Principal's Weekly News, August 17, 2020
JSE Monthly Attributes:
Characteristic of a Successful Learner (CSL): Strive for Personal Best
Bucket-Filling Trait: Respect
It's a Marvelous Monday at JSE!
Good evening, JSE Families,
Changes at school, changes in the classroom, changes in transportation, changes with PPE, changes in the lunchroom, changes in learning models, and add the usual first days of school usual challenges...our teachers, our staff, and our families came together to support one another, extend grace and understanding, spread kindness, and make today a great first learning day, ALL for the most important of us: OUR KIDS! This is WHY we LOVE our SCHOOL!
As to be expected, with uncharted territory, we did face some technology and communication challenges with teaching both in-person and virtual. We have always been committed to continuous improvement and virtual learning will improve tomorrow, the next day, and so on. You can count on that! Our staff is here to help you and I always appreciate your supportive feedback and helpful input. We will always do our best within our abilities and current learning model.
It was a joy for all to see the excitement and eagerness from our students both in-person and virtual! Several students commented to me during my daily classroom visits, "Mrs. Barnes, I am glad we are back at school. I love school!" This is a testament to the fun, engaging learning environment we create for our kids everyday at JSE!
We are so very proud of our students and their receptiveness and willingness to quickly catch-on and support each other in learning new procedures and safe school guidelines. Please help us reinforce these as you review your child's classroom information. You can expect to continue to receive classroom updates as well as schoolhouse information each Monday in our JSE Tracks newsletter.
We look forward to a full week of learning,
Attention Families of Virtual Students:
Please remember if you wish to change to in-person learning, you have until August 24th and then we ask that you wait to make a change until after the first 9 week grading period. We have had several families change to in-person learning, if you choose to make this change or have any questions regarding this, please email Mrs. Barnes at email@example.com
From the Desk of Mrs. Morton: Arrival and Dismissal
Thank you to parents, staff, and our bus drivers for supporting our arrival and dismissal procedures. We appreciate your continued communication with teachers and our main office regarding your child's transportation plans. We also appreciate your patience and understanding as we adjust to new procedures. Please spread the word to JSE parents of the importance of our main office having your updated e-mail and cell phone information. We are able to text immediately when we have transportation changes or other communications we want to get to you.
If you have any concerns or questions, please let me know. If there are any changes you need to make to your child's dismissal plans, we ask that you call our main office as well as email Mrs. Rittel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure we confirm your dismissal changes by phone or email.
August 24 Last Day for Virtual Students to return to In-person before the 9 week grading period.
7 Labor Day-No School
10 Progress Report
24 Fall Pictures
9 End of First Grading Period
12 Elementary Parent Teacher Conferences
15 Report Card Available in Harmony
29,30 Fall Break No School
Harmony Parent Portal LINK: https://sis.union.k12.in.us/familyaccess.nsf/hello.xsp
*With our current situation, please be reminded all dates, events, and information is subject to change. We appreciate you working together with us by checking your email regularly and reaching out to us with questions and concerns. Our partnership will remain strong for our children and community!
You are always welcome at JSE!
Please let us know how we can strengthen our partnership with you!
Feel free to contact me anytime! Very Sincerely, Mrs. Barnes
Leigh Barnes, Principal ext 3001
Barb Rittel, Secretary ext 3000
Lisa Morton, Home School Advisor ext 3003
Kathy Maniszko, School Nurse ext 3002
Below is archived information for your reference as needed:
First Days of School Quick Reminders:
JSE Supply list LINK: 2020-2021 LINK
Send a refillable water bottle. Please provide your child with a water bottle. We are currently installing touchless water bottle refilling stations in place of our drinking fountains.
Each child should wear a mask to school and bring an extra mask in their backpacks in case it is needed. We want our students to feel comfortable with the mask they are wearing. We do have extra masks to provide, however these most likely won't fit as well as a mask you would practice with your child in wearing.
Classroom Snacks and Birthday Treats: If you choose to send your child with a daily snack as your child's teacher may request, please send it in an individual small sealed ziplock or snack size bag of an item such as pretzels. All birthday treats must be individually pre-packaged from the store and we must have the nutrition label. Examples of acceptable birthday treats are any mini bag or single serving size of a packaged treat. Store bought cupcakes are not acceptable this year. We must be able to easily pass out an item in a sealed package.
Kindergarten - 1st grade: Please send your child with a "to the teacher" note they can have in their backpack that will support us in knowing their full name, teacher, and dismissal plan for the first week. Make sure your child knows they have the note in their backpack. We will send them home after their first day with a backpack tag.
