Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 10/23/2020
October 23, 2020
Happy Friday! On any given day, our students and families are spread out across the entire Portland Metropolitan area (or even further) making distance learning come to life. Sarah Erickson, our resident video editor extraordinaire has created another great video - check it out!
With Halloween fast approaching, please send Sarah Erickson your pumpkin photos. She will post them on the Duniway Website - check it out, we have a few up there now.
Here are some announcements and updates:
Duniway has always been a community that works hard to care for one another. Duniway's new social worker, Alexis Scher has been working to support our students and families in need during the pandemic. Gift card donations from Target, Fred Meyer, Winco and Walmart are encouraged and much appreciated as they go to help cover basic needs for some of our families. Please help if you can OR contact Alexis if your family needs assistance. E-gift cards can be emailed to Alexis. Physical gift cards can be mailed to Alexis Scher, Duniway Elementary, 7700 SE Reed College Place, Portland, OR 97202
Many of you have already received your ballots (and perhaps you have already voted) and have noticed that there is an important Bond renewal measure for PPS. If you attended Back to School Night you hear School Board Chair Lowery speak about the measure. If you are interested in learning more about what PPS plans to do with the money, this two page document is very helpful.
You can get the latest information about how to get meals on the PPS Nutrition Services website.
I want to thank parent Elizabeth Martin Akretch and her employer Vacasa for donating 15, 23 in. monitors to Duniway. Having a second screen while teaching remotely makes a significant difference. Thanks for your generosity!
On Wednesday I hosted our third Parent Advisory Committee Meeting. As always, it was very helpful to hear from families. Anyone is invited to attend these meetings. The next two are scheduled for 12/2/2020 and 1/20/2021 from 4:30-5:30 PM. Go to THIS LINK to join the meeting. Here are a few highlights from Wednesday's conversation:
Small groups, meeting live with the teacher and/or an Educational Assistant seems to be the best teaching format.
Having an adult, who is dedicated to supporting a child, is very significant.
Asynchronous lessons that include a pre-recorded, step-by-step video of the teacher makes the learning more engaging and more realistic.
A question that was posed that we will be looking into was around parent helpers and whether or not adult volunteers can help facilitate/lead breakout sessions or other groups aimed at supporting students.
Students thrive on reading and hearing feedback from teachers, especially feedback that might relate to an ongoing assignment and helps reassure a student that they are on the right track or if they are not, offers the student the suggestions and support needed in order to be successful with the assignment.
Fall Conferences are around the corner and will be here before we know it. Please be on the lookout for a conference sign-up email that will be sent out on October 28, 2020. All conferences will take place remotely. Please reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions you may have.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 10/9/2020
October 9, 2020
I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine on this “no school day” Friday, and that your weekend is off to a good start. I suspect most of you received word that Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) will continue through January 28th, the end of the 1st semester. A possible return date for students could be Monday, February 1st. While this news does not come as a surprise, it is nonetheless a disappointment.
The reality of our situation is pushing our staff to think creatively and to continue to evaluate what we are doing, make continuous adjustments, and try and zero in on what is working well. To be honest, CDL is far from perfect. I think we all know this. However, we are trying to stay positive, to find moments of laughter and joy, and to take each day as it comes.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Here are a few updates and insights:
Students in 3rd - 5th grade will be studying the recorder in music class. You should have received an email from music teacher Lisa Adams with details about purchasing a recorder.
You may have seen that PPS has made the decision to not use the MAP assessment this fall for students in 3rd-5th grade. Teachers will be looking for opportunities (less stressful and more integrated into the curriculum) to assess students in the coming weeks so they are able to best meet individual needs.
We still have families who have not picked up supplies. If you are unable to stop by school we are ready and able to deliver supplies to your home. Just reach out to Lynn and or your child’s teacher.
As we spend more and more time in front of the computer, I think it is important to make sure we are taking steps to help mitigate the impacts this is/might be having on all of us. Here is a recent article that has some interesting suggestions around how to protect your eyes.
