COVID-19 Updates

Dear Parents,
In December the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released significant changes to COVID-19 quarantine protocols. On January 3, 2022, the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) updated and shared its recommended protocols for schools in Omaha. We understand that whenever protocols change, there is often confusion and uncertainty. Throughout the pandemic, Duchesne has followed the guidance provided directly from the DCHD and will continue to follow DCHD. This letter outlines the latest COVID-19 quarantine protocols at Duchesne and is based on the guidance we have received directly from the DCHD.
In order to now be considered UP TO DATE, individuals will either need to have:
•    received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the past 5 months; or,
•    received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the past 2 months; or,
•    received a third dose (or “booster”) after the 5- or 2-month threshold mentioned above has been passed
***Please note that the new definition of fully vaccinated will take effect at Duchesne beginning February 1.***
If your daughter does not meet the new definition of fully vaccinated after February 1 and is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, she will be required to quarantine at home for a full 5 days regardless of whether or not she is symptomatic, asymptomatic, or has previously received two doses of the vaccine. For this reason, and in the interest of the health and safety of our Duchesne community and in accord with guidance from the DCHD, if your daughter has not yet received her first or second dose of the vaccine we strongly encourage her to do so as soon as possible. Likewise, if your daughter is eligible to receive her booster we urge you to schedule that shot immediately. if she has not done so already, please provide a copy of her vaccination card to Mrs. Pavel in the Attendance Office.
For more information about vaccines for children in Nebraska please visit
It should also be noted that the DCHD continues to advise that students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days should be treated as fully vaccinated if they provide proof of a positive test during that time period.
The newest guidance from the DCHD has also issued new guidance regarding the length of quarantine. PLEASE NOTE: In the scenarios below, a “close contact” is anyone who has been unmasked and within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more on any day that they may have been infectious. “Day Zero” is considered the day of the close contact, “Day 1” is the day after contact, etc.
  • For students who are a close contact and are UP TO DATE:
    ** Quarantine is not required if the student is asymptomatic
    ** Carefully monitor for symptoms and mask diligently for 10 days
    ** Get tested on Day 5
    ** If the test is negative and the student is asymptomatic they may remain at school 
    ** If the test is positive they should begin isolation protocols
  • For students who are a close contact and are UNVACCINATED OR NOT UP-TO-DATE ON VACCINE AND BOOSTER:
      ** Must stay home through Day 5 and monitor symptoms
      ** Get tested on Day 5 
      ** If test is negative and they remain asymptomatic they may return to school on day 6 and must continue masking
      ** Stay home for at least 5 days
      ** Day Zero is considered the date of a positive test OR the first day of symptoms
      ** May return on Day 6 only if they have been fever free for 24 hours, symptoms have improved, and are diligently wearing a well-fitting mask at all times through Day 10
In the past, Duchesne has required a test result from a PCR test due to their lower rate of false negatives. Because of the current high volume of COVID-19 cases in the area, we understand that it is increasingly difficult to schedule a PCR test and the wait times for results can be lengthy. As a result, Duchesne will now accept results from either PCR tests or antigen tests. The federal government is making four free COVID-19 at home test kits available to every US household. To order your free tests CLICK HERE. Whenever you do have your daughter tested, please send a copy of her test results to Mrs. Pavel in the Attendance office.
In compliance with the City of Omaha mask mandate, Duchesne will continue to require masks for all students, staff, and guests at school until further notice. Because cloth masks are no longer considered to be as effective in filtering out the virus, the CDC encourages the use of N95, KN95, other well-fitted masks, or double-masking as most effective for filtering out the virus. For details on recent changes to the CDC masking guidelines CLICK HERE. 
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Duchesne community poses significant challenges to contact tracing. As cases increase it may no longer be possible for us to effectively and efficiently notify parents about close contacts. In that case, we will continue to notify parents whose daughters need to take special precautions that go beyond carefully monitoring for symptoms. Lunchtime at Duchesne provides the greatest likelihood for COVID-19 exposures. Please encourage your daughter to consider sitting at least six feet away from her friends and/or remove her mask for as little time as possible during lunch. 
We have been so blessed to work with each of you, our partners in educating our students. We have made great strides together in the goal to keep our students at school, engaged in all the wonderful experiences of being in a Sacred Heart community to grow, to learn, to love God, and to know God’s love in our relationship with each other. Thank you!
Parents, Staff and Students: 

We write today with the sad news that Duchesne will move to remote learning starting Monday, November 16 for two weeks. We plan to resume classes in person Monday, November 30th. 

We have been blessed to have so many weeks in person with our students this fall with no cases of the COVID-19 virus. That situation has changed quickly since our first case on October 30. In the past two weeks, we have gone from zero cumulative positive cases to 7 confirmed positive. As of today, 2 faculty are positive and 4 more quarantined with symptoms and awaiting test results. Five others are quarantined due to close exposure. Our ability to monitor and our ability to teach are severely hampered. We have exceeded the point where we can safely monitor our students. While many of these cases are traceable to family members and thus exposure happened outside of school, our latest cases are due to unknown exposures and indicate an increasing likelihood that exposure has occurred at school. These exposures are no one’s fault, they are the result of a very high rate of community spread all around us to which we simply cannot remain immune. We remain extremely proud of all the work everyone in this community has done throughout this pandemic to keep each other safe. We are living Goal Three every day as we mask and socially distance to care for our neighbors. This is what love looks like in a pandemic. 

We are also painfully aware of the special difficulties of being a teenager in the pandemic. Isolation and loss of daily structure can be larger threats to our teens than the effects of getting COVID. For this reason, we want to be in school in person as much as possible. This concern, however, must also be balanced against our ability to ensure the safety of the students, their family members, and our staff. It is therefore our decision that we must take a two-week break from in-person schooling. We ask that as much as possible our students practice strict social distancing and masking during this time period to ensure that when we do return, we can do so with confidence that we have stopped the dramatic increase in our school community. Student athletic and activity leaders will be in touch with directions for teams and other groups.  

As always, any family may choose remote learning if you prefer not to be in the school. Contact principal Dr. Laura Hickman to do so. 

Please also know that our staff is committed to your daughter and your family. Our counselors remain available to help any student; our technology staff will help troubleshoot any technical difficulties; and the staff and teachers are an email or phone call away at all times. We are living in difficult times, but we are blessed to have each other for support.  

We pray daily for the safety and health of all of our families. Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and Rose Philippine Duchesne, protect us. 

The Duchesne Administrative Team, 

Meg Brudney, Head of School 
Laura Hickman, Principal 
Martha Heck, Dean of Students 
Eric Krakowski, Assistant Principal
Duchesne Families:

As many of you already know, we have been working with physicians at Children’s Hospital on an online screening process that will allow our families to complete the school screening questions at home in privacy and to thus bypass the process at school (temperatures will still be taken at the entrance). We are excited to work with Children’s on this project. The program will also offer links to school protocols for reference and a quick link to our attendance email to report a positive screening situation.

While the app is not yet ready to download, it will be soon. The web version is ready for you to register and begin using immediately, and once the app is available you will be able to log into the app with your ID code without any need to re-register.

