Veterans Elementary - Eagle Express
April 2, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue #28
From The Principal
Hello Veterans Community,
Our staff has been working hard in preparation to resume educating your children on April 20th. Staff is experiencing training that is unprecedented in order to be prepared to deliver a high quality program to your children. It is important for parents to keep students focused on learning by referring them to activities found on the HCPSS Continuity of Learning page. We are currently working on optional activities provided from March 25th. This page also has translations to additional languages including: Chinese, Korean, and Spanish, just continue to scroll down the page when you get to : https://www.hcpss.org/health/coronavirus/continuity-learning/
Staff will continue to receive training over the next two weeks. I have met with all staff in meetings and we were given an overview this morning of the expectations of learners and teachers under our Continuity of Learning Plan. Please keep in mind, that for some of our staff the learning curve is a bit steeper but all of our Veterans staff are committed to learning new material. Remember, we can’t just “flip a switch”, to get this to work. We have to train staff in a new paradigm, get staff to feel comfortable with the hardware and logistics, teach them about new software, and how to communicate all this to their students. Every one of our Veterans Elementary School teachers would want you to know that they are excited about this new phase of learning in your children’s lives. This is part of history and your children will experience it beginning the week of April 20th.
Stay focused, continue to practice and sharpen their skills, and above all stay healthy !
County making Technology Acquisition a priority to facilitate Virtual Learning
Technology. Last week, HCPSS ordered 20,000 new Chromebooks and directed staff to begin gathering over 15,000 Chromebooks from our schools so that we can equip as many students as possible who may not have a device at home. The new purchases are backordered and we do not expect to receive them all until mid-May. There is a needs survey currently underway and additional information regarding device distribution is included in the plan detailed below. These purchases were not funded in our current budget so we will be looking for savings in other areas of our budget, redeploying existing funds where possible, and continuing to monitor the possibility of state reimbursement for these purchases. It is also likely that we may need to use funds from the HCPSS unassigned fund balance. These savings were intended to reduce our historic Health Fund Deficit and we have informed the Board and the County of this possibility.
We also ask that you help us prepare by completing the online HCPSS Student Technology Survey so that we can assess where we are as a community, and how to best distribute the limited devices we have available for student use. More information on student technology and device distribution is available online. Starting Monday, our student services staff and school administrators will begin reaching out to families, with a specific focus on families who may require interpretation services or may not have internet access to complete the survey online. We also plan to provide print copies at meal distribution sites and have staff available to assist families in survey completion.
Student Technology Survey Support for International Families
Please complete the Student Technology Survey in English, using the Chinese, Korean and Spanish language translations as reference. If you need support in filling out the survey, please contact the Call Center:
- Chinese: 410-313-5920
- Korean: 410-313-1592
- Spanish: 410-313-1591
For assistance in all other languages, please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.
Homeroom Teachers will touch base this week!
3rd Quarter Grading Period
This message provides an update on grading for the 3rd quarter marking period, which was previously scheduled to end this Friday, April 3. Our decisions on how grading will be handled for this quarter are based on three primary goals, which are consistent with our goals for the overall instructional program:
- Providing meaningful feedback on student achievement
- Ensuring equity of opportunity for all students, by removing barriers to success
- Ensuring fairness in assessing student work for the quarter
For all students, 3rd quarter grades will be based on work assigned on and prior to March 13, 2020, the last day schools were in session, because the majority of the quarter had already taken place when schools were closed.
- Teachers will continue to grade work assigned prior to March 13 that has been received, and will continue grading through April 24, allowing students to submit 3rd quarter work that was due by March 13 but had not yet been submitted. This will allow students to improve their grades, if desired.
- IEP and 504 plans will be honored in the completion of all work.
Simulated Congressional Hearing:
I am saddened to share that our Simulated Congressional Hearings Program has been canceled for this school year. This program is a cornerstone of our 5th Grade social studies curriculum and a highlight of the year for many in our school system and community, including myself. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold the hearings this year: a decision that was made with heavy hearts, like so many of the difficult decisions that have become necessary in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. We understand how hard students and teachers have worked throughout the year to prepare for the hearings. We are very proud of your commitment, and know that the skills and knowledge about our government that you have been building all year will continue to serve you well in the years to come.
Continuity of Learning Website:
I want to remind families to access the learning resources that are provided for each grade level on the HCPSS Continuity of Learning website for the period between March 30 and April 10 for high school students and for the period between March 30 and April 17 for middle and elementary students. These resources were developed to ensure continuity of learning for our students while our teachers, administrators and staff complete professional development training to prepare to provide the next phase of distance learning.
Access to Learning Fund
Bright Minds Foundation has launched an emergency Access to Learning Fund to raise money for critical education access supports for HCPSS students during the extended COVID-19 school closure. Find more information on the Bright Minds website.
Waiver Granted for Statewide Assessments
The U.S. Department of Education approved Maryland's waiver request for 2019-2020 Assessment and Accountability Requirements. With this federal approval, Maryland will not need to administer its statewide assessments to all students in the 2019-2020 school year, or make 2019-2020 accountability determinations.
The Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) - Grade 5, 8 and 11
Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) English Language Arts and Mathematics - Grades 3-8, Algebra I/II and English 10.
MCAP Social Studies - Grade 8
High School Assessment (HSA) for American Government
Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) - Alternate Assessments
Maryland School Survey
HCPSS ON-LINE REGISTRATION OPEN
Parents who have already registered online, please remember that registration is not complete until you come to school and meet with one of our secretaries. We will need to check the parent’s photo i.d. and student’s original birth certificate, so please be prepared to bring that with you along with all of the documents that were not uploaded during your online registration process.
This will be facilitated once our school buildings reopen. We look forward to meeting you!
Counseling Services for Students, Families and Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an especially stressful time for many, especially those already impacted by mental health concerns. Find information about local and online resources for counseling and mental health supports for you and your family on our website.
HCPSS FREE GRAB-N-GO MEALS
Additional Meal Pick Up Sites Added this week!
Expanded Meal Distribution
HCPSS is providing free Grab-N-Go meals through April 24 to anyone age 18 and under and/or any HCPSS student, regardless of age, at locations countywide.
Deep Run Elementary will be added to site locations beginning Thursday, April 2. Meals are available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., weekdays. Participants receive a snack, lunch, and dinner for that day as well as a breakfast for the following day, and are encouraged to bring a bag to carry home meals each day. Friday distributions at school locations also will include weekend meals. Parents have the option of collecting meals for their children, who do not need to be present.
**There will be no meal service Friday, April 10 or Monday, April 13. Meals for those days will be distributed Thursday, April 9, with instructions for storage and preparation.
A list of additional food distribution locations, not sponsored by HCPSS, is available online (Links to an external site.).
Additional Food Distribution Sites began Monday, March 30 (please share with your community):
- Wilde Lake Middle School
- Talbott Springs Elementary School
HCPSS is pleased to announce the following expansions of our meal distribution program:
- Beginning March 30, HCPSS food distribution is expanding from nine to 12 locations, and now will include snacks in addition to three meals per day.
- Beginning April 3, meals to sustain children through the weekend will be provided on Fridays at all locations except Forest Ridge and Monarch Mills apartments, and Bethel Christian Academy.
There is no application, enrollment, or fee for this program. This meal service extension replaces HCPSS' previously scheduled spring break meal program, as those locations are now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCPSS Free Meal Service:
- Ongoing, weekdays through Friday, April 24**
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Locations (Links to an external site.)