Back to Hybrid on Monday, October 26
The most important item to announce is the switch to hybrid on Monday, October 26. Next week, students with last names A-K will attend Monday-Wednesday. Students with last names L-Z will attend Thursday and Friday. Obviously the fully remote students will be learning from home and even the hybrid students will have days when they're learning remotely, just like they are right now.
Instruction may look different starting on Monday. Right now, teachers have students just through Zoom, but on Monday, they will have students in-person and on Zoom. Their instructional strategies may start to be different and there might be more asynchronous work for students learning from home. For example, there might be students in class collaborating on projects while students at home are doing the same through Zoom or on their own time.
Lunch, Advisory, and Class Time
With the return to hybrid, students in-person will be eating lunch and this affects the overall bell schedule.
Launch: Project Give Back
We are going to soon launch Project Give Back to give the community an opportunity to get involved with Jasper. Individuals or companies can give back by giving us problems to solve or potential projects. If it's a good fit for a Jasper project or an individual project in Design & Development, we hope to give back by solving the problem or completing the project. Truthfully, this may be one of those ideas that takes a while to reach our vision, but there's no better way to teach kids how to solve real world problems than by giving them opportunities to solve real world problems. Jasper parents, feel free to add problem/project ideas by visiting this page.
Gilded Age Project Coming Up
There will be a Gilded Age project coming up in American Studies that will be due by the end of the month. You're going to notice a lot of different options for kids to pursue. I hope that kids choose something that is of interest to them. Please take advantage of the opportunity to have so much flexibility!
Prepping for Spring
Even though it is only the end of October and the first marking has not ended yet, we are making preparations for the spring semester courses in Jasper - Global Science Inquiry and Design & Development. There will be a survey coming out in the next few weeks asking if you have access to certain materials and equipment at home. We are asking these questions of everybody just so we can prepare to do projects no matter where our students are physically present.
The teachers and I had a productive meeting this week and we talked about one of the biggest challenges to the start of the school year for all of us - building a sense of community for the kids.
The start of the year has been tough - certainly not the way we wanted the students' high school careers to begin. Meeting new people and creating connections is really difficult through Zoom. The sense of community that we wanted to build in Jasper is not where we want it to be so we had an idea ... let's start thinking of ways to build community in ways beyond academics. The result - we just created "mini clubs" to give Jasper students opportunities to do some things they might find interesting, fun, and not necessarily anything related to academics. This gives us an opportunity to get kids together based on common interests and passions.
A course was just created in Schoology called "Jasper Learning Initiative" and it's where general Jasper things will exist. For now, each "mini club" is a discussion post. Students can read a short description and if they're interested, they can just reply to the discussion. It's that easy - and it's completely optional and voluntary. They can do as many as they'd like.
I looked back in my notes from the summer conversations I had with students and tried to come up with some ideas that would appeal to a variety of interests. I'm sure more will be added in the near future, but here's a sneak peak of the 6 mini clubs being offered to the students currently in Jasper:
These were just launched a few days ago and the "mini clubs" will evolve. Maybe there will be ways soon to get the "Outdoor Adventurers" together for a socially distanced hike in the near future. We already had some of the kids get together with teachers for a fantasy football draft this afternoon.
Again, the point is start building a sense of community in Jasper in these circumstances that are so challenging for teens.