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Mar 27, 2020

A Message from Mr. Robinson

Dear Parents,

If your home is like mine, the first two weeks of dismissal seemed more like vacation with a little bit of school work mixed in. This week’s shock of the new reality has finally set in. I was trying to help my kids with their work the other morning, and after 30 minutes, we had tears, slammed doors, breakfast #2, and extended social distancing within our own home. And that was just my response.

At NDPA we are trying to balance our love of learning, the value of our relationships with each of you, and our sense of obligation to serve you with academic material. This is difficult to do through this time of stress. We really are doing our best, and we know you are as well. I wanted to take this time to express our interest in each of you and your children, and inform you of what we are expecting in the weeks to come.

My new catch phrase is, “two things can be true at the same time."

  • I have asked teachers to provide ample work opportunities; and at the same time be flexible in what is required to be returned as completed work.
  • I have asked that teachers continue to give feedback on assignments (points, grades, written comments) that have been returned; and at the same time offer many chances to do the work or many different ways to show the done work has been done.

As parents we ask that you:

  • Be the deciding factor as to what works best for you and your family, while doing your best to support what is being provided by your child’s teachers.
  • Communicate with your teacher if the work being provided is missing the mark, or you need it provided in a different medium or amount.
  • One difficulty I am having as a parent is the struggle to recognize that this is “school,” and learning is taking place. Recently I heard of a father that got his kids up, got them dressed in uniform, drove them “to school” (around the block) and pulled back into their own driveway. When the kids became aware, and asked, “what are we doing here? I thought we were going to school?” The father replied, “we are, we are doing school at home.” I am not suggesting that we all do this, but it helps to highlight the idea that we are all trying to figure out how to make it through this time. Be creative, find your ways, and let us help you with materials, activities, guidance, and support.

I have asked our NDPA teachers to take the approach that it is our job to provide ample opportunities to work, but it is the family's job to decide how much of the work is manageable in their circumstances. Please know that we trust your judgment and intentions. We are here to support your child’s learning, not add another layer of anxiety or fear.

As you get assignments, ZOOM meeting requests, websites to visit, and packets to complete, please realize that you are the determining factor in how much is enough. If you have specific questions regarding your child’s needs, progress, and emphasis, we offer our expertise. We are happy to support any level of completion you feel you can encourage from your child. Different ages need different levels of support, and we recognize that each home is equipped to handle it differently. If/when at any time you feel we are not meeting your needs, please reach out to your teachers first. We will try to work out another option to better fit your needs. Granted, we have limitations too, but in the end, our number one desire is to get through this together, with as much learning having taken place, and as little stress and damage along the way.

We are here to help.