Dear Lower School Families,
Many families shared their thoughts and gratitude this week for the new small-group learning opportunities with Beckie Miller and Nina Wojtowicz in the lower grades; the edits made to improve the clarity and ease of using Google Slides to direct student learning; and for the opportunities for music, movement and creation with Margaret Lea, David Bass, Tori Small and San Valentin. It seems that Lower School families and faculty hit their stride this week and we are so grateful for the continued commitment and hard work our teachers and families are putting into teaching, learning and connecting!
Below you will find some clarification regarding questions we've been asked about assessment, end-of-year reports and class placement for the 2020-2021 school year. Please read carefully, and feel free to reach out to me or Marcy Sosa should you have any questions.
Assessment During Distance Learning
Throughout the school year our teachers used both formative and summative assessments with our students to gauge the level of progress our students are making within the curriculum. Formative are those assessments that collect information that "forms" or influences upcoming instruction, while summative assessment provides a "summary" of a child's learning.
During distance learning, we have been using primarily formative assessments to note the current academic growth of our students, and to plan for support during synchronous small groups. Teachers have been assessing students' understanding through work submitted in Seesaw and Google Classroom, as well as through conversations and work completed in our synchronous small groups.
We will have an end-of-year report that briefly summarizes your child's learning in our distance model. This format will provide families with a narrative report that highlights the academic skills taught this final trimester and describes your child's continued work throughout distance learning. Specials teachers will not be reporting this final trimester, as the concepts addressed during distance learning were optional for families and students.
Class Placement for the 2020-2021 School Year
We are beginning our process of creating classes for the 2020-2021 school year. We are very thoughtful in this process because we want every child to be matched with a diverse cohort of peers with whom they will connect, the classroom teacher that will bring out their best qualities and help build areas of development, and a learning space that will meet their individual learning style. To do this, we consider the individual characteristics of each child, the strengths and passions of each teacher, the student's current class and relationships, and a variety of other factors.
We also know that your partnership is critical to ensuring your child's success. Please use this form to share any information about your child that we might not otherwise know based on their time at Penn Charter and close relationships with teachers. While your observations around your child's learning preferences and how they might match with particular teaching styles or pedagogy are helpful, we ask that you specifically do not request to have, or not to have, a particular teacher. Also, please know that your feedback will be shared directly with teachers across grade levels and subject areas as we work collaboratively to place each child and form richly diverse classes within each given cohort. In order for your feedback to be considered, please complete this form no later than next Friday, May 15 at 12 p.m.
Fifth Grade Transition to Middle School
This morning during Morning Meeting, fifth grade students viewed this video prepared by the Middle School team detailing important information for the transition to sixth grade next year. Next Friday, May 15, fifth grade students will participate in a virtual Moving Up day from 1-2:30 p.m. Students will move through virtual rotations with their homerooms to meet the sixth grade faculty; they will learn about expectations as well as events they can look forward to in Middle School. The fifth grade team is collecting questions from students that will inform this program.
Coming up in Lower School
Lower School Family Meeting for Worship: Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m.
Lower School Spirit Week: Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 22 (details to come in next week's newsletter)
Be well! You are missed!
Director of Lower School