We are... Wildcats!

August 27th, 2020

A message from the Principal

Hello Wildcat Families!

I am excited to be partnering with all of you again this year. Our Weiss community has always been one of love, support, and kindness. As we enter into this unprecedented year the word partnership seems more important now than ever. Our community is full of many stakeholders- students, guardians, teachers, school staff, and more. As we work together, it will take patience, flexibility, and grace from all to adjust and improve the school experience for students. As always, We’re All in This Together!

Please take your time to carefully read through this letter as it contains important information to start our school year!


Mr. Bezeau

Principal

Downriver STEM @ Weiss

Due to the Pandemic, many things have to be altered in our school environment (please review the latest Parents FAQ for detailed information) as we follow the Wayne County Health Department Guidelines, CDC Guidelines, and the Governor’s Return to School Roadmap as we planned for our Return to School Plan. These documents highlighted the need to minimize contact so our classes will be primarily staying in only their class/cohort all day. Our special teachers for Art, Music, Gym and STEM will be coming into the classroom for those lessons. If weather permitting, the Gym class may be outside but will not be able to interact with other students if they are on recess. We will be in-person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Wednesdays will be our virtual learning day.

Welcome Letter from your Child's Teacher

It is always very exciting for your child to find out who their classroom teacher will be and our Weiss teachers are simply amazing! Due to the fact that we have had to make many quick changes during this very unusual school year, we were not able to let families know earlier in the summer about their child’s class assignment. On September 1st, you can expect an email (we are not doing a mass mailing due to the short time frame prior to the first day of school, September 8th) from your child’s teacher. Please make sure you have an updated email in MIStar so you will receive this update.


Open House will be a virtual experience. Stay tuned for more information on this specific process. Specific information like daily schedules, snack time, etc...will be coming to you from your child’s teacher.

KEEPING CONTACT INFORMATION UP TO DATE

As we work in partnership to keep our school family healthy and safe, it will be imperative that when the school calls, you answer and be prepared to pick your child up in a timely manner should they have symptoms of being ill. If you cannot pick up your child, please create a contingency plan that can be utilized immediately. PLEASE make sure all contact numbers are active and all emergency contacts are up to date, too.


ParentConnect is the web application connected to our Student Information System. It will allow you to review current, up-to-the-minute information about your student including their emergency contact information. Emergency contact information has always been vitally important and it continues to be. More communication than ever will be coming home via email opposed to paper copies. When you need to update your contact information the web address for the ParentConnection site is:


https://zangleweb.resa.net/Gibraltar/ParentConnect


If you encounter technical difficulties using your account, please send email to: parentconnect@gibdist.net

Arrival and Dismissal

Arrival and dismissal will look quite different this year, as we work to create a safe and distanced approach to both. We are planning a staggered arrival and dismissal. The plan outlined below is our first attempt at this. With many new procedures and protocols set to be implemented, be ready to make changes in the first days and weeks of school if necessary. As always, we need our families to follow the processes in order for them to work for our students.


One of our biggest changes this year is that parents will NOT be allowed to exit their cars at arrival and dismissal.


Arrival

Students can arrive and enter Weiss Elementary School at 8:43 AM. Students may not arrive prior to 8:43 AM, to ensure a safe parking lot, social distancing, and available staff supervision. Upon arrival at the Weiss campus, families will pull into our drive-up loop in the front of the building. At this time, parents will stay in their vehicles as students exit out of their car. Students may enter our building through their classroom exterior doors from 8:43am to 9:00am. After 9:00, students must come through the main office doors in order to enter the building as instruction in the classroom will have begun. We will not mark students tardy until after 9:05 am. All students must enter the building independently. Students should have their mask on prior to exiting the vehicle. Again, the purpose of this extended arrival time is to stagger arrival to maintain social distancing


Dismissal

As we think creatively and work to minimize the number of students in one place, we will be dismissing our Pick-up students at staggered times based on their last name. This will also ensure that we keep siblings together during our dismissal. If siblings have a different last name but live in the same household, the oldest student will be dismissed at the youngest sibling’s time. If your child’s last name starts with A-F, they will be dismissed at 3:20. If your child’s last name starts with G-L, they will be dismissed at 3:30. If your child’s last name starts with M-R, they will be dismissed at 3:40, and if your child’s last name starts with S-Z, they will be dismissed at 3:47. This will allow us to move our students out to their families in much smaller groups while moving the traffic along in a more efficient manner. If you arrive before your child's dismissal time, please park in the lot and wait for your child's designated time before reentering the car loop. As we get used to recognizing each car and family, please have a piece of paper that you can put on the windshield that says each of your child(ren)’s name(s) so we can dismiss efficiently while limiting exposure.

Early Dismissal

If you need to pick your child up early from school, please call the office WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PARKING LOT so we can call your child down at that time ONLY. You will be buzzed into the foyer area, as that will be the only area you may access. . You will be asked to show your identification to a staff member through the glass and then your child will be released to you. Please understand this procedure is in place to limit exposure for all.

