Last updated: April 4, 2020 11:39 AM
April 3, 2020
Dear Students and Families,
Everyone joins me in wishing you a wonderful Spring Break next week, filled with indoor and outside fun! At Home Learning instruction resumes on Monday April 13, 2020.
Please return the Parent Survey Laurel sent in the email yesterday and included here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BH17QaFSdmGwN7eOH5mCdVCEoQdIYRqFN61efCZCAz8/edit?ts=5e85297d#heading=h.pnbasmf55vbh. If you prefer a paper copy emailed or mailed to you, please let me know. I will compile the survey results and then we will have a virtual Parent Meeting the week of 4/13 to discuss plans, answer questions and share community.
After Spring Break, we will continue with our Art Program, as I read "Sky Color" by Peter H Reynolds, with the kids. It's the compelling story about Marisol and how she answers the question, "How am I going to make the sky without blue paint?". The Art Program will include videos, send assignments and even some Google 'Art Hangouts'. More info soon!
Yesterday I gave you PE/Movement resources and today is all about art! Some are 'handy', and some are messy, and some are just for fun!
• Here's a recipe for homemade play-doh from Leo's Mom for SUPER easy NO COOK fun! The video is short and easy to follow: https://youtu.be/oAIAm6BF0fs
• Play-doh ideas: https://pin.it/ux1Zj4, https://pin.it/NWXmWTw and https://pin.it/75PUMLp. Don't forget to grab your old cookie cutters for more fun!
• Here's some easy 'handy' crafts: https://pin.it/3TL1zxJ and https://pin.it/5OngRzD
• Ready to get a bit messy? Try these: https://pin.it/16HImki and https://pin.it/4y1hx10
• No muss, no fuss: https://pin.it/3kh3KSn and https://pin.it/3iSOFmI
• Directed drawing: https://pin.it/ux1Zj4L, https://pin.it/7JXAWsf, and https://pin.it/29i0qjz
• Other ideas: https://listotic.com/29-fun-crafts-kids-adults-will-actually-enjoy-l/
Otto is having fun with his Play-doh using his imagination! I know we can't take off for Spring Break, but let's all plan to have some adventures anyway! Please be sure to send pics!
April 2, 2020
I am grateful for the beautiful clear blue skies we have had for the past few days, and I hope you have had a chance to get outside to enjoy the crisp clean air!
Here's some ways to stay active, indoors and outside:
If you've always wanted to do a flash mob, here's a chance to do it from your own home! Use this link to join San Carlos Children's Theater virtual group on this Sunday at 11:00PST: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafa92ea46-virtual You are gonna need to practice ahead of time, and please show us your best steps!
Here's a video of Coach Mike and his kids doing some warm-up stretches and then fitness exercises! I really enjoyed watching his youngest, Johnny, work so hard to keep up with the older siblings and hope you enjoy it too! https://youtu.be/Knn_nbjV_o4
Here's some apps that will encourage your kid to head outside: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/apps-that-inspire-kids-to-play-outside
Here's some fun choreographed instructional dance videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV2L2SZWsnc, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbxDwaGwi2Q, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PmAr9F4e7U, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUYSYLC1UIA
Remember to always try your best! Even Otto has a CAN-do attitude!
April 1, 2020
Dear Students and Parents,
I am so happy to hear the great reports from your teachers! It's really quiet at the school and I miss your happy faces and bright smiles! Please send me your drawings and stories to put up here. Every classroom is busy with At Home Learning and I wanted to share a bit of what they are doing:
Today friends in Room D got to listen to Ms. King and her daughter, Louisa, do a read aloud of "I am Going" by Mo Willems! Teacher Jenny gave out the Rainbow Writing sight words activity, too. Ms. Reyes gave the assignment "Why do birds have beaks?" and I'm interested to read your answers! Please send them my way!
Room B middle schoolers are finishing the "Refugee" (book by Alan Gratz) with only a few chapters to go! So glad that Isabel was able to make it ashore in Florida (and with a new baby brother too!). Mrs. Collins assigned the vocab words for the new unit on Medieval Japan and Ms. Reyes sent a video about the 'flow of energy in ecosystems'.
