Remote Learning Hub: Resources for Parents



Student Learning Continues Online

Although our physical classrooms may be temporarily closed, student learning is very much continuing at Westridge online.

All Westridge teachers are working full-time from home creating meaningful learning experiences for students of all ages. This page is meant to provide resources for parents as you support your student during this transition, and will be updated in the weeks to come.

Please make sure you are familiar with our technology use guidelines on pages 10-11 of the Student/Parent Handbook.

Click below to download the PDF version of our Remote Learning Plan (as of March 16, 2020):

Remote Learning Plan

What to Expect During Remote Learning

Remote learning is not about replicating what happens in on-campus settings. Remote learning is about creating a strong, healthy online community including a balance of asynchronous and synchronous learning, connections and collaboration. School is still in session, just in a different space.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to view our Frequently Asked Questions on remote learning.

Click below to view your division's modified schedule during remote learning:

Lower School


Middle School


Upper School

Communications with Faculty & Staff

We recommend communicating with the school primarily through email while we are in remote learning mode. We won’t hesitate to pick up the phone if that is best; however, while we are physically away from our phones there may be delays in receiving voicemail. Faculty emails may be found in the online directory, accessed through the homepage of the Parent Portal, and most are also published here on the school’s public website.

You may also utilize the chart below to find the appropriate contact to address your question or concern.

Questions about an assignment or class

Teachers will be available to students during class office hours, which are during scheduled class times and other times as posted by individual teachers.

Teachers will be online for email questions from all students and parents each school day from 8 am - 3 pm. Please note that due to the potential of many emails, they will do their best to prioritize requests and get back to everyone in a timely manner, although it likely will not be immediate.

Technology questions or issues

helpdesk@westridge.org (8 am - 8 pm M-Sat) 

General questions/issues with remote learning

Contact your daughter’s advisor or homeroom teacher for student issues (available online from 8 am - 3 pm).

For questions regarding how parents can best support your daughter, please contact your division director.

Student support and wellness

Lisa Carruthers, Psy.D, Director of Counseling & Student Support
lcarruthers@westridge.org

Tami Millard, Learning Support Specialist 
tmillard@westridge.org

Bonnie Martinez, Upper School Dean of Student Support
bmartinez@westridge.org

Physical Education (for exercise ideas)
Allison Clark, Upper School PE 
aclark@westridge.org

Karen Hanselman, Lower & Middle School PE
khanselman@westridge.org

Edwin Scott, Lower & Middle School PE
escott@westridge.org

You may always contact division directors with issues regarding student wellness.

Financial questions

Kim Cota, controller
kcota@westridge.org

Student and family support during remote learning:

During remote learning, Westridge’s student and family support program will continue. It’s critical that students and families have access to our support services.

Students’ advisors will proactively reach out to them for the duration of the closure. Learning support and counseling will be available at regularly scheduled times.

How parents can support students during remote learning:

The most important way that parents can assist their students during this time is to help set the right environment for study. Check out this article and the tips below to get started.

  1. Set a routine. Help your student create their daily schedule, and build in time for breaks and away-from-screen time. Encourage them to act as though they are attending classes in person (for example: changing out of pajamas, allowing ample time to prepare for the school day, etc.); structure and consistency is extremely important to reduce anxiety as students transition to remote learning. 
  2. Set up a workspace. If possible, allow your student to work in a common space and help remove items that may cause distraction.
  3. Socializing time and check-ins. The transition to online learning can feel lonely at first. Check-in with your student to ask how they are doing and how you can support them. Encourage your student to attend virtual office hours to talk with their teachers and to set up time to talk with classmates over the phone or online.
  4. Get technical help. If your student is experiencing difficulties using the technology, please contact helpdesk@westridge.org
Ideas & activities for kids over spring break:

Looking for activities and other ways to keep your kids entertained during a stay-at-home spring break? Our community is sharing their ideas on this collaborative Padlet (a digital bulletin board)!

Browse the current list and add your own ideas by clicking below.

View Ideas

Technology Tutorials

Our Educational Technology ("EdTech") team has created multiple video tutorials with instruction on using Microsoft Teams. These tutorials have been shared directly with students, and are posted below for your convenience. To view the video in full screen, click on the arrow button in the lower right hand corner.  

If the videos are not appearing below, click here to view them in new window.


Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: March 26, 2020

How many hours a day should my daughter spend on school?

As a rule of thumb, students will spend 3 to 4 hours for each class each week. This time can include reading, writing, homework problems, video watching, discussion board posts, and the like, as well assynchronous or live class activities when those begin. As always, time will vary for each student, and AP courses most likely will take more time.