Bussers

On the first day of school, students riding a bus will be given a card with their bus seat number on it. Students may NOT change seats unless the driver directs the student to move to another seat. Siblings will be seated together. A Student's seat assignment card will be attached to his/her backpack after completing the first day of school. On the first day of school, that seat assignment card will be attached to your child’s backpack for future reference. Students will be loaded onto the bus based on their particular bus stop. For example, students from the first bus stop in the AM will be seated in the back bus, students from the next bus stop will travel to the next further seat at the back of the bus, and so on. On the way home, the bus will be loaded in reverse order. At the bus stops, please wear your masks and have your child(ren) standing approximately 6 feet apart from other families. As the students enter the bus they MUST have on their mask. They will then get hand sanitizer and move directly to their assigned seat. Students are NOT allowed to remove their masks or touch other students. Should a student have difficulties following these critical expectations, the privilege of riding the bus may be suspended.

Student Medication and Medical Plans

If your child needs medication to be administered at school or requires a medical plan, please call Mrs. Butkin, our school secretary at (734) 379-7060, and set up an appointment with her no later than Thursday, Sept. 3. We want to make sure we are ready on the very first day of school, September 8. In your call with her, she will reference paperwork that needs to be completed by your child’s physician. Weiss’ nursing services documents can be found https://www.gibdist.net/weiss-elementary/nursing-services


COVID-19 Screening Tool For Families

All families should reference the checklist attached below EVERYDAY before sending their child(ren) to school. If you answer "YES" to any of the screening questions your child must stay home from school. PLEASE always call our school office and report if your child is ill. Our secretary may ask you about specific symptoms that your child is displaying. Should your child and/or another family member that lives in your house receive a positive Covid19 Test, please notify the school IMMEDIATELY.
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COVID-19 Student Material Drop-Off

If students do not bring all the necessary materials/supplies to school and materials are dropped off to them the materials will be placed in labeled bins in the foyer. These items will be delivered to the respective classroom.

Building Visitors

ALL visitors/gaurdians must call and make an appointment to come into the building. Everyone has to wear a mask in the building at all times. In an effort to limit visitors in our building, parents/guardians may request a phone meeting with staff or a Zoom call.


If a parent or guardian needs to drop off a lunch or a forgotten device or something else to their child, you will be buzzed into the foyer area ONLY and place the item in the grade designated container. A building staff member will deliver that item to your child’s classroom.

Masks Thoughts

In an effort to help children become more comfortable with wearing masks for an extended period of time, it would be beneficial for them to practice this skill for 30 minutes at a time (or more) before school begins. They could try wearing their mask in the car, while watching tv, while playing on an iPad, when reading a book with an adult, or any other time. While practicing wearing a mask, students should ensure their mouth and nose are completely covered. This additional practice will help them be more comfortable when school begins and help create a safer environment for all. Our students and staff will be able to remove their masks if they are eating, drinking, or participating in a specific lesson in which the teacher asked them to remove their masks. Please practice with your child to increase their tolerance level and duration of wearing their mask.


It might be beneficial for your child to bring an extra mask, or two, with them to school in case their primary mask becomes dirty. If a child needs an extra mask for any reason and they don't have one, the school will provide it for them.

Additional Mask Information

Any student that has a medical note written by a Doctor that states they cannot medically tolerate a face mask due to a medical condition, MUST meet with the principal and Nursing Services Liaison (NSL) prior to the start of school. A student is NOT ALLOWED to show up on the first day of school with a medical note to ride the bus or to attend school. Any student who shows up on the first day of school or at the bus stop with a medical note, will be sent home or not allowed to ride the bus until a meeting is set up with the principal, NSL and parent.

Additional Safety Protocols:

A traffic flow pattern has been established throughout our main hallway and library area. If a Kindergarten or 1st grade student enters our building through the main office doors, they will turn right, after the office, and head to his/her classroom. If a 2nd-5th grade student enters our building through the main entrance, they will go straight ahead down our main hallway and follow the arrows until they reach their classroom.


The District Health and Safety Committee has researched and purchased student desktop partitions to help establish physical barriers for students when they are not able to be 6 feet apart. Additionally, plexiglass has been purchased for teachers to use when working with students in small groups or individually.


Some of the other safety protocols include additional signage that has been added around the building, social distancing protocols, sanitizing stations that have bee installed in many locations for easier access to hand sanitizer for students and staff, and more!

Breakfast and Lunch

All meals will be delivered to the classrooms. All students will be eating in their classrooms for both meals. If students are bringing a lunch from home, we highly encourage families to pack items that students are able to open independently. Capri Sun drinks and Go-Gurt often give our younger students trouble.


Generally, many options for breakfast and lunch will be cold. This may include items like bagels, pop tarts, and pre-packaged muffins for breakfast or sandwiches, and pre-packaged salads for lunch.


If you would be interested in becoming a Lunch Monitor, please contact our Food Service Department! Please contact Maria at 734-379-7619 for more information.