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CMS: New information for parents.
CMS: New information for parents.
Brenda Young
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Update for all of our NEW…  March 26th - 27th

Hello Parents!!!  I wanted to take this time to touch base with some information.

At this time teachers will be reaching out or have reached out to their advisement classes.  Asking questions, getting feedback and giving out some general information. We are not going to rush into this new modality of learning- we are going to take time to teach the students how this learning platform will work. This will take the first three days of next week.  They will have a few activities to do as we work through the digital world. We realize that we are stepping into their world now and asking them to use it in a different way. So I wanted you to know not to expect hard and fast lessons right off the bat.  

I want to assure you that one of the main topics of discussion has been centered around grading.  Here is what I want you to hear from me. This school year is already ¾ of the way completed. We do not want the final ¼, especially now with what we are experiencing to sink any student.  We are in the teaching business- meaning our focus for the final track is going to be on learning- not on making A’s on everything. That does not mean that grades are not going to be taken, and it doesn't mean that your student that has good grades can avoid doing the work (I have had this conversation with my own… trust me!!).  There is still ALOT to learn to make sure students are ready for the next level. Learning is the focus- and that takes many forms.  

We are very busy working on a one-stop-shop for parents and students.  Sunday night (remember no content lessons until Thursday) we are going to go live with what we are fondly referring to as the CMS CLP- Circle Middle School Continuous Learning Plan.  It is a website that will have all things learning. Each teacher will have a space that has their agenda, links, google classroom, and other information. You will not need to go search and find what is needed.  We are expecting this to work well over the remaining weeks.  

I have read over the survey and will absolutely validate the concerns that have been shared.  YOU are not teachers - well some are but you have chosen NOT to teach your own child :).  

Here is what we need you to know going into these uncharted waters.  YOU WILL HAVE GRACE FROM US!!! You are NOT expected to be the teacher- we still have that role.  Here are the ways that you are needed to support ongoing education:  

  • Help your student find an area to work in that is as much as possible free from distractions. 

  • Help your student become organized with a time schedule.  Even though they are home, it is important to have a schedule.  We are still going to have A and B day classes. Teachers will work with the students on what their daily schedule of classes will be.  

  • Routinely check in with your child using the CMS CLP site.  Check if they are keeping up and how they are feeling.  

  • Communicate with us!  Your child's advisement teacher is a go-to or email which comes directly to the office.  The office is also open and taking calls: 316-778-1470.  

    • An example that we absolutely need to hear from you regarding is the amount of time your student is taking to learn and complete work.  We are NOT going to overwhelm them, as it would also overwhelm you and us. Not good for anyone. MAX amount of time they should spend is 3 hours a day of online work.  There could be another hour of work without being on-line but not daily. 

That really is it.  We want to make sure you are also taken care of in this and not MAKE YOU the teacher.  WE GOT THIS!!  

Let's talk about what the new “Learning time” might look like:  3 hours max is what we expect out of your student. BUT that does not necessarily mean 3 hours straight.  It means a total of 3 hours a day. Take a walk, make a cake, allow them to clean ( WHAT?), play a game, talk to a friend, be a kid.  Their world is flipped upside down and they need that social time (although it looks WAYYYY different- social distancing..) to connect to the outside world.  They also need the academics that we will be providing. So if you are monitoring them and they need a break- It’s OK! It is also proven that music playing in the background (softly) can also engage the brain.  Allow them to do this as long as they are not distracted. Ear Buds work great for this! Teachers are going to share video etiquette with the students. NO, they can NOT take their Chromebook to the bathroom with them… DON'T LAUGH- it happens… :-/  This will be one of the very first day lessons they will receive. New Learning for all of us.  

Teachers will have office hours as their world has also changed.  Many of them are teaching our CMS students and also monitoring their own children, as you have yours.  Please know that does not mean a student can’t ask a question about the work or content outside the office hours- just don't expect an answer at that time.  This is where our teachers will have patience and grace with the expected LEARNING. Look for an answer during office time.  

Please remember we are serving lunches & breakfast items here at CMS to anyone that needs them.  No cost to any student and adults are $6.00 for two meals. You can pick up these meals at Oil Hill, Towanda Primary or Circle Middle.  All students who are receiving meals need to be present at the time of pick up. Serving time is 11:00 - 1:00 Monday - Friday. No food on April 10th or 13th.  

Picking up student items has started.  When you come to pick up your student’s items, please bring any uniforms, library books or items borrowed from teachers.  If you can not make it this week, there is still time next week to come and get these things. Mrs. Hughey or Mrs. Trier will make calls next week to those that have not picked up.  

Thank you for your patience during this transition.  You are a wonderful group of parents and such a support to CMS.  Together we #Thrivein375.