Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 7/30/2020
July 30, 2020
I hope you are enjoying the last bits of July and that you have found ways to stay cool over the last several days. By now you have likely heard that we will be starting the school year with Comprehensive (full-time) Remote/Distance Learning. While it is disappointing that Duniway students will not start the year in our classrooms, we can now focus our attention on preparing for a more engaging and robust distance learning experience. We just do not know when we will be able to transition back to in-person instruction, but there is a bit more clarity coming from the state and local levels.
As Superintendent Guerrero mentioned in his statement, the Governor and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released a set of metrics that will be used to help guide districts in making a decision as to when it is safe to return to some level of in-person instruction. In addition, they instructed districts to prioritize returning K-3 students to the classrooms. This does create a possible scenario where K-3 students will return to Duniway part-time, while 4th and 5th graders stay with full-time remote learning.
Here are a few updates and pieces of information:
Gathering input and insight: Next Thursday’s update will have a link to a community questionnaire/survey. This will hopefully begin to capture your thoughts and questions as we aim to better understand how we can best serve our families this fall. If you are interested in being involved in more in-depth conversation and planning, you might consider joining our Parent Advisory Committee. If so, there will be a place on the survey to let me know you are interested.
A Caring and Calm Start: As we begin to gear up for the start of the school year, we want to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, and our staff. Our teachers and support staff will be working hard to cultivate connections with their new students. This will begin in earnest between September 2 - September 11th when teachers will engage with their class in a variety of manners, including setting up 1:1 conferences/meetings with each child and parent/guardian(s).
Kindergarten: Our kindergarten teaching team is outstanding and I am confident in their ability to create a welcoming, safe, and caring environment for Duniway’s newest and youngest students. We know it will be challenging, but look forward to collaborating with families, while looking for creative solutions. In the coming weeks, we will be hosting a meeting for all incoming kindergarten families - sharing the latest plan and giving families a better sense of what kindergarten will look like this fall.
Classroom Teacher Assignments: We know that it will be critical for our teachers to connect with new students and to look for creative ways to build a positive and welcoming class community. You will find out your child’s teacher during the week of August 10th. Please know that we will not make any changes of class assignment to accommodate learning “pods” that are formed by groups of families. Only in the most extraordinary circumstances will changes to classroom assignments be considered.
Creating Cohorts: At this time, we will not be creating cohorts of students. However, we know that as we prepare to transition students back into the building this may be necessary. If and when cohorts are created, we will do our best to meet the needs of families, however, we cannot promise certain days of the week. Our first priority will be meeting the needs of our historically underserved students and their families.
Distance Learning: It is important to know that this fall’s distance learning will be different from the spring. Grade level teams will work together to establish daily and weekly schedules for students and families. While there might be a slight variation from one teacher to another, students within a specific grade will have a relatively common experience. The day will be a combination of "live" teaching (whole class and small groups), lessons and material that has been pre-recorded by teachers (to be accessed when possible), and other on-line tools and applications. Students will be required to attend and to complete assignments (daily attendance will be taken). Once teachers return from summer break in late August, they will begin planning schedules and providing families with additional details.
Technology: Every child will need to have their own device (Chrome book or a desktop or laptop that can run the latest version of chrome). PPS will have Chrome books to loan to families. We are hoping that this process will be simplified, as compared to this past spring, and that those students who need a device will be able to come to Duniway to receive one.
I recognize that beginning the year with remote learning will be stressful and challenging for students, families, and staff. Even though we have a bit more certainty, as compared to even a few days ago, many questions remain. In the middle of this uncertainty, I want to remind everyone that we have an incredible group of students and families, and a staff that will be ready for the challenge. We can work together to make the best of this difficult time.
I hope your family is staying healthy and that you continue to find ways to enjoy our summer break. As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would also be happy to schedule a time to speak on the phone or on Google Meet.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 7/24/2020
July 23, 2020
I hope your week has gone well and that you have found some time to be outside enjoying the sunshine and long days. Although we have not received a definitive answer as of today, most all signs still point towards beginning the year with 100% distance learning. We are all anxious to see what things will look like and I am hoping that we have more concrete information to share in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, here are some steps we are taking at Duniway:
During the week of August 3rd, I will be sending out a survey/google form to gather information from families that will be used to help inform the many decisions that will be made in the coming weeks. This includes getting family insight about transportation, the formation of cohorts, and capturing questions and suggestions from our community. In addition, our staff will also be reaching out directly to some of our families, especially our families who have the greatest needs. We want to make sure that our staff does everything we can to connect with families and to help ensure that all Duniway students have the tools they need to engage with their class on the first day of school.