All confidential health information is maintained only by Children’s Hospital. Duchesne will receive reports listing (1) students who are ok to admit into the building that day, (2) students who have not completed the screening, and (3) students that have been advised to stay home. If a student has been advised to stay home, Duchesne does not have access to the specific reason for that recommendation, but the report will show whether or not the reason was generally related to a symptom or COVID-19 test.

Duchesne does NOT require you to use the symptom checker. This is offered as an option to assist all of us in the decisions about whether we are healthy enough to enter a school community. If you choose not to participate or if your child’s name is not on the approved to enter list from Children’s, we will screen her at the door.
This COVID-19 Symptom Checker, developed and owned by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, is intended for informational and educational purposes only and for use by persons over the age of 18. If you are under the age of 18 please discontinue use of the symptom checker immediately.


You acknowledge that this symptom checker is intended only to help provide parents/guardians with information about the known symptoms of COVID-19 to guide their decision making and is not intended to offer medical advice. Children’s accepts no responsibility for the correctness or accuracy of any action you take based in whole or in part upon your use of this symptom checker.
Dear Duchesne Parents and Families,

We are ready to begin another school year, and while we’re excited to see and teach your daughters again, we approach this first day of school with a heightened sense of responsibility to care for our neighbors. It is our goal to stay open and teach in-person for as long as possible. For this to happen we need everyone to follow the safety procedures described in our Return to School Plan, published on our website. This includes maintaining a distance of at least 6-feet between other people, wearing a mask at all times inside our building, and frequent hand washing and disinfecting.

We will ask all students to enter at the Performing Arts Center for a temperature check and symptom screening. If they are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, please have them stay home. Like all schools, our situation is sensitive and we could be forced to close again if just one or two students, teachers, or staff members, contract COVID-19.

We have worked this summer to create a safe space for students to learn. Classrooms and other spaces have been rearranged so students and teachers are spaced out. In some cases, plexiglass barriers are installed to prevent the potential transfer of germs from students to teachers and vice versa. While classrooms may be different, our teachers are committed to providing the Sacred Heart education you and your daughters expect from us.

Teachers have designed lessons to accommodate our hybrid schedule and will instruct your daughter how to participate in class on the days they’re not in the building. In no way should you or your student assume the hybrid schedule means they’ll receive two-fifths of their education. All students will be learning and engaged in school every day. Our teachers will be available and engaged with students every day.

Since we closed our school in March we’ve learned to expect change as the situations in our community and nation evolve. I share your concern for the student’s social and emotional learning and wellness and your disappointment that we cannot all be together to start the year. I also greatly appreciate your choice to support and trust that we are making the best decisions we can with the information we have available from our trusted medical consultants.

Please reach out to our administration team with any further questions or concerns about this school year.

Dr. Laura Hickman
Duchesne Academy Principal 
Barring any further increase in community spread rates for Douglas County or an outbreak in our school, we will follow Scenario Two from August 17 to August 28. We will reevaluate our scenario for the week of August 31 and announce any changes with a week’s notice if possible.fsec
Students, parents, and friends of Duchesne,
Since we closed our school and began online learning in March we have worked to keep you abreast of what’s happening here.

By now you should have read our return to school plan published on our website. That plan is based on the classroom space available in our building, guidance from medical professionals, and the rate of community spread of COVID-19 in Douglas county.

Based on those factors we will begin the 2020-21 school year in our hybrid schedule. Half of our students will attend in-person classes here at a time divided into two cohorts.

Students with last names starting with A - L will be on campus Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday will be an online learning day while we deep clean the building. Students with last names starting with M - Z will be on campus Thursday and Friday.

Barring any further increase in community spread rates for Douglas County or an outbreak in our school, we will follow Scenario Two from August 17 to August 28. We will reevaluate our scenario for the week of August 31 and announce any changes with a week’s notice if possible.fsec

I know this is a stressful time for you and your families as you balance work and school and we are committed to informing you about school schedule changes at least a week ahead of time. The only time this may not happen is if health officials or other agencies force schools to close with short notice.
We remain committed to ensuring that all of our students experience the Sacred Heart community as much as possible with activities, community prayer, clubs, Nests, advisory, and other events carefully planned to ensure we remain socially distanced and masked. Decisions about athletic participation will be made on a sport by sport basis. More information will come soon on each activity.
Please consult our return to school plan again for information on our other learning scenarios and reach out to us if you still have questions or reach out to us at any time.
The safety of our community remains our paramount concern. In these final days of summer break, I pray that each of you can stay safe and healthy so that we can be together.

Dr. Laura Hickman
Duchesne Academy Principal
The Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated a change in some of our school policies, at least for semester I. At Duchesne Academy, our priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. With this in mind, the following guidelines will be put in place until we are back to normal school days.
Duchesne will follow the guidance of the Douglas County Health Department in determining all reactions to positive Covid 19 cases.
*These policies are subject to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic as we progress through the semester. They will be evaluated at the conclusion of each quarter and can change at any time. Changes will be communicated to our families via email and Burt Street News prior to taking effect.
Safety Procedures: Please be mindful of people when in the building. We want to protect all members of the community and make all feel safe and comfortable. Attending school in person during COVID is a privilege. All members of the community need to take care of each other by practicing strict social distance and personal habits:
  • All students are expected to self-screen before coming to school and agree NOT to attend school if they are not feeling well.

    This means that each student will stay home if, in the past 24 hours, she has had a fever of 100.4°F, cough, shortness of breath, malaise, diarrhea, upset stomach, lack of appetite, inability to taste and smell, runny nose, taken fever reducing medication.

  • All students must report to first block class after entering the building. If coming to school late, report to your class immediately.

  • Students must wear a mask at all times unless eating lunch or taking a sip of water. If a student does not have her mask on:
    • One warning – must purchase a mask for $5
    • Second warning – student sent home and may not enter school without a mask, or a parent will bring a mask to school before a student may attend class.

  • Student must wear masks appropriately. This means that the nose and mouth are covered at all times. If a student is warned more than two times, she will be sent home and may not return to school until she agrees to wear the mask appropriately.

  • Students must participate in social distancing at all times (currently six feet apart). If a student does not practice social distancing, she will be asked to do so immediately. If a student fails to do so on a regular basis, she will be sent home.
  • All uniform requirements as stated in the Student Handbook will apply throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

  • For the duration of the pandemic, ground floor is closed. Students with frees will report to the library; all others will be assigned to a study hall. No one may enter the student ground floor areas without permission. This includes the cafeteria, lounges, and locker rooms.

  • Pay attention to one-way halls/stairs to minimize congestion between classes

  • Students may not have food delivered to school.
Covid-19 Absence Policy (for in-person and online learning)
Because of the unusual, extenuating circumstances, the attendance policy has been altered. A student should remain home if she is not feeling well or if she or a family member has tested positive for Covid-19. The same is true if a student is required to be quarantined for any reason. Our goal is for students to successfully complete all required work regardless of in-person attendance.
  • Teachers will take attendance for in-person and online classes. Any absences will be reported to Mrs. Pavel, but the absence will not be placed on the student’s permanent record.

  • Normal consequences for excessive absences are waived until further notice. Grades will be based on completed work only as outlined in the grading policy of each course.

