April 3 Letter

Dear IPS Community,

As I write this, we have completed 4 days of Zoom connections with our students, this uncharted method of interaction between school and students. I’m grateful that we listened to the advice of our peer schools and started small and slowly. Next week we will continue to slowly progress on the number of sessions each class has and the length of each session. We will introduce additional faces, with the specialty teachers saying hello, as will I and other administrators. We are creating something that will take time and care. Again, I ask for kindness and patience with this process.

I understand that this is a very difficult time in many ways. The IPS Zoom Connections are one of the many things families are juggling as you tend to other children, work from home, share devices, possibly aren’t in your own homes, worry about older family members, worry about health, feel isolated, wonder when this will be over…We are all living this, asking the same questions and sharing the same worries.

Each class is making progress in its own way. Every day administrators have had “debrief” sessions with classroom teams to discuss what worked, what didn’t and how to proceed. I know some parents are getting antsy, wanting this to move forward more quickly. I ask you to reflect on the time when your child was first going through the phase-in and separation process. So many of you wanted to drop your child off and leave, but your teachers advised you to stay until your child was ready to be successful at saying goodbye. This process is much the same in terms of the patience needed for success.

Here are ways parents can help move this process forward:

  • Create a comfortable/workable space for your child during their Zoom sessions. A flat surface is best.
  • Let the teacher mute and unmute all of the children.
  • Have your child’s first name on their screen.
  • Minimize the background noise and stimulation made by siblings and grown-ups during your child’s Zoom sessions.
  • Parents who are sitting with their child during the Zoom sessions, stay out of the screen. Your faces are distracting to the other children. Six next to your child out of the screen view.
  • DO NOT record or take photos of the screen. Teachers have reported that this is happening.

Teachers will continue to communicate with you daily to let you know how they will be proceeding and what you can expect each day.

We will be scheduling parent meetings by class. This will give me, your location administration and teachers time to check in with you. I am working out how to offer “Office Hours” to parents who want to talk with me privately. In the meantime, as always, please email me if you would like to set up a phone appointment or have an email communication.

Next Friday, April 10th is Good Friday. This was a scheduled day for school to be closed at both locations. We will not be having Zoom sessions on this day. We will be sending you a link to two videos made for us by The Art Farm. Your children will have two 30 minute sessions with Ms. Gabby to watch. One topic is insects, the other is birds.

For families who are celebrating Passover or Good Friday and Easter, and to all families, we wish you joy and health.

On behalf of the entire IPS Administration, we are sending you our very best wishes,

Donna Cohen

Here are some resources we have compiled. Additional resources will come every Friday afternoon: