Dear Maumee Valley,

Dear Maumee Valley,

Happy Friday. I hope you’ve had a positive week overall. In speaking with faculty and families this week, I’m learning that we are all having our up and down days and working hard to discover what the words normal and routine mean in our current situations. People are feeling all kinds of emotions, and that is ok. Please remember to take care of yourselves and your family. This is our community’s top priority.
 
Thank you for sharing your feedback on remote learning for your child. We appreciate knowing how things are going so that we can continue to do what is working well and adjust as needed.
 
With Governor DeWine closing schools for the remainder of the year, we are solidifying plans for end-of-year events—determining which we can do virtually, and which will need to change. All of these decisions are being guided by daily announcements from our Governor and local health authorities. Division Heads will be sharing more information with students and parents soon.
 
Many have questions about summer and fall. Regarding summer camps, we are waiting to see what the Ohio reopening orders look like before we make a decision. If we are able to run SummerTime, we will!
 
We won’t know about the fall and what school may or may not look like until later in the summer. I know we all want answers, and I wish that I could give them to you. Know that the school is preparing for various scenarios for what learning in the fall may look like, all the while knowing that our hope is to be back together.
 
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe and take good care.
 
Lynn D. Casto
Head of School
lcasto@mvcds.org
419-469-0240

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

      

Upper School

Parent & Student Feedback
Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to respond to the Upper School Remote Learning Survey. Today, I sent a similar survey to students so that we can collect their feedback, as well. I also appreciate parents reaching out via phone or email to share their personal experiences and thoughts on how we can improve upon our remote learning program. This feedback is critical in supporting our efforts to continually evaluate and adjust the program so that it provides the structure and support needed for your child to feel successful. 

Coffee with Dr. Macek
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend this week’s “Coffee with Dr. Macek” session, which focused on college planning for juniors. Georgette Small, our Director of College Counseling, led this session and shared important resources that are available in the MyMV College Counseling -Junior Year group as well as on the Upper School Resource Board. If you missed the session but are interested in learning more, please watch the video recording and reach out to Georgette Small, Director of College Counseling, or Brooke Schlageter, Assistant College Counselor, with any questions.

Please mark your calendars for the next Coffee session, scheduled for Thursday, April 30, from 5-6 pm. The purpose of this session will be to provide updates and answer questions regarding our plans for student events, spring intensives, and grading policies, and to address any other questions that you might have at that time. Early next week, I will send an email reminder that will include the Zoom invitation for the session. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Spring Intensives
In last week's letter, I announced our decision regarding Spring Intensives for seniors. It read as follows:

Due to the current crisis and the recent enactment of Ohio law that permits schools to grant temporary flexibility in terms of graduation requirements, we have decided that any senior who has met graduation requirements by the completion of the spring rotation may be excused from the spring intensive or independent study. Any student who is interested in opting out of the spring intensive or independent study are asked to contact their advisor who will confirm the student’s eligibility for this exemption. Once they have received confirmation from their advisor, students should inform Mrs. Olivia Spencer (ospencer@mvcds.org) by May 4 of their decision to opt-out of the spring intensive or independent study. 

However, many are still wondering about our plan for the rest of our students who will remain in school for the Intensive period. Please know that Spring Intensives will run as scheduled. However, with the mandated campus closure, the learning experience will be different. Dr. Paula Apostolou and I are working closely with our teachers to support them in transitioning their Intensive courses to the remote learning environment. While the learning objectives will remain the same for each course, the instructional strategies will be adjusted in order to best ensure a positive and meaningful experience for the students in their home environments. We are maximizing our use of online resources, including virtual reality experiences, tours, and expeditions that are currently available and free to educators across the globe. We are also encouraging teachers to allow for student choice in project-based learning and to use best practices for student collaboration in an online environment. Teachers are reaching out to guest speakers who will perform virtual class presentations, and are optimizing their use of the world wide web to bring relevant, real-world experiences to the students’ home environment. Thanks to the incredible dedication and talent of our wonderful faculty, I am confident that your children will enjoy a novel and meaningful Intensive experience this Spring! Please stay tuned for our plans to showcase the students’ Intensive work via a virtual Intensive Fair in June.

Molly Macek
mmacek@mvcds.org
443-286-9773

Middle School

We made it through week three - great Job!  I am really proud of the work that students are doing.  Teachers are reporting that students are working hard and that there is even an increase in the quality of work for many students during this period of remote learning - truly impressive.  

Our teachers continue to reinvent their classes and create innovative instruction and learning opportunities.  Here is a highlight from Ms. Steven’s class that I wanted to share:  

7th Grade Science enjoyed a class away from their screens this week as we celebrated Earth Day! In place of class through Zoom, students were asked to dedicate their class time to complete one of the choice board items created by Ms. Stevens. Options included exploring their own backyard to complete a scavenger hunt, creating an everyday item out of recycled materials, informing their family members of eco-friendly changes we can all make, & many more!  Last but not least, students were encouraged to *eat lunch outside (*weather permitting of course).

