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Quarterly Update from EH Principal

Quarterly Update from Eden Hall Principal
March 27, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians,
As we move through this difficult time, burdened by the stress of what is happening around us each day, and a seemingly endless barrage of bad news, we all hunger for calm and reassurance. To help provide this for me, I spent time reading a few books about our favorite neighbor, Mister Rogers. He reminds us that people seek comforts--even small ones-- in the face of something unfamiliar and overwhelming. One of those small comforts has become his famous advice to look for the helpers. Mister Rogers states, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." Over the next couple of weeks, everyone (students, staff, and parents) will be looking for the helpers. We all need to feel comfortable asking for help. This is new and scary for everyone, especially our students so I encourage our families to reach out and ask for help.
Eden Hall Collage
Our new norm has shifted to virtual classrooms and remote teaching. Such a shift requires a willingness for us all to take chances and learn in an unfamiliar way. Our shared goal at this moment where the landscape is constantly changing is to ensure continuity of learning, student engagement, and constant support to families. We recognize that students, staff, and families will all have different starting points and we will continue to work together and make the necessary adjustments to make this experience positive for all. I want to thank all of our helpers at home for all that you are doing to support your child. 
A community for learning
In Dr. Miller’s recent update, he shared the concept of “People Helping People”. This concept emerged from one of his 42 calls home to families that are taking place each week. The idea is to establish a “volunteer network of helpers at each grade level and in each biome at Eden Hall. These helpers would be willing to assist other families in that grade level/biome with questions and/or strategies to navigate the current structure and logistics of learning at home. Please refer to the Eden Hall website for more information and to volunteer as a helper.
Another way that we are working to support our students and families is by gathering feedback through student surveys. I will be sharing a survey every Thursday morning with students asking for their feedback. This is one way we can identify what is working for our students and what needs they may have and possible changes we can make on our end. The survey will be sent out every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. and will remain open until 3:00 p.m. that same day. We will then look at those results, share the feedback with staff, and look at any necessary adjustments that need to be made to support student learning.  
Pine-Richland School District will continue to follow the regular 2019-2020 Academic Calendar. This means that the weeks of April 6th and 13th are both three-day weeks for students. Staff will organize lessons around this timeline and pace the amount of learning activities assigned during these shortened weeks. Report Cards are scheduled to be released on April 1st (not March 27th as originally planned). Please keep in mind that any student still needing a Chromebook to complete assignments can complete the request form at the bottom of the page.
Thank you again to our students, staff, and families for all that you are doing to make this difficult time positive. I have been reminded several times that our students are a valuable resource and can teach us (adults) about the sense of resiliency. To many people, resiliency means bouncing back during a difficult time, but I think this experience goes beyond that definition. In this situation, resiliency means learning from the process in order to become stronger and better at tackling the next challenge. Please know that we truly care and will continue to support all students, staff, and families during this challenging time. We are here to help!
Steven Smith