Thanks to everyone for your ongoing effort. We appreciate your feedback and your support. Have a great weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 10/2/2020
October 2, 2020
Welcome to October! This was a pretty big week with BTSN, Library Book pick-up, as well as additional supplies for all grades being passed out. If you were unable to come by school to pick up supplies, please contact the office to arrange a time to swing by school. If you cannot make it to school, we are more than happy to deliver supplies to your home. Just let us know.
Our teachers are working hard to get more “physical” items to your child for work each day. We know that spending hours and hours on the computer is less than ideal, so we are working to provide the tools and resources to have more paper/pencil work.
On Tuesday and Wednesday evening we held our BTSN. Thank you for making the time to attend. As with everything else this year, it was a first and unlike no other. We appreciate your patience and understanding with the technology and the remote event. Even though the format was different, we hope you learned a bit more about what is happening in your child’s classroom, how you can support your learner, and what you can expect in the coming weeks. As I visited each grade level team, I was yet again reminded about how fortunate we are to have a highly experienced and committed teaching staff.
A few themes emerged from both evenings, most notably, was the importance of flexibility and communication. Your child’s classroom schedule is there to ensure a predictable, understandable, and well-rounded experience for students. However, based on your individual circumstances and preferences, families are strongly encouraged to modify, adapt, and adjust the schedule as necessary. It is perfectly ok to not do it all. Ultimately, each family, ideally in consultation with your child’s teacher, can create a plan that is balanced, promotes positive mental health, and optimizes opportunities for academic growth.
In the next week and a half, the Superintendent is expected to update the timeline for returning to in-person instruction (more commonly referred to as the “hybrid model”). Based on the present metrics set by ODE and OHA it is very likely that PPS will be announcing a continuation of Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) through at least the end of the 1st Semester. While the metrics are disappointing, over the next few weeks, we will begin to discuss (as a staff and as a community) what limited in-person instruction might look like at Duniway. As defined by ODE, limited in-person is just that, limited, in both the number of students in the school at once and the number coming in during a week. Unfortunately, it would only allow a small fraction of students to enter into the building. There is still a great deal of planning and decision making that needs to take place even before this begins. Be on the lookout for additional communication coming from both PPS and the school.
On a more positive note, I continue to hear great stories about the work going on in many of our virtual classrooms. Our students are working hard and making the best of a really challenging situation. Our teachers are constantly evaluating what they are doing and are making ongoing adjustments in order to maximize student engagement and student learning. And lastly, our parents, guardians, and caregivers are working tirelessly to hold it all together. It is important for all of us to lead with a caring heart and a willingness to remain open, patient, and understanding.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Wishing you an enjoyable weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 9/25/2020
September 25, 2020
Happy Fall! With all the unpredictability and challenge, it is nice to experience the steadfast reliability of the seasons changing - the elm leaves turning golden yellow, the return of the rains, and cooler and cleaner air. After several delays, we were able to finish distributing our first round of supplies to all students. Thanks again to the PTA for their support and thanks to our teachers and staff for taking the time to organize and distribute.
Back to School Night: Here are the details and google meet links for next week’s Back to School Night. Each night starts with a whole group meeting and then will be followed by grade level meetings. We look forward to seeing you.