  • Attendance will be monitored carefully. If a student is absent from classes and is not sick, parents will be notified immediately. In this instance, the teacher will work closely with the student and parents to make sure that assignments are completed.

  • Some students may have to miss many classes due to their own illness or family illness. In this instance, the goal is for students to complete assignments when healthy and able. Teachers and the administration will be focused on completion of assignments more so than in-person attendance.

Online Learning Requirements:

In the event that school closes or for those classes that will host Zoom sessions on off-learning days, students will be expected to:

  • Attend virtual classes and to be on time. Student video should be on when class begins, and she must be visible for the entire class. It is understood that there may be instances when the student has to leave class (video fatigue, internet problems, etc.). These instances should be clearly communicated to the teacher.

  • Teachers will contact students via a secure virtual platform (currently Zoom) on the days that they are not able to meet in the classroom. These sessions will be recorded and stored on Canvas. The recorded sessions are not accessible by the public.

  • All virtual sessions will be conducted by a teacher who is Safe Environment certified and all classes are open to administrative drop-ins.

  • All virtual session meeting times will be posted on Canvas, not communicated via email. Students are thus encouraged to regularly check their Canvas calendar for upcoming meetings.

  • All virtual sessions will be posted with at least a one-week notice. Any changes within the one-week period must be agreed upon by all participants or the absence will not apply.

  • Students should attend virtual classes from an appropriate workspace with minimal distractions.

  • Attire should be appropriate for a virtual class. Uniform is not required; casual clothes are acceptable (no pajamas).
Seniors, senior parents, and staff:
Yesterday the administration met with 63 of our seniors to discuss their wishes for how we will end their year. The top desire came through loud and clear—to walk to Cathedral and graduate with each other. Mrs. Brudney reached out to Fr. Grewe immediately and we have secured a new graduation date of July 30, with graduation practice on July 27.
We will be sending a survey to the students to identify their top events for their end of the year celebrations and plan to recreate as much of that as possible for them in the day/s immediately preceding July 30. So please mark your calendar and join us in looking forward to a wonderful end to the school year.
God Bless you all!
The Administrative Team
Duchesne Students, Parents, and Staff:
We have received word from the Nebraska Department of Education and Governor Ricketts that schools will not be able to reconvene this year. We have much to mourn in the loss of our treasured ceremonies and celebrations of each other’s accomplishments, particularly our seniors who have worked so hard for four years.

The administration wants to assure everyone that though we cannot come together in person, we are working hard to create safe virtual ceremonies that will celebrate our community. Our events through April and May include:
Registrations for courses in the 2020-21 school year are due this Friday, April 3. Please send the signed form to your advisor. Let’s start planning for being in the classrooms together again!

Campus Ministry is offering a Palm Sunday retreat to deepen our Lenten preparation. The theme of the retreat is: “Apostolic Isolation: Echoes of the Apostles in the Upper Room.” We will be pondering our shared experience of social isolation as we look towards celebrating Holy Week in a new and unique way.

EASTER, the holiest day of our calendar is a day for worship and family. It will be a NO HOMEWORK holiday from Holy Thursday through Easter Monday. Our class schedule will not need to be altered. Mon, Tue and Wed April 6, 7, and 8 are normal schedules. No classes will meet Thur/Fri or Monday of Easter break, and a normal Tuesday-Friday schedule will follow April 14-17.

Senior Retreat will be a virtual event. Teachers, seniors will NOT be in classes on April 17; please keep the class in your prayers as they come together to celebrate their class and their journey through Duchesne.

Ring Ceremony will be delayed until May with more details to come. We want this to be a memorable and joy-filled event, but we also need to ensure everyone is completely safe. We will announce the details of our celebration of the seniors passing of leadership to our juniors soon.

Field Day will be a virtual event on April 24. No classes will be held this day, so the previous day, April 23 will be a MONDAY schedule. I am looking forward to enjoying a beautiful spring day with all of you!

May Crowning will be a virtual event on May 4. We will celebrate the qualities of Mary in our students.
Finals are cancelled, though a final essay may be assigned in place of the test. The last day for senior classes is May 4 with all work completed by May 8. The last day for all other classes is May 12 with all work completed by May 15.
Honors Day and Prize Day will be virtual events; dates and times will be announced in early May as we plan to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our students this school year.

Graduation may also be a virtual event. Seniors, while we are not yet sure what the event will look like, please know that we delay only because we want to ensure that this is a beautiful and memorable event for you all.

As we enter these final days of our Lenten Journey, I know that we are all feeling the cross that Jesus bore. I hear from so many students and parents about the deep sadness you are feeling in the loss of our community. I pray that with Easter we too can rise above the loss and pain to be reborn in hope and a focus on all that is good in our life and in our world through the support and love of each other.
God Bless You All,
Dr. Hickman
I am bursting with pride for how well our faculty has transitioned to distance teaching, as well as the passion and creativity they are demonstrating. Each teacher cares deeply about the students and collectively they are doing a beautiful job of working together to help one another in this transition. Dr. Hickman has demonstrated incredible leadership and support to our faculty and is monitoring their work collectively. I am also amazed and delighted with our girls. We know this is so hard for them to be away from their friends, so it is great to witness ways they are building a virtual community.

As our days turn into weeks, there is a real need for all of us to take care of our mental health. We are all in this together. No one should feel alone or isolated. Please continue to reach out and let us know what you need, what you are experiencing at home. Our counselors are available for our students and Dr. Hickman and I are always available to listen to students and parents.

Thank you for being supportive, kind and loving during this time. We genuinely appreciate it. And please continue to have your daughters practice social distancing to do our part to “flatten the curve” so we can return to school!
Meg Brudney
Head of School
A message from Head of School, Meg Brudney
As this pandemic continues to grow, I have decided to physically close the school, effective, Monday (6 a.m.), March 23rd. This will give all of us time to gather what we need to work from home. Your fobs will not work starting Monday, March 23rd. As timing would have it, we have recently changed all of the external locks on the building. The #22 key for those who have one will no longer work for external entry. (The locks were changed as part of our safety and security plan. It was done over Spring break because the building was relatively empty.)

If you need to enter the building, please email or text Laura or me. One of us would be happy to meet you at the school or find someone who will.

The maintenance team will continue to work from 7:30 to 3:00 Monday through Friday. Please do not call them if you need to enter the building.
All school events are canceled until further notice.
Duchesne administration sent the following letter to our families:

Parents and Students,

This evening there was an announcement that Omaha Public and Omaha Catholic Schools will close for the next week, or more. Duchesne is thus announcing its closure and the beginning of online learning.

All events are canceled in the coming weeks, including:
  • All classes—information about online learning will be mailed separately;
  • Athletic practices and competitions;
  • All extra-curricular activities;
  • National Honor Society Induction (scheduled for March 25)
  • Quarter 3 Honors Assembly (scheduled for March 26)
  • 9th-grade Teacher Appreciation Event
However, the building will be open and staff will be available, including counselors. Anyone who is concerned about their own risk of exposure, anyone who feels sick, and anyone who may have been exposed please do not come to school.

