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Virtual Veritas

As we continue to monitor and assess the implications of COVID-19 as it affects our school community, we are transitioning to a time of distance learning. While our desire is to be back together as soon as possible, our commitment to partnering together to provide a quality education for our students remains unchanged.

In addition to posting homework and lesson plans in Family Portal, classroom teachers will offer live and pre-recorded lessons during normally scheduled class times. Below you will find links to each school's plans, links to online classrooms, this year's "bell" schedule, and additional ways to virtually connect--and continue to grow--together as a school community!

And finally, as we embark on this new experience, please keep in mind these highlights from Jef's recent message to the community about what we hope to achieve with Virtual Veritas:

  • It is not our goal to replicate the classroom experience in your homes. Instead, we want to take this incredibly unique─hopefully once in a lifetime─experience to put into practice what we preach at Veritas, namely that adaptability is one of our aims and that education is so much more than academic content. 
  • We desire for this virtual version of Veritas in your homes to be a source of comfort and routine, an anchor of “normalcy,” of sorts, that serves to put students’ minds on something other than themselves and their temporary plight, a structure around which to organize our new normal for a season, and upon which we can explore, experiment with, and experience new things that our previously busy lifestyles didn’t afford us. The last thing I want is for Virtual Veritas to choke out this opportunity for a different, wholly engaging form of education to be enjoyed by our kids in this season of their lives. 
  • I’ve asked our school heads to work with our teachers to target the delivery of only the most core elements of each class, and to do so in such a way that does not exasperate students or overwhelm co-teachers. Therefore, in the first week of online classes, we will attempt to deliver only a fraction of what would be covered in a typical class, rising gradually each week to eventually cover a larger portion of what is normally covered in our regular classroom environment. This will vary by subject, with math and foreign languages starting with a greater percentage of their usual content, and other subjects compensating with far less content covered initially.
  • Likewise, the structure of our school-at-home day routines will vary by grade level, with the lower grades (GS) being less structured─allowing more flexibility for the co-teacher to direct the day─and the highest grades (SR) being more structured─abiding by the bell schedule─as the students are operating more independently and, therefore, needing that structure to help guide/direct their focus and efforts. The middle grades (SL) will bridge the gap between GS and SR by attempting to abide by the schedule as much as possible. Any Google Hangout will be scheduled during class time, and students will be encouraged to do other work during their typical school day schedule.
  • This modest ramp-up is intended to both ease anxiety and absorb inefficiencies as we aIl figure this out together. But even after we’ve fully ramped up, there should be much more time available in a school day for our students to pursue some broader forms of education, be it the underappreciated domestic arts (hello laundry room, ironing board, kitchen stove, lawn mower and yard tools), the creative arts (drawing/painting, journaling, video production), the personal disciplines (prayer, Bible study, contemplation), or the simply being useful to our broader community by figuring out ways to serve our neighbors (from next door to citywide).

 

 
** Please use these icons as quick links to navigate Virtual Veritas. **
 

      

                  

 


Virtual Veritas Overview

 

At the core of Veritas's approach to education is the belief that students are best prepared for life when equipped with the tools of learning and given opportunities to engage with ideas, experiences, and one another in authentic, meaningful ways. We further believe that parents play an important role in teaching and training their children.

Our approach to distance learning supports these beliefs while acknowledging that the learning experience teachers design when school is in regular session cannot be simply replicated virtually. To give us all time to adjust to this new model, teachers will slowly ramp up to a "normal" school day over the coming days--and possibly weeks. All assignments and instructions will be posted in Family Portal with live and pre-recorded lessons provided during regular class times. 

As always, communication is a key component to the school-family partnership that is central to Veritas. If at any point you need help or have a question, please reach out.

 

The transition to distance learning will be challenging for some families, although we believe that Veritas parents and students have an advantage over most families since so many of our parents are already accustomed to providing instructional help and accountability at home, and many of our students are already self-motivated learners who have developed good time management skills.

