Monday AM Notes, September 27 2021

Happy Week 4!
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mine was especially good because it included a visit from my daughter from Corvallis! I got to spend time with my amazing daughter and her hubby, but more importantly I got to spend time with my adorable granddaughter Aurelia who I haven’t seen in over two months.


Before the we dive into the wildness of the week, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you and acknowledge how much I am loving the way this crew is coming together and how supportive everyone has been these first few weeks. This is an amazing team of people and it feels really good to be at school!

A few notes to get you going, so grab your planner and list of things to do:
1) Thanks for your weekly efforts to keep parents updated on what’s going on at school. I am appreciating the blend of what is going on academically and all the other great things going on–new songs, activities, art, buddies, SEL activities, etc. Feedback from parents is that they LOVE the photos and it’s helping feel more connected–so let’s keep sending photos every week!

2) A few important reminders:
*It’s important that we are keeping windows open and fresh air circulating in the classrooms, even as the temperatures are cooling. Also, please do your best to remember to turn the air purifier on as soon as you arrive in the morning (and turn it off before you leave).

*Please always, always, always have your phone and keys with you when you are on duty on the playground. In the case of an emergency you may need to unlock the gate(s) to get students off campus, and/or you may need to call 911.

*A reminder that there is NO ART again this week. Kinder, Grade 1, Grade 3, and Grade 4 please have a plan ready for this Wednesday during your art time (common planning time). Sadie and Ray, no art this Friday.

*If you have not already done so, please have a look at the Tier 1 LEAD activities and find something as a first step for yourself. Here is the link: resources. All teachers in the district are being asked to take one small step during September, I am interested to know which you are choosing!

3) SIW this week will be math focussed and supported by Anna (instructional coach) and Kerry Morton. Please be sure to do the survey before the end of the day today if you haven’t already done so. Thanks! Math survey for SIW

4) I’m still looking for a few volunteers to continue working on the framework for Take Care of Yourself/Others/Place. I anticipate that this is about 1-2 hours of work and then bringing it back to the group. We’ll start by blocking a 1 hour meeting time in the next few weeks once I know who is interested. Please email or speak with me early this week.

5) Huge thanks to Ray and Grade 5 for hosting Community Time last week–a great kick off! This week Grade 3 hosts on Thursday and Friday. K/2/4 on Thursday, 1/3/5 on Friday. 1:30pm start.

Future dates:
*October 7/8: Grade 4
*October 14/15: Kinder
*October 21/22: Grade 2
*November 4/5: Grade 1

6) FOA is looking for a teacher rep to attend monthly FOA meetings (just one per month). The teacher rep simply brings the teacher perspective to decisions about fundraising and shares ideas from the staff. Please let me know if this is something you could commit to. Meetings are usually the last Thursday of the month at 4pm (but this does vary).

Speaking of fundraising, FOA will soon be launching a pie fundraiser in partnership with Willamette Pie Company. Grade 5 students did this a few years ago and it was very successful. We’ll be sending home information to parents next week. In terms of support needed, we are kindly requesting that you include a reminder in your weekly notes once the info goes home, and we’ll need some help gathering the paperwork when it returns to school. All the hard work will be done by FOA–calculating totals, placing the big order, organizing the distribution when the pies arrive. More details coming next week, thanks in advance for your support. With no in-person fundraising opportunities available to us right now, this one is important!

7) As you all know we are looking for an EA. The posting that has been up for the last week or so has only yielded ONE applicant! If you know anyone you think might be interested please have them contact me–via email or text. Thanks!

8) Camp Amity. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to go to Camp Amity this Fall (fingers crossed for Winter!) so I got to thinking about how we might be able to bring Camp Amity to school. I think it would be really fun to host an afternoon of camp-like activities out on the field. This could include rotations to various activities like fort building, adventure tales (campfire stories), pearler beading, and so much more. I’m thinking late October. We have a staff meeting on October 12 and we could plan during that time. Start your creative engines and let’s start sharing ideas!

