We Are 'All-In' this Together!

Phase 3 Remote Learning Updates

Good morning!

We hope our e-News finds you and your family well.

As Plano ISD implements Phase 3 of Remote Learning we have several updates regarding your children's online learning. That is the focus of this 'Special Edition' e-News.

On Sunday at 3:00 we will send out next week's Academic "Learning Links" to you. We respect that many of our families needed additional time to prepare for the week ahead.

Our goal is help our families navigate the "Learning Links" more easily without too much additional information to navigate through Please know, we are respectful that within this week and next are several recognized holy days across multiple beliefs.

As always, we appreciate your emails and feedback. Please know... We will work together with you to help our students, your children continue to grow in their studies and in their social emotional well-being. If you have any questions or need to visit, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are all here for you!

Below you will find new information regarding:

A) Grading

B) Google Classroom

C) Pathblazer

D) Zoom/Google Meet (Live interaction)

Our PTA Virtual book fair continues through Sunday. Thank you for your support! Just click the link below to do your online shopping.

Further below, you will see ongoing updates from district regarding meals and such.

During this time of social distancing neighbors are seeing one another more (from afar of course!) as they walk, take their pets for walks, or ride their bikes as families. It is kind of a silver lining in this challenging time.

Let reading time for enjoyment whether together as a family with a read aloud of a book each evening, or quiet family reading time also become a silver lining in your families day.

Help your children 'fall in love with reading' as a preferred chosen past time...maybe under a tree on a pretty spring day or in a favorite cozy chair in the family room each evening. Allow yourself time for that simple, but rewarding pleasure as well.

With grace and trust in one another we are 'All-In' this together.

Take care of you and yours and in so doing, we take care of each other.


Grading During Remote Learning

Below is information Plano ISD shared with our PISD community last evening. We truly appreciate 'Grace is greater than Grades' as we work to support the needs of all our students and our families during this challenging time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Steel or Mrs. Powell.

During our Remote Learning Plan for School Closure the goal for grading is to monitor progress of student learning in order to provide feedback, tailor support and design instruction that maintains educational continuity. These Grading Guidelines are designed to benefit and support students as they continue the transition to a new format of learning.

The extended emergency closures caused by COVID-19 are unprecedented for area school districts. There has been extensive discussion and collaboration about how to handle grades during remote learning. As a district, keeping students at the heart of our decisions, these guiding principles were used in the development. Priority is placed on:

  • Students’ social and emotional well-being
  • Students’ opportunity to continue learning (equity and access)
  • Student success (mastery approach)
  • Valuing student work and teacher expertise

Our plan is designed to relieve student stress and encourage participation as we help students master the remaining curriculum content with meaningful teacher feedback.

Our goal is grace > grades.

View and download the Grading Guidelines for Remote Learning.

Grading Guidelines FAQ

General Questions:

  • Were grades taken for assignments completed during Phase 2 (March 23-April 3)?
    Grades were not taken during Phase 2. Only assignments made and completed on or after April 6th (Phase 3) will be used to determine whether a student has “Met Standard”.
  • How will assignments be graded?
    Kindergarten - 2nd Grade:
We will continue to use the portfolio method of collecting evidence of student growth. The 4th 9-week portfolio will continue to indicate S or N based on weekly evidence. Art, Music, PE and Citizenship/Work Habits will not be assigned a grade for the 4th 9-weeks.

  • Grades 3-12: In lieu of numerical grades for assignments during the 4th 9-weeks, teachers will record student progress as:
    • Met Standard (Listed as MS in the gradebook)
    • Not Met Standard (Listed as NM in the gradebook)
  • How will “Met Standard” be defined?
    In order for a student to achieve “Met Standard” on assignments, teachers will evaluate student participation within the content as well as performance on each assignment and progress toward mastery of the essential standards. Board policy defines mastery or passing as 70%.
  • How will 4th 9-weeks grades be calculated for grades 3-12 in each course/subject?
    In order for a student to achieve “Met Standard” for the final 4th 9-weeks grade, teachers will evaluate student participation within the content as well as performance on each assignment and progress toward mastery of the essential standards throughout the grading period. At the end of the 4th 9-weeks:
    • A 100 will be recorded in the grade book for students who have demonstrated that they have “Met Standard” for the course/subject.
    • A 69 will be recorded in the grade book for students who have “Not Met” the standards of the course/subject.


Respecting Confidentiality as Well as Safety and Security

Per new district guidelines for student privacy, safety and security; we will be removing any parents from Google classrooms.

We know that many joined early in our transition to remote learning to be able to access your children's lessons and to support their learning. Please know we appreciate your commitment.

Now that students have access to their chromebooks and are able to access their accounts themselves online, we need to move forward in securing the classroom instruction between the teacher and the students.

