COVID-19 Updates

April 2, 2020

Dear Signature School Parent/Guardian and Student,

Today Governor Holcomb announced that all Indiana schools shall provide instruction via remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. I am writing to let you know that we are working to determine the impact on our Signature School calendar and that I will be back in touch as soon as possible with details. We are all disappointed by this news, but we will forge ahead to ensure the best learning experience possible as we finish out the year.

Also, Signature students should now be able to access Schoology. All online instruction will take place through this learning management system effective Friday, April 3, 2020. We are very excited about this opportunity. 

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Jean Hitchcock
Executive Director
 
 

April 1, 2020

Dear Students,

You should receive your Schoology logon credentials (username and password) in an email from Schoology (no-reply@schoology.com) tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, April 2).

If you don’t receive your Schoology logon email, please email Ms. Cates at jami.cates@signature.edu.

Schoology is our new Learning Management System and is intended to be your one-stop shop for eLearning this spring.

You should begin using Schoology for your coursework this Friday morning (9 AM on April 3), but please feel free to sign in as soon as you receive your credentials.

To access Signature’s Schoology site, go to signature.schoology.com.

Sign in with the username and password you receive in your email.

Your current courses will be displayed on your dashboard, including a Knowledge Base course to help you with frequently asked questions.

Click any course to begin.

Two getting started notes:

Please email Ms. Cates if you have questions or need assistance (jami.cates@signature.edu).

Thank you!

Ms. Hitchcock
Executive Director

March 28, 2020

Dear Signature School Parent/Guardian/Student,

I hope everyone has been able to enjoy spring break and to spend some time outside in this great weather.  This week has given the faculty and me the opportunity to examine how we can best approach the weeks of online learning beginning Monday, March 30, 2020 and scheduled to continue through at least May 1, 2020.   I have been reaching out to students for feedback on how we can improve their online learning experience, and the faculty and I have incorporated their suggestions into a plan that I am confident will make Signature distance learning as strong as possible.  I am writing today to share details with you.

First, we are in the process of transitioning to Schoology, a learning management system (LMS) add-on to our existing PowerSchool program.  Schoology will provide faculty and students a single means of primary communication, making it easier to organize and track assignments, happenings, and assessments. Faculty and staff members already have begun training, and all will have completed training by Monday, the 30th.  I will be back in touch with more information about the getting started resources we will be sending to the students, although we believe our students will be able to navigate this system and its app with relative ease. We anticipate putting Schoology formally in place by April 3rd.  Meanwhile, faculty members will continue to communicate with students as they have all year, using email, websites, ManageBac, and Google Classroom. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we make the quick transition to Schoology.

Second, beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, we will operate with a more defined daily schedule.  We will continue to follow our A/B calendar, and classes will operate as follows:

Period

Comment/Explanation

Time

1/5

 

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

2/6                       

6th period is a designated study period for freshmen and seniors only. They do not need to check in with their resource teachers. Sophomores and juniors, on the other hand, will check in with their resource teachers.

10:15 AM- 11:15 AM

3/7

 

noon - 1:00 PM

4/8

 

1:15 AM – 2:15 PM

Flexible meeting time

This is a time set aside for academic help, technological support, or professional development.

2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

 

Faculty members will determine and inform their students of how they will use class periods.  Some may instruct live classes, some may direct students to watch recorded instruction in a flipped classroom arrangement, and some may have other assignments to be done during that time. Faculty members will provide students a weekly plan by Monday morning of each week in which they make clear expectations, due dates, and other course requirements.   Please note that the time designated “Flexible meeting time” may be used in varying ways, and students will have sufficient advance warning if this time pertains to them.  Individual faculty members may conduct office hours during that time, for example, or teams of teachers may need to meet with one another.  Please note that freshmen and seniors do not need to check in with their resource teachers during 6th period. Sophomores and juniors, on the other hand, do need to check in with teachers during that time.

Finally, the officials at AP have advised us that by April 3rd, they will provide possible testing date options.  Once we have the dates, we will look at our calendar to determine any impact.  In the meantime, I remind you that AP’s supplementary lessons currently are available to our students, and I would encourage all to take advantage of this opportunity.

At this point, I know there are many questions regarding if and when we will return to the school classroom, graduation, and other events that normally would take place this time of year.  We are all waiting to see what the coming weeks bring, and I will update you as we know more.  I am very aware of the importance of celebrating milestones and hope that we will be able to honor our seniors in the way they deserve.  We are working towards that end, but I know you recognize that my hands are tied at the moment.

As always, I greatly appreciate your support and consideration.  I wish you and your family good health and safety.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jean Hitchcock
Executive Director
Signature School


March 23, 2020

 

Dear Signature School Parent/Guardian/Student,

 

As many of you have already heard, the IB May exams have been canceled. IB subject scores depend on more than just the exams, however. The IB has decided that this year, scores will depend on submitted work as follows:

  1. IB English scores will be based on the Written Assignment current seniors submitted at the end of their junior year and the IB oral seniors completed just before winter break.
  2. IB language scores will be based on the language oral students took in late February.
  3. IB History, IB Psychology, science, computer science and math scores will all be based on internally assessed investigations, most of which have been submitted.
  4. IB Art scores will be based on the Exhibition (internally assessed by Mr. Darnell), the Process Portfolio, and the Comparative Study.
  5. IB HL Music scores will be based on the Musical Links Investigation and performance and composition pieces; SL scores will be based on the Musical Links Investigation and composition pieces only.
  6. IB Dance scores will be based on the Dance Investigation, performance pieces, and Composition and Analysis.
  7. CAS, TOK, and EE requirements have already been met by most of our students. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. Razor are working with students to finish up their CAS portfolios.

Much of this work has already been done. In cases where work remains to be submitted, your child’s teacher will be in touch with your family to provide more details and support.

Here is a copy of the letter provided by IB to send home to families in which the organization explains its decision. Here is a link to the IB website updating schools on its Covid-19 response: https://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/. Some scrolling will take you to a helpful list of FAQs that will be updated on March 27.

As always, we appreciate your support and consideration during this challenging time. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Wishing you all good health.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jean Hitchcock
Executive Director


March 20, 2020

 

Dear Signature School Parent/Guardian,

Yesterday, March 19, 2020, Governor Holcomb, announced that all Indiana schools will remain closed until at least May 1 as a result of COVID-19 concerns.  I am writing to bring you as up to date as possible on how we are proceeding at Signature School. 

As always, our greatest concern is the safety and well-being of our students and faculty.  Every decision made is based on counsel from health experts.  We appreciate all you are doing to support your child during this time, and we appreciate the manner in which everyone is rising to the occasion to make our way through these uncharted waters.  One of the greatest aspects of Signature School is the faculty/student relationship, and we know we all are tested in new ways to ensure that communication is strong, that meaningful learning continues, and that spirits remain high.  Thank you for your support.

At this point, we plan on Signature continuing online learning following spring break.  Online work will take place from Monday, March 30, 2020 through at least Friday, May 1, 2020.  This morning we received word from College Board that the Advanced Placement (AP) exam format, dates, and means of testing are being changed in light of the circumstances.  This is good news, as AP is reducing the amount of material covered on individual exams, a move that lightens the load for students and faculty.  We are in the process of working through all the information that AP has provided.  Additionally, we have been in close touch with individuals at the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and have been advised that they are working on how to best assist schools at this time.  We should know more from them in the next week or so. Once we have more information in place, we will examine what this means for our students and how we can best complete the year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.  I know I speak for all of our dedicated faculty and staff in saying that we want to do all we can to mitigate the stress we know everyone is experiencing, and we realize that regular communication is key.  I wish all of you good health in these stressful times.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jean Hitchcock

Executive Director