HPES Parent Update

04/20/2020

From the Principal

Highland Park Parents,


First, let me say I hope you and your family are safe and healthy as you read this newsletter.


On Friday, Governor Greg Abbott announced an executive order to close all schools in the state of Texas for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Pflugerville ISD, along with all other districts in the state, will comply with this executive order and continue our remote learning that is currently in place for the rest of the school year. Although our buildings remain closed, students will continue to receive instruction and assignments through our Remote Learning platform.


While I am very saddened by this fact, I trust and respect the decisions made by our health officials and state leaders. We miss our students, colleagues, friends, and families very much. Please know our first priority will always be the health and safety of our students and staff.


Though our school buildings are closed, learning is still very much in session. Our Highland Park teachers and staff are committed to work throughout the end of the school year to provide online instruction our students. I am extremely appreciative of our students, parents, teachers, and staff, for their positivity, flexibility and resilience during these unprecedented times.


As always, try your best to stay home, and keep yourself and your family healthy!


Warm Regards,


Lizbeth Ruiz

Don't Forget this week is our Virtual Spirit Week!

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VERY SPECIAL VIDEO FROM HPES!

Parents,


Please share this video with your children. It is a special message from our staff to our students. We want as many students as possible get to see this! It is absolutely beautiful and a true reflection of us missing our students!


Click on this link to view it:

https://www.facebook.com/HighlandParkES/videos/544486079836310/


Special Thanks to Ms. Sanguinetti for putting this together for us!

Grading Guidelines

Just as we have transitioned from our brick and mortar buildings to our homes, this unprecedented situation has also caused us to reconsider and transition our grading policies, regulations, and guidelines to fit our new reality. After much discussion and careful thought, our Board of Trustees approved adjusted grading guidelines and policies for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We believe these new guidelines will allow us to measure a students' mastery of the district curriculum, provide timely and meaningful feedback to students and parents, and allow for multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of learning while at home.

A detailed outline of our COVID-19 grading guidelines can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_1EQXrcM_Vq-DpZW25nERzY3hoapxpyRcsJydp1_8yM/edit?usp=sharing.


This outline will also be shared on our Remote Learning Website and the district's Coronavirus webpage.


Highlights of the COVID-19 Grading Guidelines include:


  • PK-8 grade assignments/4th 9-weeks/semester grades will be evaluated using a Pass (P) or Incomplete (I) system.
  • 9-12 (including middle school courses that issue high school credits) assignments/4th 9-weeks/semester grades will receive numerical grades; grades below a 70 will earn an Incomplete (I).
  • The calculation of the grade point average and class rank for the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, [and 2024 (note: for current eighth-graders taking high school-level courses, e.g., algebra)], will not include grades from the 2020 Spring semester.
  • For graduating Seniors, final GPA and class rank will be determined using final semester grades from Fall 2019.


Again, there are more details outlined in the complete COVID-19 grading guidelines linked above. Please reach out to your campus Principals with questions or if you need support implementing these guidelines.

Important Staff Contact Information

Teachers and campus administrators have Google Voice accounts so that they can call parents. Many of us do not answer phone calls from numbers we do not recognize. (Trying to avoid telemarketers!) If a staff member calls you and you don't answer they will leave a message. Please check your messages. You can call the staff member back using that same phone number.


Teachers are available to support distance learning from 9:00 - 12:00 Monday through Thursday. That entails answering questions, giving feedback, technical support, etc. During this time, they are required to be available to all students and parents in their class.


In addition, teachers have designated virtual conference times set aside to conference with parents should the need arise. Please see conference times below:


PK: 10:15 - 11: 05 a.m.

Kinder: 11:00- 11:50 a.m.

1st: 9:00-9:50 a.m

2nd:11:00-11:50 a.m.

3rd:1:30-2:20 p.m

4th: 11:00- 11:50 a.m.

5th:9:10- 10:00 a.m

Intervention:1:00- 1:50 a.m.

Special Education: 11:00-11:50 a.m

Specials:11:00-11:50 a.m.


If you would like to have a parent conference, please email your child's teacher and they can set up a conference with you.

Monday Morning Announcements

Morning announcements are a big deal to our bulldogs! We love to start our week with the pledges, weather forecast, birthdays, joke of the week, reminders, etc. We have figured out a way to video tape our morning announcements and put on the Highland Park Elementary School Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. every Monday. Tune in then, or watch them later!


Click on the link to access this week's Monday morning announcements: https://www.facebook.com/HighlandParkES/videos/2131363477010349/

Principal Read Aloud

I have missed our students and want to connect with them! Oneof my favorite things do is share my love for reading with our students. I have found a way to get permission from the publisher and record myself doing a read aloud and will be posting on our campus Facebook every Monday morning for our students to enjoy! If your kids have a specific book they would like me to read, please email me or post it on our Facebook comments and I will see if I can find it! Also don't forget to let me know if they liked the read aloud! I will try to read a book in both English and Spanish when possible!


