Greetings Roncall parents, guardians and students:
Thank you to everyone for the great work that has been done since our leaving school so abruptly on Thursday, March 12. We are so very proud of our students, families and teachers for their extraordinary efforts!
Over this past week with the assistance of many of our staff members, school counselors and administrators, we have made an effort to reach out to all of the families of our students at Roncalli. The purpose of these phone calls was four fold: (1) Thank you and your child for your hard work, patience and understanding these past two weeks; (2) Check to see how E-learning was going for your child/family; (3) Inquire as to what Roncalli could be doing to better assist your child/family and (4) Take any prayer requests you may have. We received overwhelmingly positive reviews as to how things were going for students and their E-learning. We also received many, many compliments for our teachers, counselors and resource personnel! If by chance you were not contacted last week, I apologize and ask that you reach out to me at 317-787-8277, extension 224. We need your feedback!
Post Spring Break E-Learning
I have had multiple meetings these past two weeks with our department chairpersons, administrative team and IT personnel in an effort to chart our plan moving forward. I will attempt to lay out our plan in this document. I apologize for the length of this document, but there is a great deal of information to communicate. Please reach out to your child’s teachers, Kathy Arruda (Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs) or me with questions related to the schedule or instruction. Please send technology related questions/issues in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
New Schedule - Beginning on Monday, April 6, and until further notice, we will have E-learning days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays are going to be “Life Prep Learning Days.” These days will have a specific focus for students and families (schedule at the bottom of this document). The goal of these “Life Prep Learning Days” will be to allow our students the opportunity to spend a day away from their chromebooks and participate in an activity that is some combination of fun, stress free and life-prep. Students will have no school work responsibilities on Wednesdays.
NOTE: Students are still required to complete their “attendance quiz” by 10:00 AM each Wednesday. However, there will be no E-learning on these days.
Video Conferencing - Also beginning on Monday, April 6, we will institute a schedule for video conferencing between teachers and students. The cameras that are on the students’ school issued chromebooks will be activated so that video conferencing can happen. Teachers will be strongly encouraged but not required to incorporate some level of video conferencing in their classes. The following are pertinent, “must read” notes related to the video conferencing.
Good Friday and Easter Monday - Jesus Christ - His Life, Death, Resurrection and Ministry are the reasons why Roncalli High School and all Catholic schools exist! For this reason, even amidst the dysfunction the coronavirus has created, it is our utmost desire not only to allow our families the opportunity to more fully celebrate the Easter Triduum, but also to assist our students and families in their celebration. Thus, both Good Friday (April 10) and Easter Monday (April 13) will be “Growing In Our Faith Days.” The Roncalli Campus Ministry and Theology departments graciously have offered to create and circulate resources for students and families to use in celebrating the Easter Triduum, from Holy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday, and on into the Easter season on Monday, April 13.
NOTE: Students are still required to complete their “attendance quiz” by 10:00 AM on each of these days for attendance purposes. However, there will be no other E-learning on these two days.
Assessments - During these past two weeks, while students and teachers were getting acclimated to the nuances of E-learning, teachers were asked to refrain as much as possible from giving assessments of any significance during these past two weeks of E-learning. This will change when we return to school April 6 as teachers will begin administering quizzes, tests, writing prompts, etc on a consistent basis. Here are some key aspects for parents and students to know as it relates to assessments via E-learning.
- Knowing that students will have access to books, notes, and other materials, there is a strong recommendation for teachers to create assessments that require high order thinking skills from the students and steer away from multiple choice, true-false and fill in the blank questions.
- One of the hardest aspects of E-learning for teachers is for them to accept that the academic integrity of their course and/or “classroom” is compromised in some fashion. There were multiple violations of the Academic Integrity policy reported to the Dean of Students during our first nine days of E-learning. We appreciate our teachers remaining diligent in this area and thank the many, many students who have remained committed to their own academic integrity and have not participated in any form of cheating.
Parents - We ask that you please spend a few minutes speaking with your child about the virtue of honesty and what they gain by remaining committed to the Academic Integrity Policy. Teachers will continue to report to the Dean of Students any alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and students will be held responsible for their actions. We need and appreciate your support in this area
- Teachers have been encouraged to create assessments that are shorter and cover less material than what they would use during a “normal” school year. This may require assessments be given with greater frequency than normal.
- Teachers will be using a Canvas feature for assessments that allows them to set an allotted amount of time for a student to complete an assessment once he/she has started the assessment. Completion of assessments will follow the already established timeline for work to be completed - 7:30 AM - 7:30 AM.
Second Semester Exams - I will be meeting with our department chairpersons and administrative team the week of April 13 at which time we will discuss the many variables and options related to second semester exams. The decisions that come from this meeting will be conveyed to students and parents in a timely manner.
Senior Activities - During these past two weeks I have had countless conversations with Catholic school administrators here in our archdiocese as well as in Catholic schools all around the country. While there have been many issues to discuss, the most consistent and compelling one has been, “What can we do for our seniors?” There are many, many people all over the world praying for high school and college seniors and their families. Roncalli High School remains committed to holding as many of our special, year end senior activities as possible, with the understanding they may not be held on their originally scheduled date. In the coming weeks, we will communicate with our seniors and their parents as clearly, quickly and consistently as possible as we gain greater clarity on the status of these events. Please email me at email@example.com with any questions, suggestions, etc.
Resources - Be sure to check the coronavirus link on the front page of our school’s website. It has a variety of resources designed to assist students and parents with the many different challenges inherent with E-learning and/or the coronavirus.
Wow - Lots to digest for sure!! Thank you for all the support you are providing your child during these unprecedented times! I have always believed in the adage, “That it takes a whole village to raise the child.” That may never be more true than during these days of extended E-learning. All of us at Roncalli remain committed to assisting you and your family in any way (spiritually, academically, emotionally, financially, etc.). Together, we, The Roncalli Family, will rise above any and all challenges created by this worldwide pandemic.
“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
God bless you and keep you and your loved ones safe!
St. John XXIII, pray for us!
“Life Prep” Days (Potential ideas for students/families to use on these days will be communicated to them on a weekly basis)
- Wednesday, April 8 - Board Game Day
- Wednesday, April 15 - Create Day
- Wednesday, April 22 - Pray Day
- Wednesday, April 29 - Family Day
- Wednesday, May 6 - Outdoor Day
- Wednesday, May 13 - Spirit Day