March 22, 2020
Dear Maple Hill Families,
I hope this email message finds all of our families in good health. I have been staying with my sister and her three children (ages 1, 3, 7) to help out and my time with them has allowed me to reflect on the challenges that parents must be experiencing. It's not easy creating a home environment that tries to mirror all of the nuances that children would have been experiencing at school. I hope that the videos and newsletters that you will be receiving from me provide some help and levity to the situation at hand. We are all in this together.
On March 21, 2020, Dr. Taylor, our superintendent, sent an email to all families stipulating that our school closure has been extended to May 5th and we will be returning to school on May 6th. Originally, we were returning on April 20th. With the extended time frame, many of us worry about our children regressing academically. Remember, you do have resources to help assist you. Not only will I be providing suggestions, but you have the "Learning and Enrichment" Resource page from your child's grade level (this document was emailed to all parents, included in my last Principal Message, and can be accessed on our district's L.E.A.R.N page) and you can access a plethora of resources on the districts L.E.A.R.N website. Of course, all of this work is optional and will not be graded. And it's important to note, that when we closed school on March 16th, the majority of grade-level standards were taught. Our 3rd-5th graders were heading into test preparation for the state test, which is a review of concepts taught from August-March. Our TK-2nd grade students were beginning work on their culminating projects and plays. From TK-5th, the bulk of new concepts and new learning had already been taught. Please take comfort in knowing that your child has been taught the majority of the standards for their grade level. The work that they complete from now until May 6th is a review of concepts that they have already been taught. The enrichment resources that we provided are to help students review standards, maintain a routine, and to keep our students' minds activated so that they do not regress during the time off and transition successfully back to school.
Not a day goes by, where the Maple Hill Team is not thinking about our students and families. Let's continue to make lemonade from these lemons!
Principal of Maple Hill Elementary School
Although the state test for our 3rd-5th graders has been suspended for this school year, the CAASPP website still provides a great resource that parents may want to access to practice your child's grade-level standards. It's called the "Released Questions". This resource provides sample released questions from the state test. Your child can solve Math and ELA (English Language Arts) problems (on the computer, no printing needed) that resemble the questions that they would have seen on the state test. There is even an answer key for parents. Mrs. McNeil provided this resource at her CAASPP Testing Meeting. We have included a step-by-step guide to help parents access the released questions and the answer key. Please see below.
5th graders can also access released questions from their state science test.
The ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessment for California) is an exam that our TK-5th grade English Language Learners were going to take in March. The test is rigorous and complex for all students, regardless of their English Proficiency. The ELPAC Released Questions would also be a great resource for ALL of our K-5th grade students. You can also access these Released Questions via the CAASPP website and following the directions below.
Our yearbook has some extra space since we have had to cancel some events. We need your help! During the school closure, send us pictures of how our Maple Hill kids are spending their time. Email these photos to our Yearbook Committee and we will try to add all of them to the yearbook. You can share pictures of your child playing outside, walking the dog , rollersakting, building with Legos, creating art, cleaning their room, helping with chores, cooking, reading...the sky is the limit!
Email your photos to our Teacher Yearbook Committee at:
All photos need to be submitted by April 5th
Keyboarding Without Tears Computer Program
This year, Maple Hill purchased a license for "Keyboarding Without Tears" for Tk-5th graders. Currently, our 1st-5th graders use it on a weekly basis during their Computer Lab time with Mrs. Ziegal. I purchased this program for several reasons. Not only is it a comprehensive keyboarding program, but the embedded activities cover grade-level Math and ELA standards and there are Digital Citizenship activities included. All activities are gamified, which makes the program engaging for our students. This would be a great resource for our TK-5th students to access during the school closure.
Please follow the directions below to access the program.
- Go to maplehillschool.org
- Click on "Students" Tab
- Click on "My Portal"
- Click on "Maple Hill Student" tab
- Scroll to the bottom
- Click on "Keyboarding Without Tears"
- Choose log-in with Google, your child's username/password should already be stored.
If your child has trouble logging in:
Password: Maplehill1 (capital M)
**5th graders may have different a different password since many of them have a personalized password.
L.E.A.R.N. Online District Resource
A Read Aloud with Mrs. McNeil
Snuggle up with a blanket and be whisked away as Mrs. McNeil reads aloud one of her favorite books. At the end of the story, she will announce a school-wide challenge for our students. Email her your response at:
The elementary music team has created some resources for our 4th and 5th grade students to use during the school closure. Please open the PDF to find out how to access these resources.
Charter Communications Offers Free WI-Fi for 60 Days
Charter Communications is offering free access to Spectrum Broadband & WI-FI for 60 Days for New K-12 and College Student Households and More!