Monday AM Notes, September 28

Good Morning Team!
I hope you enjoyed the amazing weekend weather and that it lifted your spirits! We have a beautiful week in store and I hope you plan to get out and do the things you love.

I don’t have much to share this morning as we are in a moment of waiting to see how the COVID numbers from last week pan out, but there are a few notes below.

Notes to share:
1) If hybrid is still on the table for K-3 then we will have our Staff Meeting with Kim on Thursday at 2:30pm; if hybrid is pushed back a few weeks we’ll reschedule our meeting with Kim. I am hoping we have an update from Lora before the end of the day.

2) Karima and Beth are here all week (if we are opening next week) to help K-3 teachers move in and get ready to welcome kiddos next week.

3) There is a Balanced/Hybrid Townhall tonight that is worth tuning in for.
 It starts at 6 p.m. on Facebook and Vimeo. The videos will also be available on the district’s website – (likely 24 hours later).

That’s it for now while we wait for more information! Here’s to a great week ahead!


Monday Notes, September 21

First, we have to acknowledge the passing of a true American hero, and someone who was a genuine trailblazer–Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her dedication to fighting for equality for all was truly inspirational. I hope we can all carry a little piece of her passion and dedication in our hearts. RIP RBG!

Congrats on a great first week of CDL! Yes, there were some technical difficulties along the way but all in all it was a successful week! Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance, and for your ability to connect from a distance.

A few notes to get you going:
1) Guidelines: I know you are all anxiously awaiting all the guidelines for hybrid. I am also awaiting these guidelines! The district is slowly rolling these out with a big document that is supposed to be coming by the end of the week. We’re going to have to hang tight until we have a comprehensive list in our hands.

In the meantime, Kim and I are currently working with a small team from Northstar as part of a Safety Team. We had our first meeting on Friday, and the next one will be on Tuesday at 1:30. The team is pouring over the safety checklist from the district (this is part of the guidelines but not all)–everything from how we enter and leave every day to how we will move from classroom to the bathroom. I could use at least one teacher to support this team. We’ll meet a few times between now and when start with hybrid. I will be doing 98% of the work, we just need a teacher representative on the team. We’ll meet when we can find mutually agreeable times. Please let me know if you can help–it’s a small, short term commitment, but a very important one!

2) Two notes related to COVID Training: 1) The COVID-19: What Our Local Medical Professionals Know About The Virus. BLS staff are invited to join Logan Clausen, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA) and Nathan Ansbaugh, MD, MPH, St. Charles emergency physician, to learn more about the COVID-19 virus and answer questions submitted by certified and classified staff members.  The session will be from 2 pm – 3 pm on Wednesday, September 23 in

Have you completed the district COVID Training? (PowerPoint).  The deadline was September 11.  Follow this link if you have not done the training: sharing

3) Music, PE and Art begin this week! I sent you the links for Music and PE, and Korey will send the Art link later in the week. I’m letting parents know that we will likely switch Music and Art to Wednesdays for K-3 once we go to hybrid. I’m working on a schedule and will share it soon. The switch will assure that Music and Art only have to be taught once per week on the day that all students are home.

4) Help with room set up and preparing for hybrid. We’ve hired Karima and Beth Thomas to put in some hours helping K-3 teachers get ready. Karima will be here in the afternoons this week and then in the mornings next week. Beth will be here in the mornings for the next couple of weeks. PLEASE use this support–they can unpack boxes, label folders, sort, copy, bring you coffee and make you lunch (well, maybe not these last two, but all the others and more). They are here for you, so please do all you can to let them help!

5) Staff Meeting on Tuesday at 2:30. I would love to do this in person if possible, but if not we can do it virtually (some in person, others at home). Please let me know where you plan to be.

6) Packet pick-up. We had tentatively set Oct 1 as the next packet pick up time. Please let me know if you plan to have materials to hand out. You would not necessarily have to be present for the pick-up but you could be.

7) Please remember–Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each other, Take Care of This Place. It starts with you, so be sure you are taking care of yourself, doing things that nurture your mind and body, and carving out the time needed to do so. Also, let’s continue to take care of each other by being present when we are together, reaching out for support and to help, and making time to connect. Where to start with taking care of this place? Focus on your sphere of influence–what can you positively impact today or in a moment, big or small!

September 22: Staff meeting, 2;30pm
Sept 28-Oct 2: Hybrid Transition Week for K-3. Reduced Webex group and small group meetings.
Oct 1: Packet/materials pick-up, tentative (will confirm soon)
Oct 5: Hybrid Orientation Week for K-3
October 12: Hybrid instruction begins for K-3

Here’s to week 2!

Monday Notes, September 14

Happy Virtual First Day of School!
First, I’d like to acknowledge the tremendous work you have put forth in a very short time to get ready for today. You continually amaze me with your determination, creativity, and undying commitment to make things work for children! I am sincerely in awe of your perseverance and I feel so lucky to work with such an amazing group of people! One day, hopefully soon, we’ll look back fondly on today as the strangest start of school ever–and, we’ll be so much stronger for having survived it!

