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SBS Distance Learning Helps & FAQs

DISTANCE LEARNING FAQs


Academic Expectations

• What is expected of students and parents for distance learning?
We understand the abrupt shift to distance learning creates many new challenges for parents and students. Our goal is to help you in this process as we continue directing the education of your child with your support from home.
 
For Lower School students, the daily schedule will be determined by each family as the circumstances of each varies. Lessons will be a combination of recorded videos and live video meetings. There will only be classwork assignments and not separate homework assignments. Assignments for K-5th will be collected according to the teachers’ discretion and direction. Assignments and interaction within the Google Classroom will constitute the student’s attendance and participation. Grades will be recorded in RenWeb and final report cards will be issued in June.

For Upper School students, teachers will be using a Weekly Assignment template that will be posted on Google classroom and the Homework section of Renweb each Monday. This is designed to help manage student workload and provide parents and students a standard means of receiving weekly assignments. Each class will have a teacher-led live meeting each week for the purpose of answering questions and clarifying material.

Overall, the main expectation is that students will continue their daily studies from home as directed by their teachers, with the support of their parents as needed.

• Is distance learning less than what my child would get than if they were in the traditional classroom?
The wonderful news is that the Principle Approach curriculum is very flexible and easily adaptable to distance learning. (In fact, StoneBridge school began as a homeschool experiment!) With the shift to at-home learning, we want to emphasize that we are not paring down learning at all, or minimizing the quality of a StoneBridge education.
 
While teachers have made their curriculum flexible to accommodate family schedules, the core education students receive through StoneBridge will not be compromised with this change in delivery. Our teachers are still directing the main instruction of your children, who are being supported by parents at home during the mandated campus closure.

Academics

• Will we issue grades for the rest of the school year?
Yes, grades will appear as usual in RenWeb. For Lower School, participation grades and attendance will be derived from student assignment submission and interactions within the virtual classroom.

For Upper School students, all high school classes, including most electives, are being offered via distance instruction. Teachers will continue to upload grades into Renweb on a weekly basis. Attendance will be taken in the student’s homeroom/mentoring Google classroom each day. It is important that your student logs into that classroom every day to check in. Computer Enrichment, Math Enrichment, and Conversational Spanish will not continue virtually due to the unique nature of the classes. These electives are a pass/fail classes so grading does not apply.

• What is the plan for end of the year exams for Upper School and Lower School?
There will be no final exams. Standardized testing (Iowa) will be postponed to the beginning weeks of the 2020-21 school year. We will test students at their 2019-20 grade levels using spring 2020 norms so there will be no gap in testing.

• Will we have year-end ceremonies for Kindergarten, 8th Grade, and Senior Graduation and commissioning?
We deeply regret having to cancel 8th grade commissioning and Kindergarten graduation. Our priority at this point is to focus on rescheduling graduation and commissioning for our seniors as this will be their last opportunity to celebrate this milestone with us and their families. We will let you know when we have more information, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. We want nothing more than for all of our students to feel and experience these traditional milestones in a meaningful way.

• What about Upper School course selection for next year?
Course Selection for 2020-21 will take place virtually. Mrs. Lepson will be sending information out soon about the process your student will use to select courses.

• What about major capstone projects like the Senior Thesis and 8th Grade speeches?
We are exploring options for how to conduct 8th grade speeches and the Senior Thesis and will share the plan with parents and students as soon as possible.

School Operations

• How long will the StoneBridge campus remain closed?
On March 23, 2020, by Executive Order, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered cessation of all in-person instruction at all K-12 schools, public and private, for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Thus, our campus will remain closed until further notice, but remote learning is continuing through the remainder of the year. Please refer to previous communication from our administration and your child’s teacher for more on class instruction.

• How will the distance learning model impact regularly scheduled school holidays and half days?
The impact will be minimal as we do not have many regular planned holidays left in the year. On Good Friday, April 10, teachers will not schedule tests, quizzes, or assignments to be due on this day. Memorial Day, May 25, will also be a regular holiday with no assigned work due this day.

• Since the campus is closed, how can I reach someone at the school?
Though our campus is closed to the public, our school is still operating normal office hours. Our faculty and staff are still working hard to support you and your student during this mandated campus closure. For specific class questions or concerns, please communicate with your child’s teacher directly. Teachers are available via email and in their virtual classrooms throughout regular school hours, 7:45 a.m.- 3:45 p.m. Administration and staff are available via from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Please see our staff email list to reach someone specific.

• Will StoneBridge still have on-campus summer camps?
At this point, we are continuing preparations for all our Summer Camp programs. If you have a need for summer programs, you can request more information here, or contact our Summer Cavs Camp Director Lisa Hurst.

College Counseling

• How will the campus closure impact the college counseling process?
For our seniors, the campus closure has had minimal impact on this process as they continue to be touch remotely with SBS College Counselor Christy Hardin. All transcript requests and information colleges may need has either been sent or can be done so easily if requested. Our seniors continue to be accepted to top colleges and to receive scholarships toward their future college plans. Mrs. Hardin is also preparing information to be sent to juniors to help them begin their college counseling process within the next few weeks.

• What about AP exams?
This year StoneBridge School is offering AP Calculus, AP Government, and AP Computer Science. With the mandated campus closure, these exams will be administered differently. SBS College Counselor, Christy Hardin will be communicating to the students and parents on Friday, April 3, with the new test dates released by the College Board, along with new instructions on how they will be administered. Only the students in those classes take the exams.

Student Life

• What will happen for Chrysalis, NHS induction and other end of the year special events?
Chrysalis and most of the traditional end of the events have regrettably been canceled. Spring Chorus, Band Concert and Busch Gardens Competition have also been cancelled. The National Honor Society induction ceremony has been moved to 1st Quarter of 2020-21. The NHS fee will be held for next year.

• What about special days, field trips, etc?
Regrettably, all school-wide activities, field trips, class special days, and athletics events have been cancelled for the remainder of the year in accordance with the governor’s mandated campus closure and executive stay-at-home order.

• Will we have the opportunity to participate in the customs/traditions that are a part of our usual end-of-the year experience?
School administrators and faculty members are addressing this question and understand the need for some kind of meaningful closure for the end of the year. We hope to have some kind of end of the year celebration but much depends on timing. We understand and share the disappointment felt by many.

• What about the annual student art show?
We are looking at options, and the art teachers are continuing to prepare student work for display. We also plan to post pictures of the displayed art on our website and on our social media channels as they are available.

Athletics

• Will athletic teams have a chance to play as a team this year?
No, they will not be able to play on a team sport. Events have been cancelled. For more questions, contact Athletic Director Ethan Walker.

• What about high school P.E. credits?
All team sport activities have been cancelled for the remainder of the year. Since the school closure occurred before the official start of the spring sports season, we cannot issue a sports credit for spring sports. Returning students will have opportunity to earn their P.E. credits in 2020-21.

• What about P.E. activities for Lower School?
Suggested Physical Education activities for Lower School students have been made available in Google classroom. Please contact P.E. Teacher Alex Walker if you did not receive the class code for P.E. classes.

Student Health & Wellness

• Will I be informed if a member of the StoneBridge community has been exposed to COVID-19 or has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
The administration’s priority is the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to follow the guidelines provided by the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
If a member of our community is confirmed to have been exposed to COVID-19, we will notify our community and any person determined to have been in direct contact with that person immediately. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection within our StoneBridge community, the administration will notify parents. We will not share identifying information about the individual infected.

• How can we keep students spiritually and emotionally engaged through the end of the 2019-20 school year?
We are currently exploring virtual options to continue with our regular Thursday chapels for both the Lower School and Upper School through the 4th Quarter. We are also working on a way to stream chapel for Upper School students, which will include a time of worship and a lesson. Upper School mentoring groups are also still meeting virtually on a weekly basis.
 
• Who can we contact for support for our students?
The spiritual and mental well-being for our students is extremely important to us, especially in this season of uncertainty of social distancing. If your child is struggling or just needs extra support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their mentors or teachers. StoneBridge teachers are eager to provide as much spiritual and emotional support to your child as possible during this season.
 

Finances

• Will we be offering any kind of tuition refunds?
Like you, StoneBridge School relies fully on God’s grace and provision for every need. Our annual budget is dependent upon tuition revenue which funds our operations, i.e. teachers’ salaries, maintenance of facilities, athletics, technology, teacher training, and more. Further, our budgeting decisions are based on contracted enrollment.

We have move
d to at-home learning to enable our Principle Approach education to continue, despite the mandated campus closure. As such, our teachers, administration and staff are still working regular hours to support your child’s learning in this season. At this time, we will not be offering any refunds on tuition as instruction is still taking place.
 
• What are the options for offering financial support to families?
We understand the burden the coronavirus and the mandated campus closure has placed on our families. We are here to support you as much as possible as we face these challenges together. For families who have been negatively impacted financially, we will consider ways to provide financial relief as our budget allows.
 
• Will we refund fees?
As appropriate, fees will be credited to your tuition account. The following breaks down the affected fees:
  • Busch Gardens – Any deposits made will be returned from Busch Gardens. All payments have been credited toward the tuition account.
  • Chrysalis – The Founders Inn will be returning our deposit. 
  • Art Fee ($40) –A 50% credit toward tuition, equaling $20 per student.
  • Lab Fee ($50) – A 50% credit toward tuition, equaling $25 per student.
  • Student Activities – There are no additional events remaining for the year that were budgeted to come from Student Activity fees. All monies allocated to earlier events for the year have been held.
  • AP Exams – Exams will still be offered. Fees will still apply.
  • National Honor Society – The induction ceremony has been postponed to the Fall 2020. The NHS fee will be held until then.
 
• What about extended care and food services accounts?
We will not bill contracted extended care participants for the rest of the year as long as the campus remains closed. Prepaid lunch accounts will be held over for the next school year. Refunds will be issued after the end of our fiscal year in July.
 
• Will we refund payments for trips, i.e. Boston, Senior Trip?
Trip coordinators are working on obtaining refunds for air travel, hotels and other travel activities to the extent possible. Please refer to the trip coordinator for more information.

For any further financial questions, please contact Director of Operations Dan Jester.