April News and Remote Learning Information

April News

Welcome back!

We hope that everyone enjoyed a safe and restful April break.


We pray that all of our families had a peaceful, blessed Easter earlier this month. We were documenting daily acts of kindness throughout Lent to help prepare for Easter and adding them as leaves to our kindness “tree” in the window.  During Holy Week, we created Easter crafts, read Easter books and participated in the Stations of the Cross.

Switch to Remote Learning

We hope that the children’s Remote Learning Kits will be helpful as we begin online learning again. This week, we will begin implementing our online program again. If you are not planning on having your child participate in our online learning program, please let us or the school office know via email. While we are running the online learning program, attendance will be taken daily-if your child will be absent from online class, please use the safe arrival form on the SCD school website (found under “quick links”) or notify the office via phone message.

On Monday, April 19, we will have only one brief Zoom meeting at 9:00 am until about 9:30. We will take attendance, review our online expectations with families and try to answer any questions that you may have. We will also quickly demonstrate how to access our Brightspace classroom where our asynchronous activities will be posted. For the rest of the day children are welcome to work on asynchronous activities. Staff will be available via email/phone message for any further questions/concerns you may have.

On Tuesday, April 20, we will have our first Zoom meeting from 9:00-10:30 am and another Zoom meeting from 2:00-3:00 pm. There will be no meeting with Mrs. Gilbert (prep teacher) on Tuesday. From Wednesday on, we will be running our full schedule-two meetings with us and one with the prep teacher. Please see the full daily schedule posted at the bottom of this newsletter.

Remote Classroom Expectations

After spending five weeks online earlier this year, we have decided to set some stronger expectations for our students while participating online this time. We know that this type of learning is not easy for students (especially young children) or their families-it’s not easy for us either, but we need to work together and make the best of it for everybody. We also understand that it’s not possible for all adult caregivers to be sitting right there with their child while they are online-that’s not realistic for most families. If the children are following our expectations, then it’s not a concern if there isn’t an adult sitting right there with them.

Some of the issues that we struggled with the last time were: children constantly interrupting-turning cameras/microphones on/off when asked not to, children deliberately moving out of sight from the educator (not safe-especially when adult caregivers are not in the room with them) and children eating throughout all of the online sessions. In light of these, we would like you to review these expectations with your children prior to logging in this week.

Online Classroom Expectations:

  1. Treat online learning like a regular classroom-eat before you join the classroom, come to your online classroom fully dressed and ready to participate.
  2. If at all possible, sit at a table or desk and have your learning materials ready right there with you. You will need enough space to stand up and participate in movement activities nearby.
  3. Participate appropriately all the time, during all activities, just like when you are in the classroom. When we get up for music and movement, you need to join in and follow along-we do a lot of this to keep everyone awake, active and engaged.
  4. Eat during your breaks, not while online with your class (we will not be doing snack and story-there is a lot of time for nutrition breaks in between sessions).
  5. Cameras on unless adult caregiver needs to pause them for personal reasons, students should be visible to staff-this is to ensure safety as well as being able to see if child is participating. We can’t assess what we can’t see.
  6. Microphones off unless you are asked to turn them on-put your hand up and wait your turn, just like we do in the classroom.

We will be using breakout rooms while we are teaching online. This is a separate online “room” run through the regular zoom meeting. These will be especially helpful while we are working with small groups. We will also be using a breakout room as our “Take a break” room. If a student is behaving inappropriately online and not following classroom expectations, they will be given verbal reminders first. If the behaviour continues, we may move them into our take a break room with one of us until they are calm enough to return to the whole group.

Parents/Caregivers-you know your children better than we do. If you feel that your child is unable to participate appropriately for whatever reason, on any given day, then you need to decide what is best for them. We understand that this is not a normal situation and especially challenging for young learners and their families. We want them to join us online and have some fun while learning together. We will continue to do our best to try and meet the needs of all learners.

Zoom Meeting Link for Kindergarten Room 123

Our zoom meeting link is the same as it was earlier this winter. This is how you will access our daily classroom meetings. The easiest thing to do is to copy and paste it onto your home screen for quick access.

The prep teachers will have their own meeting links that they will share with you.

Class Reading

We have been using an online application to do our guided reading groups in class. These will only be used while we are online during small group guided reading sessions. In lieu of our usual take-home reading folders, we would like the children to log in to their accounts on the Epic website (https://www.getepic.com/) for regular reading practice. Our class code on EPIC is mws6329 – each child has an account set up for them. While this site can be used independently by the children, it is strongly recommended that they complete 10-15 minutes of daily reading (at their appropriate reading level) together with a parent/caregiver. The parent/caregiver can help with working on reading strategies (encouraging children to point at the words as they read them, practicing stretching the sounds out in words that they don’t know, checking for basic comprehension).

Children’s School Email Accounts

Information will be sent out via both our classroom website as well as your child’s school email account. Children need to be logged into their school email account to be able to access our Brightspace classroom and any posted asynchronous work.

Your child’s school email account is their 5-digit student number @smcdsb.on.ca. Their password is Firstname123 (e.g., Sam123). If your child has the same first name as another student in our class, add their last initial to their password (e.g., SamF123). Please do not change your child’s password-when they are older, they will be able to do this. Right now, if anything goes wrong, we can help access their account to sort things out if needed and add them on to any activities.

We hope that this information is helpful and not too overwhelming! If you have any questions or concerns, we are available via email or leave a voicemail through the school-we will respond as quickly as possible. If you are in need of a device for your child to use at home or have internet connection issues, please let us or the school office know, and we will do our best to sort things out.

Thank you!

Mrs. Sadlon and Mrs. Panico

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