Dear Stratton families:
Please see the following links to information about the various online learning environments available to students over the Summer
RAZ Kids Login Information
Raz Kids Parent Tool Kit
June 21, 2020
Dear Stratton families:
Included in this communication:
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents of the Stratton community for jumping into this challenging new school environment in a spirit of partnership that we haven’t had before this time of remote learning. Please know that all Stratton faculty and staff are aware of the strain and stress on families that was required to keep going with our academic programming. In many cases teachers are trying to coach their own children at home with remote learning, so there is a special level of empathy that I’ve seen grow between faculty and families that I intend to hold onto, even as we eventually, at some point, move back to completely on site teaching and learning.
Resources for Optional Summer Learning:
Link FY20 Elementary Summer Programming Letter
Enrichment Activities for Students
As the year comes to a close, K-5 teachers have prepared a year end personal narrative that will provide an overview of how your child has progressed during the final months of the school year. The impact of school closure has made it difficult to utilize our usual progress report which measures the growth of each student based upon specific standards within each content area. The information for the standards based progress report is derived by teachers using multiple assessment tools which include daily in class assignments, one-on-one and small group interactions, informal and formal assessments, as well as, teacher observations. The personal narrative will differ by providing information on how each student responded to online lessons and tools such as Dreambox and include specific skills that each student needs to focus on for the fall. Your child’s teacher in the fall will follow up on this information by administering assessments that will give them current data on how to address your child’s academic needs.
To access your child’s personal narrative simply navigate to the Powerschool Parent Portal and sign in with your username and password, and then choose the Grades & Attendance icon on the left side menu. Select the Expand All option. You will be looking in Trimester 3 under the first section Homeroom Standards in the Teacher Comments section.
Here is a 1-minute video tutorial (1min) to help you locate the narrative in Powerschool.
This is a direct link to the Arlington Parent Portal: https://aps.powerschool.com/public/
We understand that you may not consistently use the PowerSchool Parent Portal and are here to help you if there are login issues. If you do not remember your username or password, please use the Forgot Username or Password link. If you do not have an account, please contact me, and we will ensure you have a working PowerSchool login as soon as possible.
Thoughts on the 2020-2021 School Year:
Despite the uncertainty of the upcoming school year, we have been working on class assignments for next year. As many of you know, our process is to have teachers make recommendations on student groupings for the following year based on their knowledge of them as learners and feedback from our specialist team, social workers, and families. Final class lists are then shared with me to finalize. You will receive class assignments in August. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Over the summer, District Administrators, along with staff representation from schools, will be planning for the various scenarios that may occur in the Fall. We will be considering scheduling, family constraints, teacher constraints, as well as curriculum planning for both in school and remote learning, The data from the School Closure and Reopening Survey for Families, and the Staff Reopening Survey will guide our planning and discussions. We will also be working with the Facilities and Nursing Departments to evaluate policies, procedures and needs for physical spaces in an effort to open in the safest way possible.
Social Emotional and Health/Wellness considerations
There has been a premium placed on social-emotional well being and continued skill growth in our remote learning program from the beginning. We are anticipating that this emphasis will continue through the launch of the 2020-21 school year, regardless of the degree of on site, or remote learning. In the elementary schools this includes the kind of community building and maintenance articulated in articles like the one found here from Responsive Classroom. There are resources available on the Arlington Public Schools website for families to access here, under ‘Mental Health and Social Emotional Resources.’
Again, the whole school team is appreciative of the good things that we’ve been able to do together during this extraordinary time, and will continue to plan and design together the best possible teaching and learning experiences for your children this Fall given the direction and parameters that we are faced with. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns throughout the Summer.
Here’s to seeing each other soon, have a great Summer!
Dear Stratton families:
I opened up this email server still not knowing exactly what I was going to say, and then I just typed the subject line.
This really is a message from your child's whole school, not simply the principal. The senseless killing of another defenseless African American man seems to have combined with the frustration and confusion of this pandemic to make for a strain and stress that is difficult to manage for many, and overwhelming and life-threatening for others. In response I want to speak for the school community that comes together day after day to coach and teach your children to build a future with the exact opposite outcomes in mind: justice, health, community, intelligence, and improvement. Over almost 9 years as principal I have witnessed actions of such deep care and concern for all the children at Stratton by these teachers, that my biggest regret is that I couldn't press 'record' and show them all to you. Nevertheless, we are compelled to focus even more sharply not just on the general cultivation of strong citizens in a democracy, but in particular on anti-racist habits of mind. In the past few years, Stratton faculty have joined faculty around the district with this focus for their practice, and have learned and grown in ways that are a great start. This email serves as a commitment to lead our learning with an even sharper focus on anti-racism, and in so doing, open the set of possibilities to all of our students for thriving and excellence in the future that will hopefully make what happened last week in Minneapolis seem unimaginable in the future.
As we continue to make this focus in the classroom, there are ways to support at home. Of course the conversation with the children will not be in the stark and challenging language of this email. Our social worker Laurie Henry has compiled a compendium of books and a message below that is as thoughtful as I have come to expect from all Stratton faculty. So it is in that spirit that I close, with a reminder of our love and concern for all of your children, and the work we are all delighted to do on their behalf.
Hello Stratton Families,
As we navigate these challenging times, I wanted to share a book list of socially conscious topics. I have most of the titles and have read them at points with your children. The messages are easy to understand and discuss. A few of the titles are on their way to my house as I type. It is tricky to know how to broach the subject of what is happening in the world and the news. Books serve as a tool for children and families to think about these difficult topics in a neutral way. They provide a story, examples, a point of reference and a way to start the conversation.
There is no perfect or stock answer as to what to tell your children. My suggestion would be to have a conversation. Talk about what your family values are, talk about what your family should/can do in certain situations. If that feels like too much to start (which is ok), talk about kindness and empathy. How can we offer kindness to those around us? What is empathy, how do we have empathy for others? Any action is a step in a positive direction. It is also helpful to neutralize the charge of race, by talking about feelings and choices. In all situations, everyone involved has feelings. People communicate their feelings through the choices they make, some are safe choices and some are not. Talk with your children about the choices you make as a family.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, I will do my best to answer them. I found this quote today and it resonated with me.
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For indeed, that's all who ever have." - Margaret Mead
We Miss You!
Happy Administrative Assistant Day
Not an Arlington Public Schools official web page.