The Triton Tribune Parent Edition

Be Kind ~ Be Awesome ~ Make The Right Choices

Volume 2 ~ Issue 4 ~ August 17, 2020

Amazing Triton Parent/Guardians and Students,


"Without patient endurance, even the smallest thing becomes unbearable. A lot depends on our attitude." ~Dalai Lama~


It's hard to imagine that Week 3 is upon us. And while Week 2 was not perfect, it was much improved from Week one. Add to that a Cox Outage in the midst. I want to thank you for continuing to demonstrate grace, patience and endurance as we continue to improve at distance learning.


Common Syllabus Released

Teachers will be releasing their syllabi starting Monday. We waited to release them to ensure that we included distance learning expectations in them. Please see picture below for more details.


Class Changes to Balance Student Counts

This week, class changes will be the biggest challenge we will face. Due to contract language and based on actual enrollment, this is the final week where changes to students' schedules will be made. We will be making these changes starting tomorrow. Most of these are whole class changes where a class will be transferred to other teachers. Please note that all changes to "balance" student counts will be finalized by Friday, August 21.


Attendance Issues

If your child experienced connectivity issues last week, please email our attendance technician, Ms. Corona at danielle.corona@sweetwaterschools.org. All corrections to attendance will no longer be at the teacher level. We will excuse absences due to technical issues just like we have in the last two weeks. If students are absent for other reasons, these will be treated as verified absences and will need the excuse notes from you. Please read the picture slide on attendance below. Please note: if you live in the 91910 zip code, there is a scheduled Cox outage in the area. If you live in that area, your children need to attempt to attend the class. If they are not able to attend because of the outage, they need to email their teachers as soon as they can because teachers have to submit attendance at the end of the day.


Academic Grades

As teachers are starting to grade work, please be patient as they are still trying to grade the work submitted. This is for work submitted on time. If your children submitted work late, please know that teachers will grade them accordingly but most likely not right away.


Communication between Students and Teachers

One of the most important skill that students need to develop is the ability to communicate with their teachers, especially when they have missed school and therefore need to make up work. Before emailing teachers, have students look in Google Classroom to see what they have missed for the day.


Virtual Open House

The date for our Open House will be Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.


Below are information that are pertinent to the week. They appear in this order:


  1. Understanding Middle Schoolers and Helping Them To Thrive
  2. PLC Common Syllabus Released
  3. Necessary Class Changes Starting This Week
  4. Attendance Information
  5. World Language Textbook Distribution
  6. ELM Virtual Daily Schedule
  7. A Message From Ms. Arroyo's Class
  8. ELM Virtual Open House
  9. ELM Technology Support Line
  10. A Guide to Student Login Credentials


Finally, please refer to the website for updates. We update it on a daily basis.


WE GOT THIS!


Let's have an amazing week!


Mrs. Finley

Middle school is one of the toughest times in a child's life. In 1994, Dr. Charles Robinson authored a seminal paper titled "Caught In the Middle: The Challenge of Middle Level Education" [link]. In this article, he debunked myths about the characteristics of youth between the ages of 10-14 years old (see picture below). He then outlined characteristics of an effective middle school program. One of the main characteristics of an effective middle school program the partnership between the family and the school. He stated, "In an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, schools and families work together to ensure success for all students."


So the question is, what does working together look like so that our children/students thrive, ready to conquer high school and beyond? In 2016, the Washington Post released an article titled, "Top 10 Skills Middle School Students Need to Thrive, and How Parents Can Help." [link] They are:


  1. Make Good Friend Choices
  2. Work in Teams and Negotiate Conflict
  3. Manage a Student-Teacher Mismatch
  4. Create Organization and Homework Systems
  5. Monitor and Take Responsibility for Grades
  6. Learn to Self-Advocate
  7. Self-regulate Emotions
  8. Cultivate Passions and Recognize limitations
  9. Make Responsible, Safe and Ethical Choices
  10. Create and Innovate


Having been in education for 29 years and 15 of those years were in middle school, these skills are very important in the whole development of those we call "tweeners." Many of these skills move middle schoolers to become more autonomous and more resilient so they are successful in later years. This also requires parents to let go and allow them to experience both success and failure. This is hard to do because our natural instincts as parents is to rescue. However, if we want our middle schoolers to thrive, we have to release them to practice these skills KNOWING they will become stronger mentally, socially, emotionally and academically.


As we proceed to Week 3 of the school year, I am asking you to partner with me and our teachers in teaching our middle schoolers the skills they need to thrive. The first step is allowing them to do the communicating with the teachers regarding their grades and assignments. They must learn to self-advocate and it can begin now.

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One of the most ambitious projects that ELM embarked on two years ago is the concept of having a Common Syllabus per PLC (a community of teachers in school who teach the same subject). The Common Syllabus provided a venue where we can guarantee equitable instruction and opportunity for all students regardless of teacher assignment.


This is the second year of implementing the Common Syllabus. I asked teachers to wait to release their syllabi until Week 3 so that teachers could incorporate distance learning expectations into their respective syllabi.

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Necessary Class Changes This Week

Your child's schedules may be changed this week. Please read below for the reasons this may happen. Counselors have done a great job to minimize these moves but this is part of the annual process of what we call balancing classes.

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Attendance Information

Please read the instructions below on how teachers will be taking attendance and what students should do on their end to ensure that they will not be marked absent.

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For World Language Textbook Distribution on 8/19 - 8/20, please read the following memo [link] because there are some things that you need to prepare PRIOR to you and your child attending.


  1. Create a window shield/dashboard sign like shown below. Click on this link to access the template.
  2. Come at your designated time. If you are not able to make it then, Friday is a make-up for those who cannot come.
  3. If you cannot come on the make-up date on Friday, please email Mr. Nafarrete at mendel.naffarete@sweetwaterschools.org to make an appointment for a special time.
  4. If you have an 8th grader who has NOT returned books, this is an opportunity for you to return these books. Place unreturned books in the trunk, and when you get to the pick up station, we will take your 7th grade books and replace them with 8th grade books.
  5. NO WALK-UPS or BIKING TO SCHOOL to pick up textbooks.


Students do not have to be present to pick up textbooks. But they will need the receipt to clear attendance with their World Language Teachers.
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ELM Virtual Daily Schedule

This is the latest schedule for ELM, which now includes office hours from 8:20am - 8:50am. Note that students must make an appointment for office hours to ensure that adequate time is secured.

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A Message from Ms. Arroyo's Class

Ms. Arroyo's class created this message for you!

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ELM Technology Support Desk

If you need help with any technology issue, please contact Mr. Doyle, our site IT support. He will get back to you faster.

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Guide to Student Login Credentials

Click on the title which is a link to the pdf version of the picture below.

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