These are unprecedented times that have created many challenges. Yet in Center tradition, we are facing these changes to our daily lives and working together as a community of parents, educators and support staff to meet the needs of our students and families. This is what makes Antelope a special place to live and work.
Thank you to the families who have been patient as we implement distance learning. We recognize and appreciate your efforts to support your child’s academic progress while balancing work and trying to find a new normal within your own family structure. We realize there are ups and downs and there may be a few tears along the way. We are facing this together and we are here for you.
Thank you to the teachers and support staff who have embraced distance learning and are working tirelessly to provide students with the instruction and support they need. Thank you to the Curriculum & Instruction Department for paving the way to online learning and to the Technology Department for their efforts to ensure all students have access to online curriculum and resources. Thank you to Nutrition Services for supporting families by providing lunch and breakfast pick-ups at each of our school sites. Thank you to the Business Department, Personnel Department and the Maintenance and Operations Department for continuing to move the district forward through these trying times, ensuring we can begin again with facilities in order and personnel in place.
As you are aware, all CJUSD school facilities will remain closed through the end of the school year. Weekly updates will continue to be emailed to families and posted on our district webpage: www.centerusd.org
As I reflect on the situation we are in, I try to find the positive. What I see is more quality family time with less outside distractions. I encourage you to take advantage of this time together to explore at-home activities. Include your children in daily tasks like cooking and baking. Pull out the card games, board games and puzzles and make family game night a new tradition.
Here are a few additional ideas and resources for enrichment that are fun and provide opportunities for family bonding and creating childhood memories.
· Take a VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP together
Yellowstone National Park
San Diego Zoo
Boston Children’s Museum
Tour a Farm
· Create a Sidewalk Gallery Walk
Use sidewalk chalk to decorate your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your house with positive messages and original artwork for neighbors to enjoy
· Love animals? Watch a livestream and create a story or picture book about the animals featured
Beluga Whale webcam on https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/
Panda webcam: https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/
· Build a Fort
Hours of play and imagination await when you pull out blankets, sheets and pillows and make a fort. The fort provides new scenery where you can have a carpet picnic, take a nap, read together.
· Initiate a family dance party
Move the furniture out of the way, turn on the music and just dance. If you are on Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/DJ-Mel-48330349120/ as DJ Mel from Austin, Texas, hosts a weekly kid-friendly “Living Room Dance Party” on his Facebook page
· Write letters
We’re not talking email here. Brighten someone’s day with old fashioned snail mail. Break out the envelopes, stamps, pens and paper and write letters to loved ones like grandma and grandpa and those living far and near.
· Schedule storytime
Pick a book and read together or join in on a virtual read aloud.
Listen to a NASA astronaut read from space https://storytimefromspace.com/
Listen to celebrities read their favorite stories: https://www.instagram.com/savewithstories/
· Make crafts
Foster that creativity with craft projects. Pinterest in a great resource for craft ideas utilizing items you already have around the house.
Create pasta jewelry: paint it, thread it, wear it!
Make playdough: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/
I look forward to the day when we will welcome students back onto campus and engage in face to face teaching and learning. Until that time, be safe and be well.
North Country News
-Principal Jason Farell
Monday morning. It’s staff meeting time and much like a typical meeting, staff members slowly begin to pop in. Rather than coming in and finding a seat, faces begin to appear on the computer screen. Some are smiling, others are engaged in a friendly chat with colleagues, while others are still sipping their morning coffee. Things are different yet they are still very much the same.
Ancient Greek philosopher, Plato is credited for the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent school closures, educators have had to re-invent themselves and the North Country staff has done an exceptional job of this! In a very short time, we have transitioned to a distance learning model to ensure that our students continue to receive high quality instruction and support. Through recorded videos and virtual meetings, staff, students, and families connect with one another to provide new instruction, ask questions, and share some laughs. Teachers are stepping out of their comfort zones as they discover new resources and create innovative teaching practices to engage students and make learning fun. The learning curve has been huge and we couldn’t do this without the help from our incredible families. We understand the enormity of the demands put on you to help support your kids and we appreciate all that you are doing during this time.
Beyond academics, Assistant Principal, Mrs. Tracey Seivert, has spearheaded some fun ways to connect with kids and families. Shortly after the initial closure she organized a virtual spirit week to help keep everyone connected. Check out the pictures on our Facebook and Instagram pagers. Most recently she rallied our staff members to share a picture letting our students and families know that they are still in our hearts. She compiled those photos into a video which was shared with our school community. See the video here: https://youtu.be/rrgnaOOR27w
While much has changed, our passion for learning, teaching and connecting with students and families remains constant. I am proud of all of the North Country Timberwolves!
