Updates on WWS’ E-Learning Supports

Bookmark this page for reference on WWS’ E-learning updates during the COVID-19 crisis.
NOTE: Any specific classroom information pertaining to students will also be emailed directly from your classroom teacher, guardian and/or school chair. 

Part time re-opening in June is required by the Ministry of Education and fast approaching! We are eagerly anticipating seeing teachers and students on our campus again and look forward to continuing to support others from a distance. Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School

While we remain hopeful for a quick return to some sense of on-campus normality, unfortunately, at this time, we cannot provide a definitive timeline. Our mindset remains focused on providing the best possible virtual experience and continuing this journey with our students and their families. Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School

I am proud of the faculty and Lower School and High School Chairs’ dedication and commitment this past week, to provide our initial soft launch. We remain committed to delivering a meaningful Waldorf experience during this challenging time and are working hard to make sure that happens. – Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School

We have heard your requests for consistency, clarity, and reassurance that your children will be met through a model of distance education that will also allow you to work. We will aim to choose technology that best supports the delivery of class lessons and eases your role in managing all this in the coming weeks. – Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School

Highlights of the E-learning timeline:

Week One: March 30-Apr 3

Class/main lesson teachers will be contacting students via parents email to connect and provide a preview of the format of next week’s lessons and also their updated contact information including hours of availability for fielding questions. They will also provide suggestions around establishing routines and work spaces to support you and your child’s well-being in relation to home lessons.

Monday,  March 30th: The first week’s lesson package from Kindergarten through to Grade 12 will be sent via email by Monday morning at 8:30 am.  Lessons have been simplified, and are more activity based, with consideration for the home environment. Playschool families can also expect a package of resources.

Please note: The focus of the first week is to establish routine and provide students meaningful activities. Only main lesson work and math skills will be delivered. Other subject lessons will follow in the second week.

During this week, faculty and administration will be focusing our work on implementing consistent digital and non-digital platforms that will better support home lessons and distance learning for the weeks to come.

Friday April 3: E-learning details released with explanation of how to get started, and links to classroom packages & downloads.

Week Two: April 6-10

Monday April 6:  The grades and some subjects teachers will begin our initial use of digital platforms for working with classes and our parent community. Teachers will have developed a plan to utilize the video conferencing in various ways appropriate to the different grade levels, to provide opportunities for warmth and connection through parent meetings, small groups, or live class instruction.

We are exploring and studying additional apps and digital tools (we will share these with you as well by Friday, April 3), as we determine which ones will best fit our community. For some, this will be an exciting time of learning new technology and we are here to assist those less certain.

Next steps Beyond Implementation: 

  • Continue to review and refine our Distance Learning plans for the near future, identifying and resolving challenges and communicating successes.
  • Working with individual families as needed to provide support and learning plans for students on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Creating a plan of action to serve children of essential service workers
  • Working with and adhering to Ministry of Education directives in regard to grading & assessment during this interim period

Technology Support details:

WWS sent a survey to all families on Tues. March 24. If you haven’t already, please complete this so that we better understand our families’ needs. It is our commitment to make sure everyone has equitable access to learning materials.

E-mailing Teacher(s) Directly:

We encourage you to email your teacher directly with comments, questions, and appreciation. It is also helpful to all of us to reply only to the person sending a message, rather than hitting “reply all” to multiple class lists.

Specific Platforms & Classroom Uses

 Planbook is software currently used by WWS faculty for their curricular planning.
Purpose: Enable students and parents to access daily and weekly lessons, calendar and content including live audio and/or video live links and pdf attachments.

Microsoft Teams is a widely used communication and collaboration platform that integrates with Office 365 which is used by WWS.
Purpose: Enable students to upload assignments including pictures and files to teachers, and enable teachers to create, review and give feedback on completed work.

Zoom Video Communications is a remote video conferencing service.
Purpose: Enable students to video conference with teachers/other students. While we are excited about video conferences, you may have heard recent news that the Ministry of Education is working with Zoom to enhance privacy controls for distance learning in BC. While we await updates on enhanced privacy controls we will not be able to provide recordings for live zoom calls. It is however our intention to make all aspects of our distance learning platform accessible; we are working hard to ensure your child’s privacy, while at the same time delivering an accessible platform.

For updates on what to expect for each grade and details on step-by-step technical instructions and online help tutorials on how to get set, view the ‘How to for WWS distance learning‘.

WWS’ Code of Conduct for Virtual Platforms

As you know from clear rules and guidelines set the stage for a healthy learning environment. While our classes are no longer being conducted in person, the needs for clear guidelines remains. Working together, we will focus our first video conference in establishing guidance and expectations for student distance learning. On-line is expected to be the same as in the classroom.

Please read the following WWS Online Code of Conduct understandings to ensure a healthy online experience for everyone.

We are here for you, and hope that through this unprecedented and challenging time you will continue to find moments of reflection and beauty with your family, your friends, and the Whistler Waldorf community. – Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School