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Hello Thunder Vista Families 9.4.2020

Thank you to those of you who have shared both positive and constructive feedback with us during our first week of remote learning. Your feedback is invaluable and gives insight into practices that we need to continue to replicate as well as helps us to identify trends and patterns of things that need to be adjusted in order to improve the virtual educational experience for our students and families.

We hope you are finding that each day gets a little more familiar and the ‘bumps’ smaller. We know that there have been challenges.  However, with each day, it seems that things smooth out just a bit more as students, parents, and teachers become more familiar with virtual learning and the tech platforms. 

Technology Update from the Adams 12 IT Department

One challenge for some has been what appeared to be connectivity issues. We've relayed these questions and concerns to our district IT department to help us better understand the reason for this and possible solutions. The IT department is discovering that many of the connectivity issues are actually due to the district purchased devices/chromebooks (both student and teacher devices). These devices have lower levels of functionality in a synchronous remote environment. The IT department is providing guidance to our staff on how to address these issues in the short term with different ways to use zoom, audio vs. video, screen sharing, providing more asynchronous opportunities, etc. In addition, the district IT techs have been on-site here at Thunder Vista working on in-building network issues as well.

For support logging in to your computer or remote learning platforms, view our video tutorial in English or Spanish, or visit our online technology support site. If you need a device or your device is in need of repair, please contact Jody Roper, Jody.A.Roper@adams12.org,  to see about getting a replacement. For further information on devices, requirements and technology help, view the Onward Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Procedure for Teacher Absences

The procedures for teacher absences during remote learning are different than those utilized during traditional, in-person learning. The district has determined that substitute coverage will not be provided during teacher absences. Instead, teachers will post and provide instructions for asynchronous activities/assignments that students are to complete on each day the teacher will be absent. A communication of the absence will be sent to families and students so they are aware of a switch to completely asynchronous learning and teachers will create and post into Schoology asynchronous activities/assignments for each day of their absence.

Social Emotional Wellbeing

As you know, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a priority at Thunder Vista and in Adams 12 as a district.  Our mental health team supports classroom teachers by providing daily social emotional lessons for elementary morning meetings and middle school advisory classes.  To find out more, take a look at this example of lessons from this week here.

Along the lines of social emotional learning, our Adams 12 Five Star Schools will assess students’ social-emotional well being and needs with an upcoming, eight-question needs assessment that asks students to share their experiences since March 2020 and will also allow us to connect students and families with necessary support services. Beginning Tuesday, September 8, parents of K-8 students will be asked to fill out the assessment with their students. The assessment is voluntary and will be sent to you Tuesday, September 8 from our Thunder Vista messaging. Parents of K-8 students who do not wish to participate can choose not to complete this assessment. To read more about the Social and Emotional Wellbeing needs assessment, please click here.

Nutrition Services

If applicable, families may now apply for meal benefits for the 2020-21 school year. Remember all families must reapply every year. During remote learning the district continues to offer meals at our drive thru locations and at schools where students are present for Learning Pods. Applications still need to be filled out during remote learning and to support district funding.  Apply today at www.adams12.org/myschoolapps."

NOTE: Families can reapply anytime during the school year if their gross income has decreased and/or household members increase. This is important to know as job status may change and household blend.

Any and all questions can be directed to Jenise Wagner at x4195 or  <jenise.wagner@adams12.org

On-going Communication

As the landscape of education continues to change in response to COVID related health trends and guidelines, we will continue to send weekly updates from Thunder Vista.  As a reminder, our website is full of helpful and up to date information.  Additionally, district communications regarding COVID and remote learning updates can be found here.

Enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend!

With Gratitude,

Teresa Benallo, Amanda Beuke, and Manissa Featherstone