• Dear District 113 students—
     
    As you certainly know by now, we anticipate that Deerfield High School and Highland Park High School will be physically closed until at least April 14, 2020. During the next few weeks, we will shift to offer remote learning. This email describes how that will work for you.
     
    Remote learning will begin on Tuesday, March 31.
    Prior to Tuesday, your teachers will be working to shift their lessons to an online format.
     
    Schoology and Gmail will be the primary forms of communication and instruction.
    You should expect to use Schoology and your school Gmail account to communicate with teachers and other school staff.
     
    Attendance will be taken every day that classes are scheduled and measured via Schoology logins.
    Students will need to sign-in to Schoology by 3:00 PM each day to record their attendance.
     
    We will follow the regularly posted schedules during Remote Learning Days unless otherwise noted...
    During Spring 2020, both schools will shift to a 4-day week. The specifics of this will be different at each school. The DHS schedule is here; the HPHS schedule is here; please note that generally, each week contains one full day where no classes are scheduled. On these days, you will work remotely on assignments and enrichment activities, or help take care of your families and homes.
     
    ...though much instruction will take place asynchronously and offline.
    In this case, asynchronous instruction means you will not always be working together with your peers, and that each student may be accessing their work at different times. During remote learning, teachers will likely spend some time providing whole-class instruction via Google Hangouts Meet or the like, during regularly scheduled time. But they will also provide assignments and guidance for students to work through on their own. Much of this work—reading a book, creating some artwork, exercising for physical education—may occur offline.
     
    Teachers will be available electronically to help.
    During regular school hours, teachers will be available to students via email or Schoology should they have questions or need assistance. Please be patient; there are many students to help, and the coronavirus situation is complicated for everyone.
     
    Teachers have been instructed to update their Schoology pages by 9:00 AM each day for courses that are scheduled for that day.
    For each of your classes, you should look at the respective Schoology page for new information about coursework and learning opportunities each day.
     
    Other school rules about coursework and behavior remain in effect.
    School rules still apply during remote learning.
     
    What about AP testing?
    This spring, all AP testing will be done online. The College Board has provided some initial information for students about these changes, and is offering additional online supports as well.
     
    Videoconferencing will be a challenge.
    During this time when schools are closed, there are many benefits to video conferencing to stay connected with classmates and engage in instructional activities. However, there are some essential requirements to keep in mind.
    • Use wifi. Using cellular data when video conferencing can quickly consume large amounts of data, unless you have an unlimited data plan, find a wifi connection.
    • Camera on or off? You (and your parent/guardian) should choose when and if you want your camera on or off. When your camera is on, ensure you are dressed appropriately for school and you are aware of anything in the background that all could see when the video is on.
    • This class may be recorded. Not everyone in your class can join during the scheduled time and the teacher may record the session to post for students to access at a later time.
    • Mute yourself when not speaking. There is lots of background noise that may be distracting to the class. Remember that during both check-ins and instructional time you are in the presence of teachers and classmates. Whatever is happening behind you can be heard.
    • Be flexible and understanding. Your classmates and your teachers may have pets or younger children at home. Recognize that everyone is doing the best they can under these circumstances.
    • Be kind and observant. We can’t know all the challenges each of us is facing and we all handle this stress differently. Stay connected with your friends and let an adult know if you or a peer is in need.
    • All the rules apply. When you’re in class, you’re in school. Behavior during remote instruction on discussion boards or video conferencing should reflect the same expectations as in the classroom, and the same disciplinary consequences may still occur including being removed from video conferencing by the teacher.
     
    Take care of yourself, and be flexible.
    As we all work together to create a meaningful distance learning experience for our schools, we must be guided by a spirit of flexibility and understanding. We know that each of you—and your families—will have different, and potentially shifting, circumstances as the District and nation respond to this pandemic. It is understandable to feel anxious and uncertain during these trying times. We will do all we can to support you, and please continue to support one another.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Principal Anderson and Principal Finn