Continuity of Learning (COL)
As we advance our COL program, we are more grateful than ever for our strong home-school partnership, which has gained new meaning over the past few weeks. We will continue to update this page to provide a central location for all the information and resources needed to have a successful online learning experience. Feel free to reach out to me at any time to share any thoughts about COL and your experience with the program. — Steven Tejada
- May 4, 2020 - Update to Synchronous Classes
- April 30, 2020 - Course Registration & Advisor Selection
- April 22, 2020 - Revised Schedule for April 20-May 1
- April 10, 2020 - Upper School Update
- April 6, 2020 - Buddy Program with Upper School
- April 3, 2:30pm - Zoom Session for Parents
- March 27, 2020 - Long-Term COL Plan
Dear Upper School families,
As Marjo mentioned in her email yesterday, we are adding more synchronous classes to the COL schedule during these final four weeks of school. One of the clear points of feedback that we received from both students and parents was the desire for there to be more synchronous classes. Our faculty also expressed an interest in adding additional synchronous sessions when possible. As a result of this feedback, teachers now have the option to convert one of their current asynchronous times into a required synchronous session during the week. Please note that the total amount of assigned work during the week will not change. For example, if a teacher holds a 50 minute synchronous class they are only allowed to assign 40 additional minutes of asynchronous work (for the same 90 minute total).
If a teacher decides to use the second synchronous option, they will clearly articulate the plan and schedule for the remaining four weeks of school to students. Teachers who are starting the second synchronous class this week were required to let students know of this by last Friday. Teachers who are offering the second synchronous class next week will let students know of the plan early this week. Advisors have also been asked to check in with their advising group about how they are keeping track of the schedule shifts, since not all periods will be using the additional synchronous option. The schedule here and below will show you the times specific periods would meet for their second synchronous session—these additional sessions are labeled as S(2). The list at the bottom of the schedule also provides you an easy way to look at the time of the original synchronous option (S) and the time of the additional second synchronous session S(2).
Director of Upper School
Dear parents and guardians of ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders,
As we end the month of April, one task that students will need to complete this week and next week is the course registration process for next year. All students will meet with an advisor via Zoom to submit their electives requests and discuss their potential schedule in general. Department Chairs will also be available if students have specific questions. We have asked students to make sure they connect with parents/guardians about their course requests for next year. We encourage you to communicate with your child about this process, and you can also view the Curriculum Guide online in order to review course descriptions, prerequisites, and graduation requirements.
Upper School Curriculum
Students have until the end of end of next week, Friday, May 8th, to complete registration. Once all Upper Schoolers have finished this process, parents and guardians will be able to log in to the parent portal to check their student’s completed course registration. I will send you directions on how to access this form once everything has been uploaded into Veracross. A reminder that elective choices are just requests at this point, and students will be notified of their schedules in June. Building a schedule is complicated and is based on many competing wishes, limited class sizes, and teacher or class availability.
During the second week of May, once course registration is completed, we will be speaking with students about the Advisor Selection process. All current ninth graders will need to shift to a new advisor next year. Current sophomores and juniors will have the opportunity to switch advisors, although the vast majority of students choose to stay in the same advising group. Students will be asked to rank their advisor choices, and we will do our best to match students with one of their advisor selections. We also encourage you to have a conversation with your student about the Advisor Selection process.
Director of Upper School
Dear Upper School families,
I hope all of you are well. As a reminder, students do not have classes this Friday, April 24 and next Monday, April 27 for a much-needed break for everyone. I wanted to let you know of a couple of minor schedule adjustments for this week and next week. We made these adjustments in order to preserve synchronous time periods and balance out the periods impacted by not being in session on Friday and Monday. I have summarized the changes and also circled the adjustments in the schedules below. Please note that outside of these changes, the rest of the schedule runs exactly the same during these weeks. Students have been updated on these shifts, and I wanted to make sure you were also aware of these adjustments.
For the week of April 20-24 (this week)
- Period 7 on Wednesday, 4/22 is now a Synchronous Class at 1pm.
- Period 3 on Thursday, 4/23 is now a Synchronous Class at 1pm.
- Period 4 Asynchronous has been added to Thursday 4/23.
For the week of April 27-May 1 (next week)
- Period 5 Asynchronous has been added to Tuesday, 4/28.
- Period 5 on Wednesday, April 4/29 is now a Synchronous Class at 1pm.
Director of Upper School
Dear Upper School families,
I hope that you are well. We continue to miss seeing you and your children on campus during this time. Although we haven’t been able to see students in person, we get so much joy from connecting with them online in a variety of ways---we continue to hold our weekly convocation via a video, meet with advisees during our weekly synchronous advising sessions, and connect with students during synchronous classes and office hours. This week I had the opportunity to play an online game of Scattergories with my advising group. It was a great way to engage, relax, and recognize that we are just as competitive about this game online as we are when we play it in the comforts of my office.
As we continue to build community and support students, Grade Deans will begin offering weekly office hours for students. We are also encouraging student clubs to meet online and student council is working on an online version of Spirit Week for the community. Last week, Ms. Epstein and Dr. Easterling provided an informative session for parents and guardians on supporting their children with any academic or mental health challenges during this time. We have uploaded the slides on the Upper School COL section on the Maret website linked here. Dr. Easterling and Ms. Epstein will continue providing a Question and Answer session for parents and guardians every other Friday at 2:30pm. The next session will take place on Friday, April 17. Check your email for the Zoom link to join.
We are also looking forward to meeting with you in Advisor Conferences starting next week and running from April 16-April 21. Please remember that as opposed to our conferences in the fall, students are present at these meetings. Advisors are reaching out directly to you about their available times for conferences. As I mentioned in my previous communication, these meetings will be an opportunity for parents/guardians and students to connect with advisors about grades for the third marking period, discuss how the year has progressed, and also provide an important check-in with students and families as we continue our COL Plan. I encourage all families to participate in these meetings.
In preparation for conferences, reports for the third marking period will be available on the parent portal on Monday, April 13th at 12pm. Please note that the reports will only include grades for the third marking period. Additional teacher feedback and comments will be shared at the Advisor Conferences. Once we get through Advisor Conferences, I will also send out information to students and parents/guardians about the Course Registration process for next year.
As Marjo mentioned in her last email, there will be no classes on Friday, April 24 and Monday, April 27. This will be a much-needed break for everyone, and I hope that it provides an opportunity to disconnect from school for a couple of days. Please continue to take care of yourselves during this time, and we look forward to connecting during upcoming conferences.
Director of Upper School
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
Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,
We would like to invite you to an open pop-in/pop-out Zoom session to discuss student support during our Continuity of Learning plan at 2:30pm this Friday, April 3. If you need advice on time management, executive functioning, supporting learning challenges, or mental health concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or join us on the Zoom call this Friday. Please bring any questions you have about how to support students through this process as we all adjust to this new present. Lastly, attached, please find a document with some advice on managing the Continuity of Learning plan that was sent out to all Upper School students this week.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday.
(Refer to your email for the link to join this Zoom session.)
Ms. Epstein and Dr. Easterling
Dear Upper School families,
I hope that you are well, and that you had moments of rest during this atypical break. All of you have been on our minds, as we have continued to work on our Continuity of Learning (COL) Plan and, as Ms. Talbott stated, plan to be off campus until at least April 27th.
Upper School Long Term Continuity of Learning (COL) Plan
Starting on Tuesday, March 31, we will be following our Long Term COL plan (with a Tuesday schedule). The main highlights are listed below:
- Each class meets once a week in synchronous classes (live, online classes).
- Classes also continue to provide asynchronous sessions during the week.
- Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Technology courses have been added to the schedule.
- Advising groups will have synchronous sessions once a week.
- Teachers will continue to offer synchronous office hours once a week, and also be available at other times for students.
A reminder that you can find all of this information on the Upper School COL section on the Maret website linked here.
Synchronous Classes and COL Expectations
I have attached our online expectations for when students are in their synchronous classes. We ask that our parents/guardians help students follow these expectations. Most important is to establish a quiet space for students to access their classes online. During COL, all students and faculty are expected to uphold Maret's Mission and Core Values, and abide by the School's Code of Conduct.
Homework and Grading/Assessments
Teachers will be more explicit about classwork expectations since we know that our students will need more guidance in completing their assignments online. PowerSchool continues to present some unforeseen challenges so our teachers are posting their assignments both in PowerSchool and via email.
Assignments will be both posted online and sent to the student’s email by 9:00am.
Teachers will also give an expected time frame for each assignment so students can plan their time.
Assignments will be marked as (I)-Individual (meaning that a student must do that assignment on their own) or (C)-Collaborative (they may be able to work with a person or small group but the expectations will be clearly stated for students). Even if an assignment is collaborative, students need to submit their own work.
Teachers will give students the assignment value so that students are clear about grading expectations.
Any online assessments must be done honestly and on their own. Teachers will be including an Integrity Statement on assessments. They will put the statement at the end of the assessments with a line that allows kids to type their name on it. (The work I am submitting is mine and mine alone.)
For synchronous classes, students are expected to be available and present at the time of the classes. If a student is sick or can’t attend a synchronous class for any reason, parents/guardians must let attendance know ahead of time via the parent portal. You should do this in the Parent Portal in Veracross. Teachers will follow up with students about any absences, and parents/guardians will also be notified by our Attendance Office.
Progress Reports and Advisor Conferences
Our third marking period ended on Friday, March 20. Teachers are preparing grades which will be shared on the Parent Portal on Friday, April 10th. As in past years, teachers will also provide student feedback that will be shared at Advisor Conferences.
We will host online Advisor Conferences this year. These meetings will be an opportunity for parents/guardians and students to connect with students’ advisors about grades for the third marking period, discuss how the year has progressed, and also provide an important check-in with students and families. As opposed to our conferences in the fall, students are present at these meetings. In the coming weeks, advisors will be reaching out directly to families to set up a meeting time to take place between Thursday, April 16-Tuesday, April 21. Please note that originally classes were cancelled on April 17th for in-person Advisor Conferences---this is no longer the case and classes will now take place on that date.
On Friday, April 3rd, We will open a survey for parents and guardians to give feedback about how the Continuity of Learning plan has been unfolding for their family. This anonymous survey will be open to parents and guardians in all divisions and will remain open indefinitely. The survey will be accessible through the parent portal on Veracross, and, especially in the first few weeks, we encourage you update us on your experience with the COL plan on a frequent basis.
The aggregate results for both of these surveys will be available to Ms. Talbott, Division Directors, and Department Chairs in real time, so we hope to be able to quickly assess and respond to what is working and what needs adjustment.
As always, thank you for all of your support as we continue in our COL plan until at least April 27th. We will navigate all of this together, and know that we are here for support. Please make sure to take care of yourselves during this time.
Director of Upper School
As we continue to support our students during this difficult period of COVID-19, I wanted to share some updates about the AP exams that we received from the College Board. As many of you may have already seen, the College Board has decided that all AP exams will be administered virtually this year in a highly modified manner. Although the College Board is still working on all the details, this is what we do know.
- For the 2019–2020 exam administration only, students will take a 45-minute online exam, which can be taken at home if necessary.
- Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
- For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.
- Colleges are all aware of this change and in many cases are in agreement to accept the scores from these highly modified AP exams. This too is evolving and we will continue to share updates as we receive information.
- Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, you can attend free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. Click here and scroll down for the course schedules.
- While you may want to wait until a later date, after you see how your preparation continues, if you would like to cancel your exam, you are now able to do so at no charge.
I will be staying in constant communication about all of these updates and changes and in particular after April 3, 2020 when the College Board will release additional information about content, format, and dates for all AP exams. Additionally, if you were preparing for the exam in class, your teachers will also continue to be in touch with you in regards to exam preparation.
Additional AP resources and specifics can be found on the AP Central website:
As with everything during this time, this is very fluid and we appreciate your patience. I will continue to share regular updates as we get them, but, as always, please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or concerns.
Associate Director of College Counseling
Advanced Placement Coordinator
Dear Juniors and Junior Families,
On behalf of Dorie Ravick, Krsna Jackson and myself, we are sending you all good wishes and happy vibes as we all continue our schooling, work, and lives from home. Below you will find important information with several sections outlining updates and important next steps for the College Counseling Process. First, please take a look at the table below for deadlines and reminders of ongoing processes and tasks. I am also attaching an audio file to this email for those who best consume this kind of information better in audio form.
The Ongoing Conversation about Testing and Application Timelines for 2021
We have fielded many individual questions over the past few weeks about COVID-19 and its impact on the college process for the Class of 2021. We feel strongly that it’s best not to predict anything at this time. The truth is, nobody has answers. I recently attended a virtual meeting sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education Webinar for admissions professionals led by some of the most influential experts and leaders in the field, and their message was the same: We just do not know yet.
What we do know at this time is that all members of the Class of 2021 are in the same boat. Many of our juniors have not taken an official SAT or ACT to date. In response to this, several colleges and universities have already announced that they will be altering their test requirements for the class of 2021, making the submission of test scores optional. Several schools, such as Tufts University or the University of California system have already made this announcement, joining a legion of other colleges and universities that are already test-optional. Others, like Harvard College, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania are still requiring the SAT and ACT, but have said that SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests will no longer be required for next year’s applicant pool.
What we do not know at this time is whether or not application deadlines will be the same. For now, we will continue to operate under the assumption that the earliest deadlines, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, and Early Decision, will fall in the window from October to November, and all Regular Decision applications will be due by 1/1/21. We will continue to monitor this evolving conversation and share information as we receive it.