- Tuesday, 9/29/2020: Kindergarten - 2nd Grade. Whole Group Meeting from 6:00 PM - 6:20 PM. Meeting Code: K-2 Whole Group
- Grade Level Meetings; 6:25 - 7:00 PM: Meeting Codes: Kindergarten BTSN; 1st Grade BTSN; 2nd Grade BTSN
- Wednesday, 9/30/2020: 3rd - 5th Grade. Whole Group Meeting from 6:00 PM - 6:20 PM. Meeting Code: 3-5 Whole Group
- Grade Level Meetings; 6:25 - 7:00 PM: Meeting Codes: 3rd Grade BTSN; 4th Grade BTSN; 5th Grade BTSN
Parent Advisory Committee Meeting: On Wednesday, I had my second meeting with the Parent Advisory Committee. This is an informal conversation that allows me to hear from families, to share information, and to answer questions. If interested, you can watch the recording of our conversation. Some themes definitely emerged from our meeting:Let’s Get Reading: Accessing books and reading material remains a top priority. Aside from a variety of online applications, we are excited to announce the Let’s Get Reading program being facilitated by our Media Specialist Heather Boyd. This program involves creating and loaning library bags of 5-10 books to each student to have at home to read with their families, friends, or even a pet! At a designated time and location a family would pick up a book bag to enjoy, or in some cases, a bag could be delivered to a family. A couple of weeks later, families would return their book bag and receive a new one. This process rotates each week: pick up a bag, return it, pick up a new bag, return it, and so on. Our first pick up will take place next week. For all the details, including when your scheduled time to pick up books, please READ HERE. Bags of books will be picked up at the door on the south end of the building, on Reed College Place.
Students are enjoying opportunities to work with paper/pencil, especially when it is connected to an online lesson.
Families really appreciate when grade level teams are working closely together - sharing materials, lessons, and having different teachers create and present material for the entire grade level team.
Students and families are feeling the most successful (and engaged) when students are participating in live, small group sessions.
Students are more engaged (and likely to be more engaged) if work is focused on a theme, related to science or social studies or other content areas versus a collection of seemingly unrelated tasks.
Creating Some Space: We so appreciate the incredible effort that families are putting forth during distance learning. Without your support, our students would be unable to access much of the learning. However, once your child is successfully connected and is working away, please experiment with “stepping away” from your child’s workspace. Allow them to work without distraction or too much oversight. We all know that this will create the best chance for authentic learning and will allow teachers to accurately assess how things are going.
I know there is quite a lot to be thinking of each day. As we finish up our second full week of teaching, please know that we will continue to listen to your feedback and look to improve our ability to connect with students and provide engaging online experiences.
Thanks again for your tremendous support. Wishing you a happy and healthy first weekend of fall.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 9/18/2020
September, 18, 2020
I hope that you and your family are doing well. While it seems that the worst of the fires may be over, the smoke and ash continue to blanket the area. It is hard to imagine layering another traumatic event on the many that still exist in our world. Our work at Duniway is critical, it really is, but please take the time to care for yourself, your loved ones, your family, and your friends.
Supplies: Thanks to our 2nd and 3rd graders who have been patiently waiting for their school supplies. We have set new dates for pick up:
3rd Grade: Tuesday, 9/22/20 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
2nd Grade: Wednesday, 9/23/20 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Both pickups will occur on SE Rex Street, just East of Reed College Place, right along where our buses drop off and pick up. If you are unable to pick up during that time, please reach out to Lynn or Sarah in the office and a time can be arranged to come by school OR we can drop supplies off at your home.
Finding a Balance: I strongly encourage you to make the necessary adjustments to your child’s schedule so that it works best for your family. You do not need to do it all. Please prioritize the live instruction, and feel free to modify the amount of time your child is on the computer and when they are working on asynchronous lessons and independent work.
Flexibility and Grace: Our teachers have had hundreds of conversations with students and families over the past couple of weeks. We hope you enjoyed connecting with your child’s teacher and that you now have a clearer understanding of how the next few weeks will go. As you know, teachers are striving to meet the wide variety of needs in each classroom. With that comes the need to make adjustments, compromises, and to remain flexible. Because there is so much variance, teachers will continue to communicate on a regular basis and you should always feel welcome to reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns.
Getting Lost at School: We hope by the beginning of next week that you and your child have a better understanding of where and when they should be during the important “live or synchronous” lessons during the day. If your child ever gets “lost” in the virtual hallways, please feel free to call the office or email Sarah Erickson, Lynn Terhaar, or Matt Goldstein.