Please watch for ongoing information from the school in the coming weeks. Important information will be sent by e-mail, through the Burt Street News, posted on the school web site and through social media.

We know that this event is going to cause extra stress for some families. The Duchesne community remains committed to supporting each other during these difficult days.

Laura Hickman, Ed.D.
Students and Parents:
We will have a late start on Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20 to allow time for teachers to train on software that may be needed in the event of a school closing
Double Block Schedule Late Start
10:00-10:10 Advisory Group Homeroom
10:14-11:19 Block 1/2
11:23-12:28 Block 3/4
12:28-12:58 Lunch
1:02-2:07 Block 5/6
2:11-3:16 Block 7/8
(NOTE: Club meetings are thus cancelled on Thursday)
At this time we have no further plans other than the normal precautions, which will be reviewed with students Monday morning:
  • Wash hands frequently and well
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Keep surfaces sanitized
The administration team is following all the updated information through the Department of Education and the Superintendent Office and are in regular communication with both. They, in turn, are in regular contact with local health agencies. We will continue to follow their advice and keep you updated to any changes.

We are planning for the worst and praying for the best in the coming days, weeks and months. Please join us in prayer for the health of all in our community.
Staff is using strong disinfectants to ensure the building is clean and ready for students.

Duchesne Academy and Preschool maintenance staff and school administrators are working to ensure the building is as clean as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duchesne staff and our nightly cleaning crew regularly check with the Centers for Disease Control and follow recommended guidelines for disinfecting surfaces. They are paying extra attention to surfaces students and staff touch often such as desks, doors, doorknobs, handrails, lockers, and all restroom fixtures. The extra emphasis began before students left for spring break. The school uses a strong, Clorox-based disinfectant.

At this time the school has not been informed of any student, staff, or faculty member diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has been asked to self-quarantine.

In the event the school must close due to virus exposure, staff will thoroughly sanitize each surface to ensure the building is safe for students.

In addition to daily cleaning procedures, faculty and staff have received aerosol disinfectant to use as they believe is appropriate in their classrooms and offices.
As a Sacred Heart community, our concern is always for the well-being of all our students and employees. Sometimes, this means exploring alternative instructional delivery methods. This document does not address employment issues. Instead, it addresses how we can best prepare ourselves for prolonged absences and/or school closures.
As you read through this document, you will see an escalation in our instructional protocols for how we, as a caring and creative community of educators, might support students’ well-being and academic progress when the conditions for teaching and learning aren’t ideal or like anything we’ve experienced before.
In the coming pages, we discuss some of the implications for potential significant, though temporary, adaptations in your teaching practices. We want to begin by acknowledging that we all function differently when it comes to taking in a lot of information at once, especially in times of uncertainty. For some of us, the amount of information shared in this document, as well as the conditions of uncertainty, may cause anxiety, concern, frustration, or agitation. For others of us, having all the available information actually helps us begin to feel more comfortable about planning for the possibilities.
There are many resources available to support you. Of course, if you are unwell or unable to teach your class, the first priority is for you to take good care of yourself, rest up, and get better. Your department colleagues are incredible resources; these brilliant educators can help lighten the load when we’re all lifting together. Your department head and team of administrators are ready to partner with you. The tech department is always available to help you with any instructional technology needs you may have. And, School Counseling is here for all members of the Duchesne community, including adults.
Courage and Confidence, colleagues. We can do this if we do it together.

School is open and there are increased absences. Students and adults are absent more frequently and in greater numbers. There may be some students here and there who have temporary medical accommodations for attendance in place.
The challenge we’re solving for is this: How do we keep learning on track for absent students without overloading teachers with a flurry of individual emails and requests for re-teaching? How might we instead create a system for communicating daily work, keeping the learning moving forward, and supporting students who are trying to get back on track after an absence?
The practices listed below are quick and easy ways to help absent students access their curriculum while they are home. Though each requires a little time upfront, they will make your teaching life easier in the long run, allowing you to get ahead of the steady drip of emails asking, “what did we do in class today?” Or worse, “did you do anything while I was gone?”
1. Post daily updates to Canvas, including: the agenda of what you did in class; links to resources, notes, slide decks, and copies distributed to students who were present; expectations for homework.
2. Set up the buddy system with your students. Ensure that everyone in class has the phone number of at least two classmates. Remind students to bring their devices (iPad or laptop).
3. Set expectations with students so they know what to do when they are absent. Remind them to check Canvas each day, and to connect with their buddy to call/video conference into class if they are well enough to do so and it is appropriate for your class.
4. Remind students to stay home when they are sick, and reassure them that you will support them in keeping up with their work, to include allowing them to attend remotely if appropriate.
5. Start recording your lectures/lessons when possible and posting to Canvas as part of your daily update. You can, quite easily, record your screen during an in-class lecture and capture your audio narration while you teach. Or, if you anticipate that you will be absent, you can pre-record a lesson for students to watch with the sub. Canvas Studio offers easy recording options for lessons.
Download and set up Zoom (required)
Classroom teachers in English, Fine Arts, Math/CS, Religious Studies, Science, Social Science, and World Languages, and Administrators, will have paid accounts with site licenses, allowing for unlimited video-conferencing minutes with up to 100 participants and the ability to record your meeting. You will receive a Zoom Account Invitation via email. Follow the instructions in the email. These are a Basic account so you will need to request the 40 minute time limit be waived; Jason has requested this for all users with a email.