Afternoon Car Riders: Please make sure for the first day you may a car window sign to include your Child's First and Last Name. Please put this in the window of your car for dismissal.We will provide you one for the remainder of the year after the first day.
Breakfast: Please tell your child in the morning if they should or should not eat breakfast at school, this will help in students knowing if they should go to the cafeteria or directly to their classrooms when they get to school.
Arrival and Dismissal: Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. With new arrival and dismissal procedures, our schedules will run slower to ensure student and staff safety in developing these routines. Please remember our arrival begins at 8:30AM with the final bell at 8:50AM and our dismissal begins at 3PM for car riders and 3:30 with buses.
Arrival and Dismissal Changes:
- The school day begins at 8:50AM and dismisses at (NEW) 3PM for Car Riders and 3:30PM for Bus Riders.
- Bus Riders: Your child's bus driver and number will be emailed and texted to you on the 10th. Please remember that buses do run late on the first few days of school so thank you in advance for your patience. If you have a Kindergarten child or a child new to JSE, your bus driver will call you with your bus pick-up time and bus stop information.
- Arriving Car Riders: If you are driving and dropping your child off to school, you may do so starting at 8:30AM, use the car line door at the back parking lot on the side of the school, door G. Staff will be there to greet your child. Your child will enter the building and go directly to their classroom or go to breakfast and then to their classroom.
- Dismissal Bus Riders: All bus riders will exit the building by 3:30PM in a single file line through the main entrance or east entrance, door L, next to our gymnasium, accordingly.
- Dismissal Car Riders: With the increase in car rider students this year, we have made a change in our procedure. Kindergarten - 2nd grade students and their K-5 siblings will be picked up at the usual car rider door at the back parking lot on the side of the school, door G, same as the morning car rider door. Only 3rd-5th grade students will be picked up in the new additional 3rd-5th car rider line at the front of the building at Door L next to the gymnasium. We will send these directions again when we confirm your transportation directions from registration.
- If you are picking up your child, use the K-2 or 3-5 car rider line and please have your picture ID available and a sign with your child's name on it in the car window. We will make each dismissal car rider a sign for your car window during the first week of school. This will be sent home with your child for your car window. Thank you for making your own for the first couple of days.
- Car Riders and Bus Riders: We will have several staff members present outside to support a smooth dismissal and arrival process.
- Walkers: Students may walk to school and cross at the cross-walk with the resource officer present between 8:25AM and 8:55PM. Parents may walk their child to school but will not be allowed to enter the building.
- If you need to pick up your child during the day for any reason, please call ahead of time or send in a note and remember we require a picture ID anytime you are picking up your child from school.
Again, thank you for your patience with arrival and dismissal during the first week as we work carefully and diligently to keep your child safe.
Mrs. Morton our home/school advisor will confirm your child's daily transportation instructions via email and text on the 10th. If you have any changes or concerns please contact us as soon as possible.
If your child changes between bus and car rider during the week, we ask that you send in a schedule each Monday for the week so that we are in understanding of your child's transportation instructions.
In-Person Elementary Safety and Guidelines:
To ensure that our students and staff are safe every day at JSE, there have been several changes to how our building will operate on a daily basis.
Our Re-entry Plan, Frequently Asked Questions and other related COVID-19 Information is available at the district website https://jsimatovich.union.k12.in.us/o/utsc
Masks are required for all students (K-5) and staff when inside the building. Please send your child wearing a mask. *we will have masks available as needed.
Masks are required for all students while riding the bus.
Both car riders and bus riders will be staggered entering and exiting the building. Arrival will start at 8:30AM with dismissal at 3PM. See detailed schedule below.
Students are required to hand sanitize or wash their hands when entering the classroom, entering and exiting the cafeteria, entering and exiting the playground, and at least once per hour.
Water fountains will be replaced with touchless bottle refill stations, please send in a refillable water bottle with your child that can be kept at their desk for the week.
High traffic areas such as restrooms will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day.
Classroom desks will be social-distanced throughout each classroom of at least 3 feet.
Students will have their own school supplies in their desk and any shared supplies will be sanitized in between use.
Lunch times have been staggered so that proper sanitization can occur between lunch periods. Please see detailed schedule below.
Bathroom breaks and various hallway use have been scheduled and staggered to avoid large groups.
Social Distance and Healthy Hygiene Signs as well as floor decals will be added to support our kids and staff.
