Letter to Families - Phase II
31 March 2020

Letter to Families - Phase II

Dear Elementary Families,

You and your child(ren) are in our hearts and we miss our school communities dearly. Thank you for your patience and support as we prepared for a new phase of remote learning. You have, undoubtedly, been faced with a variety of new challenges as you potentially navigate work responsibilities, worry over your family’s health and well-being, and support your children in their learning. We know this is not easy; therefore, as we move to “Phase II,” we are focused on supporting you and our students with increased clarity and consistency.

Phase I (3/13 - 4/3):

As the situation began to unfold and school was closed, we needed to take some time to thoughtfully plan and curate resources. We also needed to prioritize the emotional well-being of our community in response to such an unexpected and monumental change. 

Our goals for Phase I were therefore to: 

  • Focus on the health and safety of our school community members; 
  • Maintain student connections, assess  student needs, and provide online enrichment and support to families 

Phase II (4/6→):  

As you know, the Commissioner of Education recently released guidelines for schools given the extended time that we will be away from the classroom, including the expectation that students engage in three hours of meaningful and productive learning daily. In response to those recommendations, the elementary administration and educators have worked to develop a plan that increases student academic engagement while also providing greater structure and predictability in this period of uncertainty. 

Our goals for Phase II are therefore to:

  • Develop clear and predictable learning routines for everyone
  • Nurture student engagement, connection, and learning opportunities
  • Develop a plan that is manageable and sustainable for families and our educators
  • Provide developmentally appropriate learning opportunities with a healthy balance of screen and non-screen based activities

What to Expect


To support the new routine at home, your child(ren)’s teacher will begin sending a daily set of specific activities in the form of an assignment grid. The grid will outline the three hours of learning time expected of each child; it won’t dictate when each task must be completed. This will allow each family to adapt the work to their own scheduling needs.

Each grid will  contain time for social/emotional learning, reading, writing, and math. As with anything new, we will spend the first few weeks of Phase II building routines and expectations, including helping you and your child(ren) to adjust to this new format. 

The Sample Grid below shows what you may expect to see on a daily basis:                                              


Read for 30 minutes

Watch the attached video of your teacher reading the book Library Lion and respond to the questions that she asks you at the end of the book. 

Writing  - approximately 20 minutes 

Write a letter to a doctor or first responder. Make sure that it has at least 6 sentences 


Dreambox for 20 minutes


Take a walk in your neighborhood and find and record 5 signs of spring.  

Physical Education

Find three places to do wall push ups

Social-Emotional Learning

Post your answer to our class question:

“What is your favorite pet that you have or wish you had?”


Social connection and interaction will be the foundation upon which our remote learning will be built. As such, we are promoting teacher use of the Google Meet platform. Teachers will host class social gatherings (“recess”) on Google Meet two times each week to help students develop appropriate use of the platform. 

We have chosen Meet over the similar Zoom platform for several vital reasons.

  • Meet is part of Google Suite for education, part of our current infrastructure
  • Meet offers a higher level of security and privacy than other 3rd Party platforms (see article from today about Zoom vulnerabilities
  • Here is a video tutorial of Google Meet. Students do not need a google email address to use Meet, and can access it from tablets, computers, and Smartphones. 

Thank you for your continued partnership as we transition into this next chapter of remote learning. As always, our top priority is the well-being of each member of our community.  Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to let us know how you are doing. We are looking forward to better times ahead. 

With warmest wishes for good health and peace, 

Your Elementary Principals

Seeley Okie    Danielle Betancourt    Heidi Paisner   Janet Carey

Burbank          Butler                           Wellington       Winn Brook