(versión en español)

August 26th, 2020

Dear parents, students and community,

As you are aware, the covid-19 virus has created many challenges, including in the educational field. At Hostos School we have taken the best measures we can think of to prepare and to continue providing the best educational experience despite the fluid situation.

Since the beginning of August our teachers have been preparing, and based on the latest guidance from the Ministry of Education, we are prepared to begin the new school year with distance learning (virtual classes).

Besides teacher training and preparation that has been ongoing since the beginning of the month, the following actions will be carried out over the next couple of weeks:

  • – Starting August 26th, the school coordinators and teachers of registered students and the parents of younger one’s will initiate contact. Light but key review material will be shared during this period.  Before classes start, we will ensure all students can access their accounts and connect.
  • – From September 9th – 10th parents will participate in a virtual meeting to get an overview of the tools their children will be using and review suggestions of ways they can support their children.
  • – On or about Sept. 10th class schedules will be shared.
  • – Textbooks, workbooks, worksheets and digital textbooks will be shared during the 2nd and 3rd week of September.
  • – First day of classes is set for September 14th.

Distance Learning (virtual classes):

As you are aware, this is the mode we went into with all our students when the emergency measures were put in place in March 2020. Although many of our students were already used to the use of technology and a blended learning model, students from K-6th grade were less prepared. Besides, being at home provided unique challenges to students and parents alike, especially the younger students.

Based on this experience some best practices, we will implement the following:

  1. All classes will follow the programmed daily/weekly schedule, that will include live interaction with teachers during class periods.
  2. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class for secondary school and first period for primary school.
  3. Teachers will work from school following the daily/weekly schedule.
  4. Students will be required to wear their school shirt during classes.
  5. Teachers will only communicate with students on days they have classes with them and no later than their scheduled class to ensure there is no information overload.
  6. Homework and projects will be broken down into reasonable blocks, ensuring the tasks can be carried out at home and in a reasonable timeframe.
  7. An effort will be made to provide regular feedback to all students.
  8. Teachers will continue to take advantage of the myriad of available online resources and tools to ensure interactive, meaningful, and effective learning.

Guidelines for use of technology by students:

  1. Leave your device charging overnight in preparation for classes, preferably out of your bedroom. (Reduces temptation of using your device until late at night. Screens at night affect rest and sleep which is really important for your development. Try not to use any screen at least 1 hour before going to bed)
  2. If available, disable notifications on your device especially from social networks and e-mail during class time. You might want to do this for other moments also, so it is you that chooses when to check, instead of having your device prompt you.  Each sound, vibration is designed to call your attention which often results in a distraction.
  3. Use your device with purpose. If in class time, only for the task at hand. At home, even for entertainment or using social networks, set a time as to not spend hours aimlessly distracted. (Be aware that most devices and apps are made with a vision of you as a consumer of entertainment and content. The more you consume and time you spend on the site/app, the more money the company makes. Although we all need some recreation and entertainment, unless we make a choice it is easy to unconsciously follow this path. Technology and the internet also lets us create and share. You can define how to use technology and not have it define you.)
  4. If studying from home, create a “study/homework station” where you work from that is distraction free and preferably in an area that keeps you accountable (where others can notice you are working)

We welcome you and are looking forward to working with you during this new school year.