Starside's Comet

Newsletter Communication for September 18, 2020

Starside Elementary

Our Starside Mission:

Through a collaborative learning community we will build a foundation upon which all students can develop essential academic and life skills.


Click HERE to visit our school website!

Technology Help Desk

Please remember that the fastest way to start getting a solution to any technical issues is to contact our help desk. This is also available to all students.


Technology Help Desk

Get help with district technology

Students and Parents: You can reach our Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840.

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A Message From Principal Meyer

Comet Families,



GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT STARSIDE! (In our building and online!) Students are wearing their masks and smiling! Yes, smiling! We know our Comet students are smiling because their smiles can be seen from miles away, by looking at their eyes. Our students are smiling online, too! They are also doing a fantastic job of arriving on time to their scheduled Zooms with teachers.


Speaking of teachers, Comet teachers and staff are working incredibly hard. Many of us are working more hours and spending less time with our families to ensure our Comet students are safe, learning, and happy. One day, we will all look back on this pandemic (educators and parents, alike) and be proud of ourselves for all we overcame and achieved during this challenging time. We have all had to adapt to a "new" way of doing things, but that's just it - we are adapting.


Speaking of a new way of doing things, check out the really cool video of our new Comet obstacle course. Over the summer, I was in search of ways to get our kids to interact and engage their bodies and minds without touching and being super-close to each other. Through a wonderful and continued partnership with Bridge Church KC, and under the leadership of Starside's PE teacher, Mr. Kilgore, we now have an amazing opportunity for Comets to safely participate in brain breaks and outside learning activities.


While nothing is perfect and recognizing we still have many obstacles that will continue to consume a great amount our time, we are adapting.



WE are Starside Strong!


Kris Meyer

Starside Elementary School

New! Parent/Guardian Procedures for 20-21

Attendance

Starside will be taking regular attendance. The Attendance Secretary calls families to check on students who have not notified the school of an absence.


OPTIONAL REMOTE parents need to report absences each day.


HYBRID parents need to report absences:

  • Any time your student is supposed to be at school.
  • Any time your student is unable to report to their Morning Meeting on Zoom on their at-home learning day.
  • Anytime your child is unable to report to their Morning Meeting on Zoom on "C" days. If your student is ill, PLEASE include all symptoms and if diagnosed with Flu, Strep, or Covid-19.


Lunches

You may not bring outside food into your child nor join him/her for lunch.

If your child forgets his/her lunch, he/she may get a free school lunch or you may bring a lunchbox with your students' name on it and drop it off at the school by ringing the doorbell to notify the office of the delivery and drop it off on the table in the foyer.


Visitors/Parent Volunteers

At this time, we will not be able to have visitors or parent volunteers. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. You may bring a forgotten item; however, you will not be allowed to enter past the foyer. Please ring the bell and we will let you in. Place the item, marked with your child's name on it, on the table in the foyer and we will get the item to your child.


Dropping off your child after the start of school:

  • Submit the absence online or call/email the office to notify the school that your child will be late. Please let us know the reason for the tardy (appointment, headache, or just running late).
  • You DO need to safely escort your elementary-aged child to the front door. Ring the bell and we will let only your child inside.
  • If we have not heard from a parent/guardian the tardy will be marked as unexcused, so please do not forget to notify the office of the reason for the tardy.


Checking your child out of school early:

  • Please call or email to notify the office and teacher ahead of time.
  • Have an ID ready to show when picking up your child.
  • Press the bell, show your ID, and let us know who you are checking out.
  • We will let you inside where you may wait for your child in the foyer.
  • We will locate your child and send him/her to you in the foyer.


We sincerely appreciate your patience and support during this time. If you have any questions, please call 913-667-6270 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can!

Save the Date!

Tuesday, October 20 - Group B Picture Day

Thursday, October 22 - Group A Picture Day

SEPTEMBER HYBRID SCHEDULE

Hybrid 'A Group' students (last names A-K)

Hybrid 'B Group' students (last names L-Z)


Week 3:

Monday, September 21: 'B Group' students attend school in-person

Tuesday, September 22: 'B Group' students attend school in-person

Wednesday, September 23: 'C Day' of Virtual Learning for all students

Thursday, September 24: 'A Group' students attend school in-person

Friday, September 25: 'A Group' students attend school in-person


Week 4:

Monday, September 28: 'B Group' students attend school in-person

Tuesday, September 29: 'B Group' students attend school in-person

Wednesday, September 30: 'C Day' of Virtual Learning for all students

Thursday, October 1: 'A Group' students attend school in-person

Friday, October 2: 'A Group' students attend school in-person

HYBRID SCHEDULE: October added!

