Dear Parents,

In 1948, C. S. Lewis wrote a poignant essay, On Living in an Atomic Age, challenging those around him to think and respond counter-culturally when adversity hits. When he penned the following words he was referring to the atomic bomb; I, as many others in recent days, have taken the liberty to insert coronavirus in its place. “When {coronavirus} comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about {coronavirus}. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.” My prayer for you this past week has been that you were able to seize the moments the Lord provided and spend quality time with those you love most.

Through our Distance Learning Program, more opportunities will be provided for us to do more “sensible and human things.” We are committed to providing an excellent classical Christian education to our students throughout the duration of our campus closure by providing a variety of remote learning experiences. Throughout the process, we commit to providing you as much information and support as possible as you take a more active role in your child’s education in the coming days. Thank you in advance for your support as we continue to partner together in this endeavor.

Distance Learning Essentials

  • The time off from school is not a vacation for faculty or students. By providing distance learning, it should not be necessary to extend the school year.

  • Please maintain the mindset that students are still in school. It is important to create and protect a distraction-free space in your home for academics so students can focus and fully participate in required class discussions, watch provided videos, and complete assignments without being distracted.

  • We encourage you to maintain a consistent academic schedule throughout the duration of the school closure. Teachers have committed that all materials, lesson plans, videos, and scheduled live conferences will be delivered at the times promised.

  • Live sessions will begin on Wednesday, March 25, and will be held between the hours of 9:00am – 2:30pm. For Logic students, a schedule of each grade level’s live sessions will be sent to parents on Tuesday, March 24. Grammar students’ schedule for live sessions can be found below. Students are expected to attend all scheduled discussions. If your child is unable to attend a live session, please contact his/her teacher via email; students will be required to watch a recording of the session and submit responses to the discussion questions within 24 hours.

  • Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is of utmost importance and can become particularly challenging when utilizing online learning tools. Parents are asked to actively proctor all graded assessments (quizzes and tests) that are given at home/online and to attest that the work is solely that of the student and that no outside help was used (parents, peers, online resources, etc). Character development is far more important than grades received; habits learned and practiced during this time will serve your children for a lifetime.

  • Logic Weekly Newsletters (5th-8th) will continue to be sent on Saturdays. They will include weekly due dates and will highlight assignments/tests that require parent proctoring. Grammar teachers will not send out weekly newsletters as they will be communicating to parents through daily lesson plans.

  • Please support your children by encouraging them to keep up with their independent work at home and submitting assignments by their due dates. Late work policies will remain in effect.

Distance Learning Overview

Arma Dei Academy’s Distance Learning Program (“DLP”) exists to further our mission and deliver the most effective classical Christian education possible in light of the unprecedented public health challenges of COVID-19. Our program was developed to comply with Governor Polis’s Executive Stay-At-Home Order D 2020 017 and other government mandates and regulations.

Arma Dei Academy teachers continue to work full-time to deliver school at home through a variety of learning opportunities including daily teacher-created video instruction, live classroom times, independent work, and hands-on experiences. The DLP was designed with our educational philosophy in mind, allowing students to continue interacting and engaging with rich educational content, teachers, families, and peers during this time. Undoubtedly, the younger the student, the more support he/she will need from his/her parents at home during the term of the DLP.

We believe that in-person instruction is the most effective and impactful way to educate and build character. We absolutely intend to return to in-person, on-campus instruction as soon as possible. In the meantime, we thank you for your continued partnership and remain committed to not only supporting our students and parents throughout the duration of the Stay-At-Home Order, but to make necessary improvements to the DLP as we move up the learning curve together.

Computer or Tablet:
Students will not be on the computer all day but will need access at certain times to participate in live discussions and to watch pre-recorded lessons. Computer time for K-4 students will be very limited. For browsers, we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

Printer:
Students will not be on the computer all day but will need access at certain times to participate in live discussions and to watch pre-recorded lessons. Computer time for K-4 students will be very limited. For browsers, we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

Folders:
K-4 students will need two file folders labeled: (1) At-Home Practice & (2) Submission to School.

Canvas (Student Portal):
Students (5th-8th) and all parents need to know how to log in (as a student) to
Canvas. All 5th-8th grade students already know how to do this. Parents of K-4th grade students, please reference the school-wide email sent on March 22 for instructions on how to log in.

Canvas App:
In order to submit assignments easily with your phone/tablet, download the Canvas Student app on your device by going to the App/Play Store and searching for ‘Canvas Student’ or by following the links below.

  • Click here for iPhone and iPad
  • Click here for Android devices

Parents will need to log in to Canvas using their children’s login each day to engage in distance learning. If you have multiple K-4 students, please note that you will need to log in to Canvas for each of your students for their respective grade level. Quick access links to Canvas are provided below. Instructions for student login credentials were emailed to all families on March 22nd. If after referencing those instructions and you still have questions, please contact Megan Billinger.

