This Week at South Vol. 26

Good Afternoon South Students, Teachers, Staff, Parents, and Community Members:

This week teachers and school staff are completing the training and course development that will be necessary to move to an online learning model on March 31st . The two predominant platforms teachers will be using are CANVAS and ZOOM. More information will be coming to parent and student emails, and we will have information on how to access those platforms on our live show from The Den tomorrow at 9 am.

Join us live or visit the archive to view the show after it has aired at Feel free to submit questions for the show at

Also, as we move forward, and rely on more digital means to communicate, I have built a website, which will be used to post all updates to the community, and which also has all archived copies of This Week at South. Feel free to visit, and subscribe if you would like to get automatic updates.

Part I: The News

March 31st Will be First Day of Online Instruction:

Based on the Governor’s directive to close schools through Monday, March 30th, we will formally begin distance learning and assessment on Tuesday, March 31st. 

Grades will still be assigned in the current courses in which students are enrolled based on the current grade in Q, and the work that will begin on March 31st and continue through May. It will be important to access CANVAS next Tuesday, see what assignments are required for fourth quarter, and begin to consider how to pace assignment completion. Expect guidance from teachers when that process begins.

Need to Update Contact Information?:

If students and/or parents have an updated email or phone contact, please use the following form to submit the new information. As we receive updated contacts, they are being entered into Q so that all communication coming from the school will arrive at the correct addresses. Be advised: Yahoo accounts typically get stuck in the filter.

Technology Needs for Distance Learning:

Someone from South High School will reach out to those students/parents who indicated a technology need in the Needs Assessment Survey that was completed last week. A pick up time will be scheduled. I anticipate this process will start on Friday at the earliest. Stay tuned for more details.

Part II: Big Ideas & Their Application

On Building a Routine.

This morning was the first morning in 16 years that I did not leave my house for school. It was a distinct break in what has been a normal routine for me and it was odd. It seems eerie not to be in school during normal school hours; it feels like I’m missing something. This is the point at which I realized it is going to be important to develop a new routine during the day since I will be working primarily from home, and only visiting school when absolutely necessary.

So, I encourage you all, especially students, to challenge yourselves to develop a routine that you can repeat during the week that will allow you to stay productive. This will be even more important since you have far less structure put in place for you. No classrooms, no bells, no reminders of assignment due dates. With newfound autonomy comes more responsibility.

Here’s a quick observation on the power of routine from Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key, a book which relies on both ancient philosophy and modern exemplars to demonstrate the paradox that self-discipline is the key to freedom:

The truth is that a good routine is not only a source of great comfort and stability, it’s the platform from which stimulating and fulfilling work is possible…

The greats know that order is a prerequisite of excellence and that in an unpredictable world, good habits are a safe haven of certainty.

Holiday, (2019), p 200-201

Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay South!

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