Continuity of Learning (COL)
Support & Resources
Resources for our Community
- Help Horizons Prepare for Summer
- Ways to Support Our Greater Community
- Fun Activities for Families
- Common Sense Media
- Virtual Volunteering
- Playing It Safe While Getting Cooped-Up Kids Outside
- Wide Open School
- Suggestions from Our Upper School Student Council & Clubs
- Tips in the Age of COVID-19 and Social Distancing
- Keep Kids Entertained, Learning at Home, and Calm
- Social Distancing
- Self-Care Tips
- CDC and Other Help Centers
- Suggestions for Talking to Children About Difficult Topics
- Additional Resources
Horizons is recruiting volunteers to help deliver school supplies to its students, who will be participating in the program from home this summer. If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Maret Site Director Aaron Cahn at email@example.com.
We know that many people are looking for ways to support the wider community at this time, and so we wanted to share some opportunities that are available and also send a shout out to our Maret families who are leading some of these initiatives. Please remember, anyone who is volunteering should make sure to wash and sanitize their hands, phones, and any other surfaces that might get touched regularly during pickups or deliveries, as well as on-site work. They should make sure to wear gloves and masks, avoid contact when delivering, and should call to cancel their volunteer shifts if they are experiencing any symptoms.
Community Groups and Requests:
- #GetMePPE DC area donor form
- Muslim Mask Project interest form
- 3D Print Medical Equipment registration form
- Three Little Birds Sewing Co (Hyattsville, MD) supplies and drop-off information
- Sign up here to join a city-wide network of volunteers to run errands for our elderly or immunocompromised neighbors
- DC Public Schools - In need of volunteers to help keep running their many meal sites for kids in DC during school closures! Please fill out the linked survey.
- Capital Area Food Bank - In critical need of volunteers to help sort and pack food in their warehouse and assist at their offsite food distributions.
- Families 4 Families DMV- Volunteers donate or assemble a week of groceries for families in need.
- Food and Friends DC- In urgent need of extra volunteers throughout the coming weeks. There are two volunteer opportunities: food preparation and packaging OR meal and grocery delivery.
- Food Rescue US- Volunteers with vehicles needed to pick up and deliver food from businesses to DC residents in need.
- Grace’s Table- Looking for volunteers to help feed the homeless each Saturday.
- Martha’s Table - Volunteers needed to help prepare and bag food for their emergency food sites across the city.
- We Are Family- Volunteer to deliver groceries to seniors.
- Food for All DC- Volunteer to drive groceries to seniors, immunocompromised, and other DC neighbors who are homebound. Volunteer here.
- Working with Seniors: If older students are interested in doing virtual volunteer work with the residents of a senior facility by leading games or other activities, being a virtual pen pal, and forging connections with residents who are under strict changes in the visitor policy, contact Krystle Merchant, Maret’s Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Children's Hospital Bloodmobile - There is a huge need for blood right now. Volunteers can donate blood in a safe, socially distant environment. Only a limited number of appointments are allowed at one time so as to adhere to social distancing standards. Please visit the Children's National Medical Center website to learn more about blood donation, to schedule an appointment, and get information on when it might be visiting your neighborhood.
Maret Family Initiatives:
- From the Footers (Sofie-1st, Lexi-3rd, Chloe-5th):
The Footer family has joined forces to help provide food and support to Martha’s Table. Their house is a drop off location (5030 Linnean Ave, NW) on Wednesdays and Saturdays anytime before 1:00pm, and there are a few boxes/bags on the porch to drop off food. People can also use the Martha’s Table drop off at the Maycraft at 1474 Columbia Road, NW 20009. 3 turkey slices and 2 pieces of cheese are the perfect amount for each sandwich. Martha’s Table is really in need of meat and cheese sandwiches if possible, but of course, any food donation, based on the guidelines, is much appreciated.
- From the Marshalls (Brooks-3rd, John-5th, Mac-7th, James-8th):
Families4Families (F4F) is an initiative to provide groceries to families that are facing a critical food emergency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. F4F delivers a week’s worth of groceries to families in need through partnerships with vetted nonprofit organizations. To date, F4F has provided 5,280 meals to families in need in the local area and has replicated its model in six other cities across the country. To learn more, please visit families4families.org or @families4familiesdmv. A recent Washingtonian article featured F4F’s efforts.
