Distance learning at the cornerstone school
Teaching the whole child...even at a distance
The Cornerstone School is offering both in person and online class options to our students during the first nine weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. The success of distance learning depends on the support of our families and the partnership between families and The Cornerstone School to educate our students.
Our teachers are continuing to lead the students enrolled in our online distance learning program following the same curriculum they would if students were on campus. While some classroom experiments and activities may be adjusted for our online learners, we are making every effort to maintain the atmosphere of creativity, innovation, mutual respect, and high educational achievement that has become synonymous with Cornerstone.
Key terms are important to understand the structures of distance learning:
· Asynchronous learning: Asynchronous learning is learning that is completed by students on their own schedules. Teachers may provide a suggested schedule of learning time/activities, but families are able to work at their own pace when the time is convenient.
· Synchronous learning: Synchronous learning is learning that is completed in conjunction with all the students in a class and is led by the assigned teacher. Assignments are completed via Google Meet.
If a Cornerstone student needs to quarantine or becomes ill during this time they can immediately enroll in our online distance learning program and have no loss of instruction time, or disruption caused by changing teachers. Students will remain enrolled in their current class and maintain their current teacher(s). Students in lower grades will also have the assistance of our Online Learning Coordinator to facilitate the process of distance learning.
During these difficult and trying times, it is important to remember that we are all venturing into uncharted territory. Faculty, staff, students, and families will all benefit from patience and compassion. Each day will bring new challenges and new possibilities for our community.
Lower school students are following an asynchronous learning program and have the ability to log in at scheduled times to view videos from their teacher and complete course assignments. There is a dedicated Online Learning Coordinator (an at-home teacher) who holds learning checks and answers questions or concerns from parents and students on the days' activities. Additionally, there are some group meeting times scheduled for student socialization.
Setting Your Child Up for Success
Try to maintain a schedule and a routine - This will look different for every family. The beauty of asynchronous learning and the recorded class videos is that you can do this on your schedule. Even though your new schedule is not a regular school day routine, having routines is very important for the learning environment. Please try to maintain regularly scheduled work times and routines. Setting a set schedule for eating times, work time and playtime is important. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breaking work times into 20 minutes of individual work time followed by 10 minutes of physical activity for younger students.
Stick to normal bedtime routines - Even though it feels like summer in some ways please try to stick to normal bedtimes and bedtime routines to ensure adequate sleep time and to reinforce the normal school routine.
Define a physical space for work — This may be a home office, the dining room table, the porch, or anywhere you want but a workspace should allow students to work with as few distractions as possible. Workspaces should be well lit, with a hard surface to write on, color, cut, glue, and work on those crazy STEM packets.
Encourage physical activity - Whether it's a bike ride, a game of hopscotch, or a workout video, students need physical activity to activate their brains. Make sure that physical activity is happening throughout the day and the learning process. Quick 10-minute breaks are all you need to get those neurons firing.
Monitor screen time - During this time your student(s) will most likely increase their screen time. According to Unicef, we should relax strict time limits on screen time but be mindful of the quality of the material and the time of day these screens are being used. Avoid screen time right before bed, encourage physical activity in front of screens, and make sure that screen time isn't replacing family time.
Students in 3rd - 8th Grade are following their normal daily schedules virtually. Each physical classroom contains live stream cameras to bring the classroom experience to the student at home. Teachers are using classroom cameras and Google Meet to engage online students in class lectures and discussions. Students are responsible for logging into their school-issued Chromebooks at the time of their class and can communicate with their teachers and classmates via microphone or chat.
Setting Your Child Up For Success
Establish routines and expectations - At Cornerstone, we work to develop intrinsically motivated learners. This experience has given us new opportunities to work these muscles and skills that we work to develop day in and day out. To be successful students need to be prepared for the school day and set new routines. In Middle School, synchronous learning will drive your new schedule as you will be expected to attend your daily classes and be available during work and conference time.
Define a physical space for study - This may be a home office, the dining room table, the porch, or anywhere with as few distractions as possible. Workspaces should be well lit with a hard surface to write on if needed.
Take an active role in helping your children process and own their learning
Encourage physical activity and exercise - Whether it's a quick walk or a workout video, students need physical activity to activate their brains. Make sure that physical activity is happening throughout the day and the learning process. Quick 10-minute breaks are all you need to get those neurons firing.
Monitor screen time - During this time your student(s) will most likely increase their screen time. Avoid screen time right before bed, encourage physical activity in front of screens, and make sure that screen time isn't replacing family time.
Monitor emotional well-being
CONTACT your teacher
For courses, assignments, and resources.
CONTACT YOUR Division head
For personal or social-emotional concerns, and issues related to distance learning.
Jenni Hager - Lower Division Head (PK3-3rd)
(352) 351- 8840 ext. 205
Mallory Sieg - Upper Division Head (4th-8th)
For questions about Google, Class Dojo, Chromebooks, or internet.
Dan Peterson - ITIS
(352) 351-8840 ext.215