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Lower School Home-Based Learning Plan

Our Campus is Closed.
Our Learning Community Continues.

Dear Lower School Families,

I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. I have been thinking constantly about our Lower School students and imagining the different ways in which they are responding to the events of the past few weeks. As a parent, I have seen it impact my two children and our family in both predictable and unexpected ways. As we navigate the days and weeks ahead, please know that the Pike community is committed to being a source of support to you and to all of our families. Our mantra among the faculty, staff, and administration has become “Our campus is closed. Our learning community continues.” Now more than ever, I am grateful to be part of this learning community.

On March 25th, we will begin Pike’s Home-Based Learning program.  Below you will find information about the program’s goals, ways families can help, guidelines for students, and how you can expect to connect with teachers.

Overview of Home-Based Learning in Lower School
I imagine that like me, you have been struggling to protect your young children from the daily barrage of negative news and discussions about COVID-19 and its impact on our world. Our hope is that the predictability that Home-Based Learning will offer will be a sense of security and normalcy for them. Feeling connected will be more important than ever, and we will use our creativity and flexibility to maintain those connections among our students. As always, our focus will be on developmentally appropriate practice and the social-emotional needs of our PreK to Second Grade children. There is an abundance of expertise and experience in both of these among our faculty, in addition to a deep understanding of how 4- to 8-year olds learn best. The exciting challenge ahead of us is applying our collective understanding to a new format, all the while taking into account the reality of how these events are impacting young children.

We will focus on the following goals for Home-Based Learning in the Lower School (and across all three divisions):  

  • Maintaining connection and a sense of community with our students and faculty
  • Giving our students a sense of structure, purpose, and well-being 
  • Continuing to provide age-appropriate skill building activities in each subject area

Beginning on Wednesday, March 25th, teachers will begin posting asynchronous lessons and activities for students on Seesaw. We will start slowly, with simple tasks and student check-ins, allowing everyone some time to figure out how to navigate the technology and get into the new routine. On Fridays, teachers will meet virtually to discuss any changes needed for the following week in order to best meet our students’ needs and the evolving needs of their families.  

We are aware that each student and family will require a different amount of time and resources to do their best work. At the outset, grade levels will utilize a consistent format for a weekly schedule, to be customized by each anchor teacher, including input from specialists. We will assess whether moving to a day by day schedule/assignments feels appropriate after the first full week. In addition, we will have a resource page where you can find additional activities as well as suggestions for family-friendly games, apps, etc. Using resources and assignments from the resources page will be a choice for each family. We strongly recommend making sure there is unstructured time every day for students to be creative, play, and rest.

As you know, all children develop at different rates and each family will have different needs and ways of coping. The process will be very personal and specific to you. Do what works best for your family. Trust yourself to know what is best for your child and your family.

We look forward to being on this journey with you. This is a unique time in history and Pike is well-equipped to support our students through Home-Based Learning. While I would normally say my door is always open, the sentiment remains. I am here for you, your children, and your entire family during this time, and am reachable via email or at my office number at Pike.

We begin this new way of connecting with our students and families with empathy, compassion and a flexible mindset. We understand that our families and our teachers are facing their own unique challenges during this time, and we may not all be able to engage at the same level in this work together. Please know that we will be as flexible and understanding as possible during this time. While we hope to continue inspiring our students to learn, we know that taking care of your family’s mental and physical health is and should be your top priority.  

Hug your children tight - we miss them and can’t wait to begin this new leg of our journey together.

Take care,
Marybeth

Some Questions You May Have About Home-Based Learning

Headshot of Head of Lower School Marybeth Heyd.

Our Head of Lower School Marybeth Heyd can be contacted at mheyd@pikeschool.org.