Ferson Creek eNews

April 24, 2020

From the Principal...Kristy McKnight

I don't think any of us could have predicted that we would be finishing up this school year through Remote Learning. The announcement of the extension of the Stay at Home order has brought up so many emotions, as I am sure it has for all of you as well. I am trying to stay positive, but I also remind myself that it's okay to feel the loss and be sad, as long as I choose not to stay with those feelings for too long. I try to make a choice to look forward, and the staff, students, and families here at Ferson help me do that. Thank to the kids who sent me their artwork, to the families who share pictures of their kids during Remote Learning, and to all who have been in virtual meetings with me. You help me look forward and remind me about what is important.


Although not finalized, there will be a district plan regarding picking up of materials. I will be sure to share those details as they become available. We are also working on ways to honor our 5th graders, recognize our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, and add some extra fun into the end of the year. More details to come!


Here's a quick fun message created by our LRC Assistant, Mrs. Mylott!


Have a wonderful weekend!


Kristy McKnight

Returning Student Registration - Now Online!

Returning Student Registration for 2020-2021 has moved to an online format that will open on April 27. In years past, parents completed the necessary paperwork in paper format. This year, all acknowledgments and authorizations are contained in a single electronic, online registration form that will be easily accessible from most electronic devices (computer, Chromebook, and Smartphones).


Beginning April 27, parents can sign into the Returning Student Online Registration form using their Home Access Center (HAC) credentials, select individual students, and complete their registration. The form will be located in the Parents/Community menu of the District website.


Registration fees for elementary and middle school will be available in Pushcoin beginning April 27, and billed to reflect the early bird discount of $10.00 if paid by May 22. High School fees will be available in June. For families who may qualify for a fee waiver, and are not directly certified by the state, a 2020-2021 district fee waiver application will be available on the District 303 website in July, accessible from the Parent/Community menu.

PTO Board Nominations

It's that time again...the Ferson Creek PTO is taking Board nominations! We are in need of a Treasurer for next year in addition to board members. Our Board positions are open to parents, guardians, and Ferson staff. Please fill out this form by April 30th if you are interested is serving on the 2020-2021 PTO Board.

Checking In With 4th & 5th Grade Students and Parents

Student Survey on Remote Learning and SEL:


D303 would like each 4th and 5th grade student to participate in a student survey on the topics of remote learning and social emotional learning (SEL). Students in 6th to 12th grade are taking a similar, but different survey.


D303 is partnering with Northern Illinois University to gain insights from students (grade 4 and up) related to remote learning. The first part is a jointly created survey on how remote learning is going in general. The second part contains established questions designed to help the District understand the overall social emotional well-being of students during remote learning.


The survey will close at the end of the day on May 2, 2020.


Please have your child click the link below to fill out the survey. Use the language toggle on the upper right side of the screen to switch between English and Spanish.


Students in 4th and 5th grade click here to fill out a Student Survey on Remote Learning and SEL


All aspects of student information will remain confidential. If you would like additional information on the survey, please contact David Chiszar, Executive Director Assessment & Accountability (david.chiszar@d303.org), or Patti Palagi, Director of Instructional Interventions (patti.palagi@d303.org). The survey will capture student insights connected to remote learning, social-emotional well being, and coping strategies/supports accessed during this unique time. NIU has established a partnership with D303 through their federal Project Prevent and Address Bullying grant. We are excited to gain additional insights into students' perceptions of remote learning in order to assist us in directing our academic and social-emotional programming.


Parent Feedback on Remote Learning


Along with the student survey we are asking parents a similar set of companion questions on the topic of remote learning. This information, along with student and staff feedback, will be used to help D303 understand, plan, and adjust.


Parents please click here to fill out a Survey for Parents on Remote Learning

Yearbook Update

The Ferson Creek Yearbook printing has been put on “hold” for the year. Unfortunately the printers are down due to the stay at home orders. This gives us an opportunity to work on it some more and print at the beginning of next school year. THERE WILL still be a yearbook, (the yearbook committee will personally deliver to the graduating fifth graders if you can’t make it to the pick up). Online sales are still open through May: https://inter-state.com/YearbookEntry/43057E

(FYI- there was no pre-orders for this at the beginning of the year, only high school and middle school do that)


The good news.. we can include more photos!! Please send Kristi and Ashley any photos of your child e-learning or learning from home with your siblings or pets! We want to include these memories.


Kristi

Kristi@kaybcreative.com


Ashley

Aholdswo@gmail.com


Sending Ferson Creek hugs from your yearbook committee!

Social Emotional Learning

Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2020). This weeks SEL lesson includes strategies supportive of successfully completing assignments or tasks. One such strategy is Ready-Do-Done, a process children and adults can use to plan through the completion of tasks that may appear overwhelming. This weeks competency is:


  • Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.


We are asking students to identify and use strategies to manage emotions. Video clips and text is embedded to foster conversation. The challenges and uncertainty facing families and children are impactful on overall mental health and well being. We are hopeful the resources shared will be a support to parents/guardians and children. If you have any questions on the information provided or are seeking additional support for yourself or child, please contact Patti Palagi, Director Instructional Interventions (patti.palagi@d303.org or 331-228-6457).

