The Arc- SJA's School Blog
SJA Bridge Project
Dear St. Joan of Arc Families,
As you know, we face an unprecedented challenge with the coronavirus. As a school community, we share the same challenges as those faced by schools nationwide and globally. Each family also finds itself uniquely impacted, be it job-related, health-related, or other circumstances. Our goal as a school has been to continue providing a quality education, partnering with you as parents in forming your children into saints, servants, and scholars. As we look to the future, with the rest of our state and nation, we don't know what the fall will bring. We hope that August sees us returning to school as usual on the 20th, but we have to acknowledge that there is uncertainty even there. We want to be forward-looking, though, as an institution and prepare as best as we can.
As we engage in contingency planning, we predict the need for remediation. Despite our teachers' best efforts (whether they are official faculty or you, our "at-home teachers"), we foresee that the challenges of distance learning, especially compounded by the "summer slide", may affect some students negatively. Knowing both our Christian mandate and our responsibility as educators, we want to prepare now for getting these students back on track.
For this reason, we are announcing the SJA Bridge Project, to bridge educational gaps in math and reading during the fall semester. This plan was crafted by our team and involves three phases:
•Phase I: Data Gathering -students will be tested using the STAR test during the first week of August (before school actually starts). A schedule for testing will be sent out well in advance, with limited make-up testing availability. The STAR test will give us focused data on the particular areas of struggle for individual students. Teachers will examine this data in addition to surveying families and consulting with the prior year's teacher and thus develop a plan for students who reveal gaps.
•Phase II: Consultation -teachers will invite families of students identified as having greater-than-anticipated gaps in knowledge for a parent-teacher conference to discuss the remediation plan.
•Phase III: Remediation -students in need of remediation will be placed in groups, no larger than four students, who have the same learning needs and matched with a teacher. They will meet from 3:00-3:45 on an assigned day each week during the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, students will be re-assessed. If necessary, we will continue the program at the level necessa1y during the second quarter.
A few points worth noting:
1. If school does not resume as anticipated in August, we will modify this project as necessary to best serve students.
2. This project will be carried out at no additional cost to families. Generations of generosity makes these and other such efforts possible.
3. The idea of testing in May was considered. Although the logistical problems of such a testing are perhaps not insurmountable, they are formidable. More importantly, though, a spring testing would not give us information as to how students were affected by the summer.
4. We are also examining possibilities and strategies for maximizing the summer months. This plan for the fall does not supersede the needs of the intervening months. As the year closes, there will be further communication on our summer plans.
More information will be forthcoming on the testing schedule, the conference days, and the like. However, knowing that concern for the fall may be foremost in your minds, we wanted to let you know that we are as eager to see "normal" school resume as you are and eager also to make it as excellent and effective as possible for your children. Hopefully, knowledge of this bridge project will help calm those concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Be assured of our prayers for you and yours.
St. Joan of Arc Pastor