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Rubric for Habits of Mind & Work

May 10, 2020 | Abby Hall Choi

Last week Tom shared that we will continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year. While we celebrate the students and families and teachers who are making distance learning meaningful, we are heartbroken that we don’t get to finish the year near each other. 

While we are heartbroken, we are also settling into our distance learning schedule and routines. In classes teachers and students have been reflecting on protocols or expectations that help our distance learning community grow. Here are some of our notes around protocols. 

From these protocol notes and in-class discussions, we could develop a rubric. We wanted to make clear our expectations for distance learning. We are hoping this clarity around habits of mind and work for distance learning will help us grow and learn even more in this new setting. 

Some students have expressed some worry and concerns around these expectations. Please know that we are open to understanding the complexity of these times and the complexities of what your family may be experiencing. For some students the expectation around having our faces visible for most of class is a challenge. We see that this is true, and we have seen many students working slowly to share and show more of their faces these last few weeks. We are so grateful.

While we are open to understanding complexities of individuals, settings, and circumstances, we are also wanting to be clear about our expectations for students who need clarity. 

Here is our rubric for Habits of Mind and Work. The marks from this rubric will be reflected in the first grid of your child’s progress report. Rubrics can be a lot to take in all at once. Teachers are talking it through with students step-by-step or returning to the topic  over the course of a few days. 

We will move forward with progress reports and midterms as we usually do in middle school. Midterm notes will be emailed Friday, May 22. This is a week later than our usual schedule, but we felt that this extension will give us time to talk with students and work together toward the expectations. Remember that not all students receive midterm notes. If you do not receive a midterm email on Friday, May 22, please know that means your child should continue doing what they are doing! They are on track to meet expectations by the end of the term. 

Another survey is on its way this week (5/10/2020) for students and parents. We want to know how your experience/thinking has changed knowing that we will end our year in distance learning. We want to know what questions you have.  

I hope that this information is helpful. 

Please reach out with any questions or concerns. 



Abby Hall Choi

Head of School

Abby Hall Choi has a Masters in Social Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Covenant College. She is also completing a Certificate in School Management & Leadership from Harvard University. As she helped lead Mustard Seed School’s NJAIS accreditation efforts and our most recent strategic plan development, she has gotten to apply and grow her learning. 

Ms. Hall Choi has worked as a fifth-grade teacher and a multi-grade fourth-fifth grade teacher. She has held several administrative roles including Middle School Director, Director of School Initiatives and Improvement, and Assistant Middle School Director.

She likes thinking about how people work together. She enjoys leading work and conversations that enable our community to thrive because we work through complex problems together.

Ms. Hall Choi values caring for the whole person. She believes it’s most important that everyone knows they are a child of God and loved all the time, no matter what. 

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