Welcome to our first community newsletter of the 20/21 school year!
Now more than ever, it will be incredibly important to take the time to thoroughly read this communication. Your child’s teacher should have reached yesterday to make sure that you are receiving my emails. Moving forward, you can expect a weekly email from your child’s teacher Friday evening containing the schedule for the upcoming week and any important announcements. You can also expect a community newsletter to arrive each Tuesday around 5pm. We are working very hard to streamline communication, so thank you for reading those two emails each week.
This email contains information on: our focus for the opening week of school, meeting the teacher meetings, and student schedules; and, updated device allocation.
Also, here is a reminder link to our SharePoint site that contains many tutorial videos and important tech-related information. A reminder that you will need to log-in with your child’s Microsoft account to view this site.
We will host a final Community Meeting on Wednesday, August 26 at 6:30pm via the Teams Live event platform. We will email the recording later that evening and post it to our SharePoint site. We’ll briefly show a draft Canvas and Teams page and will walk you through the materials you will need for the first day.
The building is open this week from 8:30am-4:00pm for supply pick-up with extended hours for device pick-up from 5-7pm on Wednesday.
First Week of School, Virtual Teacher Meetings, and Student Schedules
We are excited to welcome all K-5 students to virtual school on Monday, August 31! We will begin the morning with Jamboree at 8:30 am and all classes will transition to Morning Meeting at 8:40pm. The focus for the opening week of school will be on building our classroom and schoolwide community and on establishing a consistent schedule. No matter how prepared we think we are, there will be tech issues, there will be hiccups, and there will be items that we forget. So, thank you for continuing to show us patience and understanding.
You should have received an email from your teacher with a link to sign-up for a brief, 10-minute “meet the teacher” meeting this week for our K-5 students and next week for our PK students. Please note that our teachers cannot provide times outside of what they offered this week. If you truly can’t make the offered times work this week, your teacher will be able to schedule a brief check-in next week.
Your child’s teacher will send an email with specific information about your child’s schedule for the upcoming week on Friday. Remember that next week’s focus is on establishing a consistent schedule and that we fully expect there to be challenging moments. We also know that each week will get easier and that we will continue to make tweaks to make each day more focused and easier to navigate.
Finally, I know that many families have questions around how assignments will be turned it, on what assessments will look like, and on the frequency of individualized feedback to students. We will gradually be rolling out information on all of these topics and will provide a high-level overview at Back-to-School Night on September 10 @ 6pm.
By now, roughly one hundred families have received an email from Ann Beumel stating that we can provide your child a device this week. We are scheduled to receive devices for nearly 70% of our community, but the remainder of our allocation won’t arrive until late next week and will be ready for pick-up during the week of September 7. I know this is incredibly frustrating, especially because some families are just now realizing that the device they do have won’t be the optimal device for virtual learning. We understand your frustrations and are working hard to make sure you all have what you need. I am so sorry that we won’t be able to accommodate all requests until after the start of the school year.
As I mentioned last week, we are prioritizing older students who indicated on the survey that they do not have a working device. We should be able to accommodate all other requests by the week of September 7.
I began to write words of encouragement to you all back in March, and at that time, I did not imagine that we would still be here in late August. Rather than words of encouragement, I do want to offer some closing thoughts. This year will be tough, our virtual start will be challenging, and there will be isolating moments for your child and your family. However, we will get through this and more importantly, we are all more resilient than we realize. We have had quite a few joyful moments as a staff over the past few days despite the stress and uncertainty, and we will have many joyful moments with your child and your family this year, too. We are a strong community, and this is when we show our strength. Please send positive energy our way and we look forward to a great start on Monday, August 31!