100 Overlook Circle New Rochelle 10804
100 Overlook Circle New Rochelle 10804

Distance Learning

4/2/20


Scheduling Updates for April


Dear T-D Family,


Wednesday morning, April 1, Thornton-Donovan School held a K-12 faculty meeting, not at school but attended through Google Hangout, courtesy of Scott Paris. All T-D faculty members were quick to acknowledge that teaching remotely is an extremely difficult task and that every teacher is working harder than if school was operating on campus. The faculty fully understands how difficult it must be for the parent body and with so many days away from school how difficult it is to keep social capital strong and continue to be a cohesive community. T-D wants to keep its annual school calendar in place. Consequently, there will be no classes taught from April 8-12 as it is our scheduled Passover/Easter holiday.

To help parents cope with the social and and economic fallout that the virus has thrust upon everyone, the faculty wants to shorten the spring vacation. I’m not sure who could use a vacation more – our mentors, our parents or our students.  T-D’s faculty will teach on five of the 10 days off from April  20 through May 1.  For the first week classes will continue to be taught remotely on Monday,-4/20, Wednesday-4/22 and Friday-4/24.  For the second week of the holiday two days of classes will be given – Tuesday-April 28 and Thursday- April 30.

Many parents and several students have sent emails to me thanking Thornton-Donovan’s teachers for work being done par excellence.  As Headmaster, I would like to do likewise and can tell you outright that this virus has put more spirit and energy into each and every classroom teacher.  Whatever emaiI I receive from you (parent or student) will be posted.  Then they, like you whom they cheer on, will be cheered on and energized even more by your email messages.

As an aside, Assunta Pugliese wants parents and students to know that despite her best intention, the Community Service requirement for this school year 2019-20 has been waived.

Re-registration information will be with you in a few days.

Immense thanks to all.
Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.Headmaster

3/31/20
 Holy, Holy, Holy

Mrs. Vasendin Made 100 Masks and The N.Y. State Troops
Dear T-D Family,


This past Friday, T-D, one of four schools in the containment zone in the epicenter in New Rochelle, was sanitized by the New York State Guard. The State Guard is a volunteer force which augments and supports the New York State National Guard with manpower and skills. About fifteen uniformed young men and women deep cleaned all five school buildings. They paid lots of attention to solid surfaces. They also disinfected all outdoor playground equipment. T-D thanks them immensely for their four hours of work. Holy mackerel!


Of course, right now, T-D is ready to open but any opening date can only be written as tentative. With students sometimes only six inches away from each other, the six feet of social distancing required is not achievable. Not even holy water could resolve this. 


With the extension of the social distancing date until April 30th, T-D’s earliest date to return to classes would be Monday, May 4th. You already know this date is also tentative. Holy smoke!


What isn’t tentative is the 3rd quarterly exam schedule. The dates for the exams are as follows: Monday, April, 6th; Tuesday, April 7th, Tuesday, April 14th and Wednesday, April 15th. On each of these four dates two quarterlies will be administered, beginning with Periods 1 and 2 exams and ending with Periods 7 and 8 tests. Morning exams will begin at 10 am and afternoon exams at 1 pm each day. All exams will be untimed. Not all exams will be written exams as teachers may choose other modalities. The exams will be included in the Third Quarterly Report Card grade and each exam will be weighted at the teacher’s discretion. Obviously, all students will be tested on the honor system. Holy Moses!


The T-D faculty has done a stellar job setting up long distance learning for a variety of teaching levels and has produced online curricula while dealing with their own quarantine situations. Please note, there will be no online classes on the four Third Quarterly Exam dates.


Obviously, T-D’s Sacred Geography Travel-Study went up in smoke! Refunds will be processed as soon as all business at hand is settled. For all travelers to Israel and/or Rome, there will be a penalty of $1100 per person deducted from their refund. As all travel insurance is null and void in a pandemic situation, those who purchased insurance will have their premium refunded. At a time when much of the world focuses on the Holy Land and all things spiritual, T-D finds itself in a holy state of mind.


Re-registration forms will be sent soon.


Hoping for us all to be made (w)hole again,


Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

3/25/20 A.C.
April 1-No Morning Classes
 Dear T-D Nation:

Just a short note to say that Thornton-Donovan School will continue to follow Governor Andrew Cuomo’s advice and guidance when it comes to a school re-opening date. As soon as that date is announced, it will be shared with everyone.  I wish it were tomorrow, but no way Jose.

To help relieve the stress that the faculty has been feeling, as they teach lesson after lesson, day after day, in this new format, morning classes next Wednesday, April 1 will be suspended. This will allow me to speak to all Thornton-Donovan mentors and hear their reactions to long distance learning, Please remind your sons and daughters that classes on Wednesday, April 1st will not begin until 12:00 noon.