Staying Connected - I know, there are lots of email: I know we are asking quite a bit of our parents, guardians, and the other adults assembled to provide support and structure for students. It is very important to take the time to read all communication that comes from your child’s teacher and from the school - changes in times, codes, and plans WILL HAPPEN. It should be expected and our teachers are doing their best to provide students and families with the latest information.
A Word About Pods: Duniway staff has been directed by PPS Leadership to not facilitate PODS within a classroom or across a grade level. As I have mentioned before, our grade level teams are doing everything they can to provide a consistent experience across grade level to accommodate students who are in PODS.
Save the Date/Back to School Night(s): As previously mentioned, we will have two BTSN’s this year. On Tuesday, 9/29/20 will be K-2 and on Wednesday, 9/30/20 will be 3-5. Both evenings will start at 6:00 PM, with a short whole group presentation, followed by breakout sessions for each grade level. If you have students in multiple grade levels that are meeting on the same night you will be able to move from meeting to meeting as you like. Meeting codes will be sent out next week.
Technology: If you are having technological difficulties, you can contact your child’s teacher, Heather Boyd, or you can reach out directly to PPS IT @ 503-916-3375 OR in Русский: 503-916-3583.
We know that there is much we can do better, and we are working hard to make improvements as we move into week two. Undoubtedly, this entire distance learning journey will be a series of triumphs and challenges. I like proverbs and this one seems very appropriate:
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
― Japanese Proverb
Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 9/11/2020
September 11, 2020
First and foremost, I hope this email finds everyone safe and healthy. The fires over this last week (and the wind storm) have hit very close to many of us, including several staff members and Duniway families. Our thoughts and good wishes go out to all of those who are being impacted by yet another round of unimaginable challenge and loss.
I think this week illustrates to all of us how unpredictable life is right now. It also underscores the need to prioritize your time and your efforts. Please take care of your family, loved ones, and your most basic and most important needs. Your child’s teacher and our staff understand this and we want to do our best to support you during this very challenging situation.
I know some families have concerns about the schedules that will kick in on Monday, 9/14. These schedules are still very much in the works and I will be meeting with teachers next week to make improvements. We know many families need flexibility, support, and just the right mix of “live” activities and other supported learning. Please communicate with your child’s teacher and our support staff if you have any questions, if you are unsure of “where” and when your child is supposed to be online, and how we can best support your efforts at home.
Supply Pick- Up: Well we got off to a great start with our Kindergarten families on Wednesday AM and our 4th and 5th grade students that afternoon. Yesterday was a bit of a different story. We snuck in 1st grade but then the intense smoke shut down (district-wide, as mandated by PPS) our operations and therefore we were forced to reschedule supply pick up for 2nd and 3rd grade students. Please be on the lookout for an email from your child’s teacher with the new date and time. Thanks for your patience.
Counseling Support and Resources: Earlier in the week, you should have received an emailed “hello” from our school counselor Jessy Gretzinger and our new Social Worker, Alexis Scher. We could not be luckier to have Jessy and Alexis working on behalf of our students and families. They are working hard supporting families and will be connecting with all students in the coming weeks. Please feel free to reach out to them directly if you have any questions or if they can be of service to you.
Miss Jessy pulled together some information for students and community resources about the fires:
Natural Disasters: Helping Kids During Crisis
U.S. Dept of Education Crisis Planning Guide
FEMA Ready Kids: Wildfires
ASCA Webinar Effective Crisis/Trauma Response
NCTM: Wildfire Resources
SAMHSA: Wildfire Resources
CDC: Stay Safe During a Wildfire
Clackamas County Wildfires 2020
State of Oregon Wildfire Housing Relief
Local Temporary Shelters
Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
State of Oregon Wildfire Resources
Fires and Hotspots on this Dashboard
Technology: If you are having issues logging into your Chromebook, especially one that is district owned, your best bet is to call the IT hotline. The call center is open between 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Monday - Friday. The number is 503-916-3175. You can also email your child’s teacher and/or our Media Specialist Heather Boyd. If you still need a device, please contact Lynn Terhaar and she can schedule a time for you to come by school to pick up a Chromebook.
