Faculty/Staff Meetings

and E-Mails

 

Click here to go back to the Faculty/Staff Resource Page.

 


JANUARY 18, 2021

Good evening everyone~

I am sending you wishes for introspection on this day meant to commemorate the contributions Martin Luther King, Jr. made to not only the Civil Rights movement in the United States, but also the ongoing diversity and inclusion work being done in his name. Today’s quote seems particularly pertinent with the search for justice that continues in so many areas of our lives. I hope you were able to spend time today reflecting on the amazing work of this one individual who gave his life so that others could live more freely.

This week brings into focus the opportunities for new beginnings ahead of our country as we prepare for the inauguration of a new President of the United States. It is my sincerest wish that love and justice will prevail this week and a unity that has been absent from American politics for so long has the opportunity to take hold. As a school community, I hope we can hold a vision for this and be a guiding light for others in peaceful coexistence during turbulent times.

Here are my updates for the week:

Birthdays Updates

Happy Belated Birthday, Mark! We hope your birthday in December was filled with love and joy.

On-Campus/Home Learning this Week

There are a number of situations happening right now with exposure, illness, and/or potential illness on campus. Please note the following information for on-campus and home learning this week:

  • Primary B cohort in home learning for a couple of days while we await the results of a student’s COVID-19 test

  • Students listed in green on the Faculty/Staff Roster by Classroom will be returning to on-campus learning tomorrow

  • There are a number of students noted on the Transitions to Home Learning spreadsheet and applicable teachers have been tagged noting whether the student(s) will be on-campus or in home learning this week

Disposable Medical Masks/Review of Healthy Habits

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) has acknowledged that the new strains of COVID-19 have hit our region. Our current use of cloth face coverings alone may not be adequately protective against these more contagious strains. I’ve placed both adult and child-sized disposable medical masks in each of your classrooms for personal use (for yourself and your own children while at school) and for use on the students in your classroom if you so desire. This additional protective measure to our practices as a school is strictly voluntary on your part. These masks are not meant to replace cloth face coverings but can be added underneath them in order to protect the wearer more effectively from these more virulent strains.

In this week’s private schools meeting, DCHHS did recommend double masking. The new variants are highly virulent and there are many cases reporting individuals following all guidelines and still contracting COVID-19. There has not, however, been a formal public health recommendation at this time.

If the CDC and/or DCHHS formally recommends adding this measure, I will ask parents to begin sending children to school double-masked, with a disposable medical or KN-95 mask as a first layer and their cloth face coverings as a second layer.

This would also be an appropriate time to review healthy habits (handwashing, staying six feet apart from one another, not gathering in groups) with children while at school. DCHHS also recommended this in our weekly private school meeting as an additional measure of support during this time of high transmission and potential contact with more virulent strains.

Lockdown Drill Cancelled – Friday, January 22nd

There will not be a lockdown drill this week. If you haven’t yet submitted your lockdown drill plan to me, please do so by this Friday, 1/22.

Additional Resources for Talking to Students – ASCD

Additional resources for talking with students about politics, civic engagement, and uncertainty from ASCD.

Revised Student Materials Pick-Up Dates

Thank you, Emily Connery, for noticing an error in our materials pick-up days schedule for the rest of the year. Please adjust your calendars to reflect the following changes:

  • 1/18 – (materials to front office by end of day 1/15)

  • 2/5 – (materials to front office by end of day 2/3)

  • 2/26  – (materials to front office by end of day 2/24)

  • 3/26 – (materials to front office by end of day 3/24)

  • 4/16 – (materials to front office by end of day 4/14) (pick up day lands on a Friday conference day here)

  • 5/7 – (materials to front office by end of day 5/5)

That’s everything for this week! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Warmly,

Connie


JANUARY 10, 2021

Good evening everyone~

What a whirlwind of a week it has been, with the positive anticipation of reconnecting virtually with the students and each other to the troubling situation at the US Capitol, there have been many opportunities to find our inner calm this past week. As we look to welcoming some students back to campus tomorrow, I hope we can all tap into our inner calm and find joy in reconnecting as a community and relying on each other to navigate any stormy waters that may come our way.

In an email to the school community last week, I shared some resources for talking with students about what happened at the US Capitol on Wednesday. I will update this document as more information becomes available.

Face Shields

I distributed two face shields per person around the campus for anyone to use if you would appreciate the extra protection as we return to campus during this time of heightened reports of COVID-19. These are meant to be a “use one, clean one” approach to this additional mitigation measure. You are not required to wear them. Here is a guide from the CDC on appropriate cleaning protocols.

