Ralph Thoresby School

Ambition and Achievement for All

  • Welcome to Ralph Thoresby School
  • Beliefs, Aims & Expectations
  • Meet the Team
  • Performance
  • Ofsted Report
  • GCSE Results
  • Personal Development
  • Extra Curricular Activities, Trips and Visits
  • Documents & Policies
  • Parent/Carers Info
  • Safeguarding
  • Pupil Premium
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Event Booking
  • Curriculum Statement
  • Subject Information
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
  • The RTS Learning Journey
  • Revise Wise
  • Year 8 into 9 Specialisms
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Remote Learning
  • Staff Contacts
  • Welcome to Sixth Form
  • Courses and Requirements
  • Apply to Sixth Form
  • Admissions Process
  • How to Find Us
  • Exam Information
  • Further Opportunities
  • Sixth Form Attendance Policy
  • 16-19 Tuition Fund
  • 16-19 Bursary
  • Bus Timetable
  • A-Level Results
  • Careers, Destinations & Retention

Student Portal Information and Guidance

The Arbor Student Portal is where all students can go to view their student profile and check on important information relating to school life. The Student Portal will allow you to…

  • See what events you have coming up
  • See which classes you’re taking
  • View your attendance and behaviour stats
  • See which homework assignments you’ve got coming up
  • Submit completed assignments
  • View your assignment marks and comments

Here is a short video that will give you an overview of the Student Portal:

What's on the Arbor Dashboard?

When you log in, the first page you’ll see is your Arbor Dashboard, from which you can access all of the areas of the Student Portal. 

Using the menu at the top you can access your items to access your calendar or your account, take a look at the sections below for further details. You can also sign out.

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In the  Calendar  section, your last and next events are shown. You can also see all the events you’ve got coming up for today, as well as what room it will take place in.

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On the main page, you can see your attendance, and how many behaviour points you’ve been awarded. You can also see your assignments – take a look at the section below for more details.

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In the  My Courses  section, you can see all the classes you’ve been enrolled into.  Top Tip: You can click the course to see more information, including when the last lesson is scheduled for.

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Resetting your password and viewing your calendar

If you go to  My Items > My Account  you can see your current username and password. Click to change the password you’ll use when you next sign in.

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To see a full calendar of your events go to  My Items > My Calendar . 

To change the date, click on the Calendar   icon to skip ahead and see what’s coming up, or use the buttons to view today, this week or this month.

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Assignments

If you’ve got any homework (known as Assignments in Arbor), you’ll see this on your Arbor Dashboard. Click the assignment to view more details.

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You’ll be able to see what class the assignment is for, as well as the due date and the task required. If the teacher has sent over any resources for you to use they will also show here for you to download.

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To submit your completed assignment, click the box. Select the file then upload it.

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Don’t press Mark as Submitted until you’ve uploaded all your files, as you won’t be able to go back and add more later!

To delete a file, just click the bin icon.

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Once you’ve submitted your assignment, you’ll see it says it is waiting for the teacher to mark it.

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Once your teacher has marked your assignment, it will show on your  Arbor Dashboard  as marked.

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You can click into the assignment to view your mark and any comments.

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Parent Portal

  • Key Contacts
  • Letters Home
  • Arbor Parent Portal/App
  • Parents' Evening: Booking System
  • Parents' Evening: How To Guide
  • Parents' Evening:Y11 Letter
  • Parents' Evening: Video Guide

School Reception (Mon-Fri)

  • During term 09:00 - 16:30
  • School holidays 10:00 - 15:00
  • Telephone 0113 397 9911
  • Fax 0113 261 3132

General Enquiries:  [email protected]

Staff Contacts:

https://www.ralphthoresby.co.uk/ key-contacts /

For free paper copies of letters sent via email, please contact [email protected]

Holtdale Approach Leeds LS16 7RX

Email: [email protected]

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Help Centre

  • Arbor Help Centre
  • Arbor - Getting started
  • Introduction to Arbor - Guide for new Admins, Data Managers and Back-office Staff

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This guide and further training

This guide is part of our series of introduction guides for new users.

  • You can see other guides for Exams Officers, Attendance Officers or MAT MIS users here: New user training guides
  • You can see our guide for teachers here: Guide for new Teachers

If you'd like further training, take a look at the services we offer here: Customer Education and Training Services . Then contact your Account Manager if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor.

We designed Arbor to open data up to everyone and automate repetitive tasks to save you time. The student, staff and guardian profiles have been specially built to allow administrative staff like you to see an overview for everyone at your school, plus our bulk pages and Data Quality Dashboard help you tidy up and add data.

This guide will give you an introduction to managing user access to the MIS, common HR and student administration tasks and will teach you how to do the most important actions in your day-to-day life.

Logging in yourself

If you have not logged in to Arbor yet, welcome! Your school is now live and it’s time to log in. Launch an internet browser - we recommend Google Chrome, and go to your school's URL e.g. http://[exampleschoolname].uk.arbor.sc. Follow the instructions in the Logging in for the first time section of this article: Log in and out of the School MIS as staff

If this does not work, get in contact with someone else in your school’s office team who will be able to send you a reset password email and follow our troubleshooting guidance in this article .

Helping other staff to log in

Once you’ve logged in, you may need to help other staff to log in. You can send staff a welcome email that includes their username and a link where they can set their password. You can also manually set a password for them, or get them to reset their password if they are struggling to log in.

Follow the instructions in the Helping other staff to log in section of this article: Log in and out of the School MIS as staff and troubleshooting login issues

Top Tip: The most common login issue staff will have is when they're asked to add in a Date of birth when logging in. This means the system is trying to log them into an old guardian profile - follow these instructions to remove the email address on the old profile.

Sending login details to Guardians

If your school has already switched on the Parent Portal , you may need to support Primary Guardians with logging in. You can see more details about what this is here: Getting started with the Parent Portal and Parent App

You can track parental engagement, and send out login emails from our Students > Parents & Guardians > Parent Portal Usage page. From here you can select all guardians, or just one specific guardian who needs to log in using the bulk actions. You can see full instructions of how to do this here: Sending and resending login details to Guardians

There are many reasons why parents may be struggling to log in to the Parent App or Parent Portal. You can share this article with parents so they can troubleshoot login issues they're experiencing, and to help you determine what the issue is. You can then use the tips in this article to resolve the issue before raising it with the Arbor Support Team if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor .

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My Homepage

This is the first screen that you will see when you log in to your school's Arbor site.