Test Drive Zoom in Departments
Practice the five essential skills listed below with at least one other person in Zoom. For tutorials on how to do each of these tasks, please refer to
1. Joining a meeting
2. Scheduling a meeting
3. Sharing your screen
4. Troubleshooting audio
5. Setting chat/mute parameters for participants
6. Recording the meeting
7. Breakout rooms
Access Canvas Studio
Training is available on Canvas: How do I use Canvas Studio
Other recording options include QuickTime.
School is open, but with significant and prolonged absences. The question here is how do we ensure instructional continuity in a hybrid model where some community members are physically present, some are virtually present, and others are absent? In Level 2, we are trying to find creative ways to support families with mitigating health circumstances who are more vulnerable and may need to stay home, those who may be quarantined but otherwise able to participate in school, and those who are recovering from illness and want to get back on track. This means finding new ways to support each other.
Teaching during Level 2 is going to require both planning and flexibility. It is likely going to be the toughest of the different teaching scenarios. You have to plan for students whom you may not see face-to-face and students who will be in your class physically. The best way to think of it is like you are teaching in a blended or hybrid classroom. You will need to plan your lessons so that those students at home can move forward with the rest of the class without being physically in the class. Even if the students FaceTime or Zoom in, it is not the same as being there. Frankly, Zooming or FaceTiming into a running classroom is often difficult to follow, the sound quality of discussions is poor, and you miss a bunch that is going on in the room. Still, it does provide some degree of community and allows the student to still feel, at least partially, a part of the class. So how do you do this? What follows are some strategies for making a hybrid model as successful as possible.
A More Thorough Update in Canvas. Similar to Level 1, you need to post daily updates in Canvas. At Level 2, you need to expand these updates. They need to explain everything you did in class, not just an overview. Think of it as more of a “This is what you should have learned today,” rather than a list of “This is what I taught/we did today.”
Recording is Your Friend. Try to record your lectures and reviews whenever possible and post the link to Canvas. You can do this real-time in your class, afterwards, or as a dry-run while you prep for class. This practice will save you from having to try to catch individual students up later. Recording work well for many purposes, not just a lecture or tutorial. Consider capturing your feedback to student work, or to a model or sample (i.e. art project or lab). For labs, consider having the students in class run the lab and partner with a student at home to help do the analysis and write up via a shared doc.
Preload Resources. We use a wide range of resources in all our classes. Preload handouts, instructional materials, guided notes, links, etc. into Schoology before class begins. That way, if a student is attending remotely, he or she will have access to the materials you are distributing in person. Don’t forget about the white board. If you use the board extensively in your lessons, take a picture at the end of the period and post it. If you have a physical copy that doesn’t yet exist in electronic form, you can take a picture of it (using your iPad or phone), or create a PDF using the scanners in the building. Again, this is more work upfront, but the resources can be used by both groups of students.
Assessments. Assessments with online students and on-ground students will require some careful planning. It may be that students learning remotely cannot take the same assessments as those in school. Traditional assessments can put remote students in a tricky position where a quick Google search makes cheating both easy and tempting. It’s our job to create a learning environment that sets students up for success rather than for a moral dilemma. You can always create two different types of assessments. You can create collaborative tests using shared docs, individually assign assessments in Canvas, build tests in Canvas (with randomized test questions, one take only, and limited time windows for taking). If you set limited time windows, remember that accommodations still apply. Students with learning plans will need online accommodations just as much as they need on-ground accommodations. You may also choose to give everyone an alternative type of assessment for this period of time (long-term project-based learning, for example).
Check-in points. Figure out how you are going to check in with your virtual
students. On-ground, this is easy. We physically see them. How can you do this virtually? Do you want to do an update in Canvas with a quick thumbs up for those who have seen it? Do you want students to email you? Could you make a “water cooler” discussion board for students to post questions and issues they are having? Encourage classmates to respond, too. The goal with these checkpoints is both to ensure students are following along and to share the responsibility of building and caring for the learning community with the rest of the class. It is essential that you check in with the remote students at least twice a week to see how they are doing and so that they do not fall through the cracks. If students are slipping behind, please notify the counselor, who will follow up with the family and loop in the appropriate administrator if necessary.
Flexibility. As teachers, we know how to adapt. As you begin to think about the possibility of remote learning, either for some or all of your students, start thinking of what is most essential for student learning. Some of your existing expectations and policies may not serve students in this unique moment. Please approach late and makeup work with some flexibility while students and/or faculty are asked to stay home. Teachers should work with the student and the counseling office to devise a plan for student work and recovery. Also, though all of our families have access to the Internet and computers, it may not be constant and there may be expectations that students share computers with family members. We will need to work with each student, trusting that they, too, are doing the best they can.

If a significant number of students are absent for a prolonged period of time, we will use a flexible attendance plan. If students cannot physically be on campus but are able to attend virtually, they can join their classes remotely to keep up with their studies. The school will activate an additional attendance code allowing teachers to mark students remotely present. Students who are ill and unable to virtually attend should focus on getting better. They will be marked absent in Infinite Campus so you are aware of their inability to participate in learning.
Keep Posting Daily Updates to Canvas, including: the agenda of what you did in class; links to resources, notes, slide decks, and copies distributed to students who were present; expectations for homework; screencasts of lessons and lectures whenever possible.
Enlist Students: Set up a buddy system to ensure every student has at least two other classmates they can call to attend class virtually. Remind students that they can (and should) still attend class if they are able.
Attend with Audio: If students already have copies of shared resources (or can retrieve them from Canvas), students can simply call into class. Ask students to exchange phone numbers with their buddies and have the in-class buddy call when the period begins.

Attend with Video: Students are very adept at video conferencing. Using the buddy system, students can set up FaceTime (most popular), Google Hangouts, or Zoom calls to attend virtually. Please make sure the on-campus student is on our school WiFi to avoid being charged for data.
Teacher Hosted Virtual Classroom: Teachers may choose to set up a virtual classroom so that many students can join. Create a meeting in Zoom and post the link or meeting code to Canvas.
Loop In The Counselors: School counselors are the “point people” to make sure teachers are aware if a student is on an extended absence when families notify the school. If a student or parent communicates directly with any member of the school community that they will be attending virtually, that faculty/staff member is requested to let the registrar and counselors know as soon as possible.

• What’s the baseline that students need to know, understand, and be able to do for us to be confident that they have met our learning objectives?
• What assessments are coming up? Will these work for students at home and students in class? How might we tweak these to work for both?
• What major assignments are coming up? Will these work for students at home and students in class? Will students at home face a moral dilemma around academic honesty? If yes, plan something different.
• What is the most essential work remaining in this unit? This semester?
• What practices, assignments, and assessments can we streamline or prune altogether? Is there anything we can make optional/extension work?
• What lessons can we collaborate to build together? How might we divide the instructional load and share what we create?
• What constitutes “present” for this course in a given week? What will remote students need to do to “attend” while classes run on campus? How will we communicate our expectations to students?
Administrators, Counselors
• How are we communicating with teachers about students with prolonged absences?
• Which administrators will support which departments? How frequently will we check in with department heads? Department members? Are there members of our community whose work has been significantly reduced who might be available to support teachers whose work may be overwhelming right now?
• How will we regularly collect/solicit information from teachers about the progress of students, and any students of concern? How will we communicate our plan to teachers and coaches? Who will take point to connect with families if a student is “remote” but isn't keeping up with his/her studies?
• What are the current pastoral needs of our community, especially those at home? Who is checking in and connecting with these community members?
Campus is closed; classes are held online. The essential question here is, How do we support student well-being and academic development in the midst of a major disruption to our daily operations for an extended period of time? How do we continue to foster student learning without being able to meet our students in person?
When traditionally on-ground schools move unexpectedly to fully online learning, there are some anticipated challenges. Fortunately, we aren’t the first school to think through this move.
Schedule. We will follow a prayer schedule week: M#1; T#2; W #3; Th #4; F #3. This will help build predictability and keep us all on a schedule.
Attendance. How will you take attendance? What constitutes “present”?
Community. How will you support kids’ needs to socialize and connect? Opportunities for peer-to-peer connection will be especially important.
Clarity. For kid's sake, clearly put all assignments in one place (LMS), explain objectives and expectations up front, and meter the workload. Interestingly, at the Taipei American School, teachers who don’t customarily give regular homework in this way (Fine Arts & PE) tended to overload.

