A Safe Return to School
Life during the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for parents and students alike. On July 27th, 2020, Superintendent Leadriane Roby announced the district’s proposed plan to return to distance learning platforms during the first 9 weeks of the school year. August’s issue of Power Parent Magazine was written to help prepare GRPS families to return to school safely.
Power Parent: August 2020 covers each of the following articles:
- NEED TO DO: Creating a Supportive At-Home Learning Environment contains a wealth of tools and resources specific to transitioning the home learning environment during COVID-19.
- Find out what you can do to support your child’s social and emotional health during this chaotic and traumatic time in GOOD TO KNOW: What is SEL?
- Discover an article about maintaining stamina and a love for learning in SETTING GOALS: Motivating the Reluctant Child
- Under CHECK IT OUT: Connect with your PAL, learn more about who your school’s Parent Action Leader is, what they do for your school, and ways to get in touch with them.
- Find tools for navigating the distance learning classroom that will help your student now AND in the future in NETWORKING FOR SUCCESS: Digital Literacy and Distance Learning Help.
- Under NAVIGATING ACHIEVEMENT: “Books in Windows” and other COVID-19 Stories, discover a compilation of books and other resources to help your child make sense of this incredibly difficult time.
- Read about the importance of family meals and find conversation prompts in FAMILY CONVERSATIONS: Take Time to Talk with your Child during Meals
Learning at Home
When establishing a structured learning environment at home, there are two main things to consider: your child’s age and interests. As your child’s parent or caregiver, you are the person who knows them best. A younger child may thrive best surrounded by books and fun manipulatives, while a student in middle or high school may only require a well-lit desk area to complete their distance learning assignments. For additional insights into creating a learning environment in your home, follow this link. This article by Action for Healthy Kids contains a list of tools and resources specific to transitioning the learning environment during COVID-19.
In this video, learn more about 7 ways you can support remote learning as a parent:
Many children respond well to structure and healthy routines; this has traditionally always been the case, even more so now that we are living through a global pandemic. Though it is difficult during these challenging, unprecedented times, attempting to create a sense of calm is important to helping children feel safe, both emotionally and physically. The American Academy of Physicians (AAP) recommends the following for parenting during a pandemic:
- Address your child’s fears by listening to their questions and responding to the best of your ability, then modeling how to manage feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Establish and maintain healthy routines for at-home learning, mealtimes, chores, free time, and bedtimes.
- Use positive discipline, recognizing that many of us us are experiencing heightened anxiety, children included
- Take care of yourself by finding ways to decompress.
- Click this link to find out more.
What is SEL?
“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” (CASEL).
As your child adjusts to distance learning, supporting their social and emotional health is critical. CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, offers a vast array of resources that address how SEL acts as a response to today’s circumstances.
Follow this link to learn more.
Go to parents.grps.org/digital-literacy/ for more SEL support links.
Connect with your PAL
Every GRPS school has a Parent Action Leader (PAL). A PAL acts as a liaison between the school district and the families from the corresponding school.
Who is the PAL in your child’s school?
NORTHEAST AREA PALs
|Aberdeen Academy||Kathryn Abuya|
|Coit Creative Arts||Sybil Johnson|
|Congress Elementary School||Janelle Hill|
|GR Montessori Elementary||Amarena Nelson|
|GR Montessori Middle||Laura Slusher|
|GR Montessori High||Jazz Johnson|
|North Park Montessori||Natasha Wells|
|North Park Montessori||Angela Deluca Placencia|
SOUTHEAST AREA PALs
|Alger Middle School||Raquel Robelin|
|Brookside Elementary School||Annie Friday|
|GR University Prep||Doriece Teasley|
|MLK Jr. Leadership Academy||Belinda Henderson|
|Mulick Park Elementary School||Leonora Pickett|
|Ottawa Hills High School||Arthur Libbett|
|Ridgemoor Park Montessori||Megan Brickner|
|Sherwood Park Elementary School||E’lla Webber|
SOUTHWEST AREA PALs
|Buchanan Elementary School||Julie De Leon Aguilar|
|Buchanan Elementary School||Vanessa Cervantes|
|Cesar Chavez Elementary School||Isela Hernandez|
|Southwest Community Campus||Monique Vance|
|Southwest Community Campus||Avelina Garcia|
NORTHWEST AREA PALs
|CA Frost Environmental Science Academy||Jodi Miesen|
|Grand Rapids Public Museum School||Chimere Williams|
|Blandford School||Mandy Redman|
|Harrison Park Academy||Michael Swartlander|
|Westwood Middle School||Wilfred Joiner|
|Sibley Elementary School||Lesvia Marroquin|
If you’re interested in serving as the PAL at your school, please contact the Family and Community Engagement office at (616) 819-1977.
What is COVID-19? Here’s an explanation for children
Digital Literacy & Distance Learning Support
GRPS students will use different virtual platforms to support their academic learning.
Online Support for Parents of GRPS Students
- Seesaw guide – Grades PK-5
- Google Classroom guide – Grades 6-12
- Schoology guide – Grades 6-12
- Guide to Social and Emotional Support – (Grades PK-12) resources
Digital Literacy Support – Parent University’s Digital Literacy
- Digital Law
- Digital Safety
- Distinguishing between real and fake news
- Digital Footprints
- Helpful Digital Platforms and Communities
Distance Learning Helpdesk
Parent’s Guide to Online Privacy, Safety, and Security