Principal's Friday Email

Posted by Lindsey Terry on 4/4/2020 11:25:00 AM

Good Afternoon Bobcat Families. 

 

I am not sure where you are today with the thoughts and feelings about not returning to school this year.  For me, the emotions are still up and down, but this is starting to sink in.  I just re-watched these videos and found it comforting and fun. 

Staff singing the Tularcitos Song: https://www.schooltube.com/media/Tularcitos+Song/0_8kligaji

Staff doing the Bobcat Manta: https://www.schooltube.com/media/Bobcat+Mantra/0_n3u89y9z

 

Sorry for the length of this email, but there is a lot of info to get out there about what is happening after Spring Break.

 

In this email

  • Next Steps for after Spring Break
  • Local Monterey Family Starts Cooking YouTube Channel
  • Information from the Specialists
  • Message from our PTO

 

Repeat in this Email

  • 3rd grade service project moving online
  • Staff Videos online

 

Next Steps for After Spring Break

This week the staff has been in a lot of discussion about what learning will look like between Spring Break and the end of the year.  As we have met, our first priority has been to share best practices around connecting with and supporting students at home.  Many teachers have started using, or are about to start using Zoom or Google Meets to conduct class meetings and offer virtual check-ins with students, or have made themselves available by phone if the internet does not allow a virtual connection to take place.  After Spring Break our goal is to hold weekly class meetings so that students can connect with their teacher and each other, and to make sure teachers are available for one-on-one or small group virtual meetings or phone calls throughout the week to support the learning taking place at home.  Many people have asked about conducting virtual whole class instruction. For numerous reasons (connectivity and equity being the two biggest) this is not something we are moving forward with.  We believe and have found it best practice to keep the academic learning asynchronous by providing materials for students to complete on a schedule that works best for their family and home, and then provide the individual or small group support throughout the week.  The one exception to this is the class meetings through Zoom, but we are keeping these because of the value in the connecting and they are not academic in nature.

 

In providing work for students during this time we have tried to keep the following ideas in mind: 1) recognize and honor the fact that all families are unique in their situations, 2) prioritize relationships and the social-emotional needs of our students (a teacher put it, “care over content”), 3) keep communication and work simple and focus on key concepts, and 4) focus on the basics of mathematics, reading, and writing using both paper materials and online resources.  Most of the feedback we have gotten thus far is that the work has been an appropriate amount given all families are dealing with.  So we are going to keep providing about the same amount of work after break as we have up to this point.  For those students who are desiring more work, teachers will have additional options available on their websites.  Our specialists will continue to provide weekly lessons on their websites for each grade level to keep learning going in Science, Spanish, Music, Art, PE, Library, Garden, and Computers.  And our support staff will continue to work with teachers and individual students to assist them in their learning each week. 

 

In order to provide students with materials to assist in their learning for the remainder of the year, we will hold another “packet pick-up” after Spring Break on Monday, 4/20, and Tuesday, 4/21 from 8:00-4:00 in Bobcat Hall.  In discussion with teachers some grade levels already gave out all of their workbooks and textbooks in the first “packet pickup” so there are no other materials to distribute, while other grade levels whose materials are more consumable are needing to distribute more materials.  Therefore, here is the plan for each grade level:

  • Kinder: No pick-up. All materials have been distributed
  • 1st : new packets will be available
  • 2nd : new packets will be available
  • 3rd : new packets will be available
  • 4th No pick-up. All materials have been distributed
  • 5th : materials are being distributed on an individual basis – please see communication from your teacher

Please know we are taking every precaution we can to ensure everyone’s safety and health during this packet pickup time.  Our classrooms remained closed for three weeks after we exited school so any potential virus would die. Our custodial crew then did a deep cleaning of each room with sanitizing products.  Teachers had to follow a protocol to enter classrooms and put together work.  And we are putting together the packets by this coming Wednesday and then are leaving them in Bobcat Hall over Spring Break so that if there is any virus on them, it will die by the time you pick them up after break.  Also, when you come pick up your materials, we will have hand sanitizer stationed at the door, only allow a certain number of people in Bobcat Hall at a time, and have signs posted to help guarantee social distancing (similar to what stores are currently doing)

 

Because we will need to collect back all of the textbooks and books that have been distributed and get you some end of year materials including yearbooks, we will have to do one more drop-off/pick-up time at the end of the school year. Because of that we are asking that you continue to hold on to the work materials you have done thus far to turn in at the end of the year.

