• Carmel River School News

    Posted by Jay Marden on 5/15/2020 5:10:00 PM

    Good Morning River Parents,

     

    Please click on the link below for this week's student announcements. There are some fun events for students to enjoy!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sldR8A6JR24il_3ACfmUw3Mn8EVmMNKU/view?usp=sharing

     

    Flat Otter - bring him wherever you go!

    As mentioned in the student announcements, we are inviting our students to bring Mr. Otter's friend, "Flat Otter," with them wherever they go. Whether it's the beach, a bike ride, a hike or any location that students are excited to share, please open the link below, print out Flat Otter, then color and cut along the lines. After students visit various locations with Flat Otter, they are welcome to upload photos and/or video to the folder provided. We'll then assemble a montage of Flat Otter's incredible journey!

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kRp1xcOHPlmkekA7XvXgU8nk4uXqqO2ewXtmSreKP8g/edit?usp=sharing

     

    Parade this Thursday at River School

    River staff will assemble this Thursday, 11:00-12:00 pm, on Monte Verde St. and 15th St. (both streets border school) to cheer and celebrate students and families who drive by in their vehicles. Please follow this route:

    South to North on Monte Verde St. (one direction please) and then right on 15 St. in front of school

    This will be our first encounter with our students in several weeks so please join us. We would love to enthusiastically cheer for each passing family/car! Please do not exit your vehicle,  but you are encouraged to drive slowly by. Of course, we must maintain social distance. 

     

    Sign up for one on one tutoring

    While teachers continue to organize and facilitate individual and small group academic support for students either through their direct assistance or the assignment of an instructional aide, we'd like to provide families with additional support at their request. Specifically, parents may sign their child up for a 25 minute tutoring session, Tuesday through Friday, within a 9:00 to 12:00 pm. window. Parents may also sign students up for more than one session a week, but will have to submit one form for each session. Once a parent registers their child for support,  instructional aides will contact students/families either through a Zoom invitation or a phone call, but Zoom is preferable given the visual support that can be offered. The appointment will also generate an email to each student's teacher so that teachers are aware of the family's request on behalf of their child. Please click on the link below to register your child for a session:

    Week of 05/12/20-05/15/20 

     

    NEWS from the MUSIC Room!  

    End of year Composer test!!  Mrs. Barca-Hall is so excited to announce that our Music Memory Composer test has been put into a Google Forms Quiz!!  All students can take this test at home and it will tell you what your percentage is! We will even give a shout out to the top scorers in Mr. Marden's May 26 message!  

    Here's the link:  https://forms.gle/sMgiUJgjtNxu5TRK8

    Haven't listened to the last four composers yet?  Mrs. Barca-Hall will be hosting 2 Composer Luncheons this week on Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1 for all students to attend.  We will listen to Schubert and Rachmaninoff on Tuesday and Girodani and Prokofiev on Thursday.  

    Zoom info: https://zoom.us/j/94997076405

    Meeting ID: 949 9707 6405 password 93923

    Can't make the luncheon? Check out the video at https://mrsbarcahall.edublogs.org/music-memory/

    Instrument Returns:                                                                                                     

    It is our wish for all band and string players to continue to play their instrument in the fall at either CMS or River school.  But, if your student is not continuing you will need to return the instrument this today or Wednesday (May 11 and 13).  Please communicate with Mrs Barca-Hall your plan via email ebarcahall@carmelunified.org

    Erinn Barca Hall

     

    News from the Children's Garden...                                                                  

    Rumors are circulating that River School students are doing some exceptionally fine gardening at home. If you would like to share a photo or two of your favorite plant or space, Mrs McCormick and your schoolmates would love to see it! Please email it to Mrs McCormick mmccormick@carmelunified.org with a brief phrase about what it is, and we will post it to the garden web page. Can't wait to see what you're doing at home! And check out the garden web page for more information about what's going on in our garden right now.

    Maryann McCormick

     

    Grading Policy for Elementary School                                                                    

    Earlier this week Superintendent, Dr. Dill-Varga emailed parents information about a new Administrative Regulation (AR), regarding how students in CUSD will be graded for end of year report cards/transcripts. The language pertaining to elementary students states:

    During school closure related to the COVID 19 crisis, grading for the spring of 2020 school year will be altered from our traditional systems. This plan is in line with the guidance provided by the California Department of Education to ensure students are held harmless during this crisis. 

