Greetings Damascus Parents and Students! On behalf of the whole staff, I want to say we are praying for our families and we are excited to bring you these learning opportunities for the month of April. We know that this is a big shift for our entire school community, but as we work together with open communication, patience, and support, we will make this a unique and excellent learning opportunity for students at Damascus Christian School.
Below are instructions about how DCS will be facilitating our digital and distance education. We have also created a page on our website with many helpful resources.
Class Procedures: DCS will be providing weekly packets digitally for parents. The digital version will be available for parents Sunday evenings for the week’s assignments and guided practice. It will be posted on our website and it will be emailed out to you as well. Physical copies will also be available for pick up at the school on Mondays between 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M by request. Please let your teacher know if you want to pick-up a physical copy. If you pick up a physical packet we ask that you remain in your car as a staff member will deliver the packet to you. I would encourage you all to establish some daily routines, which work for your family and build consistency for your student.
The exception to this will be our first week when we will have our physical and digital copies available on Tuesday, March 31st from 12:00 – 3:00 P.M. Please let your teachers know if you plan on stopping by the school.
Due Dates: Teachers will communicate deadlines in their weekly and daily emails, but please communicate with your student’s teacher if you are unable to meet this deadline.
Parent Responsibilities: In order to make this a success we have two requests for you as parents.
- Please check your email and our website regularly, and communicate with us if you are facing any challenges.
- Continue to be patient with us as we set into this new norm.
Teacher Availability: Teachers will be available to meet with students and/or parents by request between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. Zoom meetings with elementary students must be with multiple students and/or parents to maintain accountability and adhere to our Child Safety Policies.
Class Procedures: DCS will be using three platforms to maintain your student’s education going forward. Select this video for an explanation of how this will be implemented.
- Renweb/FACTS: Teachers will continue to post assignments and enter grades through this platform. If you or your student has not been using this as a resource, then an account needs to be set up. Lessons for the following week will be entered by 3:00 P.M. every Friday. Teachers may adjust lessons during the week to meet the needs of their classes and students. Mrs. Hale can assist any family needing help logging into Renweb.
- Google Classroom: All of our students use Google Classroom in several of their classes already. They will continue to use it, but it will now be the main platform your student uses to get assignments and turn in course work. Lessons for the following week will be entered by 3:00 P.M. every Friday. Teachers may adjust lessons during the week to meet the needs of their classes and students. Example of student and teacher view.
- Zoom Meeting: This will be a new platform we will be using to hold virtual classes twice a week for all core classes (six of them). These will be pre-scheduled (see the schedule attached) and students will be emailed a link to their Google email account to attend each virtual class.
The exception for this will be our first week when we will have our first Zoom classes on Wednesday, April 1st and Thursday, April 2nd. Teachers will also post assignments to both Google Classroom and RenWeb/FACTS on Tuesday by 3:00 P.M.
Finally, to provide some training and answer questions our teachers will be calling individual students to make sure they are prepared for this digital and distance learning format and have the devices and systems to progress successfully. Teacher will also use part of their first Zoom class to introduce their responsibilities and answer any questions.
Due Dates: Each teacher will establish due dates for their given assignments and projects. Those due dates will be posted in Google Classroom and on Renweb.
Parent Responsibilities: In order to make this a success, we have two requests for you as parents.
- Please check your email and our website regularly and communicate with your student’s teacher if you are facing any challenges.
- Continue to be patient with us as we set into this new norm.
Student Responsibilities: In order to make this a success, we have five requests for you as students.
- Please check your Google email and Google Classroom daily before classes start.
- Turn in your assignments on time.
- Attend all your scheduled Zoom classes.
- Communicate with your teacher.
- Continue to be patient with us as we set into this new norm and follow the following expectations for digital learning: Be well-mannered, responsible, engaged and supportive.
Teacher Availability: Teachers will be available to meet with students and/or parents by request between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. Keep in mind some teachers may be teaching during this time. Zoom meetings with secondary students must be with multiple students and/or parents to maintain accountability and adhere to our Child Safety Policies.
Technology Limitations or Need or items from you locker: We do have a limited number of school Chromebooks available for students who may request them. We will have them available to be picked up on Tuesday, March 31st between 12:00 and 3:00 P.M. Please complete the Chromebook Check Out Form attached to this email before coming to pick them up. If you do not have the capability to do digital or distance learning, the school will provide hard copies of assignments and instructions, which will be available upon request.
Article on Successful Digital and Distance Learning
This was article was compiled by Stephanie Saavedra at Calvary Christian School in Florida and has some helpful advice for parents facilitating learning at home. https://www.ccaeagles.org/news-detail-02?pk=1175707&fromId=205398
1. Stick to a schedule Have your child(ren) wake up and get dressed as if it were a normal school day. They don’t have to put on a uniform, but this does mean changing out of pajamas. (This is a good tip for adults who have to work remotely too!). Certain times should also be set aside during the day to do work for each class.
2. Create a learning space Designate an area of your home (not their bedroom) for your child(ren) to complete schoolwork. This area should be away from distractions, have a place to sit with their work, and maybe include a white board calendar to stay on top of assignments. Kids should set aside time to complete their work in different learning environments — a creative space in your home, outdoors, etc. — to help break the monotony of sitting too long in one location. A brain break should not involve spending time on a device.
3. Monitor Schoolwork should be done in an area where your child is supervised. If you will be required to go into work, programs like Family Link, Google Wifi, and Safe Browsing allow you to restrict technology as well as monitor their progress for the day. Make sure to give your child(ren) a quick call or Facetime to check in.
4. Find community Talk to fellow parents and/or friends to make arrangements to monitor your child. Ask questions like:
- Will anyone be working from home?
- Is there a way you can split the responsibility throughout the week for a few of your children?
- Does your child have a lot of the same classes as your friend’s child?
- Is anyone willing to meet virtually via Facetime or Google Hangouts? Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers and school for support. They are working above and beyond to ensure you and your family have an excellent distance learning experience despite the circumstances.
5. Encourage breaks Make sure your child has scheduled times during the day for brain breaks. Research shows that children benefit from 3-5 minute breaks for every 10-15 minute block (for elementary students) and 20-30 minute block (for middle and high school students) of focused work. Have them take a walk, ride their bike, play basketball, or sit on the porch and enjoy some fresh air. A brain break should not involve spending time on a device. Overall, create a learning space, stick to a schedule, hold your child(ren) accountable, find community, and encourage brain breaks so that you have a good base for starting this new endeavor in distance learning. Also know that you don’t have to be an expert at everything, so give grace as you receive grace — for yourself, your kid(s), those partnering with you in their education, and the people around you.
Although this method of learning is new for many of us, it will serve your child(ren) well for the future, as many college students enroll in online classes at one point or another. Distance learning ultimately builds character traits such as discipline, focus, and independent thinking.
Most importantly, be at peace knowing that we serve a great God who empathizes with our weaknesses and gives us the strength we need to accomplish His good purposes. I want to leave you with this verse, and I pray that it will serve as an encouragement to you:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and because of this, we can “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
Damascus Christian School
Address: 14251 SE Rust Way, Damascus, OR 97089