Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

March 16, 2020

The Tustumena Plan

Good morning Tustumena Families!!

What a weird start to our fourth quarter. I didn't think when we left on Friday, March 6th, that we would be on Spring Break for at least three weeks, but here we are.

The first thing I would like to address is the Governor's declaration and what effect it has on our school. In the declaration it states that Spring Break for students is extended through March 27, 2020. This means just that. Students will not receive instruction until March 30, 2020. You may have thought like I did that we would start remote teaching right away. I was wrong. The declaration also allows districts to convert these ten days to inservice days. So teachers and paras will be at school. You may ask, "What will they be doing?" The answer is, "a lot."

First, they will conduct a "needs assessment" of all of their students. Please expect a phone call from your child's teacher in the next day or two. This assessment will determine what resources you have available and in what way the teacher can best support learning.

Second, they will be instructed to review ALL the curriculum scheduled to take place for the rest of the semester and evaluate the essential learnings that can be delivered in an alternative fashion. Then break these essential elements into week-by-week blocks. This is because we cannot say with certainty when school will start again. It could be March 30, it could be later. We will take this time to plan for all of the foreseeable scenarios.

Third, they will participate in professional development learning or perfecting several tools for delivering instruction remotely. Many of you know about programs like Skype, Zoom, Google Docs, and so on, but you many of you may not have used them before. Some of you may not have access to electronic instruction and so contingencies will need to be developed for those students as well.

Next, our teachers will design instruction. This means matching the needs of the students with the curriculum using the technology (or no technology) available. For every student.

This is just the beginning of what we will be doing. Our classified staff will be helping in all aspects of this as well, including taking the professional development around the technology so delivery of instruction can be meaningful and affective.

This adds up to a crash course for all staff to completely relearn how to deliver effective and meaningful instruction. What they learned in 4+ years they have to relearn and adapt in 10 days.

Additionally, we will apply all necessary aide to our food service program so meals to those who need, them can be produced in order to meet that most basic need.

"We got this," is the phrase that keeps coming to mind as we make this plan. Some things will change as we get a better idea of what to expect, but one things is sure, "Together, we got this."

I am already seeing heroes rise to the occasion. Thank you in advance for joining them.

If you have any questions, my direct line is: 907-260-1371. If I don't answer right away, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Doug Hayman