March 27, 2020
And the “soft closure” of the school continues…..
We are all feeling inundated with daily news about the world’s, country’s, and state’s needs at this time, and then here come emails and phone messages from Canyons District and Bella Vista!
I believe we are all feeling overwhelmed about our “new normal” in this crazy world! So, don’t forget to wear your seat belts, keep your arms and legs inside the “car” at all times, and enjoy the ride!!!
The question has been asked: What are teachers doing during this “soft closure” for 8 hours a day?
I think you will be impressed with what our incredible teachers are doing every day.
What teachers are doing:
- Learning how to and completing Canvas home pages in preparation for online learning
- Grading writing
- Going through, cleaning out, organizing files
- Planning/scheduling for the end of the year and for next year
- Communicating with students and sharing information via screencasts, padlets, and educational websites through Google classroom
- Updating parents and answering questions through emails and phone calls
- Having virtual meetings
- Faculty meetings
- Team meetings
- Special Ed meetings
- Data meetings
- Participating in online professional development
- One teacher has enrolled in a free class from Yale called “The Science of Well-Being” – Yep, Yale!
Remember, also, that our teachers have additional responsibilities as parents, mothers, care-takers, etc. Because teachers have been asked to log their time, they have become quite “creative” about how and when they are making up their time:
- One teacher gets up at 3:00 in the morning to complete her time and work responsibilities
- Some teachers work at odd hours of the night
- Other teachers break up their time during the day
- Some teachers who are also parents are not only completing their own classroom responsibilities, they are also working with their own children so they can complete their studies
- While some teachers are “working from home” so they can be close to their families, other teachers continue to work at school
Each morning at 9:00, a virtual faculty meeting is held on Google Meet. With the whole faculty “present,” we remain connected as a school family! During these morning meetings, I share announcements and information, we problem solve technology issues and other school items, we review the latest directions from the District, we participate in professional development, and we enjoy a few laughs. Using Google Meet has enabled all of us to stay connected and to see each other’s faces every day.
Business and News:
On-line Learning: You should have been receiving information from the District about the on-line learning that will start next week for all Canyons students. On Monday, March 30, you will receive information about Digital Citizenship. As a family, take the time to review and participate in these electronic resources as on-line learning on CANVAS begins officially on Tuesday, March 31.
Chrome Books: If you are still in need of a Chrome Book for your student, please contact the school.
Canvas: While Canvas is a common learning tool with secondary schools and students, it is new for elementary schools. The teachers have been working hard to develop their CANVAS home pages so they are ready for on-line learning to start on Tuesday.
Parents as Teachers: As a school, we understand that learning from home is a challenge for parents and students. We are here to assist you because we are and will always be your student’s school teacher! Every teacher will share their “office hours” to help with questions, problems, etc. Also, you can email or leave a message on your teacher’s phone line at any time for answers, directions, a pep talk, etc. Remember, school work at home is not expected to last all day!
Spring Break – April 6 – 10: We are all excited for Spring Break, even though we may not be able to go anywhere! There will be no school work required that week and teachers will be unavailable.
School Community Council: This past Tuesday, March 24, a School Community Council was held electronically. At the meeting our LANDTrust and Teacher and Student Support Plans were both reviewed, and their proposed budgets were approved. This information will be available on our “new and improved” school website. Check it out!
Feedback from SCC Parents: We heard from Council members, that their students are enjoying the teacher videos and live electronic discussions that our teachers are using/sending to keep everyone connected!
PTA Fundraiser – Fun Run: At this point, we are uncertain about the PTA’s spring fundraiser. Depending on when we return to school, and if there is time, the Fun Run will happen. Stay tuned!
Playgrounds: As per a state directive, our playground and lawn areas are closed to all visitors until further notice.
Bella Vista on Parade: Because our teachers are missing their students, and students are missing their teachers, we are hoping to have a Bella Vista parade! The idea is to have teachers/staff in the areas in front of the school while families drive through the drop off areas–essentially, the families will be on parade! Of course, we are mindful of social distancing and the guideline about not having more than 10 people together at one time, and we do not want to upset or cause potential harm to anyone. We will follow the directions from our leaders about this activity. With that understanding, stay tuned, as we are hoping to have a parade as soon as it’s possible…Details to come.
You can expect another email from me on Monday regarding the District’s on-line learning plan.
Please take care!
From the District’s Responsive Services Department:
In an effort to provide ongoing support for individuals experiencing increased stress due to Covid-19 and earthquakes throughout the state, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in the Department of Human Services is excited to announce a free 60-day trial to the myStrength app.
myStrength is digital self-care technology that is meant as both early intervention and as a complement to current behavioral health treatment. myStrength has recently added resources and supports surrounding COVID-19 and the behavioral health needs that you may have during this time.
myStrength also has existing resources for balancing intense emotions, anxiety, depression, pregnancy and parenting, opiates, mindfulness, alcohol, reducing stress, improving sleep, managing chronic pain, and PTSD/trauma. The resources available through myStrength are evidenced-based and provide a holistic approach to overall well-being.
Below are detailed instructions on accessing and setting up an account with myStrength. The guest access is available for everyone in the state of Utah and can be used by health and behavioral health clients and employees. Each person will be guided to create an account that will be tailored to their individual needs.
1. Download the myStrength App (Free)
Utah Access Code: UDHSguest33
2. Answer the set-up questions to tailor the app to your needs