First Friday Letter
March 27th, 2020
Dear Brown Community,
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all adjust to new circumstances.
My colleagues and I across the district are hearing a range of feedback that reflects the wide variety of circumstances our families are facing. This feedback is useful as it informs our plan for the extended school closure. We know our plan must include an acknowledgment and respect for the diversity of situations our NPS families are experiencing, including the time and resources they have available to them.
While we just learned on Wednesday of Governor Baker’s plan to keep schools closed until May 4, we had already been planning for a longer closure. Our planning process was outlined in David Fleishman’s March 22nd email to the community.
By the end of next week, you can expect a structured plan that includes opportunities to connect with teachers and classmates as well as content specific work. This schedule will include the opportunity to connect with adults and peers, and to practice, process, and reflect on learning.
In preparation for the rollout of this plan, this week we have been focused on the following:
- Practice - our teachers and staff are reaching out to students with technology tools to see what works best in a remote learning environment. Practicing with technology tools, both for connection and learning, allows us to understand what will work in our second phase of school closure. Teachers in our school and throughout the district are trying different approaches, but they are all still operating under the same guidance originally laid out by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- Collaboration - we have teams working within our school and across the district to develop a school and systemwide approach. At the district level, we continue to collaborate with our neighboring districts, including Brookline, Needham, and Wellesley, who have developed plans similar to our own. We will continue to do so in the coming days, as well as working to interpret guidance from the DESE.
- Technology deployment - as a public school district, it is essential that we ensure that all of our students have access to the learning that can occur. One aspect of this is access to a device. We are continuing to identify families who need a device and delivering it to them.
- Teams and GLD’s (Grade Level Departments) - have been meeting remotely using tools such as: Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet to collaboratively plan enrichment activities.
We will be back in touch with you next week with our updated plan to support learning during this extended school closure. In the meantime, please encourage your student to participate both in the opportunities for connection with their teachers and the enrichment activities. This will serve them well as we prepare for the next phase of our remote learning plan.