Small School Weekly Check In - April 1, 2020

KC Media Type
Small Schools
Knowledge Topics
Professional Leadership, School Policies and Procedures
Network to Learn
Deepening Talent

Notes from the small school weekly check in on April 1, 2020

What is on your minds?

  • Assessments, report cards and progress reports
    • Focus is on parents and children still liking each other after this, focus less on rigor and more on connection
    • Narratives
    • Rubrics and narratives
    • Report cards with explanations of what was learned and narratives
    • 80/20-- 80% of final grade from before we closed the building and 20% form after, with no way for the grade to go lower than before
    • How do we know the students do not cheat on exams or quizzes?
    • Dept of education is waiving requirements in many states now
  • Planning for Yoms and graduations
  • What is working for people in online teaching? 
    • See below for links
  • Will your school offer classes on Pesach?
    • Some schools are offering optional classes, like Passover camp
    • One school is offering optional classes for which they pay teachers extra
    • Some schools are focusing on Hebrew during chol hamoed (but not on actual Yom Tov days)
    • Important to many leaders to give their teachers a break
    • Many leaders are sharing Passover activities with parents- examples are linked below.
  • 8th grade trip is cancelled- how to address the sadness?
    • Acknowledge it- it is a loss. Zoom meetings
    • Design the t-shirts and sweatshirts for the UNtrip
    • Plan a backwards trip where students prepare to take the group on a virtual tour and they show up wearing the right clothing, with music, activities and food
    • Create postcards you can send of the kids in places they wanted to visit
    • Maybe reschedule for the summer or fall
    • Allow seniors and 8th graders to end formal classes before the other students
  • Enrollment!
    • Possible to connect refunds for April and May only if they sign enrollment for the fall, perhaps carry over the funds to the fall? Primarily for preschool contracts.
  • Hiring for the fall and firing for the summer
    • Some are, some are not
  • Money- what will we do if this continues? Furlough? Letting anyone go? Early childhood- are you offering reimbursement?
    • Applying for the government loans
    • EC- offering partial refunds for April and maybe May… choices include 75% full refund, or donate it and get a tax credit, or apply it to the fall if you sign  enrollment contract. Some schools are offering 20% for EC only, noy lower school.
    • Some parents called to make sure teachers were still getting paid :)
    • Some schools let non essential workers go and get unemployment with hope of returning laer- like the front desk and cafeteria and security people.  In some schools the PTO sent them grocery cards.
  • Contract changes
    • Caveat for pandemics
    • Change calling them “contracts” and now call them “employment agreement”
    • Have a lawyer check the language
  • What are you doing to help your teachers?
    • Link on Prizmah website with ideas (see below)
    • Paint night- send supplies and do it by zoom
    • Send wine with personal note
    • Lawn signs
    • Personal letters form board members
    • Comedy night
    • Kids hold up thank you signs at weekly online assembly as a surprise
    • Make a surprise thank you video with parents help
    • Send cookies
    • Gift cards
    • Grub hub cards
    • Small Passover package
    • PIZZA delivery before Passover
  • How to support parents and board members who are first responders?
    • See above?

Long term:

  • Should the school year be extended until summer? Unknown
  • If we do not have classes in the building in the fall, should and can we lower tuition?
  • If we do not open the building in the fall, what do we do about reimbursement?

What would help? And Suggestions for field support:

  • Rituals from afar webinar series starts tomorrow to start to plan for YOMS and graduations etc.
  • The webinars and information about applying for funding are very helpful- keep them up pleas
  • Rabbi Marc Wolf will be sending out into info soon about online classes after Pesach for schools to partner with organizations
  • Possible lawyer who might be able to help HOS write contracts and make furlough decisions
  • The webinars have been super helpful!
  • Resource pages for: what is working online, mental health, Passover resources and activities for parents


 From the Prizmah resource page:

Resources on Distance Learning