Students in Room C got to watch the Liberty Kids video 'Liberty or Death' from Mrs. Collins. Mr. Steve has asked his classroom to start a "Time Capsule Journal"; this is a great assignment and will be interesting to read in a few years, when we are all older! Ms. Reyes asked, "What do the Beluga and the sea duck have in common in the food web?"
Today, Room D friends had a fun online treat with the lunchtime doodles of Mo Willems, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4RfUC6-aKE and he showed his original sketchbook for "Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus"! Ms. Reyes also gave a book video, "Who Lives Here?" about Sofia and her animal friends.
Today we got the news that the rest of this school year will be At Home Learning. The teachers are busy working on new and fun ways to make learning enjoyable for everyone! We will be sending a survey in a few days to get your feedback and ideas for the program.
Spring Break runs Monday, April 6 through Friday April 10, and there will not be any schoolwork assignments.
March 31, 2020
Please be sure to share the appropriate information in this email with your students! I was checking in with some of the families today and some had not yet shown the yoga video to their kids or â€˜The Adventures of Otto' (at the end of every email and on our website and Facebook page). These are all meant to create community, lift spirits and encourage a love of learning. Here is the video from Music Teacher Chris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUqwiKpHIbc&feature=youtu.be
Arbor Bay has become a "Going on a Bear Hunt" site, complete with stuffed teddy bears and pictures of cartoon bears in the windows. We even have official certificates outside, near the front door! If you're nearby, come check out the fun! Please ask your student to draw and color a bear and send it to me for the windows here! The more "bears", the better!! Take a look: https://www.jointhebearhunt.com and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Waoa3iG3bZ4
Hey, it's also National Crayon Day, so check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTbINnlW4sI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bEyOrsGVf0
Your kids are familiar with "Go Noodle" to wake up their bodies or get their giggles out, but there are also videos for releasing tension and worry. Here's one recommended by Dr. B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRkILioT_NA
Internet problems today? There was a glitch with Comcast this morning and that might be the reason. If it's not just today, here's the top 6 hints from our IT guy: restart the device; get closer to the wi-fi unit; if all devices aren't working, it's your internet coming into the house; use your cell phone's Hotspot (if you have good cell reception), but it may cost extra; jump on your neighbor's wi-fi (ask first!); or connect with me and I will have our IT guy call you!
Here's some great songs from Teacher Chris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUqwiKpHIbc&feature=youtu.be
Your kids really are my sunshine
March 30, 2020
Thank you to Katie for the recommendation of the "iHeart Radio Living Room Concert for America" (last night) to benefit Feeding America and the First Responders Children's Foundation! We know a little help can make a big difference! I especially enjoyed Alicia Keye's beautiful piano playing and watching Billie Eilish and her brother sing together! If you would like to donate, go to www.FeedingAmerica.org and www.1strcf.org.
Are you stuck at home or safe at home? A little word can make a big difference! I hope the resources provided by your classroom teacher and Laurel Bartling are helping to fill the time with your student in a fun, educational and meaningful way. Also check the ABS website for additional info: https://www.arborbayschool.org/covid-19/. Be sure to let us know what we can do to be supportive and help.
Tomorrow is Tuesday, when we usually have Yoga with Ms. DeAnna! Here's the note from Ms. Kathi and Ms. DeAnna about yoga (that I sent last week):
"I hope you all and your families are doing ok during these uncertain times. Dealing with so much change and uncertainty can cause stress and anxiety. We are working with ABS staff to keep some consistency, learning, connection, fun and structure in your kid's day. We hope you enjoy the OmmWorks YOGA class video prepared for your kids so they can see the beautiful Miss Deanna and practice distant connection. Feel free to join them parents and caregivers ðŸ˜‰. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and be safe. With Kindness & Gratitude, Kathi, Deanna and the OmmWorks Team". Here's the video:
Even Otto wants to join in the yoga fun! He may need a little help from his ABS friends, though!
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,
March 27, 2020
We have all made it through another week and are well on our way to adjusting to his new routine. This transition should be getting a bit smoother â€" if it isn't, please let me know and I may be able to help you out. Please be sure to connect directly with Annette and Lisa when they contact you to schedule your therapy services! If you have not been getting Speech or OT at ABS, but want to start teletherapy or consultation services, please let me know.
I wanna keep this short and helpful:
-Wanna see all the educational resources in one spot? Check out our website and click on Educational Resources: www.arborbayschool.org/covid-19/
-Wanna do some fun art lessons? Let me know what you think of this: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL14hRqd0PELGbKihHuTqx_pbvCLqGbOkF
-Katie wants to pass along that there is a live concert that will be on tv Sunday, March 29th at 6 pm Pacific/ 9 pm Eastern on Fox and iHeart radio. See link for details: https://deadline.com/2020/03/elton-john-to-host-foxs-concert-special-for-coronavirus-relief-effort-with-eilish-keys-mcgraw-carey-more-1202892151/amp/
-Wanna check out the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Mission Operations? Here is a link to the 360 Degree Virtual Tour: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hubble-360-degree-virtual-tour. Otto thinks it's a blast!
Hope you have an "Otto this world fun time" this weekend!
March 26, 2020
We are a community of people united in the love of our children and our passion for their education! The current situation is difficult and the news yesterday of the extension until May 1 was tough to take. So many questions and not enough good responses right now. I totally believe in this school community and our ability to find the answers and help each other. We are thinkers and doers, doctors and plumbers, number crunchers and hair stylists, designers and activists, and we can make this all happen, for all our ABS kids. I encourage you to connect with each other (maybe you parents want to schedule a daily "Hangout" or Zoom!). What are tough problems you are dealing with, what solutions/helpful hints can you offer others? How do you work full-time at home, help your kids do their home-school work, keep them busy and schedule down-time? I spoke with Katie's Mom yesterday and she was wondering "Am I supposed to be baking bread and cleaning closets? I can barely get my paid job done, keep the kids busy/happy, and get dinner on the table!" It looks different for every family and each day. Let's all share resources, ideas and support. Please reach out to the other classroom parents and check in. I always believe that people are doing their best and we can/will get through this together!
If the "Hangout traffic" is bugging you or your student, simply sign out of it temporarily in 3 easy steps: Open Gmail; on the left side of the window, under the folders, you'll see your Hangouts profile icon with the user's name and a down carrot next to it: click any one of the three; in the pop-up that appears, scroll down to the very bottom and press the "Sign out of Hangouts" box. You can always sign back in when you are ready!
Our teachers have gotten feedback that some students and their parents are feeling overwhelmed with the assigned workload and everything else going on in the world. I'm sure most families are feeling the same! Please view the Daily Plan as a list of activities to keep your student busy and learning. Not everything has to be completed or turned in daily. Your calm and healthy approach to the assignments is what's important right now.
Hope you have a chance to enjoy the blue sky todayâ€¦I know Otto did!
March 25, 2020
I was notified today that the "seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties". ABS staff had our weekly staff meeting today and this was a topic of conversation. Obviously, continuation of the program for a longer duration will take additional planning and preparation. We will continue to rely on your feedback to let us know what is/is not working for you. Please connect directly with the classroom teachers.
The morning "Meets" and "Hangouts" are going well and it's great that everyone is able to join in! I have heard from the kids that it's great to see their friends and teachers! Just as a reminder, our students' and teachers' privacy is of the utmost importance, so do not post/publicize photos, screenshots or videos online that contain other student's or teacher's images. Have some great pics of your student doing At Home Learning that you want to share on our private Facebook page? Contact Lisa Webster (Leo's Mom) at email@example.com.
Here's a couple resources that you may find helpful: https://www.smcstrong.org/; https://www.hiller.org/event/hiller-at-home-2020/; https://www.sierraclub.org/articles/2020/03/keeping-our-kids-curious-and-engaged-home.
This year the students selected the Otter as our school mascot, and we are happy to present Otto's adventures during At Home Learning! Please share this with your student (also on our Facebook page and https://www.arborbayschool.org/otto/) and we welcome your student's suggestions as to what Otto can do to keep busy.
And now, "The Adventures of Otto" (the ABS mascot who is At Home Learning)
March 25, 2020
Bay Area School Closures and Student Dismissals From Regular School Attendance To Be Extended Through May 1, 2020
Redwood City, CASeven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.
Building on the regional coordination the Bay Area jurisdictions took on March 16, 2020 in issuing Health Officer orders requiring all residents to shelter in place, the following Bay Area county agencies have been working together over the last several weeks to align strategies and practices during this unprecedented time for public education:
• Alameda County Office of Education • Contra Costa County Office of Education • Marin County Office of Education • San Francisco Unified School District • San Mateo County Office of Education • Santa Clara County Office of Education • City Health Officer, Berkeley, within Alameda County
With the support and collaboration of the Public Health Officers in the respective counties, the County Superintendents of Schools recognized the need to extend the period of school closures and student dismissals through May 1, 2020. School facilities may remain open to staff for the purposes of performing tasks deemed essential by the school district and county offices of education. Education will continue through flexible learning, meals will continue to be provided and, where possible, childcare may be arranged.
During this time, residents are expected to adhere to the "Shelter in Place" Orders issued by the Public Health Officers on March 16 and stay home except for essential activities until further notification from their local health department.
In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health Officers including:
} • Social distancing • Washing hands often with soap and water • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth • Staying home if you are feeling sick • Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. • Engage in regular exercise or physical activity
The regional connections across our most populous counties in the Bay Area require a coordinated approach. County Offices of Education will continue to work in close partnership with local health departments and local school districts to support the children, parents, and essential workforce of the Bay Area.
"Working together to address a virus that respects no boundaries is the right approach," explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. "San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow and I commend our colleagues across the Bay Area for their commitment not only to public safety but to continuing learning opportunities for students during this challenging time. We also commend our community for taking all possible steps to slow the virus' spread."
March 24, 2020
We have received a request for drawings or letters to be delivered to the elderly in our community! Vanessa Treadwell has asked, "If your kids (or you) - home from school/work, would like to draw a picture and or write a letter; e-send it to me and I'll get it to the Executive Directors in Senior Communities that are on lock-down. These pictures and words will bring great joy to our elders that are experiencing isolation due to the virus. I work for Home Care Assistance and we have direct connections in this channel so together we can make a real difference. We are better together! Please send artwork or letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject Line: We are Better Together!"
I am working with Coach Mike, Yoga Teacher Miss DeAnna, and Music Teacher Chris on creating online videos for ABS that can be played anytime. More info on this will be coming very soon! Meanwhile, check out this website that has some fun indoor games that don't take any special equipment and are fun for the whole family: www.playworks.org/news/playathome-with-playworks/. Here is a Thomson family recommended website for art fun, with supplies you already have: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub.
The following information came today from the Council for American Private Education:
"The US Senate is currently considering a coronavirus relief package that includes aid to K-12 schools. Currently, there is language in the legislation allowing non-public schools to receive relief. However, it appears that some are attempting to remove this language. Please use this link to urge senators to make sure that private schools are not excluded from Congress' COVID-19 relief package: http://action.capenet.org/ctas/equitable-services-non-public-schools-in-cares-act. "
Today, Jamieson told me that she has already finished all her Math and she is feeling really proud of herself! She also finished a Taylor Swift autobiography on Epic! and is reading "Dork Diaries" by Rachel RenÃ©e Russell. Mady made purple Jell-O, but everyone in the house only likes the red flavors (Cherry and Strawberry)! Her Uncle sent her a book from the "Winterhouse" series by Ben Guterson and she is busy trying to figure out the mystery
Take good care,
And now, "The Adventures of Otto" (the ABS mascot who is At Home Learning)
March 23, 2020
Thank you so much for the outpouring of support as we enter week 2 of At Home Learning! All the students are getting used to the daily "Meet" and we are glad that the transition has proceeded so well. It's always tough on kids and adults when there is so much uncertainly and please know we are all still adjusting to this new situation. We know that you, as parents, are receiving loads of content for your child's program from us and other sources, and sometimes additional input may actually conflict with what you may have been told previously Please do what is best for your situation in your home with your family on any particular day. Some days your student may be â€˜up' for the program and other days, maybe not so much. We do not want to add further stress, but do request that you log into the "Meet" each day as that is how we take daily attendance. Please email your teacher to let them know your specific concerns about what is working and what is not. If you are looking for additional curriculum content, please contact Laurel at email@example.com.
Teacher Hilary says, "Don't forget to order your yearbook!" You will need to log in to the Treering account to place your order. If you want custom pages, the deadline for those is April 10th. To activate your account, or to log in & place an order, go to www.treering.com/validate and enter Arbor Bay's code: 1013546625132730. Please do it now before you forget!
