Academics

Spring 2020 Virtual Learning Resources

On Thursday, March 26, Gonzaga’s Headmaster Mr. Tom Every announced to parents and students that we will continue distance learning through Friday, April 24.
While the decision to extend our time away from Eye Street is obviously disappointing, Mr. Every shared the administration's plans for the next few weeks, as well as how proud he is of the resilience, determination, and sense of shared mission he has witnessed from students, faculty, and parents. For details about our plans going forward—including information on class schedules, grading, final exams, AP classes, and more—please expand the text boxes below. 

List of 15 items.

  • Letter from Mr. Every to All Parents and Students -- March 26, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

    This Friday will mark the beginning of our regularly scheduled spring and Easter break. I can’t remember a break that felt more well deserved – for students, faculty and staff, and parents alike. Before I share some important information about break and plans for April, I want to say how very proud I have been of our Gonzaga community during these past two weeks since we moved to distance learning. It has not been easy, but together, teachers and students have risen to the challenge with resilience, grit, and a true sense of shared mission that is emblematic of the very best of Gonzaga. For that, I am both inspired and grateful.

    Many of you continue to ask about Father Planning’s health. He is blessed to be receiving wonderful remote care, both from his doctor and his Jesuit brothers in the community on Eye Street. While he remains in total quarantine at Gonzaga, he is trending in a very hopeful way, so continue to keep him in your prayers.

    Two important areas for all students and their parents/guardians:

    Continuation of Distance Learning:
     First, while spring break will proceed as scheduled, when we return from break, Gonzaga will necessarily extend our distance learning protocols through April 24, in compliance with guidance from local officials. While it’s obviously disappointing not to be back on Eye Street as soon as we had hoped, we have learned much over the past few weeks. After spring break, new protocols and scheduling will be put in place that take into account recommendations from teachers, the administration, and especially from students.

    Please follow this link to Gonzaga’s Spring 2020 Virtual Learning Resources page for detailed information on how we plan to operate during this extended distance learning period, including information on schedules, grading, final exams, AP classes, and more. For the moment, wherever possible, we are not making unilateral decisions about classes and activities beyond April 24. Given the unpredictable nature of this crisis, we will remain responsive to public health recommendations but also hopeful for a return to a new normal. And so we intend to announce longer-term plans as things continue to unfold.

    Spring Break Expectations:
     Second, a message to students. I know you boys are cooped up and anxious to see your friends. I feel the same way, and so too do your parents and teachers. But spring break cannot be a time to relax the Gonzaga community’s shared responsibility to fight this crisis by practicing social distancing. All of us, including young people, are susceptible to contracting and spreading this virus—and it is each of our responsibility to minimize transmission. Doing so is doing the work of social justice that we so often talk about at Gonzaga. Doing so is being a Man for Others.

    So, my expectation for Gonzaga men over break is that you stay physically distant from one another, but remain connected in all the ways you already know so well. In addition, I ask that you either find a way to connect with someone in your neighborhood who may be feeling particularly isolated and lonely, or find a way to make a positive contribution to your local community. Check in with an elderly neighbor to see if they need anything, or drop off a care package of essentials. Give all your old Legos to a little kid in your neighborhood who hasn’t had a playdate in weeks, and whose parents are running out of games and ideas. Mow the lawn of someone who looks like they could use a hand. Grab a trash bag and gloves and clean up your neighborhood or a local park. You can do all of these things while maintaining physical distance—but you can play a major role in helping to ease the sense of isolation that everyone in our community is feeling right now.

    We’ve asked the Campus Ministry department to share ways you can continue to serve in this regard over spring break. If you would like, please visit this link to share examples of how you are caring for others in your neighborhood during this time, which we’ll then share with others. You can find the list here and we’ll add ideas as we get more from you! I am confident that you guys can step up to this challenge and demonstrate the best of what it means to be a Man for Others when it matters most.

    I hope and pray that all families are safe and healthy. And despite what we find ourselves facing, please enjoy your well-deserved spring break, and have a happy Easter! I leave you with this quote from Cardinal Basil Hume:

    “The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.”

