Continuous Learning Guidance for SME

The impact of physical distancing due to COVID-19 can be daunting. Daily we appear to be faced with a myriad of challenges from ever-changing twists to seemingly endless boredom.  We are in a time period unchartered by most of us.  It is important that we look for the positives during this time.  Here is some of the best news of this situation:  students can work on improving their semester grades (which have been derived from 3rd quarter work).  MANY students have taken advantage of this opportunity and have improved on their 3rd quarter grades. However, it appears many students are not engaged as their grades remain unchanged.

Without the built-in support of face-to-face classroom instruction, the shift turns more to the student regarding communication, organization, and self-advocacy.  Questions to the school have mainly centered around two areas:  What are some school behaviors parents should be seeing at home, and what kind of academic support can a parent provide?


  1. Student should be checking three areas online:
    1. E-mail:  Without the in-person contact of the classroom, this is the primary method of communication between teacher and student/parent.  Students who email their teachers are showing a level of investment, commitment, and effort.  It can also simply be a way to get your student moving in the right direction. 
    2. Skyward:  3rd quarter grades have become the semester grades for most courses.  Students can be completing components of 3rd quarter work to improve grades.
    3. Google Classroom (or other platform used by your student’s teachers):  Teachers have been communicating and providing information to students via their same methods of classroom organization. 


★     You might see your student using the MacBook to take part in virtual class meetings. 

★     You should see your student doing work that looks academic.

★     You should see your student doing something active as well!


  1. As a parent, you might consider the following activities (but not all at once!):
    1. Sit down with your student and ask them to open their school email to verify that communication is occurring.  Announcements are sent regularly.
    2. Sit down with your student and ask them to open their Skyward on their MacBook (the Mac online version has greater functionality than the mobile app).  Take a look at the opening page and see what kinds of messages teachers have sent.  Review your student’s current grades with them. Acknowledge student successes!  Some questions to ask your student might be:  Are you content with your current grades?  What types of steps have you taken to improve any relatively low grades? Have you contacted your teachers directly to ask for help in creating a “to do list” so you know specifically what needs to be done to improve your grade? Take note of any Missing Assignments linked to the top of the Gradebook page (see All Missing Assignments).
    3. Sit down with your student and ask them to show you the Google Classroom homepage.  There should be a “classroom” for each course that your student takes.  If there isn’t one for a specific class, ask your student to show you where that information is located.  IF YOUR STUDENT IS CONFUSED ABOUT WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION, have your student e-mail the teacher and cc you. 
    4. If your student has not communicated yet with their teachers (email, Skyward, Google Classroom), ask if they would like your help to get that done.  They can create an email, and you could edit or simply be “cc’d” on the email. 

It’s important more than ever that students keep some sort of routine to bring some normalcy to their daily lives.  Your student’s routine can reflect what works best for them using the time of day they are most productive, a place to study that keeps them engaged, and opportunities to take a break.  For seniors, this is a time that could be reflective of their schedule after high school, especially if they are considering post secondary education or training. 

Students staying in communication with the school community is an excellent way for us to get through what can be a very isolating period.

Some Continuous Learning Suggestions for Middle/High School

SMSD Opportunity to Engage in Continuous Learning