Quote to consider:
Some of you are unaware of just how amazing you really are. The way you make people laugh, lift others up and spread extra love. You do this even though you may be struggling too and I think that it makes you such a strong, inspiring and beautiful human being.
WEBEX SECURITY UPDATE: As you know, WebEx will be updated on Monday, November 30th. 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. Please review this update with your students during advisory on Thursday. Communication about this is being sent to families as well.
CANVAS UPDATE: Continue to reach out and partner with your Canvas coach to ensure that your Canvas is set up to meet the school-wide universal expectations. Additionally, check out, and consider providing your students with, The Student’s Guide to Canvas Submissions document created by our Canvas coaches. As always, refer to the Canvas Corner link on the side blog for Canvas Best Practices.
ADVISOR FAMILY OUTREACH: Click here for the updated attendance records sorted by advisory teacher. Advisors need to check this list and make contacts home via phone to students who are highlighted NPV for the three most recent weeks or are highlighted for having attendance rate below 80% overall for the month of November. Be sure to click on the November tab at the bottom. Please update the notes as needed.
Below are two links to templates to use for our every other week communication with our families. Please copy the document, make adjustments to the blanks to make these templates ‘yours’ and send out to your Advisory families. Be sure to adjust the sharing settings to ‘anyone with the link’ can view.
English: click here
Spanish: click here
Bits and Bobs:
GRADING: For the 2020-21 school year all middle schools are making an adjustment to our grading system. Students who demonstrate learning at the A, B, or C (including “+” and “-“) level will be issued that letter grade; percentage cut offs for each letter grade remains unchanged. Students who demonstrate knowledge below this level (traditionally earning a D or F grade) will be issued a P (Pass) in place of a D or NG (No Grade) in place of an F. We are aware of the potential challenges we all face with distance learning and the unprecedented situation families are facing related to COVID-19. This temporary option is in response to our current reality and will be in place through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Note: If a student, in any class, has already been issued a final first quarter grade of a D or F, these will be changed (by Gina) to a P or NG in the coming weeks.
SNOW DAYS: The snow this week has brought up some questions regarding how we are viewing “snow days” this year. The answer may be complicated – based on whether we are talking about CDL or Hybrid. The district is working on updating our snow day/school closure language. Checking of roads and communicating of closures will occur as they have in the past. What is different, obviously, is that instruction will continue in CDL, whether facilities are closed or not. Teachers will teach in CDL, students will engage and learn in CDL regardless of whether schools are closed. If a weather-related closure is called for, then transportation will not run and schools will be closed to students and families (e.g. no LIPI or grab and go lunches served).
RETURN TO SCHOOL: Last week this was shared with elementary folks. As you will see, secondary schools will move to hybrid after “demonstrated evidence of safe elementary transition.” It is not defined how long it will take to demonstrate this safety, but we do know MS/HS will come shortly after elementary makes this transition. Here is a link to the Hybrid Schedule that was approved by our district and BEA Tuesday afternoon. We still have many details to work out, but I wanted to make you aware of the overall structure so that folks can begin to plan.
SUPPORTING SECONDARY INSTRUCTION: This week’s blog post is in recognition of two things: the major push towards improving the ‘F” data and the desire to bring our synchronous time more in line with ODE requirements. A practice of recording district instruction has the potential to guide improvement in BOTH areas. Making videos for students not only counts towards the ODE guideline, but it also empowers students because they are able to access the learning on their schedules, according to their needs.
COLLEGE DAY: Just a reminder that the annual, district-wide Career and College Day is this Friday, Nov. 20. Don’t let the ‘freeze’ or CDL slow our fun – dress up wherever you are working from. Be sure to encourage students to do the same. Bonus points for creativity!
We look forward to seeing your fun ‘at-work’, CDL, and/or LIPI Career and College Day photos on social media. You can also send them to [email protected] for the next district newsletter.
STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS: At this time we are assuming that there will be statewide assessments this spring. We will communicate this with our families, as well as the Opt Out procedures, in this weeks family message. The information has also been added to our school webpage.
BOND TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOM UPDATE: After discussion and approval by the ICCL team, we are sharing our new classroom technology standards. Each classroom will have a ceiling mounted projector and Apple TV! This standard setup will allow wireless projecting from staff computers and staff/student iPads. This update removes the need for technology carts and the old school doc cams (as the iPad can be used as a doc cam). In addition to this new classroom standard, we are providing staff with two additional options:
- Option #1: iPad as doc cam with iPad stand (click here for an example)
- Option #2: Continue to use old school doc cam using a 15ft hardwired cable from the doc cam into the classroom wall’s HDMI port. Note: Doc cam may not be supported by IT in the future.
Sign up (by Dec. 9th) on this document if you’d like to utilize either of these options. Reach out to Nole and/or any ICCL team member to discuss these options further.
INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY WEDNESDAY PD: From Amy Tarnow: The district is excited to start hosting “After School Specials” on Wednesdays from 2-3pm each week (excluding vacations). These sessions will focus on instructional and technology tools including Canvas, Webex and other tools and engagement strategies pertinent to our current learning situation. We will share topics through your site’s “First Responders” weekly.
NURSE COMMUNICATION: Please see this important nurse newsletter for staff. Also, just so you are aware, we will be including newsletters from Nurse Megan in our weekly communication with families.
HOLIDAY BAZAAR TRADITION: Staff who have been at HDMS a while will remember the annual HDMS holiday bazaar that Marcy Monte hosted. The tradition continues this year virtually! Click here for more details.
ADMIN OFFICE HOURS: Admin office hours on Thursday (11/19) will be held in Nole’s WebEx room from 8:00-8:30am. The admin team continues to be available to answer questions and offer support during our twice weekly admin office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings. Unless specified otherwise, these are held in Wendy’s WebEx Room.
WEEKLY INTERPRETER AVAILABLE: Please continue to utilize our system of having a Spanish interpreter on standby Wednesdays from 1:30-4:00pm. Use the link on the sidebar of the blog to sign up by Tuesdays at 9:00am.
ODE GUIDELINES: Continue to be flexible with deadlines and allow multiple opportunities for students to submit work. See the previous blog post for specific ways to meet these requirements in Canvas.
ELECTRONIC POWER DOWN: From Terry Cashman: As always, especially prior to breaks, please remember to power down wherever possible. Examples: shut down electronics, turn off lights, etc. The dollars we save by conserving energy are dollars that can be used to support the mission of “Educating Thriving Citizens.”