Mr. Farell's FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY
Go on a backyard camping trip! Set up a tent, break out the sleeping bags, and cook on a camp stove. At night, gather around to read stories by flashlight. If you have a fire pit, make some s’mores to add even more fun.
- Principal Steve Jackson
The teachers and staff have been working extremely hard since Friday the 13th of March, the day that school stopped being the school that we are used to. Along with figuring out how to teach students, we have also put significant effort into figuring out how to nurture the bonds with students and families that are so important to our tasks.
Here are a few highlights:
Our counselor, Todd Silverman has been touching base with several families, offering support, re-assurance, as well as sharing resources that the families may find helpful.
The last Friday of the month is typically Dragon Day on our campus. Dragon Day is usually a day to celebrate student achievement and accomplishment. Thanks to the motivation of one of our teachers, Lisa Morton, and the enthusiasm of many other teachers and staff, we decided to take Dragon Day to the families with a Staff Auto Parade through the neighborhoods that make up our attendance boundaries. It took about an hour and we traveled about 12 miles, but it was great to see the smiles and well wishes of our families.
A week or so later, another teacher, Dawn Altobell, suggested that we make a video to greet our students and families and let them know that we missed them. Again, several enthusiastic staffers joined in!
- The next thing we knew, the end of April was upon us. It was time for another Dragon Day Staff Auto Parade! This month, our theme was “Aloha, Island Style!”
- This brings us to Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. We wanted to honor and appreciate all of the families who involuntarily became co-teachers so we put together a few photos to say “Thank You!”
- With the 2019-20 school year almost complete, I can say, without any reservation, that we can’t wait to get back to school...AT school!
Have a great summer!
Stay Healthy and Safe!
Mr. Jackson's FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY
-Principal Julie Opfer
Greetings from Spinelli Elementary! Our staff is working hard to keep the Tiger spirit going. When we learned that our students would be continuing their education at home, everyone jumped in to help. Beginning on the second day of closure, Chromebooks were distributed to students just as quickly as they could be. Our very talented teachers launched their Google Classrooms to get their students connected. We are finding many joys in our work even though it’s not ideal-we miss our students!! On March 30th, teachers and staff paraded in their cars through Spinelli’s surrounding neighborhoods to show students and families just how much they were missed. We were unable to do St. Baldrick’s, so a few of our students, Ace and Aria, did it on their own! We are looking forward to being together again. Keep a lookout on our Facebook and Instagram for a special message to our Tigers!
Mrs. Opfer's FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY
Oak Hill News
-Principal Patty Spore
Oak Hill Elementary has launched a Distance Learning Website which allows families to access distance learning resources in a central hub. The Distance Learning site includes updated an ongoing access to your student’s weekly assignment “playlist” as well as links to their Google Classrooms and extension activity websites. In addition to academic links, the site also features Story Time with Staff, links to social-emotional resources. Keep checking back as we will be adding a fun new feature called “Recess” to the site as well!
Our staff has been working hard to create engaging digital learning for our Otter Pups. Teachers are available to meet for regular Google Hangouts to provide learning opportunities, but most importantly, to maintain a connection to our students during this unique time. Teachers are working on foundational skills lessons, math number talks, reading stories and talking and sharing with their students during this special time.
The Staff at Oak Hill miss our Otter Pups tremendously. To connect with them during this time of physical distancing, a staff car parade made its way through our neighborhoods. Being able to see, smile and wave at our otterific students and their families was heartwarming. Thank you for coming out to see us!
Mrs. Spore's FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY
Oak Hill Elementary has chosen to represent The Kindness Rock Project as Ambassadors. The purpose of the project is to create a real change with a unified message about the importance of kindness in our communities. We are envisioning our Oak Hill Kindness Rocks Project to be a sustainable movement that becomes a part of our school-wide social emotional learning initiative.
So, what? Now, what? We kicked off our kindness rock movement by having a #hashtag contest on our new Oak Hill Elementary School – Otter Pups Facebook page. When people find our rocks at the school or community, they can TAKE IT – SHARE IT – REPLACE IT and continue to help spread kindness. The #hashtag on the back of the rock will be used when they post a picture of the rock on Facebook so that we can follow our rocks journey.
Once the hashtag winner is announced, everyone starts painting the rocks in the comfort of their homes. Once we are able to return to school, we will have our families place the rocks around our school campus. That will be a pleasant surprise with positive affirmations and positivity for our Otter Pups when they return.
A New Look for CJUSD
The Center Joint Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. School and district programs, activities and services shall be free from unlawful discrimination based on actual or perceived sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, ethnic group identification, gender, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or sexual harassment in any district service, program and/or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The district shall promote programs, which ensure that unlawful discriminatory practices are eliminated in all school and district activities.