Please know that as parents you will be able to access lesson plans and any links and your child's interaction and learning through the student log-in.

Teachers will be able to invite guardians and will do that once we have removed parents from the classroom.

When you are added as a guardian, you will begin to receive summary emails related to your child’s Classroom participation.

These summaries will include upcoming work, missing work and class activity (e.g. announcements, questions, etc.) Here is an FAQ about class summaries:

If you have questions, as always, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Steele or Mrs. Powell.

We are here to support and help each of our Mathews Mavs to not only continue to grow, but to thrive...Socially, Emotionally, and Academically.


Differentiated Learning

This week as part of Phase 3 Plano ISD implemented access to Pathblazers.

Click the link above to learn more about our instructional support program, Pathblazers.

Pathblazers provides differentiated instruction in reading and language arts similar to what Dreambox provides students in math.

Based on your child's current learning strengths and needs, Pathblazers and Dreambox provide specific instructional lessons to maximize student learning through targeted instruction.

Dreambox is a proven academic support program that we have utilized for the past 3 years with amazing results.

Feedback we are receiving from parents so far is that their children enjoy Pathblazers. Students are comfortable navigating through the program and find the lessons engaging and not overwhelming.


Why Not "Live" Instruction?

We want to thank our parents who reach out to us regarding how to 'connect' with our students. Please know we would like nothing more!

Through Remote learning our teachers are implementing audio recorded voice overs for lessons, Read Alouds, and of our creative teachers provided a recording of her beloved pet 'speaking' to a student! Our teachers are creating more videos of mini lessons to embed into their weekly plans to help support understanding and learning for our students.


At this time the only live lessons we are holding through Zoom are for dyslexia or special education students who require specific accommodations or learning opportunities.

Unfortunately, we are not able to hold live classes for an entire class if it is expected to be seen by all. This is due to PISD expectations, technology needs, wifi needs, etc. for many of our students. Recorded lessons/instruction provide a flexible and equitable opportunity for all students and families to engage in learning at times that work best for each family's schedule.


We are moving towards "Live Interaction" between students and their teachers for 'Circle Time'. This would allow the teacher and students to interact with one another much as in the classroom. Just this week we have had several of our teachers try connecting with their students for this social interaction time via Zoom as well as through Google Meet

Safety precautions will be implemented to prevent hackers from accessing these special times between teachers and students. 'Zoom Etiquette' will be shared as we teach students how to interact live during Remote Learning.


Fall in Love with Reading with a Good Book!

Scholastic is working with our amazing PTA to provide our spring book fair online!

Click the button below to go online and pick out some great books!


Click the button to go to the Scholastic book fair for Mathews Elementary. Free delivery for orders over $25.00 Stock up on some great books for spring and summer reading!



Saturday night at 8pm the Plano Symphony Orchestra broadcast a concert featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue & American in Paris. The concert will be streamed Sat night & available afterwards. They will feature a new concert each Saturday night.


You can instantly stream stories, across six different languages, for free that will help your child fall in love with reading. You might enjoy it too! All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.


School Calendar Update

Plano ISD will follow the current adopted academic calendar.

The designated bad weather makeup days, April 10 and April 13, are student holidays and will not be used as instructional days this spring.

Additionally, regardless of whether campuses re-open to students this school year, the last day of instruction will be May 22.


District Updates Regarding 'Grab and Go' Meal Program

Effective April 6 there are changes to the Meal Program. Please check the district website for requirements and locations. Please note there will be no meal services on Friday, April 10 or Monday, April 13.

North Texas Food Bank

The North Texas Food Bank is encouraging families to fully utilize their Partner Agency network. Their online map at is updated daily to reflect current available resources. Families can locate food pantries closest to them by entering their zip code.

Minnie's Food Pantry:

How You Can Help

Click this button to see how you can help support our community programs that support our neighbors and friends.


Pre-K Round-Up:

Due to school closure, pre-k registration has been postponed. Watch for updated information online at


PASAR Tuition Questions:

Customers will be credited for tuition fees for the weeks that Plano ISD is closed or PASAR is not operational. This will be calculated on a monthly pro-rata basis.

Since the school district has extended the closure into April, billing for April will not be calculated and reflected in the PASAR Parent Portal until the reopening date is known.

At this time, please do not make a payment for April PASAR tuition. For more information, visit


At School...

Medication is locked up safe and sound at school. However, if you need medication for your child that is at school please contact the contact below. She is a school nurse and can arrange a time to do a curbside pick up of medications.

Christy Hamilton RN, BSN

Special Assignment Nurse


To Unsubscribe:


To unsubscribe from Mathews eNews or change your email address, please go to: If you are getting eNews because you use Parent Portal, please go to: to revise your subscription