Transitioning to a new way of living and learning, in a very short amount of time, has put a tremendous amount of strain on everyone. I commend you for doing your very best to support your children. When I visit the many classroom meetings that happen each week, I see students happily learning from a distance. If you need additional support during this time of change, please do not hesitate to contact me, your child’s teacher, our Counselor, Ms. Janet Jamesson, or our District Student 360 Counselors. In addition, more specific supports are available to our school and district community and are listed at the end of this letter.
Please continue to let your child’s teacher know if you have any questions regarding the assignments, logins, or scheduling of your child's virtual school day. Many of you have reached out with support, love, encouragement, and questions. We are all working diligently to make this as user friendly and meaningful as possible for our students. Thank you for your patience and flexibility.
In my video message, I expressed how important it is to build community and to support our neighbors, students and families, while continuing to practice social distancing. One way of doing this is to participate in “chalk the walk”. Students and staff can write encouraging messages with chalk on the sidewalk or hang positive posters on the upper yard fence at Chaparral letting everyone know how much they are missed. I know it brightens my day to see sweet notes written on the sidewalks by my home. If you can’t come by the school but would like to participate, write a note by your home and post it to our twitter and use @chaparralcubs#lvusd & #LVUSDConnects.
We are all working to provide as much information as possible, and I know it can be overwhelming. This email is long but includes documents and information intended as a resource that I hope will be helpful to you.
We understand that each family’s circumstances are different. Continue to do what you can to keep the learning of your children progressing. As a school district, we are still required to take attendance, even during distance learning. Attendance will be marked by participation, work completion, and attendance at virtual sessions. The timing of participation and work completion will be flexible to accommodate the varying circumstances of each family. What this means for Chaparral’s families is that attendance will be counted as your child’s teacher sees participation in a variety of ways, not a total of all assignments and expectations. I do want you to know though, the more your child participates, the more they can learn. It is not our intention to create a stressful situation for your family by expecting you to accomplish everything. This will not help you to stay well. Do what you can and work to develop those routines that will support your family through this process.
I have listed information below regarding our Art, Music, Library, and P.E. Specialists, counseling services, tech support, meals offered, and additional resources available for our students and families.
From Our Art Specialist, Anna Faulkner
I have created a Google Site to share some art lessons with our families. Here is the site: https://sites.google.com/view/mrsannasartsite. I've created an Instagram page specifically for student artwork. There isn't much there at the moment, but I'm hoping students will snap photos of the art they create at home and send them to me. I can then post some of their masterpieces for all to enjoy. I thought this might help motivate the kids, brighten the day of Chaparral families, and keep our community even more connected during this time. You can follow me on Instagram @chaparralcreations. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
From Our Music Specialist, Beverly Chafee
I hope you are doing well at home and staying safe. Through your child’s classroom teacher, I will be sending you grade level specific music activities and lessons to keep us all learning. Make some music every day, alone or with your family. I know we are all looking forward to the time when we will all be back together in our classrooms! If you have questions, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
From Our P.E. Specialist, Felicity Clements
I created a google classroom for P.E. activity ideas. Students will be given a google code from their teacher in grades 3-5 to enter and then will click on their grade level. For grades K-2, there is a link below that your teacher will also include. I will add new challenges every few days. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1txKJGqs0LWB9DAPp6ge0cDBTNTzXMIfyfyr46e_bJU8/edit?usp=sharing
This past Friday, using Zoom, we had a PE Dance Party. Unfortunately, Zoom only allowed 100 participants. I apologize to everyone who tried but could not enter the party. Even Mrs. Brazell couldn’t join us. :) For our next Friday Dance Party, we will use Google Meets so that anyone who wishes to participate will be able to do so. More information on our next Dance Party will be sent home later in the week. If you have questions, my email is email@example.com
From Our Library Media Specialist, Laurie Davis
As Mrs. Brazell mentioned in her video, I have created a Reading Bingo game to play while you are reading. Click Here for Reading Bingo We learn to read, and then we read to learn, so keep reading CUBS! Here are some resources for ebooks and our Public Libraries:
Calabasas City Cloud Library - Online fiction books available for students to check out using their student ID as the username and password. Students can find core books here as well as popular titles for reading pleasure.
