The Dragon Times
February 2021 Edition
Put Students First * Seek Growth * Be Open to Change * Do Great Work Together * Value Differences
Dear Luxford Families,
I hope this newsletter finds your family healthy and safe.
I cannot believe it is February already! Some days this school year has seemed very, very long and other times it seems like it has flown by. It is quite a remarkable year and will go down in the history books with so many major events that have already and will continue shape our future. Just when we think we are settling into the routine of the moment; we move toward change again. One thing I can say unequivocally, is the students are amazing! Yes, we have had some obstacles AND they have adapted to everything we have thrown at them. They have grown personally and academically in so many ways.
I am proud of our parents and guardians too! As a mother of a VBCPS elementary student, I see the other side; I get it. Some days it is just tough and there are things that are frustrating. It has not been perfect, but our students are showing growth overall and moving forward. That is what we need FOR them.
Please take the time to talk with your school-aged students this weekend and remind them we have an entire semester left of school. This is the time for them to really buckle down. This is the time for them to set goals for growth and improvement, so they can remain on target or catch up to where they need to be, to end the year strong and be ready to return next year. Share with them they are strong, and they will not let a pandemic cause them to fall behind. They need to work hard so they can look back when they finish their K-12 schooling and be proud they overcame one of the biggest hurdles in education to date. They will be able to tell a future employer or college administrator, that although they literally missed over ¼ of one school year and had to learn virtually for another, they did not give up and they learned the skills they needed to be a successful and contributing member of the group they wish to join. They will be so much stronger for it!
As you may already be aware, all Option 1 students will return to face to face instruction on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Instruction will occur Tuesdays-Fridays. Mondays will remain as an asynchronous learning day (attendance is still recorded on Mondays).
Here at Luxford we have continued to be hard at work and have been preparing to receive Option 1 students back in our building this coming Tuesday. If your student is returning, please read the newsletter carefully and review the required information with your student(s), so they are prepared and ready to go on Tuesday.
For those parents whose students are remaining on Option 2, Tuesday will be business as usual. Students will sign in with their teacher as they have been doing for the first semester.
Remember, Monday, February 1, 2021, is a staff day and there is no school for students.
I cannot wait to see the students who are returing on Tuesday. We are so excited to have life back in our building!
Important Dates and Reminders
National African American History Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month
National Career and Technical Education Month
2/1-2/5 National School Counseling Week
2/5- Report Cards issued via ParentVue
2/12- 100th Day of school
2/17- National PTA Founders' Day
2/17- Old Donation School Full-time Intellectual Program applications are due
2/25- Digital Learning Day
2/15- President's Day- No school for students
2/26-2/27- Religious Holiday- Purim
Return to F2F Checklist
Please review this checklist to make sure you have everything you need to come back to school on Tuesday.
- Face Mask (send an extra if you can just in case)
- Chromebook and charger
- Both GO Math Workbooks
- Dry Erase Boards and Manipulatives
- Any Additional Materials that Your Teacher Required
- WATER Bottles- we recommend students bring their own water botttle from home (labeled, please)
Successful School Return
In order to prepare for a successful and safe return, please note the following:
- School Hours: 8:20-2:50 p.m.
- Parent drop begins at 8:00 a.m. and Parent Pick-up begins at 2:50 p.m.
- If you are returning to school for the first time, you must register with the front office staff to obtain a parent pick-up tag to hang from your rearview mirror. (If you already received your tags in the fall, please disregard)
- If you are not an everyday Parent Pick-Up, and you must pick your child up early, we must receive notification of the change, in writing, by 2:00 p.m. the day the change takes place.
- PE/Recess: Our Dragons need plenty of fresh air; therefore, as long as the weather permits (40 degrees) students will go outside. Please ensure your child has a warm coat, hat, and gloves (consider labelling belongings).
- Lunch: Students will eat lunch socially distanced in assigned areas, however, we are not able to accommodate visitors due to COVID restrictions. Thank you for understanding!
- Medications: If you need to replenish your child’s medication(s), please hand deliver to nurse Mickey by Monday, February 1, 2021.
- Chromebooks: Please ensure your child’s Chromebook is charged and packed in their backpack for return to school. Don’t forget to pack their charger, too.
- Facemasks: Students are required to wear a facemask beginning at the bus stop and throughout the day.
Please review this tool daily regarding your student's health and prior to sending them to school each day
For students who ride busses, please review bus information in your parent portal site (Parent Vue). Students must wear a mask at the bus stop and on the bus.
For students who ride day care vans, the same process is in place and they will be escorted to their transportation daily.
For students who are parent drop off and pick up:
Parents who pick up their child on a regular basis have received a car tag. You cannot pick up your child without the display tag. Please follow these steps:
- Please display the tag on your rear-view mirror everyday so that we may quickly determine who you are picking up.
- Even if there are no cars behind you, please pull forward all the way to the stop sign in front of the building and just prior to the bus loop entrance, so the line can move efficiently.
- When you pull forward, staff will see your display number and your child will be escorted out to cars.
- Please do not exit your vehicle. Our staff will ensure that your child safely enters the passenger side of your car. After picking your child up, please use caution and be aware of other cars when leaving.
- If your child has forgotten something, you will need to park and come into the building through the main office.
- If you arrive after 3:10 p.m. you will need to park your car and come into the main office. You will need an ID to sign out your child.
At this time, the school division is continuing with the policy of parent visitors by appointment only to the office. Parent volunteers and parent visitors are not permitted throughout the school building.