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  • Top menus and site links
  • My Calendar
  • School notices
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Take a look here for a full breakdown of how you can use each section:   My Homepage - your personalised Arbor Homepage

Why does my view look different to teachers?

If you’re an administrator with no teaching or pastoral responsibilities, your homepage will look different to other staff at your school:

  • You won’t see incomplete attendance registers in your To Do section.
  • You won’t get most alerts as you aren’t linked to specific students.
  • You won’t see the   My Students   tab, but you can drill down into your whole school KPIs.

HR Admin and staff access

Managing access with business roles and permissions.

Business roles control what areas of Arbor staff have access to. Every staff member must be given a Business Role to be able to log in to Arbor.

You can see how to give staff access here: Adding a Business Role to a member of staff

Top Tip: For Permissions associated with their new Business Role to take effect - the staff member will need to log out of Arbor and back in again.

Each business role on Arbor comes with a default set of permissions to enable the staff member to carry out the tasks required by their role, to view or be able to edit certain fields or take certain actions. Please note that you cannot create new roles.

For example, a teacher would by default have the permission to take registers for their classes, but not have permission to take registers for all classes.

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If you find that a staff member needs to be able to do additional actions in Arbor, you can give them the permission to take that action, rather than giving them more business roles: Giving an Ad-Hoc permission

You can see how to remove access here: Remove a permission from a user

When a staff member no longer works at the school, you must end their Business Role. They will no longer be able to access Arbor once the end date for their Business Roles has passed. To find out how to end a staff member’s employment and end their Business Role, click here .

Updating staff checks and using the Single Central Staff Record

All schools have to keep a single central staff record up to date to make sure all checks and precautions have been made to keep their students safe. Arbor has a dedicated page that allows you to check you have all the information about your staff members, which you can read about here: Check and update Staff Details from the School Single Central Record (SCR)

You can't upload into the SCR in bulk, such as via a spreadsheet, but you can update the checks from School > All Staff > HR Admin > Checks > Manage Check Types . On this page, you can use the Bulk action button to update the check. More information here: Adding checks and qualifications to staff

If you want to edit one staff member's details you can use the top-right search bar or the Browse staff page to find their staff profile and edit directly from there instead.

Top Tip: Click any field with a > symbol to see further information or edit it.

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Adding staff contracts

From the Contracts section of the staff profile, you can edit or add contracts. When adding a new contract, check the right Position exists so this can be recorded for the Workforce Census - take a look here for more guidance.

You can also choose whether to include the staff member in the Workforce Census. You can choose to discount all staff contracts or only specific ones if you submit the information through a different channel - take a look here to see your options.

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The name of the staff contract is what appears in search results in Arbor and your signature when sending communications. If this is incorrect:

  • If they don't have a contract yet, you can add one to change their title from Staff to their actual role.
  • If they do have a contract, select the contract, then scroll down to the contract details. If there isn't a job title, the staff role defaults to the Position chosen. To amend the role, you can add a job title or change the name.

Student Admin

In Arbor, individual student data is all stored on the Student Profile. You can use the global search or the Students > All Students > Browse Students page to find their profile and edit directly from there.

You can see full details of what you can see, edit and do here: The Student Profile

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SEN and student background (Pupil Premium, FSM)

Some of the tags that display on the child’s profile card, such as FSM, are based on automatically calculated Derived Background Indicators. You can edit these from the Background section of the student’s profile.

Pupil premium is a little different, and is not managed using a tick box which you may have previously had in your past MIS system. To set a student as Pupil Premium Eligible (possibly in receipt of funding), they need to have certain Derived Background Indicators, as detailed here .

This data is then submitted in the census, which the DfE then uses to help determine who should be set as a Pupil Premium Recipient. You can see further details including how to import Pupil Premium Recipient data here: Pupil Premium Eligible vs Pupil Premium Recipients

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Click into the Educational Needs section from the left-hand menu to see a student’s needs or log them as SEN: Adding SEN (Special Educational Need) for a student

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Enrolment into the school and registers

One very important part of the student profile is the Enrolment section. This is where you can see what registers the child will appear in and is important to be right to prevent Census errors.

You can edit any of this information by clicking the field or add a new enrolment by clicking +Add .

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If the student has been enrolled into your school incorrectly, or you need to change their enrolment date, click their enrolment into your school at the top of the page.

In the slide over, click Edit , then you can make the changes, which will apply to all enrolments. For example, if the student was never meant to be enrolled in your school, click Delete .

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Finally, make sure that the enrolment mode you have selected is correct. If no mode has been selected, the system will assume the student is a single registered student and your school is the only school the student attends. Some other options are Dual registration and Guest Pupil (also to be used if you record nursery pupils from another PVI provider - you can see more about this here ).

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Guardians and student relationships

In the Family, Guardians and contacts section of the student profile, you can manage all family members of the child, add new Guardians and set priority emergency contacts to manage which family members can be contacted or can collect the child.

  • You can see how to add a guardian, and the difference between primary and legal guardians here: Assigning family as Primary or Legal Guardians
  • You can then see how to manage these settings in bulk here: Updating contact details or unsubscribing from communications

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Managing user data

The Data Quality Dashboard on Arbor allows you to view and add missing data on Staff, Students and Guardian users on Arbor. You can see how this works here: Using the Data Quality Dashboard

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Resolving Duplicates

You can identify and resolve suspected duplicates from School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Suspected Duplicates :

  • student duplicates in preparation for DfE School Census (shown below)
  • guardian duplicates to improve communication to guardians and save costs on avoiding to send multiple text messages to the same guardians
  • staff duplicates in preparation for DfE School Workforce Census

You can also use this area for resolving duplicate email addresses, as you need to make sure all user profiles have unique email addresses to allow them to log into the right profile: Check for duplicate email addresses

Data Retention and removing profiles

We have Data Retention Dashboards for personal records which highlight records that exceed data retention timelines, so they can be deleted in bulk. You can see how to manage this here: Managing data retention for your MIS data

Timetabling

Changing your timetable.

Basic timetable changes such as changing academic leads, changing rooms, editing timetable slots or changing lesson times can be made in Arbor: Editing timetable slots, lesson times, rooms and staff

You can also import new timetables from our timetabling partner providers Edval or TimeTabler . Before importing your file, please read the guidance below to ensure you're completing the process correctly depending on when you're importing the file.

  • Edval: Steps to take prior to an Edval Import
  • TimeTabler: Steps to take for a mid-year or next year import

You can see how to change the timetable for individual students here: Move students between different classes or registration forms

Using your timetables

You can view timetables in Arbor from School > Timetable , and identify gaps and clashes , or print the timetables for staff or students . You may also wish to see how to book out rooms .

Go to Students > Attendance in the top navigation bar. Please note: although this option is available to Admins, teaching staff will need to access registers through their calendar.

In Daily attendance , you can see all the registers for today. You can click each register to access the Lesson Dashboard for the class or open the register. For more information see:

  • How a member of the Admin team can take attendance
  • How a teacher can take the register

In Incomplete Registers , you can see Unopened and Incomplete registers and send a reminder email to teachers to complete their registers. Any students without a mark will be shown with a question mark. You can see full details here .

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Editing past and future attendance marks

The easiest way to edit attendance past marks is to go to our bulk pages: Bulk editing attendance marks

Top Tip: To edit marks historic statutory marks imported from your school's previous MIS, you’ll need to use the Imported Marks page instead.

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Use the Roll Call Marks page to view statutory AM and PM attendance marks for all students in your school for up to 10 days. Drill down into different student groups and take further actions such as adding students to an intervention or editing a student’s mark. You can see more details on how this page works here: How to use the Roll Call Marks attendance page

Planned absences are used to log when a student will be absent from school and can be used to choose a pre-fill mark that will automatically populate in the registers. You can see how to use planned absences here: Adding and viewing Planned Absences and future pre-fill marks

Reporting on attendance

From the left-hand menu in Students > Attendance , you can access various pages which allow you to analyse your Attendance statistics:

  • Absentees by date   - All students absent on a specific date (shown in the Following up with student absences section)
  • Broken Weeks   - Students with at least one unauthorised absence, broken down by week.
  • Continuous Absence   - Students who have had at least 1 day of consecutive absence from the selected date. Click the column header to sort by the greatest number of absences.
  • Correlated/Siblings   - Pairs of students who often have absences at the same time.
  • Persistent Absentees   - Students with the highest absences during the academic year.

Once you’ve spotted these trends, you can take action to prevent these trends from continuing. You can use the bulk actions on the left-hand side of these pages to follow up with guardians or take further actions, such as enrolling the students into an intervention.

The Statistics page is an extremely powerful page you can use to create almost any type of attendance report. By using the filters at the top of the page, you can create a report of any student group’s attendance and compare it to other student groups. See this article for how to create some example reports: Viewing statistics for attendance

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On the   Reports   page, you can generate these printable reports:

  • Attendance Certificates in bulk or an Attendance Certificate for single students
  • A Statutory Marks Report
  • A Weekly Printable Register or Printable lesson registers
  • An export of Marks Week by Week for a specific date range

Take a look here for how to generate all these printouts:   Print weekly registers, attendance reports and certificates

The great thing about Arbor is that it's usually quickest and easiest to use the area of the system you want to report on rather than creating a report. In most areas of Arbor, you can find tables of data for reporting purposes!

For example, you can just jump straight to the Students > Attendance > Absentees reporting pages for out-of-the-box pre-built tables, that you can filter using inbuilt demographic groupings like Pupil Premium vs Not.

If you do decide that you need a bespoke report, you can use our Custom Report Writer  to use pre-built reports or ones you've designed. You can import a whole host of common reports from our Help Centre: Creating common Custom Report Writer reports . You can also schedule the report to be sent out and shared with other staff, or do custom calculations and conditional formatting .

Any tables and reports in Arbor can also be downloaded for sharing. You could also create a Live Feed , so the data refreshes each time you open it, without you having to rerun the report. 

Reporting on your students

The quickest way to get a breakdown of student numbers by year, reg form or demographics like Sex and Pupil Premium is from the Student > Enrolment > Statistics page. You can see more about this here, or scroll up for other ways of producing class lists: Overall enrolment statistics

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How to make the most of Arbor

Take a look at our resources for tips and tricks for using Arbor:

  • Top Tips for using Arbor on your computer
  • Top Tips for using the Arbor MIS efficiently

Don't have the level of access you need?

In Arbor, access to different pages, and the ability to action different tasks on pages (such as clicking a button) are based on what permissions you have.

Please see this article for how to gain access: I don't have access and need more permissions

How you can get further help

Go to the Help Centre at support.arbor-education.com/hc or click   Help Centre   in the top right of your Arbor site to open it in a new tab. Here you can find FAQs, guides, video tutorials, and free online training, so you can learn however suits you best.

Take a look at this section of the Help Centre for how to get started, including what to do if Arbor isn’t working, and how to get in touch if you need further help:   Using Arbor, the Help Centre and the Community

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Where can I give feedback?

The Arbor Roadmap shows you what we’re working on now, what’s coming up next, and those shiny new features and enhancements we’re looking to release a bit further down the road. If you have feedback you can see how to submit this here:   Our Product Roadmap and how to submit feedback

Articles in this section

  • Set up a dummy student, staff or guardian profile
  • Print Preview Report Cards and Communications
  • New user training guides
  • How to navigate and get around Arbor
  • Keyboard Accessibility in Arbor
  • Is there a Document Management area to view all attachments in Arbor?
  • Find a profile using the Arbor ID
  • What does being a Cloud-based system mean?

Article is closed for comments.

  • Arbor for MATs and Groups
  • Meet our schools
  • Story and Mission
  • Data Protection and GDPR
  • Privacy Notice & Cookie Statement
  • Legal Statement

Arbor Education Floor 8, HYLO 103-105 Bunhill Row London EC1V 8LZ

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For help with Arbor Parent Portal or Arbor Management Information System (MIS) for schools, take a look at our Help Centre .

Trouble logging in? No worries! Click below for help:

  • I'm a guardian
  • I'm a school's MIS user
  • I'm a Group MIS user

Looking for Arbor Insight?

We're not running Arbor Insight for schools or MATs this year. If you've got any questions about your Arbor Insight account, contact [email protected]

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The Ongar Academy

Resilience, Respect, Integrity, Community.

Tel: 01277 500990 Email: [email protected]

Get in touch

  • Get Directions
  • Parents Zone

ARBOR School Information System FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why did the school move to Arbor?

Arbor is a newer system, built for multi-academy trusts, as opposed to SIMS that was developed for single school usage. Migrating to Arbor will help us better support the running and management of all schools in the trust. 

How do students access Arbor?

