20-21 DISTANCE LEARNING AT SUMMIT
July 31st, 2020
Dear Summit Families,
At Summit, we are committed to providing a challenging and meaningful education for each student. During this unprecedented time, we are prioritizing the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and teachers above all else. We have the opportunity to innovate with our educational program and the responsibility to serve the common good. As we face the future we all need to make sacrifices, we all need to be fully informed, and our voices need to be included in decision making.
As a reminder, BVSD recently announced their plan to open schools in Phase 3 starting August 26th, 2020. Phase 3 is a hybrid model of students learning 50% in the building and 50% online. The BVSD plan has middle school students attending two classes at a time, for four-week periods.
With this in mind, and after thorough review of stakeholder input, our Board of Directors, leadership teams, teachers, and administrators agree to follow a Summit specific approach to start the school year, as such:
- Summit students will receive all academics through distance learning. Rigorous academics will be synchronously and asynchronously taught.
- We have an explicit goal to transition to a phase 3 hybrid, in-classroom learning sometime after Labor Day.
- Concurrently, we will be running an in-person, voluntary outdoor orientation program open to all students which will include orientation, student connection, and social emotional support.
- Distance learning will start as scheduled on Tuesday August 18th for all students. 6th grade orientation will still occur on Monday August 17th, outside at Summit and a detailed schedule will be sent to 6th grade families.
Obviously, this is an incredibly difficult decision for us to make as we all long for the day when students and teachers will be back in school together. However, we are confident this is the correct decision to be making at this time.
The decision to start with this transitional model was made to:
- Prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and community by starting with the safest possible phase before moving to a phase with higher risk
- Focus on one learning plan (full distance learning) and do it the best possible way, rather than dividing attention preparing for two plans (distance and in-person learning)
- Provide personalized and rigorous academic opportunities for all students including accelerated classes and academic support
- Honor faculty readiness and comfort level
- Allow time to prepare for the most effective in-person learning model
- Pair our distance learning program with an in-person outdoor orientation program providing a safe, supportive, and gradual transition to academic learning in the building.
Below you will find an overview of the key elements in our school opening plan, more details will be forthcoming in email communications and linked to our website.
Distance Learning Plan:
Rest assured we will be offering a rigorous and innovative learning plan for every student with a myriad of live, required learning opportunities. We are addressing some of the challenges that distance learning posed in the spring, and our goal is to provide an improved online learning experience which adheres to Summit’s high standards.
Students will attend five synchronous online core classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in small class groups and participate in self-paced asynchronous core learning on Tuesday and Thursday. Additionally, students will attend synchronous online electives on Tuesday and Thursday. We will continue to have online clubs, leadership and BEAST activities. Please see the sample student schedule linked here.
In addition to daily synchronous learning opportunities, families can expect Summit support and activities. Each week, families will receive a hero video, a personal challenge, a video of announcements, and a family challenge. All of these will be optional but we are working to provide as many opportunities for you and your family to grow and extend learning during this time.
In-Person Outdoor Orientation Program:
We will be offering an outdoor orientation on campus run by Summit teachers and staff. There will be a detailed schedule for attendance and we plan to have each student attend once, or maybe twice, per week. Students will be grouped in safe cohorts and following strict health and safety guidelines. The outdoor orientation curriculum will focus on the physical and emotional health of our students, orientation to a new way of school, student connection, community building, and fun!
What you should expect in the near future:
An individualized first month calendar for your child that outlines:
- Their schedule of classes and outdoor opportunities
- Synchronous and asynchronous distance learning expectations
- A faculty support partner for each student to contact when you need help
- A scheduled for orientation and materials pick-up
Rates of infection, health guidelines, and school responses are changing rapidly. With each decision we make, we will keep you informed and included.
What we need from you:
Support your children: As parents, we are currently the flight attendants on a flight with a lot of turbulence. Our reaction will influence our children’s reactions. If they see us take this challenge with confidence and calm, they will reflect that.
Gather your materials: School supply lists have already been sent. Students will need all the materials they’d generally use during in-person learning. Please note, there will be no communal supply use. We will also need you to purchase these additional materials:
- A personal whiteboard and markers - Examples are linked here and here
- Personal Stationary (at least 20 cards) - Examples are linked here and here
Create a learning space in your home: Students need a consistent and personalized learning space with their materials close at hand. We recommend organizing a space and physical materials so it’s easy for students to find what they need for their classes. Additionally, personal touches like pictures or inspiring quotes can help students feel calm and focused.
Login into your child’s email: One of the main reasons students may have missed support opportunities this spring was because they did not regularly check their email. Please begin to practice with your student to check their email daily, and to send emails regularly for support or questions.
Support Summit: Obviously, we are trying to offer a myriad of opportunities to students and are looking to constantly improve and creatively adapt. If you want to help with our offerings or create solutions, please contact Laura Glaab or Lynn Renter.
We appreciate your support and patience as we adapt to the new reality of school. The pandemic has changed the landscape of education. We can’t wait to see your children and welcome them to an exciting year of exceptional learning and growth at Summit.
19-20 DISTANCE LEARNING AT SUMMIT
Distance learning was not how anyone expected to end the school year. However, our school community
worked together to make sure that student and parent feedback was heard and implemented, that students
stayed connected with their teachers and their classmates, and that all students had the support and
resources they needed to be successful in their classes. Our Pandemic Task Force is diligently working
through solutions for any scenario that could arise next school year. We will keep all families updated as our
plan progresses throughout this summer. In the meantime, check out some of the fun ways below our community stayed connected through all odds!
- 8th Grade BEAST Pack Farewell Song - Watch a goofy teacher parody of Rent's Season of Love.
- A Message From Summit Faculty - Watch a teacher message that was sent to students and parents.
- A Message From Summit Students - Watch a message put together by our Summit families for the Summit Faculty & Staff.
- Virtual BEAST Day - Watch a recap slideshow of our virtual BEAST day. Not shown was the virtual talent show that over 98 students attended via one Google Meet!