- As you may have read in the recent Maret Magazine, Horizons Greater Washington is celebrating 20 years! This important partnership between Maret and Horizons provides academic support, enrichment, and inspiration for K-8 students from low income families in our community. This video was to be shared at the annual Spring Splash event that was scheduled for May 1. Please consider making a gift of any size to Horizons Greater Washington to support the nearly 400 students in the program.
We are so grateful to those in our community who have undertaken initiatives to help others in need and hope that you will find this information helpful in finding ways to support the greater community during this difficult time. If you have any questions, or know of other projects which we should be aware of, please do not hesitate to reach out.
MPA President 2019-2020
Here are some great suggestions from Maret's Middle School:
- Practice typing (www.nitrotype.com or www.
- Read a book from spring reading list (or participate in the new challenge that will be introduced soon).
- Do some Creative writing
- Spring Cleaning
- Baking and Cooking (Easy recipes for the whole family to do together)
- Good Housekeeping has 50 craft ideas to do with your kids if you are up for that kind of “fun.”
- Board games/ cards
- Online pictionary game (https://skribbl.io/)
- Blind Taste Tests
- Chopped Family Challenge
- Earth Day activities over the weekend- garden, bring a trash bag on a walk
- Write a letter to a friend and mail it with an actual stamp
- Start a puzzle
- Do a Just Dance Danceoff (there are many more than just this one)
- Set up a Nature Scavenger Hunt for your family
- Record yourself reading a book for Horizons students
- Visit Virtual Zoos and Museums
- National Geographic -Kids Activities
- Online Sports (from CNN)
- Sew/Make face masks for the family or local organizations
- Chalk your sidewalk with positive messages
- Maret Website has a lot of great resources and links
- Common Sense Media has great suggestions for meditation apps for kids
Common Sense Media provides an "innovative, award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum prepares students with lifelong habits and skills, supports teachers with training and recognition, and engages families and communities with helpful tips and tools."
Maret's Upper School Social Action Club offers these suggestions for volunteering virtually. None of these free opportunities require further encumbering the already overburdened postal system.
“You can help proofreading new eBooks by joining the Distributed Proofreaders team. You will proofread one page at a time, as many as you like, as often as you like. Use the DP forums to communicate with your fellow proofreaders.”
Smithsonian Institution: Transcription Services
The Smithsonian is looking for volunteers to transcribe primary source materials and to participate in their wikipedia project. You can do this from home.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
“Your sightings contribute to hundreds of conservation decisions and peer-reviewed papers, thousands of student projects, and help inform bird research worldwide.” The opportunity gets you outside and can be done with your smartphone as you take your daily walk to get some fresh air.
Translators Without Borders
“You can volunteer with TWB if you are fluent in at least one language other than your native language. Whether you are interested in translating medical texts or translating for crisis response, there are engaging projects available to suit all preferences.”
United National Virtual Volunteer
The United Nations virtual volunteer database has listings for virtual volunteers worldwide. They have opportunities for translation, editing and writing, art and design, research, outreach and advocacy- and much more.
Zooniverse People-Powered Research
“The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. Our goal is to enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets useful to the wider research community, and many publications.
Globe at Night
"The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smartphone."
If you are able, please consider donating even a small amount to the following organizations:
For Students No Longer Receiving Meals at School
DC Central Kitchen
Meals for the Homeless
So Others Might Eat
Domestic Abuse Response for Confined Victims
Donate Gift Cards from Local Businesses or to a Worker Relief Fund
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington's Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund
Donate at a National Level
"How You Can Help Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic," New York Times
Just a few of the recommendations from upper school students to help everyone get through this challenging time:
Stories To Lift Your Spirits –StoryCorps
Monty Python's Flying Circus
That 70s Show
On My Block
Weathering with You
The Game Plan
Good Will Hunting
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Born a Crime
On the Come Up
The Lovely Bones
WAYS TO KEEP BUSY
Learn an Instrument
Tik Tok Dances
Try keeping to a routine
Use Face Masks
Find Time To Unplug
Get Some Sun
You are likely in the same position as many families across the country - facing canceled travel plans with cabin fever beginning to set in. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to practice self-care and healthy habits. It is natural for children and adolescents to feel nervous about the unknown; they are looking to the adults in their lives to provide reassurance and stability. The best thing we can do for them is to give them a space to talk through their feelings and thoughts, while also providing direction for the journey ahead.