    Elementary: Students at the elementary level will not be evaluated for 3rd trimester on their report cards, instead an N/A (not assessed) will be placed in the box next to each standard assessed during the trimester. Teacher comments will be placed in the narrative box on the report card.

    While teachers have created instructional plans and resources for students to follow and utilize during the closure, one of the greatest challenges for all educators in this climate is to assess student learning. As a district, we currently feel that we cannot accurately and substantively assess student learning remotely. In a normal grading period, before each trimester concludes, staff engage students in various assessments that are conducted in person through whole group, small group and one on one administration. In addition, student grades and performance in this environment is influenced by too many factors outside family and district control, hence the need for the above AR.

    When we return in the fall, we will perform a number of pre-assessments to determine student learning needs.  The assessment results will guide instruction and lead to appropriate support for all students in need.  Assessment will not only target academics, but each student's socio-emotional and behavioral needs as well. Given the expertise of our teaching staff, I have a high degree of confidence that student learning will be expedited and "holes" that have been created during the closure will be successfully filled. 

     

    Zoom with Elementary Parents                                                                              

    This past Thursday, approximately 50 elementary parents joined CUSD administrators and teachers in a meeting to discuss lessons learned during the closure. The meeting also served as a forum to brainstorm instructional plans for school when it resumes, especially if remote learning is involved. A theme of the discussion seemed to assert itself, which is a desire for CUSD to focus on the articulation of tech. programs and platforms that lead to greater commonality of experience within and across grade levels. CUSD administration realizes and supports this goal, but also recognizes the need for on-going flexibility for teaching staff to employ strategies and tools that they have found invaluable during the closure. CUSD staff are currently working on a long term plan that encompasses both criteria in case our education program continues to incorporate remote learning. We will not know the outcome for several weeks.

     

    Weekly calls to students…

    Please continue to sign up for a phone call on the link provided in previous emails and know that I am very happy to spend the time with your child. I believe it' an uplifting, brief moment we can share together.

     

    Reminders...

    CUSD Technology Assistance

    For specific technical support with your child’s Chromebook, you can now directly enter a help ticket to request assistance from one of our technicians. Use this link to see the instructions and the trouble ticket web address. We are providing Chromebooks to students who need them, and we are looking for solutions for families who have no or poor internet access. Please let us know if you have these types of needs by using this form. You may also email me directly (jmarden@carmelunified.org) if you need a Chromebook, and I'm happy to deliver one to you.

     

    FOCUS needs you!                                                                                                                

    Come join the FOCUS Board! FOCUS supports quality education within the Carmel Unified School District and since its founding has provided close to $3,000,000 in grants that support academic and social-emotional student success. Several FOCUS Board members have students leaving CUSD in 2020 or 2021. We need parents to join the Board so that they can shadow in the 2020/2021 school year for the positions of President and Treasurer.  We will also be losing our Secretary this year, so we need to fill that position for the 2020/2021 school year. If you are interested, please contact Kath Uyeda at: kuyeda@zcheetah.com.

     

    Have a nice week!

    Jay Marden

    Principal 

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Carmel River School News

    Posted by Jay Marden on 4/27/2020 8:00:00 AM
    Good Morning River Families,

     
    It was a beautiful weekend. I trust everyone was able to enjoy the sunshine. Please take a few minutes this morning to show this week's announcements to your children, which I hope helps support your efforts to monitor and assist your child with their schoolwork. I commend all of you for taking on this daunting task given all that you're contending with. 
     
     
     
    River loss
     
    Many of you are aware that we lost a beautiful soul last week in former River student Kiara Hinze who was an eighth grade student at CMS. She passed away at home with her family by her side. Attached, you'll find a request from the family to drop off a rock painted in memory of Kiara to the home address provided. Our hearts are full with grief for the family. Kiara was a true blessing to this world and the grace with which she faced her illness was so very humbling.
     
    With the blessing of the time we now have with our children - a silver lining in this cloud - take every opportunity to show your children how loved they are, there's no greater gift. 
     
     
    Miss Becca Show
     
    This past Friday, I provided River families with the link to our Miss Becca (talent) Show, and here it is again if you missed it. Many thanks to Karey Shafer, Lindsay Dpenha, Kati Enea and Stacy Meheen for producing the show - it's incredible!
     
     
     
    Spirit Day - Yellow Submarine!
     
    Also on Friday, our students participated in "Spirit Day" as students forwarded their photos to me in celebration of sunshine. Please click on the link and enjoy the photos to the accompaniment of the Beatles "Yellow Submarine," thank you Mrs. Barca-Hall for producing the video.
     
