• Woodstock Elementary Update - August 3, 2020

    Hello Woodstock Families,
    Happy August! This time of year, we are typically in the middle of summer activities and travels and just starting to think about returning to school in the fall. This year, we are in a very different place than we ever have been in previous years.
    Hopefully you received Superintendent Gaudalupe Guererro’s message last week regarding the continuation of Distance Learning through, at least, November 5. Although it was not necessarily a surprise and it does allow us to begin our initial stages of planning for returning to school in the fall, it also leaves many families with questions and concerns.
    As we move closer to the first day of school on September 2, please be sure to check the PPSFall 2020 site for information and updates.
    Although we expect to receive more messages and updates shared with families via email and the PPS Fall 2020 site, Woodstock will be hosting Virtual Coffee Conversation on August 17 at 6:00 PM. You can access the meeting through the following Google Meet code/link: ndd-swvc-qnt. We should have a clearer picture about the Distance Learning parameters at that time and can discuss implications for Woodstock and the Mandarin Immersion Program. If you have questions or concerns you’d like to be addressed at the Coffee Conversation, please email those to me at sjohnson5@pps.net.
    With that said, I do have a couple of updates to share:
    Child Care - With PPS being in Distance Learning through November 5 while many parents/guardians are returning to work, the district is preparing for child care operations in the fall. Families should be receiving additional information from the district as well as a survey to assess child care needs throughout our district. Please be on the lookout for that information soon.
    Staffing Update - When schools closed in the spring, many other district operations were paused or slowed as well. This included Human Resources, meaning there was a hiring freeze. Last week, we were able to post our vacancies for 2020-2021 and we are now beginning to screen applications with the hope of interviewing and hiring in the coming weeks.
    Student Assignment to Classes - We appreciate your patience as you and your child wait to hear class assignments for the fall. Although most of the work has already been done for assigning students to classes, we would like to complete our hiring prior to sharing class assignments. Our goal is to share that information with families by mid-August. Although we definitely appreciate family input, we cannot accommodate all placement requests. We will assign students to classrooms based on a variety of factors, with a high emphasis on teacher and support staff input. Please understand that all placements are made with the best interest of all students.
    School Supplies - In the spring, you should have received a “School Supply List” with your child’s year-end “Participation Report Card.” Since we are still uncertain about a date for a physical return to school, families do not need to purchase school supplies. As we move forward this year and learn more about the return to school, we will reevaluate the need for school supplies.
    Kindergarten Families - Although there has been some kindergarten specific information sent directly to kindergarten families, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the challenges and worries that can come with starting kindergarten in a Distance Learning model. However, Woodstock has many great teachers and support staff that will do everything possible to make your child’s introduction to school positive. If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
    “First Day of School” - We anticipate this to be the most unusual start to the school year. Though there can be, appropriately, anxiety for school to start in the fall, our staff is participating in conversations about making this start of school special for all families. We too are anxious about returning to school in a model that is not our preferred way to engage students in learning, but we are excited to partner with you and your child this year and are looking forward to seeing you, whether in-person or virtually.
    Finally, I’d like to thank everyone in our Woodstock Elementary community for continuing to show strength and perseverance during this pandemic. I’m regularly impressed by the way our community cares for and supports each other. I know this is not an ideal situation, but I’m glad we have the ideal community to make this work, together.
    With Woodstock Pride,
    Seth Johnson, Principal
    Woodstock Elementary