Students have to use the Arbor website; there is currently no app for student use. The link to the website is:

https://the-ongar-academy.uk.arbor.sc/

There is a also link to this on the homepage of the school website.

Students can log in using their Office 365 account, If they do not remember their email password (it is the same as their computer log in at the school) they must contact IT support at the school or let their form tutor know and they will contact IT support on their behalf.

User Guides

Are there any guides available?

There are two guides available to help Parents and Carers

The “Getting Started” guide for the Arbor Parent App is available at:  https://support.arbor-education.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020147458-Getting-started-Log-into-the-Parent-Portal-and-the-Arbor-App

Additionally “A quick introduction to Arbor for guardians and parents” can be found here:  https://support.arbor-education.com/hc/en-us/articles/212097029-The-Arbor-Parent-Portal-quick-introduction#logging-in-0-0

How do I view my child's timetable?

At present the app only shows the current lesson and the next; we have raised this with Arbor's development team. 

Please use the  website version of Arbor  in the meantime to see the full timetable.

There is a guide to this here:

https://support.arbor-education.com/hc/en-us/articles/203791992-the-calendar-and-timetable-on-the-parent-portal

Is there an app for students?  Not at present.

Students can login to Arbor using the link on the school website or the student portal. The link is 

They should log in by using the same email address and password as in school.

Can I view my child's homework?

We have now moved to Edulink to set homework, see more information here  Parent Links

Can I see achievements/behavioural issues in Arbor?

Yes, this information is available in Arbor.

Both achievements and behavioural issues are under "Behaviour".

Useful Links

  • Parent Links
  • Student Links

Get in Touch

Bridge Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07663795.

Registered Office: Community Building, Bridge Academy Trust, Brian Close, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9DZ.

Tel: 01245 202 937

Email: [email protected]

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

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Coursework/GPA

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!

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How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

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How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

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If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

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This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

body-focus-meme

Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)

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Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.

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What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Open House 2021 - From the Director

Fall update - august 2020.

Dear Arbor Families, 

As we shared in our last update, on July 28 Governor Brown issued public-health metrics that govern when all public and private schools in Oregon may return to in-person instruction. Although we had every hope of welcoming your children back to campus in September, it is now these metrics --the infection rate in the metro area -- that will determine when that is possible. As a school that draws more than ten percent of its student, staff and faculty population from Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties, the guidelines require that we consider the infection rates in all three.

To help us track progress toward in-person instruction, we have prepared and will maintain this table of the number of cases per 100,000 population in each county. In addition to the number of cases, the test positivity-rate in the three counties must be at or below 5%. The county case rates and test-positivity rates for last week can also be seen here .

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Given the current numbers and even with the somewhat positive trend, we cannot set any realistic timetable for inviting students back to campus, although we will be prepared to do so at the first opportunity. However, on August 11 the Oregon Department of Education issued amended guidelines within which it appears that we will be able to invite small groups of students to return to campus for partial days on a recurring basis . Some questions remain about the extent of what is possible, but we anticipate gathering students for important orientation and relationship-building activities as classes begin, and ongoing opportunities for critical social interaction as the fall progresses. We will share our plans for gathering as we learn all that is permitted and we will continue to explore all possibilities for bringing students together.

In the meantime, faculty have been hard at work developing a robust online program , building on what we learned in the spring and informed by research and coursework this summer.

It is our aim to offer curricula and schedules that are developmentally appropriate for each grade level, that provide for the differentiation that matches what we offer when we are in classrooms together, and that give families room to make choices about what is possible for them to support. As we plan for students to be working at home, we are also planning for the pivot back to the classroom, so that the work will be consistent between both contexts and the transition will be as seamless as possible. See a summary of on-site plans here . 

We understand that families are of necessity finding creative approaches to supporting students managing their schoolwork at home, including gathering small groups of children together in pods. We see the social and academic benefits of these groups for students and understand the necessity for parents to be able to establish work schedules. However, we also understand that the formation of such groups can raise equity issues, particularly if there is to be a paid adult working with the children, and that there are families for whom these groups will not be possible, whether for financial reasons or because of location and/or health risks.Therefore, our distance learning curricula will not be specifically tailored to these groups and we ask that familles forming these groups attempt to be as inclusive as possible, so that all feel welcome, and that an effort be made to extend the invitation to the new families joining us this year.

Although we won’t be in classrooms in September, It is the time of year when we would normally be sending you lists of needed school supplies . This year, because of the uncertainty of when we will be back in classrooms and to meet our wish for students to have particular materials at home to meet curricular needs, we will purchase and organize a packet of materials for each student, to be delivered in person on campus when students gather in small groups, or delivered to homes. Should there be a need for additional materials, for design work for example, we will supply those as needed.

We have spoken with many of you as you try to plan for the fall and to put in place structures that will support your children in learning at home while also allowing for the semblance of a normal work day. The disruption to the school calendar has asked so much of all of you and we keep that understanding in the forefront as we work toward having your children on campus, even for short visits. To do so with an acceptable level of risk for all in the community requires investment on our part -- an investment of effort in creative campus and cohort planning and a financial investment in things as tents, air purification equipment, and enhanced cleaning -- and it requires the commitment of Oregonians to fully adopt the practices that will reduce the rate of infection in our communities. We join you in doing all that is necessary to move to a more sustainable level of response to the presence of coronavirus in our lives and are grateful for all of the ways in which you continue to nurture the Arbor community in this difficult time.

With hope, 

Peter and Lori 

Growth Report: May 29, 2020

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May: an aromatic, colorful segway toward summer. May’s blooms help our busy brains forget the wall of rain we so recently swam through. The warm, clear skies are perfect for honeybees to cut through efficiently, visiting a thousand of flowers per day. May is a month for pollination! The Arbor campus is a wonderful jungle of beneficial insects, including honeybees! May I suggest a meditative May activity for you? Sit beside a flower of your choosing. I suggest a yellow, white, purple or blue flower, since native and honeybees tend to prefer them. Observe the flower, and track how many insects pay a visit. What kinds of winged things, and how many? 

I’m greeted by the hum of catmint visitors as I pass by the gathering center. Catmint, a flower from the Nepeta family, attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, and deters pests like aphids and squash bugs. Speaking of squash bugs, as the end of May nears, it’s time to hill up some mounds and direct-seed our favorite squash varieties! Will you plant pumpkins? Zucchini? Tom says if you plant zucchini, your neighbors will thank you: “they might not eat it… but they’ll thank you.”

