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Staying Connected and Unified During Remote Learning

(Red Hawk ES) Library time means more than books: makerspace, coding and technology!Red Hawk Elementary School, (Temecula, CA). The Red Hawk Elementary School teachers and staff firmly believe that the impression and impact that your heart leaves on others, students and colleagues, is the umbrella for all that we do. This mindset helped to ease the transition to remote learning and helped to keep the staff focused. Because each individual was isolated from others, colleagues and students, communication and opportunities for unity had to be created.

The school created a daily virtual staff lounge for opportunities to stop in and connect with others. The principal created an ongoing live document for staff to ask questions about anything that they were concerned or worried about. In addition, a daily staff news flash was shared with any updates, examples of exemplary practices, shout outs for staff members, words of encouragement, and often humor. The principal remained accessible to all staff at all times throughout the pandemic. In addition, the school social worker provided a virtual safe place for staff members to meet with her as needed and a monthly self-care and wellness challenge for staff. All of these practices contributed to a sense of community and positively impacted the mindset of the staff. Staff meetings occurred every other Monday with an ongoing focus on positivity, mindset, and wellness. In addition, an equity, access, and inclusion activity was always added.

During remote learning, the administration team visited virtual classrooms daily, making sure to be in every classroom every week. Following those visits, feedback was given to the teacher via email in the form of a bitmoji classroom scene with a personal flair.

Before winter break, teachers gave students a bitmoji image of their teachers to keep with them. Students were encouraged to submit pictures of all of the things their “teacher” did with them during the break. This helped to keep students connected to their teacher and bring a sense of community to the classroom as students shared family cultures and traditions.