The Katonah-Lewisboro Learning Commitment
In the KLSD, we will strive to create learning experiences for all students that are engaging, relevant, and take place in an active learning environment.
April 6, 2021
Dear MPES Families,
We hope that everyone enjoyed the break and took some time to relax. Our students returned to school yesterday with a bit of extra energy and big smiling eyes.
We would like to take a moment to remind you of the changes that are taking place now and over the next two weeks.
During the break, our custodial staff prepared our classrooms for the return of students and the move away from zooming. Barriers have been installed on second, third and fourth grade classrooms desks. We anticipate that barriers will be installed on fifth grade classroom desks soon. Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 7th, which is still a remote learning day, our first and second grade classrooms will be set up so that when the students return to school on Thursday, each class will be in one classroom. They will no longer be zooming from one class to another.
Next week, beginning Monday, April 12th, both cohorts of third grade students will come to school 4 days in person. Wednesday will still be a Remote Learning Day for all. Fourth and fifth grade will continue in Hybrid (Cohorts A and B).
The following week, beginning Monday, April 19th, both cohorts of fourth and fifth grade students will come to school and we will have a FULL 5 day week of school. Wednesday will no longer be a remote learning day.
Please be aware that the schedules for Remote Wednesdays on 4/7 and 4/14 may be modified due to teachers needing to prepare for the transition.
Elementary Programs/Quarantined Students/Teaching Assistants and Interns
Moving forward, students will be enrolled in either a Fully Remote or 5 Day-In Person program; the Hybrid program (Cohort A and B supported by Zooming) will be phased out and no longer an option.
Students who are quarantined will receive, *at a minimum, asynchronous assignments on Schoology and/or Seesaw along with a live check-in via Zoom. *Each quarantine scenario will be individually assessed (i.e., number of students in a class, staff). Additional resources will be allocated if/when they are available.
Interns currently assigned to support Grade 1 groupings will transition to rotating and substituting in grades K-5. Teaching Assistants currently assigned to support Grade 2 groupings will be working to support students in grades K and 1.
Monday’s Faculty/Staff Meeting included discussion about how best to support our students as they transition to more in person learning. Their emotional response to returning to school for five days of in-person learning may be significant. Some children will be ecstatic while others may feel some trepidation. This range of emotion is understandable; each child and family experienced their own unique situation during the pandemic. Those students who are remaining remote will also be supported appropriately.
The Meadow Pond Report this morning included a message from our Social Worker, Barbara Milone. Our teachers, with the support of our clinicians, will facilitate discussions and teach specific social-emotional lessons in all classrooms. Students will be encouraged to share their feelings while teachers/clinicians validate and provide effective coping strategies and necessary support.
We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher with questions/concerns. Additionally, Dr. Deanna Spoto, Dr. Lara Monasch and Mrs. Barbara Milone, our school clinicians, are also available to answer questions or concerns you may have about your child’s transition.
Health and Safety
Masks will continue to be required at all times at school with the exception of lunch and mask breaks.
Our kindergarten and first grade classrooms allow for desks to be 6 feet or further apart and therefore do not require barriers. Our second through fifth grade classrooms, where desks need to be less than 6 feet apart, will have barriers affixed to desks.
Families will continue to complete the Daily Health Screener. Children who present with a symptom listed in the screener are required to stay home. Please immediately contact the School Nurse, Elizabeth Marcoux at 763-7907 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the appropriate course of action.
Consistent with our health practices pre-COVID, students should stay home due to an illness. Upon students returning to school, teachers will catch them up with any new learning and assignments that were missed; as we have phased out most zooming, links for Zooming into the classroom during these absences will not be provided.
We understand the concern of parents for when children miss valuable instruction time; however, keeping sick children at home is necessary, especially during a pandemic. This measure is to keep others from becoming sick and to avoid classroom relocations during the school day and potential quarantine. We appreciate your cooperation.
We recognize and value the importance of students spending time outside. Weather permitting, students will have movement breaks outdoors. At times, they may have lunch outside as well. Physical Education classes will take place on the field, and when appropriate, teachers will take their class outside for lessons and learning activities. The District is providing each school with one (NYSED approved) tent, which will be used in a variety of ways.
Use of some of our equipment is now permitted so the GaGa Pit and other outside areas have been designated “stations” and other outdoor games and activities will be used in rotation. Any balls, hula hoops, etc. will be sanitized appropriately between uses.
A movement break before/after lunch may take place on the playground. We are hopeful students will feel a sense of normalcy being able to play and have fun! With that said, students will continue to play with peers from their class only and be closely supervised by Monitors to ensure social distancing is maintained. Needless to say, masks will continue to be worn at all times and hand washing and sanitizing will take place before and after lunch/movement periods.
Arrival and Dismissal
We will maintain the current drop-off/pick-up times:
Drop-Off 9:15-9:25 AM
Pick-Up 3:15-3:30 PM
A review of drop off and pick up will be made over the initial weeks of the transition as more students attend school 5 days a week. If any changes are needed, we will let you know. In the meantime, thank you for your cooperation in making these busy times of the day run safely and smoothly.
We are excited and happy to be moving toward a time when all our students are in school. We want to thank you for your support which has enabled us to keep our students actively learning throughout this unusual year.
Carolann Castellano and Dawn Pomeroy