Even so, here are a few tips and reminders for supporting your children during this time of distance learning:

  • Establish routines and expectations
  • Define the physical space for your child's study
  • Establish regular check-in times based on the age of your child(ren)
  • Establish time for quiet and reflection
  • Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
  • Keep your children social, but set parameters around their social media and online interactions

Remember, it will not be perfect because neither we, you, nor your children are perfect. You came to Veritas, though, out of a desire to have more time with your children, and even in this current situation, you are primary but not solitary. We are here to support and equip you with resources and encouragement in your God given role as primary influencer and discipler of your children.

 

The transition to distance learning will be challenging for some students, although we believe that you have an advantage over most students since you are already an adaptable and self-motivated learner who has developed--or is developing--good time management skills. Now is your time to shine and put into practice the skills you have been growing as a Veritas Defender.

Here are a few tips and reminders to help get started:

  • Establish daily routines and arrive in the virtual classroom in a prepared and timely manner.
    • All policies for attendance and tardies apply (SL/R). If you will be absent, you should contact your teacher and Mrs. Stewart.
    • You will be counted present once you have done the assigned activity for each class period. For example, once you have viewed the video, completed the assignment, or remained engaged in the Google Hangout, you will be counted present.
    • Schedule and take snack/restroom/brain breaks between classes. 
  • Be prepared by having all of your resources handy--textbook, notebook, pens/pencils, etc.
    • To help with this, identify a comfortable and consistent space in your home where you can work on assignments and join online classes effectively and successfully.
  • Choose to be an engaged learner and pay attention to assignments, online classes, etc.
    • You must remain "in class" for the duration of all online classes.
    • Set distractions, like your cell phone, out of reach if you are not using it for class.
    • Do not toggle between screens.
  • Complete assignments with integrity and academic honesty, doing your best work.
  • Communicate proactively with your teachers if you cannot meet deadlines or require additional support.
  • Dress modestly, but no uniform is required.
 

Launch Resources

Co-teachers, please watch the GS Launch Video before GS Grade Level Launches on the evening of Thu, Mar 26. 

 

 

Students and parents, please watch the SLR Launch Video before Mini School Day on Fri, Mar 27. The video is full of information and tips to help us all understand how Virtual Veritas is going to work for our school community. 

 

 

Grammar School

Communication

We desire to continue to provide students with the excellent classical, Christian education that you have come to expect and appreciate and will continue to utilize FACTS Family Portal as the primary tool for communication between teachers and families. 

Teachers may also utilize Google Drive to share materials and videos. As always, if you find yourself with a question, please reach out!

Lesson Plans

All work will be placed in the Homework portion of Family Portal to make it easier to print one document for the week.

While teachers will utilize both off- and on-screen learning activities to instruct crucial concepts, we will be minimizing screen time for our youngest Defenders. In fact, teachers in all grade and school levels are using this time to look for ways to make the most of these unprecedented times to view education as much more than "book" learning.

Additionally, please know that instruction through Virtual Veritas will be reduced. We recognize the challenge that remote learning places on top of an already high level of stress and are not looking to make this time more difficult, but to provide comfort and routine as we continue to learn and grow this spring.

 

Grammar School students will not strictly follow the regular classroom schedule for Mondays and Wednesdays. Instead, co-teachers have the flexibility to set the schedule for the day following lessons provided in Family Portal.

 

Assignments

Teachers will re-work and filter assignments through 3 levels to help you prioritize and structure your days. Please look for these labels:

  • Priority Level 1 (assignments to keep up with)
  • Priority Level 2 (assignments to try to get to, even if inconsistently)
  • Priority Level 3 (those to omit, if need be) 

Teachers are also being asked to trim content, especially in the first week. Our goal is that you would have a slow on-ramp to transitioning to a fuller school@home schedule. 

Assessments

  • We are still working on plans for how best to collect assignments and provide feedback.
  • Assessment will also come gradually if we are forced to settle into this new routine for more than a few weeks.
  • Some assessments will be sent home for students to complete on their own. Assignments will direct co-teachers in whether to review and correct these or leave for the classroom teacher.
 
 

As our content allows, we will use videos to offer short “direct teaches.” 

  • These will primarily be used in the older GS grades. 
  • We will keep them on the shorter side, and make them optional to you. You always have the opportunity to teach the content yourself. 
  • They will be linked in the lesson plans for you to access on your own schedule. 

