The Davis Download
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Dear Davis Ducks,
Our first trimester has concluded, which included six weeks of Hybrid Learning. I recognize the constant juggling act that all parents, students, and staff are experiencing with schedules, learning platforms, synchronous vs. asynchronous, and the list goes on. None of it is easy or ideal, but just like anything else, our teamwork and collaboration can help make things a little easier. Our team approaches situations with a Growth Mindset and I appreciated the time and feedback shared in last week’s reflection. One of the reflections was looking at our communication with at-home learning. New systems have been established with our music, PE, and science specialists. I’m hopeful this will help all team members through the second trimester. Based on my observations, at-home learning is an area we all have the potential to grow. I’m including details and suggestions to hopefully help the at-home learning improve during the second trimester.
To begin with, it’s important for everyone to understand our perspective of the two different components of our hybrid model.
Students spend 2.5 hours with their teacher, learning in-person. It is concentrated instructional time focused on English Language Arts and Math. Our staff has spent time reviewing best practices and literature containing recommendations to address lost learning from last spring’s campus closures.
Teachers strategically structure at-school learning to maximize instruction and accomplish learning activities that are more suited to the classroom than home. This typically includes reading comprehension and analysis, practicing the various stages of the writing process, math instruction focusing on new skills, and class discussions.
This is the other half of a student’s school day. As a result of the hybrid model structure, some of the more routine activities and opportunities for independent practice have to be shifted to the at-home portion of the day. These activities are still essential as students need multiple opportunities to practice in order to master skills.
Teachers design students’ at-home learning assignments to either practice skills taught that day or prepare for a lesson/activity that will take place at-school. While students may need help getting started and with scheduling their time, the assignments are meant to be done independently.
Completing at-home learning assignments is required and essential to getting the most out of the at-school experience.
Below are some suggestions to ensure at-home learning is completed, successful, and that at-home relationships can remain positive and supportive.
Create and maintain a work space for your child that will set them up for success with zero to very few distractions.
Create and maintain a schedule for them to complete their at-home work. Include brief movement/stretch breaks. Create a student-friendly checklist, if needed.
TV, video games, social media should not be accessible until AFTER their work is completed.
Review your child’s at-home work daily. Build that sense of pride and purpose with your children to show off their learning to you.
Communicate with your child’s teacher regularly with questions or concerns.
Focus on the positives, provide positive praise and feedback, and emphasize the importance and value of your child’s education by establishing the expectations that the at-home learning must be completed.
I’ve had the pleasure of observing our students and staff work within the classrooms and I’ve noticed several positives with the hybrid model. The smaller cohorts have allowed for increased attention from their teachers. The increased attention has helped students academically, but socially-emotionally, too. The connections and interactions are more frequent. The explicit structure, as a result of our health and safety guidelines, has been a wonderful support for students’ behaviors and self-regulation. The model isn’t perfect, but there have been observable positives.
I am happy to help brainstorm, troubleshoot, or discuss ways to improve at-home learning for your child and family. I continue to be grateful for your partnership and everything you are doing to support your child, while collaborating with us. We are on the same team and we’re here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can provide support for your child or family.
Thank you for your continued support.
November 13 is World Kindness Day!
Join us as we celebrate, practice, and spread KINDNESS!
Write a thoughtful note.
Do a chore at home without being asked.
Give someone a compliment.
Paint and share kindness rocks.
Spread kindness message using sidewalk chalk on your driveway.
Call a friend or family member who you haven’t spoken to in a long time and say "Hi!"
Give an air high five or wave to someone as you’re walking by.
Award a Davis staff member with a Staff SHOUT OUT by completing this form.
Parent and Family Resources
Student Achievement Partners is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student achievement. As mentioned on their website, “Our central priority is to significantly impact literacy and mathematics outcomes for K-12 students nationally, with a particular focus on accelerating academic progress for students who face barriers of racism or poverty. We serve as an advisor to educators around the nation as they align content and instruction to academic standards in literacy and mathematics.” Student Achievement Partners collaborated with Seek Common Ground to create grade level specific Family Guides. The purpose of the Family Guides is to help families prioritize their student’s learning with various activities and resources. The guides are currently available in both English and Spanish for grades K-5, with 6th grade coming soon. This is a wonderful resource to reference as a follow-up for our first trimester report cards.
This month’s #BuildingResilience Social-Emotional Learning focus is Take Care of Yourself. Resources provided include a Coping Calendar, Coping Strategies Guide, Self-Regulation Station, and Be Kind to Yourself. An additional section of the website is dedicated to Social-Emotional Resources that are organized by topic and range from Anxiety and Stress Management to Conflict Resolution to Social Skills and much more.
Trimester 1 Updates: Conferences, Report Cards, and Attendance
Conferences will be scheduled and conducted via Zoom or telephonically
Wednesday, November 4 and Wednesday, November 18 are remote learning days for students in grades K-6, as well as preschoolers with the following teachers: Ms. Kelli, Ms. Summer, Ms. Leah, and Ms. Sarah.
All K-6 students and preschool students, who will not be on campus, will meet with their teacher for a class Zoom meeting at the beginning of the day on November 4 and November 18. Synchronous and asynchronous learning will be provided for students on these days by our specialists. Details will follow.
Ms. Diaz’s preschool class will follow their typical Wednesday schedule while learning on campus on November 4 and 18th.
The first trimester report card is one tool that communicates a baseline for each individual student. This trimester has been unique with a variety of challenges. There might be an increase of grades of 1s and 2s this first trimester, due to the variety of challenges these past several months. I encourage all of our parents to recognize that this is a baseline and an opportunity for growth throughout the school year. Continue to communicate with your child’s teacher if there are concerns or questions. In addition, there may be some NA marks. The NA signifies that the teacher has not taught that standard, YET, or does not have enough data to demonstrate the child’s progress toward that standard.
We’re grateful to continue to have the opportunity to provide instruction in music, PE, and science. We also understand the additional challenges associated with distance learning and these classes. We appreciate the efforts from the students and parents who have consistently attended these Zoom classes and completed the asynchronous assignments. As a result of the many challenges of logging in and the various platforms, specialists’ grades will be blank this first trimester. Students will see grades on their report cards for Trimester 2. Specialists have heard your feedback and changes have already been made. New attendance and participation procedures began Thursday, October 22. Details were included in my October 22 parent email. If you have any questions or concerns with a particular class, please contact that specific teacher.
Report cards will be available to parents via the Aeries Portal on TUESDAY, November 3 via Illuminate Home Connection. Screencasts have been created in English and Spanish by the NMUSD EdTech department showing how to access your child(ren)’s report card.
NMUSD COVID-19 Dashboard Information
Last week information went out regarding NMUSD’s new COVID-19 Dashboard. The Dashboard lists all the school sites in NMUSD and shows the total school population (students + staff and teachers). In addition, it includes the number of COVID-19 positive cases identified in the past 14 days, as well as the percentage of the school population that the positive cases represent. The Dashboard is updated daily.
I am including some additional information regarding the Dashboard that I hope clarifies our procedures.
- If there is a positive case with a Davis student or staff member, will we be notified? If the case involves your student, you will be notified. Our protocol does not include notifying the entire school community.
- How do you decide who to notify and when to do it? We work with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). When we receive notification of a positive result, we immediately provide OCHCA detailed information about the case. After we provide OCHCA with information, their experts determine who, if anyone, is considered to have been in close contact with the individual with the positive result. Anyone in close contact is considered high risk. Anyone not in close contact is considered low risk. The information an individual receives may be dependent on their risk level (high or low). Their experts provide us with letters, detailing the risk and next steps needed, to send to affected families and/or staff members.
- What determines close contact? Per the CDC, close contact is 15 or more minutes spent closer than 6' from the individual with a positive test result.
- If my student has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive OR I believe my student may have COVID-19, what is the protocol? Parents/Guardians need to immediately contact our School Nurse, Audrey Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com). The student will need to stay home. I will notify the appropriate departments and agencies to determine next steps. Nurse Scott will connect with the family and be the main point of contact. Nurse Scott will also monitor the student until the student is able to return to school. ALL student information in this process is kept confidential.
See page 20 of NMUSD’s School Reopening Plan for more information about our district’s Student COVID-19 Reporting Procedures.
Our ventilation systems, Plexiglas barriers, site cleaning procedures, and current practices around distancing, hand washing, and face coverings are all designed to create the safest learning environment possible. We are extremely grateful for our parent community who keep students home if they have a hint of possible COVID symptoms and who communicate if there's a potential for COVID in the home. Our teachers and staff members support our efforts by engaging in daily passive and active screenings and stay home if there’s any trace of a symptom that might be COVID-related. We are making this work because we are working together.
As we move through the next few months of colder weather, let’s continue to look out for one another by remaining both vigilant and communicative. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Health and Safety Reminders
Thank you for your help in consistently reviewing these procedures and expectations with your children. We are continuing to review as a staff, and with our students. Your support and cooperation are greatly appreciated.
Cloth masks are required to be worn by all children and adults while on campus. The mask should hook around the ears and must cover the nose and mouth.
Proper hygiene consists of washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is available and utilized across our campus.
Practice social distancing in the hallways, classrooms, and bathrooms.
Stay home when feeling sick or displaying symptoms. Please continue to reference the Student Symptom Decision Tree.
Communicate with our health office with any questions or concerns. Nurse Audrey Scott may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and our Health Assistant may be contacted at email@example.com. Feel free to call our front office at 714-424-7930, in which they may transfer you to our health office. Don’t forget to call our attendance line at 714-424-4762 if your child is absent for any reason.
All details may be found on our website.
In addition to health and safety procedures, please remember the importance of parking lot safety procedures. Our new procedures have been running smoothly, while keeping everyone safe and distant. Please help us maintain our safe and efficient procedures by doing the following:
Hands-free phone use only.
Adults are to stay in their car.
Our school operations have been smooth, successful, and safe. We appreciate your cooperation so that we can continue to operate in this same manner.
Parent Organizations' Updates
We are grateful for the strong, positive support from our parent community. If you are not already involved, I encourage you to find a way that meets your availability to connect with one, or all, of our parent organizations. Thank you SO much to the parent leaders who are already involved and contributing to our community.
Thank you for your recent support of the PTA 'Spirit Wear' Pop-Up Tent and Family Pictures. Both were a success.
- Scholastic Book Fair! Our Virtual Book Fair is OPEN now until November 22. Information will be coming home and you may also access directions and books here. All books ordered will be delivered within 2-3 weeks to your home. Great gift ideas for the upcoming holidays for all ages!
- Box Tops: they will also be collecting any clipped Box Tops, just place in baggie with name, grade.
- If you haven’t already, join the PTA here!
- The Davis Magnet School Education Foundation is meeting tonight to discuss upcoming events and opportunities for our families to support our school. The Davis Foundation provides important financial support for our students and staff. If you are in a position to contribute to their efforts, please visit their website to learn how you can make a difference.
School Site Council:
- We met as a committee on November 3 to review our school's Single Plan for Student Achievement. Our next meeting is in December. Thank you to our parents and staff for serving on this important committee.
English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC)
- We had our first ELAC meeting this morning via Zoom. Our next meeting is January 14 at 8:30 a.m. The meeting is an opportunity for parents of our English Language Learners to collaborate, advise, and learn about topics pertaining uniquely to the needs of parents of English Learners.