Baldwin Blast

September 2020

We are so excited to begin a brand new school year! Newsletters will come out once a month with plenty of resources to help you at home and keep you updated with what's happening at school. Remember, at Baldwin we are always #BetterTogether!
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Happy September,


I hope you all have enjoyed the extended summer and are ready to get back to a routine as we embark on the 2020-2021 school year. Our staff has worked extremely hard to prepare for their students with an engaging curriculum. I know you will be impressed with the activities and thoroughness of their lessons. Please show them grace and patience as we all adjust to the challenges that we will face together this year.


Baldwin is a special place where teachers, staff, students and community members all work together to create an environment that is conducive for all students to become life-long learners in a variety of areas such as mathematics, science, literature, and fine arts.. We all have one goal-to help each child reach their potential. We have an active CAC (Campus Advisory Council), and I invite you to participate if you are interested. Please find the application on our website and submit to the front office.


Our Baldwin scholars come from a variety of backgrounds, countries, cultures and experiences. We invite each of you to share a piece of your life with all of us. We want to hear about you, learn from you and celebrate each of you. To continue our campus growth in this area, we have formed the I.D.E.A. (Inclusivity,, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-racist) committee. Members of this committee engage in ongoing conversations focused on continuing to create an environment in which all are welcome and honored at Baldwin. If you would like to join us on the third Thursday of each month at 3:15 pm we would love to have you.


I also encourage all of you to join the Baldwin PTA. The PTA works hand in hand with the school to promote academic excellence, provide opportunities for every student and support teachers. They have helped up with technology, playground equipment, professional development opportunities and teacher materials and much more. This year may be a unique opportunity for all of us to come together and we thank the PTA for always being there to support us.


This is a year to make history, change norms and have a one of a kind school year.. I challenge each of you to find the silver lining every day. Remember that these experiences are your children’s experiences, so don’t be sad that they are different than yours, but embrace them and the new opportunities they provide... With a growth mindset, we will continue to move forward and allow students to reach their full potential.


This school year we welcome over 77 new families to Baldwin and are excited to share the adventures of this year with them as we are with all of you! My commitment to you is to continue to communicate routinely and to reach out to you as partners in your child’s education.. Please always feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or great ideas!


I am proud to lead Ross F. Baldwin Elementary and look forward to the year ahead!


Warmly,

Jennifer Murray

Principal, Baldwin Elementary

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  • September 1: New to Baldwin Family Meeting (4:00)
  • September 2: Meet the Team: Kindergarten (4:30- front loop), 4th grade (5:15- front loop), 2nd grade (5:00- back loop)
  • September 3: Meet the Team: PreK (4:00- front loop), 1st grade (4:30- front loop), 3rd grade (5:15- front loop), 5th grade (5:00- back loop)
  • September 8: First Day of School!
  • September 14: CAC Meeting
  • September 15: Watch DOG Kickoff
  • September 22: Watch DOG Training
  • September 25: Principal's Coffee
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The first four weeks, from September 8th to October 5th, will be remote. The district is providing access to technology if it is needed. The district is now automatically setting up ipad distribution for PK - 2nd students. We will distribute these ipads here at Baldwin the week of September 24th. If you have a 3rd-5th grade student, please continue to use the tile in your parent cloud that says Technology Distribution if you need to request a chromebook. We are hopeful we can distribute these from Baldwin as well.


The four weeks, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30, will be a phase-in period. Families will choose if they prefer on-campus or virtual learning for this period and families who prefer on-campus learning will be phased in. The survey for making your choice will be sent to you two prior to the phase in period. We will continue to base our campus and district operations on the advice of health authorities. It is important to note: even students who choose on-campus instruction may have some days where they are still doing remote learning during this period. Families will be able to choose to go back to remote learning.


As we plan for the start of the school year, safety for all students will be our leading priority. Followed by safety, our biggest priority is having a rigorous and equitable educational experience for all students. Below I have shared information about remote learning, as well as an overview of our plans for keeping our students and staff safe during in-person learning. Please keep in mind that these plans may change to accommodate new guidelines from the state, local, or district authorities.


For remote learning beginning September 8:

  • Classes will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction throughout the day.

  • The minimum daily synchronous minutes offered for each grade level are: PK-75 minutes and K - 5 90 minutes

  • Students will use Zoom in order to participate in the synchronous times

  • We will have consistent daily schedules for students

  • There will be weekly grades in every class that are common across the grade level.

  • Teachers across the grade level will be teaching the same standard each week

  • The platform being used by all students in AISD is BLEND. A parent tutorial will be available soon.


For in- person learning:

Health Screenings:

  • All staff will conduct a self health screen by 7:15 am, including a current temperature check.

  • All staff and students will be required to wear face masks while in the building.

  • All students will be given a temperature check and health screening prior to entering the building. This may be done at home via the Austin ISD app or upon arrival to school. We will have multiple health screening sites during arrival to facilitate students getting to classrooms as quickly as possible. Car riders will be screened at the curb inside their car and bus riders and walkers/bikers will be screened at the entrance.

  • Students who are running a fever or do not pass the screening questions will be taken to the staging room known as the “Bobcat Den” until parents can pick them up.

