Jaguar News

Friday, September 18, 2020

Dear Gentry Families,


As a former Social Studies teacher, I recalled a common lesson I taught to my students about how each generation of Americans have a defining event or moment that shapes that generation. For example:


  • The Builders - born 1945 or earlier, had the Great Depression and WWII

  • The Baby Boomers - born between 1946 to 1964, had the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Generation X - born 1965 to 1980, had the Challenger tragedy and the Cold War

  • Millennials (Y Generation) - born 1977 to 1998, had the 9/11 Tragedy

  • Generation Z - 1998 to Present, has COVID-19


I think there is little doubt that COVID-19 will be a defining moment and experience for this current generation. The lens in which our students are experiencing this period will ultimately shape the rest of their lives. As with any defining moment, we as a community have the power to contribute to how students will remember this time. Our teachers will continue to deliver education at the highest level and build positive relationships with students, even if it is virtual. As parents, you have the power to shape your child’s perspective of what they’re experiencing. This week, I talked to my own son, a middle school student, and rather than focusing on the things he was not getting in the virtual realm, we discussed what he could do to work with his teachers and get the most out of his education. We left the conversation with a new sense of hope and excitement. The current situation is not ideal, but we ultimately have the power to help shape the way our children and students recall this defining moment.


Thank you for your patience and partnership. If you need anything please let me know.

What to Expect in a Normal Class Period

The past couple of weeks we've had several parents concerned that a teacher is not zooming with their child for the full class period. Most teachers will not Zoom with your child for the full class period. In the virtual world teachers often present lessons, teach about a task or activity and then release students to practice or do independent work. Teachers are available for help throughout the class period and some teachers may have Zoom open so students can ask questions, but they may respond through email or classroom chats. We do not believe a teacher talking on Zoom for 90 minutes and maintaining student engagement will occur when staring at a screen. Breaking up lessons is healthy and leads to greater learning.

First Teacher Collaboration Day

Wednesday, September 23 is a Teacher Collaboration Day. On-line and virtual school will not be in session on this day. This means that teachers will NOT be posting on-line homework and they will also not be hosting office hours on this day.

Spirit Day

Lets have some fun! We will be hosting our first Spirit Day on Friday, September 25! Have your student dress as their favorite super hero for their Zoom classes on Friday! Please no costume masks or other accessories that may be a distraction to the class. Feel free to send a photo of your student dressed as their favorite super hero to bnoltie@cpsk12.org for us to post.

Media Center Minute

Students and teachers seem to be settling into the online school format and most are making good progress. Please remember we are here for you during school hours everyday to answer questions. The student help desk is open everyday from 7:30 am – 4:00pm and can be reached at 573-214-3334 to answer your questions as well. You can email us at cspurling@cpsk12.org or mfloyd@cpsk12.org . We also have some additional things we wanted to point out.


  • Every student should go to Self Service and download the ZOOM app from Self Service. We believe this is part of the issue with students not being able to get into classes. You MUST have the Zoom APP downloaded to your iPad in order for the links to work. Most of the time you will not be required to login with a username and password, but if your teacher does require you to login, please use your Google Drive (school) email address and password. PLEASE NOTE: WHEN LOGGING IN YOU MUST CLICK THE SMALL GOOGLE ICON NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE MESSAGE AND THEN LOGIN. DO NOT USE THE BOX THAT COMES UP – THAT WILL NOT WORK.
  • CPS is making progress working on the filter for students. We are in the testing phase and hope to role this out by the end of the month. Please keep in mind that your students do not have a filter on their iPad for social media right now. Once this filter is replaced, they may tell you their device is not working any longer. It should filter out social media and gaming sites, but not the apps that they need for school work. Students should only be using their school issued device for school work.
  • Please be aware that your child’s Zoom account is open and they can connect with other people in and out of the district. Students have been making Zoom groups for others to join and some of these may be inappropriate. Please check your student’s device under the Zoom app if you have a concern.
  • Students seem to be having issues with blank documents uploading from Notability to Schoology. Please be sure you have set your Notability backup and that your file format is set to PDF + Recording. Here is a video that will walk you through the backup process if you haven’t done it.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLxySKTBPL4&feature=youtu.be

Classes with Lunch Breaks Scheduled Midway Through the Period

We have given those teachers who have a student lunch period scheduled midway through their class time the freedom (while we are in a virtual mode) to simply teach their entire lesson without dividing the lesson into two parts to make the class flow more smoothly. If a teacher decides to do this, he or she will email those parents to make sure that they are aware of this modified format. Thanks so much for your continued patience as we adjust and modify things. We simply could not do this without your amazing support!

