Hello Chabot Community,
Since my last communication we have learned that OUSD schools will remain closed through the rest of the academic year. I am sure that most of you, like all of us on staff, are still trying to wrap your heads around this new reality and what it might mean for all of us in the Chabot community.
SUPPORTING EACH OTHER – As principal, my number one concern remains the physical and mental well being of all the people in our community – students, staff, and families. We are all experiencing some degree of trauma and grief. Although this is a challenging time for pretty much everyone in the world, it is also an opportunity to come together in community in ways we can just begin to imagine. Our initial efforts at fundraising for Chabot families in need yielded a few thousand dollars; almost all of this has already been distributed to families. If you are in a position to donate money to help Chabot families purchase groceries or other basic needs, please reach out
If you are a Chabot family in need of a grocery gift card or quarantined in need of an extra hand to purchase items? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work with you to coordinate our efforts. Please be sure to leave your students’ full names, address, and grades so we can verify. Thank you all for coming together in support of our community! We are stronger together and will all make it through this.
We want to stay in touch with you and your family during this time. Please let your classroom teacher, me and/or Celia.Bermeo@ousd.org know if any needs come up for you or your children.
LET’S TALK ABOUT LEARNING
Before we even start talking about what school might look like during the months of April and May, I want to make one absolute promise – no matter what your child does or does not do academically during the next two months, they will be OK when they come back to school. Almost every child in the world is in the same boat. When school reopens, our amazing educators will course correct and get every youngster back on track, we will meet everyone where s/he is at and move them forward.
That said, the Chabot staff is deeply committed to providing a high quality, meaningful educational experience to as many students as possible while the physical school building is closed.
Beginning after Spring Break, Chabot staff is committed to providing the following:
- All Chabot classes, K-5, will have a Google Classroom where teachers will post weekly learning objectives/areas of focus, assignments, links to lessons, videos, communications, etc – Google Classrooms will be updated frequently. Families should check this one spot each day (if possible) for new assignments and information
- On the Google Classrooms, you will find Reading, Writing, Math and Science lessons and assignments; grade level teams are collaborating so all students in a grade have access to the same basic curriculum and lessons
- Every student will have at least two “live” sessions each week with their classroom teacher and classmates; the main focus of these will be connection
- Academic Support will be provided for students who need it. To the degree possible, children with IEPs will work with their regular providers towards IEP goals and full access to curriculum. All students will be able to access our Small Group Specialists who will have regular Office Hours beginning the week of April 13. Teachers will also be working directly with small groups who need support.
- All Enrichments will continue virtually. You can access resources and lessons your teacher’s Google Classrooms. Beginning the week of April 13, Enrichments will also be offering grade level “live” Zoom sessions each afternoon.
- No student will be penalized for not completing assignments or not logging onto Zoom – we know these are challenging times and want to provide families with opportunities for meaningful learning as much as possible without adding to anyone’s stress
Please keep in mind that we just learned that school closures would continue and most of us have been off for Spring Break. We will begin rolling out the above offerings on Monday but it is a work in progress.
TECH ACCESS – we want to make sure ALL families have tech access during this time. In order to help us with that, please fill out this survey as soon as possible. https://forms.gle/
WHAT WE ASK OF PARENTS
We know that families’ abilities to access this Distance Learning during this global health crisis will vary depending on a variety of factors including Families’ access to technology devices and the internet, demands on parents and caregivers, and everyone’s health.
To the degree possible, we recommend that during school days, students spend the following amount of time on academics:
K-1 – 1.5-2 hours/day;
2-3 – 2 – 2.5 hours;
4-5 – 2.5 – 3 hours
Please try to create a schedule where your children are not on-line for hours without a break. These guidelines can always be supplemented by reading – as a family, individually, with friends online . . . As an added bonus, our annual Read-a-thon will be coming soon!
As always, I firmly believe that the most important ingredient to learning is our children’s mental and physical well being. Please know that the at home learning work is an offering for you and your children. Many children thrive with routines and structure; for others too much school work might cause unnecessary stress. You are with your children full time and have the best window as to where they are and what will benefit them. If your child is struggling with the work, try giving them choices “You can do this Math now or after lunch, in the kitchen or in your bedroom.” Definitely let your teachers know about any sustained challenges and please feel free to reach out to me directly or to our wonderful TSA, Celia.Bermeo@ousd.org if you have any questions or concerns around this topic.
Remember your teachers are experiencing the same global crisis as you are. There is no elementary school educator who ever could have imagined that all of school would turn “virtual” overnight and we are all doing our very best to adapt. Similar to how school normally operates, every “classroom” will be a different experience. Keep in mind that some of our educators have minimal prior experience with on-line learning and no one has had experience with this new reality. We are providing a lot of training and support, but things are not going to run perfectly on Monday morning. This is all a work in progress. Please also keep in mind that every one who works at Chabot has been impacted by this crisis in different ways. It is never helpful to compare teachers.
To me, this is a time of being grateful for what is “good enough”. Every single teacher at Chabot has stepped into this new challenge in ways that have surpassed my wildest expectations. As always, I can not imagine a more dedicated, thoughtful, collaborative team with whom I get to figure this all out. Although I firmly believe that no online experience can or should replace the face to face connections that make up real school, I am 100% confident that through the continued partnership between staff and families, these next two months will be “good enough” for all our Bobcats.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly – I truly miss you and your children!