Willow Parent Bulletin #20

February 5, 2021

Dear Families,

At a special Board of Education meeting on Monday night, the Board approved a schedule for students who chose hybrid (in-person) learning. At the meeting, in addition to mentioning how excited we are to have some students back in the building, I talked about the dates for re-entry.

Like all things pandemic, there was a glitch. With the initial dates, we discovered that we had 12 staff who were getting round 2 of their vaccinations within that three day window. Ahhhhhhh! We can't have wildcats and not have staff, so I'm going to say it.... yes.... we... had... to... pivot. Here are the new dates for the changes in the Willow schedules:

MARCH 1st: First and second graders

- new 1/2 days schedules begin and students return to the building

- PreK and K maintain current schedules

MARCH 3rd: all students (1st day for PreK/EC and Kindergarten)

- new 1/2 day Kindergarten times begin

-new session times for PreK/EC start

-1st and 2nd graders continue new schedules

The students returning to in-person learning are those whose parents indicated that preference on the survey before winter break. If the survey was not completed, the child was automatically placed to continue remote learning. We took great pains to keep students with their current teacher, but found a few instances where that wasn't possible and all of those parents received phone calls about the need for change.

The times for PreK and Early Childhood will become:

8:15 AM- 9:45 AM

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

1:00 PM- 2:30 PM

The classroom teacher will notify you which session your child will attend.

The times for Kindergarten, First, and Second will become:

8:00 AM- 10:30 AM students coming in will be at this time

12:15 PM- 2:45 PM students doing remote learning.

There are classes at each grade level where the teacher might have an AM and PM that are either both remote or both in-person. You will receive a placement letter next week, via email, that lets you know in which session your child was placed and bus information. This selection was done with your child's academic, learning, and social needs in mind.

In the session that is opposite of their direct time with the teacher, students will have their live specials like art, gym, and music. They will also have stories from the library and SEL (social emotional learning). In between those is time to finish classwork, do independent practice, read on RAZ Kids or do Happy Numbers. New schedules will come from your wildcat's teacher.

We have received calls from parents wanting to change from remote to in-person and vice-versa. As mentioned by Dr. Mitchell, for all requests that come now, students will be placed on a wait-list. .The classes have been established and balanced, so consideration will be on a case by case basis, with each based on varying factors.

For students who will be coming back in to the building, we will be sending a separate bulletin that gives more specifics for parents like what the day will look like, arrival and dismissal, and the daily certification process that will be needed for each child prior to entering the building. You will also need to complete a transportation form. We are working on a video to show your wildcat so he/she knows what to expect on the inside and understands how we are keeping him/her safe.

For parents with students staying remote, you will receive a survey link so we can better tailor material pick up to best meet your needs. We are just as committed to keeping your wildcat engaged and progressing as those we will get to see in person.

If you have any questions, please reach out. You can always call the building or my email is at the bottom of the bulletin. Expect a lot of contact ( yes, even more than usual) from us over the next few weeks.

Stay safe!


SUPERvisors needed!

As we make preparations for students to come back into the building, we also have a need for supervisors. These paid positions are normally for recess and cafeteria, but will take on a different type of role for the remainder of this year. This year will include things like temperature checks, monitoring hallways and bathrooms, helping with arrival and dismissal, escorting students in the building, and assisting other staff as needed. You will be expected to follow the building safety protocols at all times.

The hours are from 7:45-10:45 Monday through Friday. If interested, please stop by the Willow Office for an application.

Nurse Straney honored at the Board meeting

Our fabulous nurse, Gail Straney, was honored at the last Board of Education meeting for her National Board Certification! We are so lucky to have her at Willow looking after all of us!

Weekly Announcements with Mrs. Jasutis

Mrs. Jasutis, one of our Kindergarten teachers, shares the announcements with you this week. Please click the week to join her in the Pledge of Allegiance and to hear the birthdays!


Book Blurb: "Messy Bessey's Closet"

Messy Bessey’s Closet written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack is one of our newest Rookie Readers. This Level C book is a wonderful addition for our early and beginning readers. Filled with familiar sight words and rhyming phrases, this engaging story is a sure bet! Messy Bessey’s Closet is available for check out through the Homewood Public Library.

Social Emotional Learning- recognizing how your behavior affects others

All children have unique temperaments, with differences in the ways they experience and express emotions, their preferred activity levels, and their ability to self-regulate their attention, emotions, and behaviors. Because all children have this unique set of characteristics, they may find other classmates too noisy, active, or overstimulating. Other children may find peers too quiet, passive, or even boring.

It is helpful to guide them in figuring out compatible ways to play and learn together while still supporting their expressions of individuality. It is important for students to notice when their own behaviors are making it difficult for others and to adjust what they are doing or where they are doing it. It is also important to know that it’s okay to respectfully let others know when that person's behavior is too much. Students are beautifully diverse in many ways and should be encouraged to find enjoyable ways to play and learn together.

Parent Music Association- No Bake Fundraiser

Submit Your Recipe Fast! PMA’s No-Bake Bake Sale Ends Feb. 17

Come on, we’ve all been baking more during this pandemic, and we know you have a favorite recipe. Willow hopes you’ll participate in the Parent Music Association’s “No-Bake Bake Sale” to help support our music program here and throughout District 153.

It’s easy! Click here to submit a recipe for the future PMA “Greatest Hits Cookbook” and donate the money you would have spent on ingredients to help keep the music playing in our school.

Willow and the Parent Music Association thank you for your support.