Remote Learning

If you've chosen Remote Learning for Fall 2020, we'll provide you with as many tools to help make things as smooth as possible. In this section, we'll update grade-level daily schedules and provide Enrichment Resources.

To stay current on Community Health Updates
regarding COVID-19, Click Here. 

Enrichment Resources

MCS Specialists and Teachers have put together fun activities and challenges for your students! These resources are meant to enrich your student's remote learning.

Elementary Remote Learning

  • Mariners elementary remote learners will be assigned to an MCS grade-level classroom and will follow the daily instruction schedule as designed by that teacher
  • Remote learners will attend live instruction with the in-school students for the core subjects of English and Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Bible
  • Students will continue learning through independent work time and/or small group learning activities
  • Schedules will vary according to grade level and teacher
  • The typical schedule below provides a sample of the daily commitment for a Mariners elementary remote learner

Typical Schedule for K-5*

Class Time
Morning Meeting and Bible 8:10-8:40
English Language Arts 8:45-10:00
Snack Break 10:05-10:25
Math 10:30-11:30
Lunch Break 11:35-12:10
Read Aloud 12:15-12:35
Writing Workshop 12:40-1:00
Social Studies/Science 1:05-1:50
Office Hours/Independent Study 1:55-2:35

 

  • Students will utilize a unique weekly Zoom link for their class throughout the day to access the live instruction
  • Virtual Specialist Camps and the Remote Learning Enrichment Board will provide enrichment opportunities in lieu of Specialists classes.

* Wednesdays are typically late start to allow planning time for teaching teams

Middle School Remote Learning

  • Middle school remote learners will participate in a full, multi-period day that follows the same bell and class schedule as their in-school learning peers. Through Zoom, students will “rotate” to each period throughout the day and participate in live instruction and learning. Schedules will vary from this example based upon class placement and grade level.
  • Between each period, students will log out of that period’s remote class and into the next using unique Zoom links specific to each class and teacher
  • Virtual Specialist Camps and the Remote Learning Enrichment Board will provide enrichment opportunities in lieu of elective courses
  • 7th and 8th graders who choose to enroll in Spanish will be provided an independent study course that is strictly remote. More details to come.

Click here to see an example Middle School schedule

14 Helpful Tips for Supporting Remote Learning

Talk to your children about this new territory of remote learning. Establish your expectations together, determine the roles and responsibilities for each member of the family, then develop the ways you will hold each other accountable to those expectations and roles. Consider creating a family remote learning contract that each of you sign. The more explicit and upfront you are regarding what to do, what not to do, how the day will be structured, how you will help each other, the less frustration and conflict you will have. With clear expectations and a commitment from each person to do their part, you will have something to point to when sticking to the daily schedule becomes difficult.

The teachers have provided a daily schedule to follow. As much as possible, stick to that schedule. It will provide students and parents the guidance in developing these new routines and a new “normal”. In addition, by implementing the teacher’s schedule, parents can be saved from the headache of trying to rally their child. You can use the teacher’s as great leverage in remote learning and the teachers do not mind if you do! We want to help you be as successful as possible so we don’t mind being the “bad guy”!

Because your child has so much routine and structure within a school day and the school environment, where possible, we recommend you continue to provide the same structure and routine during the closure. Continue to wake students at the normal time, have them dress (uniforms only, just kidding), eat breakfast, and start their school day as they would when school is in session. During the “school day” follow the teacher’s schedule and, during times blocked out for “enrichments” take advantage of all the resources provided on the Enrichment Resource Board. Consider making your own weekly enrichment schedule where you require the student to choose from any of the offerings on the board and complete them, including PE. During blocked recess or lunch times, have them go outside and truly take a break. It is highly recommended students are not on a device during break times. We do not allow that at school, so feel free to continue the same expectation at home. End the school day at the time designated by the teacher and then allow the afternoon and evening to include free time. Some students, particularly middle schoolers, may have homework as well so continue to provide any necessary homework time as well. 

Maintaining a “typical” school day routine will not only help manage the remote learning day, but it will also allow for a smoother transition when school resumes.