Outside food for lunch, treats for the class, or birthday celebration foods are not allowed. Your child may bring lunch from home in their lunch box. Lunch from outside restaurants or bought from a store will not be able to be dropped off at this time. If your child forgets their lunch, they will be provided a free, bagged lunch from the Cafe'.
Face Mask Policy
For the 2020-2021 school year or until further notice, all students are required to wear a cloth face covering at bus stops, on school buses, and in school buildings unless they provide documentation from a healthcare provider that they are unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition.
Face coverings are subject to the same expectations outlined in Policy 5-41 and may not depict lewd graphics, display offensive or obscene language, advertise alcohol or an illegal substance, or have any gang-affiliation. The mask needs to be a non-vented face covering. With the same parameters a face shield is an acceptable substitute, if a cloth face covering cannot be used. Staff is required to direct the student to place the face covering over the mouth and nose. When a student is not wearing a face covering nor wearing it properly, the teacher shall tell the student to wear the face covering and/or to do so properly.
Should a student refuse to wear a face covering after being told to do so by staff, appropriate procedures will be followed and you will be contacted. If a child does not come to school with a face mask, we will provide them with a face mask. We will provide up to three masks per student.
As of Tuesday, we will return to providing breakfast, lunch and dinner at no charge to ALL children (age 18 and under) at all VBCPS schools, regardless of individual eligibility or whether they receive instruction virtually or in-person. Because students are returning to our schools Tuesday, buses will be dedicated to transporting them to and from our buildings. Therefore, Friday was the final day for bus delivery of food.
The meals for virtual students are provided via a drive by/pickup model, with bagged meals provided Monday–Friday, 10:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., with the Friday bag containing food for Saturday and Sunday. Students in face-to-face instruction may also pick up weekend meals through the drive by/pickup model.
From our Reading Specialists
As we start the second semester, the reading specialists, Mrs. Reedy and Mrs. Miller would like to share with you what your students will be working on for the first part of the third quarter. Please see below for grade level specifics:
Kindergarten- Unit 6: This unit focuses on the purpose of fictional texts in making connections, making predictions and questioning while reading. Writing will continue to focus on brainstorming ideas to expand on topics of writing. Students will continue to practice the mechanics of writing to begin writing simple, complete sentences with an emphasis on capitalization, punctuation and spacing.
1st Grade- Unit 6: This unit will revisit fiction objectives with a focus on identifying character traits, understanding themes and making predictions. These skills are aimed to deepen students' comprehension of characters and events. Writing will continue to focus on writing in a variety of forms, with an introduction to opinion writing in this unit. Oral language will support retelling a story in sequential order using resources such as talk cards, retelling cards, etc.
2nd Grade- Unit 6: Unit 6 will bring students back into fictional texts and poetry with a focus on theme. Students will analyze a variety of texts to identify the themes and lessons learned. Students will build on their ability to analyze characters and events to draw conclusions about the theme. Writing instruction will focus on expanding writing to include descriptive details, revising for clarity, writing in response to reading and editing for capitalization, punctuation, spelling and Standard English.
3rd Grade- Unit 6: The instructional focus of unit 6 will be on the author’s use of language in fictional texts and poetry. Students will analyze a variety of texts to draw conclusions about an author’s decisions in craft, style and word choice. Students will also hone their skills in summarization with a focus on theme. Understanding the key language that an author uses through narrative structure will support students in drawing conclusions about the theme. Writing instruction will focus on applying understanding of language style to write poetry.
4th Grade- Unit 6: Unit 6 will focus on the author’s use of language in fictional texts and poetry. Students will analyze texts to draw conclusions about an author’s decisions in craft, style and word choice. Students will also continue summarizing fictional texts with a focus on cause and effect relationships and themes. Students will build on their ability to interpret the impact of the author’s choices on language and plot events to draw conclusions about the theme. Writing instruction will focus on language style in poetry. Students will create multimodal presentations to share their poetry.
5th Grade- Unit 6: Unit 6 will bring students back into fictional texts and poetry with a focus on the author’s use of language. Students will analyze a variety of texts to draw conclusions about an author’s decisions in craft, style and word choice. Students will also continue summarizing fictional texts with a focus on cause and effect relationships and themes. Students will also build on their ability to interpret the impact of the author’s choices on language and plot events to draw conclusions about the theme. Writing instruction will focus on language style in poetry. Students will use this time to identify figurative language used by authors and incorporate this style of writing into their own poems.
From Our Math Specialist
Gifted Screening Updates
Gifted services are available in VBCPS at all levels through both school-based and citywide programs. Gifted students are provided instruction through a differentiated curriculum that is responsive to their academic and social and emotional needs.
Each year, the division screens all first-grade students for potential recommendation into the VBCPS gifted education program. However, due to circumstances associated with managing COVID-19, a change in the screening process is required. Traditionally, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) has been administered in the face-to face-setting. Given the circumstances, using the NNAT screening assessment this year would not allow for consistency in testing for all students, nor would the condensed timeline.
To meet these challenges and to ensure that Option 1 and Option 2 students participate in fair and equitable screening practices, in the coming weeks, an online version of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Screener will be administered to all first-grade students. This revision to the screening process will allow families time to more easily submit a gifted application by the Feb. 17 deadline.
First-grade families will receive additional information in a separate email tomorrow.
For students in grades two and higher, the gifted education application deadline has passed. However, gifted identification testing will also use the online version of the CogAT for those students who applied. More information related to gifted education can be found by visiting the gifted education page.