Principal's Friday Email

Posted by Lindsey Terry on 5/11/2020

Good Afternoon Bobcat Families.   

Happy Early Mother’s Day to all you moms!  Now, more than ever, you deserve a Mother’s Day.  Not only are you doing all of the jobs you normally do, but you have also now most likely taken on the role of classroom teacher as well.  I hope you feel appreciated on your day!

 

In the zoom coffee hosted by Dr. Dill-Varga yesterday that focused on elementary issues there were some good suggestions shared for ways we can make at-home learning work better if/when we have to go back into this model of learning next year. (It is good to be aware that throughout next year we will most likely have to move through different models of education based on what is happening in society.  We have to be prepared for times where we may be sheltered-in-place again, times where we could all be at school at once with limiting exposure to one another, or times where we may only be able to have smaller groups of students at school at a time).  In the zoom coffee people were able to share what it was like for them at home and people realized the vast range of desires families have for what learning should look like at home (i.e. people desiring more tech and people desiring less tech).  One of the main suggestions brought up was finding a way for students to connect on a more regular basis with teachers for instructional purposes.  I want to make sure everyone knows that, as a staff, we are talking about how we can improve on our current at-home learning model as well and feel that same need.  Part of our process for improvement will be to gather feedback from our families starting with the survey that was put out last week (link here).  So please make sure you fill that out and add comments at the end for specific suggestions about what is working and what you would like to see.   I also want to remind everyone that if you ever need help with any of the work your students are doing at home, please make sure to contact your teachers.  When we went into shelter-in-place the structures we set up to support students were purposefully flexible because we wanted to make sure we could be available at different times so you could access your teacher when you needed instructional support.  So please, if your child needs assistance on anything, reach out to your teachers during either the pre-established times throughout the week, or through email as I know your teachers are wanting to assist you and their students to make sure students are learning all they can during this time.

 

We are also still brainstorming ideas for end of year celebrations, so if you have some ideas, please send them my way.  Thank you to those people who already have.  We are also still discussing how the end of this year will happen with the collecting and distributing of materials (including yearbooks) the last week of school.  More details will be coming in the next couple of weeks. 

 

Like I stated, it is too early to know what school in Fall will look like, other than to know it will be different somehow.  Dr. Dill-Varga will continue to send out communications about the start of next school year, so please make sure to read those.

 

In this email

  • Grading Policy for Elementary School
  • 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
  • Mindful Mondays and Parent Support Groups
  • Monday Morning Announcement Still Going On
  • Message from our PTO

 

Repeat in this Email

  • No State Standardized Testing this Year
  • Friend of Carmel Unified Schools (FOCUS) Needs Board Members for Next Year
  • Notes from the Technology Department

 

Grading Policy for Elementary School

Earlier this week Dr Dill-Varga emailed parents information about the new Administrative Regulation (AR), regarding how grading will work in CUSD for the end of year report cards this year.

 

Here is what the new AR states for elementary:

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.

 

For a number of reasons, we felt that trying to give elementary students grades for the 3rd trimester that would accurately reflect student learning would be very difficult.  In these circumstances, we cannot accurately conduct many of the assessments we do for students at the end of a trimester. To gauge progress and student academic levels, many assessments need to be done in-person, one-on-one, and in small groups. Also, we acknowledge that the grades students might get now would not accurately reflect the progress they could have made if they were in school.  

 

We are looking forward to providing students and parents report card comments at the end of the year which will focus on a student’s overall character, scholarship, and effort from the year.

 

When we return in the fall, we know we will need to perform a number of pre-assessments to determine student learning needs.  The assessment results will guide our teachers and we will adjust instruction accordingly.  We will meet the students where they are- academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and behaviorally. Our teachers already to a lot to differentiating instruction within their classrooms and they will take on this new challenge to support all students where they are and get them to where they need to be.

 

Online Tutoring Now Available with our Tularcitos Instructional Aides

Thankfully, we have had a good number of people sign up for tutoring this week.  It is great to see people taking advantage of this.  We will be meeting as an instructional aide group this coming Tuesday afternoon to talk about how it is going and how we might improve the model.  If you signed up and have ideas, please email those to me.

 

Again, here is what we are doing:  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.

Thank you to everyone who shared a note of appreciation with your teachers or other staff members this week.  It was very heartwarming to get those.  If you did not get the chance, it is never to late.  Notes of appreciation are always a good idea!

 

Information from some Specialist

Our specialists continue to post new activities each week for students to do at home.  Their websites, and 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

 

Mindful Monday and Parent Support Groups

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 passcode - 006406

2nd & 3rd can join at 1pm and go to https://zoom.us/j/210914680 passcode - 006406

4th & 5th can join at 2:30pm and go to https://zoom.us/j/737892457 passcode - 006406

Parent Support

Feeling overwhelmed, needing support, want to share ideas or just connect with other parents? Join us for our weekly Parent Chat with Ms. Amy & Miss. Suzie every Wednesdays at 10am.  To join go to https://zoom.us/s/513939785  & the passcode is 006406. 

 

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

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.

 

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.

 

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.