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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org! 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 4/17/2020
April 17, 2020
I find time does funny things when an external force jostles us from our normal routines. The Coronavirus Pandemic is certainly no exception. The days come and go, as do the weeks, and now, we have been out of school for a month. Our teachers are working incredibly hard to make sense of the world of distance learning, and we know you are as well. Teachers are connecting with students, learning the different online tools, and trying to provide a clear roadmap for students and families. I appreciate the effort many of you are putting forward - I recognize that you are incredibly busy and being pulled in many directions.
When we acknowledge the stress we all are experiencing, we must ensure that distance learning, in any form, does not add to this already high level of stress and anxiety. With that said, please focus on caring for yourselves and your family. I also recognize that an important step in handling these challenges is to develop new routines around “going” to school, and finding time for academics, learning, and connecting with classmates. You have heard me say on several occasions that “less is more,” and while it is a well worn cliche, especially at this point, I do find myself coming back to this notion when meeting with teachers, reading information from the State and from PPS, and communicating with Duniway families. Please communicate with your child’s teacher if you have any questions, concerns, or feel the need to step away from the work.
Here are a few general information updates:
The 5th grade team and the PTA will be meeting in early May to begin planning our 5th grade celebration. We know it will not be our traditional clap-out, but we are excited to work together to come up with a memorable experience that stays within the bounds of the Governor’s orders (whatever those might be in June).
The district will be developing a plan for students to be able to pick up all of their belongings. As soon as we have more information we will be certain to share it. Whatever process is adopted will again follow the Governor’s orders at that given time.
On Friday we delivered Chromebooks to a couple dozen families. At this point, I believe that all Duniway students have a device and some level of functioning internet. However, if you still need a device you can go to the PPS District office at 501 N. Dixon St, Monday-Friday, between 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM for a device. In addition, if you have no WIFI please contact me and we will help you connect with a community partner. We will continue to monitor technology access of our students to ensure everyone can access the distance learning.
Next week you will receive an email with a link to a Google Form Questionnaire for the 2020-2021 Class Placement Process. Please be on the lookout for this email as this online version will be the only way to provide insight into this process.
I extend an invitation to yet another link...if you have a moment please take a look at a really nice photo/poetry piece about Oregon’s Poet Laureate Kim Stafford on Oregonlive. It speaks to his traditions as a poet and includes some pieces that he has written in the last several weeks.
Finally, congratulations to our staff, students, and families for completing the first official week of distance learning. We are all learning simultaneously during this time, and I appreciate hearing about the “caring” and “connecting” that is taking place every day. This pandemic, and the resulting cascade of challenges, reminds me to hold on to Duniway's core values and to breathe deeply each day.
Stay healthy and be well.
Dear Parents, Guardians, Families --
This is a lot. You are managing your children’s everyday needs (which are increased due to shelter-in-place), guiding their online schooling, doing your own job in or out of the home while your children are not at school or facing the stressors of having recently lost a job, and dealing with tremendous uncertainty in your personal lives and in our communities.
There are some specific ways we can support you in this. We can:
Help you set realistic expectations and simple systems to make at-home learning less stressful and more successful
Do an emotional wellbeing check on your child -- or you
Provide you with resources for basic needs like groceries
Please reach out if we can help.
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 4/10/2020
April 10, 2020
I hope this update finds each of you doing well. The warm spring sunshine has been a real treat. I assume you have made “appropriately socially distanced” outside time, long walks and bike rides a key component of your Distance Learning experience.
As you all know by now, the Governor has officially closed all K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year. Although many of us had a strong suspicion that this decision was soon to arrive, it still is a bit hard to grasp. I know all of our students are impacted by this news, especially our 5th graders.
The 5th grade class of 2020 is the largest cohort since my time at Duniway, and likely one of the largest in many, many years. They are an incredible group of students - hard working, deep thinking, creative, and caring. When I met with the 5th grade team yesterday, I was not surprised to hear that this cohort of students had already embraced distance learning. Making the best of a less than ideal situation. As the end of the school year approaches, we will have more guidance from the Governor, Oregon Department of Education, and PPS regarding how we are going to wrap up the year. While we are not quite sure what it will look like (maximum creativity might be in order), we know we will celebrate this wonderful group of 5th graders.
