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