Free Dental Clinic

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Register at www.gotrkc.org or contact kendall.herman@gmail.com

REPEATED INFORMATION

Need to reach the Starside Office?

Email: SE@usd232.org with your inquiries or attendance reporting and a member of our office team will direct your email to the appropriate person on our staff.


Be sure to add SE@usd232.org to your contacts list so we don't end up in your spam folder!

HYBRID MODEL QUESTIONS:

Q: I opted for on-site (hybrid) learning. When does my child come to the building?

A: Most students will come to the building as indicated by their last name. Students with last names beginning with A-K will attend on-site on days marked A DAY (blue on the district hybrid calendar) and students with last names beginning with L-Z will attend on-site on days marked B DAY (green on the district calendar.) With good cause, prior approval, and mutual agreement, some families are attending opposite of a child's last initial. If this is you, you know who you are!


Q: I heard that kids don't really have to do anything on at-home (remote) days. Is that true?

A: Nope! We are required to provide about six hours of instructional activities daily, regardless of setting. Teachers will be assigning grades this year in all settings. This is nothing like the fourth quarter last year when the Governor closed schools. We've got work to do and will need your students ready to learn daily. Your child will also participate in a daily class meeting through Zoom, as well as with interventionists and other service providers as scheduled.


Q: What if my child isn't going to be at home on at-home (remote) days?

A: It's a GREAT time to talk with your child's care provider about their plan! We've heard from many child care centers that are already upping their Wi-Fi and rearranging spaces into 'classroom' type learning spaces in order to be ready to assist your child as they work through their assignments and activities during the day. We've heard of many variations of tutoring pods and neighborhood safe share environments, as well as JCPRD and nannies. In this crazy time, everyone has had to get a little creative, and we completely understand that the financial burden has increased for many families. If there are other ways that we can provide resources or support while we work through these last months of tackling the virus, please let us know! Our counselor, social worker, office team, teachers and PTA will do our best to help you to make the connections your family needs.


Q: How many hours a day will my elementary-aged child be staring at a screen on at-home (remote) days?

A: NOT 6 HOURS! That would be way too much for any of us. I know. Many of us know that because it's what we do many days, but that's not how we want your children to spend their day every day. Certainly, they will log in to zoom with their teacher in whole or small groups, their specials teacher on C days, their reading or math interventionist, maybe someone else for other personalized support, but although that sounds like a LOT, we won't ask them to hang in there online for long bouts. A zoom group might be 10-20 minutes. A prepared video lesson might be 5-10 minutes. Or 2-3 minutes....that they can watch as many times as they need to understand the directions for the task that they may or may not need their iPad to complete. There will be lots of assignments that will require no technology at all....until they need to show their work, or return an assignment to their teacher. MUCH of the day, students will think of their iPad as a big clock with an alarm set to help them jump on their Zoom on time to interact with a teacher. Other times, it'll be like a fancy piece of paper with a nifty pencil that allows them to get work, do work, and turn in work efficiently and effectively without you having to print or scan anything. We'll teach your kiddos how to do it all and they will!


Q: Do kids really have to wear masks all day?

A: We all do! Anywhere in the building, and outside too, if we can't socially distance. The great news is that we've seen some AWESOME mask-wearing by the JCPRD kiddos and as adults, we're legitimately serious about following this expectation. Your child will definitely get mask breaks during the day when we go outside for recess (masks are not required if socially distanced on the grass, parts of the playground, and when we are seated for lunch (in our very special socially distanced assigned seats) or whenever our teacher decides that we are doing some socially distanced outdoor learning on a really nice day! Otherwise, it will be masks on for all of us. Please make sure that your students are practicing wearing their masks correctly, covering nose and mouth. Masks with respirators or openings are not allowed. Great news! We've got a breakaway lanyard on the way for every child for holding their mask while eating or running outside. Eating will be limited to lunch and scheduled snack times (also outside if possible) but water is encouraged all day. We'll practice taking quick drinks, safely. Your child should bring a filled water bottle daily.


Q: Is the school going to take every person's temperature every day?

A: Yes, we are! Every adult must verify that they are safe for duty prior to the arrival of the children. All children will be checked as they exit their car or bus in the morning, or right before entering the building. We won't freak out if a child registers a temp, but we will keep them safe and separate for further evaluation by Nurse Brown. There are no parents, visitors, or volunteers allowed in the building at this time, so thank you for waiting outside. We're still happy to help you, but in the meantime, thank you for helping us to limit exposures within the building. There are a very limited number of technicians that may have access to the building in order to keep systems running smoothly, but they must also pass and follow all safety measures.


Q: Can I come to have lunch with my child?

A: We are sorry to say that at this time, it's safer for all children by not allowing lunchroom visitors. The bright side is that parents may have 3 days a week when their children are not having lunch here that might work as alternative lunch dates for you. Time together is certainly precious!


Q: How many days a week will students be learning?

A: All students (hybrid and optional remote) will be expected to join 5 days of learning, led by a certified teacher. Hybrid students will receive direct instruction 3 days a week (2 days on-site & virtually on C Days). On at-home (remote) days, these students will work on approximately 360 minutes of daily, teacher-assigned learning activities (a combination of hands-on learning and iPad-based learning). Hybrid students on their at-home (remote) days will still be required to join the daily Zoom Morning Meeting and attend any student support groups (reading/math/counseling) via Zoom and throughout the academic day (8:45 AM – 3:50 PM).


Q: What does the C-Day look like?

A: Hybrid will participate in a daily Zoom Morning Meeting as well as direct instruction Zooms, as determined by each grade level to be appropriate based on grade and age. Students receiving support services (reading/math/counseling) will continue to receive these services virtually and/or through independent work provided by the specialist on remote learning days.


Q: Will there be specific times a day a hybrid student will be expected to be online for at-home (remote) learning, including C-Days?

A: Yes. Hybrid students will be required to participate in a synchronous daily Zoom Morning Meeting that will last 20-30 minutes, which will also be when attendance is taken. This time will be the same each day, regardless of A-B-C days. On C Days, students will also be expected to participate in their specials meeting time, via Zoom, which is the same time specials occur on in-person days. It is unlikely students will Zoom more than 30 minutes for any given lesson or meeting. Hybrid students will NOT Zoom in for synchronous specials class time on their non, in-person days. On non, in-person, and C Days, hybrid students may also need to Zoom in for synchronous instruction if the student receives additional reading/math/ELL/special education support.


Q: What if we can’t join in the Zoom meetings due to a scheduling issue? Can the teacher Zoom with my child separately?

A: Parents should immediately contact their child’s teacher if they will not be able to join a scheduled Zoom meeting. It’s important to remember that flexibility will be extremely limited on the school side of operations and scheduling. We appreciate your understanding that it is impossible to accommodate moving class schedules around to accommodate any one individual’s needs.


Q: What if my child has technical difficulties or does not understand something on an at-home (remote) day?

A: Teachers will do their best to provide clear directions for all assignments and utilize non, in-person learning activities as activities students can reasonably expect to work on independently and with minimal guidance. Thank you for being aware that hybrid teachers are teaching on-site students all day on A and B days. Teachers will not be available to respond to email or voicemail communications until the conclusion of the school day and are expected to respond to all parent communication within 1 business day. Email is almost always the best method for communication. If you have technical difficulties with devices, students and parents can reach the k12itc Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840. Hours of Operation are Monday - Friday, 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM Each teacher will provide ‘office hours’ on C days/ 1x/week for parent calls and/or Zoom meetings, as needed.


Q: How available will the teacher be for questions and phone calls throughout the day?

A: Teachers will not be available to respond to email or voicemail communications until the conclusion of the school day, and are expected to respond to all parent communication within 1 business day. Email is almost always the best method for communication. If you have technical difficulties with devices, students and parents can reach the k12itc Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840. Hours of Operation are Monday - Friday, 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Each teacher will provide office hours a minimum of 1x/week for parent meetings, as needed.

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OPTIONAL REMOTE ONLINE MODEL QUESTIONS:

Q: I heard that kids don't really have to do as much work in remote online learning. Is that true?

A: Nope! We are required to provide about six hours of instructional activities daily, regardless of setting. Parents will complete a log to acknowledge that their child has indeed participated in and/or completed assigned work each week for at-home days. Teachers will be assigning grades this year in all settings. This is nothing like the fourth quarter last year when the Governor closed schools. We've got work to do and will need your students ready to learn daily. Your child will also participate in a daily class meeting through Zoom, as well as with interventionists and other service providers as scheduled.


Q: What if my child isn't going to be at home on their remote days?

A: It's a GREAT time to talk with your child's care provider about their plan! We've heard from many child care centers that are already upping their wifi and rearranging spaces into 'classroom' type learning spaces in order to be ready to assist your child as they work through their assignments and activities during the day. We've heard of many variations of tutoring pods and neighborhood safe share environments, as well as JCPRD and nannies. In this crazy time, everyone has had to get a little creative, and we completely understand that the financial burden has increased for many families. If there are other ways that we can provide resources or support while we work through these last months of tackling the virus, please let us know! Our counselor, social worker, office team, teachers and PTA will do our best to help you to make the connections your family needs.


