Parent Newsletter
  • September 18th, 2020


    Dear Parents,

    I am hoping that we are getting closer to having things as normal as possible during Virtual Learning.  The one thing I definitely won’t say is that it can’t get any crazier.  I know another school that had a water main break on top of all of this, so it can get crazier!

    Speaking of getting back to normal, I need to take a moment and give a little pep talk regarding the teachers and the instruction that is happening.  First, when teachers are teaching live, there are very few times when a lesson goes perfectly, or even as planned.  In fact, as a teacher myself, I can think of only a couple of times when that has happened.  As teachers, we have learned to pivot very quickly when something is not working the way we want it to, which is very easy when you have your materials close and students in front of you.

    With Virtual Learning, it adds another layer of complexity to instruction.  There are times when the connection is glitchy, the password does not work, or that the computer is just being obnoxious.  I am sure that most of you have experienced this with your own jobs and technology.  With our teachers, when things are not working as they should, and being relatively new to online instruction, we get frustrated and flustered very quickly.

    I am asking for three things:  First, I am asking the teachers to create their “pivot” for when things are not working as planned and prepare like they would in their classroom.

     Second, I am asking parents to provide patience when lessons don’t go as planned and remember that nothing is ever perfect.  We try to teach the students that when things do not go as planned, there is always an alternative plan. We ask that you reinforce this concept. 

    And third, please provide the teachers some grace.  This isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, and the teachers didn’t sign-up to be teaching online.  We all went into this profession because we enjoy working with students and engaging with them on a daily basis.  The teachers are putting in long hours to provide your students with an excellent learning experience, no matter the circumstances. They are dedicated to your children, despite the current adversity, despite their own personal circumstances, and despite their own frustrations. If you are so inclined, send them a little “atta way” occasionally, to keep their spirits up.

     

    Pep talk over.  One, two, three, Go Cougars!

     

    Back to School Night

    1st Grade - September 25 (recorded)

    4th Grade - September 30 (recorded)

    5th Grade - September 24 (recorded)

    6th Grade - September 30 (TBD)

    8th Grade - September 30   (recorded)

     

    Communication Protocol

    I would just like to reiterate the information that I send out each year to help streamline the communication process for families.

    When to contact the classroom teacher:

    • If you have questions/concerns about curriculum, assignments, student workload, student anxiety or frustration, clarification on assignments or calendar, etc.

    When to contact the secretaries:

    • If you are struggling with passwords and the teacher has already assisted
    • Enrollment information
    • Attendance
    • School Pay
    • ParentVue

    When to contact the administration:

    • If you have a question that is specific to that administrator
    • If you have talked with a teacher about a specific concern several times but still have concerns and want to discuss it further

     

    We are all here to help.  The guidance above is to help streamline things for you so that you get your questions and concerns addressed in a timely manner.

     

    Teacher Substitutes

    The question, and issue, has come up twice in the past week of whether teachers will have substitutes to cover for them if they are going to miss a class.  The teachers and I just received the substitute protocol covered it during our staff meeting this week.  Basically, if a teacher is going to be out, the substitute teachers have been trained on how to login to their class sessions and run the lesson for the teacher.

    I do need to stress that this is a whole new system for our substitute teachers, as last spring they were not provided the training or the access.  We will do our best to prepare them and provide as much support and information as possible. There might be a few hiccups along the way.  As with everything else that we are doing this year, we appreciate your patience.

     

    Adding parents as Observers in Canvas

    It is highly recommended that parents follow this guide to add themselves to their student’s Canvas account. This will allow them to follow their students' courses with ease viewing course content, assignment, and feedback/grades in Canvas.

    Alternatively, a guide has been created for teachers who need to manually add parents. It is important to note that only parents with educational rights who are on file in Synergy can be added as a Canvas Observer. If added in this way, parents will not be “paired” with their students, will need to be added to each course, and will have a view-only interface to content and assignments with no integration to their student’s work, feedback, or Canvas grades.

     

    Kindergarten Chromebooks

    I have been informed that sometime in the next month we will be receiving Touchscreen Chromebooks for each of our kindergarten students.  Once we receive them in our building, we will notify the kindergarten parents as to the days and times for distribution. If you already checked out a Chromebook from our school or the district, you will be asked to check that one in at the same time you receive the new Chromebook.

     

    BCS Website

    Finally, we have been in the process of revamping the BCS website to better meet the needs of parents, particularly during Virtual Learning.  The goal is that this becomes the go-to site for whenever you have a question.  Take a look at it and see the resources that are available to you.  We will continue to add to it as the year goes on.

     

    John Ferraro

    Principal

     


    Middle School Opportunity
     
    Attention Middle School Students:  
    Interested in social justice and environmental conservation?  The Portland Zoo has started such a program for middle school students.  Check out the link for more info on the week-long academy engaging in these topics.  $250 per household, the zoo is offering scholarships. Contact Ms. Kobs only in need of a financial scholarship if you don't receive what the zoo is offering.  
     

    A Note from the PTA

    Upcoming Book Discussion- Next Tuesday

    Part two of three of the PTA and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s book discussion for Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race (2017, 2nd Ed), by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is NEXT Tuesday, 9/22 from 7pm-8pm.  

    Each participant reads the chapter representing their own identity (not their child/ren) — Part II, III, OR IV. All are welcome - no need to have attended the first book discussion!

    We selected this book because it looks at a range of racial identities and focuses on how we can support all of our children and have more informed conversations about race and ethnicity. 

    These conversations offer an opportunity to make connections, ask questions, learn new ideas, and share information.

    Click here to join via zoom

    Meeting ID: 838 1390 0556

    Passcode: 801801

    If you have questions, please reach out to the facilitators and current BCS parents, Elizabeth Denevi (edenevi23@gmail.com) and Randolph Carter(rlcarter@mac.com).

     

    Regan Preston


     
    2019/20 Yearbook Distribution - New date!
     
     yearbook