March 17, 2020

Dear Lower School parents, 

I wish I was saying hello as I opened your car door or greeting you coming down the walkway towards our front doors! Alas, staying home is the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves and our greater community as we face this health crisis. Nevertheless, we believe that it is absolutely imperative that our students’ minds stay engaged and active during this time. So, while we are away from school physically, the Lower School faculty and staff have been working hard to ensure that your children don’t stay away from learning.

Our plan is fairly simple. Every day, your child’s homeroom teacher will post content to the classroom Seesaw account by 8 a.m. This content will vary by grade level and day, but will include recommended activities, assignments, and an opportunity for your child to see and hear from their teachers. Specials teachers will also be adding content to Seesaw. If you have PE on Day 5, you can expect to see something uploaded to help keep you physically active and health conscious that day. Similarly, if you have Art on Day 3, Mrs. Zinder or Mrs. Grissom may upload a painting for you to observe and reflect on, along with a suggested activity.

Additionally, each homeroom teacher will be “live” each day for a period of time to answer questions and provide some interaction. You will receive an email from your child’s homeroom teacher including details about how this will look for their class. They will also walk you through how they will be capturing “attendance” and monitoring for student engagement. Throughout this time, you can also continue to communicate with your teachers through all of the regular means, including email and Seesaw.

Student/Family Expectations:

  • Log in to Seesaw by 8:30 a.m. daily to view content for the day (and be marked as “present” at school).
  • Complete any assignments in a timely fashion.
  • Contact your teacher through Seesaw, Google Classroom, Email, or Google Meet for questions.
  • Demonstrate participation and engagement (by posting daily attendance in Seesaw, for example).
  • Email Jay Parrish at if your child will be “absent” for any reason.

Because of the timing of all of this, we will not signal the end of Marking Period 3 (which was scheduled for March 26) with grades and comments on the report cards. Teachers will continue to chart progress and development of students (and grades 3-5 will continue to have grades), but we will effectively merge MP3 and MP4 into a semester grade accompanied by comments at the end of the year. Teachers will stay in close communication about any issues that may arise regarding your child’s school work.

Despite all of our efforts, this will feel really different. I cannot stress enough how important it will be to set up a routine for your families. In my house, each day from 8 a.m-3 p.m. will be a “TV/video games-free zone” as we will be dedicating the traditional school hours to school work, reading, chores around the house, family board games, and playing with the pets. You’ll decide what works best for your family, but remember that children thrive on routine and clear expectations.

It is our sincerest hope that this period of time presents some opportunities for great learning and growth for all of our students and that we will be back together soon to continue that work on campus. Until then, please be well and reach out to me with any concerns or questions.


Ingrid Moore 
Director of Lower School


Technology Integrationist Kathy Karmolinski has created a helpful document if you have questions about Seesaw: Seesaw for Parents

Lower School Academic Dean Becky Groves has created this helpful document for all of the academic apps on the student iPads: Student Apps

Instructions for how to do “attendance” on Seesaw: Tips for Seesaw Attendance
The Steward School | 11600 Gayton Road | Richmond, VA 23238 | 804-740-3394
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