Click on the link below to watch the read aloud- This week I will be reading "Sofia Valdez Future Prez".


Click here for the read-aloud:

https://www.facebook.com/HighlandParkES/videos/240801187120689/

A Note from the Counselor; Anna Vazquez

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A note from our Librarian; Ms. Reyes

Let's keep our students reading!! Click on the link below for some really great ideas in English and Spanish!


https://docs.google.com/document/d/17QzoXavFZ_JgUDfkivGpF7qYD0PnvhkEpiDEkVIwuNE/edit?usp=sharing

Section 504

Section 504:

All student plans have been emailed to parents. Do you have questions about the plan? Not sure what accommodations are? You may contact Anna Vazquez @ anna.vazquez@pfisd.net

Special Education

Students currently served under Special Education will continue services. Our Special Education team is collaboration with our classroom teachers to ensure that we are best serving each student. Emails and ARD invitations will come from Miranda Barcena. Please contact your child's teacher or our Assistant Principal Jesus Olivas at jesus.olivas@pfisd.net if you have questions.

Gifted & Talented Information

Parent notification letters have been mailed to students nominated for Gifted and Talented. Please check your mailbox this week for results. You may contact Anna Vazquez @ anna.vazquez@pfisd.net with questions.

Backpack Pfriends:

Students receiving Backpack Pfriends will have the option to pick up items Thursdays at any pick up location. You will need to verify your student’s name and campus to receive your items.

Let's Talk Platform

Our Let's Talk platform is designed for parents to ask questions or submit comments. It is up running and the district has received more than 100 questions and comments from our staff, parents, and students. It has buttons on the following topics: Payroll, Food Services/Meals, Technology, HR/Benefits/Leaves, Online Learning, Google Classroom and General Coronavirus Questions. Additionally, there is buttons for each campus to direct any questions or comments directly to the principal and the senior administrative associate a the campus. Click here to learn more about the system.

Administrators are Dividing and Conquering

HPES Families, we appreciate all the support and encouraging words we have received as we roll out distance learning. Nothing can replace face to face interactions with our young bulldogs but we are excited to see them be delighted to continue to learn and achieve greatness under these unprecedented circumstances. With that being said we still have over 700 kids and 80 staff to communicate via email with daily. Our administrative team has decided to divided and conquer so we can make sure everyone is taken care of in a timely manner. See below our new communication guide (this will help you get your questions and concerns to the correct administrator):


Anna Vazquez: PPCD(Pegasus)/PK, and Office Staff

Lizbeth Ruiz: Kinder, 1st Grade, Intervention team

Gina Lochner: 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade

Jesus Olivas: 4th Grade,5th Grade, and Special Education team


If you reply to this HPES Parent Newsletter, please include your child's name and grade in your reply. I recently realized some of the correspondence was going to my spam inbox and I have fixed the issue. If you had sent me something and received no response, please email me once again. I am now checking my spam inbox daily as well. I try really hard to respond within 24 hours!


Help your neighbors stay informed

We have many email addresses and families that are on this email list, however, if you hear that someone is not receiving my emails or district emails, please send their email address and name to me at lizbeth.ruiz@pfisd.net. Spread the word! The more informed we are, the better!

REMOTE LEARNING PACKET LOCATIONS

Remote Learning Packets are now available via newspaper mailboxes at the following locations:


Pflugerville High School

Dessau Middle School

Kelly Lane Middle School

Park Crest Middle School

Westview Middle school

Copperfield Elementary

Northwest Elementary

Pflugerville Elementary

Wieland Elementary

Windermere Elementary


They are placed at the grab-and-go meal locations across the district. Packets will be returned at the same locations from 8-9 am and 11 am – 1 pm on Mondays .

Curbside Meals Update-

Pflugerville ISD is providing free grab-and-go breakfast/lunch/ dinner meals to all PfISD students at ten locations across the district. Grab-and-go meals will be available for curbside pickup at the following times. Families can pick up meals curbside in the carpool lanes at the campuses listed below. Parents may pick up breakfast and lunch at the same time. For those who do not drive and need to walk to pick up the meal, you will be allowed to walk and pick them up to go. Access to enter the buildings will not be available.


  • Breakfast: 8 - 9 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Texas Department of Agriculture recently adjusted requirements for parents picking up meals without children present. Pflugerville ISD will begin going forward with TDA guidance starting Monday, April 6.