Once in the Building:

  • All students will report directly to their classrooms. We will have staff available to assist with our younger students and make sure they get to their classrooms safely. Parents will not be able to walk students into the building to their classrooms.

  • Visitors will not be allowed in the building at this time.

  • We are going to do everything we can to make the classroom spaces feel inviting and friendly, even with strict standards.

  • During dismissal, students will remain in their classroom and be called down and escorted individually to their car. Students will all be assigned a number that must be displayed on your dash to facilitate this system. More information will be sent home as the time draws near.

Food Service:

  • Breakfast and lunch will continue to be offered to our students BUT the cafeteria will be closed for students to eat.

  • All meals from the cafeteria will be delivered to the classrooms and eaten there.

  • Please note, we will no longer accept any outside delivery of food to the campus so please make sure your child has his/her/their lunch kit and water bottle with them when they come to school unless eating from the cafeteria. If a student forgets their lunch, one will be provided from the cafeteria.

  • Families may apply for free or reduced meals here: https://www.austinisd.org/nutrition-food-services/applications-payments

  • Families may also deposit funds in their child's meal account at: https://www.schoolcafe.com/

Recess:

  • All students will have an outdoor recess, but social distancing will be required and only a small number of students will be scheduled for play at the same time.

  • At this time the playscape equipment will be closed.

In Case of Illness:

  • We will continue to have full time nursing staff on campus.

  • If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school, the school nurse will be consulted and parents contacted. We have created the “Bobcat Den” for students to wait comfortably under adult supervision for pick up.

  • Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing and inform families who came into contact with that person. The district office will be notified and we will follow health protocols for quarantining. (Please see the AISD reopening guidelines for more detailed information.)

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We are so excited to begin this year! Our goal is to meet with every single Bobcat during the first few weeks to check in. We can't wait to hear what you've been up to since the last time we saw you and create goals to work towards together this year. If you have more than one child at Baldwin you can choose to either do them all at once or sign up for a separate time for each. You also have the option to choose zoom or phone. Below are the links to sign up and zoom information. We can't wait to see you!

Lindsay Holley

This is my fourth year at Baldwin and I know it's going to be the best one yet! I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and never miss a football game. My husband and I spend our free time playing golf and listening to music on our back porch with our dog Hudson. My favorite part about being a counselor is watching students set and reach their goals. There is nothing better than the look of pride on their face when they accomplish something they have worked hard for!

Deborah Alexander

Hello there Bobcats! This is my very first year at Baldwin Elementary School. I have worked in education for over 20 years. I have worked at a variety of schools serving as a school counselor, drama teacher and theatre director: Rawson Saunders School, Trinity Episcopal School, Clayton Elementary and Bailey Middle School to name a few. I have two teenagers, a dog, two cats and a western hognose snake (it's going to college with my daughter). I enjoy hiking, theatre arts, and reading a good book. Please come on by and say hello! For now you can send me an e-mail!
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Baldwin is dedicated to cultivating an environment that is conducive for learning, that is culturally aware and sensitive to students, families and staff and intentionally incorporating culturally proficient strategies into our instruction. During the summer Bowie vertical team principals composed a letter to provide additional information on this commitment (attached below).


Each newsletter will include an opportunity to grow in our understanding of these vital topics. Baldwin staff members watched the video below to learn about the history of Austin and how it effects us as a community. We would love to hear our parent voices. This committee will be meeting monthly on the following dates (9/17,10/15, 11/19, 12/17, 1/21, 2/18, 4/15 and 5/20). Contact Tammy Thompson for more information.

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Lauren Hollander

This month's tech tip is a reminder of student portal log ins! Students all have an assigned "S number", which you can find in your parent portal account using the TEAMS tile. You will need to log in with the same username and password to access TEAMS as an extra security measure. Once in TEAMS you will see the local ID for each of your enrolled children. The local ID is the "s number", just add the s at the beginning!


When your student goes to portal.austinisd.org they will first enter their "S number" in the username box. Reminder, you must enter the s at the beginning.

example: s12345678


The default password for your student is set as: capital first letter of their last name, 6-digit birthday, lowercase s

example: H010101s <--this password would be for a student with a last name starting with H and birthday of January 1, 2001

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Mackenzie Wright

Hello Bobcats! I am so excited to meet you! My name is Mackenzie Wright and I am the new librarian here at Baldwin Elementary. This will be my fifth year in Austin ISD. Before Baldwin, I was an elementary school teacher at Bryker Woods Elementary in Central Austin. My husband and I live with our spunky schnauzer in the South Austin area. When I'm not reading, I enjoy outdoor adventures, creating, and time spent with family and friends (socially distanced, of course). Be sure to check out the new "Baldwin Elementary Library Course" on BLEND to get access to lessons, read alouds, makerspace activities, and more. You won't want to miss it! I am excited to make this the best school year yet!
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Eileen Brady

HI Baldwin Bobcats! My name is Eileen Brady and I am the PROUD Reading Specialist at Baldwin. I have been in Austin ISD since 2004 and have taught in East Austin before joining Baldwin in 2010. I have taught a variety of grade levels before completing my Master’s in Reading and Dyslexia Therapist Certification. In my spare time, I love outdoor activities, travel and home improvement projects. I love teaching students how to read and my daily goal is to make our learning space a happy, safe and engaging place to learn.
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