May 11, 2020 message from Mr. Dotoli

Dear HA Families,

Thank you for completing the distance learning survey. We were eager to learn as much as possible from your experience to guide any adjustments as we plan for the rest of the school year and beyond.

First off, I wanted to celebrate all that is going well.  Basically, our successes start with all the great work from our teachers.  Families love our live classes and all that teachers are doing to continue to deliver a strong learning experience.  Families highlighted the school's daily/weekly schedule and structure as helpful in making distance learning manageable. Families also appreciate the regular outreach from various members of our school community. Finally, families are worried about the holistic toll of the pandemic (exercise, play, arts, and friendship) but appreciate the extracurricular offerings. 

Just as importantly, your feedback highlighted some important areas for growth:

  1. Expand live classes. You noted that live classes have been strong and suggested an incremental expansion to this component of the instructional program. We are working on this in targeted areas throughout the program, including athletics, arts, and more social time for students, while also maintaining enough balance in scheduling to support families who need the flexibility.
  2. Formalize academic feedback mechanisms. You asked for more clarity around assessment and how that data is shared among students, teachers, advisors, and parents for clarity and the strongest opportunity for growth. We are working on formalizing this and will be in touch with an update next week.

Ms. Davis, Ms. Weintraub, and the teachers are addressing both these areas as the program continues to evolve.  They are also addressing other comments/ ideas that were raised but pertain to only one class or only one student.  Hopefully, you see evidence of improvement in those areas too, but please reach out if we miss anything important in the coming weeks.

Overall, we've always known that our best learning happens when there is true partnership. It takes teachers, students, and parents all working together toward shared goals. In my years in education, the need for working together toward the realization of our mission has never been tested more bluntly or shined more brightly than it has in this moment. 

Thank you again for your feedback, dedication, and partnership.


P.S. Just wanted to add a final shoutout to all the moms in our community.  A friend sent a text saying every day of the week that ends in a 'y' should be Mother's Day!  I certainly agree with those sentiments and hope yesterday was a particularly good one for honoring what you do for our families.