DISTRICT NEWS & NOTES
September 3, 2020
Hello School District Family,
On Wednesday, September 2nd, the Board of Education voted to “provide in-school learning supports for students identified by Student Support Services and Special Education according to the phase-in plans developed by those departments.”
Student Education teams are convening to review individual student education plans (IEP) and identify the extent to which individual students with disabilities may require more access to in-person learning opportunities than their peers. The nature or severity of disability for some of our special education students may make it uniquely difficult for them to fully benefit from these remote educational opportunities and address their overall learning and developmental needs.
Teams will consider the following:
- Documented daily/weekly aggressive physical behavior directed at self or others.
- Daily repetition and training of a critical life skill listed as a need in IEP in order for the student to progress through goals.
- Demonstrated inability to meaningfully engage in remote, eLearning formats based on the nature and severity of their disability.
After review of each student’s individualized learning plan and the above considerations, teams will discuss return to in-classroom instruction based on the student’s individual needs.
Case managers will contact parents to review student IEP needs and schedule transportation.
Student Support Services
Program directors are reviewing district data and logs related to student academic and social emotional needs, dialoguing with families and educators, and initiating referrals.
Program directors are coordinating with principals to convene school-level Student Support Team meetings to determine in-building support options.
Program directors will begin contacting parents to review student needs and schedule transportation.
Once students have been identified as requiring in-person service during remote learning, schools will assign those students to academic support pods at their home school.
Academic support pods will be designated by age/grade bands and follow all the COVID-19 appropriate social distancing, cleaning, and cohorting requirements spelled out in CDC, DHSS and Alaska DEED Smart Start guidelines. Students will have access to the breakfast and lunch programs.
I am deeply aware of the many challenges families and staff are facing as we move through this pandemic. The actions of the school district have a profound effect on our community and that responsibility is always in the forefront of my mind. There are families who want their children to return to school immediately. There are families who intend to keep their children home for the rest of the school year. Please know it is our goal to have students return to school as soon as it is as reasonably safe as possible for both students and district staff.
As we begin to phase students back into buildings, we will continue to communicate new developments as they occur. You and your family can do your part to keep case rates down and help return students to school by practicing the safety precautions we are all very familiar with now: wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from people outside your core bubble, washing your hands regularly, and limiting the number of people outside of your family that you spend time with.
Families may find the following forms helpful as the school district begins to phase students back into buildings:
Together we can work through the obstacles thrown at us by this pandemic.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Have you visited the school district’s Social Emotional Learning and Prevention Services webpage lately? You’ll find a red button at the top of the page labeled Caregiver Resources. We’ve linked resources that we hope you’ll find helpful at home and for use in partnering with your child’s teacher to support growth. Our partners at Aperture Education also have wonderful Social Emotional Learning resources for parents and families.
Strategy- "My Successes and Strengths"*
To help our children be successful, we can help them become more aware of their strengths and skills so that they can be better prepared to call upon them in the future. The “My Successes and Strengths” strategy is simple - to become more aware of what specific skills, talents and strengths help us achieve our goals so that we can deliberately use those skills in the future.
Student Passwords & Cybersecurity
We've made changes our cybersecurity to make your data and accounts more secure!
If you’ve not changed/reset your password this school year, please do so before Tuesday, September 8th. All student passwords that haven’t been changed by September 8th, will be reset.
Students can manage their own passwords here or from within PowerSchool.
Passwords should be unique, and must not include your name, username (for students this is your “s-number”), or any other personal information. The longer your password is, the better!
For more tips on choosing good, strong passwords, visit Tips for a Stronger Password.
Remember - we’re each responsible for our own account. Never share passwords with others.
Teaching & Learning has created this helpful tutorial: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1os4eMv4O4jJNLkJROPXTJUl5Vq1At9oz9alRCh7eP1c/view
If you need additional assistance, please contact your student’s school front office. Each school is prepared to provide remote learning technology help. School staff is prepared to assist with anything from verifying the wifi to submitting an assignment through Seesaw or GoogleClass.
If they can’t help you at the building level, they can put in a work order and our District Help Desk will assist you.
More Technology Resources for Parents:
If for some reason your student device isn’t properly running the district apps you need, such as Google Meet or other apps your teacher uses for class, please contact your school. We may be able to resolve the issues by updating your device, or in some cases issuing a different device.
Thank you to our community partners!
Army Unit School Supply Drive
Fort Wainwright's very own 1st Sergeant Brower, Menchaca, and their E Company 1-52 donated school supplies for students in need.
Positive Partnership with Fairbanks Native Association:
Provides extra support for Alaska Native and American Indian students and families with the Early Learners Project, Johnson O’Malley Native Families Engage, and Johnson O’Malley Allied Health Pathways Program.
Positive Partnership with Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce:
Education Committee members made a video thank you message to school staff to help kick off the school year
Positive Partnership with True North Church:
They donated Krispy Kreme doughnuts and North Pole Coffee Roasting Company coffee for school staff at every school to help kick off the school year
World’s Biggest Backpack Giveaway Drive-Thru
Saturday, September 5th from 10 AM to Noon
Summit Church in North Pole at the corner of Hurst and Badger Road (formerly North Pole Worship Center).
School supplies will be provided to families at no cost.
More information at 907-488-9084
ASKING SAVES KIDS (ASK)
YOU CAN PREVENT FAMILY FIRE DURING CORONAVIRUS — HERE’S HOW:
Always Safely Store Your Firearms: As a result of coronavirus, families across the country are facing daily disruptions to their lives. With school and daycare closures come millions of children spending more time at home — many in close proximity to firearms. With 4.6 million children living in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun before coronavirus,it’s critically important that parents and caregivers take the steps to protect children in their homes from family fire.
- Store your guns locked, unloaded, and inaccessible to children and those who should not have access to guns.
- To ensure your firearm is inaccessible to children, lock it in a drawer, container, or safe rather than keeping it in an unlocked bedside table, under your mattress or pillow, or on a closet shelf.
- Always store the ammunition separately from your firearm.
District Offices Closed
Monday, September 7 for Labor Day
Board of Education
The Board will review the Smart Start plan at each regular meeting.
Tuesday, September 15th
6:00 pm: Board of Education Meeting
As of this writing, the Board of Education is scheduled to consider the following topics at their September 15 regular meeting:
Secondary school plans for second quarter
Elementary return-to-school plans
Sports activities in the Red Operational Zone
Tuesday, October 6th
6:00 pm: Board of Education Meeting
All Day: Municipal Election Day
Operational Zones and District Medical Advisory Committee
The school district is currently in the Red Operational Zone. The borough case rate trends continue to increase. Those trends were the primary factors considered by the district Medical Advisory Committee this week to make district operational zone determinations. Dr. Mishelle Nace is the committee physician chair and provides regular updates to the Board of Education.