Principal's Friday Email

Posted by Lindsey Terry on 4/27/2020 9:35:00 AM

Good Afternoon Bobcat Families. 

 

I hope you all had a great spring break and that you were able to get back into a family rhythm for your at home learning.  I know my family enjoyed the break and took time to virtually travel to different countries around the world each night.  It was so much fun we’ve kept it going and our kids keep asking where we are going next.  I definitely recommend it.  It was also great to see everyone pick up their packets earlier this week.  Thank you for your commitment to doing everything you can at home to keep your child’s learning moving forward as much as it can during this time.

 

That said, as I have mentioned in past emails, I want to encourage everyone to keep relationships and the social-emotional well-being of you and your children the priority in your household right now.  Knowing that we won’t be returning to school this year has many people, if not everyone, wondering, “What if my child falls behind during this time?”  That is a completely natural thought.  I know I’ve had it for my own kids as well.  In response, I want to set people’s mind at ease.  As a school, while we have provided our students with what we consider to be vital in order to come back prepared for next year, we know we will have to make adjustments to instruction when we return, just like every educational institution in the world.  We are all in this together.  And as a school, we will support every one of our students when we return, and they will be fine.  So the challenge for us at this time is to shift our thinking during this time from, “How can we keep our children from falling behind?” to “How can we help our children and families thrive?”  People thrive when they know they are unconditionally loved and feel safe to explore and be curious.  I heard an interview with someone online this week where the interviewer responded with something similar to, “we will all have memories about this when it is all over.  We need to be thinking about how we can make sure those are positive memories.”  That resonated with me, and I want to encourage us to all think about that and do what we can to create those positive memories for our children.  We don’t want our children remembering the fights they had with their parents over the work they had to do for school.  We want them remembering how their parents did all they could to support them (or even laugh at how their parent struggled with their school work) and all the extra times their parents heard them say, “I love you.”  We want our children remembering the fun times they had with their parents and family playing games, preparing and eating meals together, exploring outside, or just goofing off. Not memories of everyone in the house consumed on their own electronic device (although I know many of us have our own work to get done on our computers, so there is no shame in the time we need to do that). 

 

I know many families are experiencing stress right now because of some very difficult circumstances.  I do not want to come across as downplaying that at all.  These are hard times.  I just want to assure all of us that, if we keep our priorities in the right place and invest in our family relationships, there is no way our students can “fall behind.”  In fact, I firmly believe that if the families in our community come out of this stronger, our children will actually be ahead.

 

In this email

  • Kinder and New Student Registration for Next School Year
  • Helping Us Help You
  • Parent Input Form
  • Friend of Carmel Unified Schools (FOCUS) Needs Board Members for Next Year
  • Children Feeling Lonely
  • Notes from the Technology Department
  • Information from the Specialists
  • Monday Morning Announcement Still Going On
  • Message from our PTO

 

Repeat in this Email

  • 3rd Grade Service Project for Monterey County Food Bank
  • 4th Grade Service Project – Sharing a Tularcitos Smile
  • Zoom Safety

 

Kinder and New Student Registration for Next School Year

Kinder and new student registration for next school year is still open.  Please see our website for details of what you need to do.  https://www.carmelunified.org/domain/533  If you have an incoming kindergartener and did not come into our office prior to the closure, please visit our website ASAP.  Additionally, if you know someone else in the community who has an incoming kindergartener and has not registered, please direct them to the website ASAP as well.

 

Helping us help you

One thing we have realized during this time is that teachers are providing just as much help to parents as they are to students.  We realize this is very necessary since parents have become the main teachers at home.  While we are very happy to do this, we realize that we need a couple of things from parents to help us help you.  First, please make sure that you thoroughly read through the emails your teachers send you each week.  We know it can be a lot of info, but we have tried our best to consolidate a lot of details into digestible chunks.  By reading those emails thoroughly at the start of each week it will cut down on the amount of repeated information we are having to provide to parents when we talk to them on the phone of through Zoom, and this will allow us to spend more time helping the students.  The second is that we need your help in making sure your children get to their class’s Zoom sessions on time.  Just like showing up late to school, it is disruptive when a teacher has to let a student into a Zoom meeting late and this leaves the student what is going on as well.  If you need to, please set an alarm a few minutes before the Zoom starts so that you can make sure your child can be on time.  Thank you for your help in these two areas. 

