The Cobra Connection
The Sousa Middle School Family Newsletter | September 11
"Many hands make light work" (Tanzanian proverb).
Jambo Sousa Family!
The Adinkrahene is an elegant figure with three circles whose form means the importance of ideas and concepts. I chose this symbol to represent us as we enter week 3 of virtual learning because it reflects the interconnectedness among our students, staff, and community.
Together we are creating new relationships, building new capacities, and clearing new paths to teaching, learning, and leading. We are all developing skills we did not know we needed a year ago and there is comfort in doing this collectively and cohesively as one strong Sousa unit. We are mighty and we are protected by our purpose to love and lead our children to learn of their greatness.
I am honored to use the Adinkrahene symbol to signify how we are all apart of each other and together we enter another week prepared for what comes our way. That being said, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything from us (202)578-1269.
The Cobra Connection newsletter is our family newsletter. We will share important district-wide and school-specific information with you on a bi-weekly basis to make sure you are in-the-know. Until October, however, we will be reaching out on a weekly basis.
- DC Public Schools will be starting the 2020-21 School Year virtually. These videos (1) (2) explain what this means when we start school on August 31, 2020.
- Make sure you complete the tech survey if you need technology for distance learning.
- Check out the #ReOpenStrong website for updates on virtual/distance learning.
- Enroll in DCPS' Parent University sessions to receive additional guidance on what this school year will look like and the district's commitments.
- Make sure you enroll your child as soon as possible! You can receive on site support M-F from 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM!
- Check out DCPS' social media policy as we continue to use virtual learning for Term 1.
- To learn more about our acceptable technology usage policy, click here.
- Classes are happening via Canvas, so please make sure you also download the "Canvas Parent" app on the app store! You will use your scholar's log in information to see what they are working on!
- Check out DCPS' grading policy for virtual learning here.
- To learn more about the attendance policy, click here.
- You can check your child's grades and schedule via ASPEN. Click here to access the parent portal. Click here to get help on how to access ASPEN.
- Click here to learn more about Canvas and what your scholars can see from their side!
Beginning of Year Testing
Why testing matters
- It helps school staff know what and how much our students know.
- It helps teachers plan how they will support your scholar.
- Cameras are on.
- Scholars have a quiet place to take their test in.
- No other windows are open on your computer to ensure distractions are limited.
We will be starting IEP meetings very soon and your partnership is paramount to ensure your child receives the services they need and deserve. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date so we are able to connect with you. Click here to update your contact information.
Please email Ms. Cobb with any concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Virtual Learning Tips & Tricks
- Create a learning space for your child that is quiet and free of clutter.
- Make sure their cameras on.
- Make sure they have a strong routine and that they stick to that schedule to maximize their instructional time.
- Feel free to reach out to your child's teachers if your child needs additional support.
- Monitor your child's usage of social media regularly.
- As they are in class, make sure you stay nearby to support them with any questions they make have. Click here to learn more about Canvas and what they see from their end!
Preparing for Virtual Learning
This year, all sports will be condensed into 8-week seasons. Below, you will find a list of sports we can offer based on interest:
- Adaptive Basketball
- Track and Field
If you are interested in playing any sports for the 20-21 SY please complete a sports packet ASAP.
- Parental Consent Form
- Emergency Treatment Form
- Universal Health Certificate (UHC).
- Students with certain medical conditions may also need to complete an Asthma Action Plan or an Anaphylaxis Action Plan
- Concussion Information Sheet
Please contact Coach K for updated information (202)657-2814
Do you have mental health concerns? The Sousa Health and Wellness Team is here for you.
The Sousa Health and Wellness team is comprised of the School Counselor, School Social Workers, School Psychologist, School-Based Therapist, and others to help support the social-emotional, and mental well-being of our students and families. The team provides supports through classroom lessons, group counseling, individual counseling, and wrap-around services.
Our team provides a wide variety of services to support the needs of our students, families, and staff including behavior support services, case management, consultation, medical services, psychological evaluations, referral to resources, social-emotional learning implementation, crisis intervention, homelessness liaison support, 504 and IEP development and coordination, test monitoring, behavioral assessments, Response to Intervention (RTI), individual therapy sessions, group trauma sessions, family engagement coordination, chronic attendance support and home visits.
If you have any mental wellness concerns or want more information, please reach out to Mrs. Batie, email@example.com.
Mindset in Middle School
The Sousa Health and Wellness Team is committed to working in partnership with parents/guardians in supporting student social and emotional well-being. Recognizing that middle school is a time of significant change, the team will use the weekly newsletter to share information about essential topics using a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) framework that focuses on five key areas: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-management, self-awareness, and social awareness. Social and emotional wellbeing sets the groundwork for a safe and positive learning environment and enhances a student's ability to lead a well-balanced life.
Middle School Matters!
Middle school can be a confusing time, for parents as well as their kids. Your child is becoming more independent, yet still needs your support. As your child's independence increases, it is important to stay involved by lending support and guidance at home. One area we want to pay particular attention to is how your teen views their intelligence and abilities. How they see themselves in these two areas is shown to have an impact on not only how they adjust academically to middle school but also how they adapt emotionally. It has been noted that students who adapt positively to middle school are those that believe their intelligence and abilities can change over time; by trying new things, experiencing failure, learning from mistakes, and knowing learning takes patience, effort and time (a GROWTH Mindset). When students view their intelligence as fixed they believe there is no room for improvement, and experience feeling discouraged, wanting to give up or are afraid to make mistakes. By being attentive to how they view their intelligence and abilities, we can step in when needed to help our teen become skilled in positively reframing how they see themselves.
SEPTEMBER 15th- Reading Test
SEPTEMBER 15- Parent University Webinar: What Will Attendance Look Like for SY20-21?
SEPTEMBER 15- Latinx Heritage Month Launch via IG Live
SEPTEMBER 16TH-Tutorial on how to use Teams and your ELi device (10:00 AM & 5:00 PM)
SEPTEMBER 16TH- ELA Book Pick-Up (11:00 AM-3:00 PM)
SEPTEMBER 23- BTS Day! (12:00 PM-1:30 PM)
SEPTEMBER 30- BTS Night! (5:00 PM-6:30)
Please do not hesitate to reach out! We are in this together!
Dean Clavis, Dean of Students
Ms. Scott, Director, STEAM Academy
Ms. Coan, Manager, Strategy & Logistics