March 31, 2020
Dear Baldwin Families,
Thank you for providing feedback through our survey. We had a 68% community response rate. Although much of your feedback focused on opportunities for program growth in the lower grades, we received substantive feedback for all school divisions.
Based on survey results, our team distilled three areas for growth:
- Expansion of synchronous learning in PYP.
- Grade-level consistency.
- Management of total student workload.
Survey results correlated well with other data points, e.g. direct communications with parents and students, teacher feedback, etc. We were able to anticipate growth areas and had already begun to address these areas at the end of last week.
We will work this week to implement changes intended to advance our distance learning program in the aforementioned focus areas. A follow-up survey will be distributed next week, so as to allow teachers and program coordinators time to affect change and monitor impact. Additionally, a modified version of the survey will be sent to students in MUS to solicit their direct feedback.
We are all learning together. Our educators are learning how to teach in a whole new way, without normal opportunities to sit down next to peers and share practices, borrow materials, or observe pedagogy. They too are subject to the home/work stresses brought on by our new reality. The learning curve is different for each of them.
Similarly, your family has its own distinct learning curve. Normal rhythms are disrupted. Family functions are collapsed into the same space. Normally discrete aspects of life—work, child-rearing, school, socialization—compete for finite emotional, intellectual, and physical energies. It’s hard. We get it. It’s hard for all us right now.
I thank you for your patience, which I know is in limited supply. I can assure you that our faculty and administration are fully committed to serving your children well. We are listening. We will make adjustments as needed.
Please stay safe. Good health to all!
March 27, 2020
Over the past few days, we launched our Digital Baldwin program. We are learning, all of us, in real-time, exactly what this entails. We are listening to your feedback, and working to continuously improve as we go.
Please keep in mind that this is a first for our teachers and your students. Teaching and learning in a classroom setting is a very different experience. While certain instructional practices and learning strategies apply in both educational frameworks, many tried and true approaches do not transfer well to a distance learning concept. Our teachers are working overtime to modify their curriculum, instructional techniques, and learning engagements, and to master the technologies needed to deliver these at a distance. They are sharing practice and tech tips with each other, and innovating as they go.
We will continue to tune our distance learning program. We will modify student workloads as needed. We are working to optimize communication and flexibility. In the coming week, you can expect more synchronous sessions in Elementary and OECC. Tomorrow parents will receive a digital survey. We want your feedback. Help us improve our distance learning model.
Finally, we are all living with uncertainty. It’s a challenge to manage work, school, and family obligations in the best of times, even more so given the current state of affairs. Social isolation denies us crucial and sustaining features of our island culture. We are rightfully worried about the health and safety of loved ones; about the long-term economic impact of social distancing mandates. Our feelings are real, and so is the stress. We all manage these differently. As a reminder and personal challenge, in our darkest hours after Hurricane Maria, we overcame by leaning into the situation and on each other. We are strongest together. I pray we all keep our empathy, our sense of perspective, our sense of humor. We will get through this...together!
Sláinte Chugat! (Good health to you),