Dear Families-Read on for the News
Message from the Director
Dear PPCS Families,
“We have a choice of how to show up with our loved ones, students, and colleagues. We can grasp for control with transactional communications and attempts to “manage distance learning,” or we can grasp for connection with more fluid ways of being, communicating, and learning together. To choose the latter, we have to be still enough to hear our own heartbeats. We have to be centered enough to hold one another through the uncertainty. We have to learn to be connected and in community even while socially distant.”
-Shane Safir, Listening in Times of Crisis
Every day, our staff, board and I show up with compassion and dedication to support our students through a global pandemic that impacts our families in so many ways. We care deeply about our students’ social and emotional growth, their quality of education and their health and safety. We value the feedback you’ve provided in the family survey and staff use that information to better meet the educational needs of the students. We will continue to seek your kind, specific, and helpful feedback so we can better serve your child and all of our students. We know that this situation is far from ideal but we remain committed to providing the highest quality learning experience and education possible using our Remote yet Connected model, with support from our national organization, EL Education.
Every school leader dreads receiving the call informing them that one of their staff or students has tested positive for COVID-19. Last week, I received those calls and I am so grateful for the hard work that prepared us for that very moment, and for the support from the local Public Health Department, even at 9:30 p.m.
After closing for cleaning and testing last week, we are very happy to be up and running again with an open school building for limited child care and in-person learning. This week, our kindergarten, first, and special education students are learning on-site in small pods. Our plans are to have 2nd and 3rd grade students begin a similar rotation for in-person learning starting next week.
We are now just over one month into our implementation of the Remote Yet Connected learning and, as expected, we have learned a lot. We believe that having opportunities to learn and connect in-person is valuable for many of our students, particularly our youngest learners and those who receive special support for their learning needs. We want to continue offering limited in-person connections and need your help to make this possible.
As last week demonstrated, we must maintain extreme caution and vigilance if we want to continue to have any in-person connection. The Public Health department has commended us on our safety requirements but they are only as good as our shared commitment to following them. We require these procedures because we know it’s the only way to lower the risk associated with meeting in person. We are committed to ensuring that our guidelines are followed during PPCS activities, so it is up to you to continue following them at other times.
- We ask all members of our community to wear masks when interacting or in close contact with individuals outside of their household unit both on and off school grounds. Masks are one of the best ways to keep Covid-19 from spreading.
- We practice social distancing, maintaining six feet of distance between individuals as much as possible. When closer interaction happens, such as in a classroom setting, we keep it very brief and ensure that masks are worn.
- We screen for symptoms and exposure each day for those who come on-site, and ask those who experience any illness to stay home and consult with a medical professional.
- Students and staff wash their hands frequently with soap and water and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- We only allow staff, students and very few outside visitors onsite.
- We maintain rigorous cleaning procedures including UV light sanitizers, daily sanitation and twice a week deep cleanings.
- In collaboration with the Public Health Department, we can assure transparent communication to families if there is a concern of COVID-19 transmission.
As your leader, I will continue to show up with compassion and a listening ear, and will work alongside PPCS staff with a deep commitment to the education of your child, while trying to keep all of our students and families healthy and safe.
School Portraits: October 26-30
For students attending childcare or who are in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, school pictures will take place, October 26-30. Each Pod will have a picture day on the first day they attend an in-person class. Childcare will have their portraits taken on Monday.
For students who are studying remotely, they will have school portraits taken on Wednesday, October 28. There will be a sign-up sheet for families to sign up to come to the school at individual times.
Quail Care Packages
Sometimes our families, staff, and teachers encounter difficult times. Whether it’s an extended illness or a loss in the family, we want to demonstrate compassion within our PPCS community by assembling Quail Care packages.
Parent Crew is challenging ALL Crews to make or collect items that could go into these packages for those difficult situations. Items may be dropped into the Parent Crew Collection Bin at the school’s front door table from Wednesday, October 14 - Wednesday, November 4.
-Cards/Pictures - we’re here, thinking of you, see you soon
-Games - single, two player, multiplayer (pass the pig, skip bo, backgammon, mancala, dominos)
-Crafts to assemble - can be bought or homemade kits
-Coloring books, word searches, crosswords, mad-libs, etc
-Homemade pillows, neck pillows, hot/cold rice packs
-Coop gift card, Bookstore gift card, other local gifts
-Money for local gift cards or gifts like a live plant or locally cut flower bouquet
-PPE - a new mask, handsan, clorox wipes
For more information about item collection and package assembly, contact parent organizer Natalie Flipper at email@example.com.
To send or receive one of these packages, please contact the office directly to maintain confidentiality: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for exhibiting empathy and compassion towards others!
Parent Crew Message Board
We have heard from many families who are looking for ways to create social connections for their children. In order to empower families to make social connections during our Remote Yet Connected learning, we have created a PPCS family message Board. The message Board can be found here: https://ppcs.boards.net and is linked on our website. Please consider joining so that we can all stay connected.
Pumpkin Decorating Contest
PPCS students are invited to participate in a pumpkin decorating contest. Carve, paint, or otherwise decorate a pumpkin between now and Oct. 31st and submit a photo to email@example.com along with your students name. Prizes will be awarded for the spookiest pumpkin, the prettiest pumpkin, and the most creative pumpkin in grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. All entries will be displayed on the Parent Crew web page and social media. Winners will be announced on Nov 3.
Spread the Word...
Moscow Co-op Dime in Time
Virtual Piano Lessons
Does your child love music? Does he or she love to play on the piano or keyboard? Introducing ‘Keyboard club’ for Kindergarten-2nd grade Palouse Prairie students! This is an online group Zoom meeting that will be taught on Thursdays from 3:30-4:00 by MaryAnn Fiorillo, a PPCS mom. A keyboard or piano at home is preferable, but in a pinch a keyboard app on your tablet will do for keyboard club. We will be talking about rhythm, keynotes and learning simple songs using a method book created and published by a Local Moscow musician! Keyboard club will run between October 1 to the end of the year. Happy singing and playing! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is your child interested in learning to play the piano or keyboard? MaryAnn Fiorillo has openings for on-line lessons in her studio. Your child will get one on one instruction that is fun and engaging via Zoom call. Sibling and group lessons are also available. Visit her Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/songwagonstudios or email: email@example.com