 

I know that some of you are finding you need another computer device in the home to manage the workflow for students.  Other are finding that their internet connection isn’t what you want it to be.  If you need a Chromebook for your child to work on, or it you are having internet connectivity issues, please help complete the following form.  We will be doing a Chromebook pickup the Monday and Tuesday we do packet pickups, but need to know in advance if you need one.  We will only pass them out to those people who signup ahead of time.  Our district is also trying to work with internet service providers to try to ensure the best internet possible for our families.

https://forms.gle/6PdFDmyQ9Mo6KFZe7

 

As a reminder, I want to encourage you to keep relationships and joy the priority in your home during this time.  Of course, we want students to learn all they can, but not at the cost of your relationship with your child or peace in the home.  When school starts up again we will all have to adjust to any loss of instruction in an actual school setting, so if you have to sacrifice an assignment here and there for the sake of the sanity of your home, please feel free to do so.  And again, please always know that we are here to support you and that if you have any questions at any time about what your child is learning, or if your child needs help or has questions, your teacher is just an email away.  We are trying to provide just enough work, direction, and reach-out to families so that you and your students know what is expected and feel supported, but also not too much as to overwhelm you.  It is a hard balance to find, especially because every family’s need is different.  One thing teachers have all experienced is that remote/distance learning actually takes a lot more time than teaching in the classroom.  In the classroom, you can easily connect with students and can quickly tell how all of your students are doing throughout a lesson.  Working remotely, connecting and providing feedback to students is much harder and more time consuming.  So your continued patience and understanding as we figure out how to best educate our students during this time is greatly appreciated.

 

I know there are a number of other questions about the end of the year and how that will all work.  Our focus right now is to make sure we have everything set and established for what needs to be done to support student learning.  After we get back from Spring Break we will begin to tackle the end of year issues as well as making sure we are set up for the start of next year. 

 

Local Monterey Family Started a Kids Cooking YouTube Channel – from the student

This is directly from the student who started this and I wanted to pass it along just for fun -

Everyone that I've shared this with has said that having fun cooking activities could really help kids. I'm writing to schools to let them know that if they want they can share these videos. My goal is to help as many kids as possible so hope you think this is a good idea. Here is the link to the cooking projects we've made so far: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKtlXiCxQUSirsAnlick-Jw . In the notes under each video is the recipe. We plan to do a new one every couple days until we get to go back to school.

 

Information from some Specialist

I want to make sure everyone knows that our specialists are posting activities for students to do at home as well.  Here is a message from some of them. Also know that all teacher’s websites can be found on the “Classrooms” webpage on the Tularcitos website:

https://www.carmelunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageType=1&SiteID=140&ChannelID=143&DirectoryType=6

 

From Ms Amy for Counseling

Dear Families,

I hope you are well. I enjoyed seeing many of your students for Mindful Monday this last week and connecting with Parents during our Parent Chat with Miss Suzie and myself. It looks like we are in this for the long haul and the more time we spend together as families, the more all of us are working on kindness and patience with each other.  There is a lot of sharing, waiting, & taking turns going on and an unbelievable amount of dishes.  Did I mention our dishwasher stopped working last week?!  It is at times like these that we need reminders of how we can all be kind to one another.  Creating a Kindness Poster is one of the activities from the Counselor Activity Calendar.  If your student hasn't had a chance to create a kindness poster for your house, this week might be a nice time to create one.  I asked my 6 year old niece for a little virtual help to get folks started - her poster and her video are here to give you just one idea of what a Kindness Poster might look like.  Some students will be sharing their posters during our Mindful Monday's with Ms. Amy next week and your student can too.

Mindful Mondays - Students can join me live in a zoom hangout on Monday for a mindfulness exercise and check in about school and life.

