The Learning Continues
Our campus is closed, but the learning continues!
This page will be updated regularly with information about Walden's campus closure and our remote learning plan. Building an inclusive community has been an everyday practice and focus for Walden for 49 years, and we still uphold that the most salient part of a Walden education is about personal connection and the co-creation of learning with students. Even remotely, we will continue to nurture empathy, intellectual curiosity, motivation, and a sense of justice.
In uncertain times, the connections we have within our close-knit community are more valuable than ever. We are deeply grateful for your support and partnership.
- Remote Learning Guide
- COVID-19 Information and Family Resources
- Extra Activities
- Online Walden Community Connections
Welcome to Walden's remote learning guide!
In the spirit of the Walden mission, we are intentionally creating a program that encourages connection with teachers and classmates, inquiry, responsibility, and creativity. We also realize that at the elementary level, parents and caregivers will need to play a greater role in facilitating learning. In this unprecedented circumstance, school, work and daycare are now under one roof. We also recognize that caregivers may themselves be working from home and may have more than one child/grade level to support. From this lens, we will make every effort to design learning assignments and activities that are flexible yet predictable
Lessons - What to Expect
During this remote learning time, you can expect your child to engage in learning in multiple ways. Some lessons will include the use of technology, many will not. Students in grades 4-6 may also be asked to work on assignments, projects, and assessments within familiar tech formats. Teachers will provide feedback to all students through various platforms, individual Zoom conferences, and Google documents (for older students).
Click here for a downloadable PDF of this guide.
- Parents as Partners
- Daily Suggested Schedule
- Distance Learning Technology Norms and Expectations
To launch this process, we ask that parents/ caregivers partner with us to:
- Create a learning conducive space and time(s) in your home where your child(ren) can work independently each day to complete assigned tasks.
- Download the Zoom app on your computer and device, and keep an eye out for log-in information for Seesaw, our learning platform which you will receive on Friday, March 20. Seesaw will be the primary platform for teachers to outline the learning tasks and objectives, communicate overall, and provide feedback. Zoom will be the primary platform for daily synchronous class meetings, and weekly check-ins with students.
- Facilitate your child's online time participation in the synchronous Zoom calls.
- During individual online meetings with a teacher, a parent must be present and nearby.
- Consider the suggested daily schedule below, which includes times for work and play. This schedule is designed to look very similar for all Walden children so they can be working on similar tasks/ subject areas at the same time.
- Monitor time spent engaging in online and offline learning.
- Communicate questions/concerns to teachers in a timely manner. Our faculty will be checking email between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. each school day.
- Read the assigned home learning tasks, activities, lessons, etc. with your child.
- Engage in conversations on posted materials, assignments, activities, etc.
- Be sure that your child(ren) are appropriately dressed, fed, and prepared for learning before remote learning begins for the day.
- Support emotional balance by providing room and time for reflection, physical activity, conversation, and play.
Beginning Monday, March 23, if possible, maintain a consistent routine and schedule. This ensures that students can trust and predict what will happen next. Predictability in any learning environment (home or school) helps students feel secure because they know the expectations, and this frees up their working memory so they can apply their cognitive skills to learning. Here is a suggested daily schedule (click here for a downloadable PDF):
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video-conferencing platform that allows teachers and students to connect for remote learning. Your child's teacher will post instructions for their "Virtual Circle" on their Seesaw page. Typically, this will be a morning meeting, SEL activity, read-aloud or other familiar format.
Zoom is also available for office hours and 1:1 conference with teachers. Teachers will send a schedule with these meetings at the beginning of each week.
Please download the free Zoom app from the App Store (see instructions below).
When will we be using Zoom?
Weekly Individual Zoom Check-Ins
Your teachers will be creating scheduled check-in times with each student.* These meetings will take place as a live Zoom conversation between your child, and the teacher. A parent must be present and near-by during these conversations, although these meetings will be focused on giving the student and teacher time to connect about how schoolwork is going, rather than a time for parents to converse with the teacher. If parents have questions, they can e-mail to set up a Zoom meeting with their child's teacher. Teachers will send out a weekly schedule for these sessions so you will know ahead of time when that meeting will take place. *Pre-K students will meet as a whole group in a Zoom class meeting.