Please note, we will continue to offer "Curriculum Chat" videos in order to partner with and equip GS co-teachers. These will come to co-teachers via email.

Teachers are missing students! Each day that we would have normally been on campus (M/W), GS teachers will host a short “hangout” session where students can see/hear their class. 

CLICK THE FAMILY PORTAL LINK, LOG IN AND YOU WILL SEE YOUR CLASSROOM LINKS.

Family Portal

  • During this time, teachers will read a story, practice memory work, or complete some liturgy together and then give classmates a chance to say “hello!” 
    • PreS/PreK @ 8:00am
    • Kindergarten/1st Grade @ 8:30am
    • 2nd/3rd Grade @ 9:00am
    • 4th Grade @ 9:30am
  • This is optional and will only last 15 min or so. 
  • If you choose to participate in this, please attend WITH your students and make sure they are dressed properly, uniforms are not required.
  • All Google Hangouts sessions will be recorded and shared with absent students.

 

School of Logic

Communication

We desire to continue to provide students with the excellent classical, Christian education that you have come to expect and appreciate and will continue to utilize FACTS Family Portal as the primary tool for communication between teachers and families. 

Teachers may also utilize Google Drive to share materials and videos. As always, if you find yourself with a question, please reach out!

Lesson Plans

All work will be placed in the Homework portion of Family Portal to make it easier to print one document for the week.

  • M/W/F will be labeled as "class work"
  • T/Th will be labeled as "independent work"

8th Graders, 

  • Your independent work for the week will still be listed on Monday
  • Class work for each day can be found in the homework section of Family Portal, but will be labeled as “class work”

Additionally, teachers will clarify the type of instruction/class work for each day: 

  • Assignment
  • Video
  • Google Hangout Discussion

Please know that instruction through Virtual Veritas will be reduced significantly the first week and will then gradually build. We recognize the challenge that remote learning places on top of an already high level of stress. Therefore, teachers will utilize both off- and on-screen learning activities to instruct on only crucial concepts in their content area, and most importantly, look for ways to make the most of these unprecedented times to view education as much more than "book" learning.

 

Students should print this schedule and circle the class that he/she has for each period, following the schedule as closely as possible. ALWAYS check your Homework and Lesson Plans in the Family Portal for the latest information and assignments from your teachers. You may click on the schedule to view a PDF version for printing.

5th & 6th Grade, we recommend that students follow the bell-schedule as closely as possible for the purposes of maintaining a good routine. This, however, is not required except on the occasion in which a teacher needs to meet with the class.  For those times, the student should "meet" with the teacher at the typical class time.  Be sure to consult plans in the Family Portal that should clearly designate at the top of each day the mode of instruction:  assignment, video, or Hangout.  Also, see the section below on Google Hangouts.  

7th & 8th Grade Students need to follow the bell-schedule as many 7th and 8th grade teachers will be meeting students in Google Hangouts for a live discussion. If a live discussion is not taking place during that period, students should use the period to complete Class Work.

We will not be holding Study Hall or 8th Grade Study Labs on a regular basis. Mrs. Kim Fuller, coordinator for 8th Grade Study Labs, will be offering limited office hours at a few designated Study Lab times for the purposes of tutoring. Students should use free periods to complete work or to take a break for exercise or outdoor exploration.

 

 

Assignments

Teachers will re-work and place all assignments in the Homework portion of Family Portal. Assignments that take place during the regular class period will be labeled and referred to as “class work.”  Students will still have home assignments (or homework), but they will be called “independent work” for the time being. 

Assignments will be the primary form of instruction for 5th and 6th graders, but they may be mixed a little with the other two forms--video and Google Hangout Discussions. Teachers will label the type of instruction for each class to distinguish between: assignment, video, or Google Hangout.

