• September 18, 2020

    Posted by Marie Palmer on 9/18/2020

    Brooks Families,

     

    We hope you’ve had a fantastic week! Below you’ll find updates for the coming week as well as key reminders.

     

    Virtual Open House

     

    Save the date of Thursday, September 24th for the Brooks Virtual Open House sessions. All grade levels and MIT teachers will hold two Open House sessions to accommodate different family schedules and families that have multiple students. Parents will have the option to attend from 11:30 am – 12:15 pm or 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm. During each session, grade levels will share curricular information and pertinent grade level information.

     

    As a reminder, this is not the time to talk with the teacher regarding your specific child. Given the virtual nature of Open House, teachers cannot maintain the confidentiality needed to hold a conversation with you regarding your child’s progress. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s progress, please communicate with the teacher via phone or email and they will be happy to discuss this with you. Additionally, as in years past, teachers will be scheduling our first round of conferences soon, so please try to sign-up when those times become available.

     

    Virtual PTA Meeting

     

    The Brooks PTA will hold a general membership meeting at 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 24th (prior to the evening Open House session) to share PTA updates and vote on the both the budget and the Brooks parent SIP representative. This meeting will be over in time for your transition to the evening Open House session if you choose to do so. We hope to see you there!

     

    Interim Reports

     

    WCPSS Board Policy requires report cards to be issued to all students in grades K-12.  Additionally, “interim reports are issued to all students at the mid-point of each quarter." 

     

    The orientation period which was essential for establishing norms for a fully online environment, focusing on core behavioral health, and distributing student instructional materials has delayed the start of instruction for many elementary schools. The limited amount of time between full instructional time and the interim distribution week has created challenges for teachers to instruct, formally assess and post grades on an interim report. Therefore, next week, each child will receive an interim report from their homeroom teacher. These reports will provide feedback regarding progress toward curriculum standards and information regarding your child’s conduct and work habits. Grades will not be included. If you have questions regarding the content of your child’s interim, please contact your child’s teacher.

     

    REMINDERS

     

    Technology Needs

     

    If you are continuing to experience technology difficulties or something arises throughout the day, please don’t hesitate to contact the WCPSS Technology Help Desk at 919-694-8100. WCPSS Technology Services has also created a support page for families experiencing difficulties or needing support to learn new tech tools. You can access their website here.

     

    Join Memberhub

     

    If you’re looking for ways to get connected with the PTA and other Brooks families, join Memberhub! The Brooks PTA uses Memberhub as a means of communication with families throughout the year. This platform is used to send out the PTA’s weekly newsletter, provide fundraising updates, provide information regarding volunteer opportunities, and other school-wide information. Please join so that you can be connected.

     

    As always, please reach out to either Ms. Taylor or me for support. We are more than happy to answer questions, address concerns, or provide guidance when needed.

     

    Thanks, and have a great weekend!

     

     

    Marie Palmer, Principal

     

    Comments (-1)
  • September 11, 2020

    Posted by Marie Palmer on 9/11/2020

    Brooks Families,

     

    We have completed another successful week of learning! I’m hopeful that things went well for your child(ren) and you are all settling into a school routine. Below are new updates and reminders for the upcoming week.

     

    Positives

     

    At our most recent staff meeting, I asked staff to share positives that have surfaced from the first few weeks of remote learning and a few centered around our students and families. I thought I would share them with you, so the list is below.

     

    1. High attendance rates during morning meeting and live academic sessions in the morning
    2. Supportive parents that are exercising patience
    3. Students are accessing office hours when they need support
    4. Students have positive attitudes

     

    Thank you for supporting our teachers and your students during this time! We are thankful for your partnership.

     

    Free Breakfast & Lunch for All Students

     

    Students in all grade levels can receive a free breakfast and lunch from an operating location until December 31*. Please visit https://www.wcpss.net/food for a list of operating sites. Students are not required to visit their assigned school and do not have to be present to receive meals. The curbside meal service will operate Monday through Friday from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Students will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost! No student ID number required to receive meals. *Or until funding is depleted.

     

    Live Instruction & Attendance

     

    We have successfully completed week two of live instruction in all academic areas. As we’re navigating our way through virtual schooling, it is evident that some students are having difficulty engaging in all live sessions throughout the day. We have seen high attendance rates in the morning sessions, but the afternoon live sessions are not as highly attended. In fact, some teachers are noting 50% attendance in the afternoons. This is concerning, given that some grade levels have ELA and/or math live sessions in the afternoon.

