child’s Google Classroom. Although the process is relatively straightforward, support will be available if you have difficulty getting started.

Please contact:

LS Assistant Mrs. Roles (kelly.roles@providenceacademy.org)  or 

Mrs. Galgano (nancy.galgano@providenceacademy.org)  if you have difficulty accessing your child’s account or Classroom. 

Instruction

Lesson material will be delivered via your child’s Google Classroom in a variety of ways:

  • Some live and/or videotaped lesson times with the children’s classroom teachers each day. 

  • Specialist teachers will provide live or videotaped lessons with instructions for activities or assignments. 

  • Instructions for written assignments, reading assignments, educational videos and even educational games may be part of the daily mix. 

Younger children will need parental guidance and support, but you will hopefully find that this is not overwhelming, especially if have several children to assist and/or you are also working for an employer while at home. We expect that as children become familiar with the online classroom format they will become more comfortable and less dependent upon your help.

Teachers will try to start out carefully, with more material and assignments added after a few days of getting used to this way of learning. If at any time you or your child feel overwhelmed by the amount of work, please contact the teacher immediately. Teachers will work with you to make adjustments, if needed. 

Workspace

To the extent possible, provide a quiet and separate space for your child to do his or her work each day. Headphones or earbuds make it possible for siblings to be in the same room while working. If sharing a device, siblings should be coached on scheduling the use of the device.

Gather the materials that you have for your child to work at home in their assigned space. Having the following handy will help the learning go more smoothly:

1. Notebooks or paper to write on daily
2. Pencils, crayons, washable markers
3. Glue sticks
4. Ruler
5. Safety scissors
6. Printer and printer paper, if available in your home. 

Student Dress

Students will dress in a clean, neat, and modest way, as they would during non-uniform days at school. Spirit wear is always welcome! Students, this can help you to remember that learning is your important “job.” Keep in mind that you (and anyone near you) may be visible during live interactions with your teacher.

Schedules

It would be best for your child to have a daily schedule that will hold some of the elements of their regular school day. Your child’s teacher will offer a suggested class schedule for the day. This may be followed by your student just as suggested by the teacher, or followed flexibly based on your own family’s needs. 

Flexibility – According to Your Schedule

It is understood that siblings may be sharing devices or that you will not be available at times to provide learning support for your child. Everything that is live streamed in Google Classroom/Google Meet is archived and available later on video. Feel free to take advantage of the flexibility this provides and schedule your child’s learning time accordingly. If you are working during the day, some lessons may be viewed and assignments completed during the evening  when homework might have been done during a typical school day or even on Saturday mornings, since other activities are not taking place. 

Distance Learning Daily Requirements

First, remember that the basic requirements are:

  • Begin your day by entering Google Classroom, either at 8 am for attending optional Mass from the chapel or at 8:30 am for Dr. Flanders’ prayer and birthday announcements.

  • Click on “Attendance” link. Parents should notify the teacher if their child is unable to attend classes on a given day.

  • Click on the Daily Announcements link to hear Dr. Flanders prayer, announcements & birthdays.

  • Complete assignments and activities on time.

Note: If, due to family schedule, parents are unable to have students start their learning day at this time, please complete the attendance link when your child enters the Google Classroom for learning.

Sample Schedule

Below is an example of what an online learning day might look like. You will receive an actual schedule each day from your child’s teacher.

8:00 am
Visit “Homeroom” in Google Classroom to link to Mass with Fr. McClellan (optional)

8:30 am
Visit “Homeroom” in Google Classroom to link to  prayer and daily birthday announcements (first names only) by Dr. Flanders

8:35 am
Join your teacher on Google Classroom for your morning meeting

8:45 am
Math – go to live lesson or video for the day and work on assignment

9:30 am
Language Arts: Phonics, Literature, Writing, Spelling or other assignments

10:00 am
Take a break. Eat a small, healthy snack. Go outside play basketball or jump rope.

                    Indoor recess: Go Noodle

10:20 am
Science or History lesson/assignment

11:00 am
Work on assignments/Contact teacher with questions, if you have any (Email at any time, teachers will reply as soon as possible. This is a suggested open time for communication.)

12:00 pm
Noon Prayer: The Our Father

                    Lunch

12:30 pm
Recess. Go outside. Play in the backyard or the driveway, as parents allow.

1:00 pm
Check your specialist lessons for today, as assigned by your teacher. View a live or videotaped lesson. Do an assignment.

2:15 pm
Independent Reading. Finish lessons. Work on projects.

2:30 – 5:00
Chores around the house.

Play with puzzles and toys.

Start a new hobby. Learn to knit, crochet, sew, make a bird house, draw, color, paint, practice your instrument, do your laundry, cook dinner with an adult, set the dinner table, write a play for kids…

Ready, Set, Go!

The teachers and I are looking forward to seeing your children on Wednesday! We know that distance learning can never take the place of the human interaction that is at the heart of our school, yet we are eager to provide the best possible distance educational experience for our students. 

Finally, please direct ALL questions to your childs’ teacher.  If they don’t have the answer for you, they will contact the appropriate resources at PA and follow up with you as swiftly as possible.

I am praying for each of you, parents and students. May God bless all of your families with good health and His peace,

Nancy Galgano