We recognize the school closure and remote learning significantly impacts the family. We thank you for your support and we are here to support you. Understanding the disruption to normal routines, we know families will need some flexibility within the day. Though we have provided a daily schedule and recommend following it as closely as possible, we also recognize there are many things families are juggling, including potentially working from home, so flexibility will be key. If you are not able to follow the daily schedule, we ask that you do everything possible to prioritize the live Zoom sessions with teachers. These will be key and most important. Whether it be whole class instruction, office hours set by specific teachers, 1-1 check in times, or other live Zoom ins, please do everything possible to have your student attend those sessions. In the event that a student is unable to attend, each live session will be recorded and shared. It is important to note that, depending on the length of the session, it may take some time to post and share the recording. The posting may not be immediate but could take several hours (like it is taking today) to be downloaded and shared. Teachers want to see their students faces and the students need to see theirs. It will be reassuring and an important piece of relational connection that everyone will need during this time. As much as possible, Zoom in live.

Schooling at home is very different than completing homework. It will require more diligence in minimizing distraction and providing a learning environment conducive to sustaining long term focus and attention. Help students create their own learning space and designate an area as their “classroom”. This will help students transition to learning even while at home. 

Considerations for Home Learning Environment 

  • Quiet and as distraction free as possible
  • Well clean, void of clutter 
  • Seated with table top space, not on a bed. 
  • An appropriate, non-distracting backdrop. 
  • Surrounded by a Learning Zone where outside distractions are prohibited
  • No tech other than the learning device 

Within the home learning environment, minimize distractions as much as possible. We HIGHLY recommend parents eliminate technology distractions. Consider implementing the school’s rule of “bell to bell no cell” at home. When students are completing their school work or Zooming In, do not allow cell phones, TV, personal devices to be used. Preserve and protect instructional time just as we do at school. Consider other distractions that should be minimized as well-- pets, siblings, toys, etc. While many of these are unavoidable, working to restrict them from the designated learning space will help students maintain greater focus.

If you are struggling, reach out. This is true for any aspect of remote learning. You are not alone!  Even more so, if you find that it is a struggle to get your child to cooperate, buckle down, complete work or the like, please let us know. The teachers have developed wonderful relationships with their students. They would be happy to speak with your child and help rally them to be onboard. They will encourage your child to be helpful toward you and to work cooperatively as well. We can and will be a team together to work toward the benefit of your child.

As we transition to remote learning, good attendance and good behavior are still important and prioritized. To that end, we have adjusted attendance and behavior monitoring to better support online learning. Teachers have shared their behavioral expectations will be supported by administrators through this Remote Learning Good Choices Plan. Just because the classroom is now online doesn’t mean respect and focus aren’t important! There will be accountability for disrupting this learning environment or misuse of technology platforms because learning is still happening! Consistent attendance is also important and will be monitored by teachers and administrators. To learn more about how attendance will be monitored during this time, click here.

We ask all parents to monitor students closely particularly in the initial days of the launch. No matter the age, transitioning to remote learning will come with a steep learning curve for all. There will be much more to manage all of which will be a little more challenging to maintain. Therefore, it is important that teachers and parents are monitoring work completion and progress more closely. Teachers are committed to data driven instructional practices, check ins individually with students, and assessing the progress of learning consistently. Parents will also need to monitor students closely. The need for high monitoring should lighten once they are in the routine but accountability from parents and teachers will always be necessary.

It is important to focus on the academics, but, more important, is the focus on mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We should not underestimate the impact this is having on our children. We do not want remote learning to overwhelm them just as we don’t want the state of the world to overwhelm them. Everything can be an opportunity to learn in a different kind of way. Not everything has to be done by the book. So, feel free to get creative. Go on a walk and it can become a lesson in observation (science, history). A trip to the grocery store can infuse math or organizational skills, take advantage of virtual field trips, or play an educational game (many resources provided on the enrichment board). Get some chalk and use that to practice spelling or sight words. Feel free to spice it up a bit and break up what could start to feel a little monotonous for all.  Maybe, just maybe, one of the blessings that will come during this time is the blessing of true, uninterrupted family time. Bonding, playing games together, building forts in the living, camping in the backyard, cooking dinner together, making up crazy stories and sharing them around a fire, create a family iMovie, do crafts, take a “choose your own adventure” walk. God could be drawing us to slow down and be together and there could be great fruit from this as well! I know my family desperately needs this and I’m sure yours does too!