K & 1st can join at 10am and go to https://zoom.us/j/341625057

2nd & 3rd can join at 1pm and go to https://zoom.us/j/210914680

4th & 5th can join at 2:30pm and go to https://zoom.us/j/737892457

For parents Miss. Suzie and I have set up a weekly Parent Chat on Wednesdays at 10am for anyone who would like to connect and share ideas.  Please follow this zoom link to join!

As always, please feel free to reach out via email at abullas@carmelunified.org and I am happy to set up a time for you &/or your student to connect with me individually.  Please take good care of yourselves,

 

From Mrs Wheat for Library

April is poetry month. The following websites are places to explore and share poetry. Students may copy a favorite poem and make an illustration. Enjoy reading poetry, Mrs. Curtice and Mrs. Wheat

The Poetry Foundation has a variety of poems.

http://www.poetryfoundation/learn/children

The Academy of American Poetry is organized by subject. I recommend this site for our older students as some topics will need some background knowledge

http://poet.org/poems-kids

 

From Mrs. Kremer for Music

Dear Amazing Tular Families!  I miss making music with your wonderful children so much!  I am keeping myself busy updating music activities each week for your children.  Please visit my website weekly and click on “Click here to access Mrs. Kremer's music class webpage.”. Once you click there, click on your child's grade level in the upper right corner of the page and you can complete the lesson that is at the top of the page for the current week.  I am continuing to add content each week so every student should have the opportunity to make music at least once a week, just like we would at school.  If you have missed a lesson, don't worry, everything is dated and I move the older lessons to the bottom of the page so all you need to do is scroll down until you see the week you are looking for.  The one exception to this is 3rd grade where I have put up all the recorder music.  The sheet music is there for each song along with a video of me playing  and a link to the accompaniment track so the children can keep learning their songs. Also for 4th and 5th grade instrumental students, your music is up and this week I have added videos of me playing each of the songs.  Finally, if you play an instrument, have your parents be on the lookout for an invitation to SmartMusic coming soon.  This is an online resource which will allow the students to keep practicing at home while I track your progress remotely.   More info on that will be included in the email. 

 

From Mr. A for PE

Hello Bobcat Families, I am hoping to have a little April Challenge to stay connected with everyone through this school closure. On my page there will be a new exercise video each day. Watch the video and join me on the workout! In the video, there will be a secret word that I will tell you so that you can put it on the exercise log. Lets see if you can fill up the whole calendar with the secret words! Here is the link. https://www.carmelunified.org/Page/5435

 

From Mrs. DeRenzo for Science

Don't forget to check the science website for your weekly lessons and some fun activities to do outside, scavenger hunts and building a solar cooker are just a few of the things you can find on Mrs. DeRenzo's website!  Have fun and stay curious!

There is also going to be a special live science show done by Mystery Doug next Tuesday, April 7th. He's a science educator our kids love. I'd love for you to help your child watch this. All you need to do is open this website link:https://mysteryscience.com/live

The show will be about 20 minutes long and will start at: 10am PT / 11am MT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET

 

Message for our PTO

We are still at work to support our community through our Facebook page.  Thank you to everyone who has followed along with the posts and posted your participation.  We would encourage you to like and follow “Tularcitos Elementary PTO.”  We are trying to post themes of the day and have Tular families post pictures of what is happening at their house to keep our community connected. 

 

Repeat in this email

Staff videos online

We are still posting new videos on our website, so check it every couple of days.  I am trying to make sure to have a new one up every Monday as that is when I normally do the announcements for the students. 

https://www.carmelunified.org/Page/5483

 

3rd Grade Service Project moving online

At this time of year our 3rd graders normally do a service project of collecting food for the Monterey County Food Bank.  We do this project in spring because the food bank is normally low on food during this time.  I know that the food bank is in high need of donations right now.  While we cannot collect food for them, we do want to encourage our families, if you are able, to donate money to them.  Here is the link to their website where you can donate. 

https://foodbankformontereycounty.org/

 

Hope you have enjoyed the sunshine lately and that you enjoy the coming rain.

Missing you all!

Go Bobcats!

Ryan Peterson

Proud Principal, Tularcitos Elementary School

Nurturing Hearts, Expanding Minds, Inspiring Actions, Broadening Horizons.