The pandemic, ongoing protests (especially what is now taking place in Portland) against racial injustice, and our state’s and country’s reckoning with the history of racism continue to frame our days and weeks. This fall, our entire staff will be working hard to create age-appropriate lessons and facilitate ongoing conversations that speak directly to our need to combat racism, bigotry, and abuse of power. We will also work to open new opportunities for families and our entire community to engage together as we try and make sense of our world, while focusing on how we lead, educate, and embrace one another.
Starting next week I am meeting with a group of teachers to begin brainstorming ways to maximize student engagement in the world of distance learning. We will also discuss different ways to welcome back our students and families (virtually) and how classroom communities can come together in a meaningful and positive way, even when not in the same physical space.
I will be working with our PTA in the coming weeks to look for additional ways to bring our community together. We have so many incredible traditions at Duniway and most, if not all of them, will not work in our present times. Instead, we need to be creative, flexible, and look to establish new events and new opportunities to gather as a community, paying special attention to our new kindergarten families and other families new to Duniway.
As I have said before, regardless of what the 2020-2021 School Year looks like, Duniway has an incredibly gifted staff who are ready for the challenges that lay ahead. We are excited to welcome two veteran and talented teachers to Duniway: Josie Scott is joining the 4th grade team after a number of years at Hosford Middle School and Monica Vogel is joining our 3rd grade team after a recent stint at Sunnyside K-8. Welcome Monica and Josie!
We recently found out that music teacher Cat Freeburg will not be returning to Duniway. Cat and her family have relocated to the Seattle area. We wish her the very best. We will begin the search for a new music teacher in the coming days.
As many of you know, Emory Oeding accepted a job at Mt. Tabor Middle School. We will miss Emory and the incredible work she did for our community. I am confident she will continue to do amazing things at her new school. For the 2020-2021 school year, School Counselor Jessy Gretzinger will be joined by a half-time Social Worker. We are still in the hiring process for this position but are thrilled to have this added support.
Here are our classroom teachers for the 2020-2021 School Year:
K: Frances Clawson, Nina Levine, and Jon Vogel
1: Lindsay Iverson, Debbie Munoz, and Bonnie Robb
2: Margie Doern, Suzie Neff, and Kim Stockstad
3: Christine Dugan, Hannah Morioka, and Monica Vogel
4: Jessica Cudjoe, Allison Newton, and Josie Scott
5: Patty Calvillo, Loren Chasse, and Kala Goodman
In addition to our 18 classroom teachers, we are fortunate to welcome back our incredible support staff and great team of specialists.
I know there is still too much uncertainty and I want to assure you that I will do my best to communicate information to you as soon as possible. If you have some time or want to try and stay on top of things, visit the pps website, send your thoughts and concerns to district staff, or directly reach out to board members. And please, if you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns feel free to contact me via email - email@example.com
I hope you and your family are doing well and are staying healthy.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 7/16/2020
July 16, 2020
I hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and enjoying the summer. It has been quite some time since my last Thursday update so I thought I would reach out and say hello. Since our last day of the year, we successfully connected almost all students with their possessions and closed up the office for the year (Lynn and Sarah return to work on August 10th). Erick, Jim, and Jazzmin have been working hard cleaning classrooms, waxing floors, and preparing the school for next year.
I wanted to check in and give folks an update on where we are in planning for the fall. We truly hope we are able to be together, in some capacity, this fall. We miss working with our students and seeing our families. The district sent out a lengthy letter last week with their plans for reopening schools. I have been working with Duniway staff to begin to outline what our “day” would look like if we are able to return to Duniway this fall. It will undoubtedly look and feel very different than any other year. See the FAQs below for some details and please know I will do my best to keep folks informed in the coming weeks.
In many ways, as we enjoy the warmth of mid-July we are still suspended in that uncomfortable space that surrounded us back in the middle of March. We do not have enough information, our questions remain unanswered, and we are anxious about what is unfolding all around us. It feels as if so much is out of our control. With that in mind, please make sure you are taking time to enjoy being “away” from school and especially the screen. Find time to get outside to play (safely distanced of course), to read a new book, or have your child help with an ambitious home cooked meal. If you can, find time to talk with your child about what is going on in our world. We all know that kids are famous for their resiliency, but give them plenty of love, encouragement, and support.
Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions, feedback, suggestions, or updates regarding your family.
Q: Will we be starting the year with 100% Remote/Distance Learning?
A: As some of you may have noticed a number of districts in California are already announcing that they will begin the school year with 100% distance learning. As levels of COVID-19 cases rise it is becoming harder for schools and school districts to create a plan that can balance the health and well-being of staff and students with everyone's desire to have in-person teaching and learning at Duniway. It is a real possibility that we will be starting the year with 100% distance learning.
Q: When will we know what next year will look like?
A: PPS must submit its finalized plan to ODE by August 15th. I believe more information will be released in the coming weeks. Please be sure to look for PPS email with the latest information. You can also visit www.pps.net/fall2020 for the latest. As of right now, that plan calls for a hybrid model where students would be at Duniway 2 days a week. However, this hybrid plan is contingent upon the guidelines and policies set by the OHA and the Governor. We know how this is constantly changing and shifting.
Q: If we are in the building in the fall, what will it be like?
A: This is a big question and something that I have been and will continue to be working on and thinking about. Each school will have a “Blueprint” which documents all the necessary protocols to ensure a safe and supportive environment. As I work on this plan, I will be following guidance and directives from PPS and ODE, while doing my best to consult with staff and families to help inform decisions that are made. To get an idea of what goes into this plan, you can look at this document from ODE: Operational Blueprint Template.pdf . Each school (and district) will have an operational plan in place.
Q: Will PPS have a 100% Remote Learning Option?
A: Yes. If students are back at Duniway and you do not feel comfortable sending your child to school, there will be a PPS led remote learning option. I do not have any details about what this would look like or who the teachers will be.
Q: Will remote learning be just like last spring?
A: It is my hope and understanding that PPS will be making improvements to the models and platforms being utilized. Duniway teachers also learned a great deal last spring and I fully expect that they will make shifts and adjustments to better meet the needs of students and families.
Q: Will teachers be flexible with each family's needs as to how they want to teach their child at home and how much digital learning they want to address?
A: Yes, we understand that every family will be in their own unique situation and want to be flexible with everyone.
Q: When will we know who our teacher is and which cohort we will be assigned to?
A: Class placements will be shared in mid- August. We know families are anxious for this information, especially this fall. If we begin the year with a hybrid model, A/B cohorts will be assigned in late August/Early September. Right now, the plan is to have teachers meet individually with every family to determine needs. Then, they will make cohort assignments based on those needs.
Q: Can we request a certain cohort group (M/T or Th/F) for our child?
A: Several families have reached out to me in the last couple of weeks with this question. We will be sending out a Google Form in August to collect information from families. Just like class placement, there will be multiple factors that go into creating the cohorts of students, including family feedback. We will do our best to meet the needs of as many families as possible, but unfortunately we cannot make any guarantees about which group your child (and other children your child might be friends with) will be in.
Q: Could teachers provide physical materials instead of so much online? Even if it was just printed-out instructions or worksheets.
A: We do not have guidance yet from the district on what non-online distance learning supports will look like, however similar to the spring, teachers will have some autonomy in what they are assigning and sharing with their students. In the spring, some teachers sent home electronic files that families could use. My goal would be to make these items accessible to all students (either printed out and mailed home, or offer an option for families to pick up materials at the school).
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 6/4/2020
June 4, 2020
With the completion of our final “full” week, our attention shifts to bringing the 2019-2020 to a close and welcoming a much needed break (especially from the screen). I know our teachers will work hard over the last three days of school to offer ways to end the year in a meaningful and positive manner. We head into summer with a great deal of uncertainty. We do not know how budget cuts will fully impact our staff and we have yet to receive guidance from state officials which outlines what the 2020-2021 school year will look like. In addition, our community continues to try and make sense of the hatred, racism, and dehumanizing violence that has occurred in the last month.
A number of classroom teachers, from kindergarten to fifth grade have engaged in difficult, yet vital conversations about race, power, privilege, and social justice. I know many of you have engaged in conversations at home as well. We know these courageous conversations are foundational, but action and education is our only hope to bring about real change. As principal, I want to say to our families and students of color that we are here for you. We believe in you and we value your contributions to our school community. We look forward to working together to deepen our school’s work around how we teach all students about systemic racism, white privilege, and how we can strengthen our ability to be allies.
There are many opinions and articles being written about racist violence against African Americans in the United States and the protests that have taken place throughout the world. The legendary basketball player and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a piece in the LA Times that I found poignant and enlightening, especially as a white man. I suggest you take a few minutes to read it.