Conducting Virtual Research with SCOIR
On March 4th, we provided access to our juniors, and through the juniors to their respective parents and guardians, to SCOIR, a college counseling program that facilitates research, list-making, resume-building, resource sharing, interest profiling and more. Mrs. Ravick and I are walking through SCOIR in our Zoom appointments with students, helping them learn the functionality and guiding them in how to use it. The one assigned task as of now is that all Juniors should have completed their YouScience Aptitude Profile Tests by when we returned from break. Juniors, if you have not yet done that, please do so now. It’s fun (!), and it’s a great bit of fodder for exploratory conversations.
Parents/Guardians: please ask your student to grant you access to the site. You can set up your own profile and even “Suggest” schools for your students to review. As we shared previously, we hope you will first chat with your students before using that function, but once you do, it can be a great way to start conversations about what you see for your child and what the student may see for themselves in turn.
Junior College Class: Weeks of 4/20, 4/27, 5/18 and 5/25
Different from past years, we are upping the ante! On March 4th, we met with the Juniors to talk about our new Junior College Class. The goal of the class is to spend some more concerted time teaching students how to complete the Common Application and how to approach the College Essay. These workshops will be invaluable as students enter the summer, and we want to help provide tips and tactics to ensure students put their best feet forward on these core application components.
Beginning the week of April 20th, juniors will meet with either Mrs. Ravick or Mr. Levey during their free period each week. These meetings will fall the day that period would meet as part of our synchronous COL schedule. Prior to their assigned time, students will receive a lesson, powerpoint, or some guided task related to the topics of our course for that week. During the actual sessions, assigned Juniors will join the counselors for 30 minutes for Office Hours to expand upon the topic of the week. These topics will range from the extracurricular resume to the lovely “Why ____ College” essay and more.
Students are required to attend these check-ins and we will take attendance. We think they will be highly beneficial and informative.
Meet and Greet with Maurice Jackson, new Assistant Director of College Counseling
As you read previously, we are excited to welcome Maurice Jackson who will be starting at Maret in July as our new Assistant Director of College Counseling. Instead of an in-person event, we will be hosting a virtual meeting for Maurice to introduce himself in May. After that initial Zoom introduction, Maurice will be making himself available for his counselees to connect for some shorter “get-to-know-you” Zoom meetings. Further, Maurice will begin speaking with Dorie Ravick about her counselees (soon to be his) in advance of that transition. Please be on the lookout for more information about that virtual meet-and-greet.
Thanks for your time and attention to this letter. We remain delighted about our work together and have loved getting the chance to Zoom with the mighty class of 2021. We share a collective optimism that we can return to normal soon, but in the meantime, we work and push forward.
The College Counseling Team
Spring Reading for Upper School
Maret is a vibrant, K–12, coeducational, independent school in Washington, DC. We ignite our students’ potential; foster their academic, artistic, and athletic talents; and promote their well-being. We develop the mind, nurture curiosity, welcome challenge, embrace joy, and build community that is equitable and inclusive.
- Essential Skills
- COL Goals
- COL Expectations
- Upper School Responsible Use Policy
- Digital Citizenship
- Grades and Assessments
- Upper School Homework Policy
Beyond the content specific to designated academic courses, Maret teachers help students develop the essential skills they need to be well-rounded adults in a rapidly evolving world. Keeping true to our Mission, 0ur goal is for students to use these skills to inquire deeply, think critically, and act responsibly in all aspects of their lives.
The overarching goal of COL is to maintain strong relationships and high expectations among our students, our faculty, and our community.
Maret’s COL program will take place through a blended model of synchronous and asynchronous engagements designed to foster student learning, safety and belonging, and well-being.
- Community connection of learners.
- Strong home-school partnership.
- Integrity of our excellent academic program.
- Ability to meet the needs of, and support, individual students.
PARTICIPATION IN COL—Student responsibilities and guidelines for COL are no different than our accepted and understood campus teaching and learning expectations outlined in Maret’s Responsible Use Policies, Student and Faculty Handbooks, and Code of Conduct. These expectations are summarized below:
- Be courteous to other participants.
- Be punctual.
- Speak clearly and at a regular volume.
- Avoid eating during the sessions.
- Keep body movements and distractions, including other noise, to a minimum.
- Follow your teachers’ directions about muting mics and asking questions.
- “Be Present”—avoid interrupting others, having side conversations and text chats.
- Be mindful of your distance from the camera and how you are seen on screen.
- Be sure that shades/blinds/curtains behind you are closed to reduce glare.
- Be prepared by sitting at a suitable space prepared to work and avoid lounging on couches or beds.
