Panda Pride News
News for the Parkway School Community - August 13, 2020
A Message from the Principal
Let the Adventure Begin
Dear Parkway Families,
It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I welcome you all to the 2020-21 school year! While we are about to begin a year unlike any other, it is my hope that for our community it will be a year full of learning, joy, and connecting with one another.
Earlier this week, FCPS sent a systemic message via Find Out First with some general information about the reopening of schools. This included a sample instructional schedule. While this information will certainly help families begin to plan for the school year, I recognize that it has also prompted some additional questions. Please know that while schools will be required to work within an instructional framework, we will have flexibility in how we as a school and as individual teachers and grade levels craft their schedules to meet the needs of our students and families.
Our PES Leadership Team has been doing AMAZING work throughout the summer to build the foundation for a schedule that balances instructional expectations with grace and flexibility for students, families, and staff. The team has begun outlining templates for teachers to use in designing their daily schedules. Because teachers are critical to the design of these schedules, the very specific details will be worked out when teachers return on August 24. However, here are some things that I know to be true and can share regarding schedules at PES:
Students will have set times each day for “live”/synchronous Language Arts and Math instruction. However, it does not mean that they will be expected to necessarily be in front of the screen the entire time. These instructional blocks will include time for whole group, small group, and independent work, similar to what would be done in the classroom.
While the samples showed content areas occurring simultaneously (i.e. Language Arts at 9:00 AM across all grade levels), we are working hard to stagger times as to not overwhelm students and families and to allow for support from specialists and interventionists in an equitable manner.
Students will have a daily special class at a scheduled time.
Students will have scheduled live sessions for science, social studies, and PATHS 2-3 times throughout the week.
During our Virtual Open House sessions, teachers will provide a student schedule document that outlines their day. It will be simplified and much more “student/family-friendly” than the samples shared.
Teachers are going to be very mindful of how they plan their day so that students are not required to log on and off multiple times, to the extent possible.
Once again, we are going to exercise flexibility and balance grace with expectations. We understand that there will be times when a child may miss a live session or need something different or additional. Teachers will have time in their schedule to meet with small groups and individuals. We will also have extended learning opportunities outside of the regular school day for students who may not have been able to attend a live session or need additional help.
It is OK to start slow! We are all learning to do things differently.
I also know that no matter the circumstances, our teachers know teaching and learning, they know their content, and they love and care for their students deeply. These truths assure me that we are ready to start the year strong, and remind me that we truly are #BetterTogether.
News to Know
*Learn at Home Kits and Chromebook Distribution
-Information regarding how to obtain a Chromebook if you need one and your child's "Learn at Home Kit" will be included in next week's teacher assignment letter. Drive-thru pick up times will be scheduled throughout the week of August 24.
*Schoology Access Codes and Resources
-Information regarding the online learning management system Schoology will be sent systemically the week of August 17. This information will include access codes and links to resources and videos. (More school-specific details will be shared by your child's teacher.)
*A Virtual Meet the Principal event will be held on Thursday, August 20.
Times: Kindergarten - 1:00 PM, 1st - 1:15, 2nd - 1:30, 3rd - 1:45, 4th - 2:00, 5th - 2:15
Meeting link for all grades: https://meet.google.com/ssy-pohe-yds
*A Virtual Open House will be held during the afternoon of Thursday, August 27
(Specific times TBD by grade levels and teachers.)
-Students and parents will have the opportunity to say hello to their new teachers, introduce themselves, and learn more details about their virtual classroom schedule. Meeting links will be sent via Find Out First.