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News and Notes

WLHS Distance Learning

Tom DeKeyser, Superintendent and WLMS/HS Principal

Good morning, 

In response to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order (2020-35) suspending face-to-face learning for the remainder of the school year, Whitmore Lake Middle/High School is preparing to embark on distance learning for the remainder of the school year. 

Our “first day of school” will be Monday, April 13. Middle and High School classes will move to online delivery via Google Classroom. Google Classroom is an easy-to-use educational tool that will allow teachers to facilitate instruction, distribute assignments, send feedback, and foster collaboration and communication. 

Your student should have been invited to join a Google Classroom for all six of his/her classes. If your student is not yet enrolled in Google Classroom, please ask your son/daughter to use the Google Classroom Join Codes here to enroll in the correct classes.

In addition to joining a Google Classroom for each class, students must also join the Daily Attendance and Engagement Google Classroom using the code nzn2ny7. Students are expected to complete the Daily Attendance Google Form posted there every day school is “in session.” 

Students should also join Mrs. DeKeyser’s grade level Google Classroom as this is how she will be sharing scheduling materials later this spring. 

Your student must use their wlps.net email address to join Google Classroom and communicate with teachers. Though we recognize email may not be students’ preferred method of communication, it is the expected method of communication for the remainder of the year.

Although parents/guardians cannot use the Google Classroom Join Codes, you can request access to daily or weekly summary emails from Google Classroom by requesting an invitation from your student’s classroom teacher.

Distance learning looks different from in-class learning. Teachers have been directed to focus their lessons, instruction, and assessment on the content standards that are most important for students to learn this year, expecting no more than 30 minutes of work per class per day. (Students taking AP classes, however, may need to spend additional time each week to master course material and prepare for the AP test.)

As part of our distance learning plan, teachers will also hold regular virtual “office hours” to interact with students via Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom. Students are strongly encouraged to attend office hours to get support with course material, to increase motivation, and to maintain “face-to-face” relationships with teachers. 

If your student is still in need of technology to participate in distance learning, please reach out directly to Karen Sterzik, our Technology Director, at karen.sterzik@wlps.net.

Students are expected to continue with learning activities assigned during distance learning. As a result, students will be closely monitored for engagement. Although traditional grades will not be recorded, teachers will use the Collected (green check mark) and Missing (orange exclamation mark) designations to track student progress in PowerSchool, and feedback will also be provided to students in Google Classroom. Classroom teachers will implement a process by which students can raise their grade during distance learning, as well as an opportunity for students who are currently failing a class to pass if they actively engage with coursework between now and the end of the semester. 

 

The Executive Order gives special attention to members of the Class of 2020. All high school seniors on track to graduate at the time of the closure will be given the opportunity to graduate this year so that they may make a successful postsecondary transition. A separate communication to seniors and their parents will be forthcoming.

Advanced Placement Exams will take place between May 11 and May 22. Parents of AP students are encouraged to read this letter for the most recent AP exam updates. All other standardized tests previously scheduled for the remainder of the school year, including the M-STEP and the SAT, will be canceled. There will be a date in October for rising high school seniors to take the SAT and for other high school students to take the PSAT. 

As we navigate this unprecedented time in education we know there will be challenges, and we will work to identify and address them as quickly as possible. With that in mind, we ask that you regularly check your email and social media for updates. Additionally, we ask for your patience–with the WLPS staff, with your students, and with yourselves. While we recognize distance learning can never replace the value of our highly-trained teachers working with your students in a classroom, we are committed to providing your students with the personalized, exceptional education you’ve come to expect from WLPS. 

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