***Please scroll down on this page for additional information which has been sent out to Highlands families. Parents may also check the homepage news of KnightsNet for further school news and updates.
April 9, 2020
It has been an interesting and challenging month. Thank you for your patience and for working with the teachers as we walk through this COVID-19 situation together.We have come a long way in just a few weeks.As we move into this weekend of Resurrection Sunday, I want to take a moment and wish you a Happy Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us praise God for all He has done by providing us with eternal life.
What a wonderful salvation is offered to all who believe.Take some time to relax during this weekend of celebration. Spend some time as a family focused on these thoughts in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Steven Lawrence, Ph.D.
April 3, 2020
Five Helpful Tips from Dr. Lawrence & the Principals
The principals and I realize your week has been one that has presented some challenges. We are pretty sure you have been dealing with things you find are outside your routine. We wanted to put together some thoughts that may help you as you deal with this demand of education moving from the classroom to the home.
Thank you for your patience. Please feel free to provide feedback to us. Education is our profession; and with any profession, sometimes the terminology we use may not be understood. Even when creating lessons, we may not realize how it affects the home scheduling because we don’t know each family individually.
The following are some ideas you may find helpful:
1. Establish a set organized work space for doing school work.
This should be set up like an office or a desk in school. The space should be a place in which it is not easy to relax. A couch, a bed, or the floor are not the most conducive for sustained focus and study.
Start at the same time each day and strive to keep working throughout the family’s workday. There is often movement in a classroom while a class is in process. The younger the student is, the more active the class will be. With that in mind, allow for a few minutes to stand and read. Maybe take three minutes and walk two laps around the room. After a long stretch, maybe it will help if everyone folds some laundry for 5 or 10 minutes. Try going outside, standing in the sunshine for a few minutes, and then going back to work.
The teachers and the ESE coordinator already have a relationship with your child and can provide some information. Please do not reach out to social media. Most of the time, the information obtained from social media leads to confusion and frustration.
Let the teachers know what you are experiencing at home. If you have your own professional work to do, online study can be even more complex. The teachers will be glad to assist in rearranging schedule conflicts to provide for your child’s continued education.
What is being asked of you by the government is not easy, and overseeing your child’s learning adds even more stress. We understand and recommend that you and your child(ren) may need to get up and walk around the block or do 25 jumping jacks. What you are attempting is far from what is normal. Stress is not your friend here. It complicates things. Overextending is a big reason for stress. It’s OK and even advised to take a break every 45 or 50 minutes.
Dear Parents and Students,
Greetings! This letter is to inform you and your students of some specifics regarding HCA’s digital education. I realize this email is longer than what you have been receiving from my office, but it contains important information concerning classes and online learning. As Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Florida’s Department of Education, said: “The campus is closed but education is continuing.”
This is a new way of doing school, and we are excited to present it to you. Education is good and necessary, and we will work together to accomplish it.
This situation is not one we would desire, and we are highly aware of the impact of moving out of a traditional educational program. A regular schedule with students in class is the best scenario, but COVID-19 has necessitated this switch to an online, digital education. Although it has created much more work for the teachers as well as the parents, the HCA faculty has embraced it with much gusto to provide the best and most seamless transition possible. We are here and will continue to assist you in every way we can.
What are the academic expectations?
- Check KnightsNet daily for assignments and messages.
- Check email daily (students and parents).
- Follow the daily class schedule to keep from getting behind.
- Complete the work assigned and turn it in on time.
- Be involved in the process.
- Complete independent work assigned.
- Communicate with the teachers regularly.
- View recorded presentations.
- Make healthy use of real-time communication such as Zoom, emails, phone calls, etc.
- Interact with teachers, as this is necessary for promotion to the next grade.
- Keep track of time spent daily and weekly. Complete the “HCA Student Log Sheet” which must be turned in each Monday with the previous week’s work. Click HERE for sample log.
- Complete work honestly and maintain high ethics.
What is the number of hours a student is expected to work on a school day?
The students will receive instruction first and foremost via KnightsNet. This is where to find daily assignments, links for instruction, due dates and times, and necessary directions.
The homework and assignments will be reviewed and graded by the teachers. The teachers will give the method of submission for assignments, quizzes, and testing. At this point, the school year is not over, and the teachers are preparing to teach necessary material through the end of the year.
How can I communicate with the teachers?
The best way to communicate is through your HighlandsChristian.org email. Teachers will also be available by phone, as each teacher’s room extension has been forwarded to his or her cell phone. Every teacher has the specified hours of 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM to be on call. You can expect to receive communication quickly during these hours. For communication after these hours, the expectation is to have a response within 24 hours to expedite the education of our students.
What accommodations are being done for ESE students?
- Log in each day and do the required work posted for that day.
- Respect teachers and classmates.
- Take the rest of the semester seriously. Your work and time spent must be verifiable.
