Communications from Principal Quirk
What Does Learning Look Like at GHMS?
Students will be engaging in learning experiences that advance their knowledge with new material. These new learning experiences will continue to be offered through Schoology. Students will alternate between Humanieites and STEAM courses on a given day, instead of all courses every day. All courses will hold an optional virtual collaborative session (Zoom, or Schoology Conference) on the days that they are the focus area. These sessions are great opportunities for students to connect with their teachers and peers as they interact with the course work. No new learning will take place in these virtual collaborative sessions, but teachers may use interactive games to review material, or utilize that time in other creative ways to engage and interact with students. Please encourage your student to attend these sessions.
The attached calendar (GHMS Instructional Calendar) organizes each day so that students and parents can see which classes are being focused on (Humanities or STEAM). This updated calendar extends through June 2, 2020. In addition to Humanities and STEAM days, I am very excited to introduce our 20% Time initiative next Friday, April 24th. 20% Time is an opportunity for students to take ownership in their learning and engage in personalized learning based on a topic that they are passionate about. We are dedicating the next five Fridays to provide time for students to innovate, create, and drive the direction of their learning. I have created a Schoology course that provides direction for students. There is a Google Doc on the Schoology course that will help students document what they are learning or creating. There is no right or wrong; this is an opportunity for students to explore their passions and learn for the sake of learning. I have created two videos that explain the concept and practice of this event (20% Time Trailer, What is 20% Time, and how does it work at GHMS?).
Check out the GHMS page on our district website for a new “Online Resources” page. This new page on our website provides information and direction to help improve communication, as well as provide you with information related to COVID-19 and its impact on school operations. Key highlights of this page include a collection of the communication (written and video) from the Middle School, links to staff directory if you need to contact one of our team members, and a link to Schoology Course Information. Schoology has been a great resource for our district as we have worked to continuing the education of our students during the closure. A tremendous feature of Schoology is the ability for parents to setup an account that directly links to their student. This provides the parent with an opportunity to see what coursework is being assigned, announcements that are being posted (schoolwide and course specific), and when virtual collaborative sessions will be held. Parent Schoology accounts are another great way for you to stay up to date with what is happening in GHMS. If you already have an account, you can add the new courses that your student is enrolled in by accessing the Schoology course codes that are posted on the Schoology Course Information Page. If you do not have an account, check out the bottom of the Schoology Course Information Page for instructions on how to setup an account.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our teachers, counselors, or administrators. We are here to help in any way that we can. The staff directory is a great way to find the email address for any of the members of our team. I have also updated the Middle School Schoology Courses document to reflect the teachers that are instructing the courses.