Daily Synchronous Zoom Class Meetings
Once a day, either between 9 and 11 a.m. or 1 to 2 p.m., students will be invited to join in on a Zoom video meeting, during which students will participate in a read-aloud, a lesson, or a class discussion/meeting:
9:00-9:25 am.: Sydni’s Class
9:30-9:55 a.m.: Kristin’s Class, Janet C.’s Class
10:00-10:25 a.m.: Janet T.’s Class, Denise’s Class, Grace’s Class
10:30-10:55 a.m.: Nathalie’s Class, Tina’s Class
1:00-1:25 p.m.: Joe’s Class
(Ella will send out her 6th grade schedule to families this weekend, as it will look a little different.)
You only need to download Zoom once.
- You can access Zoom from any computer or Ipad.
- Go to https://zoom.us/download
- Click the "Download" button to get the "Zoom Client" for install
- Once you click on "Download," the file will automatically download (by default, this will go to your "Downloads" folder)
- Launch the "Install" file: Go to your "Downloads" folder and double-click on the "Install" file to launch the file
- Once you launch the "Zoom Client" install file, a dialog box will pop up.
- Click "Continue" and go through the installation process.
Our Online Learning Platform
Seesaw will require a Google Chrome or Firefox browser. Please make sure that your devices have one of these browsers downloaded.
Using the Seesaw learning platform, teachers and specialists will be able to create and post activities in all subject areas, connect with students through voice and/or video lessons, and support curriculum using the Seesaw online learning library.
In the "Journal" tab of Seesaw, Walden students will be able to see a morning greeting from their teacher at 9:00 a.m. each day that will outline their activities and ask for an attendance response. In the "Activities" tab, students will see and complete assignments and activities, share their work, and get feedback from all of their teachers.
We have also created a Seesaw Village class for after-school activities that will be produced and curated by our Village teachers!
Please look for your child(ren)’s login information in the March 20 Walden Weekly!
- Go to https://app.seesaw.me/ or download the classroom app on your device.
- Click “I’m a Student.” There are two ways you can sign in:
- Text Code Sign-In: Input your child's 12-letter code into the box that says TEXT CODE
- QR Code Sign-In: Cut and paste the custom web address with your child's QR code provided in the Walden Weekly into your browser, print out the QR code image, then click the blue SCAN CODE button, and hold up the printed QR code image so your computer can scan it.
- Please don’t add anything by clicking the “Add” button this weekend. Teachers will not be approving any items until online school begins on Monday morning. Instructions will be given at this time.
- Village Classes: For students to access their Village class, simply click on the student’s name in the top left corner and you will see all the classes the child is signed up for: their homeroom class and their Village class. They can toggle between these two classes to see optional activities from their Village teachers!
Every morning at 9:00 a.m., there will be a morning message from your child’s teacher. Simply click on the “Journal” tab to watch it. Classroom teachers will share the schedule, assignments, specialty classes, and meeting times for the day. They will also ask a query that students will be invited to answer, which will be used to record their attendance for the day.
After watching the morning message, students will click on the “Add” button and then click on “Video” to record a response to the attendance question for the day.
Students can click on the “Blog” tab to see their classmates’ responses to the daily query.
Students can click on the "Activities" tab to find all activities for the day, including math, writing, reading, social studies, and Specialty classes, and flex learning ideas such as mindfulness activities, design thinking, and projects.
At Walden, our goal is to help students use technology, media, and information to inquire, communicate, and create as globally aware citizens when at school and at home. With this in mind, we ask all Walden families to spend a few minutes together to review the following Walden School technology norms.
- Distance learning platforms such as See Saw, Zoom, OneDrive and others are being used at Walden for viewing assessments, class meetings, feedback, and turning in work. Students log into the site with their password from any online device.
- Consequences for violating any portion of this agreement can include loss of loss of network account.
- Walden retains the right to modify the terms of this agreement.
We ask that you please print the following agreement and post it in your child’s home learning space (click here for a PDF).
Online Learning Expectations
Using the Walden Agreements as a foundation, I understand that using electronic devices and the internet is a privilege and not a right and that it is subject to the following rules:
I will respect the privacy of others online and on all devices I access or use. I will not touch any content or file that is not mine.
