Gerald E. Talbot Community School
Ann Hanna, Principal
Kerri LeSieur, Assist. Principal
1600 Forest Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
January 8, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy some quality time with family over the break. At Talbot Community School, we are so pleased to be able to begin the new year by returning to school in our hybrid learning mode. Thank you for doing your part to help keep our school open by sending your child to school wearing a mask, reinforcing hand washing, and keeping your child home if they are sick. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to keep our school community safe.
Teachers at Talbot plan to continue to use our outdoor classrooms over the winter, in addition to taking students outside for wiggle breaks. Students should come dressed for the weather and to be prepared to learn and play outside. Generally, we will not go out if the temperature is below 13 degrees. We do have extra winter gear available at school, so please let your child’s teacher know if they need snow pants, a jacket, hat, gloves or boots.
iPads for K-2 students have arrived at our school and will be sent home with students to use for virtual learning soon. We are currently working with students to teach them how to use these devices. Please read and sign the Technology Use Form that will be sent home next week, and return the signed form to school. Once we receive the signed form, we will send the ipads home. Google Chromebooks are also on their way for grades 3-5 students and will be available for students soon.
Remote Schedules- Three Scenarios
There are three schedule scenarios for us to follow if we had to close the school for in-person learning and go into just remote learning:
· Schedule 1: Inclement Weather Remote Days (due to bad weather)
· Schedule 2: Hybrid Short Term closure (up to 2 weeks)
· Schedule 3: Full Remote Closure (beyond 2 weeks)
If it is a Remote Learning Day due to Inclement weather, you will get a robo-call from the superintendent announcing that it is a Remote Learning Day. This means that instead of attending in-person school on their cohort day, your child would log on to synchronous classes with their teacher for lessons with their cohort group for that day, or do work from their “storm packs” or “checklists” sent home from their teacher. If the closure happens on your child’s regular cohort remote day, they will follow their usual schedule for that day of asynchronous work.
If we were to have a Short-Term Closure (up to 2 weeks) due to a COVID outbreak at school, teachers will follow the current hybrid schedule for remote learning. This means that instead of attending in-person on their cohort day, your child would log on to synchronous classes with their teacher for lessons with their cohort group for that day. If the closure happens on your child’s regular remote day, they will follow their usual schedule for that day of asynchronous work. In both scenarios, Wednesdays will continue to be a day for students to log on to morning meeting, meet in small groups with their teacher, and catch up on work that needs to be completed from the week.
If we were to go into a Long-term Closure (beyond 2 weeks), both cohorts will be combined and your child will follow a daily schedule of synchronous learning with their teacher on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will continue to be a day for students to log in to morning meeting, meet in small groups with their teacher, and catch up on work that needs to be completed from the week. In this scenario, teachers will hold office hours each day.
For all of these three scenarios of remote learning, teachers will provide remote learning lessons to students in reading, writing and math in daily synchronous or asynchronous meetings. In grades PreK-3, students have a virtual classroom on SeeSaw and will have times and links to activities that should be done during the day. Students in Grades 4-5 will use Google Classroom as a launching point. There will be links for students to access specials as well. We will provide a link on our website that will take you to your child’s teacher’s schedule and access information.
Please call the school at 207-874-8210 if your child will not be attending school for any reason. It is extremely important that parents notify the school if their child(ren) will be absent. If a student is going to be absent, arrive late or miss a portion of the day, please let us know, whether it is an in-person or remote learning day. As a reminder, Excused absences are defined by Maine law and School Board policy as follows:
· Personal illness;
· An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the school day;
· Observance of a religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;
· A family emergency; and
· A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose which has been approved in advance by the school.
· Educational disruption as defined in Maine law.
Absences for other reasons are considered unexcused and may result in disciplinary consequences. If a student is absent because due to quarantining, they must continue to engage in their remote work according to their hybrid schedule. Students will have access to their Seesaw or Google Classroom, in addition to other materials and tech platforms or programs teachers have provided. Teachers are not expected to replicate in-person days for these students. Teachers may (but are not required to) send work home or support students in these situations, but it is not an expectation. If we go full remote, attendance will be recorded each morning at the virtual morning meeting. Students who have not logged in to class by 10 AM will be marked absent and parents will receive a call alerting them of the absence. If an absent student comes later to do work or attends later meetings, they will be marked as Tardy (late).
Please notify the school if there are any changes in your child’s information (such as your work numbers, home address and emergency contact numbers). It is extremely important that we maintain current contact information in the case of an emergency.
Dates to remember
January 18 No School- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 3 and 4, Zoom Parent Teacher Conferences (teachers will be scheduling soon!)
February 15-19, February Vacation Week
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about your child’s learning by calling 874-8210.