- Participate in times of online work collaboratively, displaying cooperation and a good work ethic.
- Do the work. When not working on your education, don’t move into other online or computer activities (like gaming or social media). Rather, get up, stretch, and go out for some fresh air.
- Remember that the Highlands handbook and guidelines remain in effect during this time of online education.
- Keep arranged times of contact with each of your teachers.
- Contact teachers, counselors, and principals with questions and/or feedback.
- Maintain a high level of integrity throughout this process of online education. (Do not share or copy homework, tests, or quizzes.)
- Dress suitably while on live interaction. Be modest and appropriate.
- Complete and turn in the “HCA Student Log Sheet” as explained above.
- Be a happy, good student.
Thank you and God bless,
March 18, 2020
*Please read this imperative information through to the end.
Greetings. We trust all is going well, and you are safe and sound. Our prayers are with those who are affected directly by the virus in our community and so many who may be losing business or employment because of COVID-19.
Because circumstances are changing daily, we want to provide you with some important information and updates regarding our school.
First, we want to give a “shout out” to the teachers and principals. We are up to 99.9% of our student body online and ready to continue education. There is a large number of students already communicating and engaging with homework and assignments in our digital learning platform.
There have been many extra hours of work to provide a seamless educational process. If you are not getting assignments or teacher communication, please contact your teacher or principal, as others have already communicated with their teachers and are successfully learning online.
The second item deals with Governor DeSantis’s comment about grades not counting. His reference was to the state of Florida’s grading of individual schools, which relies on end-of-year assessments unique to public schools. Those assessments are concerning a school’s grade for state accreditation rather than individual students’ grades. For Highlands, school work done during this time of online education will be recorded and counted toward the state requirements for graduation or promotion to the next grade.
Third, Highlands will follow what the Governor said concerning schools continuing online education until April 15. Decisions beyond April 15 will be assessed as we get closer to that date. We are very intent on finishing this semester as strongly as we can. Our decisions will be based on how best to finish the year while maintaining integrity of grades and keeping all students and staff safe and healthy.
Our prayers are for you and your family’s health and prosperity. If we can do anything for you and your family, please let us know.
Steven Lawrence, Ph.D.
March 16, 2020 Update
We want to update you on where we are in providing online classes as we work together through the temporary school closing due to COVID-19.
Today, Monday, March 16:
This is the end of the 3rd marking period. Our teachers spent the day tallying and finalizing grades, and then began the process of putting together lesson plans and assignments on KnightsNet for all students.
Tuesday, March 17:
Students and parents may come in to get their books and materials from 7:30 AM until 3:00 PM. Everyone should check in at their building’s main office before proceeding to lockers/classrooms.
Wednesday and Thursday, March 18-19:
By Wednesday, begin to look for communication via KnightsNet from teachers to confirm that you are able to log into and access KnightsNet to view your student’s lesson plans and assignments. It is our desire to get our students back on their educational track as soon as possible and continue to prepare them for success.
Please continue to watch for communication from Highlands and from the teachers. Be assured that our prayers are with you and your family as we move through this transitional time.
March 13, 2020 / Evening Update
Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties have closed classes, athletics, and extra-curricular activities beginning Monday, March 16, because of the declared COVID-19 crisis. On Monday, Highlands teachers will be finalizing plans for digital learning. Families should expect mid-week communication regarding instruction and assignments for students while at home.
Students will be able to pick up books and materials to aid in this process. Plans at this point are to be out the week of March 16-20. The week of March 23-27 is our regularly-scheduled spring break. Highlands will continue to assess the situation. Based on information at that time, we will determine when to resume normal school activities.
Due to the sanitization and deep cleaning that will be ongoing on the Highlands campus, all facilities will be closed. Based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Education (DOE) recommendations, any student, teacher, or staff that leaves the country must self-quarantine for 14 days from the day of arrival back in the United States.
We are praying for health and safety for Highlands and all of our community. We plan to send out additional information to parents on Monday.
March 13, 2020 / Afternoon Update
The health and safety of our students is a top priority at Highlands, and the administration continues to monitor the news on the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Department of Education and the Department of Health have issued the following recommendation, and the Highlands Administration is putting this into effect for all our families and staff: Any students, faculty, or staff who travel abroad to any country or go on a cruise, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
We are following the CDC’s daily recommendations and listening to briefs from the Vice President’s Council each evening. Our decisions and activities continue to be directed by these recommendations.
We request that anyone within the Highlands family who thinks he or she may have been exposed to COVID-19 to self-quarantine and also to contact the school office at 954-421-1747 x1000. Individuals with other health concerns that would make the virus more complicated should self-quarantine as well.
If you missed last week’s email with details on how Highlands is responding to and what you can do regarding COVID-19, click HERE. If you have any questions, please contact the school office.
Our prayers are with you and all our Highlands families.