While continuing to finish up the distance learning portion of the year, teachers will be stepping back into the building, cleaning and organizing classrooms and preparing student belongings to be picked up the following week. Please know that teachers are going to do their best as they finish out the school year, while also spending time at school and completing end of the year distance learning progress reports. The progress reports will be delivered, along with other belongings on June 15th and June 16th. Details regarding the pick-up process will be sent out to families at the beginning of next week. Thank you for your patience.
While there are many unknowns as we move into the summer of 2020, there are some certainties for Duniway’s future: We have an incredibly strong and committed staff who will be ready, regardless of the structure or model, to ensure that all students are cared for, safe, and supported. We have an amazingly strong school community who will work hard to support all children. And we have 500 students who will bring their curiosity, laughter, and energy.
I wish you all a nice weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you (even if it is through a car window) in the next couple of weeks.
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 5/28/2020
May 28, 2020
Earlier today: We are down to our two weeks of the 2019-2020 school year. The last couple of weeks of the school year are always so electric, emotional, and memorable. To be honest, I am really missing being with students and families, especially during these final days….
5:25 PM: I just returned home from the parade and still have a big smile on my face. Our staff Motorcade was just what our staff and community needed. After months of being distanced and meeting virtually, today’s parade was wonderful. The positive energy, support for our teachers, homemade signs, smiles and good cheer were felt by all. It was especially touching to see our community celebrate Ms. Mildenberger, Mrs. O’Shea, and Ms.Cheney, our three teachers who are heading into retirement. Thanks to Sarah Lewis and Sarah Erickson for making it all come together.
Student stuff pick-up information - We will be scheduling a time for families to come by school to pick up student work and belongings. Pick-up will occur during grade-specific windows of time on Monday, June 15th and Tuesday, June 16th. Be on the lookout for additional details including the specific date/time for your child’s grade level. Families with two or more students can claim belongings for all children during one visit to school. If you are unable to pick up your child’s belongings, we will hold on to them and you can pick it up in August/September.
A message from the foundation:
Don't forget to pick up your auction items: Several auction items are still unclaimed. Please pick up your auction items no later than Friday, June 12th. Items that haven’t been claimed by that date will be considered donated to next year’s auction.
You can contact Heather Calderaro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-396-6945 to arrange contactless pick up. Thanks and stay well.
Thanks again for coming out and supporting the Duniway staff. It was great to see so many students, parents, and family members. I hope everyone has a nice weekend.
Be well and stay healthy.
A Message from Ms. Emory:
Dear Duniway Families,
It is bittersweet for me to let you all know that I will be leaving Duniway to work at a different school in the 2020-21 school year. I have truly loved getting to know all of the families, staff and students in this community. And I have learned a great deal as a new school counselor -- from our school’s excellent leadership, from our extraordinary teachers, and most of all from our students themselves.
I will likely be working at Mt. Tabor Middle School in PPS next year, and am really excited for this new adventure and to be serving adolescents.
You can always reach me at email@example.com! Thank you again for the opportunity to work with your children in this lovely and caring school community. I wish each of you the best as we all continue to work our way through the challenges of Covid-19, give all our children what they need to be happy and well, and to prepare them for a bright future.
This week we continued our lessons on taking care of ourselves by practicing some “mindfulness” activities. Research on the practice of mindfulness has shown benefits for our minds, bodies, behavior, mood, learning and memory. This week we practiced a mindfulness activity where students were asked to notice one thing they could “see”, one thing they could “hear”, one thing they could “touch” and one thing they could “smell”. By using our senses in an intentional way, and as a tool, our children can become more mindful and in the present moment. In practicing mindfulness activities, our children are also able to manage strong feelings and thoughts by getting back to the calm and comfort of the “green zone”. Mindfulness activities can also help improve our children’s self-awareness, decision-making abilities and capacity to learn.
As we wrap up the school year and look towards summer with our families, we hope that these lessons can be a resource to your family and that you can refer back and use them as needed. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can offer additional ideas and resources as you think ahead to summer and supports your family may need.
Finally, as a suggestion, we would like to encourage you to start thinking and talking with your children about the usual end-of-school-year rituals and how you would like to celebrate differently this year. A year-end celebration doesn’t need to be a big affair. It can be as simple as giving your child a heartfelt card describing what you have noticed about their growth and effort during distance learning. You can bake a special treat together to share on the last day of school. You can help your child set up a "field day" in their yard or driveway with a few silly games. You can make a "thank you" card for their teacher and mail it. You can have a virtual dance party with some close friends or family. The important piece is to celebrate and provide recognition and closure to the school year.
