Kindergarten and First Grade
When looking at the start of the school year in a remote setting, we believe the best approach is to start with family relationships and layer in additional activities and learning as time progresses.
Kindergarten and first grade students will begin the year with a focus on family conferences and home learning activities. This “September Experience” will allow for teachers, students and families to get to know one another , to ensure we have access to online learning established for everyone, and to set up home learning routines and co-created learning plans.
Here is what to expect in the month of September:
- A weekly family conference to start to build that relationship (approx. 1 hour) via Zoom or phone
- A September learning calendar with experiences to engage in with your child at home
- Daily connection videos loaded into Seesaw from your classroom teacher.
Partnering with Families in K-1: Our remote early learning plan is centered around each family by elevating what families are already doing to support the healthy development of their child. We want to spend time up front to establish partnerships with families, as they are their child’s first and best teacher. Through a conference-based model, teachers and families will co-design learning plans that are flexible and based on students’ strengths and next steps. We believe learning will be more robust down the road due to the information exchanged during this initial time. This approach is in alignment with the state guidance for early learning: Reopening Washington Schools 2020: District Early Learning Planning Guide.
A Gradual Start for K-1 – September Experience: Along with family conferences, September will focus on establishing routines and rituals around home learning. A September learning calendar, created by Bellingham teachers, will be provided to all families. This will lay out daily activities for students to take part in, designed to establish learning routines. The three daily activities mirror the three synchronous learning times that will be layered in as the month progresses.
Starting Strong in K-1:
How will this work?
1st: At school supply pick up, students will receive a K-1 September Experience folder along with their grade level school supplies. The folder will include the September learning activities and other supports. On the calendar are three activities designed for each day, mirroring the future synchronous learning times that will begin to be folded in as the month progresses.
2nd: An initial phone call from the teachers to the family will take place. This phone call will include initial contact, introductions, discussion about families preferred way of connecting, and an inquiry into family needs, including technology needs. This inquiry will help us determine who has and who needs technology in order to access Seesaw for daily videos and connection, Zoom for family conferences, and eventually the Internet for recorded learning and Zoom for morning meetings and live learning sessions.
3rd: In addition, each family will be engaged in a weekly family conference with their child’s teacher – this is also a part of our learning. Families and teachers will talk about how the child interacted with the calendar activities and how they are doing with school routines and learning. Co-created individual learning plans will be developed to guide the learning in September and this process will continue throughout entire remote learning time.
Families of kindergarten and first graders should expect a phone call from their child’s teacher to make initial contact and schedule their first family conference. And please be on the lookout more information from the schools or reference this email that was sent to families on Sept. 2, 2020.