March 12, 2021 Newsletter3/12/2021
“Our Identities” As a culmination of our Black Inspirations unit, our class (2nd grade DLI) wrote acrostic poems using a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, Narcissa, as our inspiration. Marquez Identity Poems-Updated
A Message from Beach’s BSU~
Dear Beach Families and Caregivers,
Happy Black History Month Year and Happy Women's History Month!!!
In celebration, please join us in watching our virtual Drawing Show celebration for Black History Year!
We hope you are still enjoying participating in Mr. Domo's Virtual Dance Class and are ready for more!!! Keep dancing with us!!!
Here is the link to the class video for weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4!
"You are a part of Black History Month!"- Hortu T.
BHY Fun Fact of the Week: Computer scientist Lisa Gelobter assisted with the 1995 creation of Shockwave, essential technology that led to the development of web animation. (So we have her to thank for GIFs).
Dear Beach Families and Community,
Here we all are trying to prepare for another fork in the road we find ourselves at, staff and families alike, faced with difficult decisions within lack of information and less than ideal choices. I know families are in a tight spot trying to figure out what will be best for your child and how to make related adjustments in your lives, and I thank you for your resilience and patience within it all. We are keeping our deep belief in your children-- as a staff member said at our staff meeting, they are more resilient than adults! and our very deep care for your children’s safety, success and happiness, front and center during this time: our goal is that at the end of the 11 weeks between March 29 and June 11 your child will feel connected to their Beach community, excited about learning, and like school is a place they can’t wait to come back to next fall.
Thank you for filling out our “Hybrid/CDL Beach Family Confirmation Form” if you have. We will consider information submitted by next Monday, March 15 as we create a.m. and p.m. cohorts of students based on whether they want to return to in person learning for a part of the day or stay in comprehensive distance learning (CDL). Between the PPS survey and our confirmation survey linked above, we’ve heard from all but about 50 families. As the survey introduction explains, we are creating cohorts based on transportation requirements, keeping siblings together, and needs of students with IEPs or who are emerging bilingual. We won’t have cohort information for you until next week (we are accepting your survey response through Monday).
This is a very fluid and changing process as we are also awaiting a final agreement between our labor groups and the district. We also anticipate additional clarification from the Governor’s office on social distancing expectations. Here is as much as I have on our current thinking on the schedule with a big note that none of this is final at this point and may change.
- Wednesday will be an asynchronous day district-wide. This is necessary for transportation planning. This means there will not be any in person or live synchronous instruction for students on Wednesdays for the remainder of this school year.
- The above linked survey is the last opportunity to choose in-person instruction because of the need to create and finalize plans around school spaces we’ll utilize for teaching, student numbers, and cohorts. Families choosing in-person will be able to revert back to CDL if needed for health concerns, but may not be able to return to in-person again. While teacher teams will continue to plan together regardless of whether they are teaching in person or CDL, instruction will vary somewhat from CDL to in-person due to the different opportunities each provides, so students won’t be able to switch back and forth once we have established cohorts.
- If all goes as we’re currently arranging, most in-person cohorts will be in the PM, 12:15pm-2:30pm. I am pleased we have been able to arrange this: it will provide time for students to eat breakfast and lunch at home before coming to school and reduce barriers to children being able to access in person learning for many of our families. In a few grades we will need to also run an AM 8:00-10:15 in person cohort; some teachers will be teaching only in person. (Exactly which teachers this will be is still in flux based on survey results).
- Because of the number of students requesting in person instruction, there will be a few instances where immersion students will be taught by the other Beach grade level teacher (either CDL or in person). At some schools, space and staffing constraints are requiring that students be taught at a different school altogether, so we are glad to at least be confident we can serve all students with our own staff at our own school, and we are making every effort to keep students with their current teacher. Once we are able to finalize cohorts we will let you know if your student is shifting teachers.
- As long as it remains possible, most siblings will be in PM cohorts.
- CDL including live synchronous instruction will primarily happen in the AM with asynchronous instruction for students to complete throughout the day.
- Due to the additional layer of in-person instruction we will focus instruction both in CDL and in-person on social emotional learning, math and literacy. Science, health and social studies will either be integrated or be assigned asynchronously on Seesaw.
- In most cases, students will experience a decrease in the amount of face time with teachers and the amount of feedback provided on Seesaw work for both CDL and in-person cohorts.
- Specials (PE, Library, Music and Art) will be offered to each grade level during their asynchronous half of the day.
- The YMCA will continue to provide child care and may be able to accommodate more families. Registration information right above our newsletter column on the Beach Website. We will not be able to offer before or after school care beyond what YMCA can provide. It is possible we will need to shift the location of YMCA to inside the school building in order to utilize the large portable space for one of our larger classes, but this is not yet confirmed. More to come; for now all continues as usual.
- Students attending in-person will need to wear a face covering at all times.
- Students with IEPs and students receiving ESL services will continue to be served either in person or in CDL based on individual needs.
- If you have already submitted your survey and want to change your answer for any reason, you can submit a new one. Katrina (Ms.de Boer: email@example.com) is willing to find and delete original submissions in this case.
I continue to be so grateful for and impressed with the kindness, understanding and graciousness with which everyone is approaching this complex situation. It speaks volumes to the character and spirit of collaboration that abounds at Beach!
With care and gratitude for all of you,
Safety Precautions FAQ
- What safety precautions will be put in place at Beach? Students will be visually screened upon entrance, sanitize hands and walk directly to class. There are markings on the floor to support proper flow in the hallways. No food will be consumed during school and students will use water bottles for water.
- Will families and visitors be allowed in the building? No, families will drop off students at specific locations on the exterior of the school. At this point there are no visitors or volunteers allowed in the building.
- What if someone shows symptoms of being sick? In conjunction with MESD and the health department, we have a detailed process for screening for Covid exposure and
determining next steps in terms of isolation or return. Our staff will walk families through the process in the event of illness and notify those who have been determined to have been in “close contact”.
- Will the windows open in the classroom? It won't be a requirement but I think most staff will choose to have them open.
- Is there a ventilation/filtration system? The HVAC system has been serviced, all filters replaced and they are running twice as much to circulate air. Each classroom will also have a HEPA filter running.
- What will simulcast look like for children at home? If any of our staff choose to use simulcast, we will share details about how it will work.
- Will students be sitting at their desks for the entire 2 hour session? Staff will find ways to bring movement around the room including fun dance videos that combine learning and socially distanced movement.
- Will they still be using their computers in the classroom? Potentially for small portions but only in concert with direct instruction. We hope to be able to provide computers for classroom use; students can keep their Chromebooks at home.
- Will any classroom time take place outside? Teachers will have the option to teach on the field or other spaces for portions of the day as it works into their instructional plans.
- Will children be able to have drinks of water? Yes, water bottles have been working great with our in person cohort. Please send your student with a full water bottle.
- Will there be filtration/ventilation in the bathrooms? There isn't ventilation in the bathroom but we will be monitoring the use of bathrooms and keeping the ratio low.
- Will children be able to take bathroom breaks? YES!
- Will students be allowed to eat at school? No eating will be allowed at school during this time. In specific cases a child may need to eat a snack but this will need to be arranged ahead of time. Generally, students should eat before and after coming to school for in person learning. Nutrition services will provide breakfast and lunches for students to take home.