WHPS RLE Community School

October 2, 2020

Message from the Principal

Good afternoon,


I hope your students are beginning to feel a sense of community in our new school. We appreciate that this new remote learning environment is still a work in progress, particularly with the addition of specials schedules this week. The feedback you have provided through this month's parent coffees, informal conversation at toolkit pick-ups, and emails will inform us as we develop new systems and ways to support your children and you in navigating this new school environment.


Our teachers and I also value hearing what is working in your children’s classes and that so many of you are having a positive experience. We are energized by your children's hope and excitement for learning. We will continue to build on those successes.


Thank you for taking time to review the updates and information below. We will continue to share newsletters every other week and ongoing email updates for specific items as needed.


Have a great weekend and stay safe,


Kerry Jones

Remote Elementary School Principal

Director of Elementary Education

WHPS Remote Learning Experience (RLE) School Website

Click the blue button above for our district website accessible in multiple languages through a translate feature.

UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Remote Learning Elementary (RLE) School Community Directory

Please click here for the Remote Learning Elementary (RLE) School Directory for 2020-2021 as of October 2.


We have new families who join our school each week. If you are a new family who would like to be added to the Directory or a family who has not yet completed the RLE Directory Survey, please complete by clicking here by October 23. Updates to the RLE Directory will be added and shared in the newsletter at the beginning of each month.


Please note that the RLE Directory will not include any student or family information without your permission or completion of the survey. If you wish to update information in the Directory, please contact Sarah_Falvey@whps.org in our RLE School Office by October 23.

Remote Learning Toolkit Pick-up Dates

*New* Remote Learning Toolkits for each Grade PreK-5 child are ready for pick-up next week. Please note that these toolkits are different from the arts/music materials in our initial pick-up last week.


The new toolkits will include curriculum materials appropriate to each grade level for students and teachers to use during small group and asynchronous learning time, including:


  • math and literacy workbooks
  • primary grades writing paper/upper grades journals
  • cards, dice and other math hand-on materials


The toolkits will be available for pick-up at Town Hall (entrance near the parking lot flagpole) on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 9 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, October 10 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.


Please note that in the event of inclement weather (rain or thunderstorm) we will cancel pick-ups and send an email that morning by 10:00. Families and volunteers have shared feedback that an outdoor pick-up location is preferred.


We will schedule pick-ups later this fall for any additional materials to support student learning.

Student Responsible Use of Technology

Click on the blue link above to eview these important technology expectations for students and families. As noted, students and parents/guardians should have signed off on these guidelines in Powerschool by 10/1

CURRICULUM

Meet our RLE Music Teacher, Mrs. Cardona!

Click on the button above to view Mrs. Cardona's Bitmoji classroom. To explore, you need to "present" the slide (top right) and then click on different pictures in her virtual classroom.

Specials Classes Update

Classroom teachers should have shared daily schedules with you that include links to both classroom and specials meets or asynchronous plans. Please note the following:


Grades PreK-1: Students have daily specials for 30 min. Students have a two-week rotation of synchronous art, music and physical education classes. This means your child will have music, art or PE for two weeks every day, then rotate to another specials class for two weeks, and so on. Specials classes are taught by teachers from our "brick and mortar" hybrid program schools. We have experienced some technical issues with our Google Meets links in connecting with hybrid teachers in the buildings (some students able to access the links and others not this week). We are working to resolve and, in some cases, creating new links for some classes. Students in Grades PreK-1 will continue to have art classes next week.


Grades 2-5: Students have daily specials for 30 min. Students have a one-week rotation of synchronous music (taught by RLE teacher, Mrs. Cardona), synchronous physical education (taught by RLE teacher, Ms. Arcari) or asynchronous art lessons. We will add World Language synchronous lesson opportunities in Spanish or Chinese during the weeks students have art on their rotation.


Your child's daily classroom schedule (organized by classroom groups) will continue to be communicated by classroom teachers through SeeSaw/Google Classroom learning platforms.

October is Fire Prevention Month!

Asynchronous Learning Opportunities


Week of October 13-16: West Hartford Fire Department

Every year, the West Hartford Fire Department partners with the West Hartford Public Schools to support fire prevention safety education. To support learning in our remote learning and hybrid school environments this year, West Hartford Fire Department staff are creating video lessons for students in Grades Kindergarten to Grade 3 to promote at-home fire prevention and safety.


In this remote learning environment, collaborating with WHFD to ensure young children learn about fire prevention and safety is more important than ever. We have a unique opportunity through this virtual learning partnership to have all children know what to do, how to get help, and practice home exit drills to keep themselves and their families safe.


Video lesson topics include:

  • Kindergarten - emergencies/911, smoke alarms and familiarity with what firefighters look like their gear
  • Grade 1 - Stop, drop, cover your face, and roll
  • Grade 2 : Crawling low in smoke, checking doors and windows
  • Grade 3 - Exit drills in the home


These lessons will be posted to K-3 classroom SeeSaw and Google Classroom learning platforms for students to review at home. The Fire Department videos will also be posted to our whps.org/remotelearning website and West Hartford Community TV as well as the Fire Marshal’s Office webpage, which has additional fire prevention and life saving information. See www.westhartfordct.gov/firemarshal.


All remote learning students who complete a fire prevention reflection activity and post to SeeSaw or Google Classroom will be entered into a drawing for a fire safety-related prize (one at each grade level).