Q: How many hours a day will my elementary-aged child be staring at a screen?

A: NOT 6 HOURS! That would be way too much for any of us. I know. Many of us know that because it's what we do many days, but that's not how we want your children to spend their day every day. Certainly, they will log in to zoom with their teacher in whole or small groups, their specials teacher on C days, their reading or math interventionist, maybe someone else for other personalized support, but although that sounds like a LOT, we won't ask them to hang in there online for long bouts. A zoom group might be 10-20 minutes. A prepared video lesson might be 5-7 minutes. Or 2-3 minutes....that they can watch as many times as they need to to understand the directions for the task that they may or may not need their iPad to complete. There will be lots of assignments that will require no technology at all....until they need to show their work, or return an assignment to their teacher. MUCH of the day, students will think of their iPad as a big clock with an alarm set to help them jump on their Zoom on time to interact with a teacher. Other times, it'll be like a fancy piece of paper with a nifty pencil that allows them to get work, do work, and turn in work efficiently and effectively without you having to print or scan anything. We'll teach your kiddos how to do it all and they will!


Q: How many days a week will students be learning?

A: All students (on-site and optional remote) will be expected to join 5 days of learning, led by a certified teacher.


Q: What if we can’t join in on a Zoom meeting due to a scheduling issue? Can the teacher Zoom with my child separately?

A: Parents should immediately contact their child’s teacher if they will not be able to join a scheduled Zoom meeting. It’s important to remember that flexibility will be extremely limited on the school side of operations and scheduling. We appreciate your understanding that it is impossible to accommodate moving class schedules around to accommodate any one individual’s needs.


Q: What if my child has technical difficulties or does not understand something on an at-home (remote) day?

A: Teachers will do their best to provide clear directions for all assignments and utilize non, in-person learning activities as activities students can reasonably expect to work on independently and with minimal guidance. Teachers will not be available to respond to email or voicemail communications until the conclusion of the school day and are expected to respond to all parent communication within 1 business day. Email is almost always the best method for communication. If you have technical difficulties with devices, students and parents can reach the k12itc Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840. Hours of Operation are Monday - Friday, 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM Each teacher will provide ‘office hours’ on C days/ 1x/week for parent calls and/or Zoom meetings, as needed.

Meet Your Starside Specials Teachers!

Introducing: Starside's Specials Teachers

2019-2020 Community Service Hours

If your student completed 10 or more community service hours from April 1st, 2019-March 31st, 2020 please submit a community service log sheet to Mrs. Mispagel by Tuesday, September 22nd. We would like to recognize these students for all of their hard work by getting them a certificate for their accomplishment. Community Service hour logs can be delivered to the office or emailed to mmispagel@usd232.org. Please contact Mrs. Mispagel if you have any questions.

McKenzi Mispagel

Starside Elementary Counselor

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INTERNET OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAMILIES

Free or Reduced Cost Internet Program for De Soto Students & Families

The school district is pleased to share information about a new program to help students who do not have reliable, fast internet access at home. This program is for families who qualify for free or reduced meals at school.


HOW IT WORKS

1. A family who is already qualified for free or reduced meals should contact RG FIBER and submit a copy of their free/reduced Eligibility Determination approval letter received from the school district.


2. RG FIBER verifies the information with the local school district and then schedules an install. FREE / REDUCED COST For families qualifying for free meals, RG FIBER will provide its 150 Mbps symmetrical fiber service for FREE during the school year. For families qualifying for reduced cost meals, RG FIBER will provide its 150 Mbps service for 50-percent off, or $29.98 per month. There is a one-time activation fee of $35. If an address is already connected to RG GIBER, there is no activation fee.


IMPORTANT: The address to be connected must be located in a RG FIBER service area. RG FIBER makes no commitments to build out to any area as a part of this program. If a family needs a new copy of their free/reduced meals Eligibility Determination approval letter to share with RG FIBER, please email the school district at nutrition@usd232.org.


Contact RG FIBER

785-594-5414

www.rgfiber.com

SPANISH VERSION

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LIKE our new Facebook page!

"Like" our new Starside Facebook page: Facebook.com/StarsideComets to receive updates on school news and events via Facebook!

FRONT OFFICE CONTACTS:

Kris Meyer

Principal


Jan Hicks

School Improvement Specialist


Jackie Johnson

Lead Secretary (students records)


Starla Newberry

Building Secretary (attendance)


McKenzi Mispagel

Counselor


Tara Brown

Nurse

Virtual Tour of Starside Elementary

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