From Dr. Molly Grumich
March 30 Update
Week two of distance learning is here! As with anything new, we are finding our way and working out any kinks with tremendous support from our Nerinx community. I am grateful for the work our faculty is putting in to bring substantive content coupled with caring and concern for each student. Our students are showing up in amazing ways too. Our love of community is evident in zoom lunches, facetime chats and emails that are sent to stay in touch. Markers, this current reality is a testament to our community and to each of you. You got this. Game day for academics-distance learning style. We got this.
DISTANCE LEARNING DETAILS
What will distance learning look like at Nerinx?
The main goal of our distance learning program is for students to continue to progress toward established curricular learning goals. The current reality will make learning happen differently than that we are used to in our traditional school setting. Yet, with our teachers providing ongoing guidance and support we are confident our students will continue to grow by learning essential skills and content in their academic courses. Additionally, each of our students will be challenged with this opportunity to demonstrate initiative and independence.
Posting and Completing Assignments
Teachers will utilize Canvas to share assignments and course content during distance learning. Students will find all needed information there. Due dates and times will also be included for assignments on Canvas.
During this time of distance learning, TEACHERS will:
- Provide clear procedures and expectations for students in their courses
- Provide regular and timely updates in Canvas, including all required assignments and assessments
- Be available and provide prompt responses to communication from students
During this time of Distance Learning, STUDENTS will:
- Develop a schedule and routine to help them be productive and healthy
- Be proactive, timely, and responsive with their school work and teacher communications
- Communicate a need for support if they encounter something that is preventing them from learning, completing their work, or participating as required.
Distance Learning APPROACH
Our focus during our distance learning time will be on Asynchronous learning. This happens when teachers and students do not have to be online at the same time. It can occur during, or outside of, the scheduled class time. Synchronous learning occurs when teachers and students are online at the same time. If a teacher is planning to have a synchronous activity, they will let the students know ahead of time and that learning activity will happen during the designated class time. The teacher will also record and post the synchronous activity for those who might not be able to join in at the designated time.
DISTANCE LEARNING SCHEDULE
Nerinx is providing the schedule to the right as a guide—three class blocks per day, plus time for independent work, conferencing, and online advisory. We know that having a routine is good for a student’s mental health. We are also aware that the schedule Nerinx is sharing might not work for your family—and that's okay. If this schedule does not work, please create one that does. It is important that students have some continuity and predictability in their days.
Much like your own families, some of our teachers are at home with kids who are also distance learning. We recognize that our students might be in positions where they need to take care of younger siblings and have additional duties at home. Our goal is to be flexible. We will have expectations for learning time and assignments, but they will be tempered with our current world reality.
Classes will be an hour at a time where students can focus on instructional materials that teachers have shared.
These blocks give students the chance to catch up on needed assignments, to reach out to teachers with questions, or, if the timing works out, to schedule an appointment with a teacher, counselor, etc.
We plan to utilize this time for club stuff in the coming weeks.
Physical Activity, Lunch, & Individual Pursuits
This down time in the day is for students to move and be active, enjoy lunch, and maybe work on an individual project that fuels their passion for learning. If a student has one or more free periods, I would highly encourage a passion project. Do you want to learn to play an instrument? Cook a special dish? Sew? This would be a wonderful chance to devote time to something you have always wanted to take on! You will have the time and it will give you a great opportunity to challenge yourself.
Students should have a space where they can "be at school” and do their academic work. They need a desk, table, or work surface and an upright chair. Students should not be in bed when they are doing school work or working with classmates or teachers.
All students should be up and dressed appropriately for “school”. That means a shirt that provides full coverage with no inappropriate/offensive logos or words. Students should also be wearing some sort of bottom (pants or shorts).
As the Nerinx community adjusts to online learning, the Counseling Department is here to support students and parents in a variety of ways. Each counselor and learning specialist will be available electronically Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. starting March 25. Our virtual hours may need to become more fluid in the coming weeks to meet students' needs. We will do our best to stay connected with students and families; however, messages received after 8 p.m. may not be responded to until the next day.
Our Learning Specialists, Mrs. Kepler and Ms. Sidney, will contact their students to assist with strategies for organization, time management, task completion, and any other academic concerns students may have. We also encourage students and parents to reach out to us as needed at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL & ACADEMIC
Ms. Price (A-K) and Mrs. Morrison (L-Z) will contact their students to offer support and share additional resources. Parents are welcome to email counselors with questions and concerns at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. We understand the sensitive nature of virtual/distance counseling and we will maintain strict guidelines to ensure the highest level of confidentiality our students and parents would expect and deserve.
Anytime there is a medical emergency, please call 911. For mental health crisis, please contact the St. Louis Youth Connection Helpline.
4HLP to 31658
Life Crisis Services
EMERGENCY Mental Health Resources
Emergency Mental Health Services:
Behavioral Health Response (BHR) 314-469-6644 Hotline Help
Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide CHADS (314-952-8274)
Mental Health Services
A member of the United Way-Counseling at no charge/financial assistance for families in St. Louis County under the Child Fund Grant
Community Psychological Service
University of Missouri-St. Louis
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri. 63121 (314) 516-5824
More resources available HERE including sliding scale or other fee based services and telehealth therapy. Check back for additional resources as they become available.
COLLEGE & CAREER
Mrs. Timmons and Mrs. Hermann welcome questions from students and parents via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. If questions require a phone call response, counselors will send a Zoom invitation to hold an audio only meeting. Juniors continue to have access to the Canvas Class.
If you are currently taking a college-credit course, we've provided updates from UMSL and SLU for Spring 2020.
Saint Louis University 1818 Covid-19 FAQs and resources
UMSL ACP information
Many colleges and universities are offering virtual tours and other resources since campus visits are not possible. The New York Times had a recent article on the decision-making process.
Counselors will also be available to review financial aid offers with students electronically. The College Board has a helpful resource for comparing aid packages as well: Compare Your Awards.
For all parents and students, but especially seniors and juniors
Parents and students can access episodes of College Admissions Decoded from the National Association of Colleges Admissions Officers here. Episodes cover financial aid, how families work with college admissions officers, myths and facts about the college admissions process and more.
Free access to an online college fair from CIALFO is available here. Some presentations have delayed audio initially as speakers "settle in." Some presentations address international students. They include college specific information and information related to a specific topic that relate to a number of colleges.
Office Hours with Mr. Zaegel
Just because we're physically apart, don't let that stop us from chatting! I want to continue to be as available to you as possible. So if you (or a group of you) want to set up a time to chat via Zoom, just shoot me an email and we can schedule a time! I will usually be available Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Bagels with Zaegel
To offer a little extra support and encouragement during this time, check out these daily, 2-minute bites!
Thursday, March 26
Friday, March 27
Tuesday, March 31
Wednesday, April 1
Thursday, April 2
Friday, April 3
Online Prayer Services
Lenten Prayer Service for Monday, March 30
Campus Ministry Corner
And Sunday, April 5 at 10 a.m., I invite anyone who wishes to meet up to celebrate Mass together, virtually, of course. Everyone and their families are invited to join! On Sunday, you'll find the recorded Mass here. You can join the Zoom here. Everyone will be muted when they join the Zoom, so that it's not an audio disaster. I will not be muted, so I will give everyone instructions to start the Mass recording at the same time, so we will be able to pray together simultaneously and see one another present on Zoom, though the only audio will be of the video recorded Mass on our separate devices and no audio from Zoom.
No, it is not the same as being together in person, but I've found that celebrating Mass, even online, has provided a wonderful dose of community and normalcy for our family! It can be a great way to feel connected with others, even if remotely, by knowing that there are so many others in St. Louis who are also still choosing to pause, pray, and give thanks each Sunday. Hope you can join!
Notes from Ms. Buchek about Service Learning Hours
If you have not completed your service hours for this school year they will be waived if you complete one Random Act of Kindness from now until May 1, 2020. I will include some ideas below, but these are just a guide as any Random Act of Kindness will count! Once you complete a Random Act of Kindness, you can take a photo/video, or send a description of what you did, to me.
Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness include: helping around the house, helping a sibling with school work, calling a grandparent or someone who might be feeling lonely at this time, writing a note to someone, setting up a time for virtual tutoring or storytime with a younger neighbor or relative. Again, these are just a few ideas, so be creative and remember to email your Random Act of Kindness to me by May 1, 2020. Even if you complete one Random Act of Kindness you can continue to send me photos or descriptions of additional kind things you are doing for others. You all always amaze me and I am sure you will continue to do so during this time.
I will be reaching out soon as we are hoping to coordinate a letter writing effort to send notes to the Sisters of Loretto, and others in our community who may need some support. I also might have some opportunities for virtual tutoring so please email me if you are interested in that.
Virtual Field Trips from Mrs. Hunt
One of the hallmarks of the Nerinx philosophy is that “Women must know themselves and their world.” Although we can’t take field trips in person right now, we can take virtual field trips. Each week I will highlight a fun trip you can take from your very own laptop.
Week of March 30: National Parks and the Arts
On this virtual trip you can rappel, kayak, fly, dive, and ride horseback. This link allows you to visit Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.
National Park Virtual Field Trips
Our country’s national parks are a great inspiration for many artists. Historically, one group of artists in the 1800s, now known as the Hudson River School painters, was particularly instrumental in the American conservation movement that would draw attention to the need for preserving the land and the creation of the National Parks.
Thomas Cole (painter) first popularized the landscape genre beginning around 1825. Views of natural wonders soon became sought after by collectors. Cole and the artists who followed his example became known as the Hudson River School. They celebrated and idealized nature above all man-made things and used allegory to express their concerns for its fragility and exploitation. Their landscapes sought to recreate the majesty and spirituality of the natural world and to inspire admiration for its beauty. Hudson River School artists’ work reflected a changing attitude toward nature and the emergence of a burgeoning American conservation ethic (from the National Park Service).
To learn more, watch: Nature and the American Vision (from the LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art, scroll downward to watch video)