9) I’ll be leaving campus right after school gets out today to attend an Elementary Admin meeting at Ensworth. Call or text if you need me.

Upcoming
*September 30/Oct 1: Grade 3 hosts Community Time
*October 7/8: Grade 4 hosts Community Time
*October 14/15: Kinder hosts Community Time
*October 21/22: Grade 2 hosts Community Time
*October 27-29: No School for students, Conversations (conferences)
*November 4/5: Grade 1 hosts Community Time

Here’s to a great week ahead!
Andy


Monday AM Notes, Sept 20 2021

Hey Team,
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and really enjoyed a little rain. Michelle and I got out to Fall River just as the rain was letting up and the sun came out-absolutely glorious!


Before I share the AM notes, I wanted to share a link to this really awesome interview Quinn (Grade 5) did last week with our new superintendent Dr. Cook. Quinn rocked it! Supe’s On Podcast with Quinn

A few (actually many) notes to get you going, grab your planner and list of things to do:
1) We need to do a Fire Drill in the first 10 days of school, which means Tuesday is our last opportunity. We’ll have the drill on Tuesday at 9:20am. I will work with Patti to make sure you have updated class lists and the red and green emergency packet prior to the drill. Also, I will check in with those of you who are new to give you the run down.

2) It’s important that we are keeping windows open and free air circulating in the classrooms, even as the temperatures are cooling. Also, please do your best to remember to turn the air purifier on as soon as you arrive in the morning (and turn it off before you leave).

3) No Staff meeting this week (it’s on our schedule but I am opting to skip it) . SIW this week is “Teacher Directed” meaning you can use it as you as you like.

4) We’ll start our regular Buddy Time this Thursday from 10-11am. Here are the buddy pairs for at least the next two months: K and Grade 4, Grades 1 and 3, Grades 2 and 5. Please connect with your Buddy teacher and make plans.

5) I know several of you have already administered a math screener/assessment as we discussed during our prep week. For those that have yet to do a math assessment, here are 2 excellent options, please use one of them:
*Boulder Valley Math Screeners-these will give you a more global picture of the student’s thinking and reasoning: BVSD

*Bridges Unit Screeners-these will be more targeted to your first unit: Bridges Unit Screeners

I am happy to help with this in any way I can, please reach out if I can support the effort.

6) IMPORTANT: Alwyas, always, always have your phone and keys with you when you are on duty on the playground. In the case of an emergency you may need to unlock the gate(s) to get students off campus, and/or you may need to call 911.

7) Kinder, Grade 1, Grade 3, and Grade 4 please have a plan ready for this Wednesday during your art time (common planning time). Korey will not be teaching art this week or next so we need to have plans ready to be implemented. For K and 1 this is a 45 minute block, and you can consider having Karima lead a PE activity for 20 minutes of that time (Kinder first, then Grade 1). For Grades 3 and 4 this is 1 hour of time, and we talked about the possibility of utilizing Lexia and Dreambox as part of the plan.

Sadie and Ray, no art this Friday or next.

8) Remember to have a look at the Tier 1 LEAD activities and find something as a first step for yourself. Here is the link: resources. All teachers in the district are being asked to take one small step during September, I am interested to know which you are choosing!

9) Some follow up from our staff meeting last week:
*Sadie has stepped forward to represent Amity with the LEAD cohort, and Brian has volunteered to be our Sustainability Coordinator. A huge thanks to both of you! We look forward to learning from you and along with you!

*I’m looking for a few volunteers (in addition to Haley) to continue working on the framework for Take Care of Yourself/Others/Place. I anticipate that this is about 1-2 hours of work and then bringing it back to the group. We’ll start by blocking a 1 hour meeting time in the next few weeks once I know who is interested. Please email or speak with me early this week.

*I’m still looking for an ICCL representative to do some math focused work. Please let me know if you’re interested.