Back to School Night: As previously mentioned, BTSN will be virtual, and will take place over two nights this year. K-2 will take place on Tuesday, 9/29 and 3-5 will take place on Wednesday, 9/30. Both nights will run from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM. You will be receiving an email with details, including the log-in information you will need.
When the staff returned in late August I gave everyone a copy of the book Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by the wonderful buddhist writer and thinker Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a slim volume filled with many short pieces, many of them reminding us to breathe, to stay in the present moment, and to smile: “Wherever you are, you can breathe mindfully. We all need to go back to ourselves from time to time, in order to be able to confront the difficulties in life.”
I hope you have a nice weekend. Stay safe and be well.
Duniway Community Updates 9/4Posted by Sarah Erickson on 9/5/2020
September 4, 2020
Wednesday marked the official start of the school year for our students in 1st - 5th grade. As we expected, it was unlike any other start we have experienced. The hallways were very quiet - I missed the smiling faces, laughter, and the nervous energy that comes with the first day of school. On the positive, I have joined several class meetings and it has been wonderful to see familiar faces and to meet our new students as well. A few suggestions from my observations: it works best if you can set your child up with a quiet space for them to work, away from the cats, dogs, etc; try and establish a routine where your child gets out of bed and gets "ready" for school; remember to mute, especially when coming on to calls or if you are having a parenting "moment," we get it, we have all been there :)
Each day we are learning to adjust to our reality. Our classroom teachers and support staff have worked exceptionally hard in the last week to prepare, not only for the “soft start” but for the coming weeks and months. I have been impressed with their collaboration, commitment, and willingness to look for creative solutions to a very complex situation.
Over the next few days you should be receiving a schedule from your child’s teacher that details what an average week will look like beginning on September 14th. What you are seeing should be considered “working drafts,” and you can expect modifications and shifts to occur. However, we hope this first version gives your family a better sense of what each day will look like. We thank you for your patience as we know many of you are anxious for more details.
Attendance: For more information on how attendance will be taken please read this memo that came out recently from PPS. If you know your child will be absent, please email their teacher and School Secretary Sarah Erickson. You can also contact the school attendance line (childwatch) at 503-916-3625
Back to School Night: This year, Back to School Night will take place on September 29th for K-2 grades and September 30th for 3-5 grades. The event will start at 6:00 PM with a short whole group presentation. At 6:20 PM, each grade level team will facilitate a separate conversation with families. Be on the lookout for additional information including the log-in information you will need to join the calls.
Supply Pick Up: Next week, families are invited to come to Duniway to pick up supplies to start the year. WHERE: Pick up will occur on SE Rex between SE Reed College Place and SE 34th Avenue - where the buses normally park. Please drive NORTH on Reed College Place and then turn RIGHT on to SE Rex. Teachers and staff will be outside waiting to say hello and hand-off supplies. Please make sure everyone is wearing a mask and observe physical distancing guidelines. If you are unable to come during your assigned time (s) listed below, please contact the office and we will make different arrangements.
- Kindergarten: 9/9 @ 10:30 - 11:30
- Fourth Grade: 9/9 @ 12:00 - 1:00 PM
- Fifth Grade: 9/9 @ 2:00 - 3:00 PM
- First Grade: 9/10 @ 10:00 - 11:00 AM
- Third Grade: 9/10 @ 12:45 - 1:45 PM
- Second Grade: 9/10 @ 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Technology: Technology is a critical component of distance learning. We have loaned out over 170 Chromebooks to families - Thanks to Lynn for coordinating this effort. This week, for the most part, things have gone fairly well. Teachers are still experimenting with google meet and zoom and we are working hard to troubleshoot individual student issues. PLEASE make sure that your student is logged into their PPS account and not into a personal google/gmail account. In order for the system to function and to properly protect our students you MUST be logged into the @pps.net domain. For some tips, visit this page created by an IT specialist at Forest Park Elementary. If you are still having issues with your device or with accessing a tool online here are some additional resources for you.
