Distance Learning FAQs

Your questions…My answers.  Check back often for updates. Keep those questions coming!

Last updated: 5/25/20

  • Question: Is the new learning required?
  • Answer: Yes! Treat this like school, because it is! While the format is different, the learning continues.  Read your email!  Actually read it!  Seriously, read it!
  • Question: How will I find out what to do?
  • Answer: Check your student email at least once per day. Actually, check your email several times for day. That is how teachers will be communicating with you. I send emails to everyone through Synergy mail so if you are not getting them forwarded to your student Gmail, check your Synergy mail.  As we have been doing all year, everything we do gets posted on this website.  That will not change.  My emails will help you locate the required learning, but really you all know by now how to find our most recent lessons – keep doing that!
  • Question: Is it okay to just start the weekly lessons or do you recommend waiting until the “new learning day” (Tuesdays for Science)?
  • Answer: You can start the weekly lesson at your convenience. The purpose of “new learning days” is to keep students from feeling overwhelmed with work that might become available all on one day. While I post my lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays are new learning days for Science classes so my expectation is you will have other class work on Mondays and I am not expecting you to work on Science work on Mondays.  That said, I am hopeful you will take a few minutes to look over your new Science learning either on Monday or early on Tuesday to help you decide whether you need to attend Science office hours on Tuesday.  Remember, with distance learning you really have to be on top of owning your learning.  Unlike regular school, I will not pester you to get going or be able to see that you are confused.
  • Question: Will there be no lessons taught via Zoom, or will it all pretty much be us reading and teaching ourselves?
  • Answer: Distance learning is going to feel different from in-person learning. The intent is for teachers to post weekly lessons for students to access when they can. My job is to make sure you keep learning, and to anticipate questions you might have and to provide optional enrichment learning opportunities.  My job is to support you, but make no mistake: this will be student-driven learning. Yes, you will be doing a lot of reading, watching videos, and thinking hard about what you are reading and seeing. Students should expect 2-3 hours of work per class per week. Office hours are optional (but encouraged!) and provide students an opportunity to meet and ask questions in real-time. For my office hours, I will be available via Zoom so I can help students “in-person” and use digital tools to show how to solve different types of science problems. Therefore, students will have to be much more involved and engaged with their learning – working through the lesson materials, self-assessing and accessing review or extension materials, and asking questions through Zoom or email as soon as possible.
  • Question: How do we get Zoom codes for the meetings?
  • Answer: I email you Zoom meeting information.  From Ms. Huening:
    • Click on the office hour zoom link.
    • Wait to be admitted to the meeting.  When you are admitted to the meeting, you’ll see and/or hear your principals or deans. They are the hosts of the office hours. Your teachers are in their breakout rooms.
    • Open the chat function at the bottom of your screen and type your full name, grade level, and the name of the teacher you’re there to see in the chat.
    • The host (principal or dean) will send you an invitation to join the breakout room for your teacher.
    • Accept the invitation.
    • Say hello to your teacher!
  • Question: How do I turn in work?
  • Answer: Any way you can think of! I continue to be impressed, amazed, and delighted with the creativity of students when it comes to turning in work. As long as it gets to me, we are good. Here’s an incomplete list of possible ways to turn things in:
    • Email a picture of your work;
    • Create a Google Doc, write your answers, and share it with me;
    • Add a document to a Google Doc and then answer by using the Add Comment feature.
  • Question: Will there be an end-of-year exam?
  • Answer: No…wait, do you want one?  How about an end-of-year Kahoot!?
  • Question: Can I still turn in past due assignments?
  • Answer: Yes please!  Turn it in!  Given the demands of distance learning, I am lifting the late work policy.  As long as your work is your own, it’s OK to turn in work after the weekly “deadline” – the deadline is there to keep you on track with time management.  Just like in regular school (and real life), falling behind with distance learning work can lead to unnecessary stress as the work piles up.
  • Question: How will grading work for 2nd semester?
  • Answer: Initially, our district decided second semester grading will be pass (P) or no credit (NC).  Recently, Washington State OSPI has decided letter grades are back.  Click here for the most recent grading guidance from our school district.
  • Question: Is the Honors option available for 2nd semester
  • Answer: Yes!  See below for subject-specific guidance:
    • For Biology, students who end the semester with an A will receive Honors credit.
    • For Chemistry, students who end the semester with an A and who successfully complete both the Unit 3 Honors Project and Unit 4 Honors Project will receive Honors credit.
  • Question: Will Synergy still be used for grading?
  • Answer: Grading, yes!  To track weekly attendance, I will have an ungraded weekly assignment in Synergy – a score of 1 means we have connected in some way during the week, while a score of 0 means I have not heard from you.  Don’t be a 0.
  • Question: What exactly is attendance?
  • Answer: From Co-Principal Mr. Sallee: “Any 2 way communication in classes or advisory with a student in the form of email or text exchange, assignment completion, zoom office hour visit, or answer to your google classroom attendance questions counts as “Present” in the week. The deadline will continue to be 10am each Friday for students to make contact.”
  • Question: What will we be learning through the end of this year?
  • Answer: Visit the Unit 4 page on the class website for the reconfigured schedule for Biology and Chemistry.  It will be amazing.  You are in for a treat!
  • Question: How is your isolation going, Mr. Swart?
  • Answer: I miss you all and look forward to seeing you all again in person!  With Spring Break over, I am glad to be getting back into a school routine, even if it’s a different kind of normal. My family is healthy and I am so thankful that my wife and I can work from home while our two younger kids attend school via distance learning. The last few weeks during our non-working time, we’ve been busy working on some home improvement projects, working on the yard to expand our vegetable garden, cooking and cleaning, watching way too many shows via streaming services, and taking walks around the neighborhood.  And I finally finished the Dark Tower series (Stephen King).  Finally.
  • Question: Can we see pictures of your pets?
  • Answer:

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Let the learning begin!

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