Associate Head of School
(719) 434-3550; Cell: (203) 561-9843
Q: What tools does my child need in order to participate in the school’s e-Learning program?
A: At a minimum, students involved in e-Learning at CSS should have access to a computer with reliable high-speed internet, a local printer/scanner, portable device (phone, tablet, laptop), and a quiet place of study.
Q: What does synchronous learning look like?
A: A typical synchronous class could look like this:
- All students logged into Google Meet in face-to-face interaction with their teacher
- Students begin class with a check-in via Google Meet
- The teacher prepares a 15 to 30 min lesson for students to complete
- At the conclusion of the session, the student will then have an opportunity to
- Work independently on an assignment
- Arrange a Google Meet to work in small groups
- Or, schedule a Google Meet to have a 1:1 session with the teacher.
- By the end of the synchronous portion of the day, the teacher will have a recording of the session available for students who were not able to attend.
Q: What are the expectations of students during a synchronous session?
A: Because learning is interactive between student and teacher, students are expected to participate, engage, and communicate with teachers. Participation plays a larger role in authentic assessment.
Q: What happens if my child is unable to attend a scheduled synchronous session?
A: Naturally, we want students to attend live sessions with their teachers to maintain an important connection to their teacher and their classmates. However, we also realize that there may be limitations either due to access or scheduling that may prevent students from participating. In that case, teachers will be making recordings of their sessions which they will make available during the asynchronous portion of the day. It is important to notify the teacher in advance if your child will not be participating.
Q: What is asynchronous instruction?
A: Asynchronous instruction is when teachers have prepared lessons that students have access to throughout the course of the day. Students will have access to materials through Google Classroom, Google Sites, or even email. Completion of asynchronous assignments is one of the ways teachers will be checking on student attendance.
Q: When will my child have access to a teacher beyond synchronous instruction?
A: Students have access to their teachers anytime they are not leading other live sessions. Built into the master schedule are common office hours where students can email, chat, or have live sessions with teachers. Teachers will determine the best method to support office hours.
Q: What is the rationale for the new Middle and Upper School schedules?
A: We achieve a few things by running the schedule this way:
- Minimize screen time for students on any given day.
- Allow students to focus on a fewer number of academic classes per day, which will be particularly helpful as we try to develop students’ executive function skills.
- Decrease the number of preps for teachers for any given day.
- Distribute student requests for office hours across multiple days.
Q: What is the schedule in the Children’s School?
A: The schedule in the Children’s School is in the form of a daily or weekly plan. The younger grade levels will send out daily lessons for the week. The older grades will send out the plan for the day. Parents will have access to school information either by Google Site for grade PreK through Grade 3, or by Google Classroom for Grades 4 and 5.
Q: How do I assist my child in turning in work?
A: If there is not a specific app used to exchange work through Google Classroom, students may submit work using a picture taken on a phone, a scan or by using a scanning app.
Q: If I can’t access something, who should I notify?
A: In the case where a link is not working properly, notify the classroom teacher.
Q: How do I access my child’s Google Classroom?
A: Currently, there is no way for parents to gain access directly to their child’s classroom. CSS recommends that child shares their username and password with their parent(s) in order for them to see directly into the child’s classroom.
Q: Does dress code apply to live session?
A: We want students to be as comfortable as possible as they adapt to their new learning routine. Students are asked to dress appropriately and to be sensitive to wearing clothing that can be either distracting or offensive to other students.
Q: Who do we notify if my child is absent from a live session? Or, multiple sessions?
A: Parents are asked to contact the teacher directly. For extended absences, parents can contact the Division Director who will ensure the attendance record is up to date.
Q: If my child does not attend a live session because he or she is unattended, how will I be notified?
A: Participation during live sessions is required. If a student is not present, he or she will be marked “absent unexcused” the parent will be notified by the school.
Q: Will students be graded Pass/Fail or receive actual letter grades?
A: Current grading practices will remain as they are currently structured.
Q: How can we manage bandwidth at home?
A: Here are a few friendly tips regarding bandwidth from our Tech Director, Joe Thomas.
- You can check your Download and Upload speed in your home. Use speedtest.xfinity.com or speedtest.net to test your download and more importantly your upload speed. After monitoring bandwidth use for on-campus devices during the meet sessions, it appears like 300 to 400 MB of data per hour was used by each device in the meetings.
- If you are in a Google Meet session you should be OK if your upload speed is greater than 1 Mbps for each device online. An at-home test with an upload speed was 2.4 Mbps with 3 devices online in a Meeting, .8 Mbps per device resulted in the video quality taking a step down while audio remained good. Run another speedtest during a high-use time at your house to see the impact of multiple users on your upload speed. Consider turning off your video during less critical times of a meeting to preserve bandwidth.
- Suggestions: Reduce the number of devices online. Video games or phones could be using bandwidth even when sitting idle. Move critical devices closer to the device providing WiFi. Being too far away reduces the internet speed. Consider that there could be a problem with your service or hardware. Comcast internet is shared by many users on your block and they are also using more bandwidth working from home. When I was having trouble with my Comcast cable Modem they exchanged it.