Administrators. Train administrators how to walk the halls of a digital school and provide some measure of accountability and support for students and staff. Decide what the school will record and who will have access.
Assessment. Have a game plan for assessments (Formative only? Allow summative? What happens to AP courses?).
Screen time. Think creatively about what students are doing/working on so they aren’t glued to a screen for 8 hours each day.
Set Expectations. Clarify expectations for students/families, including attendance, participation, work load, communication if absent, etc.
Tech Check. Clarify expectations for home technology requirements. Let the tech team and administration know if there are students unable to participate in learning due to limitations to home connectivity.
Transition. What's your transition back plan? Pastoral needs can be high.
Though much of teaching and learning online is the same as in the shared physical classroom, there are a few key terms that will help you navigate the shift.
Asynchronous: Class interactions happen via Learning Management System (Canvas) without real-time interaction. Students engage in class materials and complete work at their own pace, typically within a given timeframe, often using discussion boards to drive peer-to-peer engagement. If you’re comfortable using Canvas, you are already totally capable of running your classes fully online.
Synchronous: Class interactions happen in real-time, at the same time. Students may virtually attend class together via video conference, livestream, or chat. We have Zoom for synchronous meetings. Most online courses are a blend of synchronous contact and asynchronous study/work. In describing their experience of shifting school completely online, Colleagues at the Concordia International School in Shanghai explained that asynchronous instruction worked best for deep learning, whereas synchronous instruction was essential for maintaining relationships.
Studio/QuickTime: A digital video recording of your computer screen, usually including audio narration.
Video Conference: A virtual meeting in which participants in different locations are able to communicate with each other with audio and video. We will use Zoom for this function.
At Level 3, all students will be learning remotely. Faculty and staff may also be working remotely, but could work from school unless there is a campus closure. This determination is made by the administration of the school. If the school is closed, but the campus is open, teachers might be able to collaborate in real-time at school. At some schools, we have seen departments collaborate face-to-face in homes. If there is a quarantine or it isn’t safe to gather, departments can gather virtually using Zoom. Either way, it is expected that teachers will gather at key points as a department and even as a whole faculty. We will need this time to stay in touch, support each other, and plan.
At this level, the way we teach fundamentally changes. You need to think about teaching in chunks. It is very hard to post work everyday for all your classes. Instead, you want to make some decisions. Do you want to post everything for a week-long chunk? Do you want to post a 2-week unit? How are you going to scaffold the work for students? How often are you going to commit to do updates and post resources? Remember that students will probably meet with you virtually one time in a week. Other than that, you will use other tools to communicate with them. Because of this, you need to rethink how you will lay out your course. Remember your students are not just taking your course, but trying to keep up with all courses. Although they do that now, doing this totally online will be different and take some practice. The shift may be particularly challenging for students with executive function learning differences. You will not be able to “read the room” to gauge their understanding, so you need to figure out ways to check-in on every student individually. It is super easy to fall behind virtually and hide in the back of the virtual room. You’ll need to double-down on checking for understanding and touch points.
Thorough Update in Canvas. With every step away from the physical classroom and into the virtual one, updates in Canvas need to be more comprehensive and detailed. You’ll need to give context for the week’s worth of work, including your objectives (in student-facing language), expectations for learning, a preview of the assignments, and where to find the resources, assignments, and assessments. Think: Lesson Planning 101. Start with the end in mind: what do my students need to know and how will I know they learned this? If you do one big post with everything in it, you will help students plan out their week. If the unit spans several weeks, you will still need weekly updates with assignment checkpoints to ensure they are progressing and not waiting until the very end.
Record Your Update. Once you set up your Canvas update with the overview of the week, we recommend that you record yourself walking students through your post, just as you would in class. This is your chance to tell them verbally what they will be doing that week/unit and what your expectations are. This practice is especially important if students are working for multiple weeks on one project or one unit. They need to know where they are headed in their learning, not just what is due right now. Post the recording in your Canvas update. You may want to record or post a sample final project or a model of student work so students know what to expect. Importantly, as a school where fostering relationships with students is core to our pedagogy, a recording with your voice will help make a switch to online learning feel less impersonal and more relational.
Preload & Vary Your Resources. Just as you did in Level 2, preload all your resources and point to them in your weekly post. Consider the types of resources you expect students to access. Our library databases are mostly available off campus, but it’s worth double-checking. It’s good practice to add PDFs of readings and to vary the type of media (ie: recordings, TED talks, video tutorials, etc.) to make up for you not being in front of them.
Assessments. As we noted in Level 2, assessments with online students require careful planning. Traditional assessments can put remote students in a tricky position where a quick Google search makes cheating both easy and tempting. It’s our job to create a learning environment that sets students up for success rather than for a moral dilemma. This is a good time to consider other types of assessment. If a traditional test is out, how else can you evaluate what students understand? How else can you assess the development of a key skill? Project-based learning, with multiple checkpoints along the way, is a great fit for remote learning.
Check-in points. You need to make sure you are checking in with students twice each week. You will want to make sure you do this before posting your attendance on Wednesday and Friday. Attending virtual classes, posting to discussion boards, email, submitting assignments, etc., all constitute check-ins. The point is that you want to know students are working and not falling behind. If they are not checking in, we want to catch them early. Consider creating a “water cooler” discussion board for students to post questions and write about issues they are having. You can call it “Questions, Concerns, Comments” as an example. An open forum like this will allow not just you, but classmates to respond as well.
Late Assignments. Holding students accountable will be very important when we don’t see them every day. It will be very easy to fall behind quickly unless we help students stay on track. We want to be helpful and supportive, but don’t let a student dig a deep hole.
Flexibility. This is the time to adjust your curriculum to fit into a virtual school world. What is your comfort level? How will you use the synchronous and asynchronous tools? Make your plans, lay out your course, take a deep breath, and be flexible. If something doesn’t work, just like in your classroom teaching, adjust and go back or move on. Remember to reach out to your colleagues and tech team for support. We can do this...together.

Communication. Teachers are expected to be in their courses on Canvas every school day. Post all instructions, assignments, and learning materials to Canvas. Each week, post an update with an overview of the learning objectives and expectations. It pays dividends to be overly-clear; we don’t have the benefit of reading the room and clarifying on the fly. Please answer email within 24 hours and allow 24 hours between posting and expecting work from students.
Work Load. Aim for 3-4 hours of class work per week maximum, including: time for reading/watching/listening, engaging with peers via discussion boards and docs, attending class virtually via zoom, assignments/learning tasks, etc. Advanced Placement courses may assign additional work or practice tests as needed. Given the dramatic shift in teaching and learning, students, families, and counselors will rely on the grade book to track progress. Please post and grade two assignments per week (it’s up to you how big or small these are), spread out over the week. We'd like to avoid students feeling slammed on Fridays. In order to help students plan their week and schedule their time, please strive to post all work for the week by 4pm on Monday. At a minimum, you must give 24 hours notice for all work due, with the exception of any work completed during your designated class period. When assigning timed work within your class period, please be sure to respect extended time for students with accommodations. Assignments may not be due during other class periods nor any later than 10pm.

Attendance. Please maintain constant knowledge of who is "present and participating" and alert Mrs. Pavel if any student does not show up for class. There are many ways for you to sync with students to ensure they are following along with their studies. You could ask students to join a virtual class on Zoom, reply to a discussion board post on Canvas, collaborate on a shared doc, submit an assignment, or simply respond to an email. Regardless of the method you choose to make sure students are out there in the ether, the expectation is that you hear from each student during your designated class period and alert the office to their absence if the student is not already marked out in Infinite Campus.
Office Hours. Plan on being available to answer student questions for the duration of Office Hours. You may choose to host office hours via email, 1:1 zoom meetings, small group zoom meetings (by opening up a meeting and posting the code on Canvas), -- or any combination of these methods. Please post an update on Canvas explaining to students where they can reach you and/or how they can schedule time with you during Office Hours.

