“Ambrose at Home” to Begin Monday, March 30th
Dear Ambrose Community,
As you read this message, most of you likely find yourselves in a situation you did not expect to be in as recently as a week ago. Our prayer is that, even in this uncertain time, you are able to find joy, peace, and a greater love and appreciation for Christ and all of the gifts that our God has given us. We also pray that God will keep our hearts and spirits open to ways we can best love our neighbors.
One thing we are grateful to report is that, as of this writing, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Ambrose community. That said, we recognize that in an extended community that includes a variety of family situations, individual experiences, professions, and needs, the impact of the virus and the resulting aftershocks are being seen in different ways. With each passing day, there is new information available, new guidance being suggested, and additional precautions taken. Please be assured that we are engaged in regular (albeit remote) communications on these issues, and are prayerfully considering the available information as an administrative team. We will continue to provide you with periodic updates (like this one) as necessary.
We previously announced the suspension of onsite classes through Friday, March 27th. In light of recent developments, including the City of Meridian’s decision regarding the gathering of large groups, we are extending our suspension of onsite classes to Monday, April 20th. This date will be subject to change as new information becomes available.
In the meantime, we will move forward with remote classes beginning Monday, March 30th. Over the past 10 days, our staff and faculty have been making arrangements for online instruction through the Google Classroom platform. This has included developing new student e-mail accounts and passwords for Google Classroom, setting up individual class pages, and attending group training sessions to provide for remote instruction. (Please see our note on technology use at the end of this communication.)
Transitioning to remote learning is a big adjustment for everyone–teachers, parents, and students. You probably have many questions about what schooling at home will look like. We will try to answer as many of those questions as we can throughout this week, and welcome your continued feedback.
As we transition to remote learning, we are focusing on core classes and assignments as students and parents get used to doing school at home and to using Google Classrooms. This is part of our effort to provide as much flexibility as possible for different situations at home–multiple children, both parents working, etc. Assignments in elective courses will be optional at this time.
In Google Classroom, students and parents will be able to see all assignments for a whole week starting the Friday before the week begins. Students can then complete those assignments at times and on days that make the most sense for you as a family.
For grammar school students, most assignments for the entire week will be collected on Friday, April 3, by scanning completed worksheets and assignments and uploading them to Google Classroom. Upper school students will have some assignments due on various days, with clear instructions in Google Classroom regarding when and how to submit those assignments.
If possible, we recommend you develop a new routine at home for doing school. What this routine looks like will vary from family to family. We recommend:
- Designating a place in the home to do school work–the kitchen table, the office, etc. Keep your books, papers, pencils, etc. in that spot.
- Set a daily time you begin school and stick to it. Ideally, this time will be first thing in the morning. For parents juggling working from home, etc., this of course may have to vary day by day.
- Tackle the subject most difficult for your child first.
Note that many students, starting around 4th or 5th grade and up, should be able to complete many if not all of their assignments independently.
We are hopeful that, by God’s grace and provision, we can return to the physical classroom in a matter of weeks, but we are also preparing for the possibility that online instruction may continue for the rest of the school year. With that in mind, here is the current schedule for the coming weeks:
Friday, March 27: Access to Google Classrooms sent to families
Monday, March 30: Commencement of online instruction
Monday, April 20: Tentative resumption of onsite classes (subject to review)
We are aware that classroom instruction is only one component of what makes the Ambrose community a special one. As we move forward and gain more information, we will make decisions about the status of other events and activities in the life of the school (e.g., Spring Music and Arts Festival, Grandparents Day, MonCon, athletics, choir and orchestra, etc.). Please join us in praying for God’s wisdom and provision in making those decisions.
As a last note, please read and consider these words of encouragement that have been shared by and with a number of us in these uncertain times in recent weeks:
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength–carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
– Corrie ten Boom
“Our earthly comforts would be doubly sweet, if we could but venture them without anxiety in the Lords’ hands. And where can we lodge them so safely? Is not the first gift, the continuance, the blessing which makes them pleasing, all from him? Was not his design in all this, that we should be happy in them? How then can we fear that he will threaten them, much less take them away, but with a view to our farther benefit? Let us suppose the thing we are most afraid of actually to happen. Can it come a moment sooner, or in any other way, than by his appointment? Is he not gracious and faithful to support us under the stroke? Is he not rich enough to give us something better than ever he will take away? Is not the light of his countenance better than life and all its most valued enjoyments? Is not this our time of trial, and are we not traveling towards a land of light?”
– John Newton
“God has given us a spirit not of fear but of power, love, and self-control.”
– II Timothy 1:7
Soli Deo Gloria,
The Ambrose Administrative Team
Proper Technology Use Policy:
Parents, please be aware that you need to provide direct supervision for computer use in your home to ensure student safety as well as the proper use of school technologies. The Ambrose IT director has enabled videoconferencing and chat features in order for students to continue their learning at home with the necessary teacher and class interactions during school closures. These new features may easily become a distraction for your students if use is not monitored.
Now is a great time to review the Ambrose Technology Use Agreement. Student accounts are for school assignments ONLY. If features are misused or become a learning distraction, access to Google logins will be terminated for the involved students and alternative assignments will be given. Please keep in mind that all communications, even temporary chats or deleted emails, within the Ambrose Google Education Domain are permanently recorded to promote responsible and safe student use. Please refrain from misusing Ambrose Google Education features for social activities.
Ambrose staff understands students miss each other and want to keep in touch with friends while our campus is closed. Please encourage your students to CALL each other regularly to check-in. These conversations will build communication skills and grow friendships while the campus is closed.