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

 

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