Dear Glencoe Families,
I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying your first few days of summer. With the privilege of working from home this summer I am trying to work more as I sit outside in the fresh air. I never realize how much I miss being outside until I have the opportunity to do so.
I promised to keep you apprised of any changes this summer which is the purpose of this newsletter. As a reminder, districts across the state had to readjust their budgets at the beginning of June due to the decrease in budget projections. All schools in PPS were asked to redo their programming for the 2020-21 school year based on changes to the staffing formulas. You may have heard that PE was going to be cut across the district from 90 minutes a week to 60 minutes a week for many schools. Fortunately, this did not materialize and all students will continue to have 90 minutes of PE a week. However, there were changes to teacher:student ratios and the amount of SIA funding being provided to districts. Originally, the Student Investment Account (SIA) funds from the State were earmarked to support social-emotional supports like counselors and social-workers in all schools and were being used to reduce class size in some schools, like Glencoe. Thankfully, we are still allocated funds for a half-time counselor but we will be losing one teaching position originally given to alleviate class size in the 4th grade. Due to projected numbers of students and a change in the staffing formula, we will now have two sections of 4th grade (not three) that will be taught by Ms. Bernt and Mr. Webster. With Ms. Richards’ retirement, we will not lose any current staff at Glencoe thankfully. Mrs. Maestas will stay in Kindergarten for this coming year and the person we hired to fill that Kinder position, will return to a teaching position at her school.
At this point we know what our staffing will look like and we are waiting for clear guidelines for a fall opening. All school districts are required to make Operational Blueprint(s) for all of their schools no later than August 15th, submit them to ODE and post them on their websites. Our district is partnering with several health and community organizations such as OHSU, Keiser and the local MESD to ensure health and safety requirements are followed. In addition, the district has organized several planning committees that are working diligently to create a blueprint specifically for our district. Each committee has a particular focus that includes health/safety, staffing/union relations, equity, operations, curriculum/instruction/professional development, daycare and after school programming. The hope is that we have a few plans to review and provide feedback by mid-July before a final blueprint is established.
With a variety of things still up in the air one thing is for sure, the opening of school will look different than it ever has before. Due to this and the many unknowns, we are holding off on sending our mid-summer mailing that includes class assignments, school supply lists and teacher introductory letters. I know we are all anxious to know what the future will bring for our school community. Once again, we must practice patience and grace as we wait for a clear plan to be established. So for now, let’s just enjoy our summer and additional time together with our families.
Dear Glencoe Families,
Well, we made it to our last day of school. What an interesting year. As we look back, there are a lot of good things that happened this year, even during this last quarter of distance learning. Students continued to enjoy virtual spirit days, the Storybook “Parade”, class meetings with discussion topics, games and dance parties. We were even able to pull off a modified 5th Grade Celebration with a promotion video and family parade. And yes, of course, there was a great deal of teaching and learning going on: reading, writing, math, 5th Grade’s Wax Museum, 4th grade’s Edible Maps of Oregon, science projects, read alouds, Music and PE live classes, as well as Counseling, Library, Music and PE lessons. One of the students’ class activities from last week was to brainstorm things they were grateful for and their best memories of this year. The students generated some great lists with items from both in-building and out-of-building school!
It is hard to remember, but the majority of our school year was typical. We were in classrooms, coming and going without masks and gloves, able to have large play dates, and participate in after school activities. It is true that we are ending the school year a little differently. We tried our best to keep some things in place, just adapted for the world we are living in right now.
Typically, during the last week of school we have an end-of-the-year all school assembly where we thank our student helpers (work crews and Safety Patrollers), watch a slide show that recaps the school year and sometimes the staff prepares a skit, dance or video. Even with distance learning, we couldn’t go without our June Monthly Assembly.
I want to thank all of the staff and students who participated in making this assembly come to life and a special shout out to our counselor, Sara Gardner, for putting all the pieces together in a wonderful way! Your child may have seen the assembly video already from their teacher but I invite you to sit with your child(ren) and watch the video. It is a special treat that was clearly a team effort.