Funky flowers

Funky flowers

These funky flowers are currently blooming on Arbor’s potato plants. Fun fact- potatoes do not require pollination to produce their root fruit. They are hermaphroditic flowers, meaning they have both sex organs required to produce their fruit. When the flowers have completed their bloom, the potatoes are ready for a look-see. Pull up one nutrient-rock and rub its surface with your thumb. If the skin rubs away, it needs more time. If the skin is thick enough, go ahead and sift through the soil for all the potato siblings! What you’re not ready to cook, you can keep underground. 

I’ve grown potatoes a couple different ways this year: trench planting at Arbor, and in a bag at my home. Both styles allow for “hilling” the potatoes to force more root production and a higher yield. Leigh asked me about potatoes earlier this year--wondering when to plant, and then how long til hash browns? Her family has enjoyed at least one yummy harvest that I know of. Who else planted potatoes this year? How’s breakfast? 

((Email me for easy details on how to grow potatoes in a sack! [email protected]))

Personally, I can’t cook potatoes without garlic. The Arbor garlic bed dances like tens of green flags on the spring breeze. Yesterday I pulled a couple young ones for inspection. Plump little baby bulbs will season a weekend meal. Tell me your favorite way to enjoy garlic!

Apples are on their way!

Apples are on their way!

Tom and I spent some time in the Arbor árboles thinning apple clusters! The evidence is strewn about the grass below: small, dense fruits that resist our picking and choosing. We used clippers to carefully cut the stems of all but one or two of the strongest fruits in each cluster. Tom told me that the “king fruit,” and that which we select for, is not necessarily the largest apple of the bunch, but rather the central apple with the most stable and stalky stem. We admitted to each other that while the tree climbing is fun, and the sound of heavy apples plunking to the ground satisfying, it doesn’t feel great to be the tough decision-maker. Which reminded me of a journal entry I made earlier this week as I weeded the library garden:

“To be a good gardener, one must also be a destroyer. I don’t only refer to the accidental deaths from which a gardener learns and grows. I mean, one must become trained to squish, pull, chuck. Pests. Weeds. Slugs. The sprouts must be thinned and an efficient garden-tender cannot be distracted by what-if optimisms. From these necessary deaths, our purposeful plantings grow.”  

To the contrary, Noemi and other dedicated intermediates display a strong argument for preservation of so-called “pest” life, by ferrying found snails and slugs in the gardens out to the woods where they cannot do harm to our vegetables. Sometimes it just takes time, little running feet, and childlike, loving acceptance to help all the creatures thrive at once.

Here’s to becoming better gardeners, I’ve got a lot of weeding to do yet. Sending love from Arbor’s gardens!

From our Librarian

Dear Arbor Families,

Lucky for us librarians, teachers, writers, producers, and publishers around our state, our nation, and our world continue to create and curate, and make freely available, engaging digital information materials and artworks for our children during these unforgettable days. Accessing these sometimes seemingly buried treasures can be a bit tricky for our kiddos. Some digital portals ask for users to create a free login. Others require a specific series of clicks to find the hidden gems. The good news: our children are eager learners and relish a promising scavenger hunt. With the support of their grown-ups and any available older siblings or friends, our readers might enjoy discovering the following pirate booty. 

Summer Reading at the Multnomah County Library

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Behold! Next week on June 1, registration begins for the Multnomah County Library Summer Reading Program “Imagine Your Story” with fairytales, folktales, and fantasy. The program includes a fantastic, flexible game beginning on June 15 which features reading and listening to books and participating in activities that promise giants and ogres and dragons and spells and potions and sprites galore. Here are the simple steps to join the magical mystery adventures of long ago and far away! And remember: any resident in Oregon with a phone number qualifies for a Multnomah County Library card .  

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian - A serialized sci-fi adventure story that is reported to be part Scooby-Doo and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yowzah sounds like some good fun! You and your kiddo can enjoy over one hundred 15-20 minute episodes!  

What If World: Stories for Kids - What if there was such a thing as magic shoes? What if dinosaurs were alive today? What if a tree named Harrigo went to eat a chocolate that was talking? Yes actually, you read that right! Ten to 20-minutes stories are spun to answer these curious questions we like to ponder.   

Brains On! Science-based stories for curious kids and adults, From the coronavirus to aliens and UFOs to the secret world of dust - it’s all here! Episodes run roughly 20-40 minutes.

Wow in the World - Another excellent science podcast that explores wonders of the world, including trips into our brains, trips to outer space and trips into new areas of science.

Ebooks & Audiobooks

Audible is currently offering over 200 hundred free audiobook recordings in the range of genres. Here’s the breakdown of the levels:

103 Available Audiobooks for Elementary  

Including this well-reviewed title, Coronavirus: A Book for Children

42 Books for Tweens Listeners 

69 Books for Teen Listeners  

The Multnomah County Library continues to offer easily accessibly no-holds always-available ebook and audiobooks across the genres. 

Teen “always available” ebooks/audiobooks: https://multcolib.overdrive.com/collection/1064729

Kids “always available” ebooks/audiobooks: https://multcolib.overdrive.com/library/kids/collection/1065257

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 Finally. And I believe I’ve saved the best for last. (Check with your kiddos about the truth of that.) J.K. Rowling once again delights her devoted readers with a new story, The Ickabog , a tale with a cast of quirky characters in an imaginary land, Cornucopia, to be serially released over the next seven weeks. Along with her release of the new-but-also-old-story (you’ll have read on her dedicated website about that twist) she invites her listeners to help her illustrate the story. How fun is that! Students can even choose to submit their illustrations in a competition if they like. 

My hope is that you and your young readers will find some stories and ideas to nosh on together here in these various digital offerings. As we come to the close of this odd school term, I want to wish you all my best in these uncommon days.  

The Future Comes Into Focus

Optimism More and more I have come to admire resilience. Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true. But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs—all this resinous, unretractable earth. Jane Hirschfield

There is no question that this moment is truly testing our capacity for resilience. Together as parents and teachers we have completed our sixth week of distance learning, all of us reshaping our daily lives to keep our families and our communities healthy while keeping our children moving forward. The degree to which we have been successful in doing so is a testament to the tenacity that each of you has shown. You have been open to the possibilities of this new context and explored them with real energy. And you have been forgiving of the limitations and challenges that are an inevitable part of making such a structural shift. You have supported one another, and those beyond this community, and you have modeled for your children what it means to dig in and work hard in the face of uncertainty. When the light was newly (and suddenly!) blocked in one direction, we came together to turn in another.