The goal over the next couple of weeks will be to solidify our Distance Learning Experience. Here are things to consider and remember:
Technology and Communication are key for remote learning! Update on Chromebooks: Our staff is working to get Chromebooks to all families who need one. We will begin making deliveries to families starting on Monday. We will also be able to help additional families who are in need of a device. If you have not already signed up for one or been in touch with the school, PLEASE EMAIL MATT GOLDSTEIN if your child needs a Chromebook. Another new tool being used is called Remind. This application will help improve communication between school and home. More specifically, Remind will allow you to call, text, or email your child’s teacher, our counselors, and our specialists. You should have received (or will be soon) an email invitation from Remind to join your classroom account.
This is a massive experiment. Please do your best to approach this entire process with as much grace and humility as possible. Teachers are managing a great deal and are doing excellent work. Students are struggling to make sense of what is a really confusing and scary time. And parents/guardians are working hard to keep it all together; inundated with the pressures of work, maintaining stability in the home, and of course trying to support their child’s learning. Our goal is to keep it reasonable and hopefully meaningful. There are more than enough resources, so please do not purchase subscriptions to sites or buy consumables. Please save your dollars for ice cream over the summer.
Along those lines, please review this document which outlines the recommended time students should be working. Please remember that this is recommended. Please make adjustments for your child and your family. Our teachers are expecting to hear from you and are committed to be as flexible as possible.
The sudden increase in technology and screen time is inevitable as we move to our distance learning model. While these methods can be successful, they do come with some underlying issues. It is very important that families talk with students (and teachers are doing the same) about the responsible and caring use of technology. One simple reminder for students is that once you put something “out” on the web (writing, images, etc.) there is no way to take it back. We want students to connect with one another, to engage with the work, and to cultivate friendships. However, our staff is very sensitive to making sure that all Duniway students are safe, smart, and mindful.
I know that we are living in the middle of some very challenging and uncertain times. There are many emails (including this long one) to read, dozens of links to click, and at times, things can feel a bit dizzying. I want to thank you for approaching the entire concept of Distance Learning in the middle of a Pandemic with patience, grace and humility. Please make sure to find time to smile, laugh, and share positive time with family and friends.
Stay well and please be in touch if you have any questions or need any support.
Hello Duniway students and families!
We know that many of you are very sad, disappointed, anxious and overwhelmed by the news that Oregon schools will remain on a distance learning program for the rest of the school year. We share these feelings with you and want to encourage you to share those feelings with your family and loved ones. It’s important that we are honest about how we feel and that as parents and caregivers, we model letting our feelings out in a positive and productive way. Children take emotional cues from us and so many of us as parents are feeling very stressed in this time of change and uncertainty. It’s okay to talk about our worries and stress- to be honest with our children in an age-appropriate way and then in turn, to model appropriate ways to manage stress and worries.
As parents, we are making a lot of mistakes right now as well and it’s also the perfect time to model and teach “growth mindset”- I made a mistake, I apologize and I will learn and grow from this. Please remember to be gentle with yourselves during these challenging days. Having structures, expectations and setting limits for our children is so important during this time but also remember that many times, “less is more”. Also remember to take each day as it comes and to build in plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine and be outdoors and build in time for movement and creativity as well. We are all in this together and we must take good care of ourselves during this challenging time.
We miss all the Duniway students very much! We have connected with some of you in the past couple weeks and will continue to do so next week. Please know we are here as a support to you and you can reach us via email and scheduled phone calls (see email addresses below). In addition, we will be using the Remind app to communicate with students and families, so be on the lookout for invitations from Jessy and Emory on your mobile phone (and your child’s if they have one and if it is okay with you). Once we are established via Remind, you will be able to call and text us directly as well.
In addition, we will soon be offering opportunities for students and families to meet with us virtually via Google Meet or SeeSaw sessions, just like your students have been meeting with their teacher and class. More on that next week.
Many of us are worried these days! Here are some helpful resources to help manage those worries:
If you or your child want to do some cool, fun art projects specifically designed to calm anxiety, here is an amazing website: https://createmorefearless.
Try making a list for yourself or with your child(ren) of Things I Can Control (i.e. my own social distancing, exercising, managing my own feelings, remembering gratitude) and Things I Can’t Control (i.e. others’ social distancing, how long Stay Home/Save Lives lasts, other people’s feelings and behavior). Focus your energy and attention on what you do have some control over.
