Coronavirus Resources

Support for Distance Learning

Not all students learn in the same way.  While students who have been identified as needing additional support in traditional classrooms already receive specific learning support at The Walker School, we recognize that many students may face new struggles with virtual learning and the unique structure of distance learning.  Please check this page often for resources and support to any student or family who can benefit during this time.
Spring Breaking and Social Distancing
Executive Function Specialist Ashley Godfrey gives ideas for engaging your brain during Spring Break and social distancing. 

View the presentation slides here.

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  • The Home Workspace

    Tenants of Executive Function (EF) such as organization, planning, time management, flexible thinking, and attention/focus become especially important during a student’s distance learning experience. Throughout this journey, we will be sharing some basic EF strategies to help your child thrive while learning at home. Today we will start with building an effective home workspace.

    There are various tips and tools that work for all age-levels when designing their home learning environment. To start, creating an organized and appealing workspace is a crucial step to ensuring successful learning. Some basic items to keep in mind and include in your students home workspace are: 

    1. An Organization System for school supplies suited specifically to your child
    A student’s workspace should include everything they could possibly need to take part in online learning and complete assignments, all in one area. This prevents breaks in attention and focus that could arise if the student is having to get up and find things they need as they try to work. 

    Think of any material your child might need. This includes small items such as their computer/phone charger, headphones, a small “stash” of brain food snacks, and maybe even creating a playlist of calming music to help them focus. 

    Textbooks and binders should also be organized and easy to reach within the workspace, not scattered or stacked on the floor around the desk. Details as specific as putting writing utensils in a holder on the left or right side of the desk according to your child’s handedness will aid in maintaining focus

    2. Their schedule and to-do list/agenda posted on the wall
    Having the child’s schedule posted within their line of sight, on the wall of their workspace, helps tremendously in keeping on-track and making sure all tasks for the day are completed. We recommend printing 1-3 copies of the distance learning schedule and posting them on the wall of the workspace, on the fridge or other central family “notice board”, and in their assignment binder. 

    In addition, even if the student keeps an agenda/planner, their to-do lists of tasks for each day should also be posted on the wall where they will be able to frequently update and see it. Whiteboards are a great tool for this, especially in the distance learning environment while things are frequently changing.

    Here is the link to a small whiteboard you can post on the wall that is broken down by day of the week, with checkboxes for each day. This will help hold your child accountable while also orienting to the goal-mindset of checking all boxes off for each day: 

    3. A visually appealing workspace
    Workspaces should stay as neat and organized as possible, and tidying up at the end of each school day might be a useful routine to ensure this. A messy workspace breeds work avoidance and jumbled thoughts, leading to assignments being forgotten or not getting done. 

    The location of the workspace should suit your child’s individual preference. Meaning, some children will like an open, airy workspace, with lots of light and minimal walls/restrictions. Other students prefer a closed-style workspace, modeled like a cubicle, to compartmentalize that “school happens here, this is my office”. 

    No matter the environment you choose, a successful home workspace should be built to minimize distractions. Heavy traffic areas of the home where people are consistently passing through can lead to attention issues. Similarly, spaces that are open to siblings or the family pet can welcome a break in focus. Finally, if you have multiple students in your home, avoiding setting up a workspace against a shared wall will keep your children from hearing each other’s lessons and becoming distracted. 

    Designing an individualized home workspace is both simple and absolutely crucial to your student’s distance learning experience. Have fun with the process and let your child add their own personal touches, they will thank you!
Learning support across the divisions

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  • Primary/Lower School

    Primary and Lower School learners need adult guidance.  Although the level of needed guidance may appear to decrease with age, it truly does not; the support just needs to look different, in order to help the child meet the demands of his or her grade.  Some concerns facing parents of remote learning Primary and Lower School students right now include

    • Finding and/or scheduling the time to provide the guidance children need, especially in the context of parents now working at home
    • Knowing just how much--and what type--of guidance to provide
    • Helping my child prioritize and pace assignments
    • Navigating any learning difficulty, attention, or anxiety issues presenting in a new learning environment
    • Managing screen time during a time of virtual learning
    • Striking a balance and finding how much remote learning is “just right” for my child
    Resources:
    Making Distance Learning Multisensory
  • Middle/Upper School

    Middle and Upper School Students are continuing to learn how to gain independence and be accountable for communicating with teachers, as well as self-advocating for their specific academic needs. Learning support takes on a new role in remote learning. Here are a few examples:

    • Helping students and teachers manage accommodations and providing reassurance to students;
    • Aiding students with checking and managing assignments posted on teachers’ websites;
    • Zoom group meetings to encourage upper school students to share their feelings and strategies with each other, as well as to continue to develop pragmatic language skills;
    • Writing process/editing using Google Docs;
    • Developing plans/calendar to complete work and submit it;
    • 1:1 support with specific skills in all content areas using Zoom and Screencastify;
    • Assistance communicating with teachers;
    • Study skills specific to remote learning;
    • How to “attend” synchronous and asynchronous class sessions
RESOURCES
CONTACT LEARNING SUPPORT

List of 4 items.

  • Sarah Null

    Primary and Lower School
    Learning Specialist
    Email
  • Jenny Karpenko

    Middle School
    Learning Specialist
    Email
  • Ashley Godfrey

    Middle School
    Executive Functioning Specialist
    Email
  • Karen Witkin

    Upper School
    Learning Specialist
    Email
  • Main Campus

    700 Cobb Parkway North
    Marietta, GA 30062
    770.427.2689
  • Primary School

    830 Damar Road
    Marietta, GA 30062
    770.427.2689
The Walker School is a private, co-ed day school offering opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students in Metro Atlanta.