August 3, 2020
Dear Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion families,
I hope everyone is well and enjoying the last days of summer vacation. I want to welcome everyone back to school and share some important dates and information concerning the return to school. As you are aware, due to the recent spike in COVID 19 cases, safety concerns, and general uncertainty, Superintendent Baker and the Redwood City School Board of Education approved the reopening of schools plan to be Full Distance Learning beginning on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 19th, and through the end of the First Trimester(November 20th). I imagine that prior to the end of the First Trimester another evaluation of the number of COVID 19 cases will happen and a decision made whether it is safe to phase in to reopen with a Hybrid Model or continue with Distance Learning. A reminder that the district has set up an informational resource for parents and the community on the district web page called the Roadmap to Reopening of Schools.
The Distance Learning schedule and expectations for learning are still being finalized, but do expect more rigorous expectations than last Spring. There will be a combination of Synchronous instruction or daily "live" Meetings via Google Meet with the teachers, and Asynchronous instruction/learning for students daily. The Asynchronous learning is the independent work a student completes such as viewing and learning from the pre-recorded lessons made by the teacher, reading to self, journal writing, RAZkids and DreamBoax apps on the iPads or Chromebooks, Envision Math workbook work, projects, etc. We will need to follow these general guidelines or expectations in terms of daily instructional time:
1. Minimal Minutes of daily instruction: Synchronous + Asynchronous
Kindergarten: 180 (3 hours)
Grades 1-3: 230 (almost 4 hours)
Grades 4-8: 240 (4 hours)
2. Prioritize Language Arts (Reading/Writing), Math, Social Studies, Science, and English Language Development focusing on grade level priority standards.
3. Provide flexibility for students to complete asynchronous assignments during the day, so as to not negatively impact home environment or internet access. However, we will establish a suggested daily schedule (which is still being worked out by grade level teacher teams).
4. Provide for breaks, exercise, enrichment, fun, self-selected activities.
5. Attendance will be taken daily
I do expect the majority of the students suggested daily schedule will happen between 8:15-2:30 like our regular school schedule(1:30 for the Kindergarteners). I expect there will be whole class Meets at the beginning of the school day and then a few more Google Meets in small groups during the school day in the different subject areas like Math, Reading, Science/Social Studies, ELD. These Meets will most likely be between 15-20 minutes long. As soon as suggested schedules are finalize by our grade level teams, I will send them out to you.
We will not have our traditional Back to School/MAZE day like previous years. We will be notifying all parents of the students Homeroom Teacher assignment this coming Friday, August 7th via text/email. I encourage you to complete the Back to School Update(about which the school district has already sent you an email) as we need accurate and up to date address, email, and cell phone information for each family. We also need all families to complete the Free and Reduced Lunch Application Form to qualify for free or reduced priced meals for your children. Our Unidos PTO has set up a Back to School/Virtual MAZE day on the Unidos WebPage that will be available starting on August 10th where all families can access virtually what we normally would provide at the MAZE day. For example, you can complete the Unidos Membership Toolkit, purchase school spirit clothing, sign up to volunteer for School Site Council, English Language Advisory, and Art in Action volunteer opportunities(which will be virtual as well). It is also important to try and make a donation to Unidos PTO (of which we are all members) as the funding goes to support all students at our school! Additionally, I have attached the district school calendar, school map, and suggested Student Suggested Materials/ Supply list to this newsletter below. From the Student Suggested Materials/Supply lists, we will also be trying our best to put together learning supply "toolkits" for students that can be picked up on August 17th and 18th when you come to borrow the iPads or Chromebooks(the reason I say "trying" is it is possible some of the items will be on back order). However, I do encourage you to purchase your own supplies if possible for your child.
Please help me to welcome our new teachers to our school(see photos below). Adriana Gomez will be teaching 2nd grade out of Room 407. Sara Martinez Carroza will be teaching 2nd Grade out of Room 406. Ignacio Leon Guillen will be teaching 5th grade Social Studies/ ELD out of Room 509. Michelle Pacquete will be teaching RSP in Room 508 mostly working with 4th and 5th graders.