We will continue to meet as an entire Middle School every Thursday at 12:00 to build our community and to check in with reminders, technology tips, enrichment opportunities, and student-created videos like the one shown here.
I continue to work with 8th-grade families to get 9th-grade registration completed.  Please send in your registration forms to egraham@mvcds.org ASAP; I would greatly appreciate it.  If you need assistance filling out the form, I am available to work with you to get the form completed, just send me an email and we can schedule a time.  

I would like to offer parents an opportunity to get together and discuss our programming this Thursday, April 30 at 2:00 pm. I will communicate a Zoom link via email to Middle School parents early next week.   

Have a great weekend!

Erik Graham
egraham@mvcds.org
419-450-9474

Lower School

Thank you to all of the parents who took the time to provide feedback last week about our program. We are using that feedback to improve learning from home. Students of all ages in the Lower School are beginning to adjust to the new routines and rhythms of remote learning. I know from personal experience that parents are playing a new role in the partnership between home and school.

As our remote learning plan requires devices and screen time, Lower School families should continue to consider student safety online. It was always important before, and it continues to be important to monitor student use of devices, check-in with children, and when possible, be present when they are connecting to others online. Find ways to set up a workspace where children can sit comfortably and stay focused on their work. My first-stop for parenting tips related to the digital lives of children is Common Sense Media. They have a collection of articles for parents related to supporting learning at home called Coronavirus Support that contains information about the social lives of children, screen time, zoom etiquette, a parent’s guide to Google Classroom, and more.

It bears repeating that one size never fits all, and when it comes to remote learning, no single plan is the right fit for every child and every family. Be on the lookout in published schedules and lesson plans for work that is required and work that is optional. Please stay in contact with your child’s teachers and let us know if your family needs advice on how to reduce the workload. Teachers will be flexible in helping you find a path that makes sense for your child.

Jaime Lassman
jlassman@mvcds.org
859-806-9896

Early Learning Center

We were saddened, but not surprised, to hear the news that we will not return to campus this school year. We are continuing to plan what the remainder of the school year will look like including a time for you to collect your child’s belongings, assessment and reporting, and end of year celebrations. Please stay tuned for more information.

Before remote learning, the student support team and our kindergarten teachers filled out a Dyslexia screener for each kindergarten student. Earlier this week I emailed each family their child’s results and next steps. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you to the student support team and the kindergarten teachers for their collaboration on implementing this screener.  

This week’s shout out goes to our amazing classroom assistants, Mrs. Reed, Ms. Peksa, and Mrs. Dankert. Not only did they organize the student supplies pick up but they have been busy providing student feedback on Flipgrid and Storypark. I’m not sure that you get a notification when a response to your video has been posted on Flipgrid. Please know that every video your child creates there should be a feedback reply unless otherwise communicated by your child’s teacher. 

Thank you for participating in our ELC Remote Learning Survey. Our faculty reviewed the data together this week and results show you are overwhelmingly supportive of what the teachers are doing. The data shows the large majority of you feel the programs we are offering are a great fit for your child. Therefore, we will not be making any major changes to the ELC Remote Learning Schedule or our implementation plan. If you are looking for more content, please remember there are supplemental resources on the ELC Resource Board. In addition, the single-subject areas/specialists provide one weekly video lesson/Zoom and they are providing supplemental resources for the remainder of the week. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the 3 daily lessons from the homeroom teacher and 1 lesson from the specials a day, then please check in with me or your child’s classroom teacher. We are here to help you prioritize if you are unable to do it all. 

Please continue to let me know how I can support you. Remember to tell your child you love them and they are safe and be sure to get outside every day!

Michelle Thomas
mthomas@mvcds.org
419-601-5611

School Resources

Technology
The Technology Department has been made aware of an issue regarding the camera while using Zoom on Chromebooks. On Friday, April 24th, at 3:30 pm, we will be removing the current Zoom application (remotely) from Chromebooks and working on a fix to solve this issue. Zoom will be reinstalled and functional for Chromebook users by Monday at 8 am. If you have any further issues or questions, please email the Helpdesk at helpdesk@mvcds.org.

Student Support
The student support team continues to think about you and your family throughout these challenging times.  New questions and concerns are constantly arising as our data and the presence of the virus continues to evolve.  Despite this, common illnesses and ongoing medical conditions still remain for us to navigate in these times.  The following article,Is it safe to see the pediatrician for vaccines and medical visits? may help you to navigate some of these decisions.  If you or your child would like some medical guidance, advice or just someone to talk to please do not hesitate to reach out to Nurse Sherrie at swatkins@mvcds.org with an email or to arrange a time to speak or video conference.  As an additional reminder, you can find further information and additional resources on the COVID 19-Student Support webpage. 

Yearbook Photos Needed
The yearbook committee would like to make a special request to parents for photos of students either doing online school or activities throughout the house. Since we aren’t gathered on campus as a community, gathering candid pictures of students engaging in year-end activities is proving difficult. Please consider helping this year’s yearbook committee by sending your photos to Colette at 20cjar@mvcds.org, Megan at 21mmcn@mvcds.org, or Alana at 20apap@mvcds.org.

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