First and foremost, I hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well in the midst of these unprecedented times. It feels like yesterday that our first experience with remote learning was coming to a close and summer was just beginning. But somehow, September 8 is right around the corner. I can hardly believe we’re about to kick off the 2020-2021 school year!
I know many of you are feeling anxious and uncertain about what the next few weeks and months are going to look like. I completely understand how you are feeling and am working on bringing you updates as quickly as I can.
In the meantime, I’ve received many emails with questions spanning a wide range of topics. Thank you, as always, for reaching out. I’d like to take the opportunity to address as many of them as I can:
- CHROMEBOOK REQUESTS: If your child/children needs a Chromebook for remote learning, please complete this survey: Waters Family Tech Survey If you have already contacted our office team, please disregard. Mrs. Amerson and Mrs. Mendez, our office team, will set a schedule for your family next week to pick up your device. We will do our best to make sure each and every student’s needs are met.
- GARDEN USE: Many people have asked if we might be able to use the garden as a space for teacher-led small group learning. Although we are so fortunate to have the beautiful garden on our grounds, at this time, we are obligated to abide by safety guidelines set forth by CPS.
- KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT: If you have not yet enrolled your child in Kindergarten, please contact Cecibel Amerson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melissa Mendez (email@example.com) in the main office this week.
- OUR NEW WING: We are grateful for the beautiful addition on the north side of our campus and cannot wait to fill it with children and teachers once we return to in person teaching and learning. The main building has been painted throughout and all of the classrooms are being cleaned. Like many construction projects we have all been involved with, there is some delay and because of that, our teachers are not legally allowed to go into their classrooms until we have clearance from the inspector (much like a home inspection but on a much grander scale) and deems the building up-to-code. Because of this, there have been days where administration has not been in the front office and teachers cannot access learning materials (many which are currently still boxed up) and might for at least another week. This unfortunately is putting another layer of complexity with specific remote learning plans, but please be patient with us and this process, as we are trying our best to plan remotely.
- HOMEROOM/PODDING REQUESTS: Though we are unable to make any guarantees, we are doing our best to accommodate homeroom/podding requests. We ask for your patience as this has caused a delay in finalizing homeroom rosters.
- REMOTE LEARNING TECH SUPPORT: Your child’s teacher will be available to assist with remote learning technology, including setting up your child’s email account, Google Classroom, and Aspen.
- STUDENT REGISTRATION FEES: Waters administration has decided to waive the Student Registration Fees for this semester. This will be revisited mid year should we return to in person learning.
- TEACHER ASSIGNMENTS: Teacher and Student assignments will be released next week. It is our goal that families should be alerted regarding classroom assignments by next week via the ASPEN portal.
- SUPPLY LIST: It is highly recommended that you create a designated study area for your child. Updated supply lists will be posted on our school website but in the meantime a modified list of items such as pencils/pens, paper/notebooks, folders, a small personal sized whiteboard, dry erase markers, index cards, crayons/markers, scissors and highlighters will be helpful for your child.
- REMOTE LEARNING PLAN: We know that what the children, parents, teachers, and school based administrators went through in the spring from an educational and an emotional standpoint was not ideal. It is our goal and expectation that children will engage in virtual instruction from their teachers every day. Remote learning hours will be from 8:15 am to 3:15 pm Monday through Friday. Your child's daily schedule will be balanced between synchronos(online) and asynchronos(off line) learning activities. Teachers will share their daily schedules with you next week. This pandemic has created an environment and world none of us were prepared for, so as we come together as a community of educators and parents, we will get through this!
- I missed the LSC meeting where the upcoming year was discussed. Will there be another opportunity to learn up-to-date information about the upcoming virtual school year and how it will look at Waters? Yes! We are inviting the Waters community to a virtual Waters Elementary Back to School Town Hall on Monday, August 31, 2020 from 6:00pm - 7:00 pm. The meeting will be attended by the Waters administration, teachers, and will be facilitated by long-time Waters parents, John and Serena Hess.
Waters Back to School Town Hall Meeting
Monday, August 31⋅6:00 – 7:00pm
Join by phone (US) +1 510-766-1817 PIN: 743 524 924#
- What will be covered at the Town Hall? As guidance by CPS is evolving daily, our goal will be to provide the Waters community with as up-to-date information as possible. The first 10-15 minutes of the meeting will provide this information, and the last 45 minutes will be dedicated to answering questions. Although we wish we could answer every question at this meeting, our facilitators will group the questions so that hopefully the big picture questions can be answered and communicated effectively.
- Please email your questions ASAP and no later than Saturday, August 29th, 8pm to:
Subject line: Town Hall Question
Finally, please note that while I do not have specific information to share about the following topics, they are very much on my radar. I look forward to sharing more details with you soon.
- Classroom materials pick-up- delayed due to construction
- Breakfast and lunch distribution- delayed due to construction
- Kindergarten meet and greet
- Virtual Meet and Greet for new families
- Remote guidelines for ESL learners
- Remote guidelines for diverse learners
- Fall MAP testing dates
- Natural playspace update
- Virtual curriculum night
- Academic Centers and Selective Enrollment guidelines
- Fall sports
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we prepare to kick off the 2020-2021 school year. Please know we are here for you! We do know that we are going to get through it together and come out on the other side stronger than ever. Let’s make this year at Waters one for the memory books.
Titia Kipp and Nilsa Alvarez
Waters Administrative Team