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PHExpress 4.6.2020

PHExpress

4.6.20

Dear Parents, 

Well, here we are, all of us doing school from our living rooms, kitchen tables, and home offices.  This is certainly not what we all had envisioned our final quarter of school looking like, but in terms of the health and safety of our community, this is the safest place for everyone.  On the upside, we don’t have to deal with crazy traffic during pick up and drop off! On the downside, we all miss you and your students terribly.  

First off, I’d like to echo our superintendent’s message of thanks and appreciation for your patience during this time.  Please know that for the past 10-12 days, our school personnel has been busy preparing devices to be allocated for remote learning, hosting multiple online meetings with staff to clarify expectations and discuss what instruction looks like in a remote learning environment, and working with the district to ensure we have all received the training and professional development to make sure your student’s remote learning experience is structured in such a way that it can be both meaningful and not overwhelming to our students and families.

In addition, we’re asking for your continued patience as we evolve.  Remote learning plans for the first few days of school were intended to be an introduction into the programs and video platforms that teachers would be implementing in the coming days.  This week, you can expect teachers to provide more rigorous instruction, and you’ll definitely see more evidence of the routines and structures we’re implementing on a daily basis. But know that as our staff becomes more comfortable and proficient with new platforms for delivering instruction, we will begin to evolve each week.  As our teachers continue to learn and grow in their own learning, we expect that our students will all have learning experiences that will continue to allow them to learn and grow through this new learning model.

To that end, we are working on being flexible and adaptive as a school.  First off, we never had the opportunity to host our March Pride assembly, so we are working on a video presentation celebrating our students who exemplify our Pride Traits.  You can expect to see that on our webpage Monday, April 13th.  

Also, for our 5th grade families, we will not be teaching the 5th grade Health Unit this year.  Given that we have lost our opportunity to host a meaningful parent meeting, the district has asked us to delay our implementation until next year.  In addition to the fact that given it would be our first year implementing this curriculum, we would rather have the opportunity to deliver instruction using our traditional methods in the classroom, as opposed to our current  remote learning model.

We invited you to continue to reach out via email if you have questions or concerns.  You can call the school’s general line and leave a voice message if you have a question for our office staff.  Your classroom teachers are available via email, phone, or video call during office hours. The district is still helping us work out the details around refunds for field trips, lunch accounts, etc.  We know some of you had book orders come in, and we are not allowed to get those to you at this time. I’m sure there will be time near the end of the school year, where you will be able to come and pick up student’s  items in their desk or classroom. Unfortunately, we don’t have answers about any of that right now, and we ask your patience as the district helps us make those decisions.  

Thanks for all that you’re doing to help support your students on this new journey.  Last week during teacher check-ins, teachers shared the many celebrations they’ve had in making video calls with their students (a highlight for their week), we learned that in most classrooms, there has been near perfect attendance, and overall, it was a pretty successful week. Just as a reminder; don’t forget to check out the classroom pages of our Specials teachers, I know they’re hearing from some of you, but they have some very cool activities for you and your students to do.  

We hope you enjoy your week this week.  I will be resuming sending out the PHExpress on Mondays from here on out, there is often district communication on Thursdays or Fridays, and I don’t want to compete with the district’s important messages.  Stay tuned to our PHE webpage, as we continue to learn, grow, and add to our remote learning experiences. We’re just getting started, and its only going to get better from here!

Happy Monday,

Kim Walsh