Digital Learning Days
Our principals have emailed a wealth of information regarding Digital Learning Days to parents and students. We have collected this into one page of links to help our families. Note: Teachers have sent specific emails to their students. Please have your students check their individual email accounts for those.
- Letter from Head of School
- The Education of PHCS students continues through distance learning.
- Teachers are facilitating learning through live and recorded instruction, provide feedback on graded assignments, and monitor individual student progress.
- Letter from Upper School Principal
- Letter from Lower School Principal
- Morning Announcements continue to follow a daily schedule along with the following online content
- Monday Meditations with Mrs. Ruff, Head of School
- Tuesday Teaching Tip with Mrs. Kowalik, Academic Dean
- Wednesday Words of Wisdom with the Class of 2020
- Thankful Thursday featuring the students of PHCS
- Frolicking Friday featuring the furry friends of our staff and faculty
Letter from Mrs. Ruff, Head of School
During this time of uncertainty, I remain certain of two things. First, the mission of Perry Hall Christian School continues under God’s direction. Teachers remain dedicated to delivering an excellent learning experience for students through our distance learning schedule and individualized assistance. With daily devotions and weekly chapel services, our faculty and staff model Christ-like love during this difficult time. And the school continues to provide opportunities for students to exhibit servant leadership through participation in online activities.
Second and most importantly, I am confident that when I do not have answers to difficult questions, I serve a God who is in control and who loves His creation so much that He gave His most precious gift, His one and only Son Jesus Christ, for our salvation. And that “…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
While the distance learning environment can never replicate the face-to-face community of our school, I am blessed to support our students by partnering with our families to maintain the high standards set by Perry Hall Christian School.
Letter from Mrs. Grey, Upper School Principal
Good Afternoon Families of PHCS,
I hope that you all are in the middle of a great weekend and setting aside some time to reset and relax. Last night my husband and I had a Zoom meeting with our small group from church, and when we got to taking prayer requests we also took time to share the blessings we’ve uncovered in this last two weeks when our world’s been flipped upside down. I know for me, it’s been a lot of work, a lot of stress over decisions, sometimes a few tears, but it’s also been a lot of thought and effort fully geared towards my family and my kids and working to create a safe place for them to feel secure to continue to grow and be excited about our future. I wish and pray that you all are doing the same and that God is giving you the peace you need that transcends the worldly understanding of this pandemic and you find rest in His Sovereign Hands. Roman’s 8:6 says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Thank you so much to those of you that took time to complete the parent survey. Your feedback was crucial to our making decisions about how we move forward to support your student’s learning. What you will find in this email is an overview of a schedule of Zoom meetings for your student, some guidelines for Zoom use, an outline of expectations for what else you can expect from the teachers in addition to their live sessions, a daily schedule suggestion, and what the end of the quarter and Spring Break looks like. There is a lot of information in this email, please make sure you take time to read it through in its entirety.
There are two attachments with Zoom schedules. One for middle school and one for high school. Each contain an overview of each grade as well as a page that organizes it in a “week-at-a-glance” format. The teachers will be using these time slots as teaching times with your student. The students are required to attend live and attendance will be taken. If your student cannot make a session on any given day, please reach out to the teacher(s) whose class(es) it impacts to let them know. Each middle school and high school student will have a maximum of 3, 30-minute sessions a day. Middle School does not have any mandatory sessions on Wednesdays. High School will have primarily electives on Wednesdays where applicable. Wednesday will be used as a support day to get caught up, ask questions where needed, we may host some grade-level support groups, guidance lessons, etc.
All upper school classes (except for middle school specials and high school electives) will have at least 2 live classes each week, the first being Monday or Tuesday, the second Thursday or Friday. All assignments will still be posted at the beginning of the week by 8 AM Monday, however students may now be given a deadline either Wednesday by 9 PM (assignments from their first class meeting to help them be prepared for their second) or Sunday by 9 PM (assignments from their second class meeting to finish out the week). These deadlines will be included in the RenWeb assignments and will be determined by the individual teachers. These classes may be recorded by the teacher and shared with students for the purpose of educational review by students within the class only. Students are not permitted to record or share teacher recordings in any format. Students will be notified if/when a class is being recorded. When working online, students must continue to abide by all policies in the PHCS Parent/Student Handbook relating to the Behavior Management Plan, Student Lifestyle Pledge, and Acceptable Internet Use Agreement.
Zoom classes should be treated as actual classes. As such, students must abide by the following guidelines.
- Dress appropriately for interaction with teacher and student (no pajamas permitted)
- Ensure that meeting backgrounds are appropriate for the educational setting
- Enter actual name in display (fake names are not permitted)
- Be mindful that all comments must be school appropriate in content and remain on topic
- Follow all directives given by teacher
Failure to abide by these guidelines may result in loss of Zoom class privilege and could include other more serious consequences.
