Information About The Start of Religious School
Posted on September 6, 2020
It’s hard to believe that religious school classes are beginning next week! I will miss welcoming your children and pre-teens in-person, giving high-5’s, dancing to Israeli music, and, of course, the Apple and Honey Olympics (though stay tuned, plans are in the works for that to happen!). Your children and pre-teens are guaranteed to meet teachers in each of the Zoom classrooms who are committed to making the online experience excellent, interactive, and engaging. All of us love teaching, learning, and we are optimistic about the upcoming year.
Here are a few things to know:
- Zoom links (with class lists) will be posted in a password-protected section of the website—information on how to access that section of the website will be shared on Sunday or Monday with only families whose children are signed up for religious school classes.
Students in grades 2-7 are likely to have more than one teacher at least one of the days they are in class. We have figured out a way for teachers to move between Zoom rooms so that students only need to log on to one Zoom link per day, or teachers will share in the chat the link students need to go to for their next class. Please don’t be upset with yourself or with us if things don’t work as we expected. We will iron out the wrinkles.
- Book and supply boxes will be ready for pick-up at the end of next week. Students are not expected to have materials on Tuesday, Wednesday, or next Sunday.
- Last week I sent a letter about remote learning. Of particular importance are the sections about setting kids up to succeed and Zoom security. Those sections are at the end of this letter. Please be sure to review them with your children and pre-teens. Teachers will be reviewing them too.
- Before Shabbat, you will receive a letter from the teaching teams for your child’s grade. Multiple teachers have signed each letter. All students have multiple teachers, as we are teaching by subject area and not grade.
I know you will have many questions, and I am happy to answer all of them. Next week, it is best to reach out by phone if you have a question about accessing zoom links or need a reminder about your student’s schedule. (I am likely to miss emails as my inbox is quite full.)
Livriut U’lshalom, (for health and with peace),
Please set your child up to succeed.
- Please help your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) find a place to work conducive to learning. (We know some of them like lying down, sitting on the floor, or standing. All of those are fine. Our request is that child(ren) and pre-teen(s) not be in their beds, that they are dressed (not in PJs, unless it’s a designated PJ morning), and that they are not walking around or on a swing set.)
- Please make sure your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) log onto Zoom on time, if not a few minutes early.
- Please be sure your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) have had breakfast or a snack before their Zoom class, so they don’t need to eat during class. Snacks are fine during breaks.
- We discourage virtual backgrounds as they slow down your internet speed and can be distracting. However, if your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) must, please help them pick a virtual background for the day, and remind them not to change it.
- Please get your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) a set of headphones, especially if they will be working in an area with others. Headphones will help them concentrate, and you too! Also, if your child has headphones on, it is less likely the class will hear background noise and conversations in your home.
- We know your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) love their pets and showing their pets to their classmates. Pets are invited to religious school only during breaks. They must leave when the break is over; otherwise, they become a distraction.
- If your child is in grades 3-7, they will need the siddur they received at Kabbalat Siddur on Shabbat mornings for tefila. Please let me know if you need a siddur. Students in grades PK-2 will receive a siddur in their supply box.
For security, (1) All teachers will have waiting rooms enabled in Zoom; (2) All students must use their real name; (3) Zoom links will be posted in a Google Doc for you to click. (4) Students must have their videos on. If your child is having trouble using technology appropriately, we will send you a text message asking you to help them. (We are aware that there may be days on which there is a reason that your child(ren) and pre-teen(s) turn off their screen; if this is the case, please let their teacher know ahead of time. We can easily make accommodations when we know in advance.)