Monthly Archives: January 2021

February 1, 2021

Hello Creeker Families,
It feels good to say–WE ARE BACK! As hoped, the first week with K-3 students back full time was a huge success filled with lots of reconnecting, celebration, and joy. A big thanks to all of you for helping make the week such a success and for your endless support and encouragement. This week Grades 4 and 5 return in a hybrid model attending in-person school twice each week and continuing to do school at home three days each week. We’re really hopeful that Grades 4 and 5 will transition to all-in in the near future.

First, a few photos now that we’re back:

A few notes to share with you as we start the week:
1) You have all been AMAZING with drop off and pick up–I cannot thank you enough for your efforts to support the plan! Drop off has been flawless; I cannot say as much for pick-up. As you know we had to make an immediate change on Friday in an effort to reduce conflict with busses and North Star parents picking up their children. The new plan worked great on Friday and I am hopeful it will continue to work great going forward! As a reminder, pick up starts at 2:40pm–please do not enter the pick-up loop prior to 2:35pm. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday pick up time is 1:10.

2) A few other drop off/pick-up reminders:
*Please do your best to have your child(ren) exit and enter your car on the curb side–this is a significant safety concern
*Please do all you can to have your child ready to exit the car when you pull up for drop off
*Please avoid getting out of your car if at all possible
*If possible pull forward just beyond the pick-up area after your child gets in the car to do any final buckling and adjusting.
*Arriving late? You may find the gate locked; if so, please call Patti (541-355-2800–a good number to program in your phone for many reasons) and we will send someone down to unlock the gate. This may take a few minutes.

3) NO school this Friday, February 5. This will be a day to check in with teachers and you should have received communication from them about this already.

4) A request from teachers about food being sent to school: Please send food that is easy for a student to open themselves, including thermoses, snacks, and water bottles. This will help us minimize the amount of adult contact with food items.

5) April Conference date changes: The original dates on the District calendar were incorrect. Conference Days (we call them Conversations at Amity) will be April 14-16. There will be no school on these days.

6) Reporting an absence: It is vital that if your child is not going to be at school for any reason that you contact us by phone or email ([email protected]) to let us know. In our efforts to track illnesses we need to hear from you and to know what symptoms your child is experiencing. We also want to know if your child is absent for other, non-medical, reasons. We appreciate your help in keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible!

7) IMPORTANT MASK UPDATE: Initially gaiters and buffs were not going to be allowed at school, then that guideline changed allowing them to be warn. New information about their effectiveness has brought new guidelines–gaiters and buffs are no longer allowed to be worn at school. Not sure what a gaiter or buff is? See below:

Upcoming
February 5: District inservice day, Parent/teacher meetings, No school
February 15: President’s Day, No School
March 22-26: Spring Break, No School
April 14-16: No school, Conference Days (called Conversations at Amity)

Thanks for all you are doing to support your child and us during this transition back to in-person schooling!

See you in the Drop Off Zone,
Andy

Amity News, January 25 2021

Hello Creekers!
Wow, this past week was one of historic proportions! We honored Martin Luther King, Jr, inaugurated a new president, and began our RETURN TO SCHOOL! We’re in the moment now, but we’ll look back on this time as a piece of history as students are returning to school after 10 months–yes 10!

I have always believed and trusted in the resilience of children, and one thing I can confirm beyond a doubt from this past week is that children are extraordinary human beings! It was so heart-warming to have kiddos back at school and hear their cries of joy, laughter, and excitement both in the classroom and out on the playground. Something inside of me shifted this past week, a reopening of my spirit. We loved having your children back at school, and we are so excited to welcome 4th and 5th graders back this week!

As expected, we learned a thing or two about having kiddos back at school with all the new guidelines and rules. We’d like to share a few things with you as we make some small tweaks to how we go about our day. We’d love your support in helping us make things work even better.