PHCS upper school classes will include a combination of interactive live sessions, recorded tutorials, independent and group assignments, and individual assistance. Teachers have been instructed to provide a minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 2 hours of work (including any of the modes listed above) for every half an hour in Zoom. This means that your student should be spending approximately 4.5 to 7.5 hours a day on various school activities. Teachers will also be taking into consideration grade level, which means middle school workloads should be on the low end of this spectrum with high school students, especially those in AP classes on the top end. Teachers were reminded that most work assigned at home takes longer than it would in a classroom with direct assistance. Middle school teachers were asked to scale back this week. If you feel like your student is spending more time than this recommendation in any class, please reach out to the teacher directly for guidance and direction. Please also keep in mind, that even the higher end of this workload, is less time daily (and especially weekly) that your student would be spending on their academic learning in and out of school.
Consistency and structure help students to feel secure because they set expectations and help them stay organized inside their brains. I know that the attached schedule is not going to work for everyone, but I wanted to make sure you had some sort of suggestion when it comes to setting up your own daily schedule for your kids. Feel free to use this however it might be helpful for you. The spreadsheet has two tabs. The first is filled out for you as a sample, the second is left blank. Both are formatted to print as is, but you can feel free to modify it however you want to suit you!
We currently have created student emails for all upper school students in Microsoft Office 365. These will be distributed soon with directions for accessing and changing passwords. We will work on the back end to get all new emails loaded into RenWeb for you. The decision to move forward with assigning student emails was to allow for greater ease in communication between teachers and students, as well as create a space for students in 6th through 12th grade that is solely dedicated to PHCS purposes.
In addition to all this academic support, we are also working to look out for the social/emotional needs of your students during this time. As you saw, Mrs. Ricci has put out a phone number dedicated to student support. We will also be conducting Zoom guidance lessons and grade level support sessions. This week will begin publishing announcement videos that you can access at a time that works for you and your family. We are working on a virtual spirit week and brainstorming other ways to allow for and create more connection within the PHCS family during this time of separation. We all miss you all so much!
The administrative team will be hosting a webinar for parents on Tuesday at 7 pm to review updates and take some questions. Please refer to the Panther Pages that went out last Friday for details. Hope you can attend. I am and will continue to be available to field questions at any time regarding any of this. I have truly appreciated those of you that have reached out to share your thoughts of gratitude for our staff and what we are doing to support our families and I’ve passed on your positive vibes to them. Those that have asked questions and expressed needs or challenges, you have helped us identify and troubleshoot obstacles beyond our ability to anticipate. I say this to encourage you to keep reaching out…stay connected. We are all here to help!!
Because of Jesus,
PHCS Upper School Principal
“…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Letter from Mrs. Gudmundsson, Lower School Principal
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior”.
This passage in Isaiah 43 has brought me peace through uncertain times and I have found myself revisiting these same verses over the past week. In a time where everything around us is uncertain and every day bringing change, I am reminded that I serve a mighty God who goes before me. He prepares me for what he knows lies ahead and it is in that knowledge that I take comfort.
We have all been growing in and learning how to navigate in McGraw-Hill. It has been nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time. I am hearing that you are all coming together as a strong community to provide support and help to each other as we continue lessons for our students. Thank you for your flexibility, patience and willingness to try new things! Our teachers are champions and have been amazing! They have been putting in the same hours (if not more) as they are work hard to continue educating their students, preparing and equipping them with the essential skills needed for future success.
Over the next week, our teachers will be working on creating videos and even setting up some Zoom meetings so students can see each other! You should receive the next set of assignments for your students on Monday morning. Please note that in McGraw-Hill, there is a difference between submitting and uploading and assignment. As assignments are given, there will be some work that you can only submit to validate it has been completed. Other assignments can be uploaded by printing the finished work, saving it as a PDF, and uploading it directly into McGraw Hill. If you are still having difficulty distinguishing between these two things, please do not be worried. Teachers are extending a lot of grace this week and will accept an email from you saying that your students completed the assignment. However, it is of the utmost importance that your child continues with the assignments posted by your teacher, even if you are unable to submit work. I am hoping, if all goes well, to have a tutorial for parents on how to submit and/or upload completed work within the coming days.
More opportunities to connect while social distancing are coming soon. Also, look for an email from Mrs. Dyer on how your kids can stay active and even participate in virtual field trips! Last, but certainly not least, continue to extend grace to your child’s teacher. They have been working tirelessly to adjust to this new way of teaching and know that they have grown to love each one of your children, desiring the very best for them.
Over the past week, we have all been learning to adjust to new schedules and routines. I don’t know about you, but in my house, there have been short tempers, and even tears at times, when trying to plan for what is ahead. I am learning to rest in God’s promises now more than ever. I pray that God will give you peace that passes all understanding as your faith is tested and that above all things, you will rest in the shadow of the Almighty, the only one who is all-knowing and in control.
God bless you!