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A letter from the Head of School about remote learning

Posted on: Mar 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear Holland Hall Families,

Day Two of Holland Hall’s version of Remote Learning is almost in the books. We are so grateful for your patience, feedback, and understanding.

As I wrote to our faculty today, everyone is rooting for you! And everyone is rooting for our students and families. As of yesterday, we are all first-year teachers, and, too, we are all brand-new students. That means stress, no doubt, but we can do this! Our children are watching us and feeding off how resilient we are responding to the challenges in our midst. Be patient with yourself; please be kind to yourself; and let’s lean on one another. There’s much to be learned to make this as exemplary as we can. To that end, we need your early feedback.

When you have a moment, please offer your thoughts in this short survey. We’ve been gleaning much informally and, again, thank you to those of you who have written or called already. This information will be distributed to our Branch Heads and will get to teachers as quickly as possible. Expect to hear from me on Friday about what that feedback was and how we’re moving forward.

Our administrators and faculty are actively engaged with and learning from other exemplary schools throughout the world who are weeks, if not months, into their remote learning programs. Some key and consistent themes have emerged from that learning:

  • Find ways to connect students to one another
  • Less is more; err on the side of a little less content than normal
  • Find ways to get kids off screens — screen fatigue is real
  • Ask for feedback from your families often

Finally, many of you have read that public schools will begin remote learning on April 6 and conclude the year in the same mode. As an independent school, we are not bound by the same policy as the public schools, though it’s certainly our priority to make the best decisions possible for the public good and for Holland Hall. Please look for an email from me tomorrow regarding our next steps and planning.

The clear support afforded to us all is a boost amidst the headwinds we all face. Thank you, stay healthy, and we promise to remain in touch.

Yours,

JP