New Horizon School

Dear NHS Families,

As things continue to change in our world daily, the NHS faculty and I continue to work very hard to adapt and modify our on-line learning format to provide success for our students. The teachers meet within their departments, the department heads and I meet, and the entire faculty and I meet daily. Kudos to the NHS faculty for their phenomenal work!

As you know, we changed our structure for on-line learning this past week, by adding in Zoom classes and teacher office hours. We hope this has improved the experience for your child. It allows the teachers to have direct contact with students so that they can provide instruction, assess learning, and guide students who need 1:1 help. 98% of our students have checked in with their teachers, and 98% of our students have joined Zoom classes throughout this past week. Office hours allow teachers to meet the needs of individual students. Our goal for this 4th week of remote learning is to continue to increase engagement and improve structures and routines for your child. We noticed last week that NHS students seem happy and excited to be able to interact with their teachers and classmates on Zoom. They seem to feel as though they are “together again” and “part of the school community again”. This is good news! Last week I observed entire classes doing amazing activities together, such as taking a virtual tour of a museum together (“I want to see the bugs”, “I’m interested in seeing the animals”, etc.), doing yoga together, and cooking hamburgers together. Wow!

 

To recap: During Week 1, we focused on making sure that every student had the necessary technology and could log on to Schoology; During Week 2, we focused on helping our students use Schoology to check in with their teachers and participate in discussion posts either in writing or on voice recording, and upload completed assignments; and during Week 3 we focused on introducing Zoom classes and making sure that all students could join a Zoom class, participate via video and audio, and use some of the tools (thumbs up, mute, stop video, chat, etc.). This week, as public schools enter their first week of remote learning, and as we enter our 4th week of remote learning, NHS teachers will continue to work hard to engage, instruct, and assess your child’s progress while at the same time modifying and adapting our approach to better serve your child. NHS teachers will also continue to work hard to modify his/her Zoom classroom to ensure that it is an effective and sensory friendly environment.

 

Your feedback is important! Please share any concerns or questions you have with us so that we can continue to improve.

 

Our school calendar will remain as similar as possible to our published calendar in terms of days off and planned activities, although some activities may be cancelled or look and feel quite different if they occur remotely.

 

In that regard:

 

  • Remote learning will be in session all day on April 3rd, rather than ½ day as published in our Activities Calendar at the beginning of the school year.
  • Spring Vacation will take place April 6th – April 10th, as published in our Activities Calendar at the beginning of the school year.
  • School will resume on April 13th, due to the fact that we used one snow day earlier in the year.
  • 3rd Quarter Report Cards will be sent to you on April 27th.
  • Depending upon forthcoming decisions by the Governor regarding school closures, some activities are cancelled (e.g. Black Watch, Volunteer Week, Fishing Club, and the Spring Gala). We are currently discussing other activities that we would like to hold remotely (e.g. the Annual Meeting on May 21st, Exhibit/Awards Night on May 28th, and Senior Graduation on June 12th) if our campus is still closed in May/June. More to be determined regarding those activities.

In the meantime, while many of you are spending more time with your child at home, please consider watching some great movies together, movies that build character strengths.

 

Communication is an important character strength for a child’s growth and development. Below is a link to a list of movies that can help children learn to listen thoughtfully as well as to communicate clearly. Please note that after you click the link, you can select for your child’s age group.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-promote-communication

 

Compassion is another character strength that children need in order to navigate the social world. Here is a link to a list of films with characters who learn the importance of caring about others and acting with generosity and concern. Again, after you go to the website, click on the link to select the correct age group.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-inspire-compassion

 

Lastly, empathy is a critical trait for children in an interconnected world. It is important to their overall growth and success in life. The link below will take you to a list of movies that help children learn the value of taking the perspective of another person and focusing on the needs of other people. Once you’re there, select the age group for your child.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-inspire-empathy

 

Also, attached please find a flyer for your information.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Marla L. Veliz

 

Marla Veliz, Administrator

mveliz@new-horizon-school.org

March 31st, 2020

Posted In: School News