WHPS Remote Elementary School

September 18, 2020

Message from the Principal

First and most importantly, I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe. We understand the extraordinary pressure you are facing as you balance caring for your children, helping them learn, and supporting your families.


As they do in the first weeks of school each year, our teachers are establishing social-emotional foundations and classroom routines that are essential to academic learning. We appreciate your support as students and their teachers build new learning communities in this remote learning environment. As classes build learning communities and engage in online learning together, we seek your help to ensure that students are using video conference tools and learning platforms in productive and appropriate ways.


To optimize these times of remote instruction, all students and caregivers supporting them need to comply with the following District expectations while accessing remote learning:


  • Find a place to access remote learning class that is free of distractions for both your student and everyone participating in class.
  • Be on time and ready to participate.
  • All students should mute their microphones during instruction unless otherwise told to do so by their teacher.
  • Students and anyone in view on camera are required to dress appropriately when utilizing remote access.
  • The same rules of conduct and behavior of the classroom setting apply to the remote school setting. Students are responsible for appropriate behavior. This includes using respectful communications with teachers and peers.
  • The chat feature should not be utilized unless otherwise instructed by the teacher to do so.
  • Students should have backgrounds that are not distracting during class sessions (i.e., televisions turned off).
  • Students should not be traveling in cars or joining families on medical appointments or errands during class time. If your family has an unanticipated circumstance that does not allow attendance at school without distraction, please call in an absence for your child.
  • Be respectful and patient with school staff, caregivers supporting classmates, and peers.
  • All individuals shall comply with all Board of Education policies, including but not limited to those concerning the confidentiality of student records and acceptable use of district computer systems. By participating in the remote learning program, students, parents, guardians and other caregivers agree to abide by these requirements. Any recording, release or disclosure of confidential information about other students or their families, and any disruption to the delivery of instruction to any student, may result in the modification of online remote learning privileges.


Finally, please be sure that your classroom teacher has up-to-date email and phone information to support communication with you. If you are new to our school this week, please see our remote learning website (blue button below) for previous newsletters and an overview of the program. Classroom teachers, my team and I will maintain communication through ongoing newsletters.


Within this new setting, our neighborhood school contains voices from across all of West Hartford. We will develop new bonds among educators and families in our online school. We are one West Hartford community, here to support each other this year!


Wishing a good year to our families celebrating Rosh Hashanah this weekend.


In partnership,

Kerry Jones

Remote Elementary School Principal

Director of Elementary Education

WHPS Remote Learning Experience (RLE) School Website

Our district website is accessible in multiple languages through a translate feature.

Big picture
Source: https://cprl.law.columbia.edu/research-projects/csde-columbia-university-center-public-research-and-leadership-and-connecticut


At our first Principal "Coffee" Meet-up next week (September 21 @ 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.), I will frame opening of school reflections around four distance learning commitments (above). These commitments are part of guidance for "creation of equitable, high-quality, and culturally responsive and sustaining remote learning" shared with districts in early August by the State of Connecticut Department of Education in collaboration with the Center for Public Research and Leadership and Columbia University.


As a new school community, our school team looks forward to hearing from you and developing new partnerships and shared commitments around these four critical areas.

Remote Learning (RLE) Directory and Start of School Survey

We know that you may be interested in connecting with other remote learning families this year within our virtual environment. We will create a Remote Elementary Learning Experience (RLE) Directory to share in early October for families who choose (opt-in) to have their information included this publication.


Please share information you would like to include in the Elementary RLE Directory using this form - also below - no later than September 30 (one form for each child attending the RLE elementary school) Please note that the RLE Directory will not include any student or family information without your permission. If we do not receive a response on this form by September 30, child/family information will not be included in the directory.


We also have a few brief questions regarding:

- your experience in the first few weeks of the year (celebrations, needs and questions)

- your interesting in volunteering or supporting our school through representation on a parent-teacher leadership council. The council will be developed in October in consultation with the principal and districtwide Parent-Teacher Council.


We appreciate your support and feedback!

Who are the teachers in the remote school?

The WHPS Elementary RLE School is comprised of professional elementary educators and support staff from across the district. Staff member names are posted to the district website: http://whps.org/remotelearning.

How do I contact the remote school office?

Our remote school office has a dedicated phone line for elementary and secondary schools (860) 561-6609. Please call that number to report absences or contact our office team with any questions or concerns.


Mrs. Angela Tokarz is the remote school secretary for both the elementary and secondary remote schools and can be reached at (860) 561-6609 or angela_tokarz@whps.org. Mrs. Sarah Falvey provides office support to the elementary remote learning school via the number above or email at sarah_falvey@whps.org.

