The Dolphin Digest

December 21, 2020

Upcoming Events

December 21st- Last day of 2nd Quarter

December 22nd- January 4th- No School: Winter Break

January 4th- Teacher Workday

January 5th- School resumes (K-5: remote, PreK: in-person)

January 6th- Quarter 3 Material Pick Up (K-5) in Bus Parking Lot (8am-2pm)

January 7th- Hungry Howies Spirit Night (4pm-9pm)

January 8th- Smithfield Spirit Day

Have a WONDERFUL Winter Break!

We hope that everyone has a fun and safe Winter Break. The building will be closed from December 23rd through January 4th. December 22nd and January 4th will be teacher workdays. Instruction will continue on January 5th.

Happy Holidays!

Quarter 3 Material Pickup

We will have a 3rd Quarter material pickup on Wednesday, January 6th from 8am-2pm in the Smithfield bus parking lot. Students will be picking up textbooks and materials needed for 3rd quarter instruction. Please wear a mask while interacting with school staff. Thank you!

Show your School Spirit!

Calling all Dolphins! Show your school spirit (Smithfield spirit wear or colors) on Friday, January 8th!

Mecklenburg Public Library Winter Break Events

As we are almost nearing Winter Break, I wanted to take a minute to share several opportunities available for students and families at your school to participate in this Winter Break at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Please feel free to read and pass along these opportunities:

  • Story Explorers: Explore books and stories in creative ways through interactive activities in these Winter Break online programs. Choose from Traditions Around the World, Minecraft Pixel Art, Five Languages of Love, Bubble Trouble, and more- or register to attend them all!
  • Family Storytime: Register to participate in an online Family Storytime over Winter Break! Library staff are ready to share their favorites to keep you busy this Winter Break. Twelve Storytimes are available for your family to enjoy, including a special Mother Minter’s Gift of Kwanzaa Storytime, a Winter Festival Storytime, and several “Noon Year’s Eve” Storytimes to help you ring in 2021.
  • Winter Break Reading Buddies and Tutoring: Want to keep your child’s skills sharp over Winter Break? Check out our one-on-one Reading Buddy or Tutoring appointments where your child can log in with a Library staff member to read and learn something new!

New! Morning Annoucements

Starting today, Monday, December 21st, fifth grade students will have the opportunity to be a Smithfield News Anchor and pre-record the daily morning announcements. Classrooms will begin the day watching the Smithfield Morning Announcements. We are excited for this leadership opportunity for our 5th grade students.
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Gift of Time

Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. As the holiday/winter break approaches, we challenge you to embrace the "gift of time" that this year has given us. Below, you will find some self-care ideas to try while on break with your family, and perhaps to bring into the new year.

  1. Start a journal. Pick a subject to write about each time you make an entry. For example:
    1. Name 10 things in which you are grateful.
    2. Make a list of short-term goals.
    3. Write down 10 uplifting/positive words that describe yourself.
    4. Name some internal or external resources you have to help you through the pandemic.
    5. Share somethings that has made you proud or happy in the last two weeks.
    6. Write about challenges in your life
    7. Make a list of everything you'd like to say 'no' to.
  2. Call someone you haven't talked to in a while.
  3. Pull out a cookbook and make a recipe you haven't tried with the family.
  4. As a family watch a sunrise or sunset or something else in nature, that you rarely have time to notice or apricate.
  5. Have each family member get rid of 5 things they never use, or clean or declutter a space as a team.
  6. Create a virtual winter holiday tradition.

How to Set Up a Virtual Background- Great for Spirit Days!

Setting up Virtual Background on the Ipad:

Step 1: Saving an image onto your Ipad to use for a virtual background.

Students will need to find an image in Safari by typing in google "Orange Ribbon for Leukemia". Once they find the image they want to use (make sure it's not blurry or pixelate and has no watermarks), they will hold down the image with their finger until a menu pops up where they will then select the option to "q". This process saves the image into the stored ipad photos. Another option, if you can figure out a way for studnts to pick up the attached images through their Ipads, than they can siomply save these to their photos on the ipad.

