From the Desk of Mr. Drouhard
I tweeted out on Thursday that “history continues at Amity”, in reference to having two first days of school. I was standing in front of the wall of pictures in our entry which has pictures dating back over 100 years. This is a school year for the ages, and being in a school with so much history and tradition, going through this pandemic together adds to this building’s living history. I’m sure going to school in 2020 will be story that our students tell their children about someday.
Overall we got off to a great start, and students and staff have done a wonderful job of adapting to new routines and processes. Our staff has repeatedly told me how proud they are of our students adaptation to wearing a mask. Thank you so much for impressing the importance of mask wearing and building up their tolerance to do it! We couldn’t do it without your help!
Thank you so much for your help with arrival and dismissal processes. I just wanted to note that we have a new entrance on the southeast corner of the building. This entrance is great for our 1st-6th graders who get dropped off on the East side of the building, and might get them in quicker than the front doors.
We look forward to another great week at Amity!
Information For Parents Regarding Hybrid Work Days From Home
When will our students start getting work for hybrid learning at home?
We will start our hybrid learning model, where we expect students to work at home as well as at school, the week of September 8th.
What type of work should I expect for my student to complete?
Our hybrid model of work at home will look differently than the completely remote model we used in the spring. The in class time allows teachers to set the groundwork for students to work at home and then check in on this work the following week. Students will complete paper worksheets as well as online work using Schoology as the hub of academic tasks.
How much work should I expect for my student?
Our goal, even with going on a hybrid plan, is to provide the appropriate amount of work for students to progress through their grade level academic curriculum. This could cause an increase in work from our remote learning experience in the Spring, as students are expected to progress following state guidelines. I understand that hearing an increase of work may increase anxiety in parents, but we will be able to better support our students in setting up lessons and executing them through our time in the classroom each week.
What will Wednesday’s look like for my student since the teachers don’t have students at Amity?
Wednesday morning affords us the opportunity for our teachers to meet with students digitally. Teachers will publish a schedule that has time in the morning for individual, small group, or whole class Googlemeets. In the afternoon students will continue working on their assigned work at home. Teachers will spend the afternoon uploading lessons onto Schoology for the rest of the blended days that students are learning from home.
Tips for parents and students:
- Build your own three day routine. Set up your Wednesday schedule with virtual meeting times or teacher office hours built in. Set up your blended learning days with academic times, breaks, and lunch.
- Check into Schoology first thing in the morning to refresh your mind on the work you have to complete for the day.
- Establish a common place where work will be done. Work to find a place away from the TV or other electronic devices to eliminate distractions.
Below is the link to the Updated Hybrid Calendar for when students will be reporting to school in person. Please notes some adjustments around holidays, conferences, and election days.
September Lunch Menu
Below, you can find the lunch menu for the month of September.
6th Grade Remote Learning Academy Students
Students taking courses in Apex, please consult the following document for fun activities that count as class time and for important links:
In Case You Missed It
Day in the Life
In an effort to make our transition back to school--either in-person or virtually--we have created a pair of documents to describe a "Day in the Life" of an Amity Elementary students. You can find those documents attached below.
Adjustments to Increase Safety Within the Building
We have been working all summer to come up with plans and materials to help improve our safety while going to school during a pandemic. Below is a quick snapshot of some of those improvements, and doesn’t capture all the different changes that have been made.
- Clear tri fold blockers for shared student tables and student desks.
- Arrows at 3ft intervals on the right side of the floors of Amity hallways to assist student travel.
- X’s on bathroom floors to maintain social distancing.
- Water fountains closed in hallways and classrooms.
- Disposable masks ordered for students that misplace/break their mask during the school day.
- Non contact scanning thermometers for student arrivals.
- Hand sanitizers installed in every classroom and school entrance.
- Creation of an additional clinic for medication disbursement and non-illness related visits.
- Installation of plexiglass barriers in main office area, nurses office, and cafeteria serving areas.
- Cafeteria capacity limited to 1 grade level to ensure 6 feet of distancing while students eat.
- Plexiglass dividers at teachers desks.
- Signs throughout the building listing COVID19 symptoms and prevention techniques.
- Logistical plans for movement of students, cleaning of areas, and minimizing shared materials.
Teacher Assignments Posted to Schoology
Information regarding the posting of class lists came out this week via email, and will look a little different than years past. You will be able to view your child’s homeroom teacher by using Schoology. Schoology is an integrated learning management solution (LMS) that provides support for district and school-wide communication. Schoology enables our parents and teachers to engage with learning materials and their school community from the classroom and beyond. By now, you should have received login credentials in the mail to access Schoology.
