I want to take a moment and recognize the hard work of our teachers and students and the adjustments they have made with distance learning and Canvas. I know it has not been easy. I have heard stories, from both students and teachers, about emotional moments out of sheer frustration. These stories are not falling on deaf ears, and I continue to share both negative and positive experiences with CCSD leadership in an effort to find solutions.
Today, CCSD provided teachers with access to a feature that communicates grades from Canvas to the student information system known as Infinite Campus Parent/Student Portal. You will begin to notice, as teachers sync, grades starting to appear in the Portal. As you receive alerts and notifications, I want to remind our parents and students of the following policies in place for distance learning.
- Teachers are in the process of syncing Canvas grades to the Portal. Over the next few days, please provide teachers the time to sync, identify mistakes and snags, and adjust. If you notice something wrong, please email the teacher. Our goal is to make sure the students receive credit for the work they have completed prior to the end of the first quarter.
- Canvas requires assignments to have a due date and due time. Originally, we decided to make assignments due at the end of the “Independent Work, Small Group, & Virtual Office Hour Time.” Ideally, students finish the live instruction and begin the 40 minutes of independent learning. We realize that this deadline is causing significant stress on students and does not take into account the 50 minutes of independent learning available to students at the end of the day. Teachers are in the process of moving all assignments due times to 11:59 PM to provide students with adequate time to complete work.
- In the event a student does not finish the work in the allotted time, the student has three days to complete the work without penalty. This 3 day policy is school-wide. In the event an assignment is due on Thursday, day one is Friday, day two is Monday, and day three is Tuesday.
- CCSD made the decision to move from year long classes to semester classes. This change, along with the first two weeks of school being reserved for professional development for teachers, has impacted the middle school grading calendar. As a result, the first quarter ends on September 11, 2020 – which is next Friday. The first quarter is worth 45% of a student’s semester grade (the semester ends on October 9). We realize this has happened very quickly.
Our staff is committed to making distance learning work. The growth I have seen amongst teachers, parents, and students is phenomenal. As a school, we are continuously reflecting on our practices, and when necessary, adjusting. Every email I receive from parents, teachers, and students becomes a part of our conversation as we seek ways to be the best that we can be during these difficult times. I thank you for your patience.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our counselors, administrators, office staff, and teachers if you are in need of assistance.
Todd C. Petersen, Principal