Chromebook Returns

When you collect your water coolers tomorrow morning, please keep the carts outside of your classrooms. As students return to the classroom, you can collect them and put them on the cart. Melanie will come by after car line, collect the carts, sanitize the computers, and store them. She will return the appropriate numbers of Chromebooks to your classrooms for use by the students. Please be patient with that process as they may not be available for the students until later in the day on Monday.

Handwashing Stations

On Friday, Scott moved the handwashing stations inside in preparation for our return to campus tomorrow. With the air temperatures dropping down into the 30s each night, the water is getting quite cold. You can either make a semi-permanent space in your classroom for your handwashing station or move it out to the patio each morning and back inside before you leave each day. Taking this extra small step will support the children in appropriate hand-hygiene as they arrive each day.

If you’d like some support in coming up with ideas for how to store and/or move your handwashing station, Scott is offering his assistance. Please shoot him an email if you’d like to partner with him on some ideas.

Vaccine Update/Availability – Dallas County

TPSA had a phone call with the Governor’s office this afternoon to clarify the vaccine distribution plan.  Officially, only people in the 1A and 1B categories are eligible to get the vaccine.  This includes frontline healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people aged 65 and older, and people 16 years old or older with the following conditions:  cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, or type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Teachers without any of the above conditions are not in the 1A or 1B categories, but they are mentioned in every meeting of the EVAP panel that is deciding the order of distribution.

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is preparing for mass inoculations for the coronavirus vaccine. You can sign up for the vaccine here. It is also recommended that you talk with your doctor about their vaccine availability and/or take a look at this map.

Dates for Materials Pick up for Rest of Year

1/18/21 (materials to front office by end of day 1/15)

2/12/21 (materials to front office by end of day 2/10)

3/5/21 (materials to front office by end of day 3/3)

4/2/21 (materials to front office by end of day 3/31)

4/23/21 (materials to front office by end of day 4/21)

Outdoor Spaces Sign-Up Sheet

The soccer field has been added to the Outdoor Spaces Sign Up. Please review your sign-ups and update accordingly.

Staff Development Meeting – January 4th

Links to recordings of teacher presentations can be found below and on the faculty/staff resource page:

Lynn – Tough to Treasured

Emily G/Laura – Story of Mammals

Ali – Praise: The Montessori Approach

Emely – How to Incorporate Multiple Languages into Montessori Classrooms

Angelo – Creating Kinship: The Interwoven Web of the Whole School

Emily/Scott – Conflict Resolution in the 2nd Plane

Mary – Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment

Recording of Staff Meeting

Winter AimsWeb Testing – February

Ashley will be facilitating the Winter AimsWeb Benchmarking on the dates listed below. Primary teachers, please note, this round of testing will include kindergarten students.

February 1 – 12; on-campus learners

February 16-19; remote learners

Thanks, everyone, for all you are doing to make the return to on-campus learning smooth and beneficial for the students.

See you tomorrow~

Connie


JANUARY 4, 2021

Staff Development Meeting Agenda (doc)

Staff Development Meeting (slideshow)

Staff Development Meeting (video)

COVID-19 Testing Schedule (doc)

Stories of Gratitude and Encouragement (form)

Teacher Presentations:
Lynn – Tough to Treasured (video)
Emily G/Laura – Story of Mammals (video)
Ali – Praise: The Montessori Approach (video)
Emely – How to Incorporate Multiple Languages into Montessori Classrooms (video)
Angelo – Creating Kinship: The Interwoven Web of the Whole School (video)
Emily/Scott – Conflict Resolution in the 2nd Plane (video)
Mary – Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment (video)


JANUARY 3, 2021

Welcome to 2021 and the second semester of our school year!

I hope you all found the time to decompress over the break and are preparing, physically and mentally, for our return to our work with students this week. As we look towards the coming days and set our sights on returning to campus, I notice mixed feelings in myself. I am experiencing a ‘slow pull’ out of the slower pace of the past few weeks and into what lies ahead. My excitement about reconnecting with all of you and with the students is providing the momentum to shift my energies in this area. I look forward to our time together tomorrow and with the students throughout the week!

This week’s quote was thought-provoking for me. During times of difficulty, it can be a challenge to see the opportunities that lie before us. I have shared in week’s past the mantra that has been a constant in my life these past months: everything in my world is bringing me to my highest good. This quote reminds me of this from a different perspective. There is no shortage of challenges ahead of us and I hope this quote speaks to you in some way.

