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Important Updates and NWEA/DRA assessments

Good Afternoon Howard Families,

I hope that all is well with you, your families, and your children! I want to start by thanking all the families and students for being so patient and understanding as we transitioned into a new school year remotely. Our teachers have been working extremely hard and appreciate your support and teamwork! Hopefully, by now, things are getting a bit easier and your children have established a routine for online learning. If you are still having technical issues, please reach out so we may provide support. We are aware that online learning is not the same as in-person instruction and truly hope that things will turn around soon, but meanwhile, we are all in this together and we appreciate that we are making the best of the situation as a whole community. We recognize that students and their families are doing their best, so keep up the great work! Please remember, that students should continue to be logging into Schoology for all their learning needs.

School Board Update: As you may know, the Board of Education met on Monday, September 14th, and voted to continue with Online Learning until at least their next board meeting on October 12th. Here is the link to the First Bell Article summary.

NWEA/DRA assessments: These assessments are required by the state and included in our district’s learning plan. All students will be taking these assessments. Teachers have been and will continue to set up appointments to administer these assessments. Due to the safety and health of our students, we have safety protocol parameters in place if/when your child enters the building to take the assessments in-person. These protocols include but are not limited to the following: all students and staff wearing a mask at all times, social distancing, sanitizing hands, and not sharing items from person to person. We will have no more than 3 students in each room testing together the entire time and touchpoints/desks will be sanitized when rotating students in and out of classrooms with disinfectant wipes/liquid solution. When parents/guardians bring their child(ren) for testing, please be sure to bring them to the main door; you will be asked to sign a one-time contract agreeing to ensure that you will complete the Covid-19 student health questionnaire before bringing your child to school throughout the school year (we will be keeping these forms on file). For the safety of everyone, we ask that parents remain outside during drop-off. Our staff will support in transitioning students to and from their classrooms. Testing timeframes shared with you by the teacher will not interfere with the morning synchronous/LIVE learning. Although these assessment sessions are not learning lab sessions, they will be scheduled during the learning lab timeframe (allotment on the elementary daily schedule) between the hours of 1:55-3:50. Please be sure that your child brings their Chromebook with them for testing if they have one at home. If you prefer that your child tests remotely instead of coming into the school, you may do this by contacting your child’s teacher letting them know.

Learning Labs: In-person learning labs have been postponed (district-wide) until further notice due to the fact that the Covid-19 positivity rate is currently greater than 5%. Learning Labs will be conducted virtually from 1:55-3:50 beginning September 21st (and after teachers have completed the administration of assessments). Learning Labs will be scheduled in small groups to provide students with additional support they may need. Please contact your child’s teacher should you have any questions regarding virtual Learning Labs.

This Friday 1/2 Day: This Friday, September 18 is a half-day for all students from 8:55-12:00. Staff will be in professional development all afternoon, there will be no asynchronous learning in the PM.

Take care,

Mirvat Sabbagh

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