Dear DSST Families,
Welcome to DSST E-School! We are thrilled to begin offering our students a new experience for continued learning beginning Wednesday, April 8th. As a network of educators, we are choosing to view this challenging moment as an opportunity to live our values, to use technology in new ways and to foster innovation and creativity--all in service of our students. We know this is a stressful time for parents and we hope that you will find the structure and teacher-led approach to DSST's E-School helpful as you navigate your own family schedule during this unprecedented time.
We launched E-School with our entire DSST team yesterday--almost 800 people! Our teachers are excited and ready to move forward. If you are interested in understanding more about the E-School effort, here is the information we provided to help our staff prepare for this effort.
As we have previously shared, here are some key reminders to set E-School up for success:
- Please have your student up and ready beginning Wednesday, April 8th at 9AM.
- Help your student be prepared by ensuring they have their DSST laptop, power cord and internet access. If you have problems with your computer, click here. If you are having problems with internet access, click here.
- Have your student attend their Advisor’s virtual “lunch” this Friday, March 27th between 11-2PM (your student’s advisor should have shared an exact time with your student.) This lunch will allow them to connect as an Advisory and familiarize them with Microsoft Teams - the platform we will be using with students for E-School. Here is a great video to help you and your student make sure they are able to access Teams.
- Begin to plan with your student an E-School routine based on the daily schedule we have included so that they are prepared to fully engage in April 8. This should include a good work space and morning routine to be ready for school on- time.
As promised, we wanted to share a few more details about E-School.
Beginning Wednesday, April 8th, your student will log into E-School at 8:55AM. School officially starts at 9AM. Attendance will be taken each day. Your student’s presence is critically important! It is our goal that 100% of students will have the ability to access E-School and to have at least 90% attendance each day!
There are 4 content blocks for learning each day, Monday - Thursday. Friday is largely open for one on one support. See these important links for your student’s schedule:
Each content block will be taught by your student’s current teachers, so there will be friendly, familiar faces on the screen. Each block is intentionally shorter than a normal class period and students will take a much longer lunch break than normal. Our goal is to make these blocks highly engaging. Lesson plans are being designed by our most talented, most experienced teachers across the DSST network. They are working alongside Home Office content experts to ensure that the class periods maximize standards-aligned learning.
It is critically important to us that all students--including our students with special needs and our English language learners--continue to receive the support they need and deserve. Teachers will be actively collaborating in each block to facilitate small group instruction. Individual support for students will continue to be prioritized.
We are working on a Student Access Guide that will provide a real “how-to” manual to manage the first week of E-School. Look for that guide right after Spring Break.
We know that there are a number of important questions that might be on your mind: Will there be grades? What about final exams? Will my student get credit for all of the classes they took this year? For seniors, what about graduation? We ask your patience as we continue to work through all of these good questions. Many of the answers depend on a definitive decision about the remainder of the school year. I want to assure you that we are working diligently, day by day, to make the best decisions we can and communicate this information as quickly as possible.
One question that we can answer right now, unfortunately: Senior Signing Day will not occur on April 29th, as originally planned. We are currently exploring alternatives and plan to share more specific information with our senior families after Spring Break.
In order to facilitate quick communication, I urge you to begin using Flyer. If you haven’t done so already, please download the Flyer app onto your phone. It is easy to install and will make streamlined communication with you infinitely easier going forward. You can find full instructions here.
Thank you for your continued partnership. Now more than ever, we are so grateful that you entrust your students with DSST. We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide them a world class education.
CEO, DSST Public Schools