Remote Learning ReflectionsPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 9/3/2020
September 3, 2020
Dear Families and Caregivers,
As we finish our first week of full remote instruction, all of us at Olds want to thank you for working so productively with us to provide your children with the best remote learning experiences possible. We also recognize the need to reflect and adapt. As part of that process, we would like to take this opportunity to share a few important points for you to consider in preparation for your child to continue remote learning when we come back from our long Labor Day weekend.
- The county wants students to have about five hours of “school” per day. Two to three hours is to be scheduled as live instruction, while the rest is to be independent practice/homework.
- Olds has created a schedule which follows the county expectations, while also enabling families to have open blocks for other activities. All students start their day at 8:30 a.m., followed by daily Mathematics and English Language Arts. After lunch, students will have Science and/or Social Studies. The afternoon schedules offer more open time and vary somewhat at different grade levels depending on the day of week.
- When your child is not in live instruction, they may have an AIG class or meet with a teacher for extra support. In addition, this is when students should complete their daily assignments and access Specials.
- Specials are a required, graded part of your student’s schedule. Art, music, PE, and Media also play an integral part in growing the whole child. However, to provide maximum flexibility to families, Olds has chosen to offer these classes as recorded instruction, rather than as another scheduled live Meet like many schools are doing. Each class has an attendance component which must be completed for a student to get credit. If your child is unable to participate in all four classes during a week, then consider having them do two each week to demonstrate sufficient attendance.
- Homework is still a regular part of school, and typically will be assigned Monday through Thursday, just as it would be in a more normal environment. Providing live instruction requires teachers to be flexible and able to adjust as needed. Therefore, lessons and assignments will be posted daily, rather than weekly as we did in the Spring. While completing assignments daily is the expectation, Olds has asked teachers to list due dates as Friday. This builds in flexibility for circumstances that may arise which prevent a child from finishing their work on a given day.
- Live Meets are now a routine part of your family’s life. It is VERY important that you consider where your child is when they are on live instruction, as well as what is happening around them. What goes on around a child can be seen and heard by his/her teacher, classmates, and other parents. Please help your child find a location with limited distractions when joining in on a class. You could try having your child sit with a wall behind her/him so others cannot walk behind the chair and be seen on camera. Another helpful idea is to have your child wear headphones to decrease distraction from noise in the room. Distractions also can be minimized if you can keep other children, pets, and toys away from your student when s/he is on live meets. We understand you may have multiple children and a small workspace/s for learning, so finding the right environment for your child’s learning may require some creativity. Other ideas we have heard about are to cut cardboard boxes to use as privacy shields, putting siblings on opposite sides of a room facing away from each other, and hanging a sheet to divide a space for privacy. Your child might also have some creative ideas on how to create a productive learning space for remote lessons.
- Class Dojo is how teachers will communicate with families. Additionally, Olds administration will be transitioning to Class Dojo for all school-wide messages. Be sure you are connected, and you have notifications turned on
As always, it is a pleasure to work with all our Olds families. We appreciate your continued support and patience.
The teachers, staff, and administration of Olds Elementary
Instructional Materials, Devices & MorePosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 9/1/2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Good afternoon Olds Elementary Families. This is Dr. Wheeler, your principal, with a few school updates. This message will post on the PTA memberhub site and our Olds Elementary website under Our School, Principal’s Message.
Materials Distribution Reminder: Please put Thursday, September 3, 2020 on your calendar for picking up more learning materials for your child. You can pick them up between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. If you personally cannot pick them up, you can send another person in your place. They will need to know your child’s name and homeroom teacher.
Remote Learning & Devices: If you had a chance to read the N&O the other morning, there was an article about our Wake County School System. The article indicated that schools will be in remote learning possibly into October and that progress has been made in getting devices into student hands. All parents who requested a device and/or hotspot should hear from WCPSS about a day and time for pick by the end of today, Tuesday, September 1, 2020. If you requested a device and have not heard from WCPSS sometime today, please contact Mrs. Stradling at email@example.com and cc me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Between the two of us, we will find out what is holding things up for you.
Remote Learning & Student Expectations: Mrs. Condry, your Assistant Principal, and I have started sitting in on some of the remote learning classes. I must say that, overall, we have been impressed with the efforts of teachers, students, and parents! We have heard wonderful success stories and a few concerns like the pacing of some lessons. All feedback is greatly appreciated and will be discussed with teachers. We encourage parents to communicate with teachers first, but we are always available to support you as well. During the first two weeks of school, teachers were expected to get to know their students and develop a sense of school community. They also focused on teaching students and parents the technical skills for remote learning. Students will need those technical skills in order to successfully participate in the learning process going forward. Teachers also were expected to teach students how to participate and how not to participate during their live classes. Students will be given reminders as needed about behaviors that distract or disrupt learning during live classes. If a student continues undesired behaviors after a reminder to stop, s/he will be asked to take their live picture down and mute. The student should stay online because s/he will still be able to hear and learn from the lesson. If you have any questions about this procedure, please email me at email@example.com.
