The excitement and adjustments of the return to school in September 2021 gave us hope that we were well on the way to “normalcy”. However, once again, we find ourselves amid a transition from in-person learning to virtual learning. While previous pivots involved a steep technical and pedagogical learning curve, this current situation seems to be even more emotionally draining for students, families, and staff.
Throughout the past two years our community has been heroic in its response and lived up to the challenges placed before us. Our Parent community provided the necessary supports for their families – adjusting schedules, balancing demands and mitigating the myriad of difficulties arising from changes to life and routine. Our students demonstrated remarkable flexibility and resilience, reaching out for help when necessary. Notre Dame teachers, educational assistants and support staff have demonstrated a compassionate professionalism in delivering curriculum, participating in learning opportunities and adapting to a difficult and continually changing environment. The Notre Dame community continues to journey together – and we have much to celebrate and of which to be proud!
Please know that it is important to continue to work together. Our hope is that the current period of remote learning will be short term. Regardless, it is imperative that students continue to do actively engage in their classes and complete coursework to the best of their abilities. We acknowledge that 150-minute virtual classes are difficult for all involved. We all need to work together as a team to get through this challenging situation.
Students are encouraged to follow a regular routine: 1. get out of bed, 2. find a comfortable learning space and login to their class, 3. turn the camera on and participate actively in class discussions, chats and breakout rooms, 4. ask for help when necessary.
Assessments and evaluations are a part of the learning process and demonstrates a student’s learning and understanding. In this light, we ask students to avoid the temptation to take short-cuts (e.g. text each other answers during tests and assessments) in order that teachers can validly gauge achievement, respond to student needs with relevant feedback and generally prepare students for future courses and pathways. We are at the halfway mark of the quadmester and are processing midterm grades. Please know that these remaining weeks are important and the assessments and evaluations that occur in the remainder of the quadmester will inform final grades.
Thank you for being a community committed to our young people and for your resolve to work together to help our students through this most recent pivot. Our joy is rooted in our students who represent hope and potential. We walk together under the care and protection of Notre Dame.