10) I’ve asked Brad to make some time with Kinder, Grade 1, and Grade 2 to learn how to play Gaga. He should be reaching out to you soon to schedule a time.

11) The art that is adorning the hallways looks great. Let’s continue to decorate the hallways, and feel free to use the space near the office as well!

12) Grade 5 will host the first Community Time this Thursday and Friday, September 23/24 starting at 1:30 each day. On Thursdays Kinder/Grade 2/Grade 4 will attend. On Friday Grades 1/3/5 will attend. Future dates:
*Sept 30/Oct 1: Grade 3
*October 7/8: Grade 4
*October 14/15: Kinder
*October 21/22: Grade 2
*November 4/5: Grade 1

13) Clarifying, once and for all, the recess zones. Zone 1 is closest to the school building, Zone 2 is closest to Broadway. Here’s an arial view:


Lastly, I need to let you know that Kelli resigned last Friday afternoon. She has enrolled Lexi in Bend La Pine online and will be home with her for the foreseeable future. Obviously this is a big loss, but we honor the decision that Kelli needed to make for her family. I have posted the position (waiting for district approval) and will interview as soon as I am able to (likely a week or so). In the meantime Alanna is joining the Grade 1 class as the EA.

Upcoming
*September  21: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 2, 5:30pm
*September 22: Teacher directed SIW
*September 23: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 3, 5:30pm
*September 23/24: Grade 5 hosts Community Time
*September 30/Oct 1: Grade 3 hosts Community Time
*October 7/8: Grade 4 hosts Community Time
*October 14/15: Kinder hosts Community Time
*October 21/22: Grade 2 hosts Community Time
*October 27-29: No School for students, Conversations (conferences)
*November 4/5: Grade 1 hosts Community Time

Here’s to a great week ahead!
Andy

Monday AM Notes, September 13 2021

Good Morning All!
I hope you enjoyed the glorious weekend and the freshness after a Fall rainstorm! It was a definite reset for me. And congrats on getting through a wacky, but wonderful first week of school last week!

Last weekend Michelle and I hiked up to Little Three Creeks Lake to escape the smoke for little while. While we didn’t totally escape the smoke we did find ourselves perched and mesmerized alongside the inlet to the lake. I videoed 30 seconds at the inlet that I want to challenge you to stop, take a deep breath, and watch before reading any further. It’s a busy week ahead, take a moment to take a few deep breaths. (Turn up the volume)


I want to start the morning notes with a HUGE welcome to our newest team member Lauren Romney who will be taking over the first grade class this year. Lauren starts today and will spend the week with Sara getting comfortable with the class (and Amity) and then will likely start on her own next Monday. Please welcome Lauren with open arms and lots of Amity love! We’re super excited to have her joining us!

A few notes to get you going (lots to share):
1) I’ll be off campus starting at 11:30am today and will be unreachable for the rest of the day. In case of emergency, Patti has Skip’s phone number (for those that don’t know, Skip is my boss).

2) As we settle in let’s remember the importance of being extremely vigilant in terms of masks and distancing. The current variant is insanely contagious and we want to do all we can to keep our students and ourselves safe. I am hopeful we will not have to eat inside again (or much in the coming weeks) but when we do it is vital that we maintain 6 feet of physical distance between students. This is our most vulnerable time and we need to be vigilant and relentless. As I always say, I have no desire to be on the front page of the newspaper. Let’s control what we can!

3) While I’m hopeful we don’t need this, in case we aren’t able to go outside for recess/lunch we’ll continue to use this gym schedule:
Morning Gym time-you can use for scooters or other games
8:30-8:45: Kinder
8:45-9:00: Grade 1
9:00-9:15: Grade 2
9:15-9:30: Grade 3
9:30-9:45: Grade 4
9:45-10:00: Grade 5

Snack: Eaten in classrooms, 6 feet of distancing.
Lunch: Eaten in the rooms and hallways/cafeteria (if extra space needed), 6 feet of distancing, supervised by EAs.  Games in the classroom, supervised by EAs.  Please let students know what they can play with and have games ready before you leave for lunch.