     

    Assistance from the Technology Department:

    For specific technical support with your child’s Chromebook, you can now directly enter a help ticket to request assistance from one of our technicians. Use this link to see the instructions and the trouble ticket web address.

    We are providing Chromebooks to students who need them, and we are looking for solutions for families who have no or poor internet access. Please let us know if you have these types of needs by using this form.

     

    CUSD has great news to share! 

    Carmel Unified School District just learned that we will receive a national award from the US Department of Education. We were nominated by the California Department of Education for consideration and have been announced as a 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee.  We are one of only 11 districts across the nation to be so honored:

    https://storage.googleapis.com/pt04-2/messages/attachments/616fb7c090b89e67a93594d820f6a2cad9431169/EDGRS_District_Release_final_4.22.2020.pdf

    According to CUSD Superintendent Dr. Barb Dill-Varga, “Empowering students and their families to learn about, love, and protect our beautiful Monterey Peninsula is one of the joys of my position. I am honored to work alongside and support our District’s Environmental Responsibility Team, led by Carmel Middle School teacher Darrell Steely. Teachers, administrators, students, and parents who worked on this team also deserve the credit for shining a light on the innovative environmental literacy learning experiences implemented for all of our students and the district’s ongoing commitment to implement green practices throughout our 600 square mile district. Our main goal is to develop future leaders who understand their connection to and responsibility for our environment. Partnering with us are organizations and nonprofits who care about the environment and our students, too. We also could not have accomplished this work without our supportive Board of Trustees. I am proud of and inspired by all our impactful work and this incredible national recognition."

     

    Friends of Carmel Unified Schools (FOCUS) Board Positions for next year open

    Come join the FOCUS Board! FOCUS supports quality education within the Carmel Unified School District and since its founding has provided close to $3,000,000 in grants that support academic and social-emotional student success. Several FOCUS Board members have students leaving CUSD in 2020 or 2021. We need parents to join the Board so that they can shadow in the 2020/2021 school year for the positions of President and Treasurer.  We will also be losing our Secretary this year, so we need to fill that position for the 2020/2021 school year. If you are interested, please contact Kath Uyeda at: kuyeda@zcheetah.com.

     

    Student Calls

    Please remember that I place calls to students on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week. It truly is my pleasure to do so, and the children seem to equally enjoy the communication. 

     

    Have a nice week, and please reach out to us if you need any assistance with your child and/or their schoolwork.

    Jay Marden

    Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • Carmel River School News

    Posted by Jay Marden on 4/20/2020 8:00:00 AM
    Good Morning River Parents,
     
     
    As I've been sharing recently with your families, we start every Monday morning at River School with student announcements. If you'll please share this week's announcements with your children I'd be most appreciative:
     
     
     
    I hope you were able to unplug for a while this past week and enjoy downtime with your children. This week, we're back to school as teachers and students will resume their studies. As you're aware, one of the principle tools that teachers are using to communicate with students is Zoom. As educators, we're periodically asked questions about Zoom, which range from what its capabilities are to what privacy safeguards does the company employ as students and teachers engage the tool. Below is a link to an excellent resource "Common Sense Media" that answers many of these questions. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review:
     
     
     
    Communication is the key
    It is my sincere hope that parents are adjusting to the demands of overseeing their children's education. This does not mean that home instruction is free of frustration; we recognize as educators and fellow parents the trials posed by distance learning. Regardless, it is my belief that consistent and supportive communication, more than anything, is what will define whether the experience is relatively successful for families and teachers. I encourage parents to communicate directly with teachers about any socio-emotional or education based need; they are available and desire to assist your child. This is a journey we travel together, and it's my hope that when it's over we'll reflect on how supportive we were of one another when we navigated these unchartered waters. Remain positive, thankful and optimistic about what blessings we can celebrate in our lives. It is a privilege to work through these trying times with you. 
     
     
    Parent input for class placement next year
    Annually, in the month of April, parents are encouraged to provide the school with feedback about what characteristics they desire for their child in a classroom learning environment for the following year.  Please know that parent input is one of many criteria that we rely on when staff places students. Please focus, in writing, on the learning environment and do not list particular teachers or friends of children. Both requests are not considered during the process. What are the criteria that are balanced during the process? Boy/Girl ratio, academic performance, socio-emotional behavior, life skills, study skills, and special needs. Be sure to submit the form by this Wednesday, April 22, no late forms will be accepted.
     