     

    I know that the instructional schedule may be difficult for families, however, we are committed to ensuring students have breaks throughout the academic day to refresh and reset. For that reason, all grade levels have live instruction blocks spread out throughout the day. Please remind your student(s) to engage in all live sessions. Additionally, please work with them to ensure they are present from the beginning to the end of the lesson. If you or your child is having trouble with this, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

     

    Istation Assessments

     

    Each year, children are required to complete reading benchmarking assessments to determine their current skill level. These assessments generally happen in the beginning, middle and end of each school year. This year is not any different, despite our current virtual learning environment. Hopefully you’ve heard from your child’s teacher regarding these assessments. A letter has been sent home (via email) explaining the Istation program that will be used, along with a date that your child must have the assessment completed. These assessments are done completely online. Please work with your child to schedule a time to complete this, as it provides important reading data for your child. Teachers use this data to determine the best instructional plan to support students. If you have questions regarding the administration of this assessment, please reach out to your child’s teacher and/or me or Ms. Taylor.

     

    Substitute Teachers

     

    At this time, we will not have day to day substitute teachers when teachers are absent. To ensure your child has a live teacher each day, you may see another staff member leading live instruction, including our instructional assistants. If an instructional assistant needs to lead a live instruction session, they will likely share an instructional video with the students and then allow the students to work on the content while they are live with them to provide support. The alternative to this is that your child may have to join live instruction from another teacher for the day or for individual subjects. Your child’s teacher will always communicate with you regarding any upcoming (planned) absences so that you know how your child can access instruction.

     

    REMINDERS

     

    Technology Needs

     

    I know we had some technology and internet issues this week, but thankfully nothing too major. If you are continuing to experience technology difficulties or something arises throughout the day, please don’t hesitate to contact the WCPSS Technology Help Desk at 919-694-8100. WCPSS Technology Services has also created a support page for families experiencing difficulties or needing support to learn new tech tools. You can access their website here.

     

    Join Memberhub

     

    If you’re looking for ways to get connected with the PTA and other Brooks families, join Memberhub! The Brooks PTA uses Memberhub as a means of communication with families throughout the year. This platform is used to send out the PTA’s weekly newsletter, provide fundraising updates, provide information regarding volunteer opportunities, and other school-wide information. Please join so that you can be connected.

     

    As always, please reach out to either Ms. Taylor or me for support. We are more than happy to answer questions, address concerns, or provide guidance when needed.

     

    Thanks, and have a great weekend!

     

     

    Marie Palmer, Principal

     

    Comments (-1)
  • September 4, 2020

    Posted by Marie Palmer on 9/4/2020

    Brooks Families,

     

    We have completed another successful week of learning! I’m hopeful that things went well for your children as we began full live instruction this week.

     

    Instructional Time

     

    All teachers have begun presenting live instruction for all academic areas this week. Hopefully your child was present and engaged. I know that schooling at home may be difficult with all the other potential factors you may be dealing with, but it’s important that our students are getting the instruction that is being delivered. If they were not logged on due to not having a device or other reasons, please make sure you are communicating with the teacher.

     

    Technology Needs

     

    I know we had some technology and internet issues this week, but thankfully nothing too major. If you are continuing to experience technology difficulties or something arises throughout the day, please don’t hesitate to contact the WCPSS Technology Help Desk at 919-694-8100. WCPSS Technology Services has also created a support page for families experiencing difficulties or needing support to learn new tech tools. You can access their website here.

     

    Technology Training for Parents

     

    Our technology facilitator, Ms. Leab, is in the process of creating parent tech sessions to build the capacity of parents to use the digital tools that students will be using. She wants to make sure that the sessions meet your needs, so to do so, she needs your input! Please take a moment to respond to this brief survey so she knows what topics would be most helpful for you.

     

    http://bit.ly/bestrain

     

    Counselor Meet & Greet

     

    At Brooks, we are very fortunate to have two amazing counselors serving our students and families. Ms. Roberts and Ms. Berreth have already begun meeting with classes to support the social emotional needs of all our students. However, they would love the opportunity to meet you and share their counseling program with you. They are holding a “Meet the Counselor” event on September 8th at 10:00 am and 5:30 pm. They are offering two sessions to allow families to choose which works best for their schedule. If you’d like to attend, you can access the meeting link here: https://meet.google.com/vhi-bgzv-mgo.

     

    Join Memberhub

     

    If you’re looking for ways to get connected with the PTA and other Brooks families, join Memberhub! The Brooks PTA uses Memberhub as a means of communication with families throughout the year. This platform is used to send out the PTA’s weekly newsletter, provide fundraising updates, provide information regarding volunteer opportunities, and other school-wide information. Please join so that you can be connected.

