Anderson School News! 8/5/20
Getting Ready for School - We're Digging In to Learning
It’s hard to believe that the school year will start in two weeks. (New Updated First Day of School is now Aug. 19th) We can’t wait to have children in the building again, or popping up in Remote Learning meetings with their new classmates - it’s been much too long without all of their smiling faces!
I know many of you have questions about what everything will look like throughout the day when school resumes. We have had many teams working throughout the summer to make plans for various scenarios and details. We want to make sure that we get everything set up in the safest way possible, so as plans are finalized they will be shared with you.
Please take the time to read through the sections below to familiarize yourself with any new information and the standard reminders about the start of school. Of course, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or call our front office team. 331-228-3300.
I will continue to keep you updated over the next few days/weeks so that you have the information you need to start the school year. If you haven't done so yet, please view and read through all the information on the D303 ReOpen School Plan website. It includes a lot of helpful info and a great FAQ document.
Excited to help our students "Dig In" to learning this year!
Safety: Masks and Social Distancing
- All staff and students are expected to use a face mask while inside our buildings, this includes our classrooms during instruction, hallways, bathrooms, etc. Staff and students may remove their mask while eating lunch or while outside when social distancing can be maintained. We will be utilizing our outdoor space as weather allows.
- Make sure your child has tried on their mask and "practiced" wearing it around the house. Some masks fit better than others or are more comfortable. Who would have thought that we now buy "Back to School Masks". I liked "Back to School Shoes" way better. Here is the D303 document that gives specific details regarding face mask expectations. Please review to make sure your child comes to school with the needed mask.
- Every effort will be made to maintain social distancing protocol as much as possible.
○ Desks and/or tables will be spread out within the allowed space of your child’s classroom. Each classroom is set up in a way so that students are 6' away from each other. Of course this caused our class totals to be reduced. Most classes are between 15-19 students.
○ Recess (Movement Breaks)/PE – We will do our best to remind our students to maintain a safe distance while outside. We will discuss this the first days back at school on why this is important. We appreciate your help in telling your children the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Masks may be taken off outdoors so long as social distancing is maintained.
- To limit exposure and/or spread of the virus:
○ Students will not share classroom supplies/materials.
○ Common areas will be disinfected regularly. Of course this includes bathrooms and all high traffic touch areas. (door handles, push bars, corners...)
○ The use of the climbing playground equipment will not be allowed. For right now, items from home will not be permitted at recess. However, our PE teachers will be teaching fun interactive games that can be played using social distance needs. Don't worry, we are not taking the fun out of recess. In fact, we are going to work hard to make it as fun as ever despite the social distancing goals.
○ Teachers will provide regular movement breaks throughout the day. We know kids need to wiggle and giggle. These breaks may look like a "GoNoodle" dance party, a guided stretch, balance challenges, or Mr. Jarot's favorite, "push up challenge".
○ Student movement throughout the day will be monitored in a way to minimize large group gatherings. No more mosh pits in the lobby. :)
○ Outside visitors, including parents, will not be permitted entrance to the building. This includes volunteering. We can't wait until we can welcome all of our awesome volunteers back into our school. Until then, be on the lookout for ways to volunteer from home.
School Supply Lists:
We understand the availability of disinfectant wipes is scarce, and we are removing that item from our school supplies list. The district will provide sanitizing spray for classrooms. Other items on the list will remain the same.
○ If your child is bringing lunch from home, we ask that you make every effort to send it with them in the morning and avoid having to drop it off during the day. Here are some helpful suggestions for those students bringing lunch. Fast food deliveries to students will not be permitted. (However, you can drop off Portillos to Mr. Jarot) I wish I wasn't kidding. :)
○ Elementary school students will not be allowed to eat in the classroom during instructional time. Teachers may provide a break, including while outside, for students to eat a snack.
School Supply Drop Off - Drive Through Style
Stay tuned for the final date and times, but in the meantime, here are the basics.
We will set up the Bus Circle Drive Through in the back of the school where families can simply swing through and drop off their child's school supplies. Staff will be present to greet every family and of course say hello to your students. We so wish we could invite everyone into the school like "normal". The drive-through option will allow all the materials to be delivered, an opportunity for kids to say hi so some teachers/staff, and give teachers time to unpack and organize the student's materials.
In addition, each teacher will be sending their students and parents a welcome video introducing themselves as well as a quick video tour of their new classroom. Parents will also have the option to join a quick GoogleMeet (similar to a Zoom call) meet-n-greet with your child's teacher.
As you can see we are making efforts to help you and your child "Meet" their teacher and "see" the school and classroom before the first day. Thanks again for your understanding.
Remote Learning Students
We are in the process of finalizing the date/time for all Remote Learning Students to pick the needed materials to start school. Stay tuned for a final date and time, but here are some basics.
We will have all the needed materials (Writing books, Math workbooks, Math manipulatives...) organized and ready for pick up. We will communicate the date and time when families can drive through and pick up those materials.
Some students may need to pick up a device (iPad for K-1st or Chromebook for 2nd-5th). These will also be available for pick up.
Classroom Assignments: Who is my teacher this year?
If you are unable to log into your HAC, please use the "forgot username/password" options or call the office for assistance. It is vital that all families are able to log into and utilize the HAC.
Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
The busses will pull into the back bus lane at Anderson just like in past years. Students will be greeted by staff when they exit the bus. (We have a contest who can get the most students to giggle before they even walk into school) In the past all students riding the busses entered through one door. We will now utilize multiple entry doors, based on grade level, in order to spread students out and allow them to smoothly walk to their classrooms. Extra staff will be supervising the hallways, greeting students and telling silly jokes. All classroom teachers will be waiting at their doors to greet each of their students as they arrive.
Arrival via Car.
Car riders will enter the front parking lot, just as in the past. As always we will ask cars to pull as far forward as possible to allow others to fill in behind and maximize our front sidewalk. I know it is sometimes very hard, (trust me I have 4 boys) but please do what you can to have your child ready to exit the car safely on the right side. As you are nearing school, make sure they are holding their backpack and all needed belongings and are ready to go. There is no need to rush, just be ready. Staff will be walking up and down the front side walk greeting students as they arrive. We will be using all of the front doors for K-2nd, and the far left doors for 3rd-5th Grade students. This will allow them to spread out and walk directly to their classrooms.
Arrival via your legs or your bike or your zebra.
If you live close enough to walk to school, (Lucky You!) please approach the school from the back "big kid" playground area. Use the bike rack to park your bike or to tie up your zebra and enter the school from the back doors. The same doors that the bus students will be using to enter the building. (Note: We do not take responsibility for any Zebras left at the Bike rack.)
Health/Immunizations: News from the Nurse
Illinois state law requires that all students entering an Illinois school for the first time submit an Illinois physical exam and complete immunizations, including transfer students. All Kindergarteners need to have a physical exam and a complete immunization record submitted. Students not having the required paperwork on file will not be allowed to start school (face-to-face or remote) without meeting these requirements. Illinois state law also requires Kindergarten students to submit an eye exam prior to starting school. These requirements apply to walk in speech students also. https://district.d303.org/departments/health-services#block-3.
Since parents are not allowed in the building, medications needed for your child may be dropped off with the nurse in the vestibule, along with a completed medication authorization form from the doctor and parent signature authorizing the medication to be given at school. Forms are available on the D303 website https://district.d303.org/departments/health-services#block-3. Please only provide necessary medications, such as Epi pens, Benadryl, or medications for attention deficit disorder. Please do not send medications with your child. Health office visits will be kept to a minimum. A nurse can consult with you in the vestibule and check over the paperwork. If you would like to drop it off prior to August 13 and need to speak with a nurse, please call ahead to be sure a nurse is in the building. Nurses will be available daily starting August 13.
Students will be outdoors as much as possible, please apply sunscreen when needed, have your child wear sturdy shoes (velcro is best for younger children), and send a water bottle with your child every day.
This was sent in the last email.... for those who "missed" it. :) Don't worry, no shame.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sending out as much information as I can to keep everyone informed and up to date. As you can imagine, there are many details to work through and I promise I will share and communicate as much as possible. Thanks for your patience as we prepare for another great year of learning. I do want you to know that I am confident we will be ready to welcome your child back to school and continue their learning journey. I'm so glad I can serve alongside an amazing team of educators and do all we can to join with you to educate and care for your children.
Below are a few popular questions I've been asked.
What will classrooms look and "feel" like?
- I’ve recorded a short video of a 1st-grade classroom that has been set up for learning. (see below) As you will see, that room is set up for 15 students. Some rooms are larger and can hold more, but I wanted you to see and get a "feel" for what the classroom setting will look like.
How will school supplies be used?
- Students will keep their own supplies and materials with them. No supplies will be shared. This includes math manipulatives and other hands-on materials. Students will be provided with the items they need in order to be successful learners. If you are choosing remote learning, you may want to wait until the teacher is assigned and can send out a specific list unique for remote learning students.
How will students know what to expect?
- Our elementary principal group will be working on developing videos to show students the expectations regarding handwashing, maintaining distance, wearing a mask, etc. For procedures and routines specific to Anderson, our staff will put together videos for students. All of these will be shared with families before the start of the year.
These next few months will be an adventure for all of us. We will need to model flexibility and resilience for our young students. I’m so glad we have such a strong partnership between our staff and our families. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
The "Heart" of Anderson - from my last email but wanted to share again. :)
We look forward to welcoming your child back to school, either in person or via remote learning. I want to assure each family that we will be doing all we can to make sure COVID-19 does not take the fun out of Anderson. Of course, we will be following all of the important safety guidelines, but that won't take away the "Heart" of our school. We will have fun each day! We will celebrate hard work and learning! We will ensure that we are doing all we can to help our students feel connected to our school, and motivated to be their best. If remote learning is the best option for your child, we will, of course, do what we can to help them feel connected to Anderson, while also supporting the efforts of their new teacher, as they build a remote learning classroom community.
Thank you for all of your ongoing support for your child's learning and patience as we make plans and preparations for the start of this year.
We are all facing unique challenges during these times. Our Andeson Team is committed to helping ensure that your child's social/emotional and academic learning continues to improve as much as possible.
Excited and Motivated, Let's Dig In!
Also, hear about our new Theme of the Year. 2018-2019 Legos: Let's Build Together. 2019-2020 Rockets: The Sky's the Limit. 2020-2021 ???????? : ???????? Watch to the end of the video to find out our new theme this year! :)