News from New Haven
Dear New Haven Families,
There are also some other important updates regarding the district COVID committee, events and clubs, etc.
We hope that Halloween was successful. 2020 has robbed our kids of so many things, but I'm hopeful that they were able to enjoy a little of this. Last week, they all looked fantastic and did such a great job in their costumes here at school. It was adorable. Our virtual students were able to have a "drive through" parade and receive some treats as well. In true NH fashion, our teachers got into it as well!
Virtual & In Person
There is not an eloquent way to explain this, so I'm just going to lay it out.
Right now- if my balance of In person and Virtual students were to stay the same, I could continue to provide the same instruction for both models moving into the 2nd semester. I wouldn't have to change teachers or classrooms for any of our students.
If I have families that want to move their children from Virtual to In person this could shift the balance and I would have to absorb the teachers that are currently teaching my virtual students back as in person instructors. This would have to be done in order to provide social distancing in classrooms (and not over crowd current classrooms). Please understand that I will still not be able to provide 6 feet between students in any scenario- right now we are between 3 to 5 feet (depending on the grade level & classroom dimensions).
* If I have to absorb virtual teachers what happens to my virtual students?
- We will need support from the district to help instruct our students. Right now, I still don't know the details of what that would look like, and who would be in "control" of those classes. What I do know is that "Edunity" does NOT go to the elementary level- so our kids would not be put on that. There could be the potential that students will be on more programs like... dreambox, Lexia, etc. What I DO know is that there would be no way the district could provide the level of daily connection with an instructor that we are giving right now. We are currently providing well above the original expectations set. In order to do this, please know that our teachers are putting in countless hours beyond their work days- but this was a decision that was made by our group because 1st- if you haven't noticed by now- they are amazing, and 2nd we wanted to try to give our kids what we could to pick up some momentum from "NTI".
I am also pretty sure that our NH kids will stayed enrolled AS NEW HAVEN students. You wouldn't need to worry about that, and quite frankly, I don't want to give any of them up.
If we have a large number of virtual students moving to hybrid and I am absorbing all or some of the teachers back, I would like to try to keep students with the teacher they have a relationship with. I feel strongly that our students will be well taken care of and taught by any of our teachers, but I also want to make any transitions as smooth as possible. Logistics are part of this job- there is no way around it- but we make decisions based on kids and relationships because that matters most. We want every kid to be successful and to have lots of great memories, so if it is within our power- we make decisions based on that.
I have virtual students that we HAVE to have come back to school because they are not making progress. There may be many circumstances that they are not successful, but regardless, they are in a model that is not working. It's a relationship between home and school that is broken and we can't continue this way. So I do know that some numbers will shift, and in some grade levels I have a very small margin of wiggle room to absorb students. I also know that I have families that are not comfortable with the potential of going 4/5 days of instruction and will want the virtual.
There are a multitude of scenarios, which is why I am trying to get a preliminary idea of what we could look like, so I can in turn, communicate what we will look like here. Again, it really is the chicken and the egg scenario.
A survey did go out to all of my virtual families and I am hoping to get those completed this week. If you have more than 1 child in virtual please fill the form out for each of the teachers/ grade levels so we can get the most accurate forecast.
If you are currently an IN PERSON family and are thinking about moving to VIRTUAL, please contact either your child's current teacher or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can begin tracking that information as well and make sure you get communication regarding the virtual instruction.
COVID Committee created
We were also informed that this committee will communicate their decision out and give all stakeholders at least a week notice to ensure there is time to make plans, etc.
As of right now, even though Boone county is considered in the RED level, we will not be moving to total remote. Those statistics take into consideration the entire county, including hospitals, senior living, etc. - not just schools. Therefore, remote instruction will be decided on a school to school basis and not a total district decision. Currently, there is not an overwhelming amount of positive cases within the school system, so we do not want to disrupt the routines we are in.
Steeple Chase elementary
I have had great debate with myself regarding whether or not to address the new elementary in our newsletter for many reasons. I am a participant on the committee simply because it affects New Haven. I have heard all the concerns from the public hearings and understand the perspectives and am sure the committee will also again go over each of the shared perspectives and concerns. I'm sorry that some are looking to twist words or create a conspiracy, but at the end of the year, we are losing children and families that we have grown to love and admire, and I will be losing staff that I adore and consider family. I will not engage in debate because I don't want to sacrifice relationships that I currently have. I do regret that it has caused such a divide in our community. I would never want this for anyone. If you have specific comments that you would like to share, you can contact Mr. Ford with your feedback, and he will share them directly with the committee.
Currently, we have 900++ children that are New Haven students and we will continue to care for them this year, and even when some of them are not enrolled at New Haven next year, we will continue to care for them- because we have built relationships with both the children and their families. I don't discount people's concerns and admire the thoughts and feelings being shared respectfully. I am hopeful that the majority of our families understand that this is not an "Us -vs- Them" situation, and saddened by anyone that has adopted that line of thought. We are currently your families school, and some of us will be the administration and staff at Steeple Chase, and my greatest hope is that relationships can be maintained.
Although, an important change for many of our families, my priority is ensuring that our building stays safe and healthy, and our children are receiving the best instruction that we can provide in the midst of all these changing pandemic requirements. My biggest focus is that we are providing an education to our kids while integrating as much "normal & NH tradition" in the midst of all of this chaos. I don't discount anything else going on, but I want you to understand where my focus is and will continue to be.
Student activities, clubs, and events
VETERANS DAY- We are unbelievably upset that we can't have a Veterans Day program this year, but we felt the desire to do something to honor our Vets. The PTA has sent out information looking for those that have served so that each classroom can adopt them. Classes will create a "Thank you" and it will be on display at the McDonalds on US 42. We THANK YOU for your sacrifices and service!
ACADEMIC TEAM- looks like we are going to try to get some of our 4th and 5th graders together to have an academic team this year. Ms. Padgett and Mrs. Haley will be our fabulous coaches again this year. It looks like the matches will be virtual.... not really sure what that will look like, but I know that we will figure it out for the kids. Because we cannot have OPEN tryouts, we will be looking at a number of things such as STAR reading and math, teacher recommendation, attendance, general interest, etc. It has not started yet, but more information will be put out.
BASEKTBALL- we've have had many kids ask about basketball and cheerleading... Unfortunately, we have had to turn our GYM into the overflow cafeteria in order to keep students 6 feet from each other while eating. Unless things change, I don't see us being able to pull this off. However, I am working with Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Haley to figure somethings out- even a "shortened" season. So, it's not a complete NO yet. Hang in there for more information. If we can make it happen for our kids safely, we will.
2nd Semester Decision Commitment
Keeping up with the Calendar Chaos
2nd- PTA General Meeting 7:00 pm (zoom invite)
3rd- Election Day- No school
11th- Happy Veterans' day- Thank you for your service!
25th- 27th- Thanksgiving Break
21st- January 3rd= Winter Break
4th- Return to school - 2nd semester model choices take effect.
18th - MLK Jr. Day- No school
SBDM Minority Representative
Unfortunately, we did not have any minority parents interested at this time to be a representative on our School Based Decision Making Council. We do have a teacher representative, and will leave this seat open throughout the year if there is a candidate that decides to run.
If you are a minority parent and you are interested in sitting on our SBDM council, please contact Mrs. Goble at email@example.com at anytime throughout the year.