Enrollments in WCPSS and Olds: Enrollments have been up and down at Olds and WCPSS in general as families figure out what works well for them during this COVID-19 pandemic. At Olds, some parents have decided to try homeschooling, others have tried homeschooling and are re-enrolling in Olds, and still others have moved from Plan B to Virtual Leaning plans and vice versa. All this to say, we are working this out together. If you want to enroll your child in Olds as Virtual Academy or Plan B student, you always can do so if you are a member of the school community. Please contact me or Mrs. Condry at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss your family’s learning plans further. Also, please encourage families who have not registered to do so as soon as possible.
Changes to Food Distribution Services Starting September 1: Effective September 1, 2020, families are required to provide a student ID number and pay for their meals based on their meal benefits status. Families are encouraged to use MySchoolBucks to prepay for meals to reduce any payment collections at curbside. Free and reduced-price meals will be available for eligible students. Families may pick up meals at our curb-side locations without a student present if they can provide the student’s name and ID number. Visit wcpss.net/food for updated food distribution location information. Families may still apply for free and reduced-price meals. Eligibility and application information is posted at wcpss.net/meals. For the 2020-21 school year, students who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost. Meals will not be distributed for the Labor Day Holiday. Due to our transition to the National School Breakfast Program, student names and student ID numbers will need to be provided to receive breakfast and lunch.
Thank you for listening. All of us here at Olds wish you a safe, productive, happy day!
Materials Distribution & MorePosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/27/2020
School Messenger August 27, 2020
Good Day Olds Families!
This is Dr. Wheeler with a few school updates.
Materials Distribution: Teachers are gathering new materials to send home for use during this period of remote learning. The materials will be distributed to all families next Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the back of the school at the gym doors. If you are unable to pick you your child’s materials, you can send someone like a neighbor or relative to pick them up. See you soon!
Registration: If you know of anyone who has not registered for school yet, please let them know that school has started. They can register online. Information and the registration process are a click away on the WCPSS and Olds websites. www.wcpss.net https://www.wcpss.net/oldses
Thank you: I and the entire Olds staff want to thank our wonderful students and parents for jumping into the current remote learning situation with positive hearts and willing spirits. The teachers and instructional assistants love seeing the children online, and only regret that it is not in person. Thank you for participating and for your gracious generosity of spirit as we learn and improve this system of teaching and learning every day. 😊
Volunteers: You hard working PTA is at work trying to help all our students have the best learning experience possible. Volunteers are being sought to help deliver materials to families that are unable to pick them up. If you can help with this “Olds-mobile” project, please contact your PTA by emailing oldspta.gmail.com Thank you in advance for helping our school community stay strong and healthy.
Open House LinkPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/25/2020
Good evening,We heard that some people have not located the link for tonight's Open House. Here is the link for our PTA General Meeting and Open House being held tonight, Tuesday, August 25th at 6:30 pm. Click on this link to participate. See you at 6:30 p.m.!!
OPEN HOUSESPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/24/2020Good evening!This is a reminder that our annual school-wide Open House will be held virtually this Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Please follow this link to participate. We hope to see you at the meet! Your PTA board members will be covering important school information and staff will be introduced.In order to tailor information to the specific needs of parents within grade levels, each grade level team will hold a "Grade Level Open House." We hope you will be able to attend them in order to learn more about your team of teachers and to be well-informed about your grade level educational process.Grade Level Open House Meets will take place as follows:Kindergarten Team - Thursday, August 27th at 12:30 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.First Grade Team - Tuesday, August 25th at 1 p.m. and again on Wednesday, August 26th at 6 p.m.Second Grade Team - Thursday, August 27th at 12:30 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.Third Grade Team - Wednesday, August 26th at 6 p.m.Fourth Grade Team - immediately following the School Wide Open House on Tuesday, August 25thFifth Grade Team - Held their open houses last week.Grade level teams will offer a second open house or provide information using another method to accommodate parents who are not able to attend a 6 p.m. meet.Please review your grade level communications for the your specific grade level Open House Meet log in code.
SSA & AIG ClassesPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/24/2020
School Updates: SSA and more
Good day everyone. This is Dr. Wheeler, your principal, with some school updates.
Single Subject Acceleration (SSA): Our district offers advanced math and English Language Arts (ELA) classes to students through the SSA program. Students take a test to demonstrate advanced level skills. If they pass the test, they are able to take the class at the next grade level. All SSA testing will take place online this year. 2019-2020 SSA test requests from parents and staff that have been collected already are still valid. The students will be tested this fall. Families also have the option to request SSA testing through the end of this week. If you want your child tested for SSA and have not yet asked for the testing, PLEASE DO SO THIS WEEK by emailing our Academically Gifted teacher, Mrs. Foxx, at email@example.com
SSA testing will take place the first 30 days of remote learning. The expectation is that students qualifying for SSA will be placed in accelerated courses no later than the seventh week of school. This means that the SSA request window is open until August 31, 2020. Mrs. Foxx has the SSA requests made during last school year, so there is no need to make a request again. Again, you can make a new request for your child to be tested for SSA Math or Reading by sending an email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. SSA testing will be completed remotely beginning the second week of September. More information will be given soon. Please email Mrs. Foxx (email@example.com) with any questions about SSA and/or the AIG program.
AIG Schedule: The Academically Gifted class schedule for this year includes classes for fourth and fifth grade students. The printed schedule is available on memberhub and the AIG website. Enrichment classes and AIG testing for third grade students will take place this fall. More information will be going home soon on these third-grade services.
The schedules for fourth and fifth grade AIG meets (classes) are as follows:
Fourth Grade AIG Meet Days and Times
Red Group (Meet code is 4aigfoxx.)
Math 9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Mondays for Red Group
Reading 9:15 – 10:00 a.m. Wednesdays for Red Group
Purple Group (Meet code is 4aigfoxx.)
Math 10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Mondays for Purple Group
Reading 10:15-11:00 a.m. Wednesdays for Purple Group
Fifth Grade AIG Meet Days and Times
Red Group (Meet code is 5aigfoxx)
Math 9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Tuesdays for Red Group
Reading 9:15 – 10:00 a.m. Thursdays for Red Group
Purple Group (Meet code is 5aigfoxx.)
Math 10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Tuesdays for Purple Group
Reading 10:15-11:00 a.m. Thursdays for Purple Group
First Day UpdatesPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/17/2020
First Day Updates
Good day parents. This is Dr. Wheeler with some first day updates.
Logging In: There have been some difficulties with logging into lessons today. Staff have been working diligently to address the problems you are having. Please email your questions/needs to a grade level teacher and cc Mrs. Stradling at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mrs. Condry at email@example.com, and Dr. Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get to you as quickly as possible.
Dreambox: Rosters are being set up. We hope this program will be available by next Monday. Feel free to keep trying it, but you might not have luck until next week.
Authentication / Security Errors: When trying to click on an app in the Wake Id Portal, your student may see a box pop up indicating their is a security or authentication error. It asks for a user name. Type your students full wcpss email address (even though we don't use that in elementary school). The format is email@example.com. Be sure the word students is plural.
New Second Grade Teacher Delayed: We found out from human resources that the new second grade teacher, Ms. Rucker, will not officially begin until August 24th. Ms. Brim, one of our long-standing staff members, will be sub for Ms. Rucker and work closely with the other second-grade teachers, Mrs. Bunn and Ms. Wilson. Ms. Brim will sub for Ms. Rucker during morning meeting and cover the Science class for all second graders. Ms. Wilson will be teaching ELA to all second graders, and Mrs. Bunn will be teaching mathematics to all second-grade students. There are no changes in the second-grade log in codes that were sent home to you. I personally apologize for not getting this message out to you sooner.
Thank you: Teachers and staff were so pleasantly surprised to see the welcoming sidewalk signs as they walked into school today. Many thanks to the artists that drew the welcoming messages for all of us to see! Also, thank you for your support and flexibility as we start the new year under unusual circumstances.
Parent Meet PowerPoint on Opening SchoolsPosted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/14/2020
Please find attached the Parent Presentation PowerPoint from our Thursday, August 13, 2020 Parent Meet. Unfortunately, the recording had a technical error and did not take. However, the PowerPoint includes all the details shared last night and includes recently updated schedules. The schedules linked in the PowerPoint are the most accurate. Please have your student follow these schedules. Your teachers will also post updated schedules on their Google classrooms and in Dojo. Please expect to hear from your homeroom teachers over the next couple of days. We look forward to working with you this year!
Sincerely, Dr. Wheeler
Welcome Back!Posted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/14/2020
School Messenger August 14, 2020
This is Dr. Wheeler, your principal at Olds Elementary. I just wanted to quickly welcome you and your children to the start of another school year. While it will look a bit differently than in the past, we are dedicated to ensuring a quality education for all of our students. Last night we had a Parent Meet on various aspects of opening the school. Please be on the lookout for a link that will enable you to review the PowerPoint information. As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here to serve you. The PowerPoint about opening our school will be posted on the PTA Memberhub site, through school messenger, and on our school website under Our School, Principal’s Messages. We look forward to talking and working with you as we begin our school year. Welcome again! Dr. Wheeler
WELCOME BACK!Posted by Mary Anne Wheeler on 8/14/2020