 

Parent Input Form

Each year, we work as a staff to establish classes that are balanced for next year.  When making class placement decisions, we take into account a variety of factors to achieve the best balance possible. The following factors are considered:

  • Each student’s academic status, special needs, interests, behavior, and motivation;
  • Boy/girl ratio;
  • Academic balance of high, medium and low achieving students;
  • Styles of individual teachers;
  • Class size balance among classes at each grade level.

Parents/Guardians who would like to give input about their child’s placement may write a request for a particular learning environment (e.g. learning style, personality attributes, classroom physical environment, educational needs, etc.) by completing the Electronic Class Placement Parent Input Form below All forms must be submitted by Friday, May 8th.  No late forms will be accepted.  Additionally, since some teachers change grade levels year to year, please do not write a request for a specific teacher. If a form is turned in with a teacher's name as a particular request, it will be discarded and not considered.

Input Form: https://forms.gle/B99wW1uJionAuh3M9

 

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.

 

Children Feeling Lonely

Here is a great article that Mrs. Neuhaus shared with me about helping children deal with the lonely feelings they may be experiencing during this time (which is to be completely expected).  I know many of the students (and we adults) are missing their friends right now.  I’d encourage you to spend time reading it when you get a chance.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-kids-are-feeling-lonely-in-lockdown-here-are-10-ways-to-help_l_5e9f317ac5b6b2e5b8390937?utm_campaign=share_email&ncid=other_email_o63gt2jcad4

 

Notes for 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.

 

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

 

Monday Morning Announcements Still Going On

I am posting a new video every Monday morning with a message to the students and a reading of a book.  Here is the link (on the website): https://www.carmelunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5483

 

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

3rd Grade Service Project Supporting Monterey County Food Bank

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/

 

4th Grade Service Project – Sharing a Tularcitos Smile

Are you interested in spreading a little bit of Tularcitos sunshine? The fourth-grade team at Tularcitos is inviting any students/families who are interested to “Share a Tularcitos Smile” and write letters/draw pictures for the elderly and/or essential workers in our community! We know it has been a challenge for most of us with the shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines and this, most likely, has been a particularly lonely time for the elderly. In addition, we thought that students could show their appreciation for the essential workers who are keeping us safe and/or providing important services for our community. We encourage everyone who is willing and able to participate!

 

In an email that went out Monday, April 6, we explained what we are doing and provided addresses for some local organizations and retirement/nursing homes. This was not a comprehensive list and we encourage you to write not only to those listed but to anyone you know who you would like to reach out to and/or show your appreciation. Some of you may be wondering if it is okay for the elderly to receive mail. We have checked with the facilities we listed to make sure their residents can safely receive mail during this time and have been assured that cards/pictures would be welcomed!

 

Students should address cards, “Dear Friend,” and sign them, “Your friend at Tularcitos.” Please use Tularcitos School for the return address: 35 Ford Rd., Carmel Valley, CA  93924.

 

Please make sure you preview your child’s card/picture before sending it. We also want to remind everyone to make sure to follow hand-washing guidelines before making or sending cards. We thank you, in advance, for helping to “Share a Tularcitos Smile!”

 

Zoom safety

Parents have brought up questions about the safety of Zoom meetings. Naturally, this is of utmost importance to our district as well. This week, the tech department set up all staff accounts with tight security settings to block “Zoombombing,” prevent outsiders from entering a meeting, and provide stricter controls.  As we navigate this new learning environment, we are continually making adjustments and learning new methods of delivering effective instruction. We appreciate the feedback we've been receiving from students, parents, and staff.

 

 

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine!  We are so lucky to live in this paradise.

Go Bobcats!

Ryan Peterson

Proud Principal, Tularcitos Elementary School

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