Attea Flyers

School Newsletter for Parents

For the week of November 16

Hello, Attea families.

The coming week is significant for a couple reasons. First, it is the start of American Education Week, a celebration of public education and all of the individuals - teachers, bus drivers, custodians, support staff, social workers, psychologists, cafeteria workers, the list certain can go on... - who strive to help children learn and grow.

The second reason is because it is the final week of Trimester 1. And what a unique, challenging, and memorable trimester it has been. Of greatest significance, of course, is our students' well being and progress. The uniqueness of the trimester also has implications for trimester grades and report cards. See the section below for more information.

Have a safe and happy week. Go Flyers!!

A Word About Trimester Grades

Parents certainly know by now the many challenges of trying to do school through Zoom. For teachers, classroom lessons have needed to be different. Activities, collaborations, and assessments all have had to be adjusted for remote and in-person applications. And regardless of whether students are fully remote (GOAL) or partially remote (Hybrid), teachers have had much more limited access to help and support them. Most notably, students have had to deal with their typical learning goals but with less peer or teacher interaction and support. It certainly is not an ideal way to do school.

Accordingly, as we approach the end of Trimester 1 and teachers prepare report card grades, we want parents to be aware that our approach to grading has been adjusted as well to address specific limitations with some student. It simply had to be. In so many cases, students' attendance, participation in classes, work completion, and performance on assessments have been so drastically impacted by our current circumstances, it seemed insensitive and lacking in compassion to assign letter grades in all cases as we typically would. Some students simply need a modified approach.

Consider, if letter grades are intended to indicate a student's proficiency and mastery of standards (see the Parent Friendly Grading Document), how are teachers supposed to use the customary letter grades when some or many of their students aren't showing up to class regularly and are not completing a significant portion of classwork, projects, or assessments. Assigning a D or a U (Unsatisfactory) not only seems unnecessarily hurtful to students already experiencing the difficulty of a pandemic, it is a distortion of an assessment system. Assigning a U indicates that a student has failed to meet standards. However, in instances when there is a lack of participation and/or lack of work completion, the more accurate outcome is that a teacher may simply be unable to make a full determination of a student's proficiency or mastery. In such cases, it is more accurate and more compassionate to use an NG for "No Grade" or a P for "Pass." Parents may see the use of these marks.

We want all of our students to do well. However, we are not currently in control of all of the variables that impact whether or not that will happen. We are in control of how we treat students, and our use of a grading system can and will reflect our care for their academic and social-emotional well being too.

Picture Day Reminder

Monday and Tuesday of this week are Picture Days for students, during the day for in-person students and after school for GOAL students.

Ordering pictures? Please be sure to refer to the information below about the pre-pay program.

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Remember to Order a Yearbook

Please remember that the yearbook is an optional purchase this year. It was not automatically included in registration fees, and students will only receive a yearbook if one is ordered and purchased.

To date, only 190 yearbooks have been ordered out of 794 students.

If you're not sure whether or not you ordered a yearbook, you can find the information under Fees/Meal Transactions to see school fees, meal transactions and all optional fees.

"On November 20th, we are giving up our beds for one night so young people can sleep safely at Covenant House."

Mark your calendars...Attea's Builders Club is hosting its second annual Virtual Sleep Out America on Friday, November 20th from 7pm-11pm via Zoom.

Participants will be sleeping in places other than their normal beds to better understand and support homeless teens. Last year's events were a great success in raising awareness, bringing the Attea community together, and generating funds for Covenant House. This year's event seeks to continue the caring spirit. Click here to learn more and to support the effort

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