Below is our Deer Park Schoology Guide. This guide provides instructions on how to login to Schoology on a computer as well as a cell phone.
Hybrid Schedule Outline
- The hybrid ("A" day and "B" day) model will be in effect for students in grades 1-12. Kindergarten students will operate on a 5-day week, half-day schedule. AM and PM kindergarten lists will be separated by the "A" and "B" model as well, with last names determining AM or PM placement.
- All teacher assignments and student schedules will be made available as soon as possible. We will communicate the assignments and schedules through Schoology.
- Our current plan consists of a hybrid model for school for grades 1-12 (beginning Monday, August 24th) with an "A" group attending on Monday and Tuesday and a "B" group attending on Thursday and Friday.
- The "A" Group will consist of students with the last names Abney - Langdon. These students will attend school on 8/24, 8/25, 8/31, and 9/1.
- The "B" Group will consist of students with the last names Lange - Young. These students will attend school on 8/27, 8/28, 9/3, and 9/4.
- Following the first two weeks of school, students attending "A" days will attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday, and be expected to complete work from home on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Students attending "B" days will attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday, and be expected to complete work from home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
- Wednesdays will be used as remote learning days, and we will have expectations for teachers to connect virtually with students to hold discussions and review lessons, while the buildings are deep cleaned in an effort to mitigate cross-contamination.
- Further information regarding what to expect of students during their days that they are working from home will be coming out soon.
Amity School Times
- 7:45 AM- Doors open at Amity to start wellness checks.
- 8:00 AM- School starts
- 3:05 AM- Kindergarten and 1st grade dismiss
- 3:15 AM- 2nd-6th grade will dismiss
Kindergarten School Times
AM Kindergarten Time Schedule:
- 7:45-8:00 AM Kindergarten arrival and wellness check
- 8:00-10:45 AM Kindergarten academic time
- 10:45- AM Kindergarten dismissal
PM Kindergarten Time Schedule:
- 12:10-12:20- PM Kindergarten arrival and wellness check
- 12:20-3:05 PM Kindergarten academic time
- 3:05- PM Kindergarten dismissal
Below are posted lunch and recess times for the 2020-2021 school year. Options for purchased lunches at Amity will be limited to either a pre-packaged hot or cold lunch.
10:20-10:45 (25 Min Lunch)
10:50-11:15 (25 Min Lunch)
11:20- 11:40 (20 Min Lunch)
11:45-12:05 (20 Min Lunch)
12:10-12:30 (20 Min Lunch)
12:35-12:55 (20 Min Lunch)
Tips for Mask Wearing
We understand that it is going to be an adjustment for students to wear masks for the entire day. Amy McKnight, our guidance counselor shares some resources below to help students adjust to prolonged mask wearing.
As we return to school, we are asking for your help to think about your children wearing masks at school. At first, this can be confusing and uncomfortable for many children. Here are some tips from kidshealth.org to help you and your child get used to masks at school:
- Help kids get used to masks. As much as you can, give kids time to practice wearing their masks before they might need to wear one outside of your home. Teach them how to put them on and take them off. Having them wear masks during screen time will help them get used to the mask while also keeping their mind off the feeling of the mask.
- Encourage kids to decorate their mask. This might help them feel a sense of ownership and control over the situation. A personal touch can help make it more of a normal part of their routine, and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask. Depending on the type of mask, kids can draw on it with markers or put stickers on it.
- Make them together. If you make masks or cloth face coverings at home, let older kids help you. There are no-sew masks that are easy to make, often with materials you probably already have (T-shirts, bandannas, etc.). If you sew masks, maybe kids can select the fabric or patterns for the masks they'll wear.
- Have a few masks handy while kids play. This lets them use their imagination about how to use them during playtime. It also helps make masks a more normal part of their everyday world. You can ask your child to put a mask on a stuffed animal, and then ask follow-up questions about why the stuffed animal is wearing the mask. Depending on your child's response, you can clear up any confusion and offer reassurance.
- Have more than one mask. Sending children to school with two or more masks gives them choices during the day in case one becomes uncomfortable or wet during the day.
To add some fun to wearing masks and hand-washing, here are some songs that you and your child may enjoy:
Amity Guidance Counselor
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information Page
A page on the Deer Park website has been created which is dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date information on all things affecting Deer Park Schools. It includes several quick links to local, state, and national health organizations, along with a frequently asked questions section. Please visit the page to stay up to date with all COVID-19 information.