What to expect at each meal distribution site:


1. Be prepared to present one of the following through the window upon meal pick-up:


  • Official letter/email from school listing children enrolled
  • Individual student report cards
  • Attendance record from parent portal of school website
  • Birth certificate for children
  • Student ID cards


2. Parents may not receive meals for other children.


3. Each meal provided to parents on behalf of children must be documented by the organization.


  • Pflugerville High School
    1301 W. Pecan Street
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660


  • Dessau Middle School
    12900 Dessau Road
    Austin, Texas 78754


  • Kelly Lane Middle School
    18900 Falcon Pointe Blvd.
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660


  • Park Crest Middle School
    1500 N. Railroad
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660


  • Westview Middle School
    1805 Scofield Ln.
    Austin, Texas 78727


  • Copperfield Elementary
    12135 Thompkins Drive
    Austin, Texas 78753


  • Northwest Elementary
    14014 Thermal Dr.
    Austin, Texas 78728


  • Pflugerville Elementary
    701 Immanuel Rd.
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660


  • Wieland Elementary
    900 Tudor House Rd.
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660


  • Windermere Elementary
    429 Grand Ave. Pkwy.
    Pflugerville, Texas 78660

TROUBLE PICKING UP FOOD OR PACKETS FROM ONE OF THESE LOCATIONS?

Please reply to the Highland Park Newsletter email. We will contact you to help find a solution so that your child will be able to get their meals and/or paper based learning.

If you know of someone else who might be having difficulty going to pick up the food or paper based learning, please let us know as well.

EDUCATING WITH ZOOM

Teachers and staff have the opportunity to use Zoom as a way to communicate with your child(ren) to provide instruction and support through technology. Zoom is a leader in modern business video communications, with an easy and reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars on mobile devices, desktops, phones, and room systems.


As we start educating with Zoom, we want to share some rules with you and give you the opportunity to exclude your student from live interactions. All meetings will be held under district- established guidelines.


Click this link and complete this form ONLY if you would like your child to opt out of zoom lessons. https://forms.gle/RiduyPKn5KmA3qEQ9


In addition, some teachers have opted to use other district approved platforms to send pre-recorded lessons to students such as Class Dojo, Seesaw, Classtag, and Google Classroom. Please double check with your teacher on what platform they are using.

PARENT ADVICE FOR MONITORING TECHNOLOGY

Parents,


Monitor, monitor, monitor your children's access using phones and computers during these next couple of weeks and beyond. Adults outside of education, with bad intentions, may be using this unprecedented online access to communicate with children. Students will also be reaching out to one another to connect during these uncertain times and we are not available to assist in monitoring these interactions and conflicts that arise.


Suggestions for safe usage:


  • You should be able to access your child's technology at any time.
  • Check their last post, Tik Tok upload, Instagram dms and text, etc..., frequently.
  • Check their stored photos
  • Have online access in an open space such as the kitchen or living room - if a bedroom is the only option, the door should be open, and make the rounds frequently to check on their activity.


Sending a student into a closed bedroom for hours with an unsupervised laptop or cell phone can be very dangerous for children. Let us know how we can help!

ELECTRONIC DEVICE ACCESS

If your student does not have access to an electronic device or Internet, please use one of the links below to apply for technology assistance.


CANCELED EVENTS

Due to the ongoing circumstances all scheduled activities related to Pflugerville ISD schools are cancelled during the school closure. This also includes all district and campus events and competitions.

Access Clever at Home

Clever is a portal that PfISD uses for students to access many educational resources.

Go to PfISD.net>student tab>clever. The login is your student’s “s” number and password. Most students have this memorized by this point. If not, reach out to your child's teacher.


Click on the link below to watch a video that will teach you how to access CLEVER from home!


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GwVgmDFWknECL6MzP5N3WT-DDO8haOvh

FREE ONLINE READING RESOURCE TO USE AT HOME

MYSTERY SCIENCE

Great news. Mystery Science has opened up all their videos for distance learning. Your student can look at which videos are of interest, and there are some fantastic ones. Happy viewing.


https://mysterydoug.com/

https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning

FREE HOME ACCESS FOR STUDENTS TO ABC MOUSE, ADVENTURE ACADEMY & READING IQ DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES

Age of learning is providing free resources while our campus is closed. All three programs can be used on tablets, computers, and smartphones. Click on the link below and follow the instructions.


https://www.ageoflearning.com/school_closure_pdf/ParentLetter_AofL_SCHOOL7581.pd

CHARACTER AND FITNESS VIDEOS AT HOME

We hope this resource serves not only as a helpful diversion while the kids are home, but also as an opportunity for families to engage in character-building conversations while also staying active at home.


http://boosterthoncharacter.com/

Code: ONLINE


* There’s no cost to register

* 75 + streaming videos with character topics and fitness exercises (PBIS, SEL, STEAM, etc.)

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