Daily Activity
Please use the following links to access each grade level’s daily lesson plans, tasks, assignments, and videos. Daily content will be posted the night before by 8:00pm. For example, Monday’s lesson plans will be posted by Sunday at 8:00pm. (Tip: you can bookmark these as links in your browser favorites for quick access)

Kindergarten
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade

  • Click here to follow the published grammar schedule for live conferences and help sessions. More details provided below.
  • Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s progress as they complete their daily assignments to ensure they are putting forth their best effort with neatness, thoroughness, and accuracy, as well as to monitor comprehension.
  • Teachers will provide parents with answer sheets for assignments when applicable. Please grade these assignments and have your students make corrections when necessary.
  • Teachers will provide guidance on how to file daily assignments for either (1) Submission to School or (2) At-Home Practice.
  • Parents will be asked to electronically submit assignments collected in the “Submission to School” folder every Friday by 3:30pm. Online submission directions can be found here.

Weekly Conferences (Parent/Teacher)
Homeroom Teachers will hold optional live conferences twice a week for parents during the following days/times. You can link directly to the conference page by clicking on the links below. For instructions on how to join a live conference once logged in to Canvas, please click here.

Kindergarten: 9:00am-9:45am (T/Th)
1st Grade: 9:45am-10:30am (M/W)
2nd Grade: 9:45am- 10:30am (T/Th)
3rd Grade: 10:30am- 11:15am (M/W)
4th Grade: 11:15am- 12:00pm (T/Th)

Weekly Conferences (Teacher/Student)
To provide time for discussion and interaction between teachers and students, teachers (grades 2 – 4) will host live, mandatory student conferences weekly during the following times. You can link directly to the conferences by clicking on the link(s) below. For instructions on how to join a live conference once logged in to Canvas, please click here.

2nd Grade: 9:45am- 10:30am (M/W)
3rd Grade: 10:30am- 11:15am (T/Th)
4th Grade: 11:15am- 12:00pm (M/W)

Daily Support
Should you need support or have an academic question, please email your child’s teacher. Teachers will hold Office Hours from 2:30pm-3:30pm daily, during which time they will respond either through email or phone call to questions they have received throughout the day. 

All technology-related questions should be sent to Megan Billinger and all other general questions should be directed to Distance Learning.

Teachers will utilize the Course Modules feature within each Canvas course to organize the content expectations and delivery for the week. Within each module, you will have the following information for each course:

  • Week One
    • Day 1
      • Overview
      • Tasks
      • Assignments
      • Videos
      • Discussions
    • Day 2
  • Week Two

Daily Activity
Students must log in to Canvas each morning by 8:45am and check each of their courses. All assignments, tasks, discussions, and videos will be organized for the week under the Course Modules. All 5th-8th grade students know how to log in to Canvas and should be able to independently navigate their coursework and assignments. Online submission directions can be found here

  • Click on the links below to follow the published Logic schedules for live conferences and help sessions. Click here to learn how to join a conference.
    5 Toews
    5 Hein
    6A
    6B
    7A
    7B
    8
  • All other work may be completed at any time as long as it is submitted by the published due date.

Daily Support
Should you or your child need support or have an academic question, please email your child’s teacher. Teachers will hold Office Hours from 2:30pm-3:30pm daily, during which time they will respond either through email or phone call to questions they have received throughout the day.

All technology-related questions should be sent to Megan Billinger and all other general questions should be directed to Distance Learning.

Our schoolwide scripture memory verse for the month is Psalm 121 with a focus on the virtue; fortitude. 

Virtue/Character Trait:
Fortitude; Strength to resist temptation, overcome obstacles, and conquer fear. 1 Corinthians 10:13


Schoolwide Scripture Memory: Psalm 121 (ESV) My Help Comes from the Lord. A Song of Ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

As a family, learn Psalm 121 together through the power of song. Arma Dei Academy teachers put this beautiful scripture to original music, click here to listen and learn! 

Tips For Success

  • Continue to emphasize the virtues we are working on at school at home. This month we have been focusing on fortitude. The Lord sure has a sense of humor, does he not?! Take the time before the school day begins to ask, “How can we show fortitude today?” “How could you love those around you well by putting their interests before your own?”

  • Give your children responsibilities and jobs to complete at home. Education at Arma Dei Academy goes far beyond the pursuit of academic knowledge through its cultivation of servant-leadership. Brainstorm with your children a list of ways they can serve one another and their neighbors while they are home.

  • Adopt the slogan, “Inspect what we expect.” Each morning, go over daily expectations for school assignments and home responsibilities. Make sure your students understand the expectations, release them to work, and then have your students return to have their work checked. If assignments or tasks do not meet expectations (completion, correctness, thoroughness, neatness, etc.) send them back to try again. If students know that what is expected will be inspected, they will develop the habit of doing their best the first time.

  • Be Patient. Acknowledge that this is a new, unexpected, and less than ideal situation. It is okay if everything is not perfect from day one. We will all learn and grow through this process.

Enrichment Ideas