    Peace and Blessings,

    Thomas K. Every II
    Headmaster
  • Extended Continuity of Learning Plan

    At this point, Gonzaga will extend its distance learning protocols until April 24. Campus will remain closed and all trips, athletics, events and in-person activities remain cancelled or postponed. While our deep hope is that we will be able to return to campus at some point this academic year, we are nonetheless preparing for the possibility that we need to extend distance learning beyond April 24. We will announce any extension to distance learning as more information and guidance becomes available. To aid in continuity for the reminder of the academic year, Gonzaga’s plan is as follows:
     
    Regular daily instruction will continue from April 14 to May 15, whether online or in person. For this time period, while in distance learning protocol we will move to a block schedule (below). This will allow students to have more concentrated free time during the school day to focus on academic work. It will also benefit both faculty and students as they will have fewer preps each evening, without sacrificing any instructional time. These 80 minute periods would run semi-synchronously. Meaning, while teachers would be online and available for the full 80 minute period as a resource via video/text chat or email, students would experience a mix of synchronous (real-time online interaction) and independent work due to be completed within that block, as directed by the teacher. At least one portion of every class will be synchronous, in order to assess student daily engagement and for purposes of taking attendance. If/when we return to campus, we will announce the daily schedule for in-person instruction.
     
    Date
    Block Schedule Day
    Tuesday, April 14
    A Day
    Wednesday, April 15
    B Day
    Thursday, April 16
    A Day
    Friday, April 17
    B Day
    Monday, April 20
    A Day
    Tuesday, April 21
    B Day
    Wednesday, April 22
    A Day
    Thursday, April 23
    B Day
    Friday, April 24
    Ignatian Heritage Day
    ~ No Classes ~
     
     
    Day A
     
    Day B
     
    1st
    8:30
     
    5th
    8:30
    9:50
     
    9:50
    2nd
    10:00
     
    6th
    10:00
    11:20
     
    11:20
    Lunch Break
    11:20
     
    Lunch Break
    11:20
    12:00
     
    12:00
    3rd
    12:00
     
    7th
    12:00
    1:20
     
    1:20
    4th
    1:30
     
    8th
    1:30
    2:50
     
    2:50
     
  • Interim Grade Reports

    Interim reports will be posted, as originally scheduled, on April 17, 2020. Please pay attention to the mid-quarter progress reports, as they will provide useful information if a student is struggling in a particular course. An email will be sent signaling that reports are available to view.
  • Final Exams

    While final assessments will be administered, we will not expect students to take traditional final exams that count for a full third of the semester grade. Therefore, final assessments will take place within the context of each course and count for no more than 20% of the 4th quarter grade. Third and fourth quarter grades will be averaged to arrive at a student's grade for the semester. May 15 will be the final day of the 4th quarter. From May 18 -21, time will be set aside for synchronous end of semester assessments, whether school is being held in person or online, at individual teacher's discretion, as follows:
     
     
    Monday, May 18
    Tuesday, May 19
    Wednesday, May 20
    Thursday, May 21
    8:30am - 9:50am
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    9:50am -10:30am
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
    10:30am - 11:00am
    BREAK
    BREAK
    BREAK
    BREAK
    11:00am - 12:20pm
    Period 8
    Period 7
    Period 6
    Period 5
    12:20pm - 1:00pm
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
    Extended Time
     
    While it is the expectation that all teachers will assess students cumulatively for the semester, the assessments might not be test based and/or synchronous. Teachers may choose projects, papers, cumulative work packets, or other alternate assessments that will stand in place of a traditional final exam. While this is consistent with Gonzaga’s current practice, please realize that more faculty may opt for alternative assessments this year. Please know, however, that academic rigor will be kept at a high level throughout these assessments and, while not as weighty as usual, poor performance on these assessments could reduce a student’s semester grade by a full letter.
  • Homework

    While teachers may assign work to be completed outside of the 80 minute class, we have encouraged all teachers to keep that to a minimum and to make that work offline to the greatest extent possible, i.e. completing problems from a textbook on paper or reading in preparation for the next day.  
  • AP Courses and Exams

    An AP designation for a course on Gonzaga’s transcript signals to a college or university that college level work has been completed and that the full scope of material has been covered. We intend to maintain the validity of that designation, despite the College Board's decision to shorten exams. Each AP course will have a final class assessment, administered by its Gonzaga teacher as outlined for all courses above, and instruction will continue for the duration of the academic year.
     