     

    As always, please reach out to either Ms. Taylor or me for support. We are more than happy to answer questions, address concerns, or provide guidance when needed.

     

    Thanks, and have a great weekend!

     

     

    Marie Palmer, Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • August 28, 2020

    Posted by Marie Palmer on 8/28/2020

    Dear Brooks Families,

     

    We hope you’ve had a great second week of school. I know our staff has enjoyed continuing to build classroom community amongst their students! Below you’ll find new information and reminders from last week.

     

    Technology Distribution Update

     

    We learned this week that the district is beginning to send invitations to elementary school students regarding device pickups. If you requested technology, please be on the lookout for an email from WCPSS. Device distribution is expected to have begun yesterday and today and continue until all devices are distributed. At this time, schools are not provided information regarding your distribution date.

     

    Parent Support

     

    Thank you to all parents for supporting your child(ren) and teachers as they navigate this new school year, new learning environment and new expectations.  Thanks also for your flexibility as we continue to work through adjustments that the beginning of the 2020-21 school year will bring us. 

    As we’re entering our third week of school, I would like to share a few pieces of advice that you may find helpful. If you haven’t done so already, I would encourage you to try to create a space for your child that allows them to focus with limited distractions during synchronous (live) instruction and while working to complete asynchronous (non-live) assignments.

    I am going to encourage you to support your child with learning, while still allowing them to engage in productive struggle. I know nobody wants to see their child struggle but allowing for struggle also allows for significant learning to take place. I encourage you to strike a balance of letting your child do the work and struggle through it while accessing the teacher for support. I’m not saying that you cannot help your child, I’m simply asking you to allow your child to access his/her teacher for the support they are trained to provide. I want your child to ask you questions and I want you to support them, but I also need them to recognize that their first line of support should be the teacher. If we were in the building, they would have to rely on their teacher.

    This upcoming week, our teachers will begin live instruction in all academic subject areas. During this time, they’ll be reviewing or introducing new content and it will be important for teachers to see what your child can do, not what you and your child can do. Teachers are skilled at making observations and analyzing student work products to determine where students need support or enrichment. This data is valuable as they formulate student groups and plans to provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners. If parents are doing work or providing a large amount of support to help students complete work, this provides the teacher with inaccurate data regarding the skill level of your child. Therefore, the teacher may not know how much support your child may need. 

    I know this is no small feat and I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to set up learning spaces, establish strong routines,  and be there for your child(ren) so that they are set up for success.

     

    REMINDERS

     

    Attendance

     

    Please make every effort to ensure your child is present during “live” instruction. Due to privacy laws, we cannot record live instruction, so if your child misses it, they will not be able to access it. If you are having technological issues which prevent your child from participating, please email your teacher to let them know.

     

    Single Subject Acceleration – SSA

     

    Due to COVID and the abrupt closure of school buildings last year, students did not get to complete testing for Single Subject Acceleration. If you are still interested in having your student test for Single Subject Acceleration, please contact our AIG teacher, Ms. Macfarlane, at mtmacfarlane@wcpss.net. She will be taking student nominations until Monday, August 31st. For incoming kindergarteners, they will be eligible to test in the spring for Single Subject Acceleration. You can find more information on our school website under our Academics and Programs tab.

     

    Contact Information

     

    I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that the school has accurate contact information for each family. This past week we’ve received several phone calls from parents indicating that they did not receive calls or emails from the school. Given the virtual nature of school at this time, it is imperative that we have accurate phone numbers and email addresses for everyone. Email will be our primary method of communication. Please make sure to provide this information to your teacher or call the school so we can update it in our system.

     

    We look forward to seeing you next week!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Marie Palmer, Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • August 21, 2020

    Posted by Marie Palmer on 8/21/2020

    Dear Brooks Families,

     

    Thank you for a successful first week of school! Though we’ve had our challenges, overall, we’ve had an amazing week of connecting with our students and families! Below are some important updates for the coming week.

     

    Clipboard on JoyPixels 6.0Attendance

    Please make every effort to ensure your child is present during “live” instruction. Due to privacy laws, we cannot record live instruction, so if your child misses it, they will not be able to access it. If you are having technological issues or your child misses live instruction, please email your teacher to let them know.

     

    👩‍🏫Teacher Assignments

    We have received requests to move children to different teachers to accommodate neighborhood learning pods. At this time, we cannot accommodate these requests. As you can imagine, creating classes is an incredible balancing act that requires consideration of many factors.

    Additionally, our enrollment is fluid, so there is always the possibility that we may need to move teachers, collapse classrooms, or make different changes as we progress through the beginning weeks.

