March 30, 2020 - Distance Learning Update
To the Oak Hill School Community:
In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to continuing to provide the best and most comprehensive education for our students. With the temporary closure of the OHS campus (at least until April 28, and possibly longer), faculty and staff have embraced the concept of distance learning. We have been working tirelessly since the school closure to prepare for the launch of this program.
We see this as a growth opportunity for both students and teachers; an opportunity to be creative, nimble, flexible, and innovative.
Oak Hill School will engage in synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (learning/sharing outside the constraints of time and place) off-site learning. This means teachers will be connecting with students and their families, using digital technology and various platforms to keep the learning and growing processes moving forward robustly.
Below are several important notions for all of us to keep in mind as we move ahead:
- Teaching and learning will continue but it will look and feel different. We cannot be afraid to let go, to make mistakes, to learn.
- Teaching will not be reduced to a collection of online links to consume. Students and families will continue to experience the personal touch of Oak Hill School.
- Appropriate guidelines and expectations will be written so that the distance learning school day does not place students in front of screens too much. Suggested daily schedules for on/off screen time by grade will help support parents and caregivers.
- Consistent, predictable methods of communicating with families are critical.
- Methods of assessing students and communicating student progress will include conferences, video chats, traditional assignments, and more.
- Lessons will be recorded and made available for students in the teacher’s class.
This plan will begin on March 31, 2020. Between now and then, a copy of the Oak Hill Distance Learning Manual will be distributed electronically to our community. This document will outline OHS distance learning in more comprehensive detail. The necessary shift to a distance learning approach will require all of us to make adjustments. A continued sense of community will also play a vital role in ensuring the success of the plan. All of us at Oak Hill School are available to support and guide students and parents/guardians/caregivers as we move forward. We encourage you to embrace this time at home as a new adventure with great possibilities. We will emerge from this challenge as an even stronger school and community.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
News for March 17, 2020
Dear Oak Hill Families,
We miss you and your kiddos. The campus is a lonely place without you here. By now you have all heard the governor’s mandate to keep our public schools closed until April 28. We will now remain closed for an additional period of time as well. I have a video conference meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:00am with our Board of Trustees and will have more information for you after that meeting. My colleagues will also continue to plan for online/distance learning into next month. Stay tuned, and stay healthy.
Warmly, John/Mr. O
News for March 12, 2020
March 12, 2020
Dear Oak Hill Families,
I write to let you know that our Board of Trustees and I have made the decision to close school, effective tomorrow, Friday, March 13. We will remain closed through Thursday, March 19, and will be in contact with you during Spring Break to update you on our plans for reopening school. We have also made the decision to postpone the auction that was scheduled for March 14. My colleagues will meet tomorrow to finalize plans for continuing the education process with students during the closure. They will be in touch with you and your children soon to begin that process.
I apologize for the short notice, but we feel this is the appropriate course of action. I want to emphasize that we make this difficult decision to close Oak Hill with attention to a multitude of factors and with a high level of awareness of the challenges and complexities it presents to our families and the impact it has on you. We are confident that we are making a decision that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the children, families, our colleagues, and others in our immediate and wider communities.
Why are we deciding to close school now?
Since my communication on March 5, the factors informing the decision about holding school have shifted, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising in recent days. We currently have no cases of COVID-19 within faculty and staff, and yet we have colleagues who are in at-risk categories. We are more comfortable with a position of caution and vigilance in such a rapidly evolving and deteriorating public health crisis. This decision allows us to support the safety efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our community at large.
How do I handle this situation with my child?
In the next few days, I urge you to talk with your children about this decision and to help them understand that you – and the school – are taking care of them. Children are resilient, and we owe them thoughtful and honest explanations of what a situation like this means to us. They can handle complexity, uncertainty, and frustration in ways that often surprise us.
I am grateful for the support, patience, and understanding of our community during this unprecedented and stressful period. I welcome questions any questions you may have.