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CommUNITY Fridays!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hi Families,

We’ve had a great week of reconnecting with your children and refining our approach to Connected Learning. Thank you to everyone who joined the parent conversations last week. A summary of the conversations are below. But FIRST! We are excited to announce our first CommUNITY Friday!

Alice, Kary and I have been missing connecting with your kids and you and realized we should all end the week with some light, hope, action and curiosity. CommUNITY Fridays have three components:

  1. An all community Sing! – At 12:00 each week, we’ll kick-off CommUNITY Friday with a live cast Sing! You’ll be able to see our song leaders and sing along from your home. Though we won’t be able to see you, we’ll get to know who attends and have some interactive polls and text features for you to share. Come Sing with us! https://www.crowdcast.io/e/community-sing/1
  2. An invitation to action- After Sing, we’ll share a community action challenge. If you choose to accept it, we hope you’ll post your experience to our Padlet page: https://padlet.com/tlscommunity/hblpgg3wh97ii35c, or, if you choose to post on your own social media pages, tag us @The Little School or #tlsconnected​
  3. Design, science and art activities that go with the community action theme: On the All-School Connected site, https://www.connected.thelittleschool.org/allschool-experiences, we’ll post fun activities for the curious among us.

We hope for your kids, this ends the week much like we do at school, singing together and engaging the power of community. We hope you’ll join us.

Meeting Summary:

  • Continue to consolidate communication: this is an ironic topic with which to lead given the amount of auction email this week (which, if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! It’s absolutely wonderful. We hope to have all of you join us on Saturday for a joyful community celebration). Streamlining Zoom links, videos and email are all things that we are working on. Except in this email……
  • It’s lonely to not be at school, particularly for only children: as we move into extended closure, continuing to support the social-emotional needs of our students is important. Families shared what it means to have connected time with beloved teachers, specialists, TAs, and especially friends. We are expanding small group meetings to support these connections for our kids.
  • Working parents need support: several of our early childhood families asked for extended, in-person sessions for students. They would love to replace video lessons with live ones. We are exploring the balance of live and asynchronous experiences that works best for our students. Several families called out last week’s Extended Day sessions as an example of something that their kids really enjoy and that helps them as a family. (Thanks, Extended Day teachers!)
  • Let’s keep learning: there is nothing we would like more than to have your children back on campus with us. It’s the place where our progressive approach shines most brightly as we respond to the amazing learning and connecting your children do. We are working to offer experiences that invite curiosity and care, and engage your kids in meaningful learning. We heard families express appreciation for articulated expectations and feedback for learning tasks.
  • Flexibility in the afternoons is helpful: Many families commented on the value of having time in the afternoons to engage Connected Learning on their own timeline.
  • Quarantine is hard: we agree! The pandemic is impacting every member of our community and we continue to seek to build ways to connect with and support your kids and families through this unexpected time. As one parent said eloquently, “I’m learning to let go and embrace that this is out of my control.”
  • Gratitude: It was moving to hear from many of you that you see the energy, purpose and care that our faculty are pouring into their work. They are. Your gratitude makes a huge difference. Thank you to those of you who are taking time to share it. We feel grateful for ALL of you.

Several people have asked for another parent session. We would love to continue to connect with all of you. We will look for future times and share them soon.

Stay well. Breathe. Know that you are not alone.

With gratitude and respect,

Julie