The Sailor Signal

Cottage Lake Elementary - September 1, 2020

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Dear Families,

It is the day before.... It is the day before our first day of school. I am personally so excited to see students tomorrow and I hope your student(s) are feeling similar. I am also a little nervous, as well. I keep asking myself, "Have I forgotten to communicate about something?, Do students have the technology they need?, Do families have the Zoom link to join classrooms tomorrow morning at 9:00AM?, Have I checked in with staff enough?" I know these are all part of my "First Day Jitters," and perhaps you are feeling some similar jitters, as well.

I also understand that some students might be worried about our launch with remote learning. I can understand this worry and we will do all we can to confirm that we will do everything we can to support them.

Our Cottage Lake staff knows how to teach! Our staff knows how to love students! We will all navigate this remote learning together and offer grace and patience if we encounter challenges. Together, we are #SailorsStrong and we are ready to set sail on the 2020-2021 school year!

•• New Updates and Important Information ••

Clever and Schoology

By now, you should have received copious amounts of communication regarding Clever and Schoology.

Clever is your one-stop to access the learning platforms your student will be using.

Schoology is where you will find all the day-to-day information around learning. Schoology is taking the place of Google Classroom or Teams, which our staff used last year. It will be incredibly helpful if you try and log in today to Schoology, so students are aware of how to get in.

Most of the fixes or problems with either of these platforms is handled from the district's technology department. I know there have been challenges and I'm sorry. This is new to all of us and I appreciate your understanding as bugs get corrected.

I want to share our technology phone number for families. This is a resource to you. Technology can be reached at (424) 408-7669. You can image the volume of calls being received supporting the entire school district. :) You may need to leave a message and they will work to get back to you as soon as possible.


With us not being in our traditional brick and mortor building, I am asking for each of you to make sure you can log into ParentVue. ParentVue holds many pieces of information. One part I want to draw your attention to is all your personal information, including email. Please ensure we have the most up-to-date information and please correct anything that has changed. Thank you!


Zoom will be our platform for all classrooms to conduct Class Meetings, small groups, 1:1 conferences, and instruction. Many of you became "Zoom Experts" last fall and we will all be experts in no time.

Classroom teachers will go through various expectations in the coming days for Zoom, but I want to point you to a few specifics.

  • First, the camera feature. By clicking on the camera icon, you can turn the camera on or off. We would LOVE to "see" your students each day, especially at class meeting times. It is our goal to have cameras on for students, but if that is a challenge for your student, please reach out to your classroom teacher. This is also something you could talk about during your family conference.
  • Second, the microphone. By clicking the microphone icon, students and families can mute and unmute themselves. While staff can control some of these features, I'd like to remind others of the importance of students learning how to mute and unmute themselves appropriately. We want to give students the control of this, but if we find that students are having a challenge here, we will disable their ability to unmute themselves in group instruction opportunities.
  • Lastly, the chat. The chat feature is a way students can sometimes communicate with each other or the instructor. Many staff members turn off the chat, as this has been a place where students have made some choices we would not like to see. Sometimes chats are off-topic or even disrespectful. Staff do have the right to turn off the chat feature or restrict that, as well.

Reviewing a few of these features with your student(s) would be fabulous!

Student Attendance

Attendance Matters!

Student attendance will be taken each day and recorded into Synergy. We will be entering attendance as we have in the past and if we notice your student not attending, we will reach out to you. We hope your student is able to log into Schoology, join Zooms, and participate in learning every day.

If you know your student will be absent for a day or longer, please continue to call our Cottage Lake Attendance phone number at: (425) 408-4210 or email: Thank you!

First Day assembly

We are excited to have a first day assembly tomorrow, September 2. This will be for the whole school. In order for students to be able to move between screens to see their friend's faces, I am holding this assembly through the live Zoom feature. With that, there is a limit of how many people can log in. Drats! So, I am HIGHLY ENCOURAGING families or learning groups to buddy up and use one computer, instead of multiple ones. I will have 300 spots and this includes any staff, as well.

When students log in, they will be able to see other students, but I will have muted them all and turned off the chat feature. This is for management purposes, especially with a group of 300 participants.

Here is the login link for the Zoom assembly at 1:00 PM tomorrow:

Meeting ID: 933 0197 6463

Passcode: 407721

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,93301976463# US (Tacoma)

Now that you have a link, there are a couple other notes:

  • I will lead the assembly and cover many things. I will greet everyone, read a story, engage students in the "That's Me!" activity, recognize summer birthdays, review attendance expectations for students and also review/share our SAIL expectations for students. :)
  • Within our activities, I will launch a few polls to gather participant participation. This may be new for students, so if there is an older student or adult around, you can see that a student would need to click their answer, and press submit. :)
  • We will also include a part of the assembly, where students can share a "That's Me!" type response to questions I ask them. I want to provide several ways students could participate. Students could stand in their own home and say or shout "That's Me!," students could make a small sign that says, "That's Me!" or "Me" and hold it in camera view when a question matches them, participants could use the "Thumbs up" feature in the participants window, or even wave at the camera if a question matches them. I will have at least 15 questions to ask, so every student will be able to say, "That's Me!"

I appreciate you joining me tomorrow. This time is optional for our Kindergarten families. (I know Kindergarten teachers are also holding conferences at this time. I will make sure we are able to share this fun welcome with Kindergarten, as well.)

Welcome Back, Sailors!

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•• PTA News ••

  • Our first PTA Meeting of the year is September 15, 2020 from 7:00-8:00 PM. (This will be virtual)
  • Learn more about the PTA and get your 2020/21 membership at
  • Your 2020/21 PTA Presidents are: Carrie Mizenko & Rachel Tarr and can be contacted at

Cottage Lake Elementary

At Cottage Lake Elementary, it is our united mission to build a safe, engaging, and inclusive environment of resilient lifelong learners. In partnership with our vibrant community, we embrace our diversity and strive to foster trust and kindness.