This week we are in the process of wrapping up the school year with students, returning student belongings and lastly, closing down our physical classrooms. Teachers are also finishing up report cards to go out next week. As a reminder, according to Oregon Department of Education Guidelines there is one mark for the entire quarter and it is “evidence” or “no evidence” at the elementary level. All students will move to the next grade level and teachers will be making adjustments to their curriculum to address some of the holes that may be in place due to distance learning.
Due to the economic downturn, the state budget for education is not as strong as it was predicted to be back in February. Therefore, districts around the state are having to readjust based on new budget projections. If you are curious how this will directly impact PPS, you can watch the Town Hall Meeting that was held on Monday, June 8th with the School Board. Next week, all PPS schools will be in the process of redoing their staffing for next year. Once I have a clear picture as to how the budget reductions impact Glencoe, I will let you know.
This morning ODE announced guidance for the 2020-21 school year. PPS has a team working to create a plan for next year based on the 2020-21 guidance from ODE. Typically we send out class assignments and school supply information in mid to late July. We will ask for your patience in this area as things may change through the summer. When we have a clear picture of what our staffing and school process will look like next year in PPS (and specifically at Glencoe), we will get class assignments and school supply information out to you.
I’d like to close by acknowledging all the work that went into this last quarter. I have heard from a variety of families about how this experience was for your family and your child specifically. PPS will be surveying families about their experience in the near future. I believe schools will have access to that data as well. Rather than creating another survey for you to complete, I want to strongly encourage you to complete the one from the distinct. In addition, feel free to email me and share your experience - the ups and downs. We are open to learning from this experience.
I’d like to thank all of you: parents, caregivers, Glencoe staff and students for coming together as best we could as a community. Parents are always important partners in their child’s schooling experience and that was even more true this last quarter. Thank you for partnering and supporting us in this most unusual academic journey during these last nine weeks. Some of you have asked about how students can continue to access some of the online resources like Lexia, Dreambox, Khan Academy etc. Most of the learning apps will be live through July 31st. However, things are expanding as contracts get renewed. Here is a link to the district page that identifies the learning apps and length of service time.
I hope you have a wonderful, healthy and safe summer. I look forward to us coming back together, in whatever way possible, in the fall. I miss US!
Dear Glencoe Community,
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. I am excited to be back for my 5th year as Glencoe’s principal. It is such an honor and joy to be part of Glencoe’s wonderful community. Staff have been back for almost a week (and some longer) participating in professional development sessions and preparing for students’ arrival. We are so happy for the school year to get underway.
I am excited to introduce two new members to our community. As many of you know from last Spring’s Newsletters we hired Ms. Anna DeVille to fill our Kindergarten position. Anna is joining us after 9 years at Vestal Elementary and will be teaching Kinders in room 109. This summer we interviewed several wonderful candidates for our 3rd Grade position and were fortunate to hire Mrs. Wendy Connolly, who many of you know as Fiona and Ewan’s mom. Wendy will be teaching third graders in room 201, upstairs next to the other Mrs. Connolly.
Thanks to last year’s auction and our generous families, we were able to increase the hours of two staff members. Chris Wulferdingen, our Reading Specialist will now be working .6 (an increase from .5) allowing her to serve more students. We were also able to increase Amanda Shwetzer, our School Secretary from .5 to .75 staffing our front office with two secretaries for the majority of the school day.
PPS has implemented a new Volunteer/Visitor System that will roll out to schools in phases this fall. I am not sure when it will be installed at Glencoe but I wanted to prepare you for the changes. The system will require all volunteers and visitors to show a government issued ID upon arrival (one time only). The ID will be processed through a security system before entrance beyond the front office is allowed. Once approved, volunteers/visitors will receive a printed badge indicating they checked-in as required. The approved badge will be stored in the system for future visits. After the initial visit, Visitors/Volunteers will sign-in at the Kiosk (as in the past) to receive their printed badge. Until the system is implemented at Glencoe, we will continue with our current policy (sign in at the office and receive a lanyard/badge).
