Newsletter March 19, 20213/19/2021
Dear Beach Families and Community, March 18, 2021
I want our Asian staff, students and families to know that you are in the forefront of my mind as we grapple with the violence, issues related to race, and the disregard for humanity that are fresh in our minds this week with the shooting that took place in Georgia, but that remind us of other tragic race and hate-related killings. I hope your experience is that our Beach Community stands up for you, and that all in our community unite in standing up for each other, and in concern for the safety of our Asian and Pacific Islander community.
Here is current information regarding the opening of our school buildings, what this means for your child’s school schedule, and where we are in the process of assigning cohorts and teachers. Hopefully you’ll find some answers that may help you in planning your day to day schedules after Spring Break. I appreciate your patience as this process continues to unfold, and thank you for taking the time to read through this information. Please be sure to see my message at the end of the logistics section, too.
Why has it taken so long to be provided this information?
- The district had been planning and preparing to open schools on April 12th. The Governor announced the earlier opening. Detailed building plans and agreements with labor unions needed to be solidified.
- PPS and PAT (Portland Association of Teachers - union) worked together throughout the entire weekend to finalize a tentative agreement which was reviewed by union members Thursday night. The district has been moving forward with planning in hopes that the agreement is ratified and then approved by the school board.
What is the difference between a cohort and a class?
- A class is the list of students assigned to a teacher.
- A cohort is the group that meets together LIVE (in person or virtually on M, T, Th, Fri).
- LIVE represents two things - either fully in person, or like on tv, when we’re watching something “live” ie, synchronous instruction
What will our NEW Beach schedule look like once we resume LIVE instruction?
- We will begin LIVE AM or LIVE PM schedules for ALL K-5 students.
- When students are NOT in LIVE sessions they are doing asynchronous lessons and applied learning the other half of the day.
- The AM schedule is 8:00 - 10:15 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
- The PM schedule is 12:15 - 2:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
- Each student is assigned a morning or afternoon “cohort” for the learning model chosen by their family (Hybrid or CDL).
- On Wednesdays the CLASS will have a 45 minute live session in the morning (details TBD). Students will have asynchronous lessons and applied learning time the remainder of Wednesday.
What about additional classes: SpEd, ESL, Reading Support, Library, Music, Art, PE?
- These classes will remain virtual at this time and opposite their cohort’s LIVE time.
- Library, Music, Art & PE will have synchronous and/or asynchronous sessions.
- Special Education, ESL Services, & Reading Support is synchronous.
When will I know my child’s cohort (AM or PM) and teacher assignment?
- You will be notified if your child’s teacher changes OR stays the same.
- Families will be notified of cohort and teacher assignment by Monday, March 22nd.
When does live instruction with my child’s NEW COHORT/TEACHER begin?
- K/1 students with a PM assignment will meet with their new class on April 1st at 12:15 pm (for both CDL and Hybrid).
- K/1 students with an AM assignment will meet with their new class on April 2nd at 8:00 am (for both CDL and Hybrid).
- 2nd-5th grade students will have their first day with their new cohort on April 5th.
When does instruction with my child’s CURRENT TEACHER and COHORT stop & why?
- Students’ last day with their current class is today, Friday.
- Teachers receive five planning days to prepare for this transition. This involves room preparation, transition of student rosters, review of students previous work, curriculum development, PD for safety protocols, building walk -throughs to learn new procedures etc.
What do the 5 transition days look like for my student?
- There will not be LIVE classes for students.
- Asynchronous lessons will be posted in Seesaw for students to complete.
- Students will have access to applied learning apps such as Imagine Espanol, Dreambox, Lexia, MyOn.
- We are making a video for our students who are returning in person and their families, that we hope an adult will watch with students before their first day back in person: the purpose is to show the way our school looks, how arrival and dismissal will go, where classrooms and bathrooms are located for our kindergartners and new students, and what our safety expectations are. And including of course, our motto! I matter to Beach & Beach matters to me. ¡A mi me Importa la Escuela Beach y Yo le importo a la Escuela Beach!
What routines and safety expectations can we expect, and how can I help my child be ready to return to school, whether in person or CDL?
- Return to School Safely slides that we’ll be using to teach students as they return to school; please pre-teach your child the routines that are most important to you or that you think will most benefit them -- English Spanish
- We are in process making a video for you as noted above. We hope to share it with you by Monday, March 29.