Fridays During Remote Learning

Optional Friday learning activities can be found on this website: D303 Optional Remote Learning For Students. There are a variety of learning experiences in the areas of math, digital citizenship, English Language Arts, college and career, and STEM available.

Tech Support

  • Live Chat will remain available M-F from 8 am - 4 pm
  • Phone support is also available at (331) 228-4357. Families should leave a message and expect a timely call back during business hours.


Device Exchange for families will resume, if necessary, at TMS on 4/6. Please use the live chat for device assistance if you have a need. Up to date tech information can be found on the technical support resource page.

D303 Food Service and Meals - Updated!

District 303 is expanding our meal service to include additional school and residential locations beginning on Monday, April 6, 2020. Any student in District 303 is eligible to pick up breakfast and lunch grab and go meals at any of the following locations throughout the week.

Thompson Middle School, 705 W. Main Street
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Monday through Friday

Anderson Elementary School, 35W071 Villa Marie Rd.

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Monday through Friday

Wasco Elementary School, 4N782 School Street, Wasco

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the front of the school

Cumberland Green Cooperative, 1798 Cumberland Green

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the office parking lot

Prairie Point Apartments, 1820 Wessel Court

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.- Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the park facing the road at the front entrance (Entrance nearest to Randall Road)

The Crossings, 1690 Covington

10:40 - 11:10 a.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the area near the clubhouse

St. Charles Place, 15th Street and Indiana

11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to an area in front of the apartment complex

COVID-19 Updates

Please visit the District 303 website that is designed to answer your questions about e-Learning, assist you with finding community resources, and link you to information from reputable agencies about COVID-19.


Por favor, visite el sitio web del Distrito ya que está diseñado para responder sus preguntas sobre el aprendizaje electrónico (e-Learning), ayudarle a encontrar recursos, y enlazarlo con información de agencias confiables sobre el COVID-19


Big picture

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

These are unprecedented times, and it's inspiring to see communities rising to the challenge. However, not everyone has the resources to "shelter in place" especially the millions of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Living paycheck to paycheck is hard when millions of businesses around the nation are closing down indefinitely, and hourly workers (including those dependent upon tips) are the hardest hit. In particular, families with kids whose primary meals happen at school are especially vulnerable when those schools shut down.


With this in mind, Expensify.org is going to temporarily redirect all of its charitable funds to Expensify.org/hunger. With its ability to reimburse volunteers directly in real-time, Expensify.org is uniquely positioned to help families in need immediately. Until today, this fund was focused on paying off kids' "lunch debts" , but with schools closed around the nation, that isn't the top priority. Instead, we're devoting everything to a new program: matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family. It works like this:

  1. Purchase food as normal with your SNAP card
  1. Download Expensify on iOS or Android, for free
  1. Join the Expensify.org/hunger policy
  1. SmartScan the receipt, which will tell us how much you paid and show that it was paid for with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card
  1. Submit it to volunteer@expensify.org
  1. Set up your bank account to receive the funds
  1. So long as we have funds available, we will reimburse up to $50 per family (one time), the very next day.

To be clear, we can't commit to reimbursing every single person in need — we have no idea how many people will do this, and unfortunately, we don't have unlimited funds. We also don't know how long this crisis will last and how far our brand new charity's resources will stretch. But we're going to do what we can with the funds donated on behalf of Expensify Cardholders via the Karma Points feature, as well as by the extremely generous donors who have signed up for our Corporate and Personal Karma programs.


This is a truly global crisis, and it is only beginning. We all need to work together to weather the storm, and on behalf of Expensify.org's many generous members, we're eager to help.

FRAUD ALERT: USDA Warns of Scams Targeting SNAP Recipients

(Washington, D.C., March 24, 2020) – Be on the lookout for potential scammers using the COVID-19 situation to steal personal information, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warned Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants today. USDA is issuing this warning after receiving reports of several possible SNAP fraud attempts.

“While many organizations are seeking to help communities respond to COVID-19, SNAP participants should be suspicious of any unknown individual or organization that requests their confidential information,” said Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, which administers the SNAP program at the federal level. “This is a difficult time for us all, and we certainly don't want to see bad actors taking advantage of those in need.”

Examples of confidential information include social security number, bank information, or a participant’s SNAP EBT card or PIN number. In one potential scam, a website asked SNAP recipients to enter their personal and bank account information to qualify for COVID-related monetary assistance.

If SNAP participants are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, USDA advises they contact their local SNAP office. If they do not know their local SNAP office, participants should contact their state agency. State contact information is available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory.

To stay on top of potential scams, please visit USDA’s SNAP scam alert webpage at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/scam-alerts.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local police department regarding procedures for filing a report. You may also file a consumer complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftc.gov. FTC is the federal agency responsible for protecting consumers from identity theft scams.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.

Across the Board Newsletter

Interested in finding out details from the school board meeting? View the Across the Board newsletter!