Stonybrook Scoop

September 2020

Dear Stonybrook Families,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year; it is one that is sure to be remembered! It was amazing how quickly staff and students shifted their comfort zone to meet the new school procedures. Our kids are doing a great job, which is a reflection of the great job our teachers are doing to normalize these very abnormal protocols and procedures.

More than ever, I’ve had to practice using my growth mindset. I’m looking at obstacles as opportunities to practice new and innovative thinking. We are one school family, and we are resilient. Please continue to approach one another with compassion and grace. Our children are watching. They are listening and learning.

Let’s be partners on a quest where our students grow into young people and later, adults who can adapt to any situation and come out stronger on the other side. One thing is for sure; we will get through this together. Look how far we’ve come.

Mrs. Coleman and I welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year!

Most Sincerely,

Jodi Mulholland, Principal

So long, Friends and Welcome to New and Returning Staff!

Over the summer, we’ve had some staffing changes. Mrs. Stroczynski retired and moved to North Carolina, as did Len Brown, one of our evening custodians (“Mr. Len”). Ms. Borowiec moved out of state to be closer to family. The students in her new class are lucky to have her. We wish them all the best in their latest adventures.

Please join us in welcoming our fabulous new staff: Mrs. Annika Levitt rejoins our staff as our support teacher for Kindergarten. Welcome back, Mrs. Levitt! Also joining the Kindergarten team is Mrs. Gabrielle Kreutzer. Welcome!

Encore Schedule

Typically, the master schedule is created and “tested” in July, but this year, ensuring similar learning experiences and consistent daily schedules was extremely complex across the K, 3-5 grade span. Thank you to all of our families for your patience during the first days of school.

Here are some of the changes we made that will be reflected in the student OnCourse Connect account over the next several days:

Special or “Encore” Schedule: Our students will have specials every day but it will look different. Beginning Tuesday, hybrid students attending on their “in-person” days will have a live lesson with their Encore teacher following a typical M-F schedule (no Day 1, Day 2, etc.). Hybrid "at-home” students will participate in pre-recorded lessons with the exception of Phys. Ed., which may be live. For example, if a class is scheduled to have Art on Monday, students in Green/Cohort A will participate live, in school while their classmates in Yellow/Cohort B will receive virtual, asynchronous instruction. Full-time Remote/Virtual students will receive Phys. Ed. twice-weekly (1x/synchronous, 1x asynchronous on Wednesdays).

We are trying to keep remote and in-person schedules as similar as possible to create consistency for our kids. We will review the Encore class schedule on a regular basis to provide a balance of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction for our students.

Daily Schedule - At Home Support and More

On the days our hybrid students are learning at home, teachers will post a schedule or playlist for work completion. Each subject block includes instruction and independent work time. During this time, teachers meet with small groups or individual students to monitor their progress and understanding of standards-based learning targets. Students are expected to follow the schedule as closely as possible; however, we understand that flexibility is important. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if they need additional time to complete/submit an assignment, or for any other need. Better yet, encourage your 3rd-5th grade student to contact the teacher. This is a great way to develop independence and self-advocacy!

Grade Level Support - Kindergarten and Grade 3

Mrs. Levitt (Kindergarten) and Mrs. Vanderclock (Grade 3) will have regularly scheduled small group and class meetings with hybrid students on their at-home learning days to support our students with their learning.

Grade Level Support - Grades 4 and 5

Classroom teachers are meeting with students on their at-home learning days to review assignments and provide support for independent learning. Additionally, we will be hiring part-time teachers to support at-home learning. Watch for updates!

Grade 5 Schedule Info

Previously, 5th grade students had two teachers providing core instruction. This year, they have three teachers (Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies/Science). Our in-person students remain in one classroom, and their teachers come to them, rather than having students travel. This way, students are not sharing desks and materials. Homeroom is strictly for attendance purposes. Students in the full-time virtual cohort will be assigned a homeroom class for the purpose of attendance and scheduling Encore classes.

We will go over the schedule in more detail during our virtual Back to School Night on Thursday, October 1st.

Technology Updates - Good News!

We are beginning to receive Chromebooks! We are cautiously optimistic that the remainder of the shipment will arrive prior to the anticipated date of October 15th.

Now that school has been in session for one full week, we know that barring any minor glitches, live streaming has been successful at KHS and PRM. That leads me to some great news for Stonybrook! We are outfitting our 5th-grade classrooms with desktop computers and laptops from our current inventory. The financial impact is minimal and extends only to the cost of webcams ($29.00 each) that have been ordered. If the order is received as anticipated, we hope to provide our teachers with the ability to live stream from their classrooms before the end of the month (hopefully sooner). We are already live streaming in some small group classes and grade level teachers have begun meeting with students via Zoom or Google Meets during the school day. If our network is able to withstand the traffic, we will expand the plan to 3rd and 4th-grade classrooms as well.

Additionally, we received a generous donation to pilot a smart conference camera. We hope this technology enables our teachers to provide more effective and increased instructional time for all students. We will survey our students, teachers, and parents to gather feedback regarding live streaming and the use of new technology and existing technology.

OnCourse Connect Parent & Student Tutorial

All students will be using the same learning management system this year, OnCourse Connect. If you haven’t already watched the brief tutorial, click to view.

Tech Tutorial Resource - All Things Google!

Your students may be using many other features on their Chromebooks. Here is a handy K-12 and beyond Technology Tutorial Resource for all things Google that may save you a headache or two!

KEHSA Corner

The Kinnelon Elementary Home School Association is the BEST ever!

Thanks to the dedication of our KEHSA families, we have been able to provide the very best for our students and schools. Even during the pandemic, KEHSA continued to amaze us with their fundraising efforts which provided incredible support for our staff and students. KEHSA helps to fund things such as:

  • school supplies for all students

  • math manipulative kits for all students

  • iPads for all elementary classrooms

  • Author Day and assemblies

  • Book grants to build classroom libraries

  • MiniGrant program to fund innovative and unique resources for teachers and much, much more!

Thank you, KEHSA!

Back to School Night (Virtual)

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Watch your email for detailed information.

Save the Date!

9/28 Yom Kippur - Schools & Offices Closed

9/29 & 10/1 Picture Days - look for an email from Lifetouch

10/1 Stonybrook Back to School Night (6:30)

10/5-10/9 Week of Respect

11/2. Minimum Day/Parent-Teacher Conferences

11/2 Evening conferences at PRM and Stonybrook

11/3 Schools Closed (Election Day)

11/4. Minimum day/conferences (w/evening conferences at Kiel)

11/5-11/6. Schools Closed for NJEA Convention