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    Principal Update August 28, 2020
    Posted on 08/28/2020
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    Letter from Principal Talbot

    Hello Dragon Families,

    It’s getting so real! Teachers came back to work yesterday! Well, actually, most of them were working for free all summer if they weren’t teaching summer school. They started getting paid to work yesterday. We came together and talked about how to connect and partner with our families and build communities with students online. Today we’re talking about foundational reading skills and how we’ll accelerate learning for any students who have gaps from last year’s disruption in learning.

    I want to tell you two really important things we talked about:

    1. We’re working on helping students have agency in learning. That means that we want them to be curious and motivated to learn, and to advocate for their own needs in the classroom. we know will help them learn.
    2. Mistakes matter! We want our students to be making lots of mistakes in their learning. It’s important that they’re challenged enough that they read incorrectly, make mathematical errors, make wrong guesses in science and social studies, hit the wrong notes in music, fall down in PE, and get art projects not exactly right. If they’re not making any mistakes, they’re definitely not learning. It helps a lot if families don’t correct mistakes from home too quickly. We promise we will get them to correct themselves!

    News and Information

    Devices, supplies, and technology: They’re coming soon!

    • We will distribute some school supplies for every student in a backpack with their laptop or iPad
    • We will have lists of the supplies each grade needs up on the website by September 4, but don’t worry – we’ll provide them to start and we’ll be refreshing as needed
    • We should have laptops for grade 3-5 coming next week, and we’ll let you know our plan for distributing them by Tuesday. We’re working on the plan now!
    • iPads are stuck somewhere, but we are told we will for sure have them for students in grades Pre-K through 2 by September 8. The plan for distribution will come to you Tuesday, but the devices may be a little tardy.
    • WiFi – either connect with us, or go to the district website for help getting WiFi if you need help

    Meals

    • Lunches will be distributed at our school starting on September 4 between 11:15 and 1:15
    • You can pick up breakfast for the next day with your lunch

    Strong Start Times

    • Class meetings and our “strong start” live instruction will begin at 8:30 and go through 10:30
    • Teachers will then be in meetings learning and planning for two hours
    • After that they will be meeting with families for two hours
    • The final hour of their contract day will be individual planning, meetings, etc.

    Academic Instruction

    The regular daily schedule starts on September 14

    • Instruction will happen for students between 8:30 and 3:00
    • We will have a live class meeting with every class every day
    • There will also be live instruction in reading and math, plus other live lessons on different days
    • Our students will do a lot of live learning in small groups
    • The specific schedule for your students will be released by September 4 and sent to you at the email we have on file (where you’re getting this letter)
    • All students will have an hour for lunch so that they can come to the school to get their food and still be back in time for learning
    • All students will have recess breaks and independent learning times

    Attendance

    • It’s really important for students to log on and click the links for their classes and small groups every day. This is how they’ll do their best learning
    • If your student can’t be online for live instruction, they can do the work and turn it in and we will count that as attendance
    • Students need to both go to the online classes and do the assigned work to learn and grow. We have a LOT of ground to cover, so we need them with us and doing offline independent work for as long as they would during regular in-person school
    • That said, students should take breaks, run around, get lots of time outside and away from screens as much as possible! We need you to help us get them up and moving so they can concentrate and learn when we’re teaching

    IEPs

    • We’re analyzing students’ IEPs right now to consider whose might need changes. We will be holding meetings throughout our strong start to decide as teams (including families) what is best for students
    • About 1/3 of our students have IEPs, and we expect many of them will need to be changed so please be patient with us.

    We will keep communicating, and I’ll try to keep it brief and informative. Let me know if you need anything or have any feedback.

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Talbot

    Principal and Head Dragon
    Lowell Elementary School