Barclay Bulletin

November 8, 2020

How To Navigate Teams

Thursday, Nov. 12th, 6:30pm

E Barclay Elementary School, Brockport, NY, USA

Brockport, NY

If you want more information on how to navigate teams, this one hour training opportunity is for you! Come to this session to learn how Teams and OneNote are used to relay assignments between home and school. Space is limited due to our COVID capacity requirements. Attendees need to register for this event so we can create a team for you to explore. Feel free to email or call the school if you have any questions. Attendees must wear face masks and complete the health screening prior to the training as well as planning to bring their student's computer to this training.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Instruction and Interventions

We have turned the calendar page to November. When we look at school days, it's hard to believe that cohort 1 and 2 students have been in attendance for 17 days of in person instruction. While instruction continues with new learning on the days students are at home we realize it cannot look the same as it does when students are with us in school. Teachers become adept at recognizing student needs when they are in person for instruction. Teachers recognize when hurdle help, or additional time with students becomes necessary to guide a child's understanding of the curriculum and standards. It is harder for a parent to recognize those individual needs because you have not been the person delivering the instruction on a daily basis throughout the school year. Helping students (no matter what age or grade) at home creates many challenges. Parents may find themselves thinking:

  • I don't know how to teach this.
  • My child is becoming frustrated and I don't know how to help.
  • I don't have time to help because I have my own work to do.
  • It's already been a long day and I don't have the energy to help with schoolwork at night.
  • It's just easier to do the work so this assignment can be completed.
  • The school is failing my child.
  • I am failing my child.
  • I am overwhelmed.
  • When will this end?

While there are many more thoughts that can probably go there - feel free to share your on the Barclay Facebook page - It is completely understandable to fell overwhelmed. The same feelings are occurring in school. Educators are thinking:

  • I need more time with students.
  • How can I really teach this standard or concept remotely and get the same level of understanding?
  • Is it ok if students aren't completing their assignments?
  • How am I going to report learning on a report card to families?
  • Why is the technology not working the way it is supposed to today?
  • I am overwhelmed.
  • When will this end?

Certainly this is not an exhaustive list for either families or teachers. I point this out to give perspective, to remind all of us that we are still in a pandemic where our health is the most important factor in decision making. Where we are bound to follow regulations that make our traditional model of 5 day in person learning impossible at this time. Every one of us in the Brockport community would love to see school looking like it did a year ago. We are not there yet. School will continue to have to look different. Schools will continue to get better at how we instruct children through a combination of in person and remote learning. Families will get better at managing the instructional expectations placed in the home environment.

It will take time. It may not be this year that things return to "normal". We must prepare ourselves for this unfortunate probability. Not one person I've talked to has said, "I really wanted this to happen, I think we're heading toward a new era in education."

What we do have in place right now is our tier one instruction, what happens in our classroom and remote settings. Our tier two interventions are happening during the day with either a classroom teacher or intervention teacher. While they are in place, please remember that our number of in-person days is reduced, so our interventions and student growth will be impacted by how much time they are able to spend on lessons during in person and remote days. Math fact automaticity - helping students with their addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts is something that can happen during a short car ride, or for a few minutes every night. Reading with, or setting up independent reading time where you can ask comprehension questions about the story will help engage students in their independent reading comprehension skills.

We are currently looking at our tier three interventions - specific small group interventions that are targeted for specific skill deficits. These include programs such as SPIRE, Orton-Gillingham, Fast Forword, to name a few. Not all students need this type of intervention, and delivering this model becomes more difficult when we are concerned with crossing student cohorts. These interventions may begin to happen as we look at our current structures and possibilities in the building. It is not perfect. I wish it were.

Adding Math interventions through our Sunrise Scholars program is another avenue we are exploring, but again, we have to look at transportation capacity, timing, and the health and safety of students as we explore this traditional Barclay School option. I have had to say no to specific requests from parents regarding supports and modifications, but I have also been able to say yes to some requests. My responsibility is to balance the resources that we have in the building and the district. While I would like to have many more opportunities for students, some requests cannot be honored due to logistical or health concerns.

We must continue to work together as partners to help our children grow and develop. This pandemic has forced us to change our approaches and distill learning to the most important lessons designed to teach those standards. What we are missing is the added time we have traditionally had in-person. Time where teachers can assist students when they struggle with a concept. If you are assisting your child with the assignments, be open and let the teacher know what you see through your interactions. It's more valuable for a teacher to know where your child is struggling then to see a completed assignment that is completely correct. If you are experiencing meltdowns at home over the work, let the school know where this is happening and we can do our best to assist. If you child is excelling, ask what activities can be extension activities to keep students moving forward at their own pace.

This is not perfection. It will be a difficult, bumpy journey that we will be able to get through together. We will continue to assess student independence on standards, and ways in which we can deliver interventions when students need them, but realize that things will look different then they have in the past. You can always call me at school if you have questions, or email me directly at