Posted: April 5, 2020
Last week was a very difficult week for staff at Shortreed. We are used to coming back to excited and happy kids in our schools and being able to connect and engage with each other as a staff… it was a very empty feeling and it was such a reminder to all of us as to WHY we love our jobs. We love the energy of an elementary school. We love the excitement of the kids… their stories, their questions, their smiles, and hugs. We love and being able to work together to help them in so many different ways. Please let your kids know how much we miss them and that although we aren’t seeing them in person, we will find ways to connect and support them through all of this.
This past week, Mr. Touzeau and I had a chance to connect with every staff member to find out how they were doing and how we can support them. It was so great to chat and this really seemed to energize us as we plan for the weeks ahead. An important reminder to all of us is that none of us have ever done this before… staff are learning and living outside their comfort zones to learn new technology and new ways to try to best support our students. We have learned a ton already and that learning will increase again this week.
Our classroom teachers loved reaching out to your families. I am so proud of the Shortreed teachers for taking the time to slow down and truly listen to families about their current struggles and successes.
Through these calls, we have gathered tons of important information on how we can best support you all. For some of you, you were doing well and ready to jump into some remote learning. For others, you shared your struggles of time and stressors in the home and you were concerned about having too much school work and you were going to manage with multiple children, few devices, and not enough hours in the day. And others told us that you are just barely hanging on and that you are not sure your current situation will work for remote learning at this time. You shared stories of positive moments as a family and you shared real struggles. Both these successes and struggles will bring us together as a community. We want you to know that we will be there for you in the coming weeks and even months to support you with food, ideas to have fun, skills to practice, and strategies and activities to learn… we will also make sure that we are reaching out to families who are struggling so you can share how we can help.
This past week, we looked at some families who shared they were barely hanging on and some of our amazing support staff started to reach out with food, gift cards, and ideas to help now and in the weeks ahead. Our support staff will continue to connect with students and families this week and next week to support not just the academic but also the social-emotional areas in our students’ lives.
This week, our resource team will be meeting with each classroom teacher to determine the needs of their students. We will then have resource teachers, ELL teachers, and support staff help students and teachers in each class through providing resources, adapting activities, and connecting and supporting students and families throughout the week.
Mrs. Muller is looking at ways to continue to build on that love of music for those families who choose to participate and Ms. McKay is developing different ways to support literacy while learning new technology and finding ways to support teachers with tech support and books to support their teaching.
For this week, our staff will be collaborating many hours each day to prepare for remote learning that will happen next week. The school will remain closed to the public but urgent items can be picked up by emailing your child’s teacher. We will then have it ready for you at the door to the school later in the week at a time that works for you.
Our district will be sending out some ideas later in the week that will be a framework of time and areas of focus for the remote learning to start on April 14. Hopefully, it will work as a starting point for your family.
As we prepare for next week’s remote learning, the district has shared some ideas:
And just some further thoughts for all our families
- Remember – We are going down a path of remote learning… we are not homeschooling. These are 2 very different things. Homeschooling is a choice parents can make… Nobody chose this… this is a very challenging time so show compassion and be patient and be kind to yourself through this.
- If schoolwork on one day creates conflict… choose connection… choose relationships. Keep things simple. Your child needs you and you need them. If you feel it would be better to go build, create, or explore at that time… go and do this and try the school activity at another time.
- Don’t compare your family to others on social media. Do what works for YOUR family.
- You are doing the best you can… you are doing enough.
We miss you so much and please know that even though we don’t get to see you each day, we will all do our best to make sure we stay connected and we support each other through all this.
Thank you to our staff for all their efforts and to our families for all you continue to do for your families, our school, and our community.
We hope you always remember… even if you are not in the building…
You will always belong at Shortreed.