Dear GW Community –
With the transition to virtual learning this year, we committed to conducting regular cycles of evaluation and adjustment to ensure that our online-learning system is meeting the needs of our students. Today I am sharing with you an adjustment to our weekly bell schedule.
In August, DPS provided high schools with strict parameters for building our weekly bell schedules. Among those guidelines were requirements for daily live instructional time, and limits on how much time could be spent in asynchronous learning. We followed these guidelines closely and they are represented in our current bell schedule.
However, once school started, it quickly became clear that these schedule requirements, coupled with the increased speed of instruction in a quarter-block system, resulted in far too much screen time for both our students and staff. Additionally, we are hearing from our community that students need more time built into the school day to complete assigned work, and our teachers would benefit from more time to plan their lessons in this new, virtual environment.
In response to these concerns, we have worked with District leadership to modify our weekly bell schedule.
Starting next week (Monday, September 21), Wednesdays will move to asynchronous learning only for students.
- Teachers will hold optional drop-in office hours on Wednesdays from 9:30am-10:30am, and the rest of the day will be for students to work independently on existing (not new) assignments from their classes.
- Attendance will not be taken during Wednesday’s asynchronous work time.
- Students will not have Community Learning Seminar on Wednesdays.
We encourage students to pace their work on Wednesdays to take advantage of daylight hours to get outside, take breaks, and change-up their work process. Consider completing reading assignments outside, using pencil and paper to draft outlines for projects, or calling a classmate for group work instead of using a video chat.
Please note, these changes take effect this Monday and will last as long as we are in remote learning. At this time, we are still waiting for guidance about Quarter 2 scheduling (online versus hybrid). We will share this information as soon as we are able.
Kristin Waters, Ph.D.
Principal | George Washington High School