The flow of online learning is unique. In any given week, we recommend each course accomplish three tasks: preview, prepare, and engage in learning.

Teacher Posts… 

Using These Tools… 


Canvas Update:

·       Overview of the lesson

·       Objectives & connections to prior lessons/learning

·       Quick Attendance Check (to ensure students are present and following along)

·       Post an update in Canvas

·       Record using Studio or QuickTime


Canvas Assignment:

·       Course readings (textbook, novel, packets), digital texts, podcasts, video content, recorded lecture, recorded lesson, etc . 

·  Create/Post content: upload audio, video, screencast, text, links to docs, images...

·  Access existing curated content from school library or online


Canvas Assignment: 

·       Reflective writing, journaling, guided note-taking

·       Discussion boards, assignment submission, post/share/ respond to audio, video, images, media

·       Writing, collaborating, peer editing shared docs

·       Virtual labs/simulations; home labs/observations

·       Remote synchronous class

·       Practice problems

·       Research, writing, projects

·       Online assessments (AP)

·       Quiz, formative assessment

·       Summative assessment

Asynchronous Tools


Synchronous Tools

A synchronous class can take many forms, and a video conference is certainly not the only way. Below are a few tried-and-tested suggestions to get you started if you do choose to get your class together on Zoom.
1. Determine the length of your class. Holding attention online for over an hour is difficult. Consider this ahead of time.
2. Login ahead of students and greet them when they enter “class.”
3. Set up Chat parameters. We recommend allowing public chatting only. We do not recommend allowing students to chat privately. Use the private chat feature as the instructor to catch up late students, nudge students who are not jumping in, ask everyone to respond to a question like you might in class to get a heat check of student understanding.
4. Call roll to bring the class to order. You can ask them to say here, type here in chat, or take a screenshot of your participants list. You will need attendance records for later, so make sure you do this upfront.
5. Once class begins, either change your settings to mute students on entry, or, work with your class to establish some shared Zoom norms, such as: mute your mic when not speaking, say your name before you participate (sometimes it’s hard to tell who is speaking).
6. Remind students that the same tech rules apply to a virtual classroom as to the physical classroom. No taking or posting images/video of classmates and instructors to the web or to Social Media without permission. Students have the ability to screenshot and screencast.
7. Begin your instruction by sharing your screen and toggling over to your Canvas class. Show the update that you posted for the class; this should have the outline of the work for the week. Walk students through the update, pointing out where the resources and assignments for that week are located.
8. Preview your objectives for the virtual class and any expectations you have of them during the call (notes, participation, response online after class, etc.)
9. Start your presentation, discussion, lesson, etc. Enjoy, for a brief moment, the luxury of teaching in a dress shirt and pajama pants.
10. About five minutes before ending class, go back to your Canvas page and remind students about the upcoming work for the week. This may seem overly-redundant. Just remember: this will be a monumental shift for students and they will need all the clarity and support they can get.
Discussion boards are excellent ways of fostering peer-to-peer learning. The optional rubrics and resources below are simply meant to make your life easier. You are not required to use them. You absolutely may edit, adapt, or build on them.
Setting Clear Expectations
When online is the only option for students to share their ideas and questions with one another, it’s important to set clear expectations for posting. Here’s an example: “Please post your first response by 10PM on Tuesday night. The post must be at least 250 words in length and reference the readings. Be sure to use MLA format for your citations. You must respond to three of your classmates by Friday 10 p.m.. Follow-up posts must be substantive (at least 100 words) and move the discussion forward. Simply saying, “I agree”, etc. will not earn credit.”
Resource: Discussion Board DOs and DON’Ts for Students

Do think before you post. Complete the reading or preparation work before you write.

Do post your response early to give your classmates more time to reply. Check back later to see what comments have been added. 

Do explain your opinion and use examples to help others understand your points.

Do post something that furthers the discussion and shows depth of thought. The best part of a discussion board is that you get lots of think time before you post. Use it.

Do reply to several of your classmates’ posts, adding examples or asking questions.

Do remember that it is harder to tell when something is a joke online. Use humor 


Don’t agree with everything you read. It makes for a really boring conversation. Politely disagree when you have a difference of opinion.

Don’t reply to the same people each time. Try to bring in other voices.

Don’t get personal. Focus your criticism on ideas and arguments, not on your classmates.

Don’t bring the outside in. No inside jokes, references to people who aren’t in the conversation, or comments you wouldn’t say face-to-face

Top Ten Discussion Board DOs and DON’Ts for Students. From Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning (Neebe & Roberts, 2015). Reprinted with permission.
Tips for Discussion Board Prompts
Discussion board prompts are just like the prompts you use to start discussions in your class. You just need to adjust them a bit since you will not all be in the same room answering these orally. If you need a bit of assistance with this, here are some things to consider:

• Think about the learning you want students to gain from the discussion.
• What do you want to see in the responses? Convergent ideas (how, what, why), Divergent ideas (predict, if...then), Evaluative ideas (opinion, defend, what if)?
• Since you want to avoid yes and no responses, how might you frame the question in such a way that students have to think before posting and not just answer off the top of their heads?
• Remember, just like in a face-to-face class, sometimes questions just flop. Don’t give up; just adjust. Feel free to post a response that clarifies what you are looking for, gives more instruction, or poses a completely new question.
• Once you launch a discussion board, monitor it as you would in a face-to-face class. Avoid jumping in too soon or over-responding. You don’t have to respond to every post. Remember you set it up to where they have to respond to their classmates. Allow the exchanges to take place.
• When responding, be sure to model how you want students to respond. Consider including links to support your statements, quotes (cite them), restating a portion of the post you are responding to, and using the name of the student(s) to whom you are responding.
The discussion board platform is also a great place for providing global feedback to students, just as you would in class if you were using a student sample to retool thesis statements or craft a stronger hypothesis. Just because we’re learning online doesn’t mean students have to learn in isolation. We can still insist on an environment in which mistakes are expected and growth happens in community. Ask students to post a draft of their project check-point. Tell them you will give feedback directly on the discussion board (and that students will receive their grade privately). This will likely feel very awkward at first. We often aren't used to learning and stumbling with an audience. It can be a very vulnerable feeling. Remind students that we learn more deeply when we learn in community. They’ll be surprised how much they grow by seeing the insights of classmates and the feedback to their challenges, which may someday be their challenges, too. Early replies from you to a few students will be seen by, and shape, the responses of other students.
Rubric: Grading Discussion Board Posts
Recall that you can add a rubric to any Canvas assignment and click the boxes to score student work. Here’s a sample that you could use or adapt.







Critical Thinking

Response clearly addresses all elements of the prompt. Exhibits attention to detail and mastery of the topic. Student evaluates and synthesizes course concepts, theories, or materials appropriately, using effective examples and supporting evidence. 

Response addresses the prompt and demonstrates a clear understanding of the topic. Student applies and analyzes relevant course concepts, theories or materials, using examples or evidence for support. 