- Avoid sitting outside to keep background noise to a minimum.
- The school dress code is in effect during all sessions.
USE OF COL PLATFORMS—Maret uses SeeSaw, PowerSchool, Zoom, Google Meet, and other online platforms/tools deemed appropriate by the School to conduct meaningful teaching and learning. COL platforms used by Maret are understood to be for school and educational use only. The use of these platforms for any other purpose without written consent by Maret School is prohibited. Failure to comply with this directive may result in disciplinary action.
COL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES—The Maret community understands and acknowledges that COL is a continuation of daily teaching and learning, not only for our faculty and students, but also for their parents and guardians. In addition to the expectations outlined above, it is critical to understand and abide by the following:
- Participants in a video conference (or any other aspect of COL) are expected to comport themselves as they would on campus. Only faculty are to initiate, record, post, and share class videos. Students should not mute and/or disconnect any participant during a session.
- As is provided during our on-campus program, advisors, teachers, learning specialists, and administrators often conduct one-to-one meetings with students when appropriate. These meetings usually entail academic and/or social-emotional support. Virtually, Maret faculty members may meet with students to discuss a range of educational, personal, and/or social development issues. Toward that end, participation in COL and its virtual one-on-one meetings constitutes acceptance of this approach and agreement to release and indemnify Maret and its faculty from any claim whatsoever in the implementation of services, including counseling and related emotional support sessions.
- Participants’ images, likenesses, or voices may be recorded while using Zoom, Google Meet, or other platforms. In some cases, such as recording of synchronous teacher-led lessons, these recordings will be made available for student review.
- Without express and written permission from a Division Director or Head of School, users (including students) may not record, screenshot, share, re-post, or otherwise capture or disseminate digital content created through these or any other platforms. Only representatives of the School may capture or post such content. Failure to comply with this directive may result in disciplinary action.
- Each platform that Maret employs for teaching and learning has specific user agreements. Please review these agreements.
While minimal, there may be risks related to the use of online platforms. As participants in COL, parents and guardians recognize and accept those risks. A student’s participation in school activities via COL serves as a student’s and parent’s/guardian’s acknowledgment and acceptance of Maret’s COL program and adherence to all of the COL Expectations, including this addendum.
Technology is a critical tool that helps us achieve Maret's Core Values by facilitating interactions and providing access to the world beyond Maret. However, this tool requires thoughtful and careful use so that we may foster a learning environment where all members of the community feel both respected and connected to each other. The way we use computing devices and engage online should mirror our Core Values.
Therefore, all upper school students are expected to abide by this Responsible Use Policy
Digital citizenship is an essential skill for our students. Learning how to navigate the complex online world is a complicated process. As students enter the world of technology, we address each stage of this process to guide and help students make good decisions.
At Maret, we educate students to understand how to use technology responsibly and in positive ways. Our students learn strategies to navigate the social, emotional, and intellectual impact of a ever-changing technological world.
Maret is also committed to helping our families and community navigate technology. The resources on this page will help you make decisions that are appropriate for your family. While there may be a tendency to block or avoid technology, it is more effective to determine a positive approach and agree on the standards acceptable for your family.
Maret has partnered with Common Sense Media to provide additional resources for our community. Additionally, digital citizenship and technology workshops will be offered to families during the school year.
Common Sense Media is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives. LEARN MORE
- Be Web Smart - http://www.bewebsmart.com
- CommonSenseMedia – http://www.commonsensemedia.
- CyberWise - http://www.cyberwise.org/
- StaySafeOnline - https://staysafeonline.org/get-involved/at-home/ra...
- MediaSmarts - http://mediasmarts.ca/parents
- Family Online Safety Institute - https://www.fosi.org/good-
Maret teachers in 9th through 12th Grades are going to continue to give letter grades for the fourth quarter. We believe that grades offer a more accurate assessment of our students' progress than would a pass/fail designation. Maintaining our regular grading routines with clear rubrics and feedback loops will provide consistency for students in these uncertain times. Faculty recognize the increased challenges that accompany completing work through our COL plan and will develop curriculum and assessments that are sensitive to these new realities.
COL Instrumental Music Class
- Each US class period has 90 minutes total a day--inclusive of “class,” learning activities and homework.
- Advising meets once a week for 25-30 minutes.
- By 9:00am teachers post assignments for the day, unless that class meets synchronously on that day. Synchronous classes (S) meet between 30-45 minutes.
- In addition to the short-term plan, Performing and Visual Arts classes will be included.
- Faculty will post their office hours, which will be offered once a week for 30-45 minutes.