April 17, 2020
Dear Rowe Families,
We hope this letter finds you well and safe, despite the challenges we are all facing at this time. It has been great to have some fairly good weather. I hope you have had a chance to get outdoors and enjoy some movement and fresh air, as well as quality family time. I keep reminding myself that there are silver linings in all of this, regardless of how desperately we all want to get back to our normal lives and routines.
Concerns about progress
A few of you have reached out recently with concerns about academic progress. There is no doubt that distance learning cannot replace classroom instruction. As a parent of adult children, I can attest to the fact that trying to work on academics with them was challenging at times and I am a trained teacher! Please rest assured that teachers are well aware that children are going to need review. They will meet the children where they are academically, just as they always do. This may look a bit different than it has in the past, but we are ready to make whatever needs to happen come to fruition for all students. It is also important to reflect on the family time the children are currently getting, the time at home to play more, to have more family conversations, to bake, or whatever may be happening more in your homes than it was before this pandemic. All of those opportunities and experiences have not only emotional value, but learning value as well. We have all received the gift of having more time to simply be.
I would like to share this information with you written by a classroom teacher to parents facing the current challenge of distance learning. You may have seen it previously. It has been on social media for a while:
“Don’t worry about your children regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they will all be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do their writing. Don’t get upset at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate two hours of learning time if they are resisting it. If I can leave you with one thing, it is this: at the end of all this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during the weeks of online learning is long gone. Please keep that in mind, every single day.”
As a reminder, we are enhancing the instruction with more "Differentiated Learning Opportunities" at the end of each week on Friday. This will focus on more non-screen learning activities and student choice, including the opportunity to catch up on work. Our school mission statement involves empowering our children. This day is intended to allow the students choice and some flexibility, hence empowering them to have a say in their learning. This began today and will resume the week after spring break.
Our Building Leadership Team has planned to have the Spirit Week we were slated to hold when school was still in session. It will be the week of May 4th - May 8th. We will have the following lineup of fun:
Monday, May 4th - Pajama Day
Tuesday, May 5th- Crazy Hair or Hat Day
Wednesday, May 6th- Fancy Day -Wear fancy clothes, a costume, or whatever you deem to be fancy.
Thursday, May 7th - Inside Out Day- Wear your clothes, socks (or both) inside out.
Friday, May 8th - Yarmouth Pride Day - Wear blue and white, our school colors.
I will do a kick-off for the Spirit Week on SeeSaw a day or two before. Teachers will send reminders, too.
Classroom Placement for next year
We will be starting the placement process soon after we return from the break. Please email your child’s teacher directly with any feedback you have for his or her class placement. We do not take teacher requests, but you are welcome to describe the learning environment you feel is the best fit for your child. If you shared feedback with your child’s teacher at the last conference, please resend it. Teachers do not have access to the notes they took during conferences and no staff members are currently allowed in our school. Please be sure to share your feedback no later than Wednesday, April 29th. NOTE: If you shared information with Mrs. Lobel directly, you do not need to resend it.
Belongings at school
I want to assure you that we are aware that many students still have some belongings in the school. We will definitely return those items. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you when that will be but will let you know once more information becomes available.
Spring break week is Monday, April 20th - Friday, April 24th. Teachers have provided a day of work that can be done at any time throughout the week. Our last day of school will be on Friday, June 12th.
As always, please reach out at any time with questions, concerns, or feedback. I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement. The staff is working really hard to provide all that they can for students both academically and emotionally. It is truly an honor for all of us to serve this wonderful community. Please enjoy a well-deserved break next week!
Susan Lobel, Principal