Getting our Focus Back

Let’s take a break from our COVID conversations and enjoy our stability for the moment. Testing is stable, response to infections has worked, wristbands largely adopted, surveys going well. So, let’s talk learning!

This week and next, you’ll have virtual opportunities to learn from teachers about our program this year. Similar to my message about getting into our stride, we are ready to help you understand our programs in more depth so that you can interact with students at home. Open houses will necessarily take on a virtual format this year, but that means you’ll have content you can also watch that is recorded and you can go back and review. Each division has its own program and structure, so watch for messages to explain and eNotes from principals below should help you navigate.

Knowing more about the learning your child is attempting should lead to conversations at home that gives you greater understanding of accomplishment. Find ways at home to have these conversations and use listening starters like “I heard you say…” or “Can you tell me more about…” and let your child expand their reflections. Use SeeSaw at Elementary and Google Classrooms Guardian Summaries in the Upper School to chart the learning path in more depth or help you with questions you can ask. Watch or participate in the Open House or Back to School together as a family and think about how you will create a habit for reflecting on school each week – where does it fit and how best to make sure you take the time for it. Research has shown that reflecting on learning is critically important for kids to see value in their efforts and connect parents to the partnership. We value all of you in this process of building meaning together!

One key measure from the annual Parent Survey just before July that continues to be a strong measure for us is this statement: My child is engaged and interested in learning at school. 97% of the ASW community either agrees or strongly agrees that this is the case. And, for this statement “The ASW curriculum provides my student with the knowledge, skills, and understanding for the next stage of education.” we have 92% either agree or strongly agree. Both of these are strong indicators of engagement and the framework for accomplishment to thrive. Thank you for your feedback as we work to continuously improve in all areas!

One additional note: We had an impromptu fire drill today just about dismissal time. Most elementary students were already gone, but most of Upper School was just about to be released when it went off. Our scheduled drill is next week, so this was a bit unexpected even though elementary just got done practicing yesterday. The alarm was caused by a faulty sensor in a middle school classroom, so there was no concern and we evacuated both the building and the buses to our safe areas while the usual checks were performed. My thanks to the parents who waited patiently in the parking lot while we completed our protocol.

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