We hope all of you are staying healthy and taking good care of your emotional health and well-being. Please continue to reach out if we can offer support or resources to your family as we finish out this school year. Have a wonderful weekend!
Ms. Jessy & Ms. Emory
Duniway’s School Counseling Team
Duniway Community UpdatesPosted by Sarah Erickson on 5/21/2020
May 21, 2020
I hope this week has been a good one for you and your family. It was nice to see the sun peaking through the clouds this morning. The last couple of days have been pretty dark, cool, and gray. It does make it easier to hunker down inside, stay physically distanced, and lean into the world of distance learning. Speaking of that, over the last several weeks, our students have been working on a wide variety of assignments and projects. There are literally thousands of items that have been posted on SeeSaw and Google Classroom. Although the school year is drawing to a close, it is great to see our teachers and students staying engaged and doing their best to stay focused on learning.
Our 5th graders have been working on a cool art project and a “Pandemic Cookbook”; 4th graders have been collaborating and meeting in small groups as they study Oregon’s indigenous people; 3rd graders have been creating A-Z slide presentations, showcasing their knowledge about the city of Portland; 2nd graders, like most years, are working on animal research projects; our 1st grade homes are filling with newly “hatched” butterflies; and let’s not forget Dr. Science, who has been making our Kindergarteners laugh and learn!
The Duniway Staff “Motorcade” Parade is one week away, May 28th. We hope you can come out and say a hello. We are excited to say our students and families. The parade will begin at Berkeley Park at 3:30 PM and after winding through Eastmoreland, we will head west, and will re-start the festivities at approximately 3:50 PM by SE 23rd and Tenino St. Here is a map of the parade route
I know more and more people are curious about what next year will look like. I too, have many questions about how budget cuts will impact Duniway’s staff and of course, how the Governor, OHA, ODE, and our local agencies will guide us through the process of safely reopening our schools. There is a team at PPS that has begun working on several plans and I am hoping that we have some information before the start of summer break. As always, I will do my very best to advocate on behalf of all K-5 students and I will continue to share information as it is made available. If you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts please feel free to contact me.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday weekend.
It has now been just over 2 months since the school closure. Families have adapted to so much over this time! As we near the end of the school year, we encourage you to make a list of all the things that both you as parents and your children have accomplished and adapted to since the school closure (cooking more, establishing a different daily routine, tuning into online class meetings regularly, doing more chores around the house, exercising daily, etc…). We encourage you to find some time to recognize and celebrate how you as individuals and as a family have grown and been learning during this challenging time.
Along those same lines, we want to suggest that you start thinking and talking about the usual end-of-school-year rituals and how you would like to celebrate differently this year. A year-end celebration doesn’t need to be a big affair. It can be as simple as giving your child a heartfelt card describing what you have noticed about their growth and effort during distance learning. You can bake a special treat together to share on the last day of school. You can help your child set up a "field day" in their yard or driveway with a few silly games. You can make a "thank you" card for their teacher and mail it. You can have a virtual dance party with some close friends or family. The important piece is to celebrate and provide recognition and closure to the school year.
We hope all of you are staying healthy and taking good care of your emotional health. Please continue to reach out if we can offer support or resources to your family as we finish out this school year. Best wishes for a restful and replenishing holiday weekend!
Duniway’s School Counseling Team
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 5/14/2020
May 14, 2020
I hope everyone is having an enjoyable week. The cooler, wet weather has made spending time inside (on the computer) a bit easier. Believe it or not, we are down to the final 3 ½ weeks of the school year. The days and the weeks continue to roll by at a bizarrely fast pace. The 2019-2020 school year will undoubtedly be a memorable one - a reminder to us all about the fragile and unpredictable nature of so much of our lives.
On Tuesday night the PTA voted in their leadership board for the 2020-2021 school year. First I want to thank Sarah Lewis for her incredible leadership over the last several years, including the last two as President. I would also like to congratulate Kayla Gulbranson, who will be taking over as President, and the entire newly elected board. It is a great combination of seasoned veterans and those who will be brand new at Duniway in the fall. The PTA will have their final meeting of the year on June 9th. During this meeting they will be adopting their preliminary budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
Clearly the last couple of months have been stressful for families and our students. Our teachers and support staff have been doing what they can to stay connected with every student in their class. I found this article from the NY Times quite interesting and provides some concrete suggestions. It focuses on how parents (and I would add teachers as well) can work to lessen the likelihood that this stress turns into trauma. And to balance that article with something a little lighter, here is a link to one more article whose title says it all: “I have given up”: Parenting in Quarantine - Enjoy.