Marsha McCurdy Adell, Fire Inspector for the Town of West Hartford, expressed, "During these unprecedented times, our commitment to delivering fire prevention and lifesaving lessons to our students is stronger than ever. We’re looking forward to the successful adaptation of our curriculum and anticipate that our children will seamlessly continue to have the opportunity to learn about how to prevent fires and be safest in fire emergencies."


Junior Fire Marshal Day (Grades K-3) October 6, 2020 @ 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM

The Junior Fire Marshal program is a fire prevention and safety program sponsored by The Hartford. Our school is registered to be part of National Junior Fire Marshal® Day on October 6. Your family can participate in a 30-minute live virtual event that culminates with your students earning the title of Junior Fire Marshal®. Please see more information here to participate.

Celebrating Latinx/National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long tribute to the culture and accomplishments of Hispanic-American and Latinx-American people. "The history of Latino people in America is part of American history" (ADL, 2019. p. 1)


History

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began as National Hispanic Heritage Week, was first observed in 1968. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of the declaration of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondura, and Nicaragua. Mexico (Sept 16), Chile (Sept 18) and Belize (Sept 18) also celebrate independence days during this month.


As in many communities, West Hartford Public Schools will include the Latinx community in our recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month to include all people of Latin descent including the Brazilian heritage as well.


Resources for Students:

Student will explore the following resources in school:



Resources for Adults


FAMILY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Our first Principal "Coffee" Meet-ups were held on September 21. Thank you to all who had opportunity to join, listen, and share your thoughts on opening of school. See this summary of items discussed.


Our next Principal Coffee Meet-Up will be held on October 19 at both 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


We will start-up a Remote Learning Elementary (RLE) Community Parent-Teacher Council this month. Kerry is meeting with the remote learning secondary principal early next week to discuss potential joint structures and will be in touch by email with those who expressed interest in participating or requested more information in our recent survey.

Save the Date: Tuesday, 10/13 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at this link

Big picture

CALENDAR & EVENTS

School Calendar

District Calendar 2020-2021


October

  • September 15-October 15 Latinx/National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Friday, 10/9 12:00 - 1:00 and 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Remote Learning Toolkit Pick-up (*NEW items*)

  • Saturday, 10/10 Remote Learning Toolkit Pick-up (*NEW items*)

  • Monday, 10/12 Indigenous Peoples Day (no school)
  • Tuesday, 10/13 RLE Community Parent-Teacher Council 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at this link
  • Friday, 10/16 RLE School Newsletter publication
  • Monday, 10/19 Principal Coffee Meet-Up 10:00 am and 5:00 p.m. at this link
  • Friday, 10/30 RLE School Newsletter publication


November
  • Tuesday, 11/3 Election Day (no school)
  • Wednesday, 11/11 Veterans Day (details on school virtual event to follow in upcoming newsletter)
  • Friday, 11/13 RLE Newsletter publication
  • Tuesday, November 17-20 Parent-teacher conferences (modified school schedule morning only and afternoon virtual parent-teacher conferences)

Principal "Coffee" Meet Up

Monday, Oct. 19th, 10-11am

This is an online event.

Join Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal, Remote Learning Coordinators and other staff to hear about opening of school, meet other caregivers, and share your celebrations, questions, or concerns.


**UPDATED LINK**

Join by Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/btz-ndrg-vdy


Phone Numbers

(‪US‬)‪+1 575-586-5356‬

PIN: ‪130 999 144#‬

Principal "Coffee" Meet Up

Monday, Oct. 19th, 5-6pm

This is an online event.

Join Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal, Remote Learning Coordinators and other staff to hear about opening of school, meet other caregivers, and share your celebrations, questions, or concerns.


**UPDATED MEETING LINK**

Join by Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/zbj-eipk-zop


Phone Numbers

(‪US‬)‪+1 224-475-1942‬

PIN: ‪220 420 277#‬

RESOURCES

Who are the teachers in our school?

The WHPS Elementary RLE School is comprised of professional elementary educators and support staff from across the district. Staff member names are posted to the district website: http://whps.org/remotelearning.

How do I contact the remote school office?

Our remote school office has a dedicated phone line for elementary and secondary schools (860) 561-6609. Please call that number to report absences or contact our office team with any questions or concerns.


Mrs. Angela Tokarz is the remote school secretary for both the elementary and secondary remote schools and can be reached at (860) 561-6609 or angela_tokarz@whps.org. Mrs. Sarah Falvey provides office support to the elementary remote learning school via the number above or email at sarah_falvey@whps.org.

WHPS Tech Tips

Click on the blue button above for Technology Tips from our Information Technology (IT) Services Office

Updated Contact Information and Technology Responsible Use Form needed

We need to be sure all parents/guardians update contact information and sign an electronic Student Responsible Use Guidelines Form for technology use through our Powerschool Parent Portal: https://www.whps.org/powerschool.


When you are signed into the PowerSchool parent portal, go to the Forms icon in the menu to access those forms. You will find a Contact Phone and Email form, an Emergency Contacts form as well as a Student Responsible Use Guidelines form.


Please see this New School Year information Tech Reminders for instructions on how to create and navigate your account in the portal.

West Hartford Nutrition Services Grab & Go Information

Click on the blue button above for flyer from the West Hartford Nutrition Services Office

http://whps.org/remotelearning

Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal & Director of Elementary Education

Mrs. Angela Tokarz, Remote School Secretary

angela_tokarz@whps.org

Mrs. Sarah Falvey, Remote Elementary School Office Support

sarah_falvey@whps.org