Assessments

  • Teachers will begin using Google Classroom to organize materials, collect assessments, and give quizzes/tests.
  • Assignments may, or may not, be collected right away.  Though we will make use of Google Classroom to organize and collect assignments, all assigned work will still be found in the FACTS Family Portal.
  • Some assignments will be sent home. It is critical that you help your student to locate a quiet, distraction free area for testing and that an adult be present for the testing. Students and parents will be asked to sign an Honor Contract. Please help us to instill in students a high degree of integrity.
  • Assessment will also come gradually if we settle into this new routine, long term.
  •  

Teachers may use videos to: 

  • Provide instruction on a particular skill or content. These will be pre-recorded by the teacher and will likely be a common practice for math and science instructors.
  • Direct students to an educational video they have selected.

Links for videos will be posted in Family Portal and followed with an assignment.

 

Each teacher has been assigned a Google Hangout classroom, and all links can be accessed through Family Portal. While SR teachers will rely on this mode of instruction more than GS and SL, we encourage all teachers to use the virtual classroom from time-to-time for the purposes of connecting with students and maintaining community.

CLICK THE FAMILY PORTAL LINK, LOG IN AND YOU WILL SEE YOUR CLASSROOM LINKS.

Family Portal

5th & 6th Grade Hangout Classes

  • Students in 5th and 6th Grade may expect to join their Discipleship teachers on M-W-F morning at 8:35am for a brief gathering. Most 5th and 6th grade teachers will be holding Hangout Discussions on Fridays though some teachers may find it necessary to occasionally meet on another day. Other than this, 5th and 6th grade teachers will largely use assignments and videos on Monday and Wednesday.  Check plans in Family Portal for the mode of instruction for each day.

7th & 8th Grade Hangout Classes

  • Our teachers in 7th and 8th grade will utilize Google Hangouts on a regular basis. Therefore, 7th and 8th grade students should follow the bell-schedule and join the virtual classroom 5 min prior to the beginning of each class.
  • Virtual classes will take place during regularly scheduled class time, and student participation is expected:
    • Students should remain engaged.
    • Participation grades may be taken.
    • All Google Hangouts sessions will be recorded and shared with absent students.
 

School of Rhetoric

Communication

We desire to continue to provide students with the excellent classical, Christian education that you have come to expect and appreciate and will continue to utilize FACTS Family Portal as the primary tool for communication between teachers and families. 

Teachers may also utilize Google Drive to share materials and videos. As always, if you find yourself with a question, please reach out!

Lesson Plans

All work will be placed in the Homework portion of Family Portal to make it easier to print one document for the week.

  • Your independent work for the week will still be listed on Monday
  • Class work for each day can be found in the homework section of Family Portal, but will be labeled as "class work"

Additionally, teachers will clarify the type of instruction/class work for each day: 

  • Assignment
  • Video
  • Google Hangout Discussion

Please know that instruction through Virtual Veritas will be reduced. We recognize the challenge that remote learning places on top of an already high level of stress. Therefore, teachers will utilize both off- and on-screen learning activities to instruct on only crucial concepts in their content area, and most importantly, look for ways to make the most of these unprecedented times to view education as much more than "book" learning.

 

The daily bell schedule will remain unchanged and students should follow their regular classroom schedule unless otherwise instructed. See your Homework and Lesson Plans for further instructions from each of your teachers. For a refresher on the bell schedule, you may click on the graphic to view a PDF version for printing.

 

Assignments

Teachers will re-work and place all assignments in the Homework portion of Family Portal. Assignments that take place during the regular class period will be labeled and referred to as “class work.”  Students will still have home assignments (or homework), but they will be called “independent work” for the time being. 

Assignments will be the primary form of instruction for 5th and 6th graders, but they may be mixed a little with the other two forms--video and Google Hangout Discussions. Teachers will label the type of instruction for each class to distinguish between: assignment, video, or Google Hangout.

Assessments

  • Teachers will begin using Google Classroom to organize materials, collect assessments, and give quizzes/tests.
  • Assignments may, or may not, be collected right away.  Though we will make use of Google Classroom to organize and collect assignments, all assigned work will still be found in the FACTS Family Portal.
  • Some assignments will be sent home. It is critical that you help your student to locate a quiet, distraction free area for testing and that an adult be present for the testing. Students and parents will be asked to sign an Honor Contract. Please help us to instill in students a high degree of integrity.
  • Assessment will also come gradually if we settle into this new routine, long term.

