The Bobcat Beat

November 25, 2020

During this time of year, I always find myself reflecting on my life and blessings. Personally, I am thankful for my wonderful family and great friends in my life. Professionally, I am thankful to be the principal of Fern Hill - the best elementary school around! :) Truly, I am grateful that I get to work with dedicated, passionate teachers and staff each day. And, of course I am thankful for each of our fantastic Fern Hill Bobcats and their wonderful parents and care givers. I am thankful that our PTO and parent volunteers work tirelessly to make Fern Hill an extra special place to be each day! We have such a great community and I am beyond blessed to be a small part of that!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Reminder - all schools and students will be learning virtually from Monday, November 30th - Friday, December 11th. At this time, we anticipate returning to the hybrid learning model on Monday, December 14th. During the virtual learning, we will follow the same hybrid schedule that we have been following. We will not be able to revert back to the remote learning schedule that we used at the start of the year. There were too many conflicts with our specialists' (reading support, ELD, gifted, etc.) schedules, as well as the fact that our special area teachers also teach cyber classes. Thank you for your understanding.

Fern Hill Giving Tree: Obviously this year has been very difficult for many. We have families at Fern Hill that are struggling and need some extra support during the holiday season. Please see the flyer of information below and consider donating to our Fern Hill Holiday Giving Tree. We appreciate your kindness and generosity.

Update iPad: Please see the information below to update your child's iPad.

FHE Holiday Giving Tree

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Update your child's iPad

See the flyer below for the steps to update your child's iPad or you can view as a tutorial (English or Spanish).

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Thank you PTO & parent volunteers!

Thank you so much to our wonderful PTO. Even during this tough time, they are still supporting our school. The money that our parents have raised/donated helped us to get new benches outside! Also, the hospitality committee provided a wonderful breakfast to the staff during conferences. Thank YOU!

PTO Events

Please enter your home into our light parade and help spread more cheer this year! Decorations big and small will warm the hearts of all!

Complete the google form for entry.

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Decorate your own Fern Hill Ornament!!!

Decorate your own paw print! Please fill out the google form with your order. Order now quantities are limited!

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What to do if your child is not feeling well?

Do the Daily Home Screening checklist with your child every day, and follow the guidelines for keeping sick children home.

Call the Safe Arrival line to report your child’s absence. 484 266-1610

Contact your health care provider if your child has symptoms.

Contact the nurse’s office if your child or another person in the household is getting a test for Covid-19. Keep your child home if he/she is waiting for test results or if your child has a known exposure to someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

Nurse: Wendy McGregor 484 266-1606

How to understand your child's report card?

Each year parents have questions about the report card grades, particularly in grades K-2 since they are standards-based. Please read this information to have a better understanding of our report cards.

The end of the trimester is December 2nd and the report cards will be visible on the Parent Portal on December 17th. We will send a reminder message on the 17th so you are aware that the grades for the first trimester are posted.

  • In grade K-2, the West Chester Area School District (WCASD) utilizes standards-based reporting. Each child will receive a 1, 2, 2+, 3, or 4 for each standard addressed this trimester. Typically, if you see “N/A” it means that the standard has not yet been assessed. This year, your child may also receive N/A if we do not have enough data/information to accurately assess your child. Please remember the goals are end of year standards/expectations. In December, you will likely see many 2’s and some 1’s which is appropriate for this time of year because the expectation is that students meet the standards with a 3 by the third and final report card in June. In addition, please know that 4’s are rare to receive, even at the end of the school year. For a child to reach that level, he/she is performing significantly and consistently above the standard expectations.

  • In grades 3-5, WCASD utilizes numeric grades (45-100) that correspond to letter grades (A, B, C, F) for core subjects. Please know that standard grading (1, 2, 3, 4) does not correlate to a letter grade. For example, a 3 in second grade does not mean a B in third grade. Teachers utilize various assessments, activities, and assignments to determine an overall grade. Parents are encouraged to stay abreast of progress via Parent Portal over the course of the entire trimester. Click here to set up parent portal weekly emails. This will help you stay on top of your child's grades.

  • Learning support students and reading support students will receive progress reports at the same time that report cards go live on Parent Portal in December.

  • All children in grades K-5, receive needs improvement (NI), progressing (P), or demonstrates consistently (DC) for Learning Related Behaviors (LRBs). In order to achieve DC, a child needs to exhibit the expectation close to 100% of the time. Progressing (P) is completely appropriate, as it captures a behavior that is observed on a regular basis. This year, your child may receive N/A if there is not enough data/information to accurately assess the LRB.

  • Special Area Subjects for grades K-5, we utilize standards-based reporting as noted above for K-2. There will be items that our special area teachers will mark N/A as we do not have enough evidence/data to accurately assess.

WCASD Counseling and Mental Health Professionals Service Guide

We recognize that our students at home may feel isolated. Please know that one of our main goals is to help your children feel connected to their teacher, classroom and Fern Hill! Our district has a Counseling and Mental Health Professionals Service Guide to provide supports and resources if your child is having a difficult time through all of this. This guide provides Counselor and Mental Health Professionals' contact information, services, important forms, and additional resources for parents of students Kindergarten through 12th grade.

WCASD Technology Support at Home

The WCASD created a Technology Support site. It is a great one-stop technology trouble shooting page.

Request for assistance - remote and cyber students

In an effort to provide additional support for students and parents during remote learning, the district has created a Request for Academic Assistance form for each of the WCASD schools. Students, parents and faculty may complete a form on behalf of a student who is struggling with attendance, work completion or social/emotional learning. This form will be reviewed by a member of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports Team (MTSS) to determine the available resources that can be provided. While the form is available, we still recommend reaching out directly to your child's teacher to discuss any concerns.

Fern Hill Request for Assistance Form