Gecko Gazette

Principal Weekly Update (9/27/20) - Edition 3

Message from Principal Cain

Greetings, Gecko Families!

As we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall days, I'd like to thank you, for investing your time last week at our virtual Back to School Night this past week. We are better together, and your teamwork and support make an enormous difference for our learners.

I wanted to take a moment to point to some quick tutorials I put together on/around Back to School Night that relate to this newsletter. Did you know that this newsletter can be translated into many different languages in a matter of seconds? If this would be useful to you or someone else you know, watch this brief tutorial that walks you through how to enable the translation feature.

We also have recently learned that School Messenger (the platform that SDUSD most frequently uses to send batch emails to families) is sometimes only sending one parent these emails. We are working to resolve this issue. However, in the meantime, you can still ensure you are receiving an email notification for this newsletter. Please watch this brief tutorial that walks you through the quick process.

I hope these resources are ones you find helpful and that you are all capping off a wonderful weekend!


Michele Cain

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New! Our Online Student Absence Reporting Form is Now Live on the Grant Website!

If your learner is ill or otherwise must miss a day of school in online learning, we ask that you please call the Grant School office at (619) 293-4420 OR complete our online absence reporting form to report your child absent. The online absence reporting form is new and is intended to provide greater flexibility and convenience for parents and guardians. Please see the images below that will point out the various ways you can now access this form on our school website.

Please connect with Grant Attendance Clerk Terri Anderson if you have any attendance related concerns or questions. You can leave her a voicemail message at (619) 293-4420 or connect with her via email during online learning (

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Middle School Grade Reporting Information

For the 2020-21 school year, the grade reporting for our year-long courses will be slightly different than in years prior. Please see below for clarification on progress report and final grade reporting:

  1. Our first progress report grade, S1P1, will be issued for classes that students took between August 31st and October 2nd. Students will ONLY receive progress report grades and citizenship marks for the classes they attended during this time. Any classes not yet attended will have NO grade or citizenship reported.

  2. Our second progress report grade, S2P2, will be issued as follows:

    1. For classes taken between Aug. 31st and Oct. 30th, an updated academic and citizenship grade will be reported.

    2. For classes students started on Nov. 2nd, a progress report grade and citizenship mark will be reported based on class participation from Nov. 2nd through Dec. 4th.

  3. Final Grades - final grades for ALL classes will be issued at the end of Semester 1, S1. (The Semester 1 grading period will end on January 22nd, 2021.)

Elementary School Reporting Periods

November 6, 2020: Elementary Reporting Period 1 Ends

February 26, 2021: Elementary Reporting Period 2 Ends

June 15, 2021: Elementary Reporting Period 3 Ends

SDUSD Visiting Teachers ("Subs") During Online Learning 2.0

As we are a few weeks into the new school year, some teachers have needed to report themselves as absent. A few questions have come up regarding the San Diego Unified School District policy for when these events do need to happen during online learning 2.0. As you are aware, during a conventional school year, if a teacher needed to report as absent, he or she would have a substitute teacher. The online learning 2.0 procedures are somewhat different.

During online learning 2.0, if a teacher must be absent, he or she is required to report that absence to the school and record the absence accordingly (just as they would during a conventional school year). What is different during online learning 2.0 is that, if the absence is less than five days, educators can provide instruction asynchronously as long as daily attendance is taken.

Absences longer than a school week (5 days) should have a visiting teacher. Educators must prepare lesson plans for the visiting teacher (also known as a substitute teacher or "sub") just as they would do during conventional onsite instruction. A select group of visiting teachers has been trained by SDUSD to provide online instruction.

Weekly Optional Principal Zooms

This week's Optional Parent Zoom with the Principal:

Weds., 9/30/20 (7:00 - 7:45pm)

Meeting ID: 832 5468 9023

Password: Gecko

School Wide Class Competition Coming Up (October 5th!)

We are in the midst of our fall fundraiser for STEAM programs at Grant. Our Imagine Campaign, run by the Grant Foundation, raises money for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math programming at Grant.

From October 5-23, we will be holding a school wide competition between classes. Our hope is for all families to contribute at whatever level they are able, and we will be giving ice cream prizes to the classes that reach 75% participation or above.

Imagine funds pay for our science lab coordinator, Elena Banks, our art instructor, Sarah Ekedal, engineering lab resources, and art materials for art classes. 90% of the money raised by Imagine goes to the programs for students at Grant.

Donations are tax deductible, there are incentives, and your donation might be matched by your employer. It's easy to set up monthly, recurring payments to make contributing easier on your budget.

The competition starts October 5th! Links will be sent to make online contributions easy or just go to and click on meet the Foundation board, and imagine campaign to make a donation now! *Make sure you select your child’s (children’s) teacher(s) so their class gets credit.

This is a great way to support the fabulous STEAM programs at Grant.

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Important ZOOM Troubleshooting Tips & Updates

Are You/Your Students Dropping from Zooms?

Are you having trouble with students losing connectivity during synchronous teaching?

  • Remind students to power down and restart their computers at least once a week.

  • At the start of the session, ask all students to close all tabs or windows they don’t need at the time. You may even suggest they power down other devices at home connected to the internet that are not in use.

  • Have students update Chrome. To do this, they can visit the Family Support Website

Updated Troubleshooting for Joining Authenticated Meetings?

These three problems solving procedures will resolve most issues when joining authenticated Zoom meetings from a district Chromebook. Please try in order. For example, if #1 doesn’t work, try #2. If #2 doesn’t work, try #3.

  1. Sign in through before joining the meeting. Click here for video tutorial

  2. Uninstall the Zoom extension. Click here for video tutorial

  3. Sign in into the extension with SSO. Click here for video tutorial