Our learnings:
1) A good fitting mask makes a HUGE difference. The majority of your children came to school with masks that stayed snug and in place all day. However, some kiddos showed up with masks that continuously slid down their faces, below their noses (and mouths at times) and they had to constantly touch their mask and face to readjust. And, their teachers had to continually remind them about the adjustment. We have a sweet dog who has graciously volunteered to demonstrate how a mask should properly fit:

Image

(This pup is also featured all over the internet and social media–a true influencer!)

Please take a moment over the weekend to be sure the masks you are sending your child to school with fit well and stay up. For students who show up with masks that do not quite fit properly, we will give them one from our supplies that we have here at school and we’ll reach out to let you know. We greatly appreciate your help!

Also, remember 2 masks are better than 1. Numerous kiddos were able to switch out their wet masks after recess and it made for a lot of added comfort. Thanks!

2) Drop off and pick up. So far drop off and pick up have gone smoothly, thanks to all of you! Starting Monday, we will have twice the cars coming through and we want to make a few adjustments:
*If at all possible, please do not get out of your car. Prior to leaving home think about ways to streamline the drop off process that do not necessitate your getting out to help your child. We know this will be challenging, be it can be done!
*Please do all you can to have your child get out of the car on the curb side. While we do not encourage cars to pass in the drop off/pick-up lane, sometimes it happens and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.
*When picking up your child we know you need to get your kiddo buckled in. We noticed this caused significant delays for some parents. You’ll notice there is a lot of space to pull over just beyond the drop off/pick up zone and we’d kindly ask that you consider pulling into this space to do final buckling before leaving the parking lot. We understand if this is not comfortable for you, and we certainly want you to feel safe. For those that are comfortable pulling forward to buckle up, we appreciate it. We think this will significantly help expedite the pick up process.

Please also review the Drop Off and Pick Up information that I shared in a previous email–there are some extremely important details in there! Grade 4 and 5 parents should definitely review the information before your child’s Orientation Day.

3) Important things to remember to bring to school:
*2 masks
*Water bottle (labeled)–super important!
*Warm winter clothes–we will be outside 3 times per day whenever possible (at or above 20 degrees)
*Curiosity, creativity, sense of humor, and lots of joy

4) Bus riders. We know some of you will be sending your children on the bus to and/or from school. Please send Patti a quick email to be sure we know–[email protected]

5) Not so much a learning, but a reminder–breakfast and lunch, as well as Grab and Go meals for at home, are available every day for free for all students. Breakfast is available upon arrival each day and we get a lunch count every morning.

Upcoming
January 25: K-3 Students all in! Yahoo!
January 26 and 28: Grade 4 and 5 Orientation Days–see info from teachers
February 5: District inservice day, No school
February 15: President’s Day, No School
March 22-26: Spring Break, No School

We have the kids back in the building, now I’m working on getting you all back in–we miss you so much! Here’s to our glorious return to school and all the joy that lies ahead for our community!

Andy

Amity News, January 18 2021

After what seems like an eternity, we are beginning to return to school this week! Like you we are filled with incredible excitement, but also trepidation. We have spent weeks (and, in reality, months) preparing for this return and we feel ready to welcome your children back to school. Our focus this week, and in the coming weeks, is on connection and helping your child settle back into school. Obviously our number one priority is returning safely to school, but just as important to us is making sure we are re-engaging our loving and supportive community.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the INCREDIBLE job you have done as parents and co-teachers during this extraordinarily challenging and difficult time–you have been AMAZING! We’re not out of the woods yet, but we are taking one GIANT step forward in the next few weeks as we return to school. Our deepest appreciation to you for your partnership, love, and support over these last 10 months (yes, 10!). We step enthusiastically (and a little hesitantly) forward together!

Some really important notes as we begin this return:
1) This week we welcome Kinder-Grade 3 students for one day of Orientation–you should have received information about your child’s orientation day from your child’s teacher. Next week we will start a full week of school for Kinder-Grade 3 students. Also next week, Grades 4 and 5 will have their Orientation Days–look for information from your child’s teacher. The week after (Feb 1) we begin a hybrid schedule for Grade 4 and 5 students. As a reminder, our school hours are 8am-2:30pm, with doors opening at 7:45am (this is the time you can enter the drop off loop). Please wait until 2:25pm to enter the loop at the end of the day (as noted in the Return-to-School document shared with you last week).

