Dear Eastern Christian Families,
Thanks so much for your willingness to provide us with timely and helpful feedback in the survey that we distributed yesterday. We want to thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Our teachers are working hard, and so are you! This unique time in Eastern Christian’s history has highlighted the foundational partnership between teachers and parents. Our classrooms and your homes have doors that are open to each other in ways we could never have imagined.
The educational leadership team meets daily to identify and implement ways to improve remote learning at EC. When we reviewed the survey results this morning, we noted several themes:
Your encouragement means so much to us!
- “Morning meetings are definitely the highlight of her day. We’re so happy with the first grade teachers and their assignments have been very appropriate and engaging. Chapel was something this week that was nice for the whole family to be able to get involved in and worship together. Thank you to all the EC staff for another great week of remote learning!”
- “Everyone is doing a phenomenal job and we’re so blessed by all the time, hard work and dedication the teachers, administrators and staff have put into remote learning because our children are challenged, having fun and maintaining some semblance of a “normal” school day!”
- “All of the lesson plans were once again wonderful. The embedded links and pictures to aid activities were very helpful. I am impressed with how well even PE is able to build off of the teachers’ lesson plans to make everything cohesive and thematic. I really appreciate all the time the teachers have spent to make sure teaching/learning at home goes smoothly.”
- “I’m so impressed with the entire EC faculty & staff! I feel so blessed to be a part of this community and I know I chose the right place for my daughter to begin her school career. The time , care, and dedication of the teachers is amazing ! Just at the preschool level I see such love and care for my daughter and all her classmates. Thank you EC preschool! You are doing everything you can and doing it well! I know this is a very scary time with lots of unknowns but I am so happy with all the decisions and details you are taking care of!?
Adjustments made based on last week’s feedback were helpful. We made changes to the schedule and teachers clarified expectations for assignments.
- “The new schedule implemented this week was a boost to productivity.”
- “Multi-day creative projects (from art class, and writing projects) have been a big hit. It is fun to layer new work onto the previous day.”
- “It was helpful to have “must do” and “may do” assignments. This helped us prioritize our schedule each day.”
Balance and Routine
Families and students are adjusting to a “new normal” and are finding ways to manage working and learning from home.
- “This week we got into a good rhythm and were able to tweak our schedule in a way that worked best for him/our family.”
- “Routine! We know what to do and when to do it!”
Most families are finding that the balance of synchronous and asynchronous time is appropriate. For those who would like more synchronous time, we are identifying additional optional opportunities for live interaction that would be implemented after spring break.
- “Workload was well-balanced. Teacher was supportive and quick to respond to questions. Morning meeting was fun, and interactive; we even went on a shape hunt around the house!”
- “My student was accountable to her teacher and able to work independently. The teacher is providing a perfect amount of structure. She gives guidance for asynchronous learning time but allows students to work at their own pace. I’m so impressed with how well the 4th grade has been able to continue learning meaningful content while working remotely!”
Our core values continue to inform our learning and behavior. We have developed some guidelines and expectations for interacting remotely. You can read about them in our Netiquette Standards. Please remind your child that we will provide the same level of accountability for online behavior as we do for behavior while they are “in real life”.
We will continue to get parent feedback on a regular basis. We hope the spring break week of April 6-10 provides a time of well-deserved rest for staff, students and families.
We noted that many families have questions regarding the reopening of school. Looking past spring break, we recognize that we remain in a period of uncertainty. We are committed to providing remote learning for as long as needed. In yesterday’s memo to schools, The New Jersey Commissioner of Education, Dr. Lamont O. Repollet, provided guidance yesterday regarding school reopening.
Understandably, everyone eagerly anticipates the day when we can resume our normal schedules. But to be clear, as directed in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 104 and affirmed in Executive Order No. 107, all public, private, and parochial preschool program premises, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, shall remain closed to students as long as the executive orders remain in effect.
We do not intend to assess the reopening of schools until at least April 17, 2020, at the earliest. As Governor Murphy stated, “the decision to reopen will be based on careful discussion with our public health and safety experts, and with our educators and districts, and will be guided by the facts on the ground.”
Eastern Christian School’s leadership team is committed to remaining in full compliance with the guidance provided by our governmental authorities and will not reopen until we are permitted to do so by the authorities. Prior to resuming classes on our campuses, we will make a local assessment of the health and safety conditions on our campuses before permitting our students and staff to return.
Thanks for your ongoing encouragement, patience and gracious partnership as we navigate the uncharted territory ahead. We are confident that our sovereign God has us all in the palm of His hand.
Chief Education Officer