Paly Community Update
Friday, August 28, 2020
Hello Paly Families!
I hope that you and your family are doing well during these unprecedented times and if you have friends or family affected by the recent fires in our area, I hope that they are now safe and protected. All of us continue to be challenged with situations beyond our control. I remain hopeful that if we keep our energy focused on the vital elements of life we are able to influence, we will make it through these tough times.
Yesterday, I was able to spend some time visiting “classrooms” and I was impressed with the level of learning and engagement that I observed. Our teachers are definitely being stretched outside of their comfort zones, and I continue to be impressed with their level of creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness that has occurred in our first two weeks of school.
All of us at Paly continue to reflect on each day’s experience and come back the next day with revised plans to improve distance learning. This week has been a big test for all of us and I understand through the feedback that I have received, that the amount of screen time has been overwhelming for both students and teachers. I am confident that after teachers have been able to establish a positive climate and culture with their students, you will soon see a decrease in the amount of Zoom screen time, as teachers begin to incorporate additional practices for student learning.
We have established clear student and teacher expectations for distance learning, which for students, includes having their video on and engaging in the class for the entire period. I understand that some students might have difficulties with the video-on expectations and if this is the case, it is important for students to communicate their concern with their teacher so a plan can be worked out. It is also important for parents to ensure that your student is set up for their Zoom meetings with a fully charged device and appropriate work space. Additionally, I would ask that you please allow your student to attend the session by themselves, as would happen with a classroom session.
Back To School Night
The Paly Back to School event is scheduled for Thursday, September 3, beginning at 6:00 pm with a welcome and overview. A YouTube link will be sent out to parents by the morning of September 3. As we plan for this event, I would like to assure you that we are committed to provide our families with an opportunity to learn about your students’ teachers and their expectations for their classes.
Given the challenges of connectivity and security regarding live Zoom meetings, Paly will be using a video format for this year’s event. Teachers will be creating videos that will give parents an opportunity to “meet” them. These videos will include an overview of the class and how to best communicate with teachers as questions emerge.
Paly teachers will make their videos available in a Back to School Night folder in Schoology. Please login through the Parent ID Portal to access Schoology, then click on your student to see their courses. Every course will have a folder called Back to School Night for parents to view. These materials will be available Thursday, September 3, starting at 6:00 pm. If you have questions, after viewing a teacher’s presentation, please contact the teacher directly through email.
Although not perfect, we hope that this approach is an effective way for our Paly families to “meet” our teachers and learn about the plans and expectations for the year ahead. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding share with you our virtual Back to School Night event.
Please Note: We encourage you to login to the Parent ID Portal and be sure you can access Schoology. If you experience difficulty with access, please contact Paly IT Support: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paly Library Update
Read, Research, Create & Connect 24/7
Pick-up/Drop-off of print materials begins Tuesday, September 8, 2020!
When: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3-4:30pm
Where: The Performing Arts Center (PAC) ticket office facing the parking lot (see map)
Students reserve books online at https://pa.opals.pausd.org/bin/home
Students await e-mail notification alerting them their books are ready for pick-up. Limited numbers of notices will be sent out to enable physical distancing safety.
Book Pick Up
You must wear a mask to pick up your books. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come. Instead, email email@example.com to make other arrangements.
Arrive at the front of the parking lot facing the PAC ticket window, hold up an 8x11” sign with your name, receive book(s) from library staff wearing mask and gloves through the ticket window
Have books to return? A book cart/bin will be waiting for your books in front of the ticket window. The books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in by masked/gloved library staff.
Can’t make it on to campus to pick up your library book? Email librarian Mrs. Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an alternate option.
The Paly Library is providing a contactless pick-up/drop-off program modeled after the Palo Alto City Library plan and approved by site administration and the PAUSD District Office.
Back to School Packets
If you have already done so, thank you for filling out your back to school packets. This year, the back to school packets were online to make the process easier. The back to school packets contain important information for parents, and enable the school to provide support for all of our subject areas, electives, and student programs. Please complete your back to school packet today, if you haven’t done so already.
During our distance learning schedule, tutorial will be teacher assigned or student selected. Teachers are expected to assign students to tutorial if they feel students need additional intervention or support on a particular topic or assignment. All students will have access to their teachers during tutorial, with many teachers having an open zoom meeting for students to drop in for help.
Annual Data Update (ADU)
If you have a few extra moments please make sure to complete the Annual Data Update (ADU) Instructions in the Annual Data Update email that was sent in May. If you have any questions or concerns, please file a Let’s Talk ticket (top left of the main PAUSD web site) under “Login Issues – Parent Portal”
Title IX presentations
Due to the relatively new online distance learning platform and the potential challenges this may present for students, the District has invited a Title IX attorney who has extensive experience in providing training to students to present a session during Tutorial on Thursday, September 3. The training is a 30-minute presentation that explores harassment and discrimination concerns that students may face while attending high school with a focus on online interactions. This is the first in a series of trainings that we plan to present to students this year.