Friday, April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

Good evening all-

It's been an emotional week. While we all knew the announcement was coming, the actual words brought on so much emotion. The loss of hope hit hard. I think many of us thought we would at least have some time or opportunity to see students before June 19. 

We were so excited to deliver signs to every senior in the Class of 2020 today. Approximately 20 AHS staff members (teachers, ESP's, nurses, secretaries, and admin) had a wonderful morning visiting homes in Ashland as well as Framingham, Holliston, Milford, Natick, Millis, Bellingham, Hudson, and Hyde Park to make sure every senior got a sign. Thank you for allowing us to have this joy. 
Here are a few photo's taken along the way: AHS Loves the Class of 2020 photo album
Feel free to send your photo to be added! 

I sent a separate email to senior parents yesterday but do want to reiterate that we are heartbroken for our seniors. We want to be able to publicly celebrate their accomplishments! But everything we plan hinges on the Governor's orders. Planning graduation exercises is a huge undertaking each year. Doing it with the uncertainty we are currently facing is beyond challenging. We are committed to finding a way to honor our students, in a personal and meaningful way. We will look to seek student and family input next week. 

As we all reflect on remote learning for the next two months there continues to be many questions and, of course concerns. We feel them too. We are following the Commissioner's recommendations to the best of our ability and recognizing that not every family has the ability or the capacity to access remote learning. We know we have students working to help support their families, we know we have students who usually "do" school quite well that have been completely overwhelmed, we know we have students who are helping with the remote education of their younger siblings while their parents work essential jobs or jobs from home...the scenarios go on.

I have heard from some parents concern about too much work, from others that there is not enough. Also that teachers have scaled back on Zoom/Google Meet/etc. sessions. That is true. Not because they don't want to see students but more because the students aren't coming. Or if they join they refuse to turn on their cameras and engage in conversation. It's a dilemma we have to figure out together.  I also wrote a few weeks ago about the issue of Zoom-bombing. Students continue to try to join classes using fake names (sometimes of an administrator) or vulgar names to get a laugh. These are challenges teachers are working to navigate. Our biggest wish is that the majority of students were able to engage in the suggested schedule we shared. We understand that most aren't, and we understand the why's. Thank you for continuing to be willing to engage in conversation about what is working and what isn't. 

As the remote learning plan stated students will be earning Credit or No Credit for the work they complete this semester. Up until this point teachers have been using several formats to share their assessment of student work. Some have used Google classroom exclusively, inviting parents to see the class. Some have continued to use iPass. Starting Monday, all AHS teachers will resume updating iPass, at least every two weeks, with student progress. 

Since we are awarding just credit this semester teachers will be recording progress using the following codes:
1- assignment completed
0.5- assignment partially completed, student can revise/redo using teacher feedback for growth
0- assignment not completed, student can pass in at any time

I will share a more detailed document on assessment, GPA, transcripts, etc. after the School Committee meeting next Wednesday.


The Ashland High School Student Council was so disappointed about missing our annual Bingo Night, we decided we're going to do it anyhow!  Come join the Ashland High School Student Council for "Virtual Bingo Night" on Thursday, April 30th, at 6:45pm.  We will be live-streaming this through Facebook Live on the "WACA TV" page.  For all the details on how to play, how to get cards, etc. visit our website at:  https://sites.google.com/site/stucoashland/bingo     

And check out our promo for the event: https://youtu.be/pb8Q18IuK0A

We hope you'll join us for a fun evening!   Any questions, contact the AHS Student Council at STUCO.ashland@gmail.com

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