Estrada's E-Notes

April 2021 Edition

Principal's Post

Dear Newport El Families,

At the March 30th meeting, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District School Board of Education approved the return of all elementary schools to Level 1 Full-Day Instruction beginning on Wednesday, April 21.

While I am looking forward to the opportunity to welcome students back full time, I also understand that this will be one more transition for our community to work through. Schedules will be adjusted and new routines will be developed for families and staff. The time and effort our team is putting into designing and implementing new routines, procedures, and safeguards has been significant. It is SO WORTH IT because I cannot wait to have students back full time. I’m looking forward to providing our students a full day of support in academics and social-emotional learning.

I am incredibly grateful for our team and community. Every challenge we have faced this year, we have found solutions through collaboration and innovation. Teachers have been busy preparing within their classrooms and a committee has been working with me to plan out the many details.

Next Friday, you will receive a video and slide deck from me with more detailed information about what to expect beginning April 21. On April 19th, I am hosting a Parent Q&A via Zoom for any questions that may not have been answered. The teachers and I will also be working to help students with the transition to Level 1 during their class time on April 19th and 20th.

Our top three priorities throughout this transition are to:

  1. Develop clear behavior expectations supported with many positive reinforcements.

  2. Build our scholarly stamina.

  3. Create our classroom communities.

Specific tools and strategies will be implemented during the transition to support these three priorities.

I am sharing some details with you this week with much more to follow next week. Please stay connected and informed by reading your emails. We’ve experienced a lot of change this past year, but our community has demonstrated flexibility, collaboration, creativity, and RESILIENCE! We’ve experienced smooth and SAFE transitions before and we will do it again! Thank you for your continued support and partnership!

Keep being awesome!

Principal Estrada


Level 1 - Full Day Instructional Program Update

Level 1 Updates

Much more information will follow next week, but here are some details to help paint a clear picture of our Level 1 Full-Day Instruction.

Masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer/washing will continue to be required at all times, except when students are eating and drinking.

We will be maintaining "stable groups” which we are defining as a grade level. For the purpose of recess, lunch, and RTI small groups, students from the same grade level will be together. For example, 1st graders will be eating lunch in a designated area separate from 2nd graders, but students from both 1st grade classes may be interacting with each other. In some unique cases, Special Education small groups will be multi-grade.

Classrooms have been arranged with multiple protective measures for students and staff.

  • Students are seated with 6 feet distancing when possible, but no less than 3 feet.

  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas will continue.

Specialist Classes: Science, Music, P.E. - We are SO excited for NO more Zoom Specialists classes!!!

  • Students will receive instruction within the specialist’s classroom/outdoor space.

  • Students will be separated from one another with 6 feet distancing when possible, but no less than 3 feet from person to person.

  • Cleaning will be conducted in between classes.

RTI Groups - Again, we are so excited for NO more Zoom groups.

  • RTI groups will take place in person within one of the RTI rooms.
  • Only 1 grade level of students will be in the room at a time.
  • Work areas will be wiped down in between groups.

Recess - We are incredibly grateful for our large campus property.

  • The fields, playground, and blacktop spaces have been divided into three zones.

  • Grade levels will be assigned a zone each day on a rotating basis. Suggested activities and appropriate equipment will be provided for each zone for students to participate in a safe, socially distanced manner.

  • Supervision for each zone will be provided to support and reinforce recess expectations.

Lunch - Due to safety guidelines restricting eating indoors, the lunch schedule and location will be modified.

  • Kindergarteners will eat and play within their gated playground space.

  • Grades 1-6 will eat “picnic” style in the quad in designated areas by grade level.

  • Students should sit 6 feet apart from each other.

Arrival/Dismissal - Procedures and exact times will be updated by next Friday.

  • The bell schedule will be similar to that of last year with an 8:00 start time and 2:35 (2:25 for kindergarten) end time. We may be using a staggered arrival and dismissal schedule to help with social distancing and traffic.

Suggested preparation steps for families:

  • Establish good bedtime routines. Students will be tired. They will need help building their stamina. Help them (especially Cohort B students), by going to bed at a reasonable time.

  • Pack at least one extra mask each day.

  • Pack a water bottle. Disposable is preferred for this short timeframe. We will collect for recycling.

  • Every student will have access to a free Grab-N-Go Lunch that they may eat that same day. Grab-N-Go breakfasts will be available at the end of the day at dismissal for the next day.

  • If your child is eating lunch from home, have it packed (brown bag preferred) and ready that morning. No visitors (including parents) on campus.

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

It's Spring Break season on the peninsula, and we are feeling the added traffic on the street side and boardwalk! Please continue following all of our procedures for arrival and dismissal to keep our students safe and be good neighbors.

  • Students biking should pull off to the grass, put their mask on, and walk their bikes across the boardwalk when it is clear.
  • Parents parking for pre-school or kinder drop off should avoid the red zone and blocking the driveways in the alley off of 13th.
  • If the car line is backed up, do not cross 14th until you can completely clear the crosswalk.

Upcoming NMUSD Summer Sessions

Information was sent out earlier this week about the upcoming NMUSD Summer Sessions. More information on how to apply or register for each program will be available in coming weeks. Information will be posted on the NMUSD Summer Programs page.

Additionally, the Special Education department offers an Extended School Year Program for qualified students For more information please visit the NMUSD Special Education page.

April Dates

April 2 - Virtual Flag Deck

April 7 - AM Group

April 12-16 Spring Break - No School

April 19 - Parent Q&A via Zoom - Return to Level 1

April 21 - Level 1 full day instruction begins

April 23 - Virtual Flag Deck

April 28 - Parent Meeting for Incoming Kinders and New Students

Heath and Safety

Thank you for your cooperation with the safety precautions we have in place. Your diligence is helping to keep our school community safe so that we can stay open.

  • Cloth masks are required to be worn by all children and adults while on campus. The mask should hook around the ears and must cover the nose and mouth.

  • Proper hygiene consists of washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is available and utilized across our campus.

  • Practicing social distancing in the hallways, classrooms, and bathrooms.

  • Stay home when feeling sick or displaying symptoms. Please reference the Student Symptom Decision Tree. Our Health Office staff uses this same decision tree when making determinations about sending a student home from school and when a student can return to school after an illness.

  • Communicate with our health office with any questions or concerns. Nurse Sarah Hacker may be reached at and you can contact Dana Hansen in our Health Office by calling 949-515-6965.

Closed Campus

At this time, NMUSD campuses remain closed to all visitors and volunteers. Only students and staff are permitted past the front office. As much as possible, please email or call the office for assistance.

Main Line: 949-515-6965

Attendance and Aeries questions:

Vicky Mahtesian -

Health, medications, and immunizations questions:

Dana Hansen - and

Nurse Sarah Hacker -

Other inquiries:

Debbie Kandel -

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