A few notes to get the year rolling:
1) As you kick off the year this week please be sure to let me know if there are students in your class who are not attending meetings or who seem to be having difficulty with connectivity. Just keep me in the loop so I can help out if needed.

2) I have a working draft of our Amity PE page that we will use each week. The link will be the same each week and I will update the content–you can use the same link on Seesaw and Google classroom each week. Here’s a quick preview if you want to have a look: We’ll start PE, music, and art next week.

3) Thursday lunch will be provided by Rachel Worbes! Food will be here by 12:oo. I’m hoping we can all break for lunch around that time to eat and chat.

4) SIW time for the first 2 weeks is all yours as you make time to connect with families and plan. We will plan to have our first SIW on Wednesday, September 30. I’m hoping we can do these meetings in person, even if not everyone can attend–the rest could attend via Webex.

5) It’s likely that big discussions about Hybrid instruction will begin today as there were some high level meetings going on last week. I anticipate communications from the district today or tomorrow outlining the big picture plan.

6) For those looking to start using Lexia soon it’s important to note that every student will be asked to take a placement test upon starting. I am hoping this will be helpful to you in gathering a little data at the start of the year. NO DIBELS this year.

7) I’d like to create a version of the Amity song and the Amity Birthday song by recording each of you singing a line or two. I’ll try to catch you when you are on site this week. I think the result will be an awesome thing to share with students and families!

These are challenging and stressful times, so PLEASE remember to take care of yourself!

Best of luck to you this week, and remember the first few weeks are all about establishing connection and rolling out routines. You got this!

Here’s to thriving on line!

Monday, September 7 2020

Hey Team,
I hope that after drinking from the firehose last week that you were able to have some fun and relax this weekend! I appreciate your positivity and your focus on making the best of our situation!

A few notes for the week:
1) Students will pick up materials this Thursday, the schedule is below and it would be extremely helpful to have you helping during your time slot–not to mention how much the kids will want to see you! Please have all your materials ready to go by your scheduled time. EAs will be at school Wednesday and Thursday to help.

Materials Pick-up Schedule:
2-3pm: Kinder and Grade 1
3-4pm: Grades 2 and 3
4-5pm: Grades 4 and 5
5-5:30pm: For anyone who was not able to make it earlier

2) Teacher letters and schedules need to be sent out Wednesday morning before noon. Please be sure your note covers all the important information:
*First two weeks
*Building stamina
*Materials list
*Break times
*Acknowledge concerns, fears, grief and loss
*How you plan to do groups
*What partnership will look like
*How best to communication with you (email, text, phone, etc)
*Platforms you will be using–might be good to do a test run with families on SeeSaw and Google classroom
*Re-read your note a thousand times before you send it–check to be sure it’s not overwhelming! I have already read a few drafts shared with me and I am happy to read as many as you’ll send me. I think it’s always helpful to have another set of eyes have a look at a big, packed email.

3) Community Meeting on Webex, Thursday 6-7pm. I am hoping you can join me for this meeting with families. It’s an opportunity for them to get some updates and ask questions. It will be super helpful if you can attend and help with monitoring the chat for questions. As this is traditionally the evening we would do our Watermelon Social I am encouraging families to bring some watermelon to the chat–feel free to do the same!

4) Work days and times. I’m hoping you all have some sense of what days/times you will be at school so that we can plan on all being at school at certain times. Having lunch (and a little therapy) on those days will be really therapeutic for all of us, and it would be nice to have SIW/staff meetings in person if possible. I’m am still waiting for direction on SIWs and will share as soon as I have it.

5) Friday Art times: In looking at the schedules, I don’t think 30 minutes is going to be enough time for art on Fridays. I am hopeful we can make a small adjustment to Friday schedules to add an additional 15 minutes to the art period. This does not really impact K/1 but it will mean that 2-5 have to dip a little into SPED/ELL time just on Fridays. Art (and PE and music) will start the second week of school. I realize this ask may require us to get more creative than simply adding an additional 15 minutes–just let me know and I’ll work with you to figure out how to make it work.

6) Happy Hour at Frans’ place on Friday, hope you can make it.

September 9: Emails and schedules from teachers go out, by noon
September 10: Materials pick up at Northstar, 2-5:30pm
September 10: Community Webex Meeting, 6-7pm
September 14: First Day of School!

Lastly, I hope that have your full support in terms of being a solid front of stability and positivity for students and families. This has been such a challenging time for all of us, and it can be easy to slide down into the rabbit hole of disappointment and frustration. However, we have children and families really counting on us to shine bright and be a positive guiding force as we navigate this next chapter of distance learning. Let’s stay positive and lean on each other for support when needed!

A quote to share as I sign off: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain! (Vivian Greene). I think this speaks very clearly to our goal of thriving, not just surviving! Looking forward to dancing in the rain with you!