Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Community,

I hope you all were able to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend – with a lot of time offline!

Thank you in advance for reading this email – I know there has been a ton of information thrown your way over the past two weeks and that many of you are more than a little overwhelmed.  This is an incredibly challenging time and it is important to remember that none of us actually chose to be here, slogging through virtual learning together.  But we are here now, and we need to continue to lean in so that we can get through this together.

We continue to establish a predictable schedule and clear routines this week, and teachers continue to focus on building a virtual classroom community.  It is incredibly important to establish classroom rules and expectations as we launch the year, especially in this new and unknown space.  Your child will engage in Digital Citizenship lessons during the opening weeks of school and your child’s class will agree upon ways to communicate with each other in a virtual setting.  These opening weeks of school will include a lot of troubleshooting, some tears, and a few revisions and restarts as we memorize log-ins, learn platforms, and realize the limits of our devices.  It will get easier.

My letter tonight includes: information about additional supply pick-up; instructions on how to update your Microsoft Teams meeting settings and updates on default meeting options; updates on our Wednesday schedule; and, a few closing thoughts.

A reminder that we will host Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 6pm.  Note that the entire session will be recorded, and the recording will be available the next day.

Finally, here is a quick link to the Wednesday Wellness session with Ms. Lewis and Ms. Solomon that will take place tomorrow from 10:30-11:00am.  A link to access this optional session will also be available tomorrow on your child’s Canvas page.

Our additional device allocation arrived late last week, and we began to distribute those devices to families today.  If you need a device and have not heard from Ann Beumel, please reach out ASAP. Please note that the iPads earmarked for our PK families have not yet arrived but are on schedule for mid-September distribution.

We also received our math workbooks on Friday.  They are available for pick-up this week (and next) and the building will be open 8:30a-3:30p M-F.  We are requesting that all K-5 families stop by to pick-up the workbooks.  Additionally, if you have a K-2 student and have not picked up your FUNdations materials, those are still available for pick-up.  If your family needs any additional supplies, please let us know.

Meeting Settings in Teams
If you have not updated your Teams application to experience the new meeting features, here is a brief tutorial video.  Pease reach out if you need additional assistance.

Additionally, DCPS has enabled the lobby and waiting room as a default safety feature on all meetings.  Please expect this on all meetings or live sessions that your child will attend.

Wednesday Schedule
We are looking forward to gradually growing our Wednesday morning schedule offerings over the next few weeks.  All students will engage in a morning meeting and a live session with their homeroom teacher on Wednesday mornings.  Following the live sessions this Wednesday, Ms. Lewis and Ms. Solomon will host a Wellness Wednesday live event from 10:30-11:00am.  The session will be accessible through your child’s Canvas page, but I also included a link here.

We know that our students need a variety of experiences and opportunities beyond core content instruction.  We also know that our teachers need planning time in order to design virtual lessons that are engaging and purposeful.  Wednesday afternoons will be a time for asynchronous (recorded) instruction for the duration of the first advisory in order to provide teachers with this planning time.  Right now, we are providing asynchronous Special class opportunities (i.e. Art, Music, Physical Education, Library, Performing Arts, and Spanish for K-2) that can be found on Canvas.  Our Wednesday morning block will continue to grow and develop as we provide opportunities to engage in enrichment-style activities and social emotional learning, but the afternoon block will remain asynchronous.

Closing Thoughts
We have experienced more than a few hiccups over the past week as students sat in waiting rooms, got kicked out of meetings due to connectivity issues, or couldn’t get the “unmute” button to work.  Some of you had days when you couldn’t access Jamboree or experienced moments of clicking a link and being directed to something completely different than what you expected.  You have googled quick fixes, tried restarting your device, and sent middle-of-the-night emails to your child’s teacher.  It has been just as frustrating for us as it has been for your family.  We are a community of teachers, support staff, and administrators who dedicate countless hours to supporting your students and knowing that some of these hiccups would occur no matter how much preparation we did was infuriating.  Yet we made it to the end of the week and all of our teachers returned this morning to teach another virtual day.  There is strength in showing up – albeit virtually – each day.

Our technology issues will get easier – we will learn the platforms, we will upgrade and restart devices, and the unmute button will actually work when it is clicked the first time.  I reminded teachers of this during our Wednesday planning meeting.  I also noted the things that wouldn’t get easier – this virtual period can be isolating and lonely and it can be challenging to build and maintain relationships.  It will be easy to step back, to note complaints and frustrations, and to turn off your camera.  It will be hard to simply show up each day and try again but that is what I expect of our teachers, your children, and our community members.  Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will continue to do during this time – and remember to reach out if you need help or support.

We look forward to connecting virtually next week at Back-to-School Night.


Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    April 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • End of Term / Half-Day PD & Half-Day Records Day / No School for Students
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • Janney Meeting re New Ward 3 Schools
    • Dining Out at Potomac Pizza
    • DCPS Office of School Planning Meeting with Janney re New Ward 3 Schools

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