Principal's Message - March 23, 2020

posted Mar 24, 2020, 6:43 PM by Vice President Communications

Hello Walnut Acres Families,

Being apart under “social distancing” does not stop us from sticking together.  The live auction on Friday night exhibited our strength to remain focused on the future and on our students as the PFC raised $173,000.  Thank you everyone for your tremendous generosity.  I would also like to express my gratitude to our incredibly hard working and amazing auction team: Veronica Velilla-Weisner (Auction Lead), Anna Halverson and Holly Guy (Co- Leads), and the other 23 team members and everyone in the community who made this event a success! Your philanthropic actions are truly valued.

I hope you are well.  Things are moving and changing rapidly every day.  The staff has been told to stay off campus and to work from home. I continue to go into school on most days to check on the safety and security of the site, and provide food service to students within our school feeder pattern.  I will make time available each week for teachers to check in or to retrieve materials from their classroom. 

Last week, the teachers union and the district came to an agreement on how teachers will proceed with instruction and learning during school closure, through April 13.   I am sharing some of those decisions made with you here:

“The recommended amount of student activity time to be provided by the teacher is listed below.  This time is for learning, connecting, engaging, and supporting students through digital content and instruction to ensure maintenance of learning starting the second week of closure:

  1. TK-Kindergarten       1 hour daily
  2. 1-3rd Grade                 2 hours daily
  3. 4th- 5th Grade             3 hours daily
  4. 6th- 12th Grade           4 hours weekly per content area”

Teachers are working diligently to connect and support students.  Along the way they are researching and gathering ideas and online materials while navigating this changing schema of how best to deliver instruction.  Some of us, including me, had to quickly learn how to use certain technology. While our teachers are required to give these many hours of learning daily, it does not mean you have to require your child to commit to study for this many hours.  We understand this may be a very difficult time for some families, and not all children have adult help at home.  This is an adjustment for everyone.  So, do what you can and communicate with the teacher if you need support.  Furthermore, we understand that some families may not have internet or a tech device at home.  If this is the case, please communicate with your teacher so we can provide your child with a Chromebook to use at home.  There is a contract agreement for this check out system.

Thank you to the families who participated in the survey, “Walnut Acres State of Tech,” that was sent out Thursday evening of last week via Konstella.  We appreciate your understanding that last week was our first week attempting to provide distance learning.  Your feedback, particularly the comments, is very helpful and we will keep this in mind as we move forward in planning for future at home assignments.  Based on the survey, parents indicated that the volume of assignments was: 56% Just right, 13% Too much work, 13% Not enough work, 5% Not focused on doing the work right now, and 13% other.

I have asked teachers to check in with students via email, Zoom, Google Meet, or other means of communication. This week, teachers will be communicating with you a time they will be available each day to check in if needed.  We are here for you, so let us know how we can help.

Be safe and healthy,

Principal Luong