6th Grade Teacher Announcement

Please note that 6th grade teachers will be updating their homework on the following link every week:


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tW5dPXPBUYThInBML_BHUnonP72H2qDY5lPvWFDXMoo/edit?usp=sharing


This is intended to give parents a quick reference point to know what assignments are due or coming up for the week for their child’s classes. This link will also be available soon on the Gentry website.

7th Grade Teacher Announcements

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having your students in class over the past few weeks! Please encourage your student to get into the habit of starting each day by checking their email messages. Also, if your student misses a class/day of school, please encourage them to go to Schoology to see what work they will need to make up. We are so thankful for your continued support as we all adjust to our new routines.

Parents of Students Who Receive Special Services

If your Gentry student has an IEP, their case manager will be in touch soon to collaborate with you on a Form G. Form G is an addition to the IEP that outlines services, supports, and accommodations/modifications in school shutdowns and hybrid learning situations. We want to be prepared to serve your student, regardless of what the year ahead brings!

Counseling Corner

There will be no more schedule changes after September 25. Requests will depend on availability of classes. Students can now connect with the counselors in Schoology! Everyone should be added to the group, so please have your students go to their app and look under “Groups” for “GMS Counselor’s Corner”. We will have a lot of information for the kids including how to contact us, how to get information from our website, and where to follow us on social media! Please let us know if your student is not listed as a member of this group.

Jaguar Athletics

Gentry fall athletics got off to a great start! Though we have a mountain of safety rules and regulations we have had to add to our athletic routines for both practices and games alike, our students, managers and coaches have risen to the occasion and made the very best out of a difficult situation. We could not be more proud of ALL of them! Thank you also to our parents who continue to support our teams and socially distance from one another during our matches and games! Go Jaguars!
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Science Olympiad

Is your student someone who is interested in science and engineering? Are they self-motivated, self-directed and like a little competition? Then Science Olympiad could be a good fit for them! All interested 6th, 7th and 8th graders are invited to find out more about Science Olympiad by following this link: https://tinyurl.com/GentrySciOly. Make sure your student fills out the Google Form linked in the presentation to let Mr. Bruns know of their interest.

Attendance

Please note that our teachers will be taking informal daily attendance. If your student will be absent from a Zoom class period for any reason, please email that teacher directly to let them know of the absence.


If your child is simply not participating or engaged, our teachers will reach out to you. If teachers are unable to contact you, then a member of our administration may also reach out to you so that we can better determine how we can help support you and your student.

Interested in Participating on PTSA?

We would love for you to be an active member of the Gentry PTSA! If you are interested in helping us serve the students at Gentry, then take this first step and become a member today! Membership forms can be found at: https://forms.gle/JLyQ2UwgG39of4ib9 . All meetings will be held via Zoom and everyone is invited to join us. Our next upcoming meeting will be held on October 21st at 6:00 pm.

FREE COVID-19 Testing Event

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Future Dates to Remember

September 23- School NOT in Session Due to a Teacher Collaboration Day

October 16- Conclusion of Fall Sports

October 21- PTSA Meeting via Zoom @ 6:00 pm

October 23- Student Influenza "Flu" Vaccination Day from 9:00 am-11:00 am @ Gentry

November 3-4- School Not in Session Due to Teacher Collaboration Days

November 6- Live "Virtual" Fall Play @ 7:00 pm

November 7- Live "Virtual" Fall Play Matinee @ 3:00 pm

November 13- School Not in Session Due to Teacher Collaboration Day

November 25-27- School Not in Session Due to Thanksgiving Break