Moving Forward and Building

Virtual Learning! ----August 17, 2020

Dear TPlus Transformative Educators-

Summer is waning and many of you are already in business mode. I appreciate this but want to remind folks this is not a sprint but a marathon and we do not know where the finish line is - Yet! I think whenever there is uncertainty it is good to put YET at the end of the sentence. We don't know what it will look like yet! We don't know how we are going to do it all yet! As I have said before and will definitely tout to anyone who will listen, we have the best staff in MPS and I am so happy we are in this together! You are all amazing and each bring your gifts and talents to our students/ families.

As I stated last week, I must admit this is not the way most of us had hoped to return to learning this fall. If you'd like to learn more about Phase 2 for back to school see the slides from the board meeting on August 4. Here are some FAQs from that presentation.

We now have what our schedule will look like during Phase 2 and we will be meeting to determine the courses each teacher will be teaching and working on details for support for staff, students and families.

When I shared the tentative assignments I had some things that needed to change or be adjusted. Sorry for any mistakes or confusion. We will all have those as we continue moving through distance learning. The important piece is to fix them and move forward. There may still be a few pieces that need to be changed and I'm waiting for feedback from others.

Calendar for Return

Counselor Return - August 7

Clerical Return- August 10- Traci on Site - Melissa still remote

Social Worker Return -August 19

Licensed Staff/ Teachers- August 24 optional - August 25 - All

ESP return- September 3

Please click here for the back to school weeks to know what is going on. You will also be getting emails from the district regarding registration for these days.

Back to School Event

We will be having a drive thru Back to School Event on August 27 from 3-6 for new and returning students. Students will have the opportunity to pick up or return devices/hotspots, schedules and registration forms. Families will be called and be sent a link to a survey to see what their needs are for technology.

A Note from Our COVID Coordinator- Daphne Breauxsaus

As a COVID Coordinator, I will collaborate with Emily, Angela, engineers and other staff to ensure that both staff and students needs or concerns about safe spaces and having PPE items will be available when and if requested.

Required Trainings

Two training courses will be available on The Source for Planning for a Safe Return to Work & School. All staff will need to complete the training series before they return to our buildings.The training covers the following information:

  1. COVID-19: Health & Safety Protocols

  2. COVID-19: Cleaning & Disinfecting Surfaces

Preparing the IEP for Distance Learning:

Here is the presentation of what needs to be done in preparing each student's IEP for Distance Learning.

During Distance Learning, our special education staff (which includes special education teachers, special education assistants, district program facilitators, itinerants, speech and language pathologists, social workers, school psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and SEL Staff) will provide special education services using a variety of different strategies and online platforms based on an individual student’s needs.

Distance Learning will include tools such as instructional videos, online access to educational programs, virtual live sessions, parent consultation, telehealth sessions, and additional resources which will be on Google Classroom for student centers. Special education staff will collaborate with families to determine what services are needed during Distance Learning. In addition, special education staff will collaborate regularly with general education teachers in order for students to access the general education curriculum with the modifications and accommodations in their Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Our students need us more than ever before during these challenging times of COVID-19 and the ongoing racial injustices highlighted by the widening opportunity gap in our city. Special education teachers, support staff, and related services are asked to maintain their ongoing professional responsibilities during distance learning. The plan is for services to look a bit differently than face to face delivery but the quality of instruction needs to remain high and the frequency and duration of the services need to match the IEP as proposed until changed. MPS Monitoring and Compliance will produce documents to guide the writing of IEPs and PWNs as we move forward toward the start of school.

Here is the Special Education Section of the Principal Handbook for this year.

SEA Expectations

  • SEAs will support students in academics, social emotional learning, and functional/communication as directed by student case managers.

  • SEAs may be a part of both special and general education classrooms during distance learning.

  • If SEAs are working at food sites, delivering packets/devices, etc they will inform the case manager and building administration they work with as well as inform parents that their scheduled student meeting time has changed.

  • SEA’s will provide strategies and home behavior management techniques for families based on each student’s individualized education plan under the supervision of a special education licensed teacher.

  • SEA’s will provide daily/weekly support to students that receive one to one services on their IEPs..

  • SEA’s will consult with the general education teachers and special education staff as directed by the teacher(s) they work closely with.

See 20-21 Expectations for SEAs

Instructional Leadership Team (ILT)

I have been waiting for the updated application from Q Comp for leadership positions. As of today the application has still not been updated on the district website. If you are interested in applying you can fill out an application from last year - until the new ones are out.

On the team we will have the following staff members continuing-

  • Jason Backes- Principal
  • Greg Kalberer - ILT Lead/ Team 3 teacher
  • Tia Jamison- SEL Lead/ Team 2 teacher/ Union Steward
  • Jamie Brummel- ELL Lead/ PD Lead
  • Christina Brantner- PSWE Lead
  • Trish Praus - Work Coordinator DPF
  • Jeanne Forbes - SSW DPF
  • Brad Albrecht- PDP Lead/Team 3 teacher
  • Rachel Prince-Counselor
  • Aria Campbell- SEA/ Union Steward
  • Colleen Knuth- Family Liaison/ Transportation Coordinator/ CBI Coordinator

New members joining

  • Collin Beachy- Team 1 teacher

If you are interested in being on the ILT please let myself or Greg know and complete an application on the Q Comp website. Send me the completed application.

Team meeting dates and times to be determined after schedule is determined.

PSWE/ SEL/ Equity & Engagement Team

Positive School-Wide Engagement Team (PSWE) has several teams under it. The Equity Team and Engagement and Equity Teams are under this umbrella.

Christina Bratner is the lead for this team. We will need to have a new Equity Lead as Jewell has taken another position. Please Apply here, Send me the completed application.and I will let you know what the team make-up is prior to September 8.

Team meeting dates and times to be determined after schedule is determined.

Staff Changes

We have had a few people leave TPlus beginning this fall and we want to recognize them-
  • Mary Bock has retired
  • Peggy Wilcox-Browning has retired
  • Katie Flaherty has retired
  • Jewell Reichenberger has accepted a Social Emotional Learning- District Program Facilitator position at Davis
  • Erin Ditmarson has left TPlus
  • Chad Lizakowski will be at another school
  • Michael Green is a part of the teacher residency program
  • Grace Christensen is a part of the teacher residency program

We have some new additions to the TPlus family- 2 Additions in bold, I forgot to include last week

  • Rekhet Si-Asir- New Psychologist - working with Team 3
  • Hali Good- New Security Monitor
  • Faith Binman- Team 1 teacher joining from Riverbend
  • Rebecca Mijal - New Team 1 teacher
  • Kelly Narden- SEA- joining from Edison
  • Jennifer Yates- SEA joining from Edison
  • Marlene Leighty- SEA joining from Edison
  • Kimberly Doss-Smith- SEA joining from South
  • Matthew Xiong- New SEA
  • Emma Blum- New SEA
  • Muzamil Ibrahim - New SEA

TPlus Staff in New roles

  • Jeremiah Satterthwait- technology teacher
  • Chris Stewart- Engagement Staff
  • Jason Zeihm- SEA