Today I had the opportunity to Facetime with Ani and saw her incredible Lego masterpiece of a "Pirate ship in water with Minecraft Zombies" that she built with her dad, as well as their 1000-piece puzzle of Christmas Nutcrackers that looks super challenging! Nati came by and picked up her planner, a Chromebook, Refugee (book by Alan Gratz) and some art supplies to help keep her busy. Please let me know if you need any items that are here onsite, and we are happy to gather those things for you. I'd love to connect with your student, so let me know if we can schedule a phone call soon!
We always have spirit days in March and this Wednesday is "Plaid Day", so let's see how many of the students and staff can wear their â€˜plaid' at the morning "Meet"! I know Room B is working on their funny hats for Teacher Pamela as well! Let's be sure with all that is going on that we make time for some silly spirit days too!
"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny." Dr. Seuss
Take good care,
March 20, 2020
Our Facebook page has a delightful image of one of our Room A students doing his morning "Meet", so check it out! If you have images of your student's "At Home Learning Program" that you would like to share on Facebook, please email them to Lisa Ogawa at firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 650/281-5586. We miss all the students and would love to see their smiling faces, even if it's just online!
Today I had a "phone date" with a couple of the students in Room C and was happy to hear that Mila is doing her classroom job of assigning +1 for students doing their best work, and Pranav was excited about Mrs. Collins' assignments on the American Revolutionary War! Please let me know if you would like me to schedule a phone date with your student. I'd love the chance to check in with them one on one!
It was terrific to "see" our Room B students today as I popped in for a moment during their "Meet" with Mr. Morgan, Teacher Pamela and Ms. Doubrava! Thank you for providing the support your student needs during this special "Meet" time with their classmates and teachers. If you have questions or feedback (regarding logging in, online resources, homework, etc.) please email the teachers directly, as the "Meet" time is for the students' benefit. The staff is working hard all day every day to improve the program and will be responsive to your email input.
The art program this year was a terrific opportunity for me to work with each of your students and I had so much fun doing it! Using watercolors was really a favorite, so I hope that you can help your student continue to explore this further at home. I would love to see your student's art activities, so please send me pics! We also were working hard on sign language, preparing to sing and sign "You Are My Sunshine". Please check out this YouTube video if your student wants to continue with this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRuYTCfj7a8.
Things are difficult right now and there are a lot of adjustments to be made with this transition to At Home Learning. I am beyond grateful to work with this amazing and dedicated staff! The teachers are working with Laurel Bartling on curriculum and instructional resources. Please continue to email me suggestions for program ideas and we will continue to include new things as we "roll out" the program. Today was just Day 2, and we are well on our way!
Be healthy and calm,
March 19, 2020
Families will need to play a more active role in supporting their child's education at home than ever before and what we are doing is new for all of us. Day 1 of online instruction had some thrills and some spills! As we work out the specifics, we will certainly all get better at this!
Here's some important things your teachers want you to know about the "Meet": your student needs a quiet place to do the classroom "Meet" because the microphone picks up all surrounding sounds in your home â€" your dog, the silly brothers, the dishwasher, etc. During the "Meet", your student should not touch the keyboard, unless instructed to do so (and may initially need supervision with this). Students should follow general classroom rules during the "Meet", only talk when called upon, be a good listener and respectful to classmates.
Concerning online learning: Students should take their time on assignments and do their best work. All assignments have a due date and it is not necessary to complete them when initially assigned or ahead of time. Our intent is for your student to spend about 4 hours daily doing â€˜school tasks', including the mandatory morning" Meet", instruction and assignments, PE/music/yoga, breaks, snacks, exploring online resources, speech/OT services, etc. This does not need to happen all at once. Your student should not be online all day long. This is not a productive use of their time and it is counter-intuitive to what we are trying to accomplish. Please closely supervise your student's use of the technology device.
And finally, here's some wise words from a local Mom: "You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reportsâ€¦But here's the thing, our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for 4 weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends. Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your kids. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen. You'll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances. What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it's all going to be ok... Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothingâ€¦At the end of all of this, your kids' mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those 4 weeks is long gone".
Be healthy and calm,
March 18, 2020
We have been working hard to ensure that we are connecting with each and everyone of you about the "live" distance learning sessions, starting tomorrow! If you have any questions, please email your classroom teacher or Laurel (email@example.com). We have been hearing from so many of your kids who are excited about the new opportunities for learning online!
