Quote to consider: “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ― Maya Angelou

To Dos:

ODE STANDARDS UPDATE: Please be aware of the adjustments that ODE made to the standards. It seems obvious that no teacher will be able to teach all that they have taught “in a normal year.” Therefore, the idea of “power standards” take on a whole new meaning – and reality. What are those standards that a student truly must learn in order to be successful in the next sequences course? This is not easy work! Please discuss as a content team how you plan to synthesize the information in this document into your scope and sequence for the year and the next steps you’ll take as a team.

Bits and Bobs:

HYBRID UPDATE: The MS hybrid schedule will be a 4×4 rotator framework; this is where students have only four classes for 2 to 3 weeks and then their other four courses for the same period of time.  While there are still a lot of details to be worked out (lunches, Wednesdays, length class times, etc.), we have a structure for making these decisions going forward. 

ALL STAFF EMAILS: To reduce the number of emails in staff’s inbox, we only send all staff emails on items that need to be shared quickly; all other info is included in the weekly blog post. Please honor this system; send info you’d like shared with all staff to Wendy and Nole by Wednesdays at 4:00pm to be included in that week’s blog post (which are usually posted on Thursdays).

VIMEO BLOCKED: The video service Vimeo is blocked for students district-wide. Check out previous blogs posts on 10.29.20 and 10.9.20 to review some YouTube information.

NO CDL SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENT : In efforts to squash any rumors folks may have heard, I want to set the record straight that MS is NOT planning to add synchronous teaching/learning to Wednesday CDL schedule.

LIPI PHASE TWO FYI: The district has approved moving into LIPI phase two for middle schools for some students. The priority for LIPI consideration will be determined based on this HDMS intervention checklist and this guidance from the district. Our student support specialists (ELL, SRC, and counselors) are currently building lists of students they may consider inviting in this next phase.

SUPPORTING SECONDARY INSTRUCTION: Michele Clements and Dean Richards have put together this blog that aims at supporting secondary instruction. This week’s post includes items staff could consider doing to increase the effectiveness and minimize the clunkiness of their WebEx sessions.  


WebEx Security Updates: On Monday, November 30th WebEx 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.  There will be info for students shared during advisory next week and sent home to families on Friday (11/20).

Apple iOS 14.1: On Wednesday, November 11th, the newest iPad operating system was 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. There will be info for students shared during advisory on Friday and sent home to families.

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.

WORLD KINDNESS DAY: Here is a message from Alandra (please note that any involvement is voluntary!): 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 a 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.


WEEKLY INTERPRETER AVAILABLE: HDMS will have a Spanish interpreter on standby available to interpret phone calls or WebEx meetings on Wednesdays from 1:30-4:00pm. Sign up for your 15 minute time slot using the hot link on the sidebar of the blog. Be sure to sign up on the correct date using the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has directions for making 3-way calls and the interpreters phone and email contacts.

Connecting with families ahead of time to setup the meeting is ideal. Here are two possible ways to do that:
1. The spreadsheet has directions on how to text families and a brief Spanish translation message to send them.
2. Send an email to Liz, Heather P, and Veronica asking them to email/call the families to setup a time for the Wednesday interpreter connection.  

That said, calling families with the interpreter without prior notice on Wednesday is acceptable too.  If they don’t answer, you can leave a message sharing that you’re hoping to setup a time that does work.  Then use the remaining time slot with the interpreter to attempt to connect with other Spanish speaking families. 

ODE GUIDELINES: Continue to be flexible with deadlines and allow multiple opportunities for students to submit work. In order to provide access and equity for all students, setup your Canvas with the following in place:

  • Leave the “Available Until” date on your assignments BLANK.
  • Allow students “Unlimited” attempts at assignments.
  • Do not delete past Modules in your courses. When you do this, students no longer have access to these assignments. Plus, you’ll want to hang on to all of that hard work for future use!

WEDNESDAY ATTENDANCE: Use this spreadsheet (which is also linked on the blog’s sidebar) every week to take advisory attendance for Wednesday. The form will be available to students as a global announcement in Canvas Wednesdays from noon until Thursdays at 8am. The form the students complete and the spreadsheet it populates are meant to be helpful tools for teachers, students, and families to streamline Wednesday attendance school wide. That said, feel free to adjust for student/family needs on a case-by-case basis.  For example, a student could just email you on Wednesday and that could certainly count for their attendance. 

The district scans the attendance data at 10am to create the list of families that will receive the absence robo-call for the previous day.  Teachers should have their attendance completed before then each day to avoid unnecessary robo-calls to families.  But teachers have the ability to edit their attendance in Synergy even after the roco-calls go out.    

STUDENT SUPPORT TEAM: Thanks for following this student support flowchart when determining how to best move forward supporting students and families. Also, our new and improved Student Support Referral Form is live and available for use; a link to this form will remain on the sidebar of the blog.

HDMS Highlights:

Another example of HDMS’s universal Canvas settings