March 13 Statement from Principal Dineen Gruchacz on Remote Learning at CP
Sun, Mar 15 8:01am

March 13, 2020

Dear Community Park Families,

Our dedicated CP faculty have been working hard to prepare for our school closure due to COVID-19. Preparing for "remote learning" is new to us, especially at the elementary school level. I appreciate the dedication and collaboration that I am seeing all around our building. CP is fortunate to have such caring teachers.

Here is what you need to know at this time. Please understand that as we figure out better ways to do things, or learn from our partners, we will tweak and adjust to make things as easy as we can for everyone:

-This school closure affects all afternoon and evening activities.  

- We understand that a remote learning approach doesn’t provide daily, human interaction, but our teachers and staff members are working diligently to provide meaningful, engaging learning experiences for all of our children in a way that strives to meet their needs. We are working with a number of state mandates, district-wide decisions and directives, and building-based plans.

Expect the following as we shift to remote learning:

1) Check with your child’s teacher if your child has been absent these past days and has not brought home books/materials that they may need for remote learning.  Teachers may be able to send some or all of what is needed electronically, or they may have hard copies of those documents left in a folder for you to pick-up in the main office.

2) Initially, we are planning for instruction for grades 3-5 to be centered through teacher websites which you can access via PowerSchool Learning. The district has tried to ensure that all families with children grades 3-5 have access to appropriate technology at home. If your student has no access to a computer/device, let us know immediately so that we can work to provide one.  

3) Pre-K through 2nd grade teachers have begun sending home packets of work and activities for their students so online access should not be required for those students at this time.  If the closing goes beyond two weeks, the district will try to provide appropriate devices (MacBooks, Chromebooks, or iPads) for our younger learners who may not have those at home.  If we then have access to appropriate technology, we may begin moving those grade levels to a full or partial online platform model as well.

4) The state and district require us to take daily attendance.  For students in grades 3-5, teachers will have a Google form embedded on their website for students to mark attendance each day when they log in.  For students from Pre-K through 2nd grade, many teachers have sent home a log for parents to initial or sign.  These teachers will be sending brief "check-in" emails each day that will include a request for parents to send a short email response to verify that their child is indeed working on their activities and assignments for the day. Teachers will follow up with a phone call to verify "attendance" for parents who do not respond.

5) To maintain contact with you, we have a plan for one or more of our teachers to check in with each child/family a few times each week through a combination of phone calls and email.  Some teachers will call from their private cell phones and may use a special code so that the number appears to parents as a "No Caller ID."  If you receive such a call, know that is may be from school staff.

6) Our teachers will be working each weekday, and they will communicate more with you about the ways in which they will be able to interact with you.  

7) The general expectation is that students will engage in roughly four hours of learning activities each, including all major curricular areas and specials. 

8) Specials teachers have created a link through your child’s PowerSchool Learning page.  If you have trouble locating that information and/or have questions about what you find there, please reach out to those teachers.

9) Special education teachers are working with our Child Study Team, Eric Csolak, Supervisor of Special Education, and with classroom teachers to meet the IEP goals and needs of children.  

10) “Related services” (like speech, OT, ESL) teachers will also be working to provide appropriate learning activities and experiences for your children.

11)The main office will be open most weekdays at least from 8:00 am unless there is a documented health need that dictates otherwise. As the next two weeks unfold, teachers may ask you to drop off student work at school and/or to pick up additional materials. This would be especially true for our youngest students, who are not working with an online model. If we do have an extended closure and move towards an online model for younger students, we will be in touch with those families to arrange to get devices.

12) The district is working to use our buses to provide meals for those families who receive free and reduced lunches.  And, if we have families who might be unable to pick-up/drop-off the materials described above, we will try to organize our buses to visit homes of those children as well.

Questions remain and we will keep communicating with you. The answers will unfold in the coming days and weeks. Please stay positive and healthy!

Sincerely,

Dineen Gruchacz