The Duniway Parade (“Staff Motorcade” version) is slated for Thursday, May 28th. The parade will start at Berkeley Park at 3:30 PM and will make its way through Eastmoreland. At approximately 3:50, after the staff regroups, the fun will start again as we head west on Umatilla, starting at 23rd. Please click this link for a map of the route: paraderoute.pdf. Our hope is that you will only have to walk a few blocks to catch the action. It will be very important for students and families to maintain appropriate physical distancing. There is plenty of space along the route, so please spread out! We are super excited to see you all in a couple of weeks!
The celebrations will continue into June when we celebrate our 5th graders. We are working on a new version of our clap-out, which we have scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, June 11th. 5th grade families will be receiving more information from your child’s teacher in the coming weeks.
If you or a friend has a child who will be enrolling into kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year, now is the time to start that registration process! Use this link to know exactly how to enroll at Duniway. We look forward to welcoming you to the community. If you have any questions about enrolling your child, please email Sarah Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Dear Duniway Families,
This week we continued our social-emotional lessons on identifying and sharing feelings, the “zones of regulation” and mindfulness. In K-2, students learned about a calming tool called a “mind jar” (some students know it as a “worry jar”) through the book “Moody Cow”. Mind jars are a simple tool for children to use when they are in the blue (sad), yellow (worried) or red (angry) zone to help get them back to the calm and comfort of the green zone. The jar of water and glitter represent the mind, with angry or worried thoughts swirling around. As the glitter settles, so do the angry &/or worry thoughts and feelings. Students have been taught to do deep belly breathing as the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar. If you want to combine science and a social-emotional lesson at home, you can make your own “mind jar”—see recipe below.
In the next few weeks, counseling lessons will continue on resilience, sharing feelings, “zones”, mindfulness and taking care of ourselves when strong feelings, such as anger, frustration, worry and sadness surface. Please continue to reach out to the counseling team if we can offer support, connection or resources to your family as we continue on this journey together. Take good care and have a restful and replenishing weekend!
Ms. Jessy & Ms. Emory
Information from our Community: The Sellwood Community House is reaching out to area frontline employees needing care during this time period. Care is offered Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in cohorts of 10. The primary ages we serve are 4-11 and the cost per week is $200. Please contact info@sellwoodcommunityhouse.
org for more information.
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 5/7/2020
May 7, 2020
Welcome to the first addition of the Thursday Update. As you are likely aware of, effective this week, PPS is shifting to a four-day work week. There will be no distance learning (aka school) on the following Friday’s: May 8th, May 15th, May 22nd, May 29th, and June 5th. The last day of school will now be Wednesday, June 10th. This includes adding the three inclement weather days. In addition, all district offices and buildings will be closed on Friday’s through July 31st.
If you did not see the Superintendent’s letter explaining why PPS is making this shift, it provides additional insight and detail. In essence, this plan will allow the district to save millions of dollars in operating revenue that will be used to help fill the projected budget shortfall for the 2020-2021 school year. Because all employees are being furloughed, there will be no teaching or work of any kind taking place on those days. Grade level teams are already working on modifying schedules and will be communicating these changes to students and families in the coming days.
Since Friday, March 13th, our last day of school inside our building, we have been riding a wave of uncertainty and unpredictability. We recognize the emotions, confusion, and frustration that can come from living in this space for an extended period of time. A recent article in the NY Times underscores the ongoing and real challenges that parents and caregivers are experiencing. I know this is a lot and we continue to thank you for your understanding, flexibility and grace. Our number one priority remains staying connected with all of our students. Our teaching staff and support staff have done an excellent job supporting our students and families during this challenging time and that will remain our focus.
Thank you for the 150 plus responses to the classroom placement questionnaire. Grade level teams will begin working on creating classroom sections for the 2020-2021 school year. There are still many unknowns about what the fall of 2020 will look like. The one thing I do know for certain is that we have an incredibly strong staff ready to take whatever steps are necessary to begin the next school year.
Save-the-Date and Mark your Calendars! On Thursday, May 28th, the Duniway Staff will be “auto parading” through the neighborhood to celebrate our students and our families. The parade will tentatively start at 3:30 PM and make its way through our attendance area. Students and families are invited to head outside (staying 6 feet a part of course) and line the streets. We will be sending out additional information including the route and any final details. We are excited to see you all.
It looks like the weather is supposed to be quite beautiful in the coming days. I wish everyone a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. Stay well.
Dear Duniway Families,
This week in K-2, we continued our lessons on “Strong Mind” and being “mentally tough” – the combination of our Duniway value of curiosity, resilience and the drive to grow yourself and confidence in your own abilities (www.mentaltoughness.online). As we continue on this journey of online learning and learning in our homes, as parents and caregivers, we sometimes face challenging behaviors from our children. These behaviors can look like resistance or refusal. We need to remember that behavior is a form of communication and the question is, “what is our child trying to communicate by exhibiting these behaviors?” As parents, and now as co-teachers, we can inquire with our children how they are feeling and what “zone” they are in when these challenging behaviors present. We can encourage our children to use their “strong mind” when faced with something they just don’t want to do or if something feels very challenging or difficult for them. When our children persevere through challenges, they grow a stronger mind and become more self-aware, confident and resilient.
In the next few weeks, counseling lessons will continue on resilience, sharing feelings/”zones” and taking care of ourselves when strong feelings, such as anger, frustration, worry and sadness surface. Please continue to reach out to the counseling team if we can offer support or resources to your family as we continue on this journey together. Take good care and have a restful and replenishing weekend!
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 5/1/2020
May 1, 2020
Welcome to May! I hope you had a chance to get out a bit today, especially this morning.
Each week I meet with each grade level team. These meetings are a small, but foundational element of how we are working towards establishing a strong professional learning community, commonly known as a PLC. Ultimately, the end goal of a PLC is to improve our ability to meet the academic and social needs of all Duniway students. We know one of the keys to this is establishing a strong connection with our students and their families. I want to recognize the effort that families are putting forth to make distance learning a possibility. Without your support, engagement, and time, our work would not be possible.
We realize that all of us have been working hard to maintain and even grow these critical connections. And while our work will continue, it is becoming more apparent that it is really challenging to create genuine connection and interaction when we are not in the same space. What seems to be resonating the most with students is the live opportunities to virtually connect with their teachers and their classmates. Please take a look at our Counselor’s corner this week where Jessy and Emory talk more about what we are seeing.
Thank you to those of you who have completed the classroom placement questionnaire. If you have not had the chance to provide class placement feedback for the 2020-2021 school year please complete this form. All forms must be submitted by Wednesday, May 6th.
During the week of May 4th - May 8th, staff will have limited access to our building. Some teachers will use this time to begin to organize their rooms, and gather belongings and materials. In addition, teachers in the primary wing will pack up items which will then be temporarily moved out to allow for a flooring project set to begin in late May. This project will also replace aging carpet in the office and the library. The work will include asbestos remediation and the laying of all new flooring. Each classroom will also have a large carpet to make for a great classroom gathering place. We are very excited (funded by dollars from the most recent bond) will be taking place.
While staff will be allowed into the building next week, unfortunately students are still not allowed to enter. We are going to begin to return medications to families and if your child has an item at school that is of critical importance, we can organize an opportunity for you to pick up this item. Please email me directly if you have something that must be picked up prior to the end of the school year. In June, as the school year comes to an end, we will be arranging an opportunity for students to pick up all of their personal items. More information about what this will look like, and when it will take place, will be provided as we get more guidance from the Governor, ODE, and PPS.
I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Dear Duniway Families,
During this challenging time, we find ourselves, not only as a Duniway community but as a world-wide community, forced to shift our orientation within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed this theory during the 1950s, and the basic idea is that human needs at the base of the pyramid must be met before a person can focus on needs toward the top of the pyramid.
Prior to the pandemic, many students likely landed towards the top of the pyramid with focus on “belonging” and “recognition” in which our children were building relationships and working toward academic goals and recognition at school. Many of us as parents and caregivers may have been towards the middle or top of the pyramid, working on “reaching potential” in our professional and personal lives. With the current situation in the world, we were thrust essentially overnight, towards the bottom of the pyramid with our focus being on basic needs such as physical (food and shelter) and safety (sense of security).