     
     
    Kindergarten registration for next school year
    If you have a child who will be attending kindergarten next school year, please email Connie Weilenmann, our registrar, to start the process: cweilenmann@carmelunified.org
     
     
    Miss Becca Show goes out this week!
    This week, we will send you the Miss Becca Show (talent show) video for all River families to enjoy. Many thanks to Karey Shafer, Katie Enea and Stacy Meheen for their work on compiling the videos for the show. We hope all of our students will enjoy the production. 
     
     
    Spirit Day this Friday!
    One can't predict the weather with great accuracy, but let's be optimistic and believe the forecast for this Friday will come to pass, which is for warmth and sunshine. It'll be a great day, therefore, for a Spirit Day, so let's dress in all things YELLOW! It is a cheery and sunny color, and I challenge our students to dress in all things/themes associated with yellow. Email me your photo, and we'll choose a most spirited, yellow attired student at each grade level. 
     
     
    Have a great week!
     
     
     
    Jay Marden
    Carmel River School Principal
    Comments (-1)
  • Carmel River School News

    Posted by Jay Marden on 4/6/2020 8:00:00 AM
    Good Morning Everyone,

     
    Today's student announcements - please show to your children!
     
     
     
    I hope this email finds you in good health, and despite the challenge, able to enjoy and connect with your children in ways that our lives did not previously allow. As communicated last week, school is physically closed until the end of the school year, but our distance learning plan is in full operation with daily collaboration, reflection and enhancements to offer a quality program during the closure. One recent task completed, includes our specialist teachers (PE, math, science, music) completing a weekly schedule that you can access here. It reflects each grade level's Zoom meetings and lessons. Please do not feel overwhelmed and "mandated" to have your children participate, we understand that the responsibility of working from home and monitoring your child's education is a formidable task. The schedule below will also be posted to our website:
     
     
     
    Distribution of materials (parents only) this Wednesday
    Please be reminded that our next distribution of materials will take place this Wednesday, April 8, 8:00 am. to 6:00 pm. in our multipurpose room. As previously communicated, we are providing materials for all grade levels, but kindergarten, first and third grade packets will be scanned and sent to parents who do not pick up the hard materials (be aware of a high volume of printing). Second, fourth and fifth grades have some physical materials that cannot be scanned and should be picked up. Also as previously described, we will follow social distancing protocols during the distribution to follow CDC recommended guidelines. Remember please to bring your child’s completed packet and place on table where you picked up your new packet. 
     
     
    CUSD Chromebook and Internet Needs Survey
    We want to know if your child cannot access their schoolwork because of internet issues or lack of a computer or device. Please help us assess the needs so we can make plans to better serve you by taking the following survey:
     
     
     
    Spring Break - no student work expectation
    It might sound strange given that we haven't been at school for a few weeks, but next week, April 6-10, is the scheduled spring vacation and students are not assigned work during the break. I hope that the respite from overseeing your child's work will give you some much needed R&R.
     
     
    School activities and events being rescheduled
    Yes, despite the challenge of hosting events that were, or still are, on our calendar, River School is going to host many of these activities between now and the end of the school year. As you're aware, the Miss Becca Show is being edited, we will also push out our regular character education assemblies, and we're brainstorming how to move forward with other community building events such as the recently completed scavenger hunt (winners of the raffle to be communicated shortly). We will also discuss the feasibility of on-line promotion ceremonies for kindergarten and fifth grade students. 
     
     
    Communication is key
    It is extremely important at this time to keep consistent and open communication between home and school. As a teaching staff, we have committed to maintaining excellent communication during the closure to assist parents with whatever advice and support we have to empower parents to work in this partnership. Teachers are weekly using Zoom with students for tutorial and study hall purposes and to build connections. They are also making daily phone calls and sending emails to check on student health and progress. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher should you have a need in order to best support your child's education.  
     
     
    Phone calls to kids
    I’d still like to continue to make phone calls twice a week to your children. I love to hear the excitement in their voices when we first connect and also enjoy hearing their stories as they make this journey. Please click on the link to sign up your child for a conversation with me. 
     
    (link already sent)
     
    I wish you the best, take care of yourselves, support one another, and focus on each step toward the light at the end of this tunnel. 
     
     
    Be well,
     
    Jay Marden
    Carmel River School Principal
    Comments (-1)

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