I Hate Change

September 15, 2016

Dear Families,

I learned yesterday that Apple rolled out a new update for the iPhone. My daughter texted me from Arizona to let me know she was updating her phone. That’s her gentle way of communicating, “Plug in mom, there is an advancement in technology.” Reluctantly, I updated mine.  After 30 minutes of trying to navigate the process and the changes, I blurted out, “Ugh! I hate change.”

But, this morning, as I answered emails from my phone, I realized the changes made in the update to email were fantastic! I no longer have to scroll through my long list of folders to file my emails. Each time I filed the email, the update automatically allowed a suggested folder. It was correct 10 of 10 times. All was right with my world again. My frustration gave me pause to again reflect on our new platform for student learning, Google Classroom.

I know that change offers challenges and frustrations. However, I want to offer encouragement to you as parents. First, I want to provide you with a brief background.The technology team decided to transition to Google Classroom during the 2014-2015 school year. They met for months and painstakingly studied the trends of technology within education. They determined that ultimately the transition was in the best interest of the students. Yet, an implementation of this magnitude takes time. The learning curve for all can be discouraging. At times it can be frustrating.  I want you to know that I understand.

Fast forward to the 2016-2017 school year. Implementation is underway. At this point, all middle school students subscribed to each of their classes. For the most part, they are using the tool well. Yes, we continue to find opportunities for improvement. The most significant need is communication for parents.  Please know that we implemented Google Classroom for students first because ultimately they need it most to succeed, not only in middle school but in high school and college. My daughter submitted her fourth college paper via Google Classroom last night. The communication piece for parents is in its final stages.

This morning, I pondered ways that I could provide further support to parents. If this is repetitive, I apologize. First, I wanted to be sure that you had access to the steps for subscribing to the parent app. I know that it is on the website. But, if you are like me, you complete 98% of your work from your phone. So, I want to offer the convenience of an immediate link. Click or hover over the following link to be directed to the parent app subscription steps Parent Sign-in. Once you complete the steps to this process, you will be able to subscribe to the classroom teachers from whom you would like to receive updates.

I spoke with Jennifer Larson. She communicated that the developing team is in the final stages of testing. Once the testing is completed, the push notifications for which you subscribe will come to your phone as the teachers add things to their calendar.  Completing the process of subscribing to the parent app will also provide you with a staff directory.

I hope that this provides support for you on this new journey. While I acknowledge that change is difficult at times, I am thankful that our middle school students have the opportunity to master Google Classroom prior to entering high school and college. It provides them one more piece of the academic puzzle that is education and increases success on their journey.

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley

Food for Thought: 6 Tips for Raising “Good” Kids as Studied by Harvard Psychologists

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