Joseph Charter School sends parents, students letter ahead of school year start

By on Thursday, August 20th, 2020 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News Regional News

JOSEPH, OR – (Information provided by Joseph Charter School District)  On behalf of the administrative team, we are thrilled to welcome you to the beginning of a new adventure, the 2020-2021 school year.  As you know, the Governor issued a revised set of metrics, which allowed some rural schools to begin the school year face-to-face.  Of course, we have a plan “B” already in place if we should have to go to distance learning, but for right now, we are happily gearing up to have old and new students back in the building. 

It is hard to say who is more excited, the parents/guardians, the kids or the staff, but there is certainly no shortage of eagerness.  We also understand that with the reality of face-to-face there also comes anxiety, worry, and questions.  In order to best address this, we are having a PARENT/GUARDIAN (only) BACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHT.  At this parent meeting, we hope to clarify the state guidelines and explain how we are going to meet those in each classroom and throughout the school.  Come and see your student’(s) classroom, what the amazing makeover we have done in the hallways, and reacquaint yourself with our amazing school and staff.  We will share daily schedules, expectations, breakfast/lunch routines, recess plans, electives, specials for elementary (music, art, PE, library) transportation options, masks/shields, athletics, and answer any questions that you might have.  Yes, all K-12 students and staff are required to wear a mask/shield but we will have many “mask breaks” during class, no one is expected to keep a mask on for eight hours.  Many parents have expressed that they prefer the shield, which is a great idea.  With shields, we are able to see each other’s faces and they are less restrictive on the face.  But, arm your student with what you feel will work best for them (mask or shield) and if you cannot get your own we will certainly provide protective gear of any kind that is needed.

On the parent back-to-school night for grades K-6 if you would like to bring your child’s school supplies feel free.  Report directly to assigned homeroom or location and please enter the door that is allocated for your student’s grade.   Wear your mask/shield and please practice social distancing – our new normal.  We know that many of you have student’s in more than one grade so my recommendation is to attend the grade you feel you need to go to the most and, divide and conquer with your spouse, friend, grandparent, etc.  We hope to video every homeroom/grade level meeting so if you cannot get around to all of your kids’ classrooms or just cannot make it that night you can still view the information.  The teachers are back on campus next week so feel free to call, email, or text any of us and we will be happy to help.

Some general and important information.  For grades K-12, all students will be in a cohort, which at JCS is their grade level.  All K-12 students will have a “homeroom” listed below and teachers will come to the students.  For grades 7-12 they will travel to the technology room for computer classes and some will travel to Mrs. Hayes’ room for science that require labs.  Also for grades 7-12 we are going to have a block schedule which means they have 8 total classes, a set of 4 on M/W and a set of 4 on T/TH.  This is the safest and best practice for control of exposure for both students and staff.  I have included a copy of the Master Schedule for grades 7-12.  

We are also offering an on-line option to families if you don’t feel ready for face-to-face.  If you are on the fence please come to the parent meetings and we hope that will help you decide what is best for your student(s).  With that, we are having a virtual ON-LINE PARENT TRAINING for using the Pearson curriculum, explaining expectations, answering questions, etc. That Virtual Training will be Monday, August 31, 2020.  Grades K-6 5:00 – 6:00 and Grades 7-12 6:00 – 7:00.  You will receive an email inviting you to this meeting.  The information that will be shared will be very important and helpful for you as you move to Distance Learning so I hope you are able to attend on-line.  

The week of August 31st – September 3rd we will have a “soft start.”  What will happen this week is grades will come on an assigned day for approximately 3 hours and we will train them with only a few classes on campus at the time.  This is a best practice that is being used across the state and makes perfect sense to us.  Then on Tuesday, September 8th (Monday holiday) we will hit the books and get back to our new normal.  (Schedule attached).

On behalf of the entire staff, we welcome you with open arms (six-feet apart & masked) to the JCS team.  We look forward to working with you and your family this school year to help your student(s) succeed socially, emotionally and academically.  And please trust that every decision that has been made has come to one thing and one thing only and that is the safety of our students.  Safety is literally the priority that the state insists that we do.  Second priority is social and emotional health of our kids and third is academics.  We are prepared to move ahead full steam and ensure rigor but as we all know we have some lost ground to cover.  Its OK, we are in this together and we are sure we will have a very productive year!