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Considerations for Culture in a Remote Setting

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This resource is intended support leaders in thinking about systems, structures, and routines in a remote setting.

Physical and Emotional Safety

  • Establish a remote learning code of conduct. What are the expectations around chat box comments or taking screenshots of virtual meetings?
  • Create clear and accessible pathways for students to contact school counselors and psychologists.
  • Keep online communities password-protected.
  • Utilize virtual backgrounds for students who may be uncomfortable showing their home or current setting on screen.
  • Start meetings or classes by checking in with students about how they’re feeling before moving into academic content.

Respect for diversity, inclusion, access, and opportunity

  • Understand there will be wide-ranging homework environments, including varied access to electronic equipment and quiet work areas.
  • Be sensitive to disparities in the health and financial challenges facing households.
  • Calibrate workload thoughtfully. Some students may thrive on continued academic intensity and rigor, while others may need some space and breaks.
  • Beware of possible COVID-19-related biases and stigma.
  • Provide academic materials in as many formats as possible. Record virtual lessons or meetings, provide both digital and printable copies to broaden your reach.
  • Consider opportunities to leverage individual student skills in technology, digital design or podcasting.
  • Consider augmenting lessons with family members as guest speakers to share their profession, hobby or background as relevant to your content.

Relationships

  • Continue to make space for students to work together through group projects, online breakout rooms and virtual extracurricular activities. Many students are missing the social stimulation of being around friends and peers during this time.
  • Organize a network of students to reach out to each other beyond their friend groups.
  • Hold space for adults to connect through virtual department and faculty meetings. Recommend those who are adapting more easily to help others who are struggling.
  • Encourage educators to incorporate personal check-ins with each student, or hold office hours.
  • Incorporate synchronous learning time to help students and educators feel more connected.
  • Make an effort toward transparency and collaborative decision-making. Include a range of voices in setting community expectations and learning goals.

Supportive teaching practices

  • Support teachers with remote learning professional development opportunities and set realistic community expectations.
  • Model the patience and compassion that you also expect leaders, educators, students and parents to show each other.
  • Move toward individualized learning goals for students, allowing them to self-select the level of challenge they need and can handle right now.
  • Maintain a whole-child approach by linking academic content with opportunities to teach empathy, responsible decision-making, ethics and citizenship, conflict resolution or emotion regulation.

Sense of community

  • Maintain rituals and routines (e.g. morning announcements, weekly newsletters).
  • Use social media to highlight the great work of students and teachers with others in the community.
  • Prioritize communication and outreach to families.

Traditional School Culture Structures & Options for Remote Setting

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Traditional Structures

Norms/Values and Systems/Routines

Remote Setting Structures

Whole School Community

Students

  • Morning Meeting
  • Bulletin Boards
  • Assemblies/ Announcement

Families

  • Newsletters
  • PTO/ PTA/ PTSA

Staff

  • Staff Meetings
  • Mailboxes

Norms/Values

  • Model values
  • Everyone can ask questions & give feedback
  • New information is shared at the same time
  • Acknowledge & celebrate staff and students

Systems/Routines

  • Introduce systems
  • Updates on current issues
  • Review calendars - what’s on deck?
  • Zoom Meetings
  • FB Live
  • YouTube Videos
  • Family Messaging System
  • Email
  • Conference Calls
  • Mailed Newsletters

Staff 

  • Grade Level Meetings
  • Collaborative Planning Time
  • Department Meetings
  • PLCs
  • Student Work Analysis Meetings

Norms/Values

  • Ask questions peer to peer
  • Solutions oriented

Systems/Routines

  • Collaborate to support students: academics & socio-emotional
  • More granular - what’s on deck?
  • Sharing parent concerns
  • Review data 
  • Zoom Meetings
  • Text Groups
  • Conference Calls
  • Email

Students

  • Classroom routines
  • Advisory/ Homeroom
  • PBIS 

Norms/Values

  • Peer to peer collaboration
  • Students are valued as individuals
  • Culture of Joy

Systems/Routines

  • Intro Routines: Attendance, Bell Ringer, Do Now
  • Greetings/Community Circles
  • Restorative Meetings & Behavior Support
  • Student leadership opportunities
  • Select Student work to share
  • Positive call home 
  • Individual acknowledgements
  • Planned shout out time 
  • Gratitude circle
  • E-learning Apps/ Platforms 
  • Streaming video platforms
  • Text groups
  • Email
  • Conference Calls
  • Digital awards show
  • Mailed Letters
  • In-home PBIS 
  • Online PBIS

Families

  • Drop-off/ Pick-up
  • Calls, texts, or letters home

Norms/Values

  • Timely sharing of information
  • Transparency

Systems/Routines

  • Feedback on student progress: academics & socio-emotional
  • Celebrate students

  Family Messaging System

  Texts

  Phone calls

  Email

  Mailed letters

School Culture Plan for a Remote Learning Setting

Click here to download this section to Word. 

This planning tool will enable you plan for the various aspects of school community for each stakeholder group.

 

Physical & Emotional Safety

Respect for Diversity, Inclusion, Access and Opportunity

Relationships

Supportive Teaching

Practices

Sense of Community

Teachers/Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Families