Remote Learning at TNS

Dear Families,

As you know, it’s not possible to recreate the Neighborhood School approach in this online environment.  Much of the work in our school depends on children interacting with one another, with materials, and with teachers.  Communicating via screens and working without regular and ongoing opportunities to collaborate with and get feedback from peers and teachers diminishes the experiences and the learning for children.  

Despite this, we are committed to offering what we can and continue to think about how best to serve and support children and families. We write to share our thoughts about remote learning. 

Our primary goal is to help the kids feel connected to one another and to their teachers. Secondly, we hope the activities we offer provide structure if that is what you are looking for.  Our activities/assignments are connected to work that we have already done in school, and we hope that this provides a sense of continuity.  To the extent possible, we hope to engage children in work and experiences that are meaningful for them.  That said, we invite you to make a plan that works for your family.  It is OKAY if you do not do every assignment every day - please do only as much in the Google Classrooms as makes sense for you and your child. 

Everyone is navigating this crisis and managing the accompanying stressors and burdens in the best way they can.  We know that each family’s situation is unique.  Some parents are not able to work at this time, some are juggling working at home with family responsibilities.  Some families have several devices while others are sharing one device among children and adults with competing schedules and needs.  Some families are also having to care for a sick family member(s).  Every family has very different and specific challenges they are facing and we cannot have identical expectations for all families.

Parents have expressed concerns about how “behind” their children will be, or how this will impact next year.  No child will be held over based on their level of participation or work in this distance learning situation. We will all work together to get children back on track in the fall.  We will meet children where they are and modify our expectations as we need to and build children’s skills while dealing with any fallout from this interruption in their education.  Our primary responsibility now is to help our children and one another through this experience.  Parents can best support children by modeling calm and strength, sharing joyful and playful experiences, and keeping the lines of communication open so that children can express their feelings and ask questions.  We’ll be here, doing the same.

We have to prepare for the likely eventuality that we will not be able to return to our school building this year.  All of the members of the school staff miss being with the children and families of our community (and with one another!).  This is a difficult situation on many levels, but we have to keep health and safety as our top priorities.

Warmly,

Alexis, Anthony, Caroline, Catlin, Chelsea, Cheryl, Corinthia, Dara, Dianne, Dyanthe, Emily, Erin, Grace, Jane, Joanne, Lindsey, Mara, Matt, Oli, Shaniqua, Shaquawn, Sofia, Teddy, Tiffany, and Wanda

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