PPS IT Support: Call 503-916-3375 or email email@example.com
Heather Boyd, our Media Specialist also serves as our Technology Coordinator.
Your Child’s Classroom Teacher or Office Staff
Thanks again for your support as we launch the 2020-2021 School Year. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments. I hope each of you have an enjoyable Labor Day weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 8/28/2020
August 28, 2020
Yesterday we officially welcomed back our incredible staff. It was great to “see” everyone and to begin to prepare for the 2020-2021 School Year. You should be hearing very soon from your child’s teacher and learning more details about the first couple weeks of school (AKA the “soft” start - from 9/2-9/11 for 1st-5th grade). Students will be having daily community meetings, having a 1:1 meeting with their teacher, and will be encouraged to access the student portal (Clever) to begin to learn more about SeeSaw and the other digital platforms and applications that will be used during the school day. Teachers are also very busy working on creating schedules that will go into effect on Monday, 9/14/2020. Starting on 9/14, school hours will be from 8:45 - 3:00. We are working hard to have these schedules ready for you on September 2nd! Thanks again for your patience.
We are going to do our very best communicating with you in the next couple of weeks. There will be plenty of email coming your way. Please take the time to read all communications carefully. Talk to your child about the email and have them be a part of the process.
Virtual Connect to Kindergarten: Families of Kindergarten students are invited to watch a virtual, districtwide Kindergarten information session next Monday, August 31. A panel of principals, Kindergarten teachers, parents, and support staff will answer questions. The goal is to provide a welcoming and reassuring introduction to Kindergarten and encourage families to register and connect with their child’s school. Please view this flier for all the details: English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Русский | Soomaali. If you have district-wide questions about kindergarten you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an FAQ in response to questions on the Early Learner Department website.
Technology Update: Here is a step-by-step guide to logging into your pps issued chromebook. Students' usernames follow the pattern of first initial, last name, last four digits of their student ID, "@student.pps.net." For example Jay Raddison who's ID number is 123456 would have a username of email@example.com. Use your child’s birthdate such as March 8, the password would be 0308. Students who have already reset their password but have forgotten their password, may find the Password Manager helpful. ALL students need to have a device. If you still do not have a chromebook or another device for your child please email Lynn in the office.
School Supplies: As we have done in the last few years, the school will be collecting a $45.00 voluntary donation for school supplies. Some of the funds will be used to purchase a back-to-school supply kit that each student will be receiving from the school. In addition, the money will be used to cover the cost of all supplies needed for this school year. If and when we return to in-person learning at Duniway, these funds will also be used to ensure that each student has their own collection of supplies. Thanks to those of you who are able to donate. You can donate through School Pay or mail a check to Duniway.
Supply Pick-Up: On September 9th and 10th, families will have the opportunity to drive by school to pick up supplies. Teachers will be on-hand to say hello and to pass out a back-pack full of supplies. We thank the PTA for their generous support for the backpacks. More details will be sent out next week. Here are the dates/times for each grade level:
9/9/2020: Kindergarten, 10:30-11:30; Fourth Grade, 12:00 - 1:00 PM; Fifth Grade, 2:00 - 3:00 PM
9/10/2020: First Grade, 10:00 - 11:00 AM; Third Grade, 12:45 - 1:45 PM; Second Grade, 2:00 - 3:00 PM
If you are unable to come to school during this window of time, please let the office know. We can arrange for you to stop by at a different time OR we can drop off the supplies at your home.
