Principal's Friday Email

Posted by Lindsey Terry on 5/5/2020

Good Afternoon Bobcat Families.   Happy May Day!

 

In talking with staff and some families this week, I know this week was a particularly difficult one.  I want to encourage everyone to hang in there and to keep prioritizing your family relationships and the social-emotional well-being in your household.  As a reminder, Ms Amy, our counselor, and Ms Suzie, our Monterey County Behavioral Health Counselor, hold parent support meetings Wednesday’s at 10:00 am.  Please feel free to join and/or to reach out to Ms. Amy for support with anything happening at home.  Here is the link with more info https://www.carmelunified.org/Page/5648 

I also want to encourage all of the parents to make sure you are getting some personal time to care for yourself and that you are also getting some alone time with your significant other to strengthen that relationship as well.  We cannot take care of our children if we do not address our own health as well.

 

If you did not get a chance to read my last Friday email and are having trouble at home, I would encourage you to reach what I wrote in the “repeated in this email section” at the bottom of this email.

 

I know many people are starting to wonder about the end of this year and the beginning of next.  We are currently discussing as a staff and district how the end of this year will happen with the collecting and distributing of materials as well as what we will be doing to bring a sense of closure and celebrate the year.  More details will be coming in the next couple of weeks.  (if you come across any good ideas for end of year celebrations at a time of distancing, please email them to me).  For the start of next year, it is too early to know what that will look like, other than to know it will be different somehow.  Dr. Dill-Varga, our superintendent sent an email out this week entitled “What does the Future Look Like?” with more information regarding what we currently know and don’t know that I would recommend reading, if you have not already.

 

In this email

  • Online Tutoring Now Available with our Tularcitos Instructional Aides
  • Kinder and New Student Registration for Next School Year
  • Returning Student Registration
  • Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week Next Week
  • Information from the Specialists
  • From Mrs. Kremer for Music
  • From Mrs. Petersen for Technology
  • Monday Morning Announcement Still Going On
  • No State Standardized Testing this Year
  • Message from our PTO

 

Repeat in this Email

  • Last Friday’s Words of Encouragement
  • 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

 

Online Tutoring Now Available with our Tularcitos Instructional Aides

First, please know that this is a work in progress.  We are trying to find more ways of assisting students in their learning at home.  So this structure may change and any feedback would be greatly appreciated and should be emailed to me at rpeterson@carmelunified.org.

 

Here is what we are going to try:  We are making online tutoring available Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm (except Monday from 11:00-12:00) provided by our outstanding Tularcitos Instructional Aides.  Each session is 15 minutes long and you can sign up for as many 15-minute tutoring sessions as you would like. You can sign up for either "Zoom" or "Over the Phone" tutoring sessions.

To sign up, go to our website and click on the link, “Online Tutoring Sign-Ups” on the right side of the page under announcements. For your quick reference: https://www.carmelunified.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5710

Once on the site you will:  

  1. Click on the link for the week that includes the day you want to sign up for online tutoring.
  2. Complete the form. (If a time you want does not show up on the form, that means it has already been taken and you will need to sign up for another time slot.)
  3. One of our Aides will get back to you at the time of your session through either email, if you signed up for a "Zoom" session, or phone, if you want an "Over the Phone" session.

 

Again, this is something totally new that we are trying and thus the structure may alter over time.  We are hopeful that students and families will find it beneficial.  Please know that your child may not get tutoring from their normal classroom aide as that aide may not be providing tutoring during the time slot you sign up for.  However, all of our aides are wonderful so I know the support your child receives will be great.

 

Kinder and New Student Registration for Next School Year

Kinder and new student registration for next school year is 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.

 

Returning Student Registration

More information will be coming in May regarding what you need to do for registering for next Fall.

 

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week Next Week.

I would love to share with our staff members (teachers, aides, support staff, office staff, custodians - everyone) your words of appreciation during Staff Appreciation Week next week (week of May 4-8).  Please take a few minutes with your child to complete this form for any staff member you want to share your appreciation towards.  You can have your child share their appreciation, and/or you can write one yourself.  To make it easy for me to share your words with the staff members, please complete one form per staff member (please do not put multiple staff members on one form).  Please complete this by Wednesday, May 6, at midnight. After this time, I will compile all of all the words of appreciation for each staff member and share them with that person.  Or course, if you want to do something else next week for your teacher, please do so as well.  I know the teachers would greatly appreciate any encouragement especially during this time.  They are missing their students and families tremendously.  Thank you for showing the Tular staff how much they are appreciated.

Form: https://forms.gle/venjKPF3ouFKJzZb8

 

Information from some Specialist

I want to make sure everyone knows that our specialists continue to post new activities each week for students to do at home.  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 Mrs. Kremer for Music

I continue to keep my website updated weekly with music activities for each grade level (jenniferkremer.edublogs.org).  I have also added more exercises in SmartMusic for instrumentalists in 4th and 5th grade.  Students with instruments should try to record and submit at least 1 or 2 exercises per week if possible.  Additionally, all 3rd grade families should look for an email with information about the instrumental program in 4th grade which was sent earlier this week.  The email directs families to read about the instrument options in 4th grade as well as complete a short survey on google forms so that she can begin accumulating materials and supplies for instrumental classes next year.  If you did not receive the email, please check the "choosing an instrument tab" on my webpage.  Please email me with any questions at jkremer@carmelunified.org

 

From Mrs. Petersen for Technology

Check out the Student Links page - there are some ideas for family discussions around balancing screen time with non-screen activities.  These are not lessons, but will hopefully help each family and/or student think about the best balance for themselves. 

 

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

 

No State Standardized Testing this Year

Normally, this is the time of year where we start the state standardized testing in grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  In case you are wondering, these tests have been canceled for this year.  So we do not need to worry about them.

 

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

Last Friday’s Words of Encouragement:

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.

 

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 completed 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.

 

 

Hope you have a good Weekend! 

Go Bobcats!

Ryan Peterson

Proud Principal, Tularcitos Elementary School

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