In this difficult time, we want to remember that safety and our physical and emotional well-being is most important. As counselors, we are connecting with families in our community who are having hardships with basic needs. Also, the Duniway counseling team and teachers are working to meet students’ need for “belonging” and maintaining that “connection” – one of our Duniway Core Values – during this time. While academic work is important and valuable, students' physical needs, safety and mental health needs, and need for belonging -- the bottom levels of the pyramid -- must be met first.
The counselors, teachers and staff at Duniway are here for you and miss all of our students very much! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the counseling team if we can help support around basic needs and support your child in maintaining that sense of “belonging” and “connection” to our Duniway community. We hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with plenty of rest and connection with your family and loved ones!
Ms. Jessy & Ms. Emory
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 4/24/2020
April 24, 2020
This was our second official week of distance learning and the last full week of April in the 2019-2020 school year. As many of you know, May is traditionally one of the craziest and exciting months at Duniway. I am still adjusting to the fact that we will not be having some of our most enjoyable community events, especially the fund run and our carnival. I know that many students and families are still adjusting to our reality. While it has been fun to “see” students online, we all miss our daily and weekly school routines and working side-by-side in the halls and classrooms of Duniway.
We are understandably still getting questions from families about how much or how little work should my child be completing. I want to remind families that regardless of the number of assignments posted on Google Classroom or Seesaw, you and your child should make a plan that works for your family. You are not expected to complete all of the work and should feel free to choose those assignments that fit your schedule and your child’s needs. And, If there is not enough, please connect with your child’s teacher as there are many supplemental activities that can be completed.
Although we are all still getting accustomed to Distance Learning and finishing out the remainder of this year, we are also beginning to prepare for the fall of 2020. Of course, there are so many unknowns and our collective lives these days are truly unpredictable. With that said, here are a few announcements related to the 2020-2021 School Year:
As I mentioned last week, we will begin the classroom placement process in the coming weeks. If you are interested in weighing in on class placement, please take a few minutes to complete this form. Please remember that you need to do one form per child. Please do not email your child’s teacher with information or requests regarding next year. All information must be submitted on the form. Thank you for your understanding. All responses need to be submitted by Wednesday, May 6th.
Interested in Joining the Duniway Foundation Board? The Duniway Foundation Board of Directors works to raise money to support teaching positions at Duniway through our two annual fundraisers: the Annual Campaign for Duniway and the Duniway Auction. Learn more at https://www.pps.net/Page/8489 . We will be holding elections for next year’s Board in early June. If you are interested in joining the Foundation Board, please reach out to Dan O’Rielly on Konstella or at email@example.com.
If you are at all like me, the last five weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. There are wonderful stretches of precious time with family - almost forgetting why we have been given the extra time to hang out, laugh, go on walks, cook, and eat family dinner...after family dinner. This might be followed by times of real anxiety and concern, making it hard to stay positive. Although I have been trying not to pay attention to the news, I have been on the Oregonian site a bit more than average. The Kim Stafford piece was nice and here is an interview I enjoyed listening to about staying positive during really challenging times. If you have a moment, give it a listen.
I hope you have an enjoyable weekend and are staying healthy.
Hello Duniway Families,
To help kids recognize and manage their feelings, we teach “The Zones of Regulation” at Duniway:
At the beginning of the school year, we teach and review each Zone. We emphasize that all feelings are okay and that it’s healthy to allow ourselves to feel them. We also ask kids to reflect on how they can move toward the Green Zone -- the Zone where they feel okay and are ready to learn. For some kids, it’s mindfulness exercises; for others, it’s moving their body in some way. Some kids need quiet time alone to reset, and others like to spend time with a pet.
We know that kids are experiencing a lot of feelings right now -- like anger or frustration about schoolwork, anxiety about Covid-19, and sadness about not seeing friends or family. We encourage you to use the chart above, which your kids are already familiar with, to help them identify and feel where they are, and to talk about effective ways to find calm and comfort.
If you are the parent of a 3rd, 4th or 5th grader, please feel free to visit our Duniway School Counseling Google Classroom! If your child hasn’t already joined, here's how to get to it:
Go to the page where your child can see all of their Google Classrooms (Homeroom, Music, PE, Media).
On the upper right, you will see a large plus sign, then the 9-dot grid, then your child’s personal icon.
Click the large plus sign and click on JOIN CLASS.
You will then be asked for a Class Code. Enter 4msvul5 , then click "JOIN". The numbers are 4 and 5, all the rest are lower case letters: m s v u l
We miss you all and are thinking about you. Please reach out for help anytime!