I will not download anything or install apps, games, or other programs on any of my devices without first asking my teacher or family.
I will never give out private information while online. At no time will I ever give out my last name, phone number, address, or school name— even if I know the person with whom I am communicating—unless approved.
I understand that I can use electronic devices for approved purposes only, and I understand that what I do reflects my character, upbringing, and family name—and affects my reputation and future opportunities.
I will not send hurtful, harassing, threatening texts, or inappropriate photos and videos, or make such posts on social media, gaming networks, or elsewhere online.
I will not say or send anything to anyone using my device(s) that I wouldn’t be completely comfortable with teachers or family hearing, seeing, or knowing about. This includes profanity and any offensive language.
I will not take and/or send a picture or video of anyone without that person’s permission.
I will establish a time for computer device use with my parents and abide by these rules. I will put my computer/device in an agreed upon place at _________a.m./p.m.
If I ever feel uncomfortable about an online experience, I will immediately tell my parents or teachers. I understand that all adults are willing to help me.
I will share my account usernames and accounts with my parents and teachers as requested.
This is an evolving situation. We encourage you to stay up to date by consulting the webpages listed below. We also recognize that the unfolding events may be causing fear and anxiety in students. The parenting resources provided below can help support your conversations at home.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CDC Covid-19 Situation Summary
- Pasadena Public Health Department
- LA County Public Health Department
- California Department of Health
- Global Cases: Mapping
- US State Department Travel Advisories
- Statewide Guidance Offered by Governor Newson on March 12, 2020
- NAIS - Understanding Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Schools Need to Know
- KQED - Just for Kids: A Comic Explaining the Coronavirus
- Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- NYT Parenting: How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
- Brainpop Coronavirus Video
- National Association of School Psychologists - Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus: A Parent Resource
- Help Your Family De-Stress During Coronavirus Uncertainty
- The Kid Should See This - Coronavirus COVID-19: What is social distancing
Have your child(ren) help you find a space in your home where they can do their best school work. A valuable home work area provides an uncluttered surface for kids to write and draw, a comfortable space to read, and all of the supplies they need to successfully complete assignments.
Involve them in creating their special workspace – how do they want to design it to make it special for them and to create their own little "Walden" at home? Here are some ideas:
Outside of school hours, you might find yourself looking for additional play activities for your children. We have created a list of recommendations, from maker activities to movement games.
The Kid Should See This has a plethora of "smart videos for curious minds of all ages." This is a wonderful resource for science, art, fyi, animals, nature, technology, space, food, and music activities.
Many cities, organizations, and landmarks are offering virtual tours! Take your child to the San Diego Zoo, Yellowstone National Park, Paris, the Great Wall of China, or even Mars!
Here are 6 design thinking projects that take students through the 5 stages – empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test – and get them digging deeper.
The Handwork Studio has adapted some of their favorite projects to be made with common household items. From upcycling toilet paper rolls to spring-themed projects, these daily activities help kids get creative and resourceful.
With GoNoodle Games, kids have to get up off the couch to play – they use their actions to control a suite of fun movement mini-games designed to wake up their bodies, engage their minds, and let them have tons of fun – with no controller, data connection, or extra hardware required! All you need is a smart device and the free GoNoodle Games app!
Common Sense Media is the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families. If you are interested in getting movie, app, or general tech recommendations, check out this great resource.
- What is the remote learning plan for the next month?
- Are there any COVID-19 Cases at Walden?
- Should I inform Walden staff if I suspect exposure to COVID-19?
- Will Walden events be canceled or postponed?
- What should we do about spring break travel?
- What can you do at home?
We are grateful that we are lucky to live in a time where we don't have to choose between safety and the continuity of learning. There are powerful collaborative tools that will allow us to learn and stay connected while also limiting the impact and exposure of COVID-19 on our Walden faculty, staff and extended families. We are also mindful of the balance and anxiety of in-person gatherings against the loss of human contact in the online learning environment, and are actively exploring ways to maintain our sense of community during this extended physical absence.
Here is our plan for remote learning through April 13:
Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13
- All events, including tomorrow morning's assembly, are canceled, and the campus is closed to visitors and vendors outside the current student, parent, and faculty/staff community.
