Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Community,

Please join me in welcoming our new nurse, Nurse Maria Lopez.  As many of you know, our beloved Nurse Peaks retired this year; we are excited to welcome Nurse Lopez to our community.  If you have stopped by the building this week for supply pick-up, you have also met Maxim Healthcare professionals who are supporting Janney at this time.  They are present daily at Janney and will conduct all health screenings on anyone entering the building.  Please join me in welcoming them to Janney as well.

The opening section of my newsletter will provide comprehensive updates on Advisory 2 CARE classrooms and in-person opportunities for specific groups of students during the second advisory.  Additionally, I will share a short update on planning for an advisory 3 reopening with more details to come.  The third advisory begins on February 1, 2021.

The remainder of my letter includes updates on live Specials classes; reminders about our upcoming sessions on race and equity with facilitator Jessy Molina; a reminder to vote in our LSAT election; and, more information about report cards.

We have not received permission to work with Janney Plus to host CARE classrooms during the first part of the second advisory.  There is still a chance that we will be able to partner with Janney Plus staff members to host CARE classes in January.  We plan to open one fifth grade CARE classroom which will begin on Wednesday, December 9.  This class will be staffed by Janney DSL, Mrs. Ann Beumel, and a Wilson HS staff member.  Wilson HS Principal Kim Martin has been gracious in working with feeder elementary schools to provide additional staff to support the gradual opening of CARE classes.  All DCPS elementary schools are required to open at least one CARE class and I chose to open a fifth grade class because this is the grade level where demand was the highest – we offered very few waitlist in-person learning seats and many of the fifth grade families expressed an interest in CARE when the in-person learning option was pushed back.  We will continue to explore ways to expand the number of CARE classrooms that we host throughout the second advisory.

An additional opportunity to host some students in-person during the second advisory is by applying to be a “Student Support Center.”  Schools are encouraged to find creative ways to bring small groups of students back to campuses in order to support a specific student need.  At this time, I have applied to be a Student Support Center in order to host fourth and fifth grade student lunch clubs and structured play.  We know that there is a real need for socialization as many of our older students are experiencing feelings of isolation or loneliness.  I will be in touch with fourth and fifth grade families soon with more details once our application has been approved.  As with CARE classrooms, we are looking at expanding in-person opportunities throughout the second advisory.

Finally, DCPS will soon be announcing a plan to engage school communities in planning for Advisory 3 Re-opening.  I will be working closely with the newly elected LSAT in the coming weeks and we will be engaging broadly with the community.  Stay tuned for more details.

Finally, please be reminded that we are hosting supply and material pick-up Wednesday and Thursday of this week from 8:30am-3:30pm daily.

Thank you again for carefully reading the updates below and for your continued support.

Live Specials
We will be slowly rolling out live Specials (art, music, PE, Spanish, library) during the month of November.  Each grade level will have the opportunity to participate in two live Specials classes per week and will still have access to all of the asynchronous Specials content that is updated weekly.  Most Specials began a “soft” roll out this week, meaning that they hosted times to get to know students and to establish community agreements.  All Specials will be live for the full period during the week of November 30.

Upcoming Community Events
Our staff has been fortunate to learn with Jessy Molina over the past year as she has facilitated professional development focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity.  We will host parent-facing sessions in the coming weeks that were originally scheduled for last spring.  A reminder that the sessions are scheduled for 6-7:30pm on W, Nov 18 & Th, Nov 19 and Dec 2 & Dec 3.

Please see the RSVP link here; the link also contains explanations of each session.

Our student support services team will host parent-facing support sessions during the second week of December as a means of adult support during this virtual learning period.  We hope to host these sessions on a recurring basis and more information is forthcoming as well.  The sessions will be hosted in grade level bands from 5-6pm.

LSAT Elections
Thank you to the nine parents who have graciously volunteered to serve a 2-year term on LSAT.  This year we have four positions open.  The voting window will remain open through Wednesday, November 25.  You can vote here.

Report Cards
First advisory report cards for our K-5 students are now live in the ASPEN parent portal.  We will also mail out a hard copy of the report card later this week.  Thank you for your patience as teachers completed the report cards – many of you logged in to see grades being entered in real time, but grades were not finalized until yesterday evening.  A few important notes: If your child received a “NM” or “not marked” in any subject that means that teachers did not have enough information to grade your child – either your child was not regularly participating in live lessons or s/he did not submit any assignments.  If a subject area or standard is grayed out, this means that the content was not taught this advisory.

Please note that our PK students will receive the PK version of a report card in December.

For families who are new to Janney or new to the DCPS report card, I’m including some helpful information below that I typically share with families at this time each year.

The report cards are divided into four main parts: the first page of the report card contains overall number grades for each subject, and letter grades that focus on learning behaviors; the second and third page of the report card contain letter grades for specific subject areas; and finally, the teacher comments will either be included as a separate document or appear on the first page of the report card, depending on your child’s grade level.

Here is a brief overview of each section:
Number grades
Number grades (4,3,2,1) denote a student’s overall performance in a specific subject area.  This grade is determined not only by the skills listed on the report card, but by other expected skills and standards as outlined by our curriculum.  Please note that the number grades are not simply an average of the skills listed in each subject section.  A 4 means that a child is exceeding grade level performance and expectations, while a 3 reflects grade level appropriate work.  A 2 demonstrates that a student is operating slightly below grade level, meaning that a student is still developing skills necessary for grade level work or that a student shows inconsistent application of the grade level skills.  A 1 shows that a student is operating well below grade level and has not demonstrated knowledge of grade level skills.

Letter grades
As mentioned above, letter grades (S,D,B) are given to specific skills within a subject area.  Please note that these are not the only skills taught during a particular advisory.  Throughout the advisory, teachers assess students in specific skills to determine whether a student is demonstrated himself or herself to be secure (S), developing (D), or beginning (B).  It is also important to note that some skills have not yet been introduced and will therefore be marked with an “N.”

The comments often contain information that is not easily expressed in other areas of the report card; this is also the section that teachers use to further explain a child’s performance.  Teachers make individual decisions for each child to either focus comments more heavily on academic performance, or on the social/emotional aspects of a child’s school experience.   Teachers often use this space to celebrate growth in a particular area, and to give specific feedback and next steps.

Please ask questions if there are parts of the report card that do not make sense to you, or if you need more clarification on next steps or further supports.

Best Regards,

Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    January 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • No School for Students or Teachers
    • Z Burger Nite! (portion of funds goes to Janney)
    • MLK Day - No School for Students, Teachers, Staff
    • No School for Students or Teachers
    • Inauguration Day - No School for Students, Teachers, Staff
    • Spring Auction Flash Sale Goes Live
    • No School for Students - End of Term (Half Day PD/Records)

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