Based on an order issued today by officers of the Orange County Health Care Agency (cms.ocgov.com) “All public and private gatherings of any number of people, occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.” MCS fully supports this order and we ask all families to do the same. The more we do now to flatten the curve and slow the spread, the better we will be in the long run. Though it appears that children, who can be carriers of the virus, are either asymptomatic or showing slight (coldlike) symptoms, there is much still unknown about the virus and it is highly possible that they can spread the virus to adults and to the vulnerable. Avoiding gatherings and playdates is necessary. Difficult, yes, but important. Feel free to get creative on how to stay connected during this time of necessary social distancing. Maybe consider opportunities for a grade level class or homeroom to all connect.  In addition, as you think creatively, consider ways to make sure this doesn’t become exclusive and that students do not become left out. This does not mean students should not continue to connect with their closest friends. We are just asking, when it comes to larger groups connecting, that families find ways to be inclusive as well. With social distancing comes social isolation and we want to be considerate and loving to each other.

If you are having technical issues, please do not feel like you have to wrestle through them alone. You can let your child’s teacher know and they will forward your request on to the tech team or you can contact them directly through our Help Desk. There are several ways to generate a helpdesk ticket.

 

  1. Via the my.marinerscs.org website. There is a link on the bottom right of the page parents can use to create a helpdesk ticket.
  2. Via the new resources web page: MCS Enrichment Resources Board: a link will soon be added to this page that parents can click on to create a help desk ticket.
  3. Sending an email to helpdesk@marinerscs.org.

This tip might sound opposite and even contradictory to what we normally say or what has even been said above in regards to break times during the school day but bear with us a little. While the students will be on a device for learning far more than they usually are and it will be important to monitor screen time, now is probably not the time to ban all personal device use. This is for your own sanity! Cut yourselves a little slack when it comes to allowing your kids time for watching a movie or a TV show or playing games. Yes, even during the school week. Of course, everything in moderation, and definitely not during learning, but much more will be required of you, so you just might need a little down time too. It’s ok!

We are learning with you and online learning is new to us. We can learn from each other and we want to learn from each other. We will check in with a parent survey in a week or so but, in the meantime, please let us know how we can improve and support. Your feedback is valuable and we need it to improve. Please share any helpful, productive, and constructive thoughts regarding your experience and/or your child’s experience so we can get better together.

Some students are self motivated, some are not. Some can be motivated at times and then not at other times. Actually, this is probably true for all of us! In all of the new, the adjustments, and with you taking on the role of teacher at home, consider incentives that may help keep your child on track. Just like we might now allow our children dessert before they finish their dinner, think about ways you can set up a completion-reward system. Teachers absolutely use incentives so feel free to establish your own as well. And don’t feel guilty if you need to add a little bribery into the mix! 

This is unfamiliar territory for all of us. As parents, you have been thrown into a situation that could seem overwhelming and even a little bit scary. Teaching your kids at home? Managing a school day? Being stuck at home, all day, every day? With my children (lol)? Yup! But, here’s the deal. GRACE. Give it to yourselves. To each other. To your children. This remote learning will not be perfect. The school day will not be perfect. And all of that is OK! One day at a time. We do the best we can with what is right in front of us. Expect the bumps and take them in stride. It’s all new and we are learning together. Think about the capacity that God is growing in us right now that we aren’t even aware of. He will equip you for the day’s work. He will be with you and empower you. Take a deep breath and give yourself all the grace you deserve. And, don’t forget, we are here for you too! I recently read something that has stuck with me and I pass it along to you, “I would be so bold to say that this might be the blessing you never thought you wanted.”

MCS COVID-19 Relief Fund

We're all in this together. Help us provide financial resources to those in our community who have been effected the most by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

300 Fischer Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone 714.437.1700 • Fax 714.437.7976
© 2019, Mariners Christian School. All rights reserved.

TOP