OCTOBER 2020 NEWS FROM DR. CHEKAN

Important Information & Good News From Propel Schools

A Note From The CEO/Superintendent

Propel Families,


Our A/B Week Hybrid Learning protocol is well underway -- and we are so happy to see our scholars in our buildings as well as virtually through our online platforms! We thank our Remote Learning Protocol families for their patience as we prepared for our buildings to reopen. Safe and healthy learning is our goal -- and with our teams working diligently, we will bring our very best to our scholars, in person or remotely!


Dr. Tina Chekan

CEO/Superintendent

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PROPEL SCHOOLS CONTINUES PARTICIPATION IN COMMONSENSE MEDIA'S DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP PROGRAMMING

Since the 2017/`18 school year, Propel Schools has been proud to participate in Commonsense Media's Digital Citizenship program. This initiative supports scholars with the tools they need to be safe digital citizens when working online. Heather Harvey, Propel Schools Integration Technology Coach, tells us more about how this program is different this year, as more scholars are online and learning:


"As many parts of the U.S. and world continue with distance learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, setting expectations for this new way of teaching and learning is essential. It's important to remember that even if scholars are comfortable with technology, learning online requires its own norms and procedures, many of which will be new to scholars who are used to learning in a face-to-face classroom.


In addition, teachers and scholars alike are spending more time checking news and social media in an effort to understand the coronavirus and its effects. Now more than ever, students need key digital citizenship skills, including news and media literacy, the ability to recognize and respond to cyberbullying, and an understanding of how their media habits affect them.


As a response to this current need, Propel Schools has modified its yearly Digital Citizenship lessons for our K-12 Scholars to reflect topics around the Social Emotional Learning of Virtual Education. All scholars K-12 received 3-4 short lessons from their homeroom and crew educators within the first 3 weeks of school. Topics included Media Balance & Well-Being, Privacy & Security, Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech, News & Media Literacy, Digital Footprint & Identity, and/or Relationships & Communication. These lessons were developed by Common Sense Media, in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Common Sense Media and Wide Open Schools has extensive support for families to navigate the digital world via their website and can be accessed via any device or linked on the Scholar Opportunities backpack page.


Propel Schools is proud to be a Common Sense Media recognized district since the 2017-2018 school year."


REMINDER! CALENDAR OF A/B WEEKS FOR HYBRID LEARNING PROTOCOL

Please see below for the official calendar for the Hybrid A/B Week In-Building Learning Protocol. You can also click HERE for a PDF version of this calendar.
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OCTOBER 2020 - UPDATES TO PROPEL'S GRAB AND GO MEAL PROGRAM

Propel is excited to continue to offer the “Grab and Go” meal program! To best serve our scholars and families, we have updated our Grab and Go meal distribution! Beginning Wednesday, October 14, Propel families can pick up bundled breakfast and lunch meals Monday and Wednesday.


Please see the flyer for additional details!

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ACTION REQUESTED! EXCITING CHANGES COMING TO "FUND MY FUTURE!"

Many of you are saving for your child’s future through “Fund My Future,” the innovative Propel Schools-based savings program that is now a statewide program. We wanted to let you know that, very soon, Propel Schools will discontinue “Bank Days” (taking in-school deposits), but we want to make sure you continue participating. As an organization, we feel that empowering families to save for their scholars’ future is vital and we enthusiastically encourage you to continue to participate in the program.


To continue saving with “Fund My Future,” you will need to transition to a new savings account by November 19, 2020. To make this transition as easy as possible, the “Fund My Future” team has created an exciting partnership with Dollar Bank. All Propel families with existing in-school accounts can transition to a Dollar Bank interest-earning savings account and there will be no minimum opening deposit required.


The first step for families is to reach out to the Fund My Future team, who will be able to guide you through the process of either migrating your account to Dollar Bank OR requesting the release of your scholar's current savings. Contact Toni Corinealdi, Fund My Future Community Outreach Director: toni@fundmyfuturepa.org or 833-SAVEWIN (728-3946.)


We strongly believe that savings accounts do play a major role in helping our scholars prepare for their future and succeed after graduating from high school. Whether their savings are used for college tuition and fees, helping with business start-up costs or purchasing a car, “Fund My Future” provides a sense of accomplishment and pride for scholars who regularly save. We encourage you to reach out to the Fund My Future Team today with any questions AND be sure to tell other families about this great opportunity.


We are #PropelProud of the “Fund My Future” team for their diligence in expanding this program to benefit all Pennsylvania families. This accomplishment serves as a testament to the innovation that happens at Propel Schools each day!


If you have questions about this transition or how to claim monies already saved, please reach out to the Fund My Future Team, Toni Corinealdi, Fund My Future Community Outreach Director: toni@fundmyfuturepa.org or 833-SAVEWIN (728-3946.)

