International School #45 Families,
The goal of BPS Learning From Home is to keep students and staff safe while extending learning during school closure. Our program strives to:
- Keep our students connected with their teachers and their peers
- Provide substantial learning opportunities to our students (although we know they do not replace days at school)
- Provide continuity in your child’s education
- Minimize regression and/or disruption to your student’s learning as much as possible
We have heard from many of our families wondering about how long students should work on BPS Learning From Home activities. Here are some recommended guidelines:
- Kindergarten-2ndGrade Students – 1.5 to 2 hours per day
- 3-5thGrade Students - 2 ½ hours per day
- 6-8thGrade Students – 3 to 3 ½ hours per day
- 9th Grade Students – 4 hours per day
- 10th - 12 Grade Students – 5 to 7 hours per day
These are guidelines and should not limit any student or family wanting to engage with the provided resources and opportunities for a longer period of time.
Special education teachers and ELL teachers are working with grade level teams to provide recommended modifications and accommodations as well as providing their own resources for students. They are also available for questions on ways that remote learning can be supported through Schoology or Classroom Dojo. The following link will take you to the learning resources for parents and families:
Our staff is adjusting rapidly to this new remote learning need. In its early stages, we are learning what works well and those areas that are challenges and making needed adjustments. I have heard concern from some parents that, “I am not a teacher.” You are your child's first and most important teacher. Please know that we know parents are doing what they can, and we appreciate all you are doing. The district has established a BPS community helpline (816-7100) to address your questions and concerns.
Staff will continue developing and updating cultural and linguistically responsive resources to support our families, particularly around social and emotional health. They are available to families and students as needed via buffaloschools.org. Our school's student support staff are able to connect families to outside providers/supports systems and organizations as needed.
I understand the worry about the impact that out of school time will have on your child both academically and emotionally. Please know that our staff shares this concern and is working hard to engage your student with learning and wellness resources that will keep him/her/they connected to school. Most of you and your students have already heard from teachers, but if you have not, please let me know.
To support this effort, over the next two weeks, our district team will develop a plan for the distribution of iPads and laptops to students in Grades 3-8 in order to allow them access online learning opportunities and technology-based tools. If you have a student in grades 9-12 who did not pick up their laptop on March 17th and now needs a device, please email me. Also, if you need technical support, please email ITHelpDesk@buffaloschools.org or call 816-7100 and press option 1 for Technology.
We are aware that not everyone has online access. We are working with providers to try to support our many families with this need. If you do not have WiFi access, Charter - Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days. This service is available right now by calling 1-844-488-8395 to set it up. The Information Technology department is currently exploring options to soon provide mobile internet access to families without it. More information will be forthcoming regarding the availability of devices for mobile internet access.
Finally, please remember the importance of washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face, and coughing and sneezing etiquette. It is important that you follow the “Stay at Home” orders and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when you are out of your home.
Our top priority is for students and families to stay healthy. If your student is sick, please focus on getting well and do not worry about the BPS Learning From Home resources and opportunities. Once a student is feeling better, he or she can connect with teacher(s) and re-engage in the learning opportunities. This, of course, would apply if anyone in your family is sick.
International School #45 family is here for you. Just reach out! I hope that you and your family remain safe and well.
Lynn M. Piccirillo