 

Teachers may use videos to: 

  • Provide instruction on a particular skill or content. These will be pre-recorded by the teacher and will likely be a common practice for math and science instructors.
  • Direct students to an educational video they have selected.

Links for videos will be posted in Family Portal and followed with an assignment.

 

Each teacher has been assigned a Google Hangout classroom, and all links can be accessed through Family Portal. While SR teachers will rely on this mode of instruction more than GS and SL, we encourage all teachers to use the virtual classroom from time-to-time for the purposes of connecting with students and maintaining community. All Google Hangout sessions will be recorded and shared with absent students. 

CLICK THE FAMILY PORTAL LINK, LOG IN AND YOU WILL SEE YOUR CLASSROOM LINKS.

Family Portal

Virtual classes will take place during regularly scheduled class time, and student participation is expected:

  • Students should remain engaged.
  • Participation grades may be taken.
 

SR Students, Mr. Magbee and Mr. Metro miss having y'all around! If you want to check-in, shoot either of them an email to schedule a time to connect or you can swing by their Google Hangout during our "office hours" every weekday between 1:15-2pm. They would love to hear how you are doing!

Every Weekday @ 1:15-2pm

Magbee + Metro Office Chats

 

In addition to scheduled meetings with our College & Academic Advisors, feel free to join them for a lunchtime each Thursday from 11:20am-12:10pm. Parents and students are both welcome, even if you don't have anything to ask and just want to say hello!

Thursdays @ 11:20 am- 12:10 pm

Mrs. Cantwell (Francis/Müller)


Mrs. Schu (Augustine/Bonhœffer)

 

Homework from HOS

Students

  • SR: In the next week, you are to learn and begin doing your family's laundry.
  • SL: In the next week, you are to prepare at least two meals for your family. (No PBJs, hot dogs, or dependence on the microwave; mom should pre-approve your menu.)
  • GS: In the next week, you are to bake a batch of cookies or prepare at least one treat that your family loves. 

Parents

In an age-appropriate way, invite your children into a discussion of how this global crisis is impacting your family. Believe me, we do not conceal from our kids our stress, anxieties, and fears as well as we think we do. They sense it, internalize it, and begin to parrot it. So, rather than just allow that to take root, let's address it. To quote a line that political operatives are fond of: "Don't waste a crisis." There are valuable lessons to be learned by our kids if we will just take the time to open up and show them how we are processing, planning, and reacting to threatening events. And, as in every relationship, exposing our vulnerabilities will only strengthen the bond of respect, trust, and love. Don't waste this opportunity.

—Jef
 
 

Parents

Begin sharing the history, the stories, of your family, specifically focusing on hard times that your ancestors (and you) endured and survived. Starrla’s family and mine were both farmers/ranchers in western Oklahoma through the dust bowl, and the story of what her grandparents endured in a single year following those days and the second great war has been the source of much grit in us, behind only the promises of God in scripture that we clung to growing up and throughout our adult lives. When feeling pressed upon on all sides, one of us will simply whisper “1946,” and perspective is instantly restored. 

Also, I still vividly remember the fervent, effectual prayers of my family around our kitchen table in the 70’s, and then witnessing with my own eyes the faithfulness of God in answering those prayers and supplying our needs (and so much more than we ever imagined!). My faith became real in those hard times, and it’s persisted all these decades later. Let’s not rob our children of this opportunity to walk with us in experiencing hardship and seeing us, as their parents, respond by humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God’s face, and standing on His promises for life, healing, provision, and more than we can imagine.

“When I… send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  II Chron 7:13-14

We all know that we can’t control what happens to us, only how we respond to it. So let’s invite our kids into this (in ways appropriate to their age/maturity) and show them how Christ has taught us to live, with eyes first on Him and then on others, and boldly professing the hope to which we cling.

—Jef

 

Students

  • SR & SL students, it’s time to switch it up for the next week. SL, you’ll now learn how to do the laundry for your family. And SR students, it’s time to start Iron Cheffing, British Bake Offing, or Nightmare Kitchening in your homes. At least two fine meals, Mom approved and hopefully to include the ingredient shopping for at least one of those meals via ordering online or boldly venturing into HEB.
  • Grammar School students, as we approach the Easter season, I ask that you pick and arrange one or more flower bouquets for your mom and home. If shopping is required, then please pick individual flowers and arrange them yourself at home. Show Mom some creativity.