ParentVue: About 20% of parents have done their yearly verification, thank you! We need to have 100% of parents update their child's information. Please sign up for ParentVue, save your user name and password in a safe place because this is a key site you will use to manage your child's school information. In the past we have sent "Verification forms" home with every student at the beginning of the year and asked for you to make changes and return to school, from now on you will be doing this through ParentVue. This is super important and all families need to complete this every year. When entering the ParentVue site you are to select "2020-21 Yearly Verification". Please DO NOT select new registration. If you have any questions please let Sarah Erickson know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free/Reduced lunch: To receive meals at no charge under Oregon’s expanded free meal eligibility, families would submit their household income information using the 2020-21 Confidential Family Application for Free & Reduced Price Meals. Applications can be submitted online or paper. To receive benefits you must apply every year. Households financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be able to qualify for The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP offers food benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply for food benefits by clicking here.
The Parent Advisory Group met for the first time on Tuesday evening. I want to thank that group for taking the time to join this conversation. It was an excellent way for me to share information, answer questions, and most importantly, for me to listen and gather opinions and suggestions. If you are interested the recording is available to view.
As I said earlier, there is no shortage of details and information. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to the office staff or, if it relates directly to your child’s classroom, please feel free to email your child’s teacher.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 8/23/2020
August 21, 2020
The “Thursday Update” has now officially reverted back to the “Friday Update.” I hope everyone is having a good week and that you have found time to enjoy the nice weather and time to connect with loved ones and friends. As I was driving yesterday I heard Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former US Surgeon General during the Obama Administration, interviewed on the radio. He was speaking about the importance of social connection. If you have a few minutes, I would read/listen to the piece.
In many ways, one of the charges of K-5 schooling is creating opportunities for students to learn how to connect, how to be a part of a diverse and accepting community, and to learn the importance and the collective power of “we,” instead of the more instinctive and self-serving “I.” Of course, this instruction will prove more challenging in our remote learning environment. However, I am confident that our school community can and will continue this vital work.
While many of our teachers have already been working hard to prepare for the school year, their first official day back is Thursday, August 27th. There is a great deal to accomplish as we prepare to launch the 2020-2021 school year, so I am looking forward to having everyone officially back.
All teachers will be reaching out to families between August 28th - September 2nd. You will be getting information detailing schedules, how the year will start, and you will be signing up for an important 1:1 meeting with your child's teacher. This meeting will be time for you and your child to “meet” the teacher, hear more details about the upcoming school year, and for your teacher to learn more about your child and your family. In addition, there will be time for you to ask questions and to pass on information that will lead to a successful start to the year.
Schedules: The school day, beginning on 9/14, will follow our “regular” schedule, with school starting at 8:45 AM and ending at 3:00 PM.
Each day will include a combination of teacher-lead learning (both live and recorded), Applied (or independent) Learning, and time for snack, lunch, rest, and recess. In addition, each class will have one, “live” 45 minute PE and one “live” 45 minute Music. In addition, they will have one asynchronous Media class per-week.
While we know invariably there will be changes to the schedule, please know that our teachers cannot make modifications and adjustments to meet individual preferences or the preferences of learning “pods.”
Between 9/2 and 9/11 there will be a heavily modified (reduced) schedule. Your child’s teacher will be sending out more specifics next week.
- Between September 2 - September 11 students will pick up (or they will be delivered) a cool gift from the PTA and the necessary school supplies to begin the year. In addition, some grade level teams may also have additional hand-outs that they will provide at that time. You will be given more details about how and when the pick-ups will occur.
The Parent Advisory Group is slated to have our first meeting next week. Over 60 people were invited to join this conversation. If you are interested in joining this (and subsequent) conversations and did not receive an email invitation, please let me know. I look forward to working with this group as we look for collaborative and creative solutions to the challenges that lay ahead.
Technology: If you requested a Chromebook you should have received an email from Lynn earlier this week. Chromebook pick-up will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25th and 26th. If you did not receive an email and still need a Chromebook please call the office at 503-916-6343 or email Lynn.
Well the Pandemic does not appear to have slowed a few of the teens in the neighborhood, and unfortunately we are having ongoing issues with kids climbing on the roof to skateboard as well as kids who are accessing the peace garden area to party (lots of empty cans left behind as evidence). Let’s try and work together to keep an eye out and please reach out to me if you have any information.
