Keep Doing What Works (and Re-evaluate the Rest) First, take a breath. Maybe two. You made it through 2020 and the opening days of 2021. You’ve had a few minutes to evaluate how school has been working this year. Let’s keep what works well and consider throwing out some of the other stuff. A few tweaks can help you soar into a new year. First things first How are you doing? Check in first with yourself, then with the people around you to see how you are all feeling emotionally. For those engaged in distance learning, it may feel lonely right now because so many of our typical outside activities aren’t yet fully available. We’re all craving connection and community. Even though we are physically apart, we are all experiencing similar struggles and doing the best we can. If you are a parent who feels your student could use additional educational support like a tutor or therapist, discuss options with your student’s teacher. Please know you have a whole educational support system available to you. You may be surprised how connected it makes you feel. If your family is doing hybrid or in-person learning, and you are concerned that you need to make a change, you have options, including Apex Learning Virtual School. How’s your space? Take a look at your in-home learning environment. A stationary workstation that can serve as home base and provide a place to keep school supplies is key. Are you happy with your setup? Why or why not? Tips on setting up a productive workspace include considering (or reevaluating) the location carefully, incorporating tactile tools and supplies, and adding a calming art or nature element to inspire creativity. For distance learning, you may need to reorganize to provide access to better lighting or sound quality. Something as simple as a ring light can provide improved confidence in front of the webcam. Habits and organization How does your organizational system keep you on top of your assignments? Is there room for improvement? If you can up your game in this area, first decide if an electronic or tangible method speaks to you. Alarms, electronic reminders, and dry-erase boards can work as well as sticky notes, depending on individual preference. Elite swimmer and ALVS student Grace Wey said, “Going to ALVS definitely taught me to be a lot more organized. In public school, I found it harder to stay organized because they give you so much stuff you wouldn’t use. At ALVS, I learned how to print out coursework and study sheets and put them into binders.” Think about how school has been working for you this year in all of these areas. If you’re considering a switch to distance learning, an online school that has proven experience and success providing distance learning is an option. Learn more at www.apexlearningvs.com.