Distance Learning Resources

Below please find helfpul information and resources for students:

Distance Learning Plan
Letter to Students
Distance Learning Schedule

To see the daily schedule, please click on the “Distance Learning Schedule” button above. All A-G classes meet “live” between 8:30 am and 12:00 pm two times each week. Please look for information from your teachers if you are enrolled in a class that normally meets outside of the A-G periods; those classes will most likely meet between 1:00 and 3:00 pm or will be assigning you independent enrichment work. Your remaining class time and homework will be communicated to you by your teachers. Please let your teachers know if you have issues with internet access or time zone differences that make it difficult for you to virtually attend classes. We will work with you to create a plan to get your work done.

Students must attend all scheduled classes; teachers will be taking attendance for each class. If you are ill or unable to attend class for any reason, your parent or guardian must email attendance@sbschool.org to report your absence.

Teachers will be available via email or videoconferencing between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm each day and will strive to create additional time for students who may have difficulty meeting during those times due to time zone differences.

Your advisor is ready to help you find the answers you need during this time. Advisors will be checking in regularly with advisees and there will also be a weekly advisory meeting time on Wednesdays, followed by a Community Meeting.

You will need reliable internet access, an iPad, Chromebook, or a laptop and headphones or earbuds. Please contact the Technology office with any questions. We require that our students adhere to our acceptable use policy for technology. Class recordings may not be shared in any form outside of the SBS community. We understand that most students did not bring their textbooks, notebooks, or other class materials with them and your teachers are prepared to teach you without those materials.

We require that our students continue meeting our normal expectations of academic integrity. If you have any questions about what is acceptable, please consult with your teachers – they always welcome your questions and are ready to offer you their support as we move to online learning.

Please plan to get some daily exercise and take long breaks from all of your devices. Distance learning can be a wonderful adventure if you make sure to balance your screen time with plenty of exercise and other fun activities like board games, trying out new recipes, or playing with pets.

More Helpful Resources

March 19, 2020

Dear SBS Community,

I want to let you know that I am thinking of you and I want to extend my support during this unprecedented global health crisis. Our personal and collective well-being is going to be so important as we work our way through these unsettling times. Now, more than ever, it will be important to take care of ourselves and stay connected with one another, even as we find ourselves learning remotely all over the globe.

I have listed some ideas for some basic self-care activities that will help all of us cope during this time and keep us healthy. It’s easy to remember! While we may not be able to physically be with our friends or family members, these tips may provide us with an opportunity to grow closer with ourselves and one another.

  • C – Create a daily schedule to give your days a sense of structure
  • L – Limit screen time that fuels anxiety, including excessive exposure to media coverage
  • O – Optimize your health with plenty of fluids and healthy foods
  • S – Sleep at least 8 hours a night, if possible
  • E – Exercise daily 
  • R – Relax and meditate; I have found InsightTimer to be a good app.

P.S. As an additional fun activity, visit a museum virtually.

Many of us will likely experience strong feelings at various times and for various reasons due to COVID-19.  Remember, everyone reacts differently to stress and all reactions are normal and part of being human.

What follows is a list of resources that you may find helpful during this time:

Helpful links & resources

I will be available to you for support during this time. Due to licensing regulations, I am unable to provide counseling or therapy, but I can provide supportive and solution-focused conversations geared towards helping you access support and resources in your community. Please contact me, Ellen Carter, LICSW, Director of Counseling, at ejcarter@sbschool.org or by phone at 413-774-2711 ext. 308 and leave a message. I will get back to you asap to schedule a time to connect. In the event of a mental health emergency, please do not hesitate to utilize your local crisis services or call 911.

Please stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. It is so important to stay connected with one another. One of the reasons I love working at SBS is the strong sense of community we have. I am sure that we will find creative and unique ways to stay connected and keep that sense of community going. Let’s take care of ourselves and one another during this time, whether it is checking in via a text, writing a card, helping someone out, or engaging in an act of kindness or generosity.  

I am looking forward to connecting in new ways with all of you and wishing you health and peace.

Sincerely,

Ellen Carter, LICSW
Director of Counseling

Dear SBS Families,

Inspired by a document to support homeschoolers created several years ago by Apple Gifford, Director of the Learning Center, here are some quick tips on supporting educational engagement.

  1. Flexibility and Patience. This is a learning process for all of us. As carefully as we teachers are planning, we are well aware we will need to make adjustments en route. Similarly, each student will be adjusting to this new learning environment at different rates and in different ways. Flexibility and patience on the part of all of us – students, teachers, and families – will help us focus on working positively through the inevitable bumps both major and minor, be these technological, academic, and/or emotional.
  2. Organization. Each student will need to come up with a space for remote classes that is conducive to learning, and will need and/or seek different levels of support from parents depending on age and other factors. Getting this space organized will involve different devices depending on your location and quality of service, and may involve additional materials such as books, pens, paper, art supplies, and so on. Check to see what is in the background when your student is online as this will also be visible to others in the class. This remote learning space may or may not be able to double as a study space, but any study space you and/or your student design would have similar needs. Minimizing distractions is extremely important. Phones may help if students are forming study groups and genuinely focusing on their work; at the same time, some families may prefer/need to monitor or restrict phone usage.
  3. Comfort – both physical and emotional. Remote learning and study spaces should be as comfortable as possible. We will be working to integrate chances for exercise and active movement into the day, and this too can contribute to emotional health. Students will probably need frequent breaks. While teachers and advisors are always conscious of the need for emotional support, families obviously play the primary and most critical role here. The more students can relax and focus on their work, the more they will learn. At the same time, learning may periodically need to take a back seat to emotional needs or family responsibilities.
  4. Communication. If your student needs additional support in any way, especially academic and/or emotional, encourage them to reach out to their teachers or advisor. If you see stress building over a few days, or if you have other questions and thoughts, please feel free to reach out on your own to your student’s advisor.

We are working hard to ensure students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are being met to the best of our ability. We have a strong and close community, and look forward to partnering with you all to make this period of remote learning a success.

Sincerely,

Bill Ivey
Middle School Dean