Ordean East Middle School News

Volume 2, Issue 4 - Oct 9, 2020

Keep smiling, even under your mask!

The support of our students' academic, social, and emotional development through Distance Learning may be new, but the importance and our intentional efforts aren't. Our counselors, school social workers, teachers, nurses, paraprofessionals, support staff, and administrators are here for you. We are learning, listening to your feedback, modifying, adjusting, and continuing to refine processes. Thank you for your continued efforts, communication, and support.

The following piece on happiness is taken from a resource I have recently been reading. It really hit home for me and I hope you find it beneficial as well.


Gina Kleive, principal


What is it?

Before the pandemic, most parents, when asked what they want for their children, said, “I want my child to be happy.” But what does happiness really mean? It can't mean free from painful experiences or conflict with others because those things constantly happen. It can't be free from failure because that happens as well, and it often presents important lessons. Not only can happiness include struggle and uncertainty but can also provide emotional resilience to be content even though through hardship. Here's some good news. What makes humans happy tends to come down to the same things no matter their race, age, political viewpoint, ethnicity, religion, or class. It's one of those things that connects us to each other. So let's define it in a different way. Consider the following five conditions as a central ingredients of happiness.

  • A sense of purpose and meaning beyond oneself

  • Hope of success

  • Meaningful social connection

  • Fulfilling work (especially if you were working with others on a common goal)

  • A place to process and find peace

By the way, one of the reasons why young people love playing video games so much during COVID-19 is because the games provide these conditions. They are working hard, usually with a group of people to hopefully succeed or advance to the next level towards a common goal like unlocking new powers. Then after the game, you can talk to your friends about it. That's happiness. (for some)

Why is it important?

When we focus on these conditions, it's also easier to see why the process of developing social and emotional skills is so connected to happiness, even when it feels hard. This definition of happiness grounds us and reminds us of what we need to be OK, to have the capacity to meet the daunting situation we are facing, and how important the lessons we are maybe being forced to learn now will positively come with us in the future.

*Take action-

  • Ask your child to go through the conditions of happiness and identify something in their life that fulfilled each condition

  • Go through the same process for yourself

  • If you feel comfortable, show each other your responses

Wiseman, Rosalind, et al. The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents. Thousand Oaks, Corwin - A SAGE Company, 2020.

Next week is a short week...

We are approaching our first long weekend of the year. There will not be new content released in Canvas on Thursday, October 15. There is no school Thursday or Friday. If you're all caught up, take the time to relax and do other things. If you've fallen behind for any reason, this would be a great time to get caught up. If you'll be working on older modules, drop your teacher an email and let them teacher know. The school will be closed on those days and teachers will be unavailable to answer questions until Monday, October 19.

The next new module will open on Monday, October 19, and will close on Wednesday, October 28. There will be time built in for review, connecting with teachers and classmates, etc. (See the next section detailing "Canvas Module Open Dates" for more information.)

We are working to adjust our weekly workload for students based on your feedback. It is important that you complete any exit ticket or opportunity for reflection that teachers offer. This will help guide future modules and give us a better understanding of how long it really takes for students to complete each module.

Reach out if you need help! Your teachers always welcome contact from you. We are here to help you in any way we can.

Canvas Module Open Dates

This is a copy of the school year calendar with Canvas Module PUBLISH dates marked. All new modules will be published by 9:00AM. All work is due the Wednesday of the following week. If additional time is needed to complete an assignment, teachers will work with you. Please note, when we have shortened weeks, such as the upcoming MEA Weekend, the following module week is slightly longer. Teachers may use these additional days as an opportunity to review, catch up, or dig deeper into content. It will not mean additional work for that module, but should give you more time to complete the content and stay connected! The start days for those longer modules are highlighted in yellow.

NO module will be published as we head into a long weekend or break.

Everyone needs time to relax and stay out of Canvas for awhile!

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Tech Tips & Tricks

Canvas Tips for Students

  • Make sure you're using a compatible browser, and keep it updated. If you use a Chromebook, you'll be in Chrome, which is great! Google Chrome also works best with Google Apps.
  • Try the CARD VIEW. Many students find this less overwhelming.
  • SET YOUR PREFERENCES! Are you overwhelmed with notifications? You can fix that! You can choose how often you want to be notified (daily, weekly, or not at all). Go to global navigation, click on Account, then Notifications.
  • Review assignment feedback. Look for feedback or speech options next to assignments in the gradebook.
  • There's an app for that! Some students find they like the app on their smartphone, but remember that it can't do everything you can do on a computer. DO NOT TAKE QUIZZES on the app.
  • It may be a good idea to type your responses in a Google doc and then cut and paste into Canvas. This ensures you never accidentally lose a response if something goes wrong in the submission process.


School Picture Days Are Not Scheduled at OEMS- yet

"May every sunshine hold more promise and every sunset hold more peace." ~umair siddiqui

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Ordean East Middle School

Main Office: Anna Fridsma

Attendance: Dawn Warner

Principal: Gina Kleive

Assistant Principals: Rachel Jackson & Michael Emerson

School Counselors: Ashley Kedrowski, Sarah Seglem, & Lisa Wentworth

School Social Worker: Tracy Litman