Please rest assured that T-D will be in a more stubborn pursuit to re-open than the virus has been in silencing our school bells. A.C. or after Covid-19 is where I’d like to be.

Very truly yours,
Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.Headmaster

March 23, 2020
Weatherproof

Dear T-D Family-Wherever you are,

Should this have been a normal school morning, there would have been several calls to T-D to find out if this was going to be a snow day. Parents worry. I can announce, however, that school is open, as we are currently weatherproof, at all auxiliary portals.

While there are several schools, some considered elite, that are not yet operating a distance learning program, T-D’s was up and ready almost immediately. I am immensely grateful to Shannon Moss and mrp for organizing our personalized, connected, and consistent distant learning program. I never thought I would write that kind of sentence!

Don’t get me wrong, each and every faculty member is adding his or her special qualities and teaching style to the online educational platform. Hip, hip, hooray! Without our trusted in-house talent, not much-if any, collaborative learning would be taking place.

T-D is committed to try to keep our students motivated, learning, and connected with student life. Every school day all our students must attend their classes. This will help keep their routines in place and keep them engaged. Also, attendance will go on their permanent records as before.

Obviously, we will not be opening Thursday, March 26. I will give you more detailed information this Wednesday.

Lots of wonderful things have already occurred on the distant learning programs. John Proctor and Nestor Bodescu have created exciting science projects. Maryam Chaudhary and Elliot Neuman have also been doing great work.     

 T-D’s Upper Schoolers are very comfortable with the Google Classroom format and enjoy the Google Hangout for instruction and comradery.

We are in this together and, rest assured, our faculty is prepared to do everything in its power to continually enhance the online classes.

Little did Miss Emily Thornton know a century ago that no weather condition could again close her school. There is indeed always a “silver screen” lining.

Sincerely,

Douglas E. Fleming
Headmaster



Despite the challenges of distance learning most students are thriving!

Below is a brief look at two of the projects made from home during this time!

John Proctor – Grade 7 – Pathogens
Nestor Grade 3 – Tank Project

Distant Learning Details for Students
Grades 6-12

Dear T-D Family,


Thornton-Donovan will be moving to distant learning from Thursday, March 12th and all classes will be taught online. 


Thursday and Friday, March 12th and 13th we will be trialing this system to give students the opportunity to get used to this system and organize themselves. By Monday, March 16th, we anticipate that students will be settled. 


Students are expected to log on to google classroom and treat Monday through Friday as a regular school day- with classes being accessed remotely rather than being in school. 


How will school work? 

  • Students are expected to register with their period 1 teacher at 9am to state they are present for the day. An assignment or question will be posted and students must respond. If students are not present online at 9am, they will be marked as absent or late just as they would on a normal school day.
  • Student schedules will remain the same, with 8 periods throughout the day including their lunch break. (No class during lunch. No need to check in.)
  • Teachers will be posting classwork online and this will be in a variety of formats such as independent classwork, participation through online conversation (typed and video chat), and may also be in the form of project work over a longer period of time. 
  • Students will not need to check in during their free periods. If you are free 8th, you’re done after 7th.
  • It is important that students pay attention to the deadlines set by teachers for their work, for example their Science class may start at 1:30 (Period 7) and the work may be due by the end of that class time. It is the students responsibility to keep up to date with their classwork and homework. If classwork or homework are missing, students will not receive a grade for this work and it will be considered missing. Please note this would then affect their grade for this quarter. 
  • It is imperative students remain active on google classroom. Teachers will be available from 9am to 3pm for support online, just as we would be in school.

If you have any questions about a subject please contact staff via email or google classroom and we will be happy to assist. If you have any technical questions regarding google classroom, please email Shannon Moss (smoss@td.edu) or alternatively Scott Paris (mrp@td.edu). 


We would like to thank students and parents for your patience as we move to distance learning over the next few weeks. We are confident this will be successful and minimize the disruption to T-D’s curriculum. The bell schedule is located at http://td.edu/handbook/#bell  and is the following: 


Homeroom (Period 1 classroom): 9 AM

Period 1: 9:15 – 9:55

Period 2: 9:58 – 10:38

Period 3: 10:41 – 11:21

Period 4: 11:24 – 12:04

Period 5: 12:07 – 12:47 – Lunch K-8 (No check-in MS)

Period 6: 12:50- 1:30 – Lunch 9-12 (No check-in HS)

Period 7: 1:33 – 2:13

Period 8: 2:16 – 3:00

School Dismissal: 3:00