Canvas: Introduction to Online Learning

While we may not be under one roof together, our mission remains urgent and clear: within a structured and joyful school community, and with an absolute focus on academic achievement, Vega Collegiate Academy educates every K to 8 student for success in college and a life of opportunity.

 

In an effort to balance the pressing needs of our community, and our continued commitment to academic excellence, we have moved to a fully online learning model through Canvas.

 

 

Canvas Logo

 

 

Distance Learning: Canvas

 

Canvas is a fantastic online learning management system that will allow your child to get everything they need all in one place. Top universities across the US use this platform for their online learning, so if it works for Harvard, it can work for us too!

 

 

 

There are three main goals with moving all of our learning to Canvas:

 
Streamlined work for students
 
  • This is one stop shop – no need to pick up any materials from our school other than a chromebook.
  • Everything your child needs is housed in canvas – no need to access other websites, portals, etc. All you need is their email and password and students are all set.
  • No printing necessary! You don’t need hard copies of any materials – all documents (including novels) are accessible through Canvas.
 
Academic Excellence
 
  • Completing a packet at home week after week isn’t beneficial for your child, or you. Canvas allows our teachers to pre-record and live teach videos so your child is engaged and learning – not just working on worksheets. To ensure engagement, it is critical that you and your child make the best possible attempt to be present at all points during the outlined schedule. Please see student schedule(s) here. We also know that following a schedule with littles at home can be challenging – since all of our classes are recorded, if your child misses a lesson time, they are still able to complete the lesson that same day.
  • Students will take part in a Social-Emotional class 2x weekly - we are excited to continue our social-emotional learning model even at a distance. 
  • Field Trips! Museums across the world have opened the doors to the online world. Our teachers are planning lessons that will allow students to explore various museums all over the world. 
  • Exercise! Students will have access to exercise videos - from breathing exercise to yoga to jumping jacks, we will have classes available to get students motivated to move around and use that extra energy productively! 
 
Clear Communication
 
  • You can create your own parent account to track your child’s progress. To sign up for a parent account in canvas, see our parent canvas introductory course here.
  • Teachers will update a student’s gradebook daily so that you are able to track their progress. You can see what assignments they have completed and what items are still missing. This is great for our Middle Academy and Elementary students alike – students can work independently while still knowing their parent/guardian can check their progress to hold them accountable to completing their work. (Of course our teachers are always checking as well – in fact we can live monitor a student’s work on their chromebook!)
 
So where do I Start?
 
Step 1: Get your child set up in Canvas. Click here for directions
 
Step 2: Set up a parent account in Canvas (this is optional, but recommended). Click here for directions
 
Step 3: Take a look at our student schedule(s) here. There is flexibility of course for emergencies, but we recommend that students follow these schedules daily so they don’t miss live lessons and can participate in class discussions with their peers.
 
Step 4: Monitor your child to ensure they are supported and working, but also feel free to let them work! Our teachers have set up lessons so that every child (yes, even Kindergarten students) can work successfully on their own. Some kiddos may need more time management support than others – and that’s ok. All we ask is that you do your best to help your child successfully engage with their online learning on Canvas.
 
Step 5: Reach out with questions! All staff are always available through TalkingPoints – we also check Facebook Messenger every 5-10 minutes between 7:00 am and 4:30 pm daily. A more detailed outline of who to call for what is listed in Ongoing Communications section below.
 
Ongoing Communication
 
We realize that transitioning from our physical school building to Distance Learning will be a process that requires all of us to lean-in and work towards clarity together. Knowing this, please feel free to contact the following people should you have any questions:
 
For questions related to classes, content, assignments, and instruction, please email or call:
 

Elementary Academy (K-2)

Middle Academy (5-7)

Gabrielle Mahon, Elementary Academy Coach

gmahon@vegacollegiateacademy.org

203-560-1800

*May text through TalkingPoints

Jessica Racine, Principal

jracine@vegacollegiateacademy.org

906-362-4333

*May text through TalkingPoints

 
For questions related to Special Education:
 

Elementary and Middle Academy Students

Keith Shaffer, Program Coordinator

kshaffer@vegacollegiateacademy.org

*May text through TalkingPoints

 
For social-emotional support and well-being of your child, yourself, and/or your family:
 

Elementary and Middle Academy Students

Anne Stinson, astinson@vegacollegiateacademy.org

*May text through TalkingPoints

 
For questions about school operations, technology, and enrollment, please contact:
 

Elementary and Middle Academy Students

Tania Baez, Office Manager at tbaez@vegacollegiateacademy.org 

 

Hellen Boyer French, Director of Operations, at hboyerfrench@vegacollegiateacademy.org.

 
 
For questions related specifically to Canvas, please complete our Canvas Help Form by clicking here
 
All staff are available via TalkingPoints (download the app here) and facebook messanger from 7:00 am – 4:30 pm daily.
 
Many thanks for your partnership as we work to define our new normal.
 
 
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