Pioneer Community Update 4/16
Reminder: NO SCHOOL APRIL 17th and APRIL 20th.
April 16, 2020
Dear Pioneer Parents and Community,
I hope this message finds you in good health! Here at the Bainbridge quarantine, all is well. Kingsley loves her lazy mornings, but misses her 400+ children and the pets they give. When we go for walks, she goes nuts when she sees kids. She then throws a fit when we won’t let her approach said children.
After three weeks of remote learning, the Pioneer teachers and administration are SO impressed with the efforts of our parent community. I know many of you are working full time, while also taking on the challenge of homeschooling! Many of our teachers are in the same boat, monitoring their own children’s work while posting lessons and video conferencing with their students. I saw a Facebook post last week that read, “After two weeks of remote learning at our house, two students have been expelled and the teacher was fired for drinking on the job.” I know NONE of you signed up for this, but you are doing an excellent job!
We have received feedback from parents that has led to a few changes in the way we are working with the students. Teachers spent Monday’s planning time simplifying the format of their assignments, aligning the times they release assignments and deciding upon scheduled office hours. Everyone has agreed that during office hours, emails will be answered immediately. If you email a teacher outside of their office hours, you may not receive a reply until the teacher’s next scheduled office hours. This change will allow our teachers to devote the rest of the day to their students and, when applicable, their own children.
We all know that remote learning is not ideal, but we are trying to make the best of a bad situation. Here are some words of advice from our teachers to you, the newly appointed homeroom teacher for our shared students.
Set aside a dedicated work space for your child. If you have the room, dedicate a space away from the TV or areas in which children often play.
Develop a schedule that includes both work time and play time. Get outside whenever possible for recess and breaks. Use timers and to-do lists to help students stay on task. Help your student develop a daily goal. Divide work into “Must dos” and “Can dos” or “First do…, then do…”
Use FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Zoom to maintain connections with friends. Collaborate with other parents in the neighborhood for virtual recess breaks or lunchtimes.
Go old school
Although it is difficult, try to limit the time students spend on line. If you can, print out some of their assignments and have your child read a real book. Develop rules for how much screen time students have outside of school and make sure schoolwork is done before students use their screens for fun.
Have a little fun
Make sure you build fun into each day. Family game night, hikes, bike rides and playing together keep the family bond tight and make quarantine less difficult.
Teach life skills
Now is the time to teach your children how to help with the dishes, cook, do the laundry and clean a toilet. These skills are every bit as important as algebra!
This has been the number one complaint from parents, “My kid won’t do the work unless I am sitting right next to him!” This may come as a surprise to you…your child’s teacher shares your pain! Collaborate with your child’s teacher to find a solution. Reward charts are helpful, as are timers and checklists. If you need to have uninterrupted time to complete your own work, troubleshoot solutions with your child BEFORE they start the work. Decide together what your child can do while they are waiting for you to help them – can they read a book or move onto a simpler task?
If you feel comfortable doing so, adjust assignments as needed to motivate your child and develop their passions. If students are losing interest in an assignment, collaborate with their teachers to determine what is most important. Once that important work is done, develop activities that tap into your child’s interests and talents.
Cut YOURSELF a break (and extend that grace to your child’s teacher)
None of us were trained for this, and we are all doing our best. Do what you can, take frequent breaks (outside is best) and connect with your friends to see how they are getting through this. Share your feelings of frustration with your child and model the strategies you are using to calm yourself and stay focused. Take a breath, then jump back into it! You can do it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the work you are doing with our students. The Pioneer faculty and staff are devastated by this crisis. They want to be with their students, not sitting in the basement trying to figure out how to get the microphone to work on their computer! None of us went into education to talk with children through a screen and all of us want to get back to school. We love our kids, we miss our kids and we cannot wait to give them all a big hug! Until then, take good care of our students and reach out if you need any assistance with school – or indeed anything else. We are here for you.
Pioneer will be hosting a Virtual Book Fair beginning next week!
Pioneer will be hosting a Virtual Book Fair beginning next week!
Beginning next Wednesday, April 15th you may log in and make Book Fair purchases that will ship directly to your house! The Online Book Fair will be open from 4/15-4/28.
A portion of all purchases will directly benefit our school! Thank you for your support!
Still need access to technology?
We are thrilled to have your Kindergartener joining our school beginning this fall. Please click on Kindergarten Parents and Guardians 2020-2021 for more information.
Important Resources For Families For Public Assistance
Does your student get too many Google Classroom notifications?
For example, you can turn off invitation notifications for all classes but keep assignment notifications on. Go to classroom.google.com and click Sign In.
- Turn all notifications on or off.
- Choose which notifications you get.
- Turn notifications for a class on or off.
We are selling yearbooks!! Cost will be $18.50
A Message from Pioneer PTO
Staff Appreciation Week is set to take place May 4th-8th. Even though we aren't able to carry-out our normal plans to show our appreciation for the wonderful staff at Pioneer during this week, we still want to show our staff how much we appreciate all that they do to care for our kids and our building. The PTO has come up with a few ways you can show your appreciation. They are all completely optional, so do as many or as little as you'd like.
1. Make a donation to go towards gifts we will send to all the staff. We have set up a Colorado Gives Campaign to make this easy! Just follow this link: http://coloradogives.org/PioneerStaffAppreciation
2. Create a short video to tell us what you appreciate about the staff at Pioneer. We will compile them all and surprise the staff with it during Staff Appreciation Week. Go this link: https://flipgrid.com/46bd9680 PASSWORD: PioneerFamilies (no space!!!)
3. Look for further communication! The week before Staff Appreciation week, we will send you a list of ideas of things you can do each day during that week to show your appreciation. This is kind of like what we did last year, but it will all be virtual!
Thanks so much for your support of the PTO and for showing your appreciation for our great Pioneer staff, especially during this crazy time!