Welcome to the Couchside Coffee Portal
Notes from our 7/30/20 conversation:
Above are some of the topics that came up during our latest discussion. If you weren’t able to join, we wanted to share the meeting notes.
(Below this you can find notes from previous Couchside Coffees.)
Stress and Seniors – There is concern about seniors who are stressed already and worried about how their year will go. The college application process adds to their load. The college counseling team has worked seamlessly this summer as we said goodbye to Eric Sherman and welcomed Susan McGuire.
Stress and all Students – General concern about supporting the mental health of our kids. We want to be responsive to our students throughout the year and will begin listening groups after school starts to check in with students. By co-constructing the conversation about support we are sending the important message that they have agency in taking care of themselves, one another, and advocating for additional support. Dr. Leaderman will play a critical role in designing support systems for this particular time.
Stress and Parents – There are opportunities to provide support for our parent community and Daisy is talking with KPA about this.
A/B Split by Alphabet – We understand that, while some families are happy with the alphabetical split of our student A/B groups, some families were hoping for a split by grade level. While there are several compelling reasons for the choice we made, the variable that tipped the decision was health and safety. With the COVID capacity limitations of our classrooms, we cannot safely accommodate many of the classes in person if we were to have an entire grade on campus for academics at the same time. We have many classes that could not safely “fit” on campus in one room under COVID restrictions.
What does Remote Learning Look Like? – We discussed the irony that educators have spent more than 25 years learning to integrate technology into their classrooms in meaningful ways and now we have the challenge of reducing screen time while still supporting high-quality learning in a remote environment. Our teachers have been learning over the summer (and will continue throughout the year) to design the best possible program within these parameters. We are considering the suggestion to have a special back-to-school session to share more.
Teachers and Technology – A question was asked about our teachers and their access to good technology this year. We are working to be sure our teachers have the technology they need to do a great job. This is one of the extra COVID expenses but we feel confident that we will be able to provide for them throughout the year.
Flex Day – There is still some misunderstanding about Wednesday Flex Day. This day allows us to fully engage students in a variety of different sessions to build community, explore special topics, and provide extra touch-points with teachers, and allow for weekly professional development and faculty collaboration time.
Summer Mailing – The summer mailing has understandably been delayed and it will be sent as soon as it is ready. This mailing will include information, forms, and updates on the 20-21 school year. Student schedules and book lists are slated to be shared by Monday, August 3.
Shabbat shalom! We hope to see you at our next Virtual Couchside Coffee on Thursday, August 6, 2020 – 9:00-10:00 AM
Previous Couchside Coffee
Above are some of the topics that came up during discussion. If you weren’t able to join, we wanted to share the meeting notes.
Notes from our 7/23/20 conversation:
• Check-in — We are all doing OK. The novelty of this pandemic has certainly worn off but we are each adjusting to the long-haul in our own ways.
• Silver Linings — Amidst the challenges, we are seeing our kids develop perspective, resilience, and we’re having fun together as a family. People are gardening, getting outside more, hiking with their kids, and finding ways to make the most of this unexpected togetherness.
• What’s App — SWe heard aboutome graderade-level groups that have a What’s App going and we will be checking in with the KPA to see if there is a way they can support organized connecting for all of our families.
• Book Lists — We will communicate book lists with student schedules by the end of July.
• Book Exchange — We have health guidelines and space limitations on campus that make it nearly impossible to hold significant numbers of extra books. We encourage parents to organize book exchanges with other families off campus if there is interest.
• Lunch — We are currently exploring kosher options for boxed lunches. We will keep you updated as we have more information.
• Food on Campus — To provide access to all tables for all students, we made the decision many years ago to follow Kashrut. If we are able to be on campus this year, we will continue this tradition.
• Screening for COVID symptoms vs. allergies/other symptoms — We will continue to consult with our health experts on the specifics of our screening protocol. Talia Anders, our Director of Health & Safety, will be sharing more information on this as it develops, including the screening app we plan to use if able to return to campus.
• Social-Emotional Gatherings — It is clear from both the Governor’s mandate and our conversation with the California Association of Independent Schools that, while Santa Clara County remains on the watch list, we cannot organize any student gatherings either on or off campus.
• Parent Evenings with Dr. Michael Thompson — Stay tuned for several parent evening conversations with Michael Thompson. A clinical psychologist, educator, NYT bestselling author, and child development expert, Michael works with independent school communities around the world.
• Communication — We will endeavor to communicate at least weekly and at any point that we have updates. We know how important it is that you hear from us directly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions or concerns.
Next Virtual Couchside Coffee Thursday, July 30, 2020 9:00-10:00 AM