While uncertainty continues, some things on the horizon are beginning to come into focus, and we are now able to bring some clarity to our efforts to address the growing tension between physical health and emotional and financial health. Just like our response to the virus, addressing that tension will require a well-thought-out combination of individual and institutional responses. Time and time again, this community has demonstrated the readiness and ability to plan for the whole while considering the individual, and our approach to the remainder of this school year and to the summer and fall will build on that strong foundation.

Foremost in our minds is the desire to keep our community intact, even in the face of the severe impacts of the economic fallout of the pandemic, and to continue to provide the Arbor education that is the reason we have all come together. Years of careful budgeting, the absence of debt, and a budget that does not rely on giving to cover operational expenses, has us well positioned to meet the challenges ahead. Building on that stable foundation, we are revising the 2020-21 budget to redirect funds from discretionary projects and programs toward supporting core educational programs and financial aid, to prioritize our families and faculty. APT is also generously joining us in this process.

In addition to careful financial planning, we are developing plans for the time that we will be able to be on campus together. Just yesterday the State of Oregon released new guidelines that will allow our summer programs to go forward as planned in July, following Oregon Health Authority guidance about group size and personal hygiene protocols. Our beautiful campus and separate buildings set us up well for meeting or exceeding the guidelines provided to us. Once the guidelines move from the draft stage to final form, we will share with you our plans for implementing them across our programs.

With summer programs permitted, the state has given us every reason to believe that we will be in school in September, knowing of course that nothing is certain, but that we should anticipate beginning with many of the same health protocols in place that we will be practicing this summer. Again, we are fortunate to have the staffing, separate buildings, and ample outdoor space to support the small, stable groups and absence of mixing that will protect the continued health of the community. Even as we reimagine how to use our space and materials, we know that there is some likelihood that we will have to return to distance learning for short periods. To prepare for that potential, our faculty continue to have one eye on the fall as they refine their remote-teaching processes this spring. One of the positives in the way we are living now is that it has given us the opportunity to build expertise with educational technology that will continue to be useful to have in our teaching toolboxes.

Resilience, tenacity, persistence -- the traits of the tree turning toward the light are also the traits that have been demonstrated by your children as they have navigated such drastic changes, and the traits that the adults in this community model for them and for one another. While the structure of what we do has had to shift for the time being, Arbor culture persists and gives us just what we need to find our way. I am thankful to be finding that way with all of you and welcome any questions that you may have.

Best, Peter

Growth Report: April 22 Earth Day

“Bee space” refers to the width of crawl space between the frames of a honeybee hive. Three eighths of an inch is the ideal width. Any wider than a quarter inch, and bees will build more comb to fill the space. If it’s too narrow, they won’t be able to access their precious honey, brood, or pollen storage. We can’t humanly imagine what sheltering in place with forty thousand roommates would feel like, nor could we tolerate crawling through spaces only barely wider than our bodies… but bees have systems, routines and communication methods to smooth their household interactions in those tight spaces. In your own world, what are you building up, and what feels like walls squeezing too tight? To move through difficult situations, it’s sometimes helpful to establish systems, routines, and communication methods just like a honeybee colony. A routine I love is watering tiny baby sprouts in the early morning, and after dinner. I’m watching them lift their little green wings every day. Keeps me an optimist.

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Thank you a million times over, APT: your generous funds were poured into the addition of our new honeybee residents! Maybe one day soon they’ll pour back into our open jars in the form of delicious gold. For now, I’m delighted to watch the bees build and explore and expand! 

I spent last week preparing the bee’s space. Tom helped me dig a hole and plop a stump into it, from our big pile of stumps. The next day I raised another stump, five paces west. What a beautiful repurposing of stumps to podiums for the queens’ colonies, no? Steve wanted to use a discarded set of legs to furnish a small table for them. The table surface is ideal for when I go into the hives and need tools within arms reach. 

On Saturday, I drove to NE Portland to pick up the new friends. They were in what’s called a “nuc”: a cardboard box, with five frames of honey and brood (larvae) nearly filled, and the entrance plugged shut.  I brought them to campus, and set them carefully on the stumps. It was important to orient the nuc boxes exactly how I wanted to orient the hives, because the bees would immediately establish a memory of the entrance height and location upon first flight. I unplugged their entrance and watched them tumble out clumsily at first, hover around their new space, and then venture into the orchard! 

On Sunday, I returned to transfer them into hives. There’s a beekeeper saying that goes like this, “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” With utmost patience and intention, I murmured sweet encouragement to the bees as I lifted the lid. There they were, each one with a job to do on a Sunny Sunday afternoon. I gently blew my breath along the tops of the frames, and watched them shudder away from the breeze, and away from where I needed to pinch and lift the frame. I went slow, so the bees could see my hands coming, or feel the gentle nudge, and they moved away. I lifted frame after frame, slowly and carefully so as not to squish or “roll” any of the bees. Some were heavy with honey, others lighter with capped brood comb. I met one of the queens! I practically squealed when I spotted her, and begged Ella to come just a little closer to take a photo. Can you see her?

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The hives are tucked along the meadow’s northern treeline, looking across tall grass toward the orchard. And my, the colonies are vigorous! All these sunny days have allowed them to forage endlessly on maple, apple and cherry blossoms. Campus is in full bloom, as if flowery fireworks are exploding in celebration! Wooohoo yay Spring!

Juniors, check out the camas blooming around Junior pond! Do you remember teaching me about the Kalapuya as we planted bulbs with Peter?

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How about the potatoes that your Oregon Trail settler-selves tucked into the garden beds? They are now sprouting and growing thick, fuzzy leaves. Look at them in the sun, after a thorough watering:

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Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Feliz día de la Tierra. The Willamette Valley is completely saturated today-- it’s what our Earth likes best, I guess. Also in honor of Earth Day, Karen (mother of Zoe and Juna) messaged me about their family’s worm-bin project! They’re embarking on a very awesome food-decomposition journey. AND their project has inspired me to lob the opportunity up for all of you! Perhaps you’ll consider an Earth-regeneration project of your own. Composting is a great way to “recycle” whatever the dirt gifts us, back into a whole new dirt! Provided the ideal environment, and with ample time, your food scraps and yard waste can re-gift you AGAIN with fresh, living soil to create garden beds, or plant trees in, or throw into the woods to boost the native growth there… who cares, it’s all awesome!