Our annual Community Care Day was a great success. I can’t express the level of gratitude I have for everyone who volunteered their time and all the work that was done. It was an amazing day and one of the best turnouts we’ve had since I’ve been at Glencoe. The Peterson’s lead the event and did a wonderful job getting the word out, organizing the clean-up, recruiting some true professionals (including Mr. Brockmeyer who pruned the large tree along 51st) and grilling up some hot dogs for the volunteers! I also want to give a shout out to Mr. Wright, who came out on Tuesday, with his son’s, Asher & Lucas to line the basketball court in preparation for recess on the first day of school. Glencoe has so many wonderful families that help make Glencoe the extraordinary community that it is!
Below is some additional information to help you and your child(ren) prepare for the new school year ahead:
· Arrival: As a reminder, the office opens for business at 7:45. Students may enter the building at 7:55 unless specific arrangements were made with a teacher. Students who choose to eat breakfast at school may enter the building at 7:45. Staff will open ALL FRONT doors at 7:55 for students and families to enter. We recommend that Kindergarten students enter through the main front doors.
· Late Arrivers: Students are tardy after 8:05 and must check into the office to SIGN THEMSELVES IN and receive an “office check-in” slip.
· Office Hours/Support: The office is open from 7:45 – 4:00 for business. We will have two secretaries in the office in the mornings, until 1:45. Our Health Assistant, Allie Doran will be in the office every day from 9:00 – 2:00. We will have a School Nurse every Friday.
· Dismissal: Students are dismissed by their teachers at 2:20. In order for dismissal to go smoothly it is important that your child’s teacher & child are aware of the after school plan. All students will be walked outside by their teacher to a designated spot. You can find the dismissal map on our website (or by contacting your child’s teacher). Staff will verify students who are riding the bus as they board. All students remaining at school after 2:27 will be brought to the office as there is no supervision outside after that time. Remaining students will need to be signed out from the office by a parent/family member listed on the registration form.
· Dismissal Plans: All families are expected to complete a Student Dismissal form. The sooner we receive the form, the sooner we can ensure your child follows their after school plans. These forms can be found on our school website and in the opening day packet. It is very challenging for the office to deliver last minute changes to after-school plans. Known changes to a dismissal plan must be communicated to the teacher or office first thing in the morning. We know unexpected things happen that are out of your control. We will do our best to get last minute changes to students.
· After School Classes: Glencoe school is NOT responsible for after school programs offered by external organizations. Registration for after school classes are handled by individual companies, not the school office. A list of all after school activities at Glencoe can be found at this afterschool activities link.
· Communication: We strive to keep our community informed in a timely manner. You will receive a weekly e-newsletter from Glencoe on Fridays to share upcoming events/reminders. You can also find information specific to each classroom on the teachers’ websites.
On behalf of the entire Glencoe Staff, I want to again welcome you to the 2019-20 school year. This will be my 28th year to have a “1st day of School” as an educator. The first day of school is always very special. I am excited to see all of our 1st – 5th graders on Wednesday, August 28th and our Kindergartners on September 3rd.
Dear PPS Families,
We hope you are enjoying a safe and healthy summer break. Thank you for sharing your feedback on the re-entry survey we recently sent to you. While there are still numerous details to finalize, we wanted to update you on where we are with our efforts to ensure healthy beginnings for the 2020-21 school year.
Dear PPS Families,
We want to make sure you are aware of a change in meal distribution. For this week only, sacks of breakfast and lunch will be available Monday through Wednesday instead of the usual Monday through Thursday. Sacks of breakfast and lunch will be distributed outside 14 of our schools, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dear PPS Community,
We wanted to remind you about opportunities to provide feedback on the 2020 School Bond Renewal, including one that is now open. The 2020 School Bond Renewal Survey is now available. The survey, which will allow you to share your input on priorities and approaches to funding, will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 3: