Brookstone Distance Learning Plans

Since January, the Brookstone Admin team has been meeting continuously with regard to COVID-19. At first, our main area of concern was the health and safety of our international students and their families. However, our concerns quickly grew as the news began to change. We began planning and preparing and putting things into place just in case we had to shift to online learning. So when we indeed had to make the decision to move to an all-online platform, it did not catch us off guard. We were ready.  We’ve been planning for this very situation for weeks.

And let me tell you, our teachers are amazing. They are simply the best. Forget about sending home worksheets and busywork just to pass the time. Our teachers have planned video lessons and Google hangouts and engaging virtual class activities. So while our “classrooms” might certainly be different over the next few weeks, our teachers are fully prepared to keep students learning, engaged, and moving forward.

To learn more about what is involved, and to be wholly impressed, you can read this  email sent to parents from our Head of School, Marty Lester.

Distance Learning Plans

Dear Brookstone Families,

Brookstone’s Distance Learning launches tomorrow morning. We are well-organized for this challenge, ready to stretch ourselves, and excited about the opportunity to innovate. We need everyone’s observations and ideas, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you see something that is getting in the way.

I remain hopeful that we will be able to gather our school community together again this spring. While we proceed with distance learning, we continue to work and plan so that when the time comes, we are fully ready to welcome students back to campus.

Meanwhile, details for the upcoming weeks are below:

  • Campus will be closed. At this time, we ask that you please refrain from coming to campus. If you need something, please reach out to your division head.

  • Athletic and Extracurricular events cancelled; no practices or meetings to be held on or off campus during this time.

  • During this time, we urge all students and families to practice social distancing while school is canceled, which means not meeting in large groups to study or socialize.

  • Distance Learning Details
    Teachers will be posting information regularly to their Class Pages. Information and updates to division DLPs will be located on the parent resource board of CougarNet.

Student Support

Having tackled some of the practical and technical issues of distance learning, we will remain focused on staying connected, building community, being responsive to our students’ well-being beyond their academic progress, and working to support you as parents through the challenges ahead. Our guidance department will be sending suggestions and activities to help us stay strong socially and emotionally in this current environment. They will also have daily virtual office hours available for any parent that needs them.

This is new territory for us—as, I know, it is for you. We are planning intentionally, but I have no doubt there will be stumbles here and there. We need everyone’s observations and ideas, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you see something that is getting in the way. I thank you for your patience, your flexibility, and your continued support. You will hear from us often.

A word to the Class of 2020: I know you are feeling uncertain. While I don’t know exactly how things will unfold over the next few weeks, I want you to know that I value your leadership and admire the way you lead by example with your resilience and perseverance. I promise to remain mindful of your experiences as seniors and optimistic in our ability to adjust and provide meaningful memories and opportunities as you finish your senior year and your Brookstone experience.

With Care and Concern,

Marty Lester

Division Distance Learning Plan Links:

More than Academics

Rest assured the academics of your students are in good hands. But it’s not just academics that we want to focus on at this time. Our counselors in all divisions are also fully engaged in helping our students manage any stress and anxiety they might be feeling right now. Our Upper and Middle School counselors have set up Google classrooms and even offered appointment times for any students who need to talk or meet, and our Lower and Intermediate school counselor, Mr. Hoats, was able to share some tools on coping with stress with students before we left campus. Please see the below email that was sent to families.

Message from Mr. Hoats:

Good afternoon parents,

As we begin a new way of learning, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts concerning the situation in which we find ourselves.

Without sounding too cliche, we are all in this together, as a school, as a nation, as the world. I know what we are experiencing is challenging. It can produce anxiety in all of us, some more than others. How we talk to ourselves and our children about this situation has a tremendous impact on either reducing or increasing our anxiety. Reframing (looking at a situation from a different point of view) is a way for us to take a difficult situation and look for possible good that might come from it. “What can my children and I take away from this situation that can enrich our lives?” This question may sound absurd given the circumstances, but this is an example of positive self-talk that can help to reduce anxiety rather than increase it. I encourage you to look at all the possible ways this time can give us to enrich our lives.

You may remember that I mentioned in an earlier email from Mrs. Floyd the concepts of the “upstairs” and “downstairs” brains. Positive self-talk is an example of using the power of the “upstairs” brain to help relieve anxiety by reducing stress.

I will be sending reminders, suggestions, activities, etc. to your children during our time apart. They will be included in the lesson plans their teachers will be sending out daily. Again, I know that we are entering a new way of doing things, but if you can find the time to occasionally join with your children in some of these activities, I think it can be helpful.

I am available to you if you need any assistance. My office hours will be 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. The best way to reach me is through my school email, khoats@brookstoneschool.org.

Breathe, slow down where possible, and look for the positive…Let me know if I can help.

Kenneth Hoats, LS & IS Counselor

A New Adventure

We find ourselves faced with a new challenge, a new adventure – to stay healthy, to stay rational, to stay connected and to stay engaged, but STAY HOME. New does not always mean fun or easy, but this new adventure can present a world of new and exciting opportunities for us as families, as parents, as students, and as a school family.

Praying everyone out there stays safe as we all hunker down and weather this storm together! We will get through this! Blessings to each and every one of you!

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