April 3, 2020
Good Afternoon OPA Families,
As we finish our second week of remote instruction and transition to a week of Spring Break, I want to thank everyone for their hard work, compassion, and flexibility over the past few weeks. This has been a tough time for our nation, our school, and the entire world, but because of the strength of our OPA family, we will get through this together. And we will be a stronger community and educational organization on the other side of this crisis.
As we look forward to the rest of the school year, it appears that remote learning will likely continue until summer. As many of you may be aware, both Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, announced earlier this week that California Schools will likely remain closed through the end of the school year. While this news is sobering, yet not unexpected, at OPA we are staying the course we mapped out to provide a quality education through distance learning. To that end, we will continue to improve our remote learning experiences and increase the rigor and quality of our program. It is our hope that all OPA students will remain on track to cover all state standards for their grade level by the end of the academic year. These past weeks, your input has been invaluable as we learn how to help families create a healthy balance that keeps students on track and takes into account the realities of family life under these very difficult circumstances. We are committed to partnering with our families to realize this balance and know it is a work in progress.
Beginning after Spring Break, all students are expected to participate in online Zoom sessions, complete both online and offline schoolwork, and participate in any small group support lessons scheduled. If your family has scheduling issues, please reach out to your student’s professor(s) and they will try to accommodate your needs. We will continue to be as flexible as possible but need parent support to encourage student attendance and engagement in order to assure that our champions do not fall behind academically. We understand that many families may still be working during the day, so we understand this imposes hardships on everyone. Therefore, we will continue to monitor the workload for each grade level to assure students remain engaged but are not overwhelmed. We will also be grading student work, in order to inform instruction and provide feedback on progress to students and families.
Next week is a time for everyone to recharge, spend quality family time, and get ready for a strong finish to the school year. I encourage families to take a look at the list of virtual and at-home activities that have been compiled by our staff and Honor Society. We are calling it Spring Break Champion Camp! It is a great resource for fun things to do while isolated in our homes, and includes virtual field trips, fun science experiments, and physical fitness ideas for the whole family. Honor Society also created fun “Theme Days” for students and families, and we encourage families to keep in touch with each other and set up virtual “playdates” through online platforms so that kids can remain connected with their classmates.
We also encourage you to continue to visit the COVID19 Resources page of our OPA website. Gretchen Pleuss, our counselor, has created a great list of resources regarding mental health, mindfulness, meditation, and stress. Our list of Champion Camp resources will also be available on the website.
We hope that you all have a wonderful Spring Break and look forward to seeing you back at school (virtually!) on April 12, 2020. We also hope that all OPA families will continue to follow the state and federal guidelines and stay at home. Please stay safe and healthy! Happy Friday, Champions!
The Oxford Preparatory Academy Administration Team