Bears Bulletin

September 11th, 2020

A Message from Principal Jackson

Hello Miner Families,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well! Can you believe week two of the school year is already in the books?

I want to first start with some thank yours. Most importantly, a HUGE thank you goes out to all of our students! They have been so patient and engaged in their lessons thus far that I could not be any prouder of them. Next, I want to thank all of you - the parents and guardians. Your patience and positive approach have been so critical to the successes over the first two weeks. Lastly, but not least, a huge shout out to the teachers and the staff who are also learning and growing in this virtual learning environment.

Today is the deadline for parents to indicate an interest in running for a parent leadership position. Please take a few minutes to consider running. Whether you are new to Miner or a returning veteran, your thoughts, opinions, and leadership are so important. We know that this year will look different (it already has) but that just makes your support and leadership that much more important! If you are interested in running, please complete this link today: Nomination Form.

We have shared the Student and Family handbook earlier in the week but it can be found here for anyone who missed it: Student and Family Handbook. Please ensure you have looked it over and paid paricular attention to the virtual learning expectations on the last page. While we understand that we are teaching from your homes, we do need to ensure the learning enviroment is safe for all students in the class.

This week, the newsletter has a number of different pieces of information on a range of topics. Hopefully, everyone found the newsletter from their classroom teacher/grade level team useful last week.

If there is anything that you need, please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can try and assist you the best.


Principal Jackson

If you need anything from the school, here are the best contacts to use:


Principal Jackson -

Ms. Offor -

Stay safe and let the school know if we can be of any assistance.


Principal Jackson

From the desk of AP Lee

While no one is sure how this virtual learning will continue, we know that it will not last forever. Virtual learning presents us with many formidable challenges. We also know that we are all learning how to do things differently for a while. Across the Miner Elementary community of students, teachers, and staff is a wide range of comfort with technology. Many important aspects of learning at MES may not transfer easily to online environments. Students take cues from adult behavior and attitudes, so it is important to communicate calm, confidence, and optimism that will help to get us through this world crisis together. Helping our students to stay focused on learning and looking forward to another successful school year. This guidance can help us all make the best of new and sometimes unfamiliar virtual learning environments. This will help you be ready for some for the more practical aspects of learning from your home space.

1. Choose a good place to learn.

The regular learning space for homework might not work. Set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and have a good internet connection, as possible.

2. Stay in touch

Teachers will be communicating regularly through the Remind app and other platforms. Make sure everyone knows how to find the help they need to be successful. If you have concerns, let someone know.

3. Help students own their learning

We do not expect for parents to be teachers or content experts. We just ask that you provide support and encouragement. Struggling is allowed and encouraged. Try not to help the students too much while online. Becoming independent takes time and practice.

4. Begin and end the day by checking-in

In the morning, you might ask:

· What resources do you need?

· What can I do to help you today?

· Do you know what classes you have today?

At the end of the day, you might ask:

· What were the learning tasks today?

· What did you find easy? What was hard?

· What could we do to make tomorrow better?

This conversation matters. Checking in with your students at the beginning, throughout, and at the end of the day is helpful. Help students develop self-management and executive functioning that are essential skills for life. Parents are the best life coaches.

5. Establish times for quiet and reflection

It’s good to build in some time for peace and quiet. One day a week is already planned for independent, low-stress learning.

6. Connect safely with friends

Students miss their friends, classmates, and teachers. Help the students maintain contact with friends through social media and other online technologies safely.

BACK TO SCHOOL 2020-2021

Virtual Learning Attendance

Students are required to attend virtual learning each day, Monday through Friday. Student attendance is tracked by logging into Canvas each day. Please make sure students log in between 6am and 11:59pm to receive credit for attending.

District attendance requirements still exist. If your student is going to miss school, please let their teacher know and send a note to Ms. Joseph via email at

Student Assessments

Throughout the school tear, we will meet with students individually and in a group to do a brief progress check on their reading and math skills. These are informal, low-stakes assessments to see what each student has learned so far and what will still need to be taught. This information is invaluable to the teachers as they plan for future instruction. Students will be assessed during live sessions and possibly during independent times on Wednesdays. Testing sessions will be led by both the Instructional Coaches and homeroom teachers and require 20 to 60 minutes to complete. While cameras are allowed to be off during distance learning, they are required during testing.

Beginning of the Year (BOY) Assessments for all students in grades Kindergarten to Fifth grade will start this coming week. Students will participate in the following assessments, virtually between, September 14th - October 7th.

Grade Level


Kindergarten - DIBELS/TRC/i-Ready

First Grade - DIBLES/TRC/i-Ready

Second Grade - DIBELS/RI/i-Ready

Third - RI/i-Ready

Fourth - RI/i-Ready

Fifth - RI/i-Ready

How can you help?

As with daily virtual instruction, please try to find a quiet space in front of a desktop, laptop, or tablet for your child. Earbuds or headphones are helpful but not required. In keeping the integrity of the assessments, we need you to complete the below Honor Pledge. With this pledge, you promise to assist us in ensuring your student is ready for their assessment and that you, the authority figure, will not assist your student with answering questions on the assessment. However, it is ok to assist your student with any tech issues.

Honor Pledge

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Hayes at or Ms. Coles at

Medical and Dental Forms

Universal Health Certificates, Immunization Records, and Dental Forms are due on August 31st, 2020. Families who have not turned them in will continue to receive reminders consistently until we return to in person learning, at which point they will be mandatory and students will need to have them turned in prior to returning to school in person. If you have them completed, please email them to

Updates and Information

School Supplies

General school supplies were distributed but the we have more in the main office. Please feel free to stop by and pick them up Monday through Friday between 9am and 2pm.

Math resource books and ELA texts will be available for pick up in the next week along with headphones for student use during learning. Once they arrive we will let families know they are ready for pick up via the Remind App.


Feeding Site

As a reminder, Miner Elementary School is a feeding site for the community throughout the summer. Families can come in and pick up meals Mondays-Fridays from 10am-2pm.

Miner Gear - Back on Sale

Interested in a Miner T-shirt or lawn sign from the PTO? Please email for more detials! And remember, Miner gear counts as the daily uniform!

Pay online and pick up/delivery is contactless!

School Playground Access

Per the Mayors orders, the Miner ES K-5 Playground is accessible during the hours the school is open. Custodians open the playground by 8:30am and close it at 4:00pm. Entry is only available through the door on the parking lot side of the building. Please ensure you adhere to social distancing and safe play while using the facility.

DCPS Calendar for Next Year

DCPS has released a revised calendar for next year. It is attached at the bottom of the newsletter under Files and Documents as a PDF.

Hispanic Heritage Month Begins

Tuesday, Sep. 15th, 8am

This is an online event.

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th and runs for one month.

MES PTO September General Meeting

Tuesday, Sep. 15th, 6pm

This is an online event.

PTO General Meeting via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 880 1956 7163

Passcode: 122378

Back to School Night

Thursday, Sep. 17th, 5:30-7pm

This is an online event.

We will host our back to school night on September 17th beginning at 5:30pm. We will start as a whole group and then you will have time to speak with individual teachers in a classroom setting.

A meeting link will be sent next week.

Files and Documents

MES Feedback Form

Please feel free to use this to share anonymous feedback with the Miner Elementary School Administrative team.