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Adam Eilath

Dear Wornick Families,

I am writing to you as we approach Shabbat and reflect on what has been one of the more unpredictable and dramatic weeks in our lifetimes. When our leadership team made the decision to transition to remote learning on Wednesday, we had no idea how quickly our communities, state, country, and globe would come to a complete shutdown. Today, we received a notice from the County of San Mateo ordering that all schools in San Mateo County remain closed to students through April 3rd. This means that our building closure will be extended through at least April 20th when Passover Break ends. When we have more news about our school opening and the criteria we will use to open the school, we will share it with you.

Our entire professional community has been hard at work all day preparing our school for remote learning. Our building is filled with a mixture of sadness, as we recognize the absence of our beloved students in the school, and energy as we learn new skills and technologies.

Our complete plan and schedule for each student will come to you early next week. Moving our school to remote learning is a tremendous undertaking. I want to extend a special note of gratitude to Corine Brouwer who has been working around the clock to prepare our school for remote learning. Before our plan is solidified and finalized, we wanted to share with you what you should expect for your students in the coming weeks.

We also want to invite the entire Wornick community to a virtual Havdalah at 8.30am on Monday, March 16th. Our beloved song leader, Toby Pechner, will be leading all of our families and students in Havdalah and songs. When you join the invitation you will all be on mute automatically so we can hear Toby and enjoy. We will rotate the screen to show each of the families joining us from their homes. We will end our Havdalah service at 9am. Please join us at the following zoom link https://zoom.us/j/751141885

What to expect:
TK-5

In TK/Kindergarten through 5th grade students should expect a combination of synchronous, (live with teachers one on one or, in small groups or with the entire class) and asynchronous work (lessons that involve different mediums and students can complete on their own time). Every student will have a one on one 15 minute check in on either Monday or Tuesday with one of their teachers. Students will also have small group or entire class meetings (depending on their grades) with teachers that will be prescheduled. All virtual meetings will happen on Google Hangouts. We will be sending instructions early next week on how parents can prepare their devices for Hangouts. Our tech team will be available to troubleshoot and support parents who are having trouble getting their devices set up.

In TK-3, Seesaw will be the primary mode of content delivery. Students should expect daily work in their core subjects along with morning video greetings from their teacher and daily storytimes.

In 4th and 5th grade, our students will be using Google Classroom as the primary mode of learning with their teachers. Teachers may also upload documents and videos through the google suite.

Middle School
Middle School Students will have between 1-2 synchronous lessons (either small groups 4-10 students or the entire class, depending on subject) with each of their core subject teachers every week. These lessons will be pre-scheduled by the school and will happen on Google Hangouts. More details about how to join these hangouts will come with our schedule early next week. In addition, teachers will be assigning daily lessons that can be done independently by students. The primary modes for instruction, content delivery and learning will be through Google Classroom and Veracross.

Across all grade levels 12:30-2pm will be a time when no meetings with teachers will happen. The Wornick Professional Community will use this time to meet as a team, have grade level meetings and engage in technical and instructional support between administrators and staff. Your students may work independently during this time but they will not be meeting with teachers in real time.

Social Distancing
Nationwide school closures have been administered for the purpose of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. The slowing of the spread of this virus can only happen effectively if we practice social distancing in our lives and communities. We want to urge families to take this practice seriously. Now is not the time for parties, playdates or social gatherings. Please join us in doing your part to slow this virus down and protect the elderly and vulnerable in our society. 

I want to make a request for patience and understanding from our families. This transition will have its challenges, and there will be a learning curve for everyone.  It will take time for us to perfect the process of remote learning. Additionally, just like our parents, many of our teachers have been thrown off guard by the complete shutdown of our institutions. They have been thrown into situations where they need to care for their children, parents, and loved ones. As a result, not every class will look the same and we may have to shift some teaching responsibilities as teachers' lives change. If contagion and illnesses become more widespread, we will undoubtedly have to adjust our plans as our teachers and families lives change. Throughout this, we promise to do our absolute best to provide the highest quality learning experience possible. 

I want to end by reminding us of the importance of faith. To me, the remarkable mobilization of our society to close down our institutions over the past 48 hours inspires faith. The prioritization of protecting our elderly and vulnerable over individual comfort and economic prosperity is remarkable. We need to be resolute in our faith that we can defeat this virus, minimize the loss of lives and recover collectively as a community. 

Wishing you all a peaceful Shabbat,
L'shalom V'Briyut

Adam Eilath