Hello Santa Teresa Families,
I want to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year. If you are new to our school, we are honored that you are joining the Panther team. We are all living through an incredibly challenging and unprecedented situation. While we would like nothing more than being with your children in a traditional in person school model to start this school year, the health and safety of our students, staff, and families is of paramount importance. We will be starting the school year on August 12th utilizing a distance learning format until it is determined that our county can consistently stay off of the state’s Covid-19 monitoring list. In Oak Grove, we have set an Oct. 5th date as the target for transitioning from distance learning to a hybrid model. As we all know, this could change, as we have all seen significant change since March.
While we all have unique circumstances, as a parent of two students in Oak Grove, I understand the difficulties distance learning brings. All families are doing their best to make things work. I truly believe that one of the most important things we can do right now is to maintain a positive attitude about school when speaking to our children. I also believe that it is critical to be supportive and patient with our teachers as they navigate through providing the best online learning environment that they can under these circumstances. All of our teachers have been with us for multiple years, and they are working diligently to develop their plans to deliver engaging instruction and learning opportunities for your children.
Below you will find information on multiple school opening topics. You will receive more information in the coming week.
We hope this information provides some clarity for the start of school. You will be receiving more information and reminders about the information above in the coming week. Our main form of communication from the school will continue to be Parent Square.
We wish you health and safety during this time, and despite the circumstances we are all experiencing, we look forward to a successful 2020-21 school year.
ST Elementary Principal
OFFICE OPENING MONDAYOur office will be open starting Monday, August 3rd, from 8am-3:30pm. The office will be closed from 11am-12pm each day for lunch and sanitation. One party will be allowed in the office at a time, and social distancing and face coverings are required. At this time, we ask that you avoid bringing your children with you should you need to visit the office. Individuals waiting to enter the office must use the markings on the ground to separate from others. Our school is under major construction, and a fenced in corridor from Encinal Dr. to the front office door will keep individuals safe from the hazards of construction. Individuals are not allowed anywhere else on campus at this time. We ask that you only come to the office for essential services, which mainly consists of student registration.
Understandably, most of our newly registered families have not provided immunization records, health screenings, dental screenings, proof of address, and other required documents. If you have these documents, we will gladly accept them via email. Please send them to Cheryl Snyder email@example.com our school secretary. We will also accept these documents in person in our office. Please know that all registered students will be able to begin the school year without these documents, but they are a requirement for our county. They will definitely be needed as soon as possible. You can find more information regarding registration requirements here.
You should expect to see a Parent Square message from your child’s assigned teacher by the end of the day on Monday, August 10th. This will inform you of their current placement. It will also provide information about schedules and Google Meet information. After school starts, there is a possibility that we may need to redistribute students based on our actual enrollment numbers. Should this be needed, it will happen within the first two weeks of school. As is always the case, we will have multiple combination classes this school year. Our teachers always work with each other to provide opportunities for student learning, which may include spending time with teachers and students in classes other than their assigned teacher. Please know that much thought went into class placements, and students will not be moved before the first day of school.
CHROMEBOOK AND MATERIALS DISTRIBUTION
How to use your chromebook and access your classrooms.
It is critical that all students have a device and connectivity to participate in distance learning. We will be distributing chromebooks and materials on Monday (8/10) and Tuesday (8/11). Due to construction, we are not able to use the Santa Teresa parking lots. We are thankful that our incredibly supportive neighbors at the Blossom Valley Bible Church have agreed to accommodate us.
Here are some guidelines for chromebook needs:
We know schedules can be challenging, but it is important for you to do all you can to make it during your scheduled time. All staff will be wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. Please wear your face coverings as well.
You will be receiving much more information from the district, school, and classroom teacher, but the instructional day for all students will be from 8am-12:30pm. Exact requirements slightly differ from grade level to grade level, but you can expect synchronous (live) instruction roughly half of your child’s day at a minimum. Students will also receive asynchronous activities each day. Teachers will be providing regular feedback. Attendance will be taken and student engagement and participation will be closely monitored. The school will reach out to those families/students that may need support with being a regular and active participant in learning. On Wednesdays, teachers will meet for 15-30 minutes with students to discuss that day's asynchronous activities and will spend the rest of the day planning, participating in professional development, meeting with and contacting parents, attending staff meetings, and may provide small group instruction. Teachers may also support students through small group instruction after the 12:30pm end of the distance learning instructional day.
Oak Grove will be serving bag breakfast and lunch meals to students beginning on August 12 (even when in Distance Learning) to any Santa Teresa students that choose to participate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00pm-1:30pm at the following school sites: Anderson, Baldwin, Christopher, Davis, Del Roble, Edenvale, Hayes, Parkview, and Stipe. Families can pick up meals from any of these district sites. Meal prices will be $2.00 for breakfast ($0.30 for reduced breakfast) and $3.50 for lunch ($0.40 for reduced lunch). Meals will be served to enrolled students only and parents will need to provide the child's name and student ID number when picking up meals. Meals will be charged to the student accounts. Drive thru meal sites will not be accepting cash but checks made out to "Oak Grove School District" will be accepted. The easiest way to prepay for meals using a credit card is to sign up online at EZSchool Pay https://www.ezschoolpay.com/Login.aspx. If you were a part of the Child Nutrition Services meal program last year, you will stay in the program through September 30th. You will need to reapply the 2020-2021 Meal Application at https://oakgrove.rocketscanapps.com/. To see current lunch menus and to find more information visit the OGSD CNS page.
STUDENT ITEMS FROM LAST YEAR
While some students received their desk items last spring from their teacher, we have many student bags with desk belongings remaining. With chromebook deployment the major priority for next Monday and Tuesday (8/10 and 8/11), we will be scheduling pick-up times for last year’s items within the first 3 weeks of school.
DISTANCE LEARNING INFORMATION
The distance learning plan for curriculum and daily instruction has been based on Senate Bill 98 requirements, input from the School Reopening Task Force, and input from multiple stakeholder groups. The distance learning schedule is based on a common general start and end time district-wide: 8am – 12:30pm. Your child’s instructional activities will take place during this time each day, Monday – Friday, but will look a little different depending on the day and the grade. Your child’s teacher will provide you a consistent schedule.
Each day (M, T, Th, F) will consist of taking attendance, social-emotional learning time, and direct instruction in grade level Math and Language Arts. Students will also engage in standards based science and history/social studies during distance learning. Lessons will be differentiated and teachers will provide extra support and opportunities for students to extend learning. Students will also be assessed and assignments will be monitored.
On Wednesdays, students will have an assigned morning Google Meet time so their teacher can explain the tasks they are to complete during that day. For the remaining time each Wednesday, teachers will provide small group instruction, participate in professional development related to distance learning, attend school staff meetings, and plan with colleagues. The first day of school (August 12th) falls on a Wednesday and will follow this same format. After meeting with students, teachers will be working on contacting those families that did not join the initial Google Meet that morning.
CRITICAL DISTANCE LEARNING TOOLS
It is very important that you and your child are familiar with the tools we will be using for distance learning and can log-in and access clever and their google account. Google Classroom will also be an important part of your child’s experience. If your child is new to the school district, his or her teacher will send your new google account log-in and password information through Parent Square. If they are returning, they should use their same login and password as last year. If they can’t remember their log-in and/or password, please send your teacher a message (once you know who your child’s teacher is).
Please see the links below to support your understanding about how to connect your child to their teacher: