O'Maley Family Focus

Updates from Principal Lynne Beattie - May 29, 2020

Dear O'Maley Families,

I hope today finds you well. As we roll toward the end of the school year, many questions are being asked about how summer will be any different. Kids are already at home, as are teachers and many parents.

In the two-part forum, Parenting in a Pandemic, sponsored by GEF the past two Thursdays, a question was posed about students' frequent complaints of boredom. Typically these don't occur until sometime in August, and for many with kids who will have been home for three moths by the start of summer vacation, it can be overwhelming to think that this complaint is here already.

The resounding response from the panel of experts is that it is good to be bored. It stimulates creativity, helps kids develop independence, and can spur motivation. Though not written in response to the pandemic or stay at home orders, this short article, The Brain Benefits of Boredom, from Psychology Today, is food for thought about the subject and provides some great suggestions for responses.

Best Regards,

Principal Lynne Beattie

O'Maley News Episode 3

Virtual O'Maley Summer Academy

Mark your calendars and charge your computers.... O'Maley Academy is going virtual this summer! O'Maley will be running virtual summer camps starting July 13th. Offerings include, Musical Theatre Camp, Drama Boot Camp, Creative Writing, Science Exploration, and Summer Reading Program. Sign ups open online June 8th- check next week's family focus for the registration link and program descriptions.

8th Grade Farewell Celebration on June 17

While details are still being finalized, I want you to know that we are planning a farewell to our 8th graders. Please "Save the Date" for June 17th, 11:00-12:00 pm. (Revised)

6th and 7th grade will also hold events to provide closure before the summer.

Lockers and Student Belongings

Thank you for your continued patience regarding student belongings in lockers. Plans for returning them to families are being finalized and will be communicated shortly. We will be returning items before the end of the school year, likely June 12th or thereabouts.

As part of the process, we will want to collect school materials that you might have at home. Please take some time this week to locate and organize any textbooks, ELA literature, library books or other items that belong to O'Maley so that you have them ready to be brought in when the time comes.

One Exception: At this time, we are only planning to collect Chromebooks from students not returning to GPS schools in the fall. We are not certain what the start of school will look like in the fall, and students may continue to need them at home. If this changes, you will be notified and a plan will be communicated. For those who will not return to GPS, information on how to turn in your Chromebook will be forthcoming.

Report Cards will be posted on the Schoolbrains Community Portal June 17 at 3:00 p.m.

Course Credit, Grading and Feedback

As you may recall, I communicated a few weeks ago that during Term 4 students will be graded Credit or No Credit. Notation of earned credit on assignments is posted on SchoolBrains, and teachers are providing regular feedback to students on work they might be missing and how to be sure they will earn credit for the term.They are also sending out Shout-outs to those students who are rocking remote learning, and there are many despite the challenges! If you have questions about academic standing, be sure to check SchoolBrains for information, or please contact the classroom teacher or guidance counselor for the grade.

For most students, year-end grades will be determined from the average of Terms 1-3 grades provided credit is earned for Term 4. The distinctions of High honors, honors, and honorable mention will not be made for Term 4. In the case of students who have not completed work during Term 4, situations will be handled on an individual basis.

Get E-Library Cards for O'Maley Students

Link here to register for an E-Library Card.

Information About Sawyer Free Library E-Cards

We would like students to be able to access online books from Sawyer Public Library and Overdrive. In order to do so, we will be providing the library with student names and school email addresses.

At the start of the school year, all families were sent information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It included a disclosure of the types of information GPS might share with outside organizations; examples were listed. While the list of examples is not exclusive, the Sawyer Free Public Library is not listed, so I would like to take this opportunity to request that if you do not want your student's name and school email address to be shared with Sawyer Free Library for the purpose of setting up a library e-card, please email me at lbeattie@gloucesterschools.com before Tuesday, May 12th.

In case you want to refresh your memory on the FERPA disclosure, a link to the letter is here:

GPS FERPA Letter 2019-2020

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Helpful Tech Tips for Students

  • Use the Chrome web browser so that you have access to necessary extensions and apps.
  • Not sure how to link to Google Meets for your Class? See Ms. Crosby's video how-to.
  • Too many emails? Create labels in GMail to keep them organized. Link to Ms. Pinta's Video and Skills Sheet on how to create labels in your GMail inbox.
  • OR, if the email overload is from Google Classroom you can turn off those notifications. Just be sure to check Classroom daily for information and assignments. See Ms. Hand's video to learn how to turn off email notifications for Classroom.
  • Use Google Keep to organize yourself. See Ms. Beattie's video.
  • Use your phone to help you stay on schedule: Set alarms or reminders for the start of each class or a few minutes before so you don't lose track of time.
  • Create a customized schedule for yourself! Make a Copy of the student schedule template and fill in your subjects and teachers.

Meal Pick-Up Locations

Locations and Times:

  • The Heights/Pond View.

    Meals can be picked up at from the bus parked in the lower loop from 2:00 - 2:20.
  • Beeman and Veterans' Elementary Schools - Drive-up Grab & Go will be available from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm.
  • Veterans' Way – Meal drop-off will be from 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Willowood Gardens – Meal drop-off will be from 3:15 pm to 3:45 pm.
Remote Learning Page for Families

Link to access all of our links and detailed information about the remote learning program at O'Maley in one place.

Join the Student and Staff Compilation - School Closure 2020!

The Student and Staff Compilation is a collection of creative contributions, a sharing of what we are all doing while we are out of school and an opportunity to connect. If you want to add your own slide, create a Google Slide in your school account, and email it to Ms. Beattie.

Guidance & Counseling Services

Please reach out to O'Maley counselors or use the information included here if you need family support.