Hello Thunder Vista Families 8.21.2020
Hello Thunder Vista Families,
We hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘Meet and Greet’ evenings as much as we did! It was such a joy to see everyone. Thank you for making the time to join us. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with you in person and to check in with familiar faces and meet our new families. Your positivity, smiles and excitement was much appreciated and needed. Given the many uncertainties we have right now with the start of such a unique school year, we believe we can speak for most when saying that there was a collective sense that we are in this together and that we are committed to having a great school year! For those of you who we missed, we look forward to seeing you virtually.
We have been talking a lot with our staff about the need for extra grace and flexibility during this time, and are asking the same of our families. Within this period of remote learning, students are navigating a new way of learning, school staff are engaging in a new way of teaching, and parents are learning to balance new expectations and obligations. In all these areas, please extend grace to yourselves, your children, your childrens’ teachers. We are confident that your child will learn and grow this year, but we expect we may encounter some bumps along the way. Extending grace to all during this time will ensure that our family school partnerships will continue to grow and benefit our students.
As the first day of remote learning approaches we understand that families are thinking about how to create daily schedules that work for students in multiple grade levels, parents working from home, and other factors. As a reminder the schedules at a K-8 are different than the samples given in the Adams 12 district-wide communication. Additionally, remote learning will look much different than last spring. Students are expected to attend class synchronously with live virtual lessons Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and will follow a specific schedule. Teaching and learning on Wednesdays will be asynchronous meaning that students will work individually to complete assigned tasks. Asynchronous time on Wednesdays may also be used for individualized instruction and check-ins as needed. Teachers will reach out individually to coordinate this.
At Thunder Vista, we will follow a similar elementary and middle school ‘bell schedule’ to the one we have the past two years. In addition, each elementary grade level will follow a common schedule, engage in similar lessons and activities, and use the same technology tools and platforms. We believe streamlining and simplifying the remote learning experience in these ways will provide more support for our families working with children at home as well as the supervisors overseeing the learning pods housed at the school and will prove to be an improvement over the remote learning experience from last spring. All grade level teachers will soon be sending home communication that will include the daily schedule for their grade level.
For families who have applied for their children to attend a learning pod, you can expect to receive communication on Monday from our school district indicating whether or not your child(ren) will be in a learning pod. They are currently working to finalize enrollment and staffing availability. After enrollment is finalized on Monday, schools will be creating the learning pod groupings and will notify families about which pod they have been assigned later in the week. As a reminder, the learning pod start date is Monday, August 31st.
Every year the first few weeks of school are tailored towards community building and establishing relationships between teachers and students as well as among classmates. Teachers spend time getting to know their students, supporting students in learning about each other, and teaching students the routines and structures of their classroom. This practice will be especially important during remote learning and we have directed our staff to dedicate the first several days of school to implementing activities and lessons that intentionally teach expectations, routines, and build community and connection. Although we can’t yet be together in person, we will continue to be intentional about fostering connection and relationships.
Please know that our Thunder Vista website continues to be updated regularly with information. You can also learn more about our incredible staff and read their short bios on their individual pages. Our Mental Wellness Team has also created this letter to introduce themselves, outline their services, and share supportive resources.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to read the communication sent by our school district, please access that here. It includes tips for successful remote learning, suggested supply lists, and more.
We look forward to continuing this unprecedented journey with you.
Teresa, Amanda, and Manissa