Some new news:
We just received guidance from the CA Department of Education on how to proceed with â€˜distance learning' and Laurel and I are reviewing the 50+page document (with hundreds of website links) to ensure we are in compliance.
We hope to start Speech and OT services for our district-funded students very soon and then we will connect with our private families regarding adding services, as well. We have a HIPPA compliant secured online platform and will be using this, in addition to other online and instructional resources. More info coming soon! (Let's successfully launch Google Classroom tomorrow and then we are ready to do more!)
Here's a great resource that I hope you find useful: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/coronavirus-latest-updates.
Please let me know what we can do to be helpful and we will "see" you tomorrow at your student's first "Meet"!
Stay healthy and calm,
Hi parents! Thank you all for your patience while we get everything in place for our first "Meet" tomorrow morning. We are excited to see how this all works and say hello to your children. I wanted to check in to see if everybody has had a chance to login.
If you are still having issues logging in or joining your child's class, please send me or your classroom teacher a message so we can get this figured out.
As a reminder, your child's teachers "Meet" times are as follows:
Room A/D with Teacher Alexa - 10:00 AM
Room B with Mr. Morgan - 10:00 AM
Room C with Teacher Steve - 9:30 AM
Let us know how we can help and HANG IN THERE! :)
March 17, 2020
We are certainly missing your kids, and it's way too quiet at Arbor Bay today!! Please let your teacher and Laurel (firstname.lastname@example.org) know how it is going with the sign-in for the Google Classroom especially if you are having difficulty with it at all. If you have not yet signed in, please do so today as we are rolling it out on Thursday and want to problem-solve all issues prior to that.
A number of you have contacted me about the challenges of working from home while your student is home as well. We are happy to do whatever we can to be helpful. My suggestions for easing this transition are to:
1) Hold a family meeting to discuss this new â€˜normal' and use this time to express concerns as well as problem-solve.
2) Create a daily schedule for your student, as that is what we use here at school. This schedule should include schoolwork, meals, chores and other daily activities. Use a white board, large sheet of paper, or a checklist so your student can mark off their accomplishments.
3) Establish a learning environment for your student â€" kitchen table, comfy chair in the living room, bedroom desk, etc. Keep in mind your students' specific learning needs and ensure they have the supplies needed to do all assignments.
4) Take regular breaks for movement, fresh air and snacks. Our youngest students have a break every 10 minutes or so and our oldest kids sit for about 40 minutes at a time. Be sure that movement and â€˜down-time' are interspersed throughout the day.
5) Give yourself a break also! This is a new situation that is unfamiliar to all of us. We will all need to adjust to the bumps along the way.
6) Utilize positive reinforcements to reward targeted behavior and completion of tasks. These â€˜bribes' are motivational and can make a big difference! Some ideas include making a special snack, reading time, online chat with friends, phone call with a relative, outdoor time, etc.
We are one community and I encourage you to reach out to other school families to stay connected, while still complying with the social distancing recommendations. I have attached a copy of the school directory for your convenience. Ms. Doubrava and I were just talking about the â€˜science of kindness" (https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-videos/18-the-science-of-kindness) and this is a great time to reach out to others and rely on their support! Our school-wide SEL curriculum is found at www.randomactsofkindness.org, if you want it as a resource.
Your teachers will be connecting with you, so please respond to email requests for logging in, posting attendance, etc.
I have some signs on the wall at my desk that I look at daily. One says, "Nothing new has ever happened before". Another states "Staying positive does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that you will be okay no matter how things turn out". I also have one that reads, "I can't make everyone happy, I'm not pizza!" We can and will do thisâ€¦ together.
Stay healthy and calm,
PS: Your local libraries have many online resources (online books, etc.) for your use! You can access it online at http://www.plsinfo.org/
March 13, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Today was a whirlwind of activity and I apologize for the quickly written email earlier today. Beginning on Monday, 3/16, we will have At-Home Learning for all students, as the County Public Health Department has issued a School Operations Modification Order requiring all schools to "dismiss students from regular attendance and encourages schools and school districts to implement at-home learning models if feasible". Arbor Bay staff created a learning packet for each student that went home with their report card today. If your student was not in school today, please drop by school on Monday to pick it up or contact me directly. Staff will be onsite Monday â€" Friday, 9:00am â€" 5:00pm.