Here are my updates for this week:

January Birthdays

Please join me in sending sweet wishes to our two January birthdays: Maribel on 1/16 and Melanie on 1/29. I hope your days are filled with love and joy in celebration of you!

Staff Development Day Agenda

Here is the agenda for tomorrow’s Staff Development Day. Please note we will have our typical morning meeting from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and then team meetings throughout the remainder of the day. There are hyperlinks throughout for the various topics we will cover and I have set up the calendar events with Meet links for our time together.

Updated Roster/Preparing the Way

I have added a new tab to our Faculty/Staff Copy of the Roster by Classroom. There are some changes we will need to review together and prepare for. In order to keep our morning meeting moving, these discussions will happen during our team meetings in the afternoon.

Please be sure to also review the Opt-In/Opt-Out document for this week’s schedule and update your calendar invites with Google Meet links.

Professional Development Opportunities

Welcoming Schools: Creating Gender-Inclusive Schools

P2P and other teacher-led training presentations – required for all faculty/staff members

That’s all I have for tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing your smiling faces tomorrow!

Connie


DECEMBER 15, 2020

Hello everyone,

I am writing with a revision to the plan for bringing students and staff back to the school. After thoughtful deliberation, and in the interest of maintaining a 14-day period between holiday celebrations and returning to campus, I am pushing back the return of students and staff by one week. Keep an eye out for an email to the school community later today with the details.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!
Connie

 


DECEMBER 13, 2020

Good evening everyone~

Thank you to those who attended our faculty/staff meeting on Friday afternoon (here is a link to the presentation/recording for those of you who missed it). I imagine some of you are still processing the information that was shared and are reconciling the decision to reopen campus starting in January. As I mentioned in the meeting, this will be a staged reopening

1/5/20 – Primary program; children of frontline workers and WRM staff children; faculty/staff return to campus

1/11/20 – essential workers with both parents working outside of the home; children with diagnosed learning differences; children with COVID-19 related mental health concerns

As early as 1/19/20 – rest of essential workers, as per revised plan

As early as 1/25/20 – hybrid students, as per revised plan

Please stay tuned to the information I will share with the parent community this week re: this and understand it is a constantly evolving situation that may result in slight changes as we learn more.

This week’s quote is an extension of the one I shared last week, and a useful reminder these days. I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept over the past few weeks, as life with the pandemic continues to unfold in unexpected (and quite frankly, unwanted) ways. Reminding myself that I can’t control what is happening, only my reaction to it, helps me to feel a little more empowered during this time when there is so little power over this experience. This article explores this idea in a little more detail…I hope it brings calm to your heart as we journey forward.

Here are my updates for this week:

Winter/Holiday Gift Delivery – Monday, 12/14

Tomorrow, volunteers from The Parent Community and WRM’s Fun Committee will be delivering a gift from the school to your home. This is in lieu of our holiday luncheon and individual gifts from the parent community this year.

The Fun Committee has also planned an evening event on Wednesday, December 16th to engage in some holiday cheer. Please stay tuned for more information from the committee members about the time of the event and how to bring a twist of fun to the festivities!

Winter Bonus

As many of you will remember, when we planned the budget for this school year, WRM did not set aside funds for our annual winter bonus. I reviewed this with everyone during contract signing and expressed we would do our very best to add it back in if at all possible. During our meeting last Thursday, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to prioritize funds for our typical winter bonus for this year. You will receive a separate bonus direct deposit on December 15th. Please know this comes with deep gratitude for all you have done over the past 10 months and our deepest sense of appreciation as a school.

BinaxNow Info

During our meeting on Friday afternoon, some of you expressed interest in getting more information about the rapid test WRM hopes to use for weekly surveillance testing of all on-campus faculty/staff when we return to campus in January. The link above will give you the most pertinent information. It is important to notice that this particular rapid test has a 97% accuracy rate for positive test results and a 95% accuracy rate for negative test results. This is rated as some of the highest accuracy rates among rapid tests.

Removing Meet Links in Preparation for Winter Break

As we prepare for Winter Break, it will be important to support student online activity engagement over the holiday by removing all Meet links from your calendar events after Wednesday. We will need to start adding those back on just before we begin home learning again in January.

Professional Development Opportunity

Thank you, Ms. Mary, for sharing this information on Welcoming Schools, an organization whose focus is to create gender-inclusive schools.

That’s all I have for this week. I hope you enjoy these last few days with the students and look forward to spending time together on Wednesday evening.

Warmly,