The Lion's Share Newsletter

August 2020

From the Desk of Mr. Miller:

Dearest Grant Families,

Let me begin by telling you how greatly appreciated your patience and understanding has been through these difficult and trying times. As a parent myself, my family and I have had to navigate the ever-changing landscape of life, work, and our own son's education. It hasn't been easy for us, and I know it hasn't been easy for you. I really am forever grateful for each and every one of you as I know you have been eagerly awaiting news of what is to come.

Before I go into some of the details, I want to share with you that I didn't feel it would be right to communicate a plan to all of you prematurely, knowing very well that the entire plan could be thrown out for a new one, as we continually receive updates and guidance from central administration. As this has happened several times the past few weeks, I feel my choice to wait, although difficult, was correct. Now that I feel confident that we will all have a solid starting point, I felt it was the right time to reach out. Please know that I fully understand and I am fully aware that the best laid plans may not meet the needs or fit the schedule for everyone. Please know that the following plan was created with our best intentions to meet the needs of our students and your family.

As you are aware, D11 decided to begin this school year with a hybrid model. Simply stated, that means most of our instruction for the first quarter will take place online through Inspire Online at Grant. I can tell you that the instruction, lessons, and expectations will be very different than those presented to you this past fall. While most of our instruction will take place Monday thru Friday online, this hybrid model will allow certain students to receive some of their instruction face to face at school beginning the week of August 31. The students that may be receiving some instruction at school are our students that hold an Individual Education Plan (IEP), our English as a Second Language students (ESL), our Gifted and Talented students (GT), and finally our students that have been identified as having a Significant Reading Deficiency (SRD). As a parent, you should have been previously notified by the school if your student falls into one of these categories and holds one of the identified plans. Families of these students will begin to receive phone calls tomorrow (Friday, August 14) to determine at-school instruction. The instruction that takes place at school will happen on Tuesday and Thursday, from 8:00-11:30, each week. Depending on the need of each of these students, your student may attend only one of these days, or quite possibly, both days. Please know that this basic outline will be a district wide plan for each elementary school.

As for our online learning, beginning August 24, I have some great news to share! Each student will be receiving a device to take home in order to access instruction. Along with that news, during last night's Board of Education meeting, our Board voted to waive all technology fees. This means that we will check out a device to every student, free of charge. As you can imagine, we will be sending home many devices (about 450!). I would like to personally ask that these devices are well loved and taken care of as these are the only devices we have and will have to be used for years to come!

For online learning, I want to state that it will look entirely new compared to the learning you saw in March this past school year. For example, we will be taking attendance each day, grading students on their work, will be teaching the Colorado Academic Standards using the curriculum our Lions are familiar with (Wonders for Reading and Math Expressions for Math). Students will still receive instruction directly from their teachers, intervention from our Title Team, social/emotional learning will be delivered weekly, and daily music/art/P.E. lessons through our Specials teachers. We have devised a daily schedule that will equate to a daily normal school schedule. This schedule will even include breaks and lunch! Furthermore, teachers will be teaching lessons "live" to students and will be recording those lessons to be viewed later in the day, if for some reason your student is unable to attend. Each teacher will hold daily "Office Hours," where they will be available for any questions you may have.

A few other items to note:

  • We will server breakfast and lunch Monday - Friday! For students in attendance on Tuesday and/or Thursday, they will receive breakfast and lunch. For our online families, please feel free to stop by the school for a free breakfast or lunch for our Grant students. Hours for breakfast and lunch will be shared soon!
  • We heard you loud and clear! This last spring, there were too many different online platforms (Schoology, Seesaw, Dojo, Google). Please know that we will be exclusively using Schoology in grades K-5. This will help keep things consistent for all students and families
  • For our students that are bus riders, bus pick up and drop off will be provided for those in attendance on Tuesday and/or Thursday. Please know, parents, that if your student completes his or her services (IEP, ESL, GT, SRD) prior to 11:30, you may pick your student up early to continue online learning at home
  • Masks will be required while in the building by all staff and students
  • We will soon be sharing our assessment schedule where nearly all students will come to school to be assessed to help us develop the proper instruction/intervention
  • We will also soon be sharing a schedule for the distribution of devices and materials to be picked up at the school
  • Teachers will be soon contacting each and every family to set up a time to virtually meet, share expectations, and to outline the daily learning schedule specific to your student's class
  • Finally, please ensure that your contact information (email/phone number) is updated when your teacher calls

Whew! I know that is a lot of information and there is more to still come! Again, I understand that our daily schedule of learning will be difficult for some, but I would encourage you to look the schedule over, think of any questions you may have, and speak with your student's teacher when they contact you. As you know, you can also always contact me at any time as I'm always here to help.

I hope you are all well and healthy. Know that on behalf of the entire Grant staff, we are excited to start the year and are looking VERY forward to when we can all be back in our building learning, laughing, and taking care of each other.

Thank you for your time,

Ryan Miller

Principal, Grant Elementary

Inspire Online at Grant Daily Schedule:

Morning Breakfast (times to be released soon!)

8:00-8:30: Morning Meeting (Good Things/Check In)

8:30 - 9:30: Academic Block (All Academic Blocks will vary by teacher, but will include core subject areas such as reading, writing, math, etc.)

9:30 - 10:00: Intervention Block (small group intervention)

10:00 - 10:15: Recess/Break

10:15 - 11:00: Academic Block

11:00 - 11:45: Lunch/Break

11:45 - 12:45: Academic Block

12:45 - 1:00: Recess/Break

1:00 - 2:00: Specials

*The Tuesday/Thursday schedule is very similar, but will vary slightly with face to face instruction