    Given the various school environments that we may operate within this year (In-person, Remote, & Virtual Academy), it may be necessary to rearrange teachers to address the needs of all students later in the year. Therefore, it is possible that your child may start out with one teacher, and as we transition into another plan, your child may be assigned a different teacher. I will ask in advance that you be flexible and recognize that staffing decisions will always be made to meet the needs of all students.

     

    📌Orientation Period

    Please do not worry that your child may be missing academics during these first two weeks. Our teachers have always focused on building processes and procedures and community in our classrooms during the starting days of school as this work is critical to a child’s academic and social success. This year we are also embedding the critical need to acclimate our students to learning digitally. Additionally, Wake County Public Schools is working to ensure that all students have access to devices and/or hotspots. We are grateful that our state legislature added five instructional days to our calendar this year as this gives us “extra” time to really establish foundational processes with all students. By being purposeful with our instructional schedules and teaching, our children will be ready to access academic focus areas through technology in the coming weeks.

     

    Next week will be the second week of our two-week orientation period. During this time, classroom teachers will continue working to build classroom community, foster positive relationships with students and introduce additional digital tools for instruction. Academics will not be the focus but may begin being introduced. Like this first week, your student may not have a full 2- 3 hours of live instruction daily. The Brooks expectation is that students will have 1.5-2 hours of live instruction during week 2. We will work to build up to this so that by the week of August 31st, your child will be engaging in 2-3 hours of live instruction each day.

     

    In addition to the previously outlined goals of week two, we will also hold our materials distribution events. These may also impact live instruction. Please read below for details regarding our materials distribution.

     

    📚Materials Distribution Event

    We will be distributing student instructional materials during the week of August 24th. Instructional items may include literacy and math materials, Letterland cards, calculators, and any other relevant instructional supplies. If you purchased an EduKit, you will receive it at this time. If your child has leftover materials from last year, you can pick them up at this time as well. If your child has items leftover from last year after this event, they will be thrown away.

     

    During the distribution event, you will follow the carpool route into the parking lot and enter the carpool loop. Please put your child’s/children’s name(s) and grade level(s) on a piece of paper and display it in your windshield. This will help our staff when you arrive. Please remain in your car during this time, and the staff will bring your materials to you.

     

    Please follow the schedule below to pick up your child’s instructional materials. The distribution events will be held from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Please note that if you have multiple children at Brooks, you may pick up all materials at once.

     

    • Monday, August 24th – First & Fourth Grade
    • Tuesday, August 25th – Kindergarten & Third Grade
    • Wednesday, August 26th – Second & Fifth Grade
    • Thursday, August 27th – Overflow – for those that couldn’t make it on their assigned day
    • Friday, August 28th – Pre-K

     

    💻Technology Device Distribution

    Wake County Public Schools is handling device distribution for all WCPSS students in need of technology. No devices are being distributed directly from Brooks. Families should have completed a technology survey in July indicating whether a device and/or hotspot is needed. If you did not complete the survey, Ms. Aycrigg reached out to you last week to ascertain your needs. If she spoke with you, your current needs have now been communicated to the district, and there is no need for follow up with the school unless your contact information has changed. At this time, the district will be contacting you directly via your provided email to pick up a device during the two-week orientation period. You will receive an email 3 days prior to your assigned pick-up date with all pertinent information. Please note that due to an increased demand for technology across our district, the window for distribution may extend into September. Because communication is being handled by WCPSS, we do not have any information regarding when you have been scheduled for pick-up.

     

    If you already have a device and/or hotspot that you received from Brooks during the spring, you should use it to access remote learning.

     

    ✏️Single Subject Acceleration – SSA

    Due to COVID and the abrupt closure of school buildings last year, students did not get to complete testing for Single Subject Acceleration. If you are still interested in having your student test for Single Subject Acceleration, please contact our AIG teacher, Ms. Macfarlane, at mtmacfarlane@wcpss.net. She will be taking student nominations until Monday, August 31st. For incoming kindergarteners, they will be eligible to test in the spring for Single Subject Acceleration. You can find more information on our school website under our Academics and Programs tab.

     

    ☎️Contact Information

    I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that the school has accurate contact information for each family. This past week we’ve received several phone calls from parents indicating that they did not receive calls or emails from the school. Given the virtual nature of school at this time, it is imperative that we have accurate phone numbers and email addresses for everyone. Email will be our primary method of communication. Please make sure to provide this information to your teacher or call the school so we can update it in our system.

     

     

    We look forward to seeing all of you next week!

     

    Sincerely,

    Marie Palmer, Principal

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