I have heard concerns from TK-2nd grade families about Distance Learning and the ability to support learning in Spanish at home when they speak only English. I want to remind everyone and I am proud to say that we are a model Sobrato Early Academic Language school. Our TK-3rd grade teachers are well prepared with the best strategies to teach language thematically and make Spanish vocabulary and content comprehensible for English only students who might be more challenged learning Spanish in a Distance Learning model. An advantage of the asynchronous, pre-recorded lessons during Distance Learning is that they can be played multiple times-- making it easier to pick up vocabulary and content(much the same way we would play a new song we like over and over until we memorize the lyrics). I also want to remind everyone that content/information transfers between languages. Families can do read alouds or work on math problems in English and the content will transfer and support students learning in Spanish. For example, important reading comprehension strategies like asking questions about the setting, the characteristics of the main characters, how the problem of the story was resolved, is content that transfers from English to Spanish or vice versa. TK-1st families can also listen and have fun with Spanish songs like from Jose Luis Orozco where phonics and repetition make learning of Spanish vocabulary easier. I am optimistic and confident that even though there are challenges with Distance Learning, students will learn in both languages and progress to meeting the goal of becoming bilingual by the 5th grade. To that end, and our goal of promoting bilingualism, I want to remind everyone that, "Our Hearts Beat in 2 Languages!"
Chromebooks, iPads, Hot Spots
It is important that all families that borrowed Chromebooks or WiFI Hot Spot Devices in the Spring return them August 5th, 6th or 7th at Hoover School between 9:00am-4:00pm. Please make sure you return the borrowed items so they can be refurbished and redistributed to families for this coming school year. All families will have the chance to borrow Wi Fi Hot Spot devices and iPads for TK, K, 1st grades or Chromebooks for 2nd-5th grades on August 17th and 18th(schedule TBD).
School Name, Mascot, Dress Code
Dr. Baker and the School Board did approve Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School as the final name for our school. Our next step is to order and install a new marquee sign for the front of the school and signage throughout the site. We will also work through the School Site Council on a school mascot. I know many of you suggested and liked the idea of the Alebrije which is a mythical creature from Mexican folklore that is part Jaguar and part Eagle(and was seen in the popular children's movie, "Coco"). However, we will still need to go through a process for finalizing our school mascot. Our school dress code from last year will remain in effect this year for when we return to "live" at school instruction learning. In the meantime, during the Live Google Meets with the teachers during Distance Learning please make sure your child is dressed appropriately and not eating food or chewing gum.
Our school office will be open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00am-4:00pm beginning on August 10th. Please call to make an appointment if you need help. All staff and visitors to campus must:
- wear a mask
- have your temperature taken so we can screen you
- use hand disinfectant when entering the office
- keep 6 feet of social distancing at all times
Please note that due to COVID-19, yearbook printing and distribution was delayed. Yearbooks for the 2019-20 school year are available, and will be a tangible way to look back on the challenging time in our children’s lives. It’s not too late to purchase one here, and 2019-20 yearbooks will be distributed in September.
Please note that the school playgrounds(including play structures and swings) and field are closed. The general public should not be on the school campus.
Important August Dates
- 8/5-8/7 Return Chromebooks and HotSpots borrowed at Hoover School 9:00am-4:00pm
- 8/7 Students Homeroom Teacher assignments sent out via Email/Text to all parents
- 8/10 Unidos PTO Back to School/Virtual MAZE opens
- 8/17-8/18 Distribution of Chromebooks/iPads/Hotspots, school supply kits for students, turn in Back to School information if unable to complete virtually on Unidos webpage: Lunch form, Emergency card, order spirit shirts, etc.
- 8/19 First Day of School Distance Learning
- 8/27 Food Distribution 4:00pm
- 8/28 Virtual Principal's Coffee 9:00AM