Art, Computers, Social Emotional Learning, and Music will push into the classrooms, and students will not visit those classrooms. Physical Education (PE) will continue to be held in the gymnasium or outside.
There will be no visitors allowed into the building until further notice, which includes lunches and classroom visitors.
All PTO and school events (i.e., classroom parties, Fun Fair, etc.) are postponed indefinitely.
Meetings with teachers (i.e., IEP meetings, parent/teacher conferences, meetings with the principal), should be held virtually, when possible. If not, a scheduled meeting time will be created if preferred.
Meetings with staff will be by appointment only.
We understand that there are a lot of new changes to how we operate, but in order to properly ensure the safety of all our students and staff, these changes must be made and we appreciate your understanding.
From the Office of our Superintendent: We continue to live in a time when COVID-19 affects the operations of our daily lives and our response requires frequent adjustment. As we continue in our planning, the safety of our students and staff remain paramount. With that said, we are asking for some additional feedback.
Since the release of our plan on July 8th, the Porter County Health Department now requires the use of face masks for the majority of the day with some time planned to be mask free.
Accordingly, staff and students will be required to wear a mask when:
1. Riding the bus
2. Moving throughout the building (ie., restroom breaks, passing periods)
3. In the classroom while the teacher is providing direct instruction and/or group discussion is occurring.
"Mask-free" breaks will be available when students are outside, at recess, physical activity during PE, at lunch or doing independent quiet work in the classroom. We will schedule in "mask-free" breaks into each classroom's schedule.
*Teachers and Staff will be required to wear a mask at all times. Our teachers will wear a clear mask to support teaching and connecting with students.
*Student masks are included on the supply list. Please have your child wear a mask daily to school. If needed, we will have masks available at school for situations that may cause a student to need an additional mask.
*We will provide each child with an orange safety breakaway lanyard to support them in wearing the mask. The lanyard will stay at school and be used during the school day.
*Face shields may not be used in lieu of a face mask.
Important Informational Resource LINKS
Important Informational Resource LINKSVIDEO from the ISDH LINK
***1 hr. long video but very beneficial information in regards to the protocol for a positive test in several different school settings.
July 30th Letter from ISDH regarding Return to School in lieu of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, please take a moment to read the link found HERE.
Our JSE Cafe:
The Free and Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch Application may be completed online through your Harmony Family Portal Account or picked up in the office anytime. Applications need to be completed each year. Families who applied and qualified last year will need to reapply at the start of school. If you would like us to send a copy home with your child during the first week of school please call the main office.
Mealtime: You may find information at this LINK to create an account or add your child to your mealtime account. You may also always send money in with your child to be added to your child's account.. Please make sure the money is in an envelope marked with your child's name and indicate lunch money. Our kitchen manager, Sandy Denison, will get all Kindergarten and new student families their lunch account information the first week of school, should you choose to create a mealtime account, this will be needed information.
Ice Cream Friday and Snacks: These will be available to students after we get our school year started. More information will be communicated in an upcoming weekly newsletter.
Lunch Visitors: To start the school year, we will not be allowing visitors during our lunch periods. Thank you again, for understanding the changes in place to support our safety measures this school year.
Updated Lunch/Recess Schedule:
For recess, students will leave the building and enter the building through different entry locations to avoid crossing traffic.
10:45-11:10 (KG Lunch/1st Recess)
5 Min Clean Break
11:15-11:40 (KG Recess/1st Lunch)
10 Min Clean Break
11:50- 12:15 (2nd Lunch/3rd Recess)
5 Min Clean Break
12:20- 12:45 (2nd Recess/3rd Lunch)
10 Min Clean Break
12:55- 1:20 (5th Recess/4th Lunch)
5 Min Clean Break
1:25- 1:50 (5th Lunch/4th Recess)
UTSC Return to Learn Informative Document Links
At this time, UTSC will follow our previously Board approved 2020-21 school year calendar with our first school day of August 12th at all UTSC schools.
UTSC Re-entry Plan LINK
Plan for Virtual Remote Learning Option LINK
Superintendent Hunter's Ready to Learn Video Information Link Below:
- PTO Events: We will continue to support the school with needs and events throughout the year. Information will be shared with you.
- Join our facebook page and let us know if you are interested in joining our meetings and looking for ways to get involved in our school! Please reach out to us through our facebook page or our PTO email.
- PTO Meetings usually occur the first Tuesday of each month at 6PM. Please consider attending the meetings this year, every JSE parent is welcome and encouraged to attend! Changes to our meetings to follow social distancing guidelines and safety measures of UTSC will be communicated.