L.A. County Temporary Digital Library Card Sign up for a temporary digital card (valid for 90 days) to access all of our digital resources including eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, TV, homework help, online classes, and more.
Non-Fiction Ebook Collection - Shelved by units for LVUSD students to supplement units. Password and username is student id.
Tumblebooks (k-5) - Tumblebooks provides animated storybooks( username: tumble2020 Password: A3b5c6)
TeenBookCloud (7-12) - Ebook database (username: tumble2020 Password: A3b5c6)
Audio Book Club (K-12) - Audiobook database (username: tumble2020 Password: A3b5c6)
From Our Counselor, Janet Jamesson
There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the world right now and our children can feel it. As adults, we are more capable of coping with these emotions and handling them in healthy ways. For children, these emotions are so big and they don’t know what to do with them. Many times, these feelings manifest in challenging behaviors. Here are some things that can help them feel safe:
- Instead of judging the behavior, try to understand it. A child’s behavior reflects their comfort level and is a means of communication. Allow them to have their feelings and express them safely without trying to fix their feelings to make them feel better. Sometimes just being a calm, compassionate presence is what they need most.
- Model healthy ways to deal with emotions, such as journaling, taking deep breaths, getting some fresh air, exercising, listening to music, or practicing positive self-talk out loud for kids to hear
- Be consistent with routines and boundaries. During stressful situations and transitions, children need structure and consistent boundaries to feel safe. Enforce the rules with a calm and neutral firmness. Consider making a schedule with them like they would have at school with some brain breaks included.
- Find time in the day and evening to fully connect, show lots of affection, and be present with your child
- Be honest about how you’re feeling. Children know when we are feeling “off.” It can help them to know how we are feeling in a developmentally appropriate way, while still assuring them that they are safe and okay.
- Focus attention on what you can control, instead of what you can’t. For example, washing hands, practicing social distancing, limiting social media, finding fun things to do at home, etc.
- Take care of your own needs first. In order to be the best parent you can be to your child, you must practice and model self-care.
- Be patient. You are doing the best you can and that is enough. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your kids. Be gentle with the people around you. We will all get through this together, but it will take time.
Below is the link to my School Counseling Website where you can find more information, such as parent and student resources, and a link to book an online appointment for your child. Please remember that this will be an online check-in via Google Meet or the Zoom app. For younger students who are in TK-2nd grade, it may require parent assistance to get them logged in.
*If you are having trouble with the scheduling feature or need additional time availability, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to help!
District Counseling: Our Counseling Center staff are available for virtual appointments for you or your child if you feel you need some social-emotional support or strategies for navigating this social distancing period. You can set up an appointment at Community360.me/appointments.
Meals: LVUSD will provide free school meals for students at A.E. Wright Middle School. These will be available from 9:00 am-12:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Any student under the age of 18 is entitled to a free meal, regardless of any previous classification as a free or reduced-price meal student. Parents may pick up the meals on behalf of their students. Students are not required to be present. When a parent comes to pick up, they may take two-days of meals for each student in their family. Please bring a bag or box if possible.
Internet: Charter/Spectrum has generously offered free internet to all LVUSD families who are unable to afford services. If families are in need of the internet for their household, please contact them directly at 844-488-8395 and let them know that LVUSD sent you.
Tech Support: Technical support will be available via email at email@example.com, or by texting/calling 818-538-6433, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. For laptop issues, please contact tech support first at the email/number provided above. If a repair or replacement is necessary it will be handled at the LVUSD District Office, 4111 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas.
This Monday, we will be starting the third week of our distance learning period and we are only at the beginning of this process. We will all make mistakes and will learn a lot. Teachers will work to meet the needs of their students and adjust as they move throughout the day. At home, you can do the same. It will take time to develop routines that work for you and your family. Do what you can as a family, and that is OK if it is different for each of you. Change is hard, and we're all in this together! It is most important to stay healthy and be well.
Please let me know if you have any questions about our school or district. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also arrange to speak by phone if your question requires a longer explanation.
Take care and be well. I miss you all,
Stephanie Brazell, Principal