- Children thrive on routine and predictability and need this to feel safe, especially in challenging times. One of the most important things you can do is to create order, with some flexibility, in your days. You can start by setting up a schedule that includes regular wake-up, eating, learning, exercise and sleep times. It can be daunting to know where to start but there are a plethora of online resources and sample schedules geared towards making the most out of school closures while maintaining a sense of normalcy at home.
- It can be very difficult to exude a sense of calm to your child when you are struggling to cope with your own anxiety. One of the most important things you can do is to learn and utilize stress management techniques that can help you manage your feelings. Research has shown that people experience an increase in cortisol levels, which is directly related to stress, even when seeing a stranger express stress virtually - a phenomenon called ‘empathetic stress.’ This effect increases significantly if the person shown is an image of a loved one. Remember that as you learn to manage your own stress, you will be teaching your child how to cope with uncertainty and difficult situations as they face them in their own lives and in the future.
- One of the most challenging things for those who aren’t experiencing any sickness symptoms is to practice social distancing. In order to "flatten the curve" and slow the spread of COVID-19, it is essential that we minimize our contact with others outside of our home environments until this crisis passes. This is a time to teach children about altruism and how by acting collectively, we can decrease the number of people who become sick. Our mindset for how we approach this time matters. If we (and by default, our children), view this as a punishment, it will feel like one. However, if we shift our view that this time is a gift to slow down and do things that normally get postponed due to busy schedules, we can find that this is an opportunity to:
- Learn new skills, play games, read, write and create.
- Reconnect with family and friends via phone calls, snail mail, and video chats.
- Tackle projects, get organized and clean.
- Virtually visit museums from around the world and other kid-friendly field trips.
- Get outside, explore nature and exercise as a family.
Remember that this too shall pass and someday life will return to normal. In the meantime, I hope that these suggestions are helpful as you prepare for a staycation this spring break. Our community is strong and we will get through this together.
– Dr. LaNaadrian Easterling, Director of Counseling
Resources to Deal with School Closures
Common Sense Media, 03-18-20
– Jim Steyer, Founder & Chief Executive OfficeAs we all scrambled last week to comprehend the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly compiled and shared a list of resources that families and educators could rely on. With the help of a few extra days, our team of editors packaged the most relevant tips, tools, articles, and more for both families and educators.
For 15 years parents and educators have turned to Common Sense to get media and tech recommendations for kids. Although we'd never anticipated a time like this, we're committed to providing you the best ratings, reviews, and advice so you can keep your kids safely entertained and learning at home.
If you're a parent or caregiver, visit our new Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic hub. You'll find articles, lists, and more on:
- Learning at home and homework help
- Helping kids understand COVID-19 news coverage
- What to watch, read, and play
- How to stay calm for you and your kids
- Spanish language resources for Latinx families
If you're an educator, check out our new Resources for Educators During the Coronavirus Pandemic hub to help you deal with everything from a virtual classroom to student anxiety. You'll find:
- Tools and advice for virtual learning
- Resources for digital citizenship and well-being
- Parent support for learning at home
Our editors will be updating these hubs regularly to give you the most timely advice. And, since we know that not all students have access to tech at home, our advocacy team is working with policymakers and industry leaders to connect all students, wherever they're learning. Stay tuned for more on that.
If you are feeling anxious, taking a break or scaling back from the news cycle. Trust that your school and your parents/guardians will share important information. Try finding a non-digital distraction like reading, spending time with family/friends, or another creative activity.
MEDITATE: Having a regular meditation practice, for 10 minutes per day, can be life-changing. Research shows that meditation reduces stress, controls anxiety, and makes you more mindful and self-aware. Even a few deep breaths in the middle of the day can help you to regain focus and relieve stress. A short, daily practice can be more effective than long sessions, so if you’re new to meditation, try starting with a mindfulness app like Headspace or Calm.
CREATE: Creative expression has multiple benefits for emotional health. It gives people a way to release complicated emotions through music, journaling, visual arts, or hobbies. Extracurricular activities that invoke a sense of peace and calm can be very effective for reducing stress. Try spending 15-30 minutes writing, drawing, dancing, or making music.