Parents

Dig out your family scrapbooks, ideally those that predate your kids (you might as well be cleaning out your closets and storage spaces now, right? I mean if not now when the world has stopped, then when?), and share the stories behind those photos with your kids. Yearbooks that showed you at their ages are also good!

—Jef

 

Students

  • GS students, imitate James, of the book James And The Giant Peach. Take up Mrs. McWhorter’s challenge to you in this week’s Chapel to be “passionately purposeful, ambitious, adventurous spirits, fully alive and engaged.” As Mrs. McWhorter said, “This week, look for the opportunities for adventure that God sends you.” Watch the Chapel video again for some ideas. And non GS parents, you, too, should watch this video─it’s the sweetest 9 minutes you’ll spend for a while. It might even make you wish that you and your kids were in Grammar School again.
  • SLR students, be useful. Seriously. Make yourself useful to someone, starting with your family─each and every member of your household─this week. Bonus points for taking the initiative to figure out for yourself what you can do right now to add value to your family and then doing it. 

Parents

Discuss with each other─your spouses, that is─what you will do, with great intentionality, to make this time between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon the most meaningful observance of Easter that your family has ever experienced. Don’t whiff it. You never know how many chances you’re going to have.

—Jef

Your HOS Homework this week is quite simple and applies to every single person in the community (students, parents, teachers, staff, et al): write and mail a letter─a hand-written letter─to someone, ideally someone from your past whom you see infrequently. Bonus points for finding and successfully using an old fashioned fountain pen. Double bonus for using a quill and inkwell.

BTW, these HOS Homework assignments are cumulative...meaning that past assignments persist into each new week. So, keep walking, talking, and serving each other!

That is all.

-Jef

Stay Connected

We're eager to stay connected throughout this season and will continue to meet online and develop additional opportunities for support throughout Virtual Veritas. 

Family Ministries Facebook Page

FM Google Hangout Room

 

password:FMlive 

If your family is looking for ways to stay involved and serve the local community, check out all of the opportunities Veritas Shines has compiled!

Volunteer Opportunities

The weekly School Memo will continue to be the primary source for school-wide communication. To keep up with updates from week to week, Veritas families can look for a weekly email or bookmark the page below.

Latest School Memo and Archives

 

Please check here for the latest campus update (and archived communication) from Jef as he prayerfully leads our school community through this time.

Latest Update

Academic Resources

Curriculum Support:  

A handful of the publishers we use are offering free trainings to homeschool parents. As you have time and/or are interested, feel free to engage in some of your own “professional development!”

  1. Learning Without Tears 
  2. Early Learning Foundations

Reading/Audio Books:  

Enjoy these different options to keep kiddos reading and enjoying stories. 

  1. Free Audiobooks for Kids | Audible.com
  2. Adventures in Odyssey, Free Broadcast | Focus on the Family
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Readaloud | Eric Carle
  4. Veritas Read to a Teacher
  5. GS Storytime Hangout

   

Enrichment Resources

 

Virtual Wildflower Week Info:

This year, upon our return from Spring Break, was to be our second, annual Wildflower Week. In this week, students spend time out-of-doors enjoying the bountiful blooms on our campus. We respond in worship by identifying the flowers and their scientific names and by recreating them in various art forms. 

Here are a few ways in which you can recreate Wildflower Week in your neighborhood as we look forward to celebrating together next year! 

  1. Go for a walk and identify wildflowers around your home. Use this guide: Texas Top 20 Wildflowers
    • Keep a list of those you find. Write their Common Name and Scientific Name
    • Take pictures of what you find. 
    • Sketch/Watercolor the different flowers. Watch Ms. Manchester’s tutorial in this video. Here is the flower picture she references in the video. 
  2. Use this chart to know when to find certain blooms. 

 


 

 

Latest Update

From Our Head of School

Virtual Veritas

Our Distance Learning Plan

Prospective Families

Our Admissions Season is Still Open

Fall Planning