Updated Contact Information and Technology Responsible Use Form needed

We need to be sure all parents/guardians update contact information and sign an electronic Student Responsible Use Guidelines Form for technology use through our Powerschool Parent Portal: https://www.whps.org/powerschool.


When you are signed into the PowerSchool parent portal, go to the Forms icon in the menu to access those forms. You will find a Contact Phone and Email form, an Emergency Contacts form as well as a Student Responsible Use Guidelines form.


Please see this New School Year information Tech Reminders for instructions on how to create and navigate your account in the portal.

Student Responsible Use of Technology

Please review these important technology expectations for students and families. As noted above, students and parents/guardians should sign off on these guidelines in Powerschool no later than October 1

Celebrating Latinx/National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long tribute to the culture and accomplishments of Hispanic-American and Latinx-American people. "The history of Latino people in America is part of American history" (ADL, 2019. p. 1)


History

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began as National Hispanic Heritage Week, was first observed in 1968. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of the declaration of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondura, and Nicaragua. Mexico (Sept 16), Chile (Sept 18) and Belize (Sept 18) also celebrate independence days during this month.


As in many communities, West Hartford Public Schools will include the Latinx community in our recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month to include all people of Latin descent including the Brazilian heritage as well.


Resources for Students:

Student will explore the following resources in school:



Resources for Adults


Specials Classes Update

We appreciate your ongoing patience as we work to schedule these classes, knowing you are looking to develop an at-home routine for your children each week. We continue to work with special area staff many of whom are also teaching within the in-school hybrid model (alternating weeks). Our delay in start time to the week of September 29 will ensure that remote learning students have a consistent schedule. RLE staff will also have clear communication/technology links with colleagues across our 11 elementary schools. As noted in our RLE handbook, the remote school experience may not be able to offer all opportunities afforded in our in-person program. However, be assured that we will start specials classes the week of September 29 to align with hybrid group rotations. The schedule will be communicated by classroom teachers by email or through SeeSaw/Google Classroom learning platforms.


Next week, your children will have opportunity to engage in specials activities prepared by our RLE music and physical education teachers, Gwen Cardona (music) and Bonnie Arcari (physical education). These will be shared by your child's classroom teacher via email or SeeSaw/Google Classroom postings.


You might also utilize these resources to engage your child in arts and physical education activities:

When and where can I pick up a Remote Learning Toolkit?

Remote Learning Toolkits for each Grade PreK-5 child are ready for pick-up next week and will include art and music supplies, journals/whiteboards and other hands-on materials appropriate to each grade level for students and teachers to use during small group and asynchronous learning time.

The toolkits will be available for pick-up at Town Hall (entrance near the flagpole) on the following dates:

  • Thursday, 9/24 from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

  • Friday, 9/25 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

  • Saturday, 9/26, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.


We will schedule pick-ups later this fall for additional materials to support student learning.

School Calendar

District Calendar 2020-2021


September

  • September 15-October 15 Latinx/National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Monday, 9/21 Principal Coffee/Meet-Up (online) 10-10:45 a.m. & 5-5:45 p.m. Click here for link
  • Thursday, 9/24 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. PreK-5 Remote Learning Toolkits available to pick-up @ Town Hall (entrance near flagpole)
  • Friday, 9/25 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. PreK-5 Remote Learning Toolkits available to pick-up @ Town Hall (entrance near flagpole)
  • Saturday, 9/26 9:00-10:30 a.m. Pre-5 Remote Learning Toolkits available to pick-up @ Town Hall (entrance near flagpole)
  • Monday, 9/28-Yom Kippur (no school)


October

  • SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, October 1 - Curriculum Night 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. (online event)
  • Monday, 10/12 Indigenous Peoples Day (no school)

Principal "Coffee" Meet Up

Monday, Sep. 21st, 10-10:45am

This is an online event.

Join Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal, Remote Learning Coordinators and other staff to hear about opening of school, meet other caregivers, and share your celebrations, questions, or concerns.


Join by Google Meet: meet.google.com/jxp-dmun-yqh


Join by phone

‪(US) +1 619-483-1631‬ PIN: ‪508 572 306‬#

Principal "Coffee" Meet Up

Monday, Sep. 21st, 5-5:45pm

This is an online event.

Join Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal, Remote Learning Coordinators and other staff to hear about opening of school, meet other caregivers, and share your celebrations, questions, or concerns.


Join by Google Meet: meet.google.com/jxp-dmun-yqh


Join by phone

‪(US) +1 619-483-1631‬ PIN: ‪508 572 306‬#

http://whps.org/remotelearning

Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal & Director of Elementary Education

Mrs. Sarah Falvey, Remote Elementary School Office Support

sarah_falvey@whps.org

Mrs. Angela Tokarz, Remote School Secretary

angela_tokarz@whps.org