Longfellow Newsletter

February 2021

Mark Your Calendars!!

February 8 - Kindergarten Registration and Pre-K Lottery open!

February 15-19 No School - Winter Break

Notes from Mr. Young

Dear Families,


I hope everyone has been enjoying the snow! I have outlined a few reminders/ updates below:

Distribution Plan for Chromebooks. We expect to receive the Chromebooks for students in grades 3-5 this week, and will follow a similar process that we did with the iPad rollout. We will communicate with families when the devices are coming home.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all of our families who were able to attend parent teacher conferences in January. We had a wonderful turn-out from our families. 94% of our students had a family member attend a conference. We appreciate this opportunity to collaborate with families as we work to support the emotional and intellectual growth of all of our students during this challenging time.


Retirements

Bonnie Harris is retiring this month. She has been an educational technician in the Portland Public Schools for twenty-four and at Longfellow since 2016. We wish Ms. Harris well in her retirement!


Staff Professional Development

On Wednesday, January 27th, Longfellow Staff participated in a school wide equity based training titled "Speaking up at School". The goals and objectives of this training were to equip staff members with strategies and resources needed to tackle difficult conversations that arise in school surrounding race and bias. Staff learned and practiced a 4 strategy approach to speaking up, which included Interrupt, Question, Educate and Echo. Materials were provided by the organization Teaching Tolerance. Equity training will continue for staff throughout the year.


Possip Feedback

We received feedback from families on January 31st. I have outlined some of that feedback below:


  • 81 family members responded to our first prompt - Are you happy with Longfellow School this week? 74% of respondents said Yes, 17% of respondents said Mostly, and 7% of respondents said No

  • Feedback was shared with the whole staff, teams and individual teachers depending on the nature of the feedback.

  • 31 Positive comments

  • 23 Comments of Concern (9 of these comments focused on students not being in school more.)


Please Note: Comments related to a lack of in person instruction were shared with the district leadership team.


Quotes of Concern


  • "I would like to see more in person learning. I feel that my children are mostly just getting homework and that it is being called learning. To learn, children need instruction and teachers."

  • "Parents are at their wits end and our kids are not getting the education they need. With the new CDC recommendations I am wondering what the plan is moving forward to get our children back in school full time? At the very least giving them full days. Two half days a week just isn't cutting it."

  • "I feel the kids need to be in school more than two out of 7 days ."

  • "Still have 3 days of zero structure. Which we could remote into class on the off days. Also, why can’t the school days be longer?"


Highlight Quotes


  • "iPad for our 2nd grader was super helpful- has really motivated our son to do his work and allowed him a feeling of ownership and control that he did not have previously. Thank you."

  • "I am really impressed with the intentional focus on rigor in math going forward that the 2nd grade team has taken. I appreciate the goal of keeping kids on/close to grade level despite hybrid school.


While we see Possip as a valuable tool for feedback, we ask families not to wait for the Possip prompt to share questions or concerns. If you would like to pass along warm or cool feedback to us, please do! The sooner we know about your concerns, the sooner we can try and address them. While I understand the anonymous nature of Possip, it is challenging to address some concerns when I don’t know who they are from.

I hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy the snow!

Sincerely,


Terry Young

Kindergarten Registration and Pre-K Lottery

Kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year opens Monday, February 8. Students who will be 5 as of October 15, 2021 are eligible to register. Begin the online registration here.


The Pre-Kindergarten lottery will be held February 8-26. The timing of your application, as long as it is within the lottery window, will have no effect on your lottery application. Applications received after that time will be put on a waiting list. Children who are 4 by October 15, 2021 are eligible to apply. Begin the online Pre-K application here.

Longfellow Kindness Campaign

"The Kindness Campaign began after some incidents of unkind behavior were reported. Rather than focus on the negative, we thought about focusing on spreading the positive words of kindness, respect and importance of celebrating diversity. The poster outside my room says, Longfellow stands against discrimination.” Ms. Pratt


This year the Longfellow Kindness Campaign is focused on students making hearts with kind words and spreading them throughout our school.

Big picture

Nearby Nature - Four Winds Nature Program

The PTO has purchased 8 Units from Nearby Nature, Four Winds Nature Program to be shared with parents. This is a collection of natural science lessons and explorations designed to get children and adults outside learning together in every season. Each unit supports the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core with a focus on the practices of science, specifically aligned with this upcoming season. All units are appropriate for students K-5 and can be done with pen and paper. We are offering these to you as a form of a field trip/curriculum enrichment to be complete on remote days with your kids (or small groups).

This program is offered to parents, and we are not expecting teachers to manage it. We are looking into other engaging ways to use the curriculum, but for now wanted to share the resources with you. We are open to suggestions and would be happy to speak with you if you have questions or think of other ways that we can provide support to the community with the projects. Find the lessons here, and we will also post a link to this folder on the school’s website.


Please let us know if you have questions. Thank you for all you do

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Corner

Care Committee

The Care Committee is available to assist any Longfellow family experiencing a crisis. We are available to provided home cooked meals, run errands, or assist in outside chores. If you need assistance of any kind, or know someone who is in need, please contact us at longfellowcares@gmail.com. You will be kept anonymous. Also, if you would like to join the Care Committee's list of volunteers, drop us a line at longfellowcares@gmail.com and we will add you to our list of volunteers.


Clynk Bags

Clynk bags with funds going to support Longfellow PTO can be picked up on the front porch of 53 Leland St.