Mrs. Bianca Ferris

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Mrs. Bianca Ferris

April 1, 2020

Dear students and families,


  These past few weeks have been incredibly hard for all of us. I hope you and your families are hanging in there.   As I’m sure you’ve read in the emails you’ve received from the district, distance learning in WCSD will begin on Friday, April 3, 2020; however, in English 10 (both Regents AND Honors) we’re going to take it SLOW because I know how overwhelming and stressful working at home can be for families. I also want to take it slow because distance learning is new to ALL of us; we haven’t seen each other in nearly 3 weeks; we’re living in trying times and, finally,  because we are a community of people before anything else. Therefore, the students and I will reconnect at first, and then we’ll slowly get back into the swing of things. 


Please take a few minutes to read this letter as it outlines communication, expectations, flexibility, availability and just what I mean by “the swing of things.”


On March 16, I posted two weeks worth of work that your child could have worked on without a device or internet connection if they had the motivation or inclination to do so. Distance learning from here on in will be through Google Classroom, which your children have been on since late Fall. I also post updates, materials, or homework on my Instagram 

@thisenglishteacher 

I’ve been using Instagram for 5 years now, and it seems to be very effective in getting messages across to students and staying virtually connected with them. 


Social media is a great way to remind students of assignments as well as to let them know what I’m up to, especially during this crisis. However, I will be posting all classwork and classwork-related information --first and foremost -- on GOOGLE CLASSROOM. All classwork could include any of the following: instructional videos, assignments to read through and complete, announcements to be read, etc.


When I post work, I will give students a very reasonable time to complete it, as I have always done. But I do expect them to complete the work. If a student needs more time for any reason, students should email me with the explanation, as well as with the expectation that I can be flexible. And I promise I will be flexible.


Expectations in Google Classroom: 


  • It is expected that you will complete the assigned work and complete it on time (unless, as mentioned above, you need more time).
  • It is expected that you will regularly check Google Classroom for new work, updates, etc.
  • It is expected that you will do your best; you will ask me for help, and you will be patient with yourself as you acclimate to these changes.
  • It is expected that if we -- as a class -- do engage in Google meets or written chat in real time, you will behave appropriately and respectfully just as you would in the actual classroom.

Expectations for Assignments

At this time, for each assignment, I will provide you with feedback and let you know that you have completed the adequate level of work for “passing” the assignment. If my feedback indicates that there is something missing or you have not completed at a “passing” level, you should seek help from me to fix any issues.

My availability

I will respond to emails as soon as I can during the school day. In the coming week, I will give you specific windows of time that you can email me and expect me to respond almost immediately. These will be considered my office hours. In the meantime, any questions you have after 2:30 p.m. likely won’t get a response until the next morning. Direct messaging me on instagram is also an option.


The “swing of things”


In 10R, the swing of things will look like this: 

  • We’ll finish reading the novel, Tom Sawyer, and answer some related questions
  • We’ll begin a poetry unit and will read and respond to poetry
  • We’ll read and respond to some non-fiction articles through Newsela
  • We’ll continue our personal reading books and our freewriting practice

In 10H, the swing of things will look like this:

  • We’ll read the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • We’ll discuss, chat and write about this book as best we can using the online classroom
  • We’ll continue our freewriting practice 
  • We’ll continue to prepare for 11AP Language and Composition as best we can


I hope you and your families are well, and I look forward to hearing from everyone soon!



Take care,


Mrs. Bianca Ferris