Back to School Plan
GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS AND HOW TO SUPPORT BLENDED LEARNING
The transition to blended learning may be challenging for families. Parents/guardians will need to think differently about how to support their children; how to create structures and routines that allow their children to be successful; and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. Some students will thrive with blended learning, while others may struggle. The ten guidelines provided below are intended to help parents/guardians think about what they can do to help their children find success in a blended learning environment.
1) Establish routines and expectations
From the first day of school, parents/guardians need to establish routines and expectations. CHS encourages parents/guardians to set regular hours for their child’s school work.
2) Define the physical space for your child's study
Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time, as will be the case if virtual learning is implemented.
3) Monitor communication from your child's teachers
Teachers will communicate with parents/guardians through email, when and as necessary. When you need to contact teachers, please remember that teachers will be communicating with many students as well as other parents/guardians and that communications should be essential, succinct, and self-aware. We also encourage parents/guardians to have their child explain the online platforms (e.g. Google GSuite/Classroom/Meet, etc.) their teachers are using.
4) Begin and end each day with a check-in
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. In the morning, ask what is your child learning today? What are their learning targets or goals? How will they spend their time? What resources do they require? What support do they need? This brief grounding conversation matters.
5) Take an active role in helping your child process and own their learning
In the course of a regular school day at CHS, your child engages with other students or adults dozens if not hundreds of times.
6) Establish times for quiet thought and reflection
A huge challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their needs, especially when those children are different ages and have different needs. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction.
7) Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
Make sure your child remembers to move and exercise. This is vitally important to their health, wellbeing, and to their learning. Castle’s physical education teachers will recommend activities or exercises, but it is important for parents/guardians to model and encourage exercise!
8) Remain mindful of your child's stress or worry
During the implementation of the DLP, it is imperative for parents/guardians to help their child manage the worry, anxiety, and range of emotions they may experience. Difficult though it may be, do your best not to transfer your stress or worry to your children.
9) Monitor how much time your child is spending online
CHS does not intend for our students to stare at computer screens for 7–8 hours a day. We ask that parents/guardians remember most teachers are not experts in virtual learning and that it will require some trial-and-error before we find the right balance between online and offline learning experiences.
10) Keep your child social, but set rules around their social media interactions
Please also monitor your child’s social media use, especially during an extended school closure. Older children will rely more on social media to communicate with friends. Social media apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned channels of communication.