Here’s a link to a helpful OSU Extension resource on choosing a compost system for your space and your lifestyle.

Karen, Zoe and Juna chose the worm bin-- what will you choose?? If you already have a compost system that works for you, or if you’re ready to try something new, share photos and experiences in the Arbor’s Community Album. (See Friday Footnotes for link!)

That’s all for now, folks! Sending plenty of optimism and Luna Love!

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Distance Learning at Arbor

Dear Arbor Community, While we look forward to the time that we can gather on campus, I would like to share a bit about how Arbor has worked to help limit the spread of the coronavirus and how we plan to continue, in response to the questions some of you have posed.

Our community response began at the end of February, when the Arbor Parent Teacher association organized a weekend classroom sanitizing work party. To kick off what was to be a heightened awareness of the need for the repeated sanitization of high-touch surfaces, parents and teachers spent a Sunday afternoon working through each classroom. We then worked to maintain that standard by organizing students and teachers to address all of those surfaces every day, before school and at the midday break, with parents continuing to pitch in. Doing so raised student awareness of the need to take hand washing seriously and also gave them something real and comforting to do in response to the news they were hearing. As we moved into March, we took additional structural steps as a school. We suspended all-school gatherings and cross-grade lessons so that students were interacting only with their own classmates. We also restructured the end-of-unit classroom celebrations to which we typically invite parents and grandparents. Instead, students took portfolios of work home with a plan to host an individual celebration of all that they had accomplished -- not the same as sharing work in the context of the group, but still a means to honoring effort and engagement.

In the second week of March, as it became clear that social distancing was going to be an important tool in fighting Covid-19, we made the decision that we would close school beginning Monday, March 16, one week before our scheduled two-week Spring Break, and we didn’t mind at all when the governor made the same decision for the state a couple of days later.

With that decision made, our teachers began to pivot from the relationship-based experiential learning that is at the heart of an Arbor education to a distance learning model which, by its nature, necessitates at least some time on the computer each day. Over a long weekend, teachers familiarized themselves with the tools of Google Classroom and Zoom, and began to craft lessons that would give our students some of the structure and routine that they need, as well as an ongoing sense of connection to their classmates and school community.

After a week of teaching and learning this way, we surveyed our parent community in order to understand how what we were offering was working at home, and then we said a virtual farewell to our students for Spring Break. During the hiatus from teaching, faculty worked in teams, virtually, to adjust their curricula to respond to the student experience of that first week and to the feedback from parents.

Monday, April 6, we rolled out new tools and new plans aimed at reducing the amount of time in front of the screen for each student while increasing the degree to which students can work independently of the grownups in their house -- a potentially positive byproduct of this time at home. We recalibrated the number of hours that we expect each student to be directly engaged in class work each day, and offered parents a choice of whether to have their children involved directly in synchronous lessons or whether asynchronous options would be a better choice for their family. As appropriate at each grade level, we now offer a mix of written and recorded lessons that can be accessed at any time, and live lessons and posted office hours so that students can get the support they need as they work. Each class is also using Zoom to hold daily meetings to maintain connections and to have some fun together. While we work to offer engaging lessons and to provide feedback that keeps students moving forward academically, we also encourage our families to adapt what we are offering to their particular context.

With teachers as parents also working from home, we understand the challenges. At this writing, our distance learning program is well-launched but we will continue to learn from the feedback that we get from our families. Just as when we are teaching children in our classrooms, we remain open to learning more and to adjusting what we do to respond to the students in front of us, and we continue to look for the ways in which we can keep curiosity and kindness at the center of what we do.

With Oregon schools now required to teach remotely for the remainder of the school year, we are embracing this new context, knowing that for all of the limitations of distance learning, there are opportunities too -- for teachers developing facility with digital tools and for students developing independence and self-reliance in their approach to learning.

As we have responded to this health crisis, the strength of our community has been an asset, pulling together even while staying apart, and we remain hopeful that we will be back on campus for our summer programs and that we will be able to welcome you face-to-face!

Wishing you the best of health in these challenging times, Peter

Visiting Author Coming to Arbor in April

We are happy to announce that award-winning author, Deborah Hopkinson , will spend the day here at Arbor on Tuesday, April 28!  Thanks to the generous grant funding by APT Hopkinson will share her work with students and teachers and guide our young storytellers in writing activities. While we eagerly await our special day with Deborah, here in the library we will be reading through many of her over 50 books for young people, through story time and reading groups. 

Hopkinson conjures the voices of the past for young readers. She writes of human triumphs and tragedies bringing the past to life through the use of vivid description, swift storytelling, and in some cases, masterfully interwoven real-life photographs and quotations. Her works ask readers to take notice, make sense of, and be inspired by our histories in light of the world today. 

Our public libraries keep Hopkinson’s books in heavy rotation, so you can enjoy checking them out from your local branch. Both picture books and full length titles are linked here at the Multnomah County Library , the Washington County LIbrary Services , and the Libraries in Clackamas County . You can also peruse readers’ review of others of Deborah’s books on goodreads . 

Here is a small sampling of Deborah’s books with Goodreads quick links:

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We will provide an opportunity for families to purchase from a menu of Deborah’s titles in advance of her April visit. Look out for the book order form that will be available after spring break.

Thanks again, APT board, for making it possible for Deborah to share and work with our kiddos. We are ever grateful!

New Books for Adults

The Arbor Center for Teaching (ACT) Library (found on the top floor of the Juniors building) holds over 4000 volumes for teachers and parents to borrow. Topics included in the library offerings include teaching and learning mathematics; reading; digital literacies and technology; writing; diversity, equity & inclusion; family life; dealing with trauma; educational history and philosophy; among other related topics. 

Check out these latest additions to the collection! 

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Comprehensible and Compelling: The Causes and Effect of Free Voluntary Reading ,  Stephen Krashen, a giant in the field of reading, offers his latest title on the power of pleasure reading, published in 2018.

Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers , Jo Boaler connects neuroplasticity, growth mindset, the importance of struggle, a multidimensional approach to teaching and learning, the development of flexibility and creativity, and the power of collaboration. Yep, all that rolled together!

Deviced: Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital World  written by Portland's own Doreen Dodgen-Magee. This research-based book provides a thoughtful framework for integrating technology into our lives, with implications for how we talk with kids about their own tech use. 