I want to thank you for your patience as we inch closer to the first day(s) of school. We will continue to keep you updated and are available for any of your questions, comments, or concerns. Do not hesitate to contact us. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.
Duniway PTA Update
We’re excited to embark on this new chapter in life with you all and the Duniway PTA wants to make sure you stay CONNECTED for the upcoming school year. Please join our Konstella Community if you haven’t already. You will find important updates from families in your classroom, teachers, the Duniway PTA and Foundation; plus a calendar with school events/meetings.
To get started, go to the website at https://www.konstella.com, select ‘Find Your School’ in the upper right hand corner and start to type out the first few letters of “Duniway Elementary School”; our school will automatically populate. Then proceed with the registration from there.
Please reach out to any of the PTA Board Members with questions or suggestions on how we can help every child succeed.
Kayla Gulbranson, PTA President
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Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 8/9/2020
August 6, 2020
I hope your family has been enjoying the first full week of August - plenty of warm sunshine and blue skies. I will say that this morning's cool, damp air was a pleasant change. As promised, the Community Survey is now available. Please take a few minutes in the next few days to provide this important information to our staff.
As the beginning of the school year slowly begins to take shape, I recognize that a number of families are looking for ways to support their children at home, while also having to attend to jobs and the business of life in these uncertain times. A number of families have been reaching out to me regarding grouping certain children together in the same class. While I understand this request, we are unable to make changes to class placement except in extraordinary circumstances. Our team worked very hard to create classes this past spring and making changes creates a significant “cascade” effect. Making changes, even just a couple, can throw off the balance (academic, gender, social-emotional, and behavioral) of multiple classrooms. While I recognize that this is not the response some of you are looking for, I do I thank you for your understanding.
All grade level teams will be working very closely this year. There will be a common and cohesive experience across all classrooms in a given grade. Here are a few things you might see from your child’s grade level team: Weekly Grade-level communications, common schedules, consistent amount of “live” instruction, common sequence and assignments, and common longer term/project based learning experiences. Our teachers and support staff will be ready to support all families and work collaboratively on behalf of your child.
Here are some dates and information for what is coming up next:
August 10th: Office reopens. Welcome back Lynn and Sarah. Lynn and Sarah will do their best to respond to your email and phone calls in a timely manner. Although our office staff is back to work, please know that the school building remains closed to students and families at this time.
August 14th (or earlier if we can): Classroom Assignments will be emailed to families by the 14th.. Please remember that teachers are still enjoying their summer break and while many of them are already busy planning for the fall, they are likely unable to respond to email until they officially return on August 27th.
August 27th: Teachers return from summer break.
September 2nd - September 11th: This period of time is being billed as a “soft” start to the school year. Teachers will be connecting with families, students will be learning more about the digital tools they will be using and their schedules, and staff will continue to have critical time to meet as teams and to participate in on-going professional development. Attendance will be taken beginning on September 2nd for students in grades 1-5.
September 14th: Our goal will be to have things up and running by Monday, 9/14/2020. At this point your child will have a consistent weekly (and daily) schedule. The day will consist of live or synchronous learning (whole class and/or small group); pre-recorded lessons and activities; and independent work using one of the many digital applications being provided by PPS.
In the next few weeks, I am hopeful that more details will emerge and we all will have a clearer sense of what the weeks and months ahead will look, feel, and sound like. I anticipate that Duniway might have some flexibility and autonomy on how we proceed in certain areas. In other situations, requirements, policies and guidelines established by PPS, ODE, OHA, and the Governor will strongly determine the course we take. I know I keep saying this, but I recognize that there are still many more questions then concrete plans in place. We will continue to do our best to communicate information with families, while at the same time, being thoughtful and cautious in the decisions that we make.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to complete the community survey. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing more from families. Our goal will always be to provide the very best we can for all Duniway students. I hope you have a nice weekend and that your family is staying healthy.