- It would be really helpful if families can help students get used to doing their asynchronous work at the time of day that they will be doing it when we return to school (the half of the day when they won’t be in CDL or in person instruction).
- We encourage you to help children wake up earlier over spring break or at least beginning several days before they return to school, since their day will begin at 8am rather than 8:45 or 9 a.m. now
- We’re also making a slide deck for you with pictures and names of all our Beach staff, masked and unmasked. We haven’t seen each other for a year; we might look a little different to each other! And, we have many new staff and students who have never seen each other in person. Some of our new-to-Beach staff just saw our staff in person at our staff meeting (we met on the playground) this past week! We’ll send this out and post it to our website asap.
Saying goodbye to our current class communities as we know them at this point in the year is such an emotionally difficult thing we are having to do. We just learned mid-week when the last day with current classes would be, and although we knew this was coming, the reality of it happening now is a lot for everyone to take in. Teachers have planned ways to have conversations with their current students. I hope you’ll check in with your child about how they’re feeling that will change at least a little, even if they’re staying in CDL and if that turns out to be with the same teacher (things will still change with other peers), and even though the exact changes are not finalized. Students, like staff, may need time to process this information. About 11% of our students K-5 will have a teacher change. We’ve worked really hard to minimize that number and at the same time, the students who will have a different Beach teacher will be in good hands, and teachers will collaborate to ensure all goes well. 68% of our families have chosen Hybrid, and 32% have chosen CDL. Whichever program a family has chosen or needs, we are all one community! Just like we’re one community whether we are in the Spanish Immersion or English Instruction program. 100% of our students will see a change to their schedules and who from their current class they will see on a regular basis.
As you talk with your child, you could mention that some things are changing but much in our school community is staying the same. Our amazing staff are all still looking out for each and every child, students will still see their friends in Google Meets, attend Library, Music, Art and PE with grade level friends, and students who receive specialized instruction will still have virtual small groups with specialists, for example. We’ll continue our virtual “social interaction” recesses for 5th graders (beachrecess5; Fridays 12:10-12:30) and we’ll try to add virtual recesses for other grade levels too. And, all our students and staff are going to receive a special t-shirt! You’ll see that come home in the first few weeks after spring break, likely on April 4th. Thank you Kelly and our amazing Beach Parent Team!
I can imagine you have questions and wonderings as we move into this new transition. I will host informational meetings for families the week after Spring Break. These will be held virtually with dates, times and links to come.
We have all been asked to do many hard things over the last year and I know this is a lot of new information. I’m very grateful to be part of this community - of Bobcats (one of the traits of bobcats is flexibility!) where we are thinking deeply about how to ensure inclusion, joy, success, and strong learning outcomes for each and every child. Together we are persevering, and I look forward to the time when we can all come together again.
A Message from Beach’s BSU~
Dear Beach Families and Caregivers,
We hope that you are ready for Spring Break!
In case you missed it, you can still view our Black History Month virtual Drawing Show celebration for Black History Year!
We are sorry for the delay and hope you are still enjoying participating in Mr. Domo's Virtual Dance Class!!! Keep practicing and dancing with us!!!
Here is the link to the class video for weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4!
"Have a great Spring Break!"
BHY Fun Fact of the Week: Agricultural scientist George Carver was responsible for creating over 500 new products made from peanuts and sweet potatoes, including cooking oils, paint, and soap.
I’ve asked Helen for permission -- we need to confirm before using. It could go in Teacher Wise Words section Tina?
Happy Paddy's Day all, may the roads rise to meet you all and your path to heaven be forever green. Go n'ardoidh an bothar leat and may the wind be forever at your back, especially with Covid may the wind forever blow the virus away. ~ an Irish blessing from our own Helen Wall
Nutrition Services Update
When students return to the building for hybrid learning, we will be offering take-home meals as they leave the building at 10:15AM or 2:30PM. This is in lieu of our grab and go meal service from 3-4:30PM, which will end this Friday 3/19/21.
Caregivers may request meals for siblings, CDL students and any other child from 1-18 year old, at pick-up. We will continue to provide 7 days worth of meals throughout the week. Take home bags will be served on in-person learning days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).
Nutrition Services will serve students near or enroute to our exit points so that staff and teachers can focus on students and dismissal routines.
For non-enrolled community members and students continuing with comprehensive distance learning, meals will be available to pick-up everyday, Monday-Friday from 12PM-1PM at 15 sites throughout Portland. More information to come about which of our community meal sites will be closest to your school.