Response addresses some elements of the prompt. Student summarizes course concepts, theories, or materials. Post may reveal some gaps in understand- ing or familiarity with content. 

Response does not adequately address the prompt. Student relies on statements that are unsupported by course concepts, theories, or materials. Post demonstrates misunderstanding of content and/or a lack of sincere effort. 


Thought Leader. 

Asks good questions for classmates to consider. Responds to multiple peers in a manner that advances the discussion. Draws connections between comments. Takes risks in developing new ideas. 

Engaged Participant.

Asks thoughtful, open- ended questions. Builds off of previous comments in the discussion board. Responds directly to peers in a manner that adds meaning to the discussion.  

Skimming the Surface. 

May ask clarifying or perfunctory questions. Responds to peers in a manner that demonstrates superficial engage- ment with their ideas. 

“Post and Go” 

Student does not make meaningful contributions to the discussion community. Does not respond to peers, even when prompted to do so. May disrupts the community with discourteous behavior.

Style & Format

Meets or exceeds required word count. Post(s) are practically perfect grammatically. Student consistently provides academic citations for ideas not his/her own. 

Meets or nearly meets required word count. Post(s) may include a few errors that are minor enough that they do not distract the reader. Student references sources for ideas, but may do so inconsistently. 

Meets at least 80% of the required word count. Post may include errors that distract the reader but do not detract from the argument. Student does not provide citations for sources.

Falls significantly short of the required word count. And/Or post 

contains multiple flaws that seriously confuse the reader. Student does not engage sources, and thus, none are cited. 

 Adapted from the University of San Francisco Educational Technology Master’s Program scoring guides and the Phillips Exeter Academy Harkness Discussion rubric.
ASC, Counselors, and College Counselors will be available during Office Hours and during the to meet/work with students. They will continue providing services to their caseloads, primarily in a one-on-one format, throughout the course of each work day. Both ASC and Counseling staff will be available to help support students who are absent/cannot participate, and may choose to lead small groups online for study sessions, tutorials, or personal support. Counselors will work with the Administration, including the Dean’s Office, to communicate with families about attendance/participation concerns and support students in getting back on track.
Faculty moderators will discern, in dialogue with student leaders, how it makes most sense for an activity, club, or other community group to continue its work in the event of a closed campus. In some cases, it may not make sense for an activity, club, or other group to continue to engage in the context of a closed campus. If a faculty moderator determines this is the case, they should communicate their decision and rationale to group members.
The library at Duchesne is an exceptional resources as you plan and design your courses. Mrs. Doyle be available to students and faculty during normal school hours. Teachers may want to reach out to see how they can access library resources to support the program via databases and other materials in their lessons.
The Principal will send a weekly communication to students and parents via email with updates, announcements, and a reminder that school is still in session.

Faculty and Staff can expect Wednesday faculty meetings (full Faculty/Staff, Department Heads, and/or individual departments) during the regularly scheduled period. Agendas and a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to all attendees. Additionally, administrators will each take one or two departments to support. They will “walk the virtual halls” by checking Canvas and joining classes via Zoom when possible. Administration and administrative staff will monitor student absences so teachers can plan and teach. This means that while teachers will take attendance twice each week, administration will follow up as to why the student has not attended.
In the event of a school closure, the tech department may still be working from campus or remotely. The tech department will be monitoring email during normal school hours. Please include a phone number so that we can contact you quickly. All effort will be made to quickly contact you to resolve the issue.
If you are unable to facilitate your class, please communicate with Eric as soon as possible. If a team member needs to temporarily take over your course, please contact tech support, and they will add the teacher to your course. If you require additional support, please contact the business office for HR information. Remember, we are all in this together. We are all going to have to step in to help our colleagues through this.

If you don’t find an answer to the exact question you have, a great first step is to search for the software/program name + function + tutorial (such as “Zoom record meeting tutorial”). And of course, you can email the tech team with questions.
A message from Preschool Director, Sara Wachter and Head of School, Meg Brudney to parents:
A message from Preschool Director, Sara Wachter to students:
  • Foresight, collaboration enable smooth online learning transition - While students celebrated surprise Congé Principal Laura Hickman was encouraging teachers to be ready for the worst: a closure due to COVID-19. Duchesne teachers and students have made the unprecedented transition to online classes; working together to continue learning and showing love in difficult times. 
    Read article here »

  • Archives reveal Duchesne life during 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic - Archivist Margo Bieker, A71, uncovered House Journal entries from 1918 which shed light on how Duchesne operated during the flu pandemic.  
    Read article here »
As stated by the CDC, preventing and mitigating an outbreak is the most important strategy. We all have a responsibility to adhere to the following preventive measures and we ask that you review them with your daughter(s) at home:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick (and do not return to school until you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication).
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Social Distancing Matters | A Request from Head of School, Meg Brudney
I have been receiving emails from alumnae and parents who are medical professionals on the frontline asking me to strongly encourage our families to keep their daughters home, avoiding any sort of social gathering. They are deeply concerned because they have seen or are aware that some of our girls are gathering in public or at their friends’ homes. As a school, we cannot mandate your daughters to stay home, but we can implore you to listen to the guidelines set by the Department of Health, our Governor, and health professionals to do our part to flatten the curve.

The federal guidelines state: Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 people, schooling should be at home and discretionary travel and social visits should be avoided.

A Duchesne alumna who is a Nurse Practitioner wrote this in her email to me:
“Duchesne is so amazing, students are caring, thoughtful, socially and environmentally responsible. This is their [the girls] social responsibility to the world right now. DO NOT SEE YOUR FRIENDS. Medical professionals have never faced anything like this in our lives, and we are scared but willing to face what is coming in the next few weeks. If you respect nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and all of the people working for your safety please stay home. IT MATTERS!”

We are all on a learning curve. None of us in our lifetime have experienced anything like this, so it is truly our responsibility to listen to the professionals and follow their lead.
Catholic Theological Union Resources - An assortment of some different events/resources put on by the Catholic Theological Union 
Fr. Paddy Gilger, S.J. Talks
Sacred Heart Events
All Saints Parish – Fr. Jonathan Meyer posts videos of Masses, Eucharistic adoration, and reflections on a variety of topics.
Ascension Presents – A Catholic priest, Franciscan friars, and lay members offer insights with humor, wit, and wisdom. This channel live streams Mass at 9 a.m.
Breaking in the Habit – Fr. Casey Cole shares his experiences and wisdom as a Franciscan friar.
Catholic Central – Are there proofs of God? Do virtues really exist? What does it mean to be Catholic? Check out this channel.
ChurchPOP Editor – Jacqueline Burkepile interviews ordained ministers, men and women in religious life, and theologians.
David Wesley – David Wesley and occasionally virtual choirs sing powerful Christian hymns.
EWTN – EWTN posts daily Masses as well as its television shows.
Grotto Network – From its description: “We are here to share authentic stories that renew hope, cultivate goodness, and point us to Someone greater than ourselves.”
Vatican News – English – This channel features prayers, updates, and speeches chiefly by Pope Francis.
Vocacionesrscj – A channel by RSCJs! The videos are primarily in English and Spanish.