- Walden will have regularly scheduled on-campus classes; teachers and students will prepare together for distance learning.
- We will be asking students to prepare to take home all their belongings on Friday to prepare for in-home learning. Students will bring home folders with work for next week.
- We will also check with students and families about your capacity to engage in online learning, so you can trouble-shoot with your teachers before the first day.
- If your child is healthy, we sincerely ask that you do not pick your child up early during these days to allow for collaborative planning for the remote learning period.
- Walden's campus will be closed to students after dismissal Friday afternoon.
Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15
- The Walden campus will be deep cleaned and sanitized.
Monday, March 16
- We encourage families to use this day to settle in to the change and take care of your mental and physical well-being.
- Our faculty and staff in-service day originally scheduled for March 23 will be moved to this day, and teachers will prepare for the transition to our online learning systems with support of our IT consultant and leadership team.
Tuesday, March 17
- Students are studying independently this day, finding their work space at home, using the materials sent home with them on Friday, March 13.
- Teachers will have another professional development day to prepare for remote teaching and learning the following week.
Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 20
- Keep an eye out for an email from Kelli Dawn Holsopple, Director of Curriculum, with details regarding our transition to online learning, including specific learning plans and platforms on Wednesday, March 18
- Parent-teacher conferences will be held virtually via videoconferencing or over the phone.
- Your child's teacher will be in touch with you to confirm conference times. Please look for an email with instructions for how to join the videoconference or phone meeting.
- We respectfully ask that you keep these meetings with teachers focused on your student's progress to date and other questions related directly to your student's learning; all questions related to the new distance learning model will be addressed in Kelli Dawn's community email.
Monday, March 23 to Friday, March 27 & Monday, March 30 to Wednesday, April 1
- Remote learning will begin for Walden students and teachers.
- Please be assured that the plan will include opportunities for office hours and face-to-face time with teachers, as well as synchronous and asynchronous learning options in consideration of various family circumstances and situations.
Thursday, April 2 to Friday, April 10
- Spring break – no in-person or online classes
In keeping with CDC guidelines, we strongly recommend that community members avoid travel to any country designated with a CDC Level 3 Travel Notice. Also, we expect all community members to adhere to the CDC guidelines on all safety measures taken when returning from international travel or affected areas. As of March 12, this includes China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. The CDC has also issued directives for travelers returning from areas experiencing local outbreaks. The guidance asks these travelers to distance themselves from the public for 14 days by staying home from work and/or school, avoiding public spaces and public transit and monitoring themselves for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. If you are returning from areas experiencing outbreaks and you develop an illness, you should immediately call your healthcare provider. If you are planning to continue with non-essential international travel during spring break, be prepared for a possible disruption in travel plans, should the government issue new travel restrictions, or make changes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The CDC updates its travel notices regularly; please visit their website for the most up-to-date information. Note that there are not currently any advisories against non-essential travel with California or Los Angeles.
We ask that you please keep us informed of any travel plans your family might have.
In addition to social distancing, another critical way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene. As we have shared previously, this includes thorough hand washing and avoiding to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. We also encourage you to get a flu shot if you have not already. If you or your child are feeling ill, please avoid public spaces during the time of our distance-learning period.
During the campus closure, we encourage families to practice social distancing in their own lives. This means avoiding large-scale events such as concerts, sports competitions, large gatherings, or smaller but highly social events such as parties. And please follow the CDC guidelines when it comes to traveling internationally and what steps you should take.
To see pictures of your child's and their friends's smiling faces throughout the school year, visit our Vidigami account!
Community Room in the Pond
Under "Groups Dashboard" in the Pond, the password-protected portal of our website, we have created an online Community Room. This is a place to share stories, photos, videos, and activities with the Walden community, and have discussions on topics related to the current campus closure and in-home learning.
Send your pictures and videos!
Show us your home office, your cozy reading corner, or your hobbies! Take a photo of how you learn and work at home or of what you do in your spare time. You can also send a short video (up to 1 minute max). Please add a brief description of your photo/video in a sentence. You can either upload your media to the Remote Learning folder in Vidigami, or send it to Birthe Landerer to upload to our online Community Room. If you give permission for your photos to be shared on our social media accounts, please let Birthe know!