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6TH TO 8TH GRADE SCHOLARS -- UPMC JUNIOR HEALTH CARE EXPLORE PROGRAM

We are excited to announce the addition of the UMPC Junior Health Care Explorer program for our 6th-8th scholars. The program consists of 13 Saturday virtual workshops (10:00-11:30 November-April) to help begin career exploration in the health care industry. The career exploration includes nursing, dental medicine, pharmacy, public health, rehabilitation, and general medicine. Scholars will learn from current Pitt grad students, participate in life coach discussions, and work on career visioning/goal setting. It is our goal to create a "junior health care explorer club" with 10 scholars in each of our schools. You can read more about the program by viewing the FLYER and you can also download the REGISTRATION FORM.


For additional questions about the program or how to register, please contact Kristen Golomb, Director of Scholar Opportunities and Innovation

THE BACKPACK FEEDING PROGRAM IS BACK!

Applications for Propel’s Backpack Feeding program are now live! Food deliveries will take place every other Wednesday. Each delivery will include food bags for both A and B week students. Backpack items include 2 breakfasts, two lunches 2 dinners and 3 snacks. Food items in the backpacks may include ravioli, ramen noodles, granola bars, baked chips, fruit snacks water and fresh fruit.


The Backpack Feeding Program serves families on a first-come, first-served basis and you can register for the program HERE.

GRADES 1-8 PROGRESS REPORTS NOW AVAILABLE VIA SKYWARD!

Families can now log on to Skyward to see mid-trimester Progress Reports for scholars in grades1-5. High School scholar families will be notified when mid-semester Progress Reports are available.


Directions for accessing these reports can be found HERE. If you need your Skyward password reset, please reach out to your school's administrative assistant.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION -- MAKING A CHANGE IN YOUR SCHOLAR'S LEARNING PROTOCOL FOR SECOND TRIMESTER

If you wish to make a change in your K-8 scholar's learning protocol for Trimester 2, (moving from 100% Remote Learning protocol to the A/B Week Hybrid Learning Protocol) please note the following important information:



  • K-8 families wishing to make a change must reach out to their school's administrative assistant or Principal team to make this change.
  • The final deadline for making changes is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30 AT 12:00 NOON.
  • Due to resident school district processes in setting up transportation for scholars, we will not be able to honor any requests submitted after this deadline.


High school scholar families will be notified as to when they will be able to make changes for their high school scholar for Semester 2.



Once you have requested a change, you will:


  • Be able to log into Skyward to see your scholar's A/B Week grouping Please note that the change will not be reflected immediately in Skyward and the system should be fully updated by November 13. Scholars who are moving from 100% Remote Learning to the A/B Week Hybrid protocol will report to school buildings starting after Fall Break, either on November 30 (for A Group scholars) or December 7 (for B Group Scholars.)
  • Receive transportation information from your resident school district prior to the first day of Trimester 2.


PLEASE NOTE: Families who wish to move from the A/B Week Hybrid Protocol to the 100% Remote Learning protocol can do this at any time, but they MUST reach out to their school's administrative assistant or Principal Team so that the change can be noted in Skyward and shared with school teams.

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PROPEL NORTHSIDE WELLNESS CENTER -- MEDICAL CARE ACCESS UPDATES!

Returning in November, the Propel Northside Wellness Center's medical care team will be pleased to offer a wide range of medical services to the Propel Schools Community.


The UPMC Shadyside Family Health Center medical staff will be available on Mondays and Thursdays for appointments and treatment, both in person as well as via telemedicine. Sports physicals will also be available for the convenience of our school community.


When visiting the Wellness Center, our COVID-19 safety plan is in effect. All visitors will be required to wear a mask and will have their temperature scanned via non-invasive means upon arrival at the building.


This service is open to all Propel Schools families (no matter which Propel School their scholar attends) as well as community members.


For questions, to make an appointment or for general information, please visit the Propel Northside Wellness Center Website, use this contact form or call 412-325-7305 Ext. 1510.

Propel Schools Freestore Schedule

All Propel Families are invited to visit the Freestore! Please see below for additional information!
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UPDATE -- LIFETOUCH PHOTOGRAPHY DATES POSTPONED

We have postponed all current Lifetouch photography dates for Propel Schools. We will provide information about potential future dates when it becomes available. We thank you for your understanding.

SUPPORTING OUR FAMILIES! One Stop Shop Resource Page

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Click HERE to see a PDF of the above document.

DATES TO REMEMBER

FRIDAY OCTOBER 16 -- ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL

MONDAY OCTOBER 19 TO THURSDAY OCTOBER 22 -- GROUP 'A' ATTENDS ONLY!

FRIDAY OCTOBER 23 - ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26 TO THURSDAY OCTOBER 29 -- GROUP 'B' ATTENDS ONLY!

FRIDAY OCTOBER 30 - ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL

MONDAY NOVEMBER 2 TO THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5 -- GROUP A ATTENDS ONLY

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6 -- ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL

MONDAY NOVEMBER 9 TO THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12 -- GROUP B ONLY ATTENDS

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13 -- ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL

MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 TO THURSDAY NOVEMBER 19 -- GROUP A ONLY ATTENDS

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20 -- ALL SCHOLARS IN REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOL