Hoover Newsletter 1.13.21
Hitting the Ground Running
The first day back from break, our students were ready to go. You would have thought they had been gone for months! They were so good in class, extremely participative, and outside they acted like they hadn't played before. Really, every ball in their equipment bag was out and being kicked, hit, or thrown around. Usually, only a few of the balls are out there. At the end of the day, I kind of felt sorry for those playground balls!
Seriously, though, our kids are chomping at the bit to engage in learning, and they when they get the chance, they do! Even when they are outside, their games are more engaging. They are not necessarily with the same kids they were with before, and this has led to kids coming up with interesting games outside where all kids participate. It's really something to see. It also tells me our kids really need this socialization.
And...Hoover students are doing exceptionally well no matter what learning model they have chosen.
I have reached out to the FYDL teachers at Greendell and they have nothing but good things to say about our children. Children all over Palo Alto are doing well there, of course, but the teachers called out our students. I'm so proud of all of them, and I'm so proud of all of you for hanging in there, keeping your children positive and engaged, and helping maintain that sense of community. I know the Greendell kids seem far away, but they aren't. They are all still close by, and they certainly are on my mind all the time. Soon, we will all be back together and things will be "normal" again.
We have to all keep moving forward, never believe that learning loss is inevitable, and by all means stay optimistic.
Keep up the great work, everyone!
Yes, things are different in this time of pandemic, but teachers will tell you that always knowing where are kids are academically is critical. At the end of last year, you know the State of California, like other states, decided it was impossible to implement one of our biggest academic measures starting in 3rd grade, the CAASPP.
The scores from these assessments are obviously a measure of what kids know at a point in time, but what we do know is that a huge indicator of success on these assessments is reading ability. Even though the math section requires grade level math skills, an increasing number of problems involve critical thinking. Children need to be able to read well to do well.
Thus teachers know how important always knowing the reading level of their students is. They are constantly assessing, often informally, to see where their students are in reading ability. They are helping them choose and read just right books, working on phonics lessons, and listening to them read. Teachers are constantly working in small groups or one-on-one with children to determine ability and level regardless of if the child is with them physically or not. However, this idea of assessing children in a virtual environment is new for us, and it is not ideal.
We are using different, though similar assessments for students at school and for those at home. These assessments must always be what the child knows, so the integrity of such assessments is easier to maintain when they are with us.
Regardless, our indications from our assessments is that our kids are not only keeping up, but they are making gains. We have heard the worries, and I echo them, of learning loss in this environment, but thanks to an amazing community of families, we are not going to let that happen.
Know that we are monitoring our children regularly and that we will reach out should we notice something that concerns us. We assess as parents as well, so we expect to hear from you should something concern you.
Hoover Information Night - Thursday, January 14
As I mentioned last week in the newsletter, tomorrow, January 14, at 6:00, we will be holding one of two meetings to introduce new families to Hoover.
I mistakenly put links up that will not work.
If you know of families who want to come, please have them call Kathy Yang in our school office. She will take their names down and give them the correct link.
Currently a Hoover Parent and have an Incoming Kindergartener Next Year? Call Kathy Yang
As we start planning -- yes, already -- for next year, we want to make sure we have everyone on board for the fall.