- Ask clarifying questions to get a better understanding of what your child is asking.
- Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly, but do not give more information than is age-appropriate and/or necessary. Instead of tackling a conversation or a question in one conversation, you can always circle back if needed.
- Invite your child to ask questions. It is okay if you cannot answer everything; being available for your child is what matters.
- Don’t let your own anxiety take over. Parents can get worried about explaining everything rather than just answering the specific question that was posed.
- Avoid overly focusing on the subject. Gauge how much you talk about the topic depending on the age of the child. Young children may not need to know much.
- Share what you are doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure children is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking.
- Empower children and help them feel in control. Help them figure out what they can do to manage their emotions or change a situation.
- Avoid excessive blaming. When tensions run high, sometimes we try to blame someone or something. It is important to avoid stereotyping or negative comments about a specific group of people.
- Monitor television viewing and social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that may be upsetting when children are present.
- Stick to routine. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping children happy and healthy.
- Reassure children they are loved, safe, and protected by you and others.
TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
National Association of School Psychologists
TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS
Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark
Child Mind Institute (4-Minute Video)
HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS
Harvard Medical School
TALKING TO TEENS AND TWEENS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
New York Times
For questions and concerns about Maret's response to COVID-19, contact the School's Risk Management Team at RiskManagement@maret.org
RISK MANAGEMENT TEAM MEMBERS
|Marjo Talbott||Head of Schoolemail@example.com
|Jon Young||Dir. Bldgs & Groundsfirstname.lastname@example.org
|Susan Epps||Asst. Head of Schoolemail@example.com|
|Maria Lopez||Asst. Head: Curriculum Developmentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lynn Levinson||Asst. Head: Student Lifeemail@example.com|
|Darwin Walker||Asst. Head: Finance & Operationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jean-Philippe Fontaine||Dir. of Technology & Information Servicesemail@example.com|
|Sally Dunkelberger||Dir. of Developmentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Annie Farquhar||Dir. of Admissionemail@example.com|
|Linda Johnson||Dir. of Communicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sheila Davidson||Asst. to the Head of Schoolemail@example.com|
During this time of distance learning, our Student Support Team is committed to continuing to provide support for our students and families.
Dr. LaNaadrian Easterling, Director of Counseling, Grade 7-12 Counselor
Ms. Meghan Keller, Grade K -6 Counselor
Learning Support Specialists
Ms. Rachel Epstein, Upper School Learning Specialist
Mr. Aaron Cahn, Middle School Learning Specialist
Ms. Amy Potts, Lower School Learning Specialist
Ms. Paula Kaplan
Ms. Alison Goradia
Our school counselors are available to meet with students virtually to provide support during this time.
Dr. LaNaadrian Easterling, Director of Counseling, 7-12 Counselor
Virtual Office Hours:
via Google Meet.
If you prefer to schedule an appointment with Dr. Easterling, please email Dr. Easterling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Meghan Keller, K-6 Counselor
Virtual Office Hours:
9-11am Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
via Google Hangout
Parents and students can email Ms. Keller (email@example.com) when you would like to meet and she will send you a link to Google Hangouts (a video chat platform).
Wellness Wednesdays with the School Counselors!
Check HERE every Wednesday to see how your School Counselor's are staying well during this time and to get new ideas about how you can incorporate wellness into your day!
All students should be prepared to participate effectively in the Continuity of Learning Plan. To do so, students will need:
- a reliable laptop computer (with charging cable), a desktop computer, or a tablet computer (preferably with keyboard). Multi-student households may need access to more than one device.
- a strong and reliable Internet connection. (A printer may be helpful but is not required as teachers will operate with a paperless classroom).
If your family needs support with obtaining a device or Internet access, please complete the form below. We will reach out to you directly to discuss.
COL Resources & Information
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Despite our current circumstances, Maret remains a K-12 community that values connections between our Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. To that end, we have assembled a program to match Lower and Middle School students with an Upper School buddy. The goal of this partnership would be to provide mentorship and support to our younger students and needed relief to parents and guardians during this challenging time. Activities could include reading a book together, playing a game, working on a class assignment, practicing an instrument, or just talking (all done through video conferencing). If you are interested in the Buddy Program, please fill out the survey below, and we will be back in touch through email to pair your child with an Upper School student. Thank you for your time!
Assistant of School: Student Life