November 6, 2020

Focus on Excellence and Equity…

I want to thank Dave VanLoo and Julie Walker for the Monday training.  As they said, this was not information you would necessarily take and immediately implement. The work we are doing will take time and is a process that will take some time.  Right now we are building background knowledge to help guide our Excellence and Equity work.  Be sure to bookmark the link Dave recently sent with the Excellence and Equity text sets.  It is my goal to make Excellence and Equity a regular topic in our horizontal meetings and in this blog.

If you have time… read the article on this Padlet  and respond with your thoughts.  Also read the thoughts of your colleagues and comment on what they wrote.

Here is your homework assignment for our next Leadership Excellence and Equity training with BRYT/Courtney on the afternoon of Nov. 18. Please make some time to complete this and be ready to share your insights with your small team on that day. 


Department News…

Reminder from FAN –  Monday November 9th is our fall MAC survey day. Remember anything we do on MAC day, with connecting our students to medical, mental health, dental, vision or OHP health insurance can be claimable and result in reimbursement that directly funds our FAN advocates. Please coordinate with your FAN advocate for any support or communication regarding MAC day. 

A request from your fabulous Bend-La Pine Nursing Team – As we are (hopefully) heading back to in-person school (thinking positively here), the nursing team feels that it would be extremely beneficial for students, parents, and staff to hear from their school nurses about healthy practices and precautions to take for COVID.  We are asking if it would be possible for schools to have an identified section in their school newsletters (specific to school nurses) so that families and staff will become familiar with looking for this specific area for COVID-19 information and updates? We are finding that with LIPI, many families (and some staff) are not aware (even with the COVID Communication Guidance) of the signs and symptoms to look out for and when to keep their student home. This letter will be the first communication to go out in school newsletters. Please know that I will be reviewing and approving the information before it goes into the school newsletters.  Thank you for making room for this info in your school newsletters.

Optional opportunity from Alandra – We know the world, and even our community, can feel awfully stressful and hostile right now. We are hoping to make the discourse in our community more positive and are launching a kindness campaign with regional partners to elevate stories of kindness – with special focus on World Kindness Day, Nov. 13. If you are interested in learning more and supporting this effort: Here is a list of ideas of how to join both in and out of school. We are hoping these resources will make it easy to join: Writing prompts, for instance; topics for advisory or freshmen foundations; a contest at the high school level; books to read at the elementary level. Additionally, we know many schools are ALREADY doing a lot around kindness. Please consider sharing with Alandra the great work you are already doing. Thank you. And if you haven’t yet watched the kindness launch video featuring our 8th graders, be sure to do so.

COVID communication from Julianne – We have a series of pre-produced messages (approved by the health department ) for a variety of scenarios that will be used to share messaging around positive cases. If you’re interested in seeing these, let me know.  Below are links to two samples:

Also, if you’re interested in our communication protocols, you can find them here.

From Transportation – Our routers will not be working over Thanksgiving break. So- if a school wants to start a student on 11/11/30 for LIPI, we need to have the LIPI request form no later than 11/14.

LEAD Cohort Here is a link to a DRAFT website that the LEAD Cohort (and Kinsey putting it all together) has created. Please DO NOT share or send out to anyone on your staff at this time. This resource may be communicated broadly as soon as next week, but I wanted you to be able to preview it if you’d like.


Instructional Tech news from Amy 

iPad Insurance – Across our district, the purchase of iPad insurance is down more than 60% from previous years.  We anticipated this would happen, and also realize it is causing concern.  In preparation, extra funds were budgeted to cover damaged devices.  Our advice to principals is to use your best judgement when assessing fines.  If damage looks like blatant misuse or abuse you should fine the student for damage.  If damage appears to be accidental and in the course of normal use you do not need to assess a fine.  Going forward, we will be revisiting the topic of insurance for future years and hope to come up with a different solution for dealing with damaged devices.

WebEx Security Updates – On Monday, November 30th our WebEx instance will receive another security upgrade.  As of that date, students who are logged in to the WebEx platform will go directly into their teacher’s meeting room, whereas those who are not logged in will need to be let in from the “waiting room”.  More about this change can be found in our blog entry.  Our Instructional Technology team recommends that all students log in to WebEx independent of their scheduled meetings to facilitate the process; logins can happen any time so long as they are done before November 30th.  

Apple iOS 14.1 – On Wednesday, November 11th, the newest iPad operating system will be available for students to download.  Students will not have to upgrade immediately, but will be prompted at some point that the update is available.  When new updates come out, it is possible that we will start to see some challenges with the behavior of other apps.  At this point we have determined that all of our curriculum apps and frequently used tools are ready for this update, so glitches might be the result of students NOT having updated their devices.  Running the iOS update from “Settings” is a great problem-solving step if new app glitches show up.

iCloud Logins – We are also recommending that all students login to their school Apple ID to utilize upgraded iCloud storage.  This message has already been pushed out to many staff members and students, more information on how to do it can be found in this blog entry.


News from Paul…

Classified Staff – Our classified union has expressed high interest in helping their members avoid having to use their sick leave if they are required to self-isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure.  One way to make that happen was if classified staff had work that they could do from home. Here is a list of jobs (some of which can be done remotely) that OSEA wanted to be passed along to building administrators.  

Should a classified member in your building have to self-isolate and you have the ability to assign remote work for them to do in lieu of taking sick leave, they would greatly appreciate it.

Return To School Phase-In Scenarios – Unfortunately, we know that we won’t meet the metrics when they are released on November 9th.  For subsequent weeks, here is a document that explains how our phased-in transition will work.  Lora will share this information with teachers next week.

Safety Checklist Due Date Reminder – Please upload your new school’s COVID-19 Safety Checklist here before the end of the day on Thursday,  November 12th.

Family Connections – How are you family connections teams going?  One of our behavioral coaches, Amanda Schook, has been visiting some school’s family connections team meetings and shared some observations in a google doc that may help your school-based teams.  Please reach out to Paul and Amanda if your school’s FC team can use any support from our district FC team.

Off Grid – FYI Paul will be out of the office and off grid Monday-Wednesday of next week.


Updates, Reminders, Info and Rants…

No Horizontal Next Week. I will be in a Bargaining meeting that day and time.

Mark your calendars – We will be conducting a Dreambox training for Admin, Special Education, and Interventionists on 12/2 from 1:00-2:00.  The focus of this training will be on the Predictive Analytic Data reports.  This is pretty cool stuff that was just released by Dreambox.  Teachers will have a similar training on 11/18.  Info on how to join the training will be sent later.  For now just block out that time on your calendar.

Desks?  Quite a while ago I created this spreadsheet to collect your desk requests for k-3 all in.  If you could review it and update it that would be appreciated.  Remember, try your best to solve things internally by shifting desks around from your 4-5 classrooms.

Subs – Please remind your office managers about checking with the subs on your priority list.  We are trying to get an idea of how many are still active this year and ready to work.

School Office Hours – We have heard some references from staff and families of schools being closed/doors locked. Perhaps this is because it was after hours??? Not sure.  It might be helpful to clearly post your office hours on the door for families. Thanks.

Youth Truth Survey – Sometime after November 9th I’ll be receiving a link to a recorded webinar training that all school admins need to watch by Friday Nov. 20. The webinar provides admins with an understanding of the survey and administration logistics. The reason for the Nov. 20 deadline is YouthTruth will be sending schools additional information on Monday, Nov. 23.

How many LIPI students?  The school board is interested in how many students are participating in LIPI.  Please add your best estimate to this document so I can share it with Lora.  She would like this information by Tuesday.  Thanks.


And Finally…