Afternoon Gym time-you can use for scooters or another game
12:00-12:15:  Kinder
12:15-12:30: Grade 1
12:30-12:45: Grade 2
12:45-1:00: Grade 3
1:00-1:15: Grade 4
1:15-1:30: Grade 5

4) Music and PE begin this week:
Monday, 12-1pm: Kinder (music first)/Grade 1 (PE first)
Tuesday, 12-1pm: Grade 2 (music first)/Grade 3 (PE first)
Thursday, 12-1pm: Grade 4 (music first)/ Grade 5 (PE first)

5) This Wednesday is a big day:
*Art begins for Grades K, 1, 3, and 4
*Health and Wellbeing with Brad starts for Grades 2 and 5
*We begin our Wednesday common planning time for K-2 and 3-5

Here’s how Wednesday will look (I will send another email on Tuesday outlining common planning time info):
*Art will begin at 8:30am for K/1 and will be supervised by EAs and me (Kelli and me with Grade 1, Jill and Karima with Kinder). Teachers, please leave activities for students to do after art and until recess.
*Grade 2 will be with Brad from 8:30-9:30
*K-2 teachers will meet in the Staff Lounge for planning time

*Art will begin at 10:00am for 3/4 and will be supervised by Alanna (3) and me (4). Teachers, please leave activities for students to do after art and until lunch.
*Grade 5 will be with Brad from 10:00-11:00
*3-5 teachers will meet in the Staff Lounge for planning time

6) We will have a Staff meeting on Wednesday starting at 1:30pm. We’ll meet in Ray’s room. I’m looking for a volunteer to lead a warm up activity. This can be a get to know you activity, mindfulness, something silly and fun, anything you’d like. Who’d like to step up for this week? Let me know.

7) As we settle in, establishing our routines is important. One thing I’d appreciate your help with is walking with your class to and from the playground, with you setting the pace (as opposed to following students who are running down the hallway). I’m counting on your support–thanks!

8) When you are on playground supervision please be sure that one of you has the red first aid bag that also contains the bell and you are aware what time the recess ends. I will not always be on the playground (just mostly) and it’s important that someone is aware of the time.

9) Contact tracing emails. If a child in your class tests positive for COVID you will likely receive a contact tracing email from the district–please be sure to respond to the email as quickly as possible. Responses to these emails are critical!

10) Virtual Back to School Nights are starting this week! Be sure you remember how to share the link to your Webex room and be sure to get it out to parents at least one day in advance. As a reminder, this does not need to be a big production–cover some of the basics (routines), what you’re diving into this first part of the year, what your passionate/excited about, what kind of engagement you are having with other classes (buddies, other), how parents can support their kiddos at home (and you at school), and leave time for Q and A. For fun you could ask them what they’ve learned about the class so far from their children–sometimes this can be hilarious!
In case you have forgotten:
*Sept 14: K and 1, 5:30pm
*Sept 16: 4 and 5, 5:30pm
*Sept  21: Grade 2, 5:30pm
*Sept 23: Grade 3, 5:30pm
***IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to either turn off the function that sends people to the waiting room upon entering or make sure you are monitoring the waiting room and let people in!


11) Grade 5 will host the first Community Time Thursday and Friday, September 23/24 (next week). On Thursdays Kinder/Grade 2/Grade 4 will attend. On Friday Grades 1/3/5 will attend. Future dates:
*Sept 30/Oct 1: Grade 3
*October 7/8: Grade 4
*October 14/15: Kinder
*October 21/22: Grade 2
*October 28/29: Grade 1

Upcoming
*Sept 15: Staff Meeting, 1:30pm
*Sept 14: Back to School (Virtual) K and 1, 5:30pm
*Sept 16: Back to School (Virtual) 4 and 5, 5:30pm
*Sept 21: Staff Meeting, 2:45pm
*Sept  21: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 2, 5:30pm
*Sept 22: Teacher directed SIW
*Sept 23: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 3, 5:30pm
*Sept 23/24: Grade 5 hosts Community Time!