We hope you all have a relaxing weekend and get some extra connection time with your family. Know that we are here to support, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions and concerns.
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. https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/
Auction Parties: Due to closures for the remainder of the school year, any auction parties scheduled through June 1st. will either be rescheduled for a different date if hosts can accommodate or cancelled. Please contact Parvaneh & Brittany with questions
Parents of upcoming Sellwood Middle Schoolers, the Sellwood PTA is looking for board members and committee chairs for the 2020-21 school year! We would love to use this time constructively and get ahead for next year. The time commitment is minimal but the benefit to Sellwood Middle School is huge! We have included the PTA board job descriptions and available committee chair positions on the Sellwood PTA website: https://sites.google.com/view/
sellwoodpta. Please email Gina Biehl at email@example.com with any questions or interest. Thank you!
Duniway Yearbooks: Even though students might not be at school, the yearbook continues to move forward. We are in unusual times, and the yearbook committee and PTA board are happy to offer two different price point options for the 2019-2020 yearbook.
Option 1: Yearbook $16
Option 2: Community yearbook $8
Both books are the exact same yearbook but priced at what works best for you and your family. If neither of these options work, please reach out directly to Erin Black-Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The first day of school, field day, variety show, OBOS, school dance, class projects, field trips, at-home learning! They make memories every day and we want to help you preserve them. Each classroom has its own page of photos along with other activities happening at Duniway.
We are still looking for photos for the yearbook, a big thank you to everyone that has already submitted them. Ideal photos have two or more students in them, as we want to include as many kids as we can. Upload photos here http://www.hjeshare.com/
eShare/?code=duniway or email them to Erin Black-Mitchell at email@example.com.
Online orders can be done at https://www.
yearbookordercenter.com order number is 18307. Orders are due by April 24th.
Duniway Community UpdatePosted by Sarah Erickson on 3/28/2020
March 27, 2020
I hope that you have been having a good Spring Break - undoubtedly, many of your plans have changed, as we all continue to adjust our days and now weeks to the reality of living in this unprecedented time. The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 continues to push each of us into a place where our lives seem to be a mixture of utter disbelief (is this really happening?) with the need to accept our present situation, finding a rhythm to help guide us through uncharted territory.
For many of us this has meant extra time with family and extra time to enjoy a walk through the neighborhood. It has also resulted in stress about our jobs, our health, and where this is all heading. These strong emotions have not eluded our staff, many who are balancing family needs with maintaining a connection to their students.
While a few teachers have been “early adopters” on Google Hangout, Youtube, or Zoom, others have been focusing on bringing stability to their households, supporting partners, caring for children and working through the everyday challenges. Please resist comparing “on-line/distance” learning experiences between classrooms and staff members. It is the time to be caring, supportive, and empathetic. I have a great deal of confidence in our staff and each teacher, in their own way, is (and will be) working hard to maintain a strong connection with their class.
Today we received a little more direction from PPS. Beginning on Monday, March 30th, teachers will participate in several online trainings to help better understand several different distance learning platforms that will be used in the coming weeks. In addition, we will be meeting as an entire staff and teachers will be meeting in grade level teams to further plan instruction and activities for the coming weeks. During next week you can expect to hear more details from your child’s teacher.
Please continue to visit the PPS Student Portal for access to a number of applications and websites. In addition, Heather Boyd, our Media Specialist, has been working incredibly hard, pulling together information for teachers, troubleshooting log-in issues, and helping to connect Duniway families with the best possible resources. Please visit this RESOURCE PAGE, created by Heather, which aims to bring a number of different sites and applications on to one document.
PPS continues to maintain a site dedicated to the Coronavirus. Specifically, If you are in need of technology (like a laptop) and/or an internet connection, PPS is ready to support families. In order to get assistance, YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING FORM. All technology will be distributed at nine different high school locations, including Cleveland High School.
I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that we truly miss seeing our students and our families. We are thinking about you and care deeply about each and every child at Duniway. We are doing our best to connect with families and ask you to do the same. Give a call, send an email, or set up a time to use google hangout, Skype, or zoom so your children can connect with a friend or two.
As parents and teachers our work never ends. If you have a few minutes, take a listen to the poem “Lanyards”, by Billy Collins. It is a favorite of mine, and I come back to it from time to time, especially when I am thinking about life as an educator, a parent, and a son.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns. Wishing you all well.