PRINCIPAL NEWS AND NOTES

FEBRUARY, 2021

Where did January go? It flew by so quickly! Remember the saying, "March came in like a lion?" Well, so did February! What a snowstorm we had. It was nice to have a traditional snow day. I hope everyone took the opportunity to get out and have some fun. The majority of the students I asked, said they had a blast. Here's hoping to not get as much snow if anymore is coming our way.

MLK DAY OF SERVICE PROJECT

On January 18th, we held our third annual MLK Day of Service. This year's project was a food drive to support Exton Families in need and the Chester County Food Bank. Because of the generosity of our Exton school community, donations enabled us to provide eleven families with six bags of food items. Many thanks to Christina Gotro (PTO) who was able to get 100 bags donated from Giant and assisted morning of the project , Dr. Christine Ferrell, West Chester Orthodontics for donating bags, Natalie DiTullio for coming in to take photos and Erin Piesieski (PTO) for assisting the morning of the project. Shout out to our staff that came out to help - Mrs. Pezone, Mr. Brown, Ms. McCallister, Mrs. Sam, Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Nagorny. An extra special shout out to Mrs. Spranger. We couldn't have pulled the day off without her getting the morning organized. Last shout out, but not the least, our fifteen fifth grade Student Council members who gave of their time on their day off. Kudos for the excellent job.
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RETURN OF CURRENT HYBRID STUDENTS - FOUR DAYS

As you know, our MTSS team (Multi System of Support), along with teachers, have been recommending students to return to school four days. Multiple factors were looked at and considered prior to recommending students (assessment data, attendance concerns, math/reading concerns, social/emotional/mental health concerns, students with non speech 504s). These recommendations did not include students with IEPs or English Language Development students as they had the option to return four days when we returned to Hybrid in October. Many might say their student is experiencing some of the factors looked at and question why they have not been recommended. We clearly understand that. However, those students recommended have been the neediest and raised grave concern to teachers and the team. We are not negating the fact that this has been a difficult situation for many.


While in the process of bringing recommended students back four days, I have assessed and determined what classes of our remaining Hybrid Cohort A & B students can return four days. Please be aware and remember, this entailed being able to maintain the required six feet of distancing in classrooms and the cafeteria. This also means, that because of the size of a class cohort, some classes do not have the space. Please understand that I cannot change the distancing requirement.


If your child's class is able to accommodate students for four days of in-person instruction, you will receive communication (brief survey) from me on Monday, February 8th . Please note, if your child's class cannot accommodate students returning four days, you will not receive a communication from me.

EXPRESSIONS OF EQUITY

The Equity Team and several staff members completed our book discussion of Unconscious Bias In Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism. The book was very informative and allowed us to engage in great discussions. We were fortunate to have Sarah Fiarman, one of the authors, join us yesterday for our last session.


Unconscious Bias in Schools describes the phenomenon of unconscious racial bias and how it negatively affects the work of educators and students. Through personal anecdotes and real-life scenarios, Tracy A. Benson and Sarah E. Fiarman provide an essential roadmap for addressing these issues directly. They draw on literature on change management, leadership, critical race theory, and racial identity development to provide guidance for creating conditions necessary to do this work - awareness, trust, and a "learner's stance."

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Check out these good reads:

Hidden Figures, Benjamin Banneker, Fifty Cents and a Dream, Freedom Summer, I Love My Hair, The Youngest Marcher, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, I Am Enough, Hair Love, A Taste of Colored Water - Just to name a few.


Here are some helpful videos for students, if you are interested in sharing with your child(ren).


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FROM THE NURSE

Please remember to notify the teacher and the school nurse if your child has a positive Covid test or has a direct exposure to a person testing positive for Covid, even if it occurs during remote learning. You can email Polly Stavely at PStavely@wcasd.net. We greatly appreciate everyone in our community following the safety protocols and keeping each other safe during this time.

FROM THE OFFICE

ABSENTEE HOTLINE - Please call 484-266-1410 (Safe Schools line) and leave a message when you know your child will be absent from school or late. You must still report your child's absence for a remote day. You can call the number at any time. Please do not call 484 266-1400, 1401 or 1402 to report an absence.

FORGOTTEN LUNCHES - If a student forgets lunch, they may get a school lunch.

LUNCH ACCOUNTS - Student lunch accounts are not being charged. Breakfast and lunch remain free to all students through the end of the school year.

VACATION REQUESTS - When needing family vacation time, email Dr. Alston (TAlston@wcasd.net) and cc KNagorny@wcasd.net with your request. The vacation request form is on the school website. Five days are allowed as excused absences for family vacation.

CONTACTING TEACHERS/STAFF - All staff email addresses are first initial, last name @wcasd.net. (BJones@wcasd.net.). District policy affords teachers twenty-four hours to respond.

STUDENT DROP OFF AND PICK UP - Drop off and pick up is on the playground . Please do not drop students off before your designated time as supervision is not available. We ask that you do not exit your car during drop off or pick up or drive around the line. We also ask that you be courteous and patient with one another as well as staff on duty. Our students are watching and listening. Lastly, PLEASE SLOW DOWN ON HENDRICKS AVENUE WHEN DROPPING OFF in the morning. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

CHANGES IN TRANSPORTATION - If there is a change in after school arrangements or pick up, we must have it in writing. Please email your child's teacher and cc TSpranger@wcasd.net and KNagorny@wcasd.net. You can also send in a note. We will not change a student's arrangements if it is NOT in writing.

A SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING PARENT PICK UP

This year, we have seen a huge increase in the number of students being transported to school. Our greatest number is during PM pick up. Staff on duty does the best they can with the volume of cars. Our goal is to get you in and out as quickly as possible. Here's where your help is needed:


  • Students are called to parent pick up at 2:30. Please do not arrive prior to 2:20. We need to avoid cars backing up on Hendricks Ave. as much as possible.
  • Please follow the procedure in place.
  • Please do not call your child to the car.
  • Please, please, please be courteous to staff on duty. They do not deserve to be yelled at or treated rudely.

PATIENCE, FLEXIBILITY & GRACE


THANK YOU IN ADVANCE