Here’s to a great first full week!
Andy

Monday AM Notes, Sept 6 2021–First Week!

Hello Team!
I hope the long weekend treated you well and that it was just what you needed to be truly ready for our big week ahead (even with the smoke). I have had numerous emails from parents letting me know how excited their kiddos are to be returning to/starting school this week. It’s an especially big week for us as we start the school year as a new team and I couldn’t be more optimistic about the year ahead! If there is anything I can do to support you this week as we launch please don’t hesitate to reach out!

For those that are new, the Monday AM Notes are usually sent out late Sunday afternoon or very early Monday morning. It’s important that you read the notes prior to the start of school on Monday as there may be very relevant information that you will need first thing. It’s helpful to have your calendar next to you when you read the notes to make sure you don’t miss important dates and times.

Here are some notes to get us going our first week:
1) You should have received an email from me regarding some plans we discussed for the first 2 weeks of school: Wednesday’s Community Time outside, Buddies, PE/Music, Team Planning Times, and art times

2) What to cover with students first week
Masks
*Must be worn at all times indoors and getting ready to return inside
*May take off for snack, lunch, and recess–any time outside
*Masks can be put in a pocket or around the wrist when off

Distancing
*Must keep 6 feet of distancing (come up with some approximate measurement for students to use) anytime students are eating (inside and outside)

Washing and Sanitizing
*Encourage good hygiene practice–washing hands regularly, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. Encourage frequent washing!

Bathroom
*NO limits on number of students in the bathroom, but as always if it seems overly crowded have some students wait int he hallway.

In and out to playground
*Class walks in and out together with teacher
*Wait in designated area for pick up
*We’ll do pick up line for K-4, K starting at the LOVE wall and then in class order to the edge of the field for Grade 4. Grade 5 will meet Ray in the lunch table area. I’ll mark the head of the lines for reference.

Playground
*Encourage 3 feet of distancing while playing

End of day
*Walk students to designated pick-up areas (same as lunch spot) and stay with them
*Please try to make some form of contact with each parent/guardian as they pick up students

Cough or sneeze?
*Into the elbow crease please!

3) Info regarding air quality I will be sharing with parents:
With the return of considerable smoke this past week I wanted to share some information about how we track the air quality in Bend and how we make decisions about mitigation strategies. We use the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website to monitor the Air Quality Index (AQI) and use the guide below to help us make decisions. If you’re not familiar with monitoring air quality have a look here:Oregon Deptartment of Environmental Quality. The AQI is updated hourly and we use the reading closest to the time we plan to be outside to make decisions. If your child tends to be particularly sensitive to the smoke, for specific medical or other reasons, please be sure we are aware of this. Please email both me and Patti: [email protected] AND [email protected]


4) Please be sure to include your Back to School Night (virtual) date and time in parent communications. This will be done via Webex so it would be good to re-familiarize yourself prior to the day! (Sadie, we’ll need to get you set up on WebEx soon!)

5) Grade 1 teacher search update: We are actively accepting applications (post is official on district website) and meeting with candidates. We hope to make a hire within the next week. HIUGE thanks to Sara for helping with this transition and looking after the Grade 1 kiddos in the meantime!


Upcoming
*Sept 8: First day–full school day. Community Time at 1:45pm
*Sept 9: Field Games in PM–sign up! 1:30-2:15pm
*Sept 10: PM recess and popsicles, 1:45pm
*Sept 14: Back to School (Virtual) K and 1, 5:30pm
*Sept 16: Back to School (Virtual) 4 and 5, 5:30pm
*Sept  21: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 2, 5:50pm
*Sept 23: Back to School (Virtual) Grade 3, 5:30pm


I couldn’t be more excited to be starting the year with this incredible team!
Andy