Week 2 of South Hills Zoom Academy concluded on Thursday as we are closed today for Good Friday as scheduled. Thank you to everyone who is writing with words of encouragement and support! I am attempting to return emails to all, but feel I may be missing someone—if so it is unintentional! The staff and I value each and every word we receive from you!
UPDATE 1: BY NOW YOU ARE AWARE THAT GOVERNOR WOLF HAS CLOSED ALL PA SCHOOLS FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. South Hills is included in that mandate.
We are fully prepared to continue our Zoom lessons, and hope you will stay with us, regardless of ability to pay. I fully intend to stay open as long as possible, and look forward to the end of this crisis.
Times like this can be stressful for children as well as adults. Children derive much comfort, security, independence and confidence from structure and routine. They feel most comfortable and feel most secure when they engage in the natural “rhythm” of their day, and confidence grows as they learn and follow specific routines, then gradually learn to cope with small changes in the routine, especially when told ahead of time to prepare and adjust. Gradually they learn to handle increasing numbers of changes, as their confidence grows. For that reason, keeping your child connected to the routine of school, as well as the vital connections of the people they have spent their days with—their teachers and friends!—is especially important. We will still be completing our year end assessments to the best of our ability and are planning a Zoom Graduation and End of the Year Ceremony! We continue to hope the summer term will mean a reopening of our doors and beautiful playground. We are working hard to prepare for the children’s joyful return!!
Even if you cannot financially support us, please continue to have your child participate for all the above reasons! You are part of the South Hills Family, and money cannot be a consideration over your child’s continuation with us!
UPDATE 2: Many of you are requesting individual sessions with your children as we are doing with Kindergarten, and would like to see the PreK enrichment program included. We have had many discussions about this but sadly cannot find a way for it to be possible. The Kindergarten class has only 13 students and two teachers, which makes individual sessions possible in place of recorded ones. Their requirements are also much more rigorous as they are in the elementary school portion of our program. The preschool teachers have 20-24 students in a weeks time. You can see the dilemma.
The teachers are contracted to work 47.5 hours per week. By the time they complete their planning, three recorded lessons each day, plus live sessions and our daily/weekly meetings and trainings, they have all gone beyond that. Plus, they still must complete their annual required coursework and a variety of documentations. We tried to find ways to incorporate the enrichment program, but to date the best we have brainstormed is that I will try to add as much as possible to my music classes. We will add some additional resources when possible.
I continue to pray for us all, and count the overwhelming blessings of having such a talented, dedicated and enthusiastic group of teachers to carry out the vision of South Hills, as well as the amazing families to support and encourage us! We miss your children more than you can possibly image—they are the highlight of each day for us!
If you celebrate Passover/Easter, I wish you a most blessed holiday.
Blessings and Gratitude to all,