First Month Under Continuation of Learning Plans

Dear Casa di Mir Families,

For many of you, this may be the moment when the novelty of staying home starts to wear thin. This week marks a month of operating within our Continuation of Learning plans.  While this is not where we pictured ourselves in April, we’re glad to be safe, continuing work with our community, and we can see the light at the end of this tunnel.   Interestingly, the allure of using technology, from connecting with friends to even grocery shopping, seems to be less fulfilling each day that we continue sheltering in place.  You’re likely experiencing young people at home, who are sorely missing the physical and real-world connection of other humans.  From time immemorial, this need to connect in the same space to giggle, share, and co-exist has been the standard, so it is no wonder why this moment is a challenge.

In talking with many of you, the honeymoon of learning at home is evolving into a new normal.  Much like coming back from a honeymoon, you have dishes, errands to run, and all of a sudden – you have a new routine.  As a school, our goal is to work with each of you to support and sustain what can be successful for your child.  To be clear, this goal must also aim to achieve a balance with your family structure, schedule, and what you’re able to provide in your household.  Some of you are juggling twice the amount of work needing to be done at home, given the circumstances stated by your employer.  Some of you are out of work, and are devoting your energy to helping your child succeed with their school plans, while simultaneously trying to find other employment.  Whatever your circumstance, these are not easy times, and our hearts go out to you.

As we tinker with how our systems can work better for our families, you may see changes in various areas.  We have adapted several of our schedules, as we’re constantly revisiting how to utilize our tools to maximize the ease for our various programs.  Know that we’re evolving with what works for all of our stakeholders: students, parents, and teachers.  With all our lessons happening on-line, we’ve asked Rose Chang to be our 1:1 contact for questions about Zoom meetings.  You’ve been sent contact information to reach her, so please do connect if you have questions about Zoom or other technological troubleshooting during this period.  We hope this provides clarity and helps to resolve some of the challenges of the moment.

This moment is particularly difficult when trying to help your child follow up with the guidelines published by classroom teachers.  To this end, I’m reminded of Choose Your Own Adventure books!  Do you remember these from the 1980s?  These books were designed for readers to make choices, turn to a particular page, and conclude with either riches, mishaps, or otherwise (depending on the choices you made).

While I am not suggesting that working with your child will result in a pirate’s booty, I am wanting to stress that you have the power to make a variety of successful decisions – and all are acceptable.  You are working with a set of classroom expectations, your own work and family needs, and lastly, the powerful will of a child.  Each week, our teachers are sending out Weekly Updates and Schedules from which you’re asked to help your student direct their activities for the upcoming week.  When you consider how to unfold what Casa di Mir looks like in your house, please know that there are many answers to the same question.  All are acceptable and require you to give yourself a huge pat on the back.  Here are some possible paths:

  1. You read the Update and Schedule, prior to Monday morning.  You have your child’s week scheduled out on a whiteboard for them to access the details as needed.  Given that our connections are all on-line, you’ve created a modified pdf, so you student can simply click or type in ID#s when needed.  You pulled out all of the important documents and information from their Google folders, and your child is ready for the week.
  2. You read through and collected the important information from the Updates and Schedules.  You created a list of activities for each day, and you helped your child meet all of the expected responsibilities, day by day.  No more than one day at a time is addressed, and you wake up the next day and repeat!  So, you communicate this to your child’s teachers.
  3. You reviewed the Update and Schedule, and your family is not able to follow exactly.  You reach out to the teacher to let them know what you can participate in and what you can’t.  You put energy into the activities you can support, and let go of the others.  You make the point to communicate to the teachers what you were able to support, and what was not addressed.
  4. You reviewed the Schedule and Update sent out, and even discussed with your child.  Given your work, responsibilities, and your desire for focus on other priorities, you decide on a few responsibilities that you can support.  Other expectations beyond that are not on the table.  You do what you can, try to enjoy the moment, and keep track of the work.  Finally, you communicate this to your child’s teachers.

Do you hear the refrain?  What you are able to sustain is wonderful and applaudable, and communicating with the teachers about what works for your student is critical.

Our best to you and your family as we work together on this!

Tyler Bourcier Head of School

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