13 Apr Message from the Head of School April 13th
Dear TCS Parents and Friends,
I trust that your Easter weekend has been a beautiful time of reflection and celebration with your family. We remember the hope we have in Jesus – a hope that does not falter or wane in difficult times but rather becomes our beacon when all around us is scary and swirling. My fervent prayer is that the families and faculty of The Covenant School will emerge from this pandemic in closer relationship with the One who makes all things new.
I have included in this email – and will include in future emails – our families who will be new to TCS in the coming year. We are excited to begin including them in our community correspondence and look forward to a time when we can know them and share actual, face-to-face time together.
I’ve had the opportunity to review the results of our most recent parent survey. Overall, parents are satisfied (74%) with the workload, but 11.7% still feel that the workload is too heavy. Instructions from teachers seem to mostly (82%) be clear and helpful with 14% saying that instructions are clear with some glitches or confusion. The schedule for child and family is manageable for 80%, but that means that 20% still feel that the schedule is not reasonable. The times on Zoom with teachers have been just enough for roughly 79%, not enough for about 8% of families, and too much for 9% of families. I have read the other information families shared and will be passing along your comments to specific teachers so that we can continue to adjust our program.
Looking ahead to the coming weeks of distance learning, I’m going to make an alteration to the current schedule so that we can more reasonably sustain distance learning for the duration. We will move to four-days of instruction from the teacher, Monday through Thursday, and use Friday as a teacher planning day and a student catch-up day. Each teacher will have independent work posted, but there will be no Zoom meetings or instruction by the teacher on Fridays. It has become clear that the time required of our teachers to plan, post, and keep distance learning authentic, is exorbitant and they will need a day of planning each week. This will begin the week of April 20.
The central question on your mind, I expect, is “when are we going back to the school building?” I wish I could answer “next week” but, of course I can’t. We are waiting a few more weeks to hear from Governor Lee and other officials to determine if we will be able to go back to our beloved school before the end of this school year. I will certainly keep you posted.
As we begin another week of distance learning, I hope we will all remember our central focus of knowing our children, loving them, and preparing them. There is no doubt that what may have been meant for evil in the time of quarantine, God means for good. I hope you find new ways to know and to love your children – enjoy new experiences with them that allow you a fresh peek into their hearts and their minds. And may our efforts to prepare them include the easily-missed skills involved in being a part of a family and working together for the benefit of each other.
Moving forward, we will not be taking roll each day (except for 5th and 6th grades), because we trust that parents are doing their best to make their children available for the morning meetings. In grades K-6, all the assignments in English Language Arts and Math are to be the priority. After these are completed, if there is still time and energy in the day, then go to Science/Social Studies and then Enrichments and additional “early finisher” work. But please hear me say again, that if your child, your family, is having difficulty completing all the assignments given, prioritize ELA and Math only. And, as always, talk with your child’s teacher if you need additional help navigating the coursework.
Please know that I continue to pray for you –
- For strength and courage, knowing God is with you wherever you go (or stay) Joshua 1:9
- For full-hearted trust in the Lord, rather than leading on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5
- For stillness and conviction that He is God Psalm 46:10
- For peace that passes understanding to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6
- For the words our mouths and the meditations of our hearts to be pleasing to Our Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
As always, privileged to be in covenant with you,