Step 2: Log into Zoom and Settings for Virtual Background

Once you are in your Zoom Meeting, as you normally would be, you will go to the top right corner where there are three dots above the word "More". When you click on "More" you will be given a drop down menu that has "Virutal Background" listed. Select that option, "Virtual Background" and you will be taken to a page that may have some image tiles along the bottom, but most will just have a blue box around the word "NONE" and then a "+" sign. Select the "+" and you will be taken to a screen where you will pull images into the Zoom program to be used for your background. (If you don't see this than find troubleshooting tips listed below here with *asterisk signs).

Depending on how your computer was setup, *your Zoom settings may need to be updated to allow you to pull from your library of photos. Here's what to do:

*If you receive a prompt that says "Allow Zoom to Access your photos frm: Settings"- "Zoom". Than select "settings" at that prompt and it will redirect you to Settings page for ZOOM. You'll need to allow Zoom access by selecting "ALL PHOTOS". Once you've made that update to the Settings than go back to the Zoom call and get back to the Virtual Background page where you were clicking the "+".

Step 3: Choosing your Virtual Background and making sure we can see you.

Once you are on the page that says "Recents" at the top, than your recently uploaded image should be in there. *If it's not, than click the back button within the frame (on the same line as "Recents", but in the left corner you will see < button), which will take you to ALL photos on your Ipad. Once you foudn the Leukemia image you want to use, then you will select the image and a blue check mark will appear next to the photo to confirm your selection. Then hit the blue button along the bottom that reads "DONE" and you will be taken to the full screen view of your image. If you like what you see then hit the "X" in the top right of the image box and it will take you back to the zoom call.

Now you have your Virtual Background to share in Spirit Week!

TIPS/ Troubleshooting:

  • Your Virtual Background will take over the screen and not show you, or your raised hand if you don't provide yourself with good lighting. It's helpful to have really good light setup to use this feature of Zoom.
  • Sometimes sitting closer to the screen will also help, if someone is having trouble seeing you or your hand being raised. Some teachers may prefer and/or allow you to Riase your Hand through Zoom, but that will be something your teacher determines with you if you are experiencing significant issues.
  • IF you don't like the image you chose, ones you are seeing it live, then you follow all the same steps as listed above for how to get to the Virtual Background, but now you will select the image of a "trash can" in the bottom right or you can just select "none" and that will remove background images. You still need to select the "x" in the top right corner again to have your update stay in place on the Zoom call, and you will be taken directly to the call.
  • If you happen to have a green screen at home, or if your image is distorting how you appear on the screen, there is an area where you can enable or disable the green screen option. Here's how: When you are on the image selection oage, in the far right corner, next to the trash can, there are three dots. Click on the three dots and a pop up will appear, titled Green Screen. If you 1) have a solid-colored background. (Green is recommended), that you will be sitting in front of on the call then you will want to make sure Green Screen is enabled by clicking the white button next to Green Screen. You will see the change it makes, instantaneously. However, 2) if you don't have a green screen at home or thought it would work on a solid background but it made you look worse, than you need to make sure Green Screen is disabled by clicking that white dot.

Smithfield Remote Instructional Plan (12/14-1/15)

· CMS Board voted that all K-5 students will participate in REMOTE learning from Monday, December 14th – Friday, January 15th. (Note- Winter Break (no school): 12/22-1/5 and MLK Holiday: 1/18 (no school)

· Smithfield students will follow our current schedule for remote learning.

· Daily instruction M-F will begin at 8am.

· Smithfield students will continue to have instruction provided by the same teacher(s).

· CMS will continue the current Wednesday, asynchronous schedule.

· If you have any questions or concerns, please email your child’s teacher, MCL (Ms. Barnes (K-1), Ms. Harabin (2-3), Ms. O’Connell (4-5), Jill Trotter, or Allison Plunkett.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership!

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Requests to transfer between Plan B and Full Remote Academy

If you would like your child to transfer out of Plan B (in-person) and into Full Remote Academy, or vice versa, please complete the form by following the link below. We will be in touch within 48 hours of receiving the form in regards to the approval. Thank you!

Previous Dolphin Digests

Please see the previous week's Dolphin Digest newsletters below:

December 7th

November 23rd

November 16th

November 9th

November 2nd

October 26th

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