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Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style    Fresh, sassy and erudite, Benjamin Dreyer is considered by many to have penned the 21st-century  Elements of Style.

Between the World and Me  by Ta-Nahesi Coates. I'm guessing this book needs no introduction. But just in case...here is a father's long beautifully woven letter to his son about African American history, the current crisis in America's race relations, and hopeful imaginings for the future. 

So You Want to Talk About Race   by Kjeoma Oluo. Maybe you've heard about this title too. Oluo explores the current racial landscape in the US and its history and provides concretes moves dismantling it.  

When my daughter Amelia was a New Hand Junior one of her classmates was a boy who was new to the school. After school one day I asked her how he was adjusting. “Well, she began, “he doesn’t have his Arbor eyes yet.” Intrigued, I asked her to elucidate. “He looks for the bad in people instead of looking for the good.”

The notion of “Arbor Eyes” is central to our social curriculum. We as teachers try to see the best in our students, highlighting their strengths in all domains - intellect, character, creativity. Like plants, kids grow toward the light, thriving on “just right” challenges, opportunities, and experiences that help to strengthen their sense of self.

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Because they are just kids, a lot of these skills are explicitly taught and woven into the fabric of our day. Whether it’s learning how to hold the door open for the person coming in behind you, thinking of a clever and friendly way to greet the Librarian, learning how to give supportive comments, or being the first person to say “Thank you,” when a piece of paper is handed to you, we’re intentionally developing courtesy in hopes that it will become part of the students’ muscle memory.

Sometimes the lessons are better taught through role modeling and the Denners always get a kick out of seeing us behaving poorly. Just this week we demonstrated the difference between accidentally and intentionally bumping into someone. Tone of voice and extending an invitation to a friend have been other situations that have been modeled.

One of the most notable things about my conversation with Amelia was the fact that she said, “yet.” She was hopeful that her new classmate would come to see the best in others and we too are eternally hopeful and endeavor to instill this optimism in our students.

Lori Pressman Primary Teacher

COMMENTS

  1. The Student Portal

    Once you've logged in to the student portal, you can start to explore! Using the student portal you can: See what events you have coming up. See which classes you're taking. View your attendance and behaviour stats. View Statements of entry, Exam timetables and Statements of results. View report cards your school has shared with you.

  2. Using the Student Portal

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  3. PDF How to access Arbor and Homework Assignments

    Step 3: Submit homework assignments via Arbor Under My Submissions upload your homework by clicking on the 'click to upload' button You can upload more than one document and as you upload them you will see them listed on the left-

  4. Arbor Student Portal

    When you log in, the first page you'll see is your Arbor Dashboard, from which you can access all of the areas of the Student Portal. Using the menu at the top you can access your items to access your calendar or your account, take a look at the sections below for further details. You can also sign out. In the Calendar section, your last and ...

  5. PDF Assignments in Arbor

    Go to My Items > My Classes from the class you wish to set the assignment for click Enrolment > from the slide over select More Information. Click Assignments from the left hand menu. You will then be taken to that classes Assignments page. 3. Click +Add in the Assignments section.

  6. Introduction to Arbor

    This guide and further training. This guide is part of our series of introduction guides for new users. You can see other guides for Exams Officers, Attendance Officers or MAT MIS users here: New user training guides You can see our guide for teachers here: Guide for new Teachers If you'd like further training, take a look at the services we offer here: Customer Education and Training Services.

  7. New to Arbor MIS? Here's four top tips to get you started

    The Arbor Help Centre Arbor is consistently rated as one of the most intuitive school management information systems in the UK, but if you find yourself stuck, we have a big support team on hand to help. One of the other ways you can find support is the Arbor Help Centre, packed with thousands of articles, how-tos, top tips and walk-through ...

  8. PDF Arbor Student Guide

    Tip: You must be on the PWS Arbor Site: arbor.pws.emat.uk. Statistics: Attendance & Behaviour This figure shows ... 9M/Ma7: Homework with Arbor Submission (Due 20 Jul 2023) Waiting for student to submit Waiting for student to submit . Overdue Assignments 10B/Bs1: Homework Example. Not Submitted (Due 20 Jul 2023)

  9. PDF Arbor Portal

    Arbor Web Portal - login.arbor.sc/ Both Students and Parents are able to access the Arbor Web Portal through this link. Parents are also able to access the Arbor Smart Phone App, using the same login details as the web-portal. The details displayed on the Arbor App are a condensed version of the web portal.

  10. Log in to your School

    For help with Arbor Parent Portal or Arbor Management Information System (MIS) for schools, take a look at our Help Centre. Trouble logging in? No worries! Click below for help: I'm a guardian. I'm a school's MIS user. I'm a Group MIS user.

  11. Arbor FAQ

    Students have to use the Arbor website; there is currently no app for student use. The link to the website is: https://the-ongar-academy.uk.arbor.sc/. There is a also link to this on the homepage of the school website. Students can log in using their Office 365 account, If they do not remember their email password (it is the same as their ...

  12. The Arbor App is here

    That's why today we're thrilled to launch the new Arbor App for iOS & Android. Say goodbye to paper slips and emails - our new App lets parents register their child for a club or trip, book parents evening slots, and manage payments all from their phone. Parents can also use the App to check in on their child's attendance, behaviour and ...

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  14. Summer Homework

    Arbor SChool Summer Homework 2023. Our Summer Homework is intended to help each student consolidate, maintain, and even extend the level of proficiency that has been gained during the school year and to help each child return to school feeling confident and prepared to tackle the first work of the year, the teachers assign work to be completed over the course of the summer.

  15. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    Here's how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break.

  16. Music at Arbor

    Arbor students enjoy two or three music periods every week, as well as singing frequently in class groups and at school assemblies. You can find a few of our favorites below. Arbor students enjoy two or three music periods every week, as well as singing frequently in class groups and at school assemblies.

  17. News and Notes

    Dear Arbor Families, As we shared in our last update, on July 28 Governor Brown issued public-health metrics that govern when all public and private schools in Oregon may return to in-person instruction. Although we had every hope of welcoming your children back to campus in September, it is now these metrics --the infection rate in the metro ...

  18. Scan to PDF: Scan documents with a free scanner app

    Cleaner, smarter, and easier. Adobe Scan uses AI to correct image perspective, sharpen handwritten or printed text, and remove glares and shadows. With OCR (optical character recognition), you can convert scanned documents into editable, searchable PDF files instantly. Easily extract text, and type new text in custom fonts that match the ...