Our Parents Are Saying
“We are so grateful for all that the NPS faculty has done to equip the children and parents for distance learning -- we have packed days that are filled with learning and fun. NPS has done an incredible job making us feel connected while apart.”
- About Distance Learning at NPS
- Support Contacts
- Technological Tools, Digital Resources and Platforms
- daily academic plan
- distance learning community guidelines
- Virtual Classroom Guidelines
- Learning Routines
- Support and Communication with Teachers
- Social, Emotional, and Physical Well-Being
- Technology Resources at Home
Dear NPS Parents,
We are excited to share the improvements we have made to our distance learning program for 2020-2021. Our experiences from last spring, feedback from the parent survey, and our work with the teachers enabled us to revise our program in order to better meet the needs of our students.
Updates to our Distance Learning Program include the following:
- Live small group lessons in core subjects
- Live specials classes for Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1
- Personalized small-group activities and check-ins with the teacher
- Live read-alouds and social activities built into the schedule each week
- School-provided distance learning kits of materials and manipulatives
- Daily morning meetings
- Live synchronous lessons in core academic subjects and specials classes
- Daily live small group sessions
- Office hours and opportunities for individual student-teacher check-ins
- School-provided distance learning kits of materials and manipulatives
Over the summer our teachers have participated in professional development opportunities from AIMS and AISGW learning the best practices in distance learning. They have also spent time honing their skills on Seesaw and Zoom. We’d like to thank all of our teachers who have been hard at work collaborating with their teams. They truly are examples of life-long learning and have demonstrated such grace and flexibility throughout the entire planning process.
We will miss seeing your children’s smiling faces in our hallways. We hope they enjoy their learning experiences at home and when it is a safe to do so, we look forward to having them back on campus. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
National Presbyterian School’s Approach to Distance Learning
NPS is committed to delivering a student-centered and engaging learning experience for all students even when circumstances limit our school’s operations and prevent our students and faculty from being together on campus. In such circumstances, our commitment is to provide an alternative means of education in the form of distance learning. The NPS Distance Learning Plan is designed to ensure students will have learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate, instructionally feasible, and academically enriching. The purpose of this guide is to outline the protocols and tools that will be utilized in our plan.
Distance Learning Goal
The goal of NPS’s Distance Learning Plan is to create meaningful and enriching educational experiences for our students when current external situations do not allow for a conventional school day. NPS’s Distance Learning Plan also seeks to maintain academic instruction while continuing to build a sense of community and connectedness. These activities/assignments are varied depending on the age and grade level of the student.
Email will be used for all major announcements from the School, including the Head of School and Division Directors. Faculty and staff will continue to use email to communicate with families. Per NPS policy, all email communication should be between adults; students should not email adults from their personal accounts.
6th Grade will begin the year using Seesaw, a platform with which they are familiar, while they learn how to use, and eventually transition to, Google Classroom.
SeeSaw Classroom & Seesaw Family
NPS will continue to use Seesaw in Nursery through Fifth Grade. Some recent updates to the Seesaw software include a more streamlined feed with specialists' activities organized by subject, the ability to directly access Zoom links to synchronous lessons and activities, and an improved ability to print assignments, among others. Parents are invited to follow along and respond to their students' learning via the Seesaw Family app. Training and resources will be provided to students and families.
Zoom will be utilized for class meetings, office hours, lessons, and student support.
Each morning by 8:30, families will receive a morning greeting from their classroom teachers along with a list of the day’s lesson/activities they are to complete and where to access the material. Teachers will share how to submit and receive feedback on completed student work. If you have any questions on any assignment, please reach out to the teachers via email or the Seesaw Family app.
To improve on the spring’s distance learning plan, we are providing full-day schedules from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm to structure the day’s learning for all students. Additionally, across all grade levels, there will be more live synchronous lessons and teacher/student interactions throughout the day.
NPS recognizes that it is not developmentally appropriate for a child to sit in front of a computer for 7 hours a day. The goal of our planning is to utilize our online platforms to engage in meaningful ways while also giving the students time for breaks, off-screen assignments and activities, and screen-free independent work.