    In terms of AP Exams, all options that the College Board makes available will be available to our students. However, Gonzaga will not require that students take these exams this year. That will be up to individual students and their families. The College Board has released the following guidance. Please check the College Board website for updates on AP Exam administration.
    • There will NOT be any face-to-face AP exams this year
    • Students will take AP exams at home
    • Exams will be 45 minutes
    • Exams will NOT contain multiple-choice questions
    • Exams will be administered online
    • Students will be able to take the exam on one of two separate dates to be announced by the College Board by April 3, 2020
    • Exams will be assessing a reduced scope of content, content that would “typically” have been covered before March
    • Students will have the option of canceling their exam(s), and CB will waive the $40.00/exam late fee they would have charged the school
    • College Board will be providing additional online resources, see https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates#free-ap-classes
  • Service Opportunities

    Over spring break, we encourage students to find a way to connect with someone in their neighborhood who may be feeling particularly isolated and lonely during this crisis, or find another way to make a positive contribution to their local community, while strictly maintaining spatial distance requirements.  Campus Ministry has created this document with ideas for how students can care for others in their neighborhood without running the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.  In addition, Campus Ministry invites students to share examples of how you are continuing to serve others by filling out this form. They will continue to add to the list of ideas as they hear from students.  We are confident the young men of Gonzaga can demonstrate what it means to be a Man for Others when it matters most.
     
  • Catholic and Jesuit Prayer and Faith Resources

  • Parent Resources

    Below, we will post resources for parents from Gonzaga's Counseling Office:
  • College Counseling

    The College Counseling Office is available via online video conference and by phone for appointments with students and parents during normal school hours. Please contact your college counselor directly to schedule a meeting (contact information is available here).
    • Click here for a document of Frequently Asked Questions during this time.
    • Click here for information about accessing online admissions information and tours (for juniors and their parents).
  • Spring Break Virtual Resources for Students

    Many museums and cultural institutions are offering free virtual activities and experiences. Click here for a list.
  • Online Office Hours

    The following offices will be available during normal school hours for video or phone conference; please reach out to them directly to schedule a time to meet.
    Counseling 
    Library 
    Campus Ministry 
  • Contacts

    For academic concerns, please email Headmaster Tom Every 
     
    For student technical issues, please email Educational Technologist John Kilroy or Assistant Educational Technologist Jonathan Spencer
     
    For questions about class schedules, please email Academic Dean Mike Howell 
     
    For questions related to admissions, financial aid, and enrollment, please email Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Andrew Battaile 
     
    For questions about student activities and clubs, please email Dean of Students Jim Kilroy 
     
    For questions about athletics, please email Athletic Director Joe Reyda 
     
    For health concerns, please email Health Services Coordinator Debbie Onufrychuk

    For questions regarding business matters, please contact the Business Office

    For all other general concerns, please email Executive Assistant to the Headmaster's Office Kathryn Vaughn
  • Travel

    All school-sponsored student travel for athletics, extracurricular activities, academics, or any other reason is cancelled from Friday, March 13 through the end of spring break on Monday, April 13.

    In addition, Gonzaga is asking that all families please report individual international or domestic travel plans over spring break by completing this form. All members of the school community are asked to monitor the evolving spread of the virus and to be vigilant regarding both international and domestic travel.
  • FAQs

    I am a parent and I do not know how to log into Canvas. What should I do?
    Gonzaga parents do not have individual log in capabilities on Canvas. Consistent with our pedagogical approach, your son is responsible for his learning both in the classroom and online. The best way to ensure that your son is completing his work is to sit down with him and have him log onto Canvas and walk you through each of his courses.

    Will this transition to online learning affect my son’s college acceptance and/or readiness?
    No. We are confident that learning will continue at a high level through our online platforms. Colleges across the country are making similar moves to distance learning protocols. This move is now widely considered best practice in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

    What about athletics? Will this affect my son’s recruitment for college sports?
    No. Colleges and universities, as well as major sporting leagues such as the NBA, are suspending operations as well. College coaches and recruiters are facing the same challenges that we are and will adjust as necessary to ensure that they have a talented crop of athletes for their future teams.

    My son is having trouble with the technology. Who should I contact?
    Contact our Educational Technologists during school hours. Their info can be found in the “Contacts” section above.

    What if wifi goes out or other technological glitches happen that prevent a student from engaging in his coursework during the proscribed time?
    We will all need to be flexible as we navigate the next few weeks. Notify your teacher immediately of the glitch and complete any coursework that was missed by the next class day. Communicating any issues to teachers as early as possible is best practice. 

    If my son is going to be absent, and therefore not engaged with his synchronous classes, how do I report this so he's not considered truant?
    Instead of calling the Office of Student Services, parents and guardians are asked to email attendance@gonzaga.org about absences. Emails should include your son's name, class year, the date or time period of your son's absence, and a simple explanation. These emails are expected before 9:00 am on the day of each absence. Example: My son, Joe Smith, class of 2022, will not be able to be online starting at 12:00 today because of an orthodontist appointment. 
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