April 6th will be a moment that children will remember for quite some time. It’s the day students were able to see their teachers for the first time in three weeks, albeit virtually, and hearing them say, “We miss you.”

Chip and Dan Heath write in their book The Power of Moments: “Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them. What if a teacher could design a lesson that students were still reflecting on years later?  What if you had a better sense of how to create lasting memories for your kids?”

The ACSD#1 approach to the Virtual Learning model starts with connections. We are encouraging our students, families, and community to connect with each other and offer hope in a world that is uncertain and full of despair.

During the past few weeks ACSD#1 teachers and administrators have been fanatic about connecting with everyone, sending a clear message that we care about students and families.

The graph at the right shows how the number of Zoom video conferencing meetings has increased over the past few weeks.   I reminded our employees that this is a valuable tool during this time of virtual learning, and I suggested that we need to create socialization in a world of distancing.

Our focus on connections will help our community endure the hardship of this crisis and provide a foundation for other learning opportunities when we return to school as normal.

In this uncertain time, we can still craft glorious moments that students, staff, and families will cherish for a lifetime.

This week we are evaluating how much time is devoted to academic lessons and the stress that families encounter while being asked to provide structure for their children.  Our employees and families have been asked to balance time with at-home learning and their daily lives of work and coping with the uncertainly of this crisis.  It is important that we be patient with students, each other, and ourselves.