The amount of time that your student spends on remote learning will vary based on age, temperament, and skill level. Consistency helps students focus, so start with a daily schedule because children learn most easily when they know what to expect. For our youngest learners, it is important to build in breaks and be clear about start and stop times for the remote learning day. Use the provided assignments and schedule on Finalsite to create a basic structure for each day, supplementing social/play time as needed to round out their daily experience. It is not our intention to have students focused on screens all day.

Middle school students will benefit from choice and flexibility. Ask them to create their own schedule based on the remote learning schedule and the listed assignments. Teachers are available in real time to answer questions during the scheduled “office hours” listed on Finalsite. Encourage your students to reach out to teachers for clarification, but also ask that they are specific and clearly state what they do not understand.

New York Times columnist, Kathleen Hill, suggests that parents with children of multiple ages have the extra challenge of balancing multiple remote-learning plans. Delegate tasks to older students—added responsibility can be inspiring for kids, even if they complain about it. Also, try staggering school start times, setting up multiple learning areas, and matching the noise level of different projects so everyone is loud and quiet at the same time.

How/when can parents reach teachers if needed?

Parents can reach teachers via email while we are working remotely and away from our phone extensions. Teachers will do their best to respond to parent inquiries within 24 hours, Monday through Friday between 8 am and 3 pm. You can anticipate that weekend inquiries will receive a response on Monday before the end of the remote learning day.

What if my daughter doesn’t have all of her books/materials at home?

Campus will be open Wednesday, April 1 from 12-3 pm so that students may pick up books and materials. Check in with your division director when you arrive on campus and they will help you access what is needed.

When will students receive assignments and when will they be due?

Teachers will post assignments by Sunday evening for the following week. Students should check Finalsite every morning by 10 am for updates, changes, and due datesfor the week’s assignments.

What is the best approach to teaching online?

Ideally, effective remote learning includes both self-paced (asynchronous) and live (synchronous) learning activities. Multiple means of engagement enhance the learning experience and allow students and teachers to benefit from the different delivery formats. Synchronous activities are essential for promoting community and connection.

Why are live classes being recorded?

Best practice is to keep a record of all class sessions and all one-on-one communications between teachers and students. This makes classes available to students who miss the live class and is for everyone’s protection in one-to-one communications.

How will PE work during remote learning?

Your daughter’s PE teachers will post assignments and activities every Sunday evening (the practice that will be followed by all teachers). Physical activity is vital during this time and the PE teachers are inventing some creative solutions for the circumstances. We encourage students who would have been engaged in team sports to engage in the PE activities too!

Will my daughter still be prepared to take the AP exam?

Yes. The College Board has announced that they will adjust the dates, requirements, and schedule of this year’s AP exams to account for the current circumstances. Your daughter’s AP teachers are aware of the changes and will be communicating the path forward to their classes. For more information, visit our dedicated College Board page on Finalsite.

How do you plan to handle grades and assessments?

Similar to other schools, we are speaking with the California Association of Independent Schools and with colleges and universities to determine best practices for this unique period. We will inform parents and students when our decisions have been made.

What if my daughter is sick? Should I let the school know?

Because remote learning is best gauged by engagement and work produced, we do not need to know if your daughter is sick unless it is for an extended period of time and will impact her ability to keep up with her classes. If that becomes the case, please contact your dean of student support (Bonnie Martinez for Upper School, bmartinez@westridge.org, or Carol van Zalingen for Lower and Middle School, cvanzalingen@westridge.org).

What if my daughter needs emotional or psychological support?

Please let your division director and Director of Counseling and Student Support Lisa Carruthers (lcarruthers@westridge.org) know. We are preparing an ongoing student support structure and plan to maintain advisory, big and little sister, peer-to-peer, and all of the more formal elements of our student support structure.

Will advisory groups still be meeting?

Yes. Your daughter’s advisor will reach out to her regarding times and activities.

Do you plan on continuing with clubs, affinity groups, student council/ASB etc.?

Yes. We will be in touch in shortly as we finalize these plans.

What is happening with Community Action Projects and service learning for Upper School students?

We are still working on our plans now and will communicate as soon as possible.

When do you think you will be able to transition back to campus?

We honestly don’t know but do anticipate an extended period of remote learning. We will follow the directives of the governor, local officials, as well as public health officials, and will provide as much guidance as possible.

An independent, forward-thinking
day school for girls, grades 4–12

324 Madeline Drive
Pasadena, California 91105
Phone: 626-799-1153
Fax: 626-799-9236

Westridge School admits students of any race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs, athletic, and other school-administered programs.

powered by finalsite