April 9, 2020
I sincerely hope you all are in good health as you read this letter. As we are all experiencing a change in lifestyle through social distancing, not being around the students and staff of Northeast has been a difficult personal adjustment. Your kids bring so much positive energy to my life on a daily basis, which is impossible to fully replace. I wish the circumstances were different, but this is our current reality. That being said, I love a challenge and this is an opportunity for learning and growth.
Earlier today, Mr. Sharrow included the district learning plan in a Special Edition Communique. This letter will be specific to Northeast to help you prepare for the coming weeks. The vision for Northeast is simple, yet ambitious: We aim to be the best chance for any student, to make maximum gains in achievement, compared to any middle school. I assure you our goal has not changed.
Most schools are trying to do the work we have already completed in order to meet student needs. Our staff has identified essential standards and outcomes and developed proficiency scales to show students the progression of learning and to monitor individual progress. Because of this our lessons are, and will continue to be, focused, and meaningful. Northeast is ready to roll with our online learning plan and we are confident your student will benefit. We will start with this schedule on Monday 4/13/20. This letter will include the weekly schedule, expectations and other information you will need to help your Viking be successful.
Listed below (copied directly from the district document) are the days you can expect to see lessons, for specific subjects, on their designated days. Teachers will post these lessons using Google Classroom or Moodle. Teachers will also have office hours for student questions, feedback, and interaction. Individual teacher office hours will be communicated in the Week at a Glance (posted on Fridays by 4:00 pm) and reiterated through their interactions with students.
Time frames for Lessons and Work
In the table below are the minimum and maximum times a student should spend engaged in individual class lessons. These times include instruction and associated activities.
Feedback and Scoring/Grading
Students are expected to participate in lessons and submit work. Work will be scored for the purposes of feedback and to track progress toward learning outcomes. Scores will be posted in TeacherEase or Home Access Center, depending on the course. This will be the same as before the current hiatus.
At the end of the year, students will not receive a letter grade of A-E. Rather, their work production and quality will be used to determine if they Pass or receive an Incomplete for the second semester. The great thing about standards-referenced grading is you will still be able to see how your VIking is progressing on each standard in their classes. Remember the goal is a level 3.0 for the end of the year. If a student does not reach a level 3.0 it does not mean they will not pass, rather we are looking for growth and effort Further, this information will help us individualize instruction for Northeast students next year.
If students are not engaging in lessons, we want to know why and how to help. We will track to see which students we have not heard from in order to contact homes to gather information to improve our delivery model.
If your Viking is having difficulty with their computer or Chromebook, please contact the MPS Help Desk at 923-5119 or firstname.lastname@example.org . You can take the device to their headquarters in the Administration Building at 600 E. Carpenter Street. Their crew is working to maintain access for the kids and teachers. Help Desk office hours are M-F 9:00-4:30.
Materials and Locker Clean Out
We will have a total locker cleanout sometime after the Stay-at-Home order is lifted. However, if your Viking has crucial items in their locker email me at email@example.com. Crucial items would be technology devices, necessary binders, etc. I will get them from their locker and have the items ready for you in the office. Please schedule this with me ahead of time.
As I stated in the opening, Northeast is prepared to deliver the best online experience possible for our students. We will maintain our growth mindset and work to improve daily. Feedback between teachers, administrators, students, and parents is going to be essential in order to continually improve. Please do your best to take an active role by tuning in and communicating with teachers and building administrators. Vikings are tough and we are rowing the ship in the same direction; even though there are rough seas around us, we are in this together. The staff of Northeast is here to help your family - please reach out. I miss you all and can’t wait to have the building buzzing with activity again. In the meantime, I wish you all the best and hope your families stay healthy. Take care!
Yours in education,
Dirk R. DeBoer, Principal