PVA Update: Friday, March 27, 2020
Kinder HSPVA Parents, Students, and Families,
As we continue this unprecedented journey with COVID-19, I hope that you continue to be healthy and safe. I will again ask that you let me know if that is not the case with you or your student. If there is anything that we, as a school, can do to support you during in this time, please shoot me an e-mail. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with our leaders, our students, and families. I miss their faces and their art throughout the halls and rooms of Kinder HSPVA. Everything in this e-mail is also in PDF form for you: PDF of Next Steps E-mail
There is a LOT of information about our next steps in virtual teaching and learning. Please read carefully and let us know if you have questions. Thankfully, by using our time during spring break, we have been able to learn from other schools across the nation and have crafted a plan that aims to make this transition clear and smooth for all. Online instruction will officially roll out on Tuesday, March 31. Remember that March 30 is Cesar Chavez Day, an HISD holiday. Your student should have logged on the HUB this week and been given one assignment for each course to complete. Students should have also logged into their HISD e-mail account this week. Documents to support accessing the HUB and student HISD e-mail (Outlook) are posted on our school website (http://www.hspva.org) If you have learned that your student needs to check out a PowerUp laptop or replace a non-working PowerUp laptop, please contact Mrs. Patel immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While online instruction cannot fully replace the experience of in-person interaction between student and teacher, our hope is to provide a stable and familiar learning environment where your students can thrive as they continue their learning in an online format. To accomplish this, we will move learning to the HUB which will include independent work, online support, and optional face-to-face virtual meetings/gatherings. We believe these online learning formats can best be used to complement a dynamic learning environment that will best support your student during this time. HSPVA teachers have a schedule of availability for instructional support (see below) but are not requiring students to attend ANY live meetings. Again, HSPVA teachers are not requiring ANY live meetings or ANY set times for students to be at a computer. In some homes, it may be impossible as there may be obstacles: kids may be sharing computers, bandwidth, college siblings back in the house, parents working from home, etc.
The majority of work your student receives will be asynchronous: students will have due dates that provide enough time to complete work on a schedule that best suits students and your families. Teachers will post assignments to your student’s course in the HISD HUB and give clear instructions and direction about when and how that assignment is to be completed.
While self-paced learning gives students much needed flexibility during difficult times, scheduled, online, face-to-face meetings can provide structure needed in our student’s daily schedule. Attending available online classes virtually allows teachers to model online behavior and maintains the interpersonal relationships so important to our PVA culture. By regularly staying in touch with teachers and classmates as much as possible, your student will benefit greatly. This contact will allow teachers to give real-time instruction, support, and feedback, while students will be able to ask questions and seek help from teachers instantly. In addition, students will also be able to make appointments with teachers as well.
As you will see below, while some of the learning experiences over the next several weeks will be new, there also will be a sense of the familiar as students move through the daily schedule.
Again, this is just a suggested schedule. If your student wishes to participate in online sessions with teachers or requires assistance, this schedule provides the times their teachers will be available in real time. However, it is not required that students participate in these sessions or follow this schedule. All work will be available in the HUB for self-directed learning with clear instructions and expectations and teachers will answer emails within the standard 24-hour time frame.
Students will “follow” this schedule:
Also available as a PDF: Online Instruction Format 3-31 to 4-9
- Monday March 30th (Cesar Chavez Day) and Friday April 10th (Spring Holiday) are both HISD holidays.
- The schedule for online instruction beyond April 9th will be posted and sent out later if school does not resume on campus April 13th.
- As I said above, HSPVA teachers are not requiring ANY live meetings or ANY set times. In some homes, it may be impossible for many kids sharing computers, bandwidth, college siblings back in the house, parents working from home, etc.
- Students have the first part of the morning for independent work. Assignments are posted on the HUB or linked from that platform.
- At the “assigned” periods times, some teachers plan to be “live” for 20-30 minutes of the beginning of the scheduled class IF and ONLY IF students wish to join. The teacher can then remain present for students needing further support during that period. Other teachers may plan a different system. Students may not join classes during other periods. Teachers may use Microsoft Teams or other platforms, but that information will be posted in the HUB. As always, if a student requires the help of an individual teacher, they can email them directly.
- The morning time gives teachers an opportunity to contact student for one-on-one support or to check in as needed. They also have their regular conference periods to contact parents as needed.
- Teachers will have contact information clearly posted on the HUB.
- We will continue to use GradeSpeed through the 5th grading cycle, which now ends April 9th. Assignments should be turned in on time, as specified by each teacher.
- The HSPVA counselors have a Counselor’s Corner set up on the HUB for information and support with all things college, career, scheduling, and social and emotional learning.
Please encourage students to establish a daily routine that will enable them to focus on schoolwork during the day. If possible, help him/her/them find a quiet space to work during school hours.
If a student develops a pattern of not logging in the HUB, answering e-mail, or consistently not joining any sessions, a counselor or teacher will reach out to you and your student with the goal of offering support as we adjust to a new routine and to ensuring engagement with studies, both artistic and academic.
Please encourage your students to check their HISD email and the HUB each day and to stay attentive to this and other communications from teachers and other staff from PVA. Check in from time to time about what work or activities occur in the online instruction. These daily routines are important in ordinary times; they are even more important while our we are apart from one another.
As you encounter questions or concerns, please encourage your student to seek help and please do not hesitate to reach out to the counselors or teachers. If concerns or issues cannot be solved with the teacher, please e-mail your student’s assistant principal.
Mrs. Williams (email@example.com): AP for Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts
Mr. Tellez (firstname.lastname@example.org): AP for Creative Writing, Music
Mrs. Farris (email@example.com): Counselor for Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts
Mrs. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org): Counselor for Creative Writing, Music
Dr. Allen (email@example.com): Principal
We are all available to help. Remember, teachers are your first and best resource in this regard. Staff e-mails can be found on the school website at: https://www.houstonisd.org/domain/25351
At https://www.houstonisd.org/HealthAlerts, you will find the latest information related to the district's COVID-19 response. You will find a number of resources for students and parents on the HISD @ H.O.M.E. page (https://www.houstonisd.org/HOME). There are several free digital resources that students may choose to use to further learning beyond what our teachers are able to provide (https://www.houstonisd.org/Page/180240). Our HSPVA website also has many updates and resources and can be found at https://www.houstonisd.org/domain/46456.
Finally, we continue to have discussions about the many events and performances that have been canceled. We are working to figure out how those might be addressed if and when we are able to return to campus. Please join me in a positive thought or two and perhaps even a prayer that we are all together at 790 Austin Street making magic and enjoying one another soon!
Scott Allen, Ed.D
790 Austin Street,
Houston, Texas 7700