Family Newsletter 1.21.22
Harwood Families -
We are grateful for the feedback from our community regarding ELO (Extended Learning Opportunities) - challenging each other will only make us stronger and more effective for our children.
After much analysis and discussion of the student, staff and family data we are excited to roll out the NEW ELO structure this Wednesday 1/26.
Big change and details
Remove block-for-block matching (ELOs lettered A-G instead)
All teachers will offer a mix of “course blocks” (blocks dedicated to current course
students from any class) and “open options” (study spaces and bonus options that are open to all)
Some classes will still be fully booked each week, such as AP and music courses
Open options expand to include clubs during blocks B and G, and more capacity for bonus options, study spaces, math and writing labs, and structured support
Students can be pre-booked by teachers, or can also book themselves to check in with specific teachers
Meetings with school counselors, case managers and other services can still be pre-booked
Maintains length of time and opportunity for small group support/extension
Maintains choice for students and could allow for more options with more staff offering open blocks → can differentiate spaces even more (like a truly QUIET quiet study, group study spaces, math lab…)
Enables teachers to book students across their courses & work collaboratively as course alike teachers (all students who need a specific support in one ELO, all students for extension a different ELO)
Reduces fully-booked classes in favor of more flexibility for students
Can include club meetings without excluding students
No out-of-order classes!
These changes put the ball in students’ court a little more to plan out and purposefully book their schedules. This will be facilitated through TA, where TA teachers will help students use this template to think through which teachers they want/need to see, where they are already pre-booked, and how they should spend their time on ELO day. This booking is done on Tuesdays in TA, so we encourage weekend and Monday night conversations at home to help students think about how they can best spend their time each week.
All the ELO changes are based on survey feedback (thank you again!) and discussions and problem solving between our leadership teams and students. We considered many different potential changes, and recognize that there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution. The table below gives an idea of the varied responses in the survey feedback.
Enough time to do homework
Walks or activities to take a mental break
73% of students said that they are getting the support they needed in their classes
Broad support for the concept of ELO
Overall “like” for the study spaces
40 minute small chunks is a nice length (also requests for longer ELO time)
Ability to see all your teachers in one day
Being able to work with small groups and give pointed instruction
Ability to book everyone OR just some students (having choice)
Amount of time of each block - shorter chunk of time
Separated out by class is helpful because there isn’t competition
Chance to connect with students who miss class
Counselors can meet with students without taking them out of class
Students have choice during part of their week
A catch up day for some students
For some students it offers a day to depressurize
Ability to get extra help from a variety of teachers
Time to meet with teachers and make up missing work; also teaches students self advocacy in asking for help
Kids get help who want it
Not having to bring home work and being able to get help
Extra help for those who need it
Challenges (identified by students and staff)
Some teachers book their whole class every week - this defeats the purpose of ELO
It’s a lot of transitions in one day - exhausting, hectic, and the out-of-order blocks are confusing
Not time for additional homework or assignments; ELO is time for not “more” but time to “do”
Not rigorous for some students; lots of time in quiet study for some students; not enough choices beyond quiet study; for some students, one ELO a week is not enough support
Last block - 4/7, hard because it is always at the end of the day (when students miss for sports)
ELO causes only 2 80-minute class sessions each week
Students interested in a certain enrichment maybe couldn’t get in if they were already booked
Suggestions/Ideas (identified by students, staff, and families)
Quieter study hall; request to take art or PE if you aren’t in those classes; more options for students, beyond just quiet study halls; increase support options like math lab and writing lab
Create an opportunity for clubs to meet during ELO; create opportunities for more enrichment
Create a menu of options for students to sign up for an ELO and more flexibility for teachers to have different offerings; give teachers more time to prepare for this
Move blocks 4 and 7 so they don’t happen at the end of the day; decrease number of ELO blocks (longer times 60 mins)
More than one time a week and not the full day; go back to pre-COVID ELO schedule where it happened 2x/week - switch ELO to Flex and have regular classes on Wednesday, including Flex
More flexibility of booking students (not having full classes, ability to group students differently)
Keep it the way it is - it’s working well the way it is
Laurie, Meg and Duane
February 21st - March 1st - February Vacation - NO School
Safe - seen, heard, respected & understood:
Do close contacts need to quarantine?
Close contacts can continue coming to school; no one needs to quarantine unless they are sick. Vaccinated students should test on days 4 and 5 (antigen test) or day 5 (pcr test), but may continue coming to school. Unvaccinated students should test daily on days 1-5 using the antigen tests. Follow the email you are sent to identify what are days 0-5.
Do we need to send student antigen results to school?
No, results from antigen testing do not need to be sent to us. Please do reach out if you have any questions.
Do we need to contact the school if students are a close contact outside of school?
You do not need to notify us if students are a close contact outside of school unless you wish to pick up an antigen test kit.