Schedules are available via CardinalNet.
NPS Distance Learning Community Guidelines
To help provide support and assistance during Distance Learning at NPS, we offer these reminders and guidelines for our students and families
- NPS’s Acceptable Use Policy applies during distance learning , and NPS’s Core Values and Parent Handbook should guide student behavior both online and offline during distance learning.
- Families are asked to check distance learning programs each weekday morning.
- Students should communicate with teachers one-on-one only via approved platforms in Google Classroom (6th Grade), SeeSaw, or Zoom. NPS students should not contact NPS faculty and staff from the student's personal email addresses or personal mobile phone number.
- Parents wishing to contact teachers should initiate a conversation via email or the Seesaw Parent App. Teachers may arrange phone calls or video meetings with parents.
- Please do not share or distribute videos, photographs, or NPS distance learning lessons or materials on social media or other platforms. NPS's distance learning tools (Google Classroom, SeeSaw, and Zoom) are not for personal use.
- NPS distance learning programs are administered by the school and may be recorded and/or monitored by the school for educational, archival, or training purposes.
- If your child is sick or cannot attend class, please email the homeroom teacher and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions or concerns regarding distance learning policies, systems, and procedures should be brought to the attention of the appropriate division director.
• During video connections, please use a well-lit space that allows the student to do his/her best work. Students should be sitting in a chair at a table ready to work with an adult nearby.
• Students must have their first name and last initial listed on Zoom to be accepted into a meeting.
• Please arrive promptly for synchronous lessons or meetings with the required materials. Be attentive, turn your camera on, and ask for help when needed.
• If a student would like to have a virtual background, please only solid color backgrounds. Backgrounds should be set before class begins and not be changed during class time.
• Students should be dressed appropriately for school, following standard NPS dress code.
• Please do not structure meal time or snacks around scheduled Zoom times unless appropriate for the meeting (lunch bunch, social snack time, etc.).
• Students must keep their cameras on for the entire meeting/lesson. The camera must be facing the student so that the teacher and the class can see their head and shoulders. If a student feels uncomfortable seeing him/herself on the Zoom screen, they may choose to “hide view” rather than the “camera off” setting.
• Students should not be on any other devices (phone, tablet) while in a live class session.
• Parents are encouraged to reach out directly to the homeroom teacher for support and/or appropriate accommodations to any of these guidelines.
In conjunction with the NPS schedule of classes, please help your child establish a regular routine for daily learning, including regular bedtime, wake-up time, meals, breaks, and play time. It is helpful to designate a quiet space in your home for study. The optimal space will depend on your child’s age; no matter what their age, we recommend a space close to adults who can be available for supervision.
Parents and students will also have an opportunity to meet with their homeroom teachers virtually prior to the beginning of the school year.
Stay engaged in your child’s learning by asking them questions and inviting them to share their progress while, at the same time, encouraging independence. Productive struggle is essential to learning; allow your child to problem-solve on their own, stepping in only if necessary. Should your child become discouraged or overwhelmed, please contact the teacher directly. Teachers are eager to help.
As always, NPS will continue to focus our efforts on the social emotional development of our students. Our school counselors, Betsy Argintar and Jeni Reklis, along with a team of teachers, are making plans for building community among the students and teachers during distance learning. Teachers will spend the first weeks of classes engaging students in community building activities, much like they have in the past. In addition, it is our hope to bring small groups of students to campus to further these efforts after the school year is underway.
Maintaining well-being is an important part of managing any sort of change to routine. Help your child stay in contact with their friends. Encourage phone conversations and other peer interactions through virtual means. Encourage games, free play, free reading, and other favorite activities outside of study time. Include physical movement and exercise every day; physical activity can help reduce stress and improve concentration.
All students are expected to participate in distance learning. Please contact your homeroom teacher if you are unable to access distance learning resources at home. If at any point during Distance Learning, families need access to a device, please fill out this form.