Non-Traditional Instruction/Differentiated Distance Learning
Welcome and welcome back to Veterans Park Elementary! It continues to be my honor to serve as the principal of this amazing school community by welcoming new families and returning families back to VPE for the 2020-2021 school year. At VPE we want to take this opportunity to personally invite you to be a part of our school’s tradition of excellence and especially your child’s education this year. We know that our start to the school year is going to look a little different this year as we begin with Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) - 2DL: Differentiated Distance Learning. However, our goal is to make NTI-2DL as much like in person instruction as possible. Students excel because of the great teamwork between home and school and we are even more aware of how crucial that will be this year.
We are excited to introduce a few new faces to the staff at VPE. The council and interview committees spent many hours this spring and summer reviewing candidates and interviewing to find perfect matches for our students. Dakota Penrod will be joining us as our new Physical Education teacher, he has been teaching in Clark County the past two years and was previously at Southern Middle School; Edierah Brown will be joining us as our new Family Resource Director replacing Allison Green who has relocated with her husband to Ashland to help care for a family member; and Cassie Hamilton will be joining us as a Special Education Para and is a familiar face after completing a long term substitute position last school year. Finally, we are incredibly excited that the district has provided an additional part time mental health position which is allowing Abeer Bateh to be at VPE full time! We are excited to be able to bring such high caliber, dedicated and experienced educators on board at VPE. Please join me in welcoming these great new staff members to our incredible school!
This year all grade level teams will be working as a cohesive unit to plan and deliver instruction to students. There will be daily videoed instructional lessons for your student to view along with small group meetings that will be scheduled daily. The small group instruction will be differentiated to meet your child’s present levels of achievement and to accelerate learning. Students will be expected to complete daily assignments, projects and assessments as instructional units are concluded. Each day during virtual learning, students will have a mix of live classes with teachers (generally 2.5 to 3 hours a day) and self-paced learning activities (3.5 to 4 hours)
Beginning this fall all FCPS elementary schools will be utilizing the Google Classroom platform to assign and collect work online. We realize that there will be a learning curve to implementing this platform school-wide as we adjust to Differentiated Distance Learning (2DL). However, we feel strongly that we will be able to support everyone to adjust to this new way of learning and working. VPE was 1:1 with Chromebooks at the end of last school year for grades 2-5 and we have received word that the district will support 1:1 for our entire building Kindergarten through 5th this year. Therefore, Chromebooks will be available to all students to check out. It is our recommendation that families utilize the district supported Chromebooks even if you have one at home as many of the programs students will be using for instructional purposes will be bookmarked on these devices. Chromebooks and all other grade level school issued supplies such as text books, workbooks and supplies can be picked up during our “Drive Through Supply Pick Up.” Pickups will be available on Monday, August 24 from 9:00am-12:00pm & 4:00pm-6:00pm and Tuesday, August 25th from 9:00am-12:00pm & 4:00pm-6:00pm. Please pull into the bus loop and stay in your vehicles and a VPE staff member will assist you.
As teachers we are aware of the crucial partnership we must have with families as we all work together to make this distance learning opportunity as much like in class learning as possible for students. This school year will present unique challenges to students, parents, and teachers. VPE does not expect parents to become educators, but there are some things parents can do to maximize students’ productivity while they are learning virtually at home:
- Create a daily routine and ensure children have a quiet, dedicated space to do their work.
- Ask questions about what your children are learning.
- Make sure they are getting breaks and getting outside when they can.
- Make sure they’re getting adequate sleep and are well-rested when they start learning each day.
- Keep computer and device screens within your view as much as possible and make sure your children are actively engaged with learning.
- Encourage them during productive struggle.
- Be patient and flexible.
We know that for most of our students and parents, virtual learning is still a very new experience. Our teachers will host an online back to school night in the coming weeks to help students and families better prepare and understand what school will look like in the virtual environment. Please reference your child’s teacher letter for specifics on their meeting date/time for your child’s meeting.
School supply lists have been adjusted since you received one in the spring. Please note that you are welcome to wait to purchase duplicate items on an as needed basis. If we return to in-person learning we ask that you will then send the supplies in a ziploc back with your child’s name on it. This will help in keeping materials individualized for safety and health purposes. If you have a need for help with school supplies please contact our Families First Resource Director at email@example.com
The first day of school is Wednesday, August 26th! We are excited to start the school year partnering with your family. Teachers are available to answer questions or for conferences via email or telephone. All voicemails and emails will be answered within 24 hours throughout our entire district. Feel free to contact your child’s teacher or me at any time. We are so glad to have your family returning or beginning to be a part of our school! Together we are going to have an outstanding year at Veterans Park Elementary!