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HBB Extended Learning

Dear HBB Families,

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”

– Paulo Coelho

The challenges that have been set before us have pushed us all, teachers, students and parents, to adapt to a reality that none of us were prepared for. Suddenly our roles, and our days, look very different, yet strangely similar to one another. We are all stuck at home and many of us feel torn as we try to meet the demands of work while also trying to meet the demands of educating and entertaining our children. We are all worried....worried about what comes next, worried about getting sick, worried about the economy, worried about our kids. Some have more to worry about than others but regardless, we are all connected through a shared struggle.

"There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet."

- William Frederick Halsey, Jr.

Over these past couple weeks I am trying hard not to focus on everything that is wrong. Instead I am choosing to be appreciative for all the "ordinary people" that are stepping up to meet the challenges in front of us. I am impressed with all the parents and guardians who are now stepping into the role of teacher, while balancing everything else. I am impressed with our teachers, who have spent countless hours these past couple weeks collaborating to design meaningful opportunities for our students, while educating and entertaining their own kids. I am impressed with our food services department for getting meals out to families in need. I am impressed with our Family Resource Center, who has been helping families who need it in countless ways. I am impressed with our School Resource Officers who have helped with food distribution everyday.

I could go on and on with a list of examples but I really just want to highlight how amazed I have been by all of those who are consistently going out of their way to lend a helping hand. These days will pass. If we can continue to take the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love we will get through this together and come back stronger. We are witnessing history. This is one of those moments that we will always remember, and you will definitely always remember where you could you forget! I am hopeful that when all is said and done we will not only get back to normal....we will get back to better and we will always remember the better side of our community that arose during a time of need!

"Tough times never last, but tough people do"

- Robert H. Schuller

Updated Extended Learning Plan

As I wrote earlier in the week, we have updated our extended learning program and you can expect to hear from your child's teacher on Sunday evening or Monday morning through email.

Over this past week our faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a more comprehensive extended learning plan. This new plan represents an effort to be more aligned from class to class and grade to grade. This plan also represents an effort to be more balanced in our suggestions for the use of technology, project based learning, social emotional learning and enrichment. Lastly, our plan has detailed steps to ensure equity and inclusion for all students.

I am very proud of my staff for the work they engaged in over this past week. We are happy with the plan and we also believe our adjusted approach will allow more time to engage and connect with students in meaningful, productive ways..

At the start of each week you will receive a grade level plan outlining each day from your child's teacher. You will also be able to access it through the District Website by clicking here This document represents the baseline expectations for all students and we hope that you will do your best as parents and guardians to encourage your child to participate and complete assigned work (especially the sections highlighted in gray on each plan). In addition to the weekly extended learning plan, grades 1-4 each have a website for additional resources and activities. Grade 5 will be using Google Classroom to continue to communicate additional activities and opportunities above and beyond the weekly learning plan.

Our number 1 goal is to engage students so I would like to ask that you please provide feedback to your child's teacher about the weekly/daily plans as we move forward. Now more than ever, we need to partner with one another. There is very little we will be able to do successfully without you as parents and guardians on board. We know the challenges you are facing and we want to be responsive to your needs, so please do not hesitate to reach out, we will be adjusting this plan each week based on the level of engagement and feedback we receive.

If you do not hear from your child's teacher by Monday morning please email me directly.

Our plan and guiding principles were developed in accordance with the guidance provided from DESE.

Guiding Principles

  • Our number one priority is student engagement, and the physical and mental well being of our students and families.
  • We do not expect our extended learning to replicate or replace learning that takes place during the traditional school day.
  • We will seek to offer meaningful, fun, engaging and productive learning opportunities that will take approximately half the length of the regular school day.
  • We will provide opportunities for students to connect directly with teachers multiple times per week.
  • Teachers will provide feedback to students on work submitted but we will not be grading work.
  • We will focus on reinforcing skills already taught this year and giving opportunities to apply and deepen those skills. We will not be teaching new concepts.
  • We will include opportunities for physical activity and enrichment such as art and music.
  • We will offer a wide variety of learning opportunities that will be consistent across grade levels and classes and will include both the use of online resources and activities that do not require a computer.
  • All teachers and special education staff will be working to ensure equity of access for all students.

There is no time better than now to be Burkland's BEST. Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Caring. Be Responsible. Be Healthy. Try Your Hardest.


Derek Thompson, Principal

Extended Learning Information by Grade Level