We are working this weekend to develop a school-wide comprehensive learning plan that includes all subject areas for all students, utilizing online resources, digital learning, software programs, hands-on activities, and more. The scope of this is extensive as our students require an individualized approach to maximize learning. The teaching teams will meet first thing Monday morning to plan and prep the specific At-Home Learning program for each student. We hope to disseminate that information to each family on Wed., 3/18. As a Non-Public School certified by the CA Department of Education, there are specific guidelines that must be followed, and I will be studying that information this weekend to better inform the staff.
I want to acknowledge how difficult this shift in operations is for most families. As I mentioned in an email earlier this week, our intention was to remain fully operational unless ordered to modify the program. That order came at noon today, and I know the decision was made with the well-being of your family and the community in mind. Please know that we are thinking of you and your student; the hallways will be empty without their laughter. We know that our school community will only grow closer and stronger as we get through with this Public Health Emergency. Please let us know what we can do to be helpful.
All my best,
PS: The San Mateo County Parks will remain open! Check out https://parks.smcgov.org/press-release/smc-parks-takes-protective-action-against-spread-covid-19
March 13, 2020
In our effort to continue teaching and learning we are transitioning to At-Home Learning and will be using the Google Classroom interface to connect with you. Your student's classroom teacher has created and invited your child to join their virtual "classroom", which they can log into using their Google email & password at classroom.google.com.
Once your child has logged in, they will need to "join" their class. This will give them access to connect with their classmates and teachers remotely. Please confirm with your classroom teacher ASAP that you are able to login & access the classroom, so we can troubleshoot before Thursday morning's check-in. If you have any issues getting setup please connect with Laurel Bartling (email@example.com).
Starting, Thursday, March 19th, the teachers will be doing a daily check-in with their class. Your child's teacher will be in touch in the next few days with the daily time to login. This will be done through the "Meet" feature in Google Classroom, which is available through the apps icon in the upper right-hand corner from the Classroom Screen. This will allow both students and teachers a chance to chat remotely. This "Meet" check-in will also account for your child's attendance that day. If your child is unable to login (which we understand), please sign and electronically return your child's "Daily At-Home Learning Plan".
Each day of the school week your child's teacher will have a "Daily At-Home Learning Plan", which will outline what they want them to do for academic subjects throughout the day. If you or your child have any questions about the day's expectations or assignments this is something you can discuss during your check in. Not all assignments will be assigned through Google Classroom. Please connect with your teacher directly on how to manage your child's assignments. Our Science and History specialists will have access to the Classroom as well, and they will be uploading their own activities & assignments. Their assignments will likely be twice a week instead of daily.
This shift to At-Home Learning is significant for students and staff. During this time, we will do our best to (1) continue standards-based lessons and activities so that students keep up with their learning and (2) provide a diversity of activities so that your student can be occupied during normal school hours. We encourage each family to create a structured routine that embraces this daily regular At-Home Learning opportunity, including a time and location dedicated to the student's efforts.
Tomorrow I will send the â€˜top 5 tips' (plus a bonus!) to help ease this transition! If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me.
March 13, 2020
Thank you for your attention to these important updates. I will keep this short and to the point, offering additional information later today. As of noon today, the San Mateo County Health Department Officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, has issued an order that San Mateo County schools will be closed for in-person instruction starting March 16. We will move to transition to 'At-Home Learning' effective immediately and anticipate this may continue until 4/03. Our Spring Break is scheduled for April 6-10. Our site will remain open only for staff.
Our terrific teachers have been preparing for this possibility and today your student is bringing home a packet of appropriate instructional materials that may include worksheets, reading packets and additional resources. These materials should be utilized for the first 3 days of next week, and we will be forwarding additional resources to you on Wednesday for instruction beyond that time. At-Home Learning details will be communicated directly to you by your teacher, and our plan is to provide academic instruction to ensure that learning continues. Please be patient and flexible as our hard-working teachers are rolling out this process.
If you need to borrow an internet-enabled device for At-Home Learning, please connect with me directly as we can offer Chrome Books, as appropriate.
Arbor Bay School will be open and staffed during this time. Please phone or email with any questions or concerns.
Susan Rose, Director
Arbor Bay School
Notice from the Health Department (March 13, 2020)