2) Last week I sent an extensive return-to-school document home to share as much information with you as possible prior to our return. I want to encourage (implore?) you to re-read the document tonight so that you have seen all the information multiple times–this will set us up for the best chance of a successful return. *Please pay special attention to the drop off and pick up information, and be watching for signs in the parking lot. Also, please remember to STAY IN YOUR CAR*

3) Please send your child to school with at least 2 masks–we want to be sure that if a mask is lost, damaged, or just too wet to wear that we have a back up. In case of emergency, and when needed, we will always have a mask for a student.

4) For those interested in having your child ride the bus to or from (or both) the Education Center (across from the library) here is the Bus Information:
-The morning bus (Route 154) will pick up at about 7:19 am at the Education Center Building downtown. Students will ride this bus to Juniper Elementary and transfer over to another bus (route 156) and arrive at Amity (NorthStar) at 8:00 am.
-The afternoon bus (Route 156) will pick up at Amity ( NorthStar) and depart by 2:22 (Wed by 12:52) and then transfer at the Transportation Center to another bus (Route 154) and arrive at the Education Center at 2:34 (Wed 1:04)

5) Please remember to send your child with warm (easy to put on) clothes so we can eat, play, and learn outside as much as possible!

6) Just a reminder that parents are not allowed into the building at this time, but you may visit the office–Amity has it’s own entrance on the far west side of the building. Letting Patti know ahead of time that you are planning to visit the office will be very helpful! Call: 541-355-2800

Upcoming
January 25: All in for K-3, Orientation for 4-5
February 1: Hybrid begins for 4-5
February 5: No school
February 15: President’s Day, no school
March 22-26: Spring Break, no school

And finally a short welcome video to watch before Orientation Day–enjoy, and see you soon!

Here’s to a new start!
Andy

Amity News, January 11 2021

Dear Creeker Families,
Wow, a lot has happened in the last week (and month, and year!).  As we gear up to return to in-person schooling I wanted to share a little information early this week.  

1) Later this week I will be sending you a lot of information about our return.  I will share information about drop off and pick up, masks and distancing, hygiene and cleaning, breakfast and lunch, classroom set-up, recess times, health information and protocols, visiting school, and more.  What I will share now is that school hours will be 8am-2:30pm, with doors opening at 7:45am (8am-1pm on Wednesdays). The office will be open 7:30am-3:30pm.

2) For those who have been with us for CDL (Comprehensive Distance Learning), we are assuming you’ll continue with us in-person unless we hear from you.  For those not planning to return to in-person learning please email us as soon as possible to let us know: [email protected]

3) For families currently registered with Bend La Pine On-Line, you should have received a survey link from the district by now and a request to fill out the survey as soon as possible.  If you have not already done so, please take a moment to respond to the survey; it is very important that we know if you are planning to re-join Amity now that we are returning to in-person.  Thank you!

4) Next week will be Orientation Week for K-3 students.  Teachers will be sending information home soon to let you know which day your child is scheduled to attend orientation (siblings will be on the same day). This will be a full school day from 8am to 2:30pm.  

5) Grade 4 and 5 hybrid cohorts: Your child’s teacher will be reaching out soon to let you know which days your child will attend.  It will either be Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday, 8am-2:30pm.  All other days will be asynchronous but will include an on-line morning meeting.  

6) Several of you have asked about a bus from the Educational Center downtown to North Star and back.  Yes, there will be a bus—we are awaiting details of pick up and drop off times.  We will share these with you as soon as we have more information.

7) After school care: We are still waiting for more information about after school care. As soon as we have the official word I will share it with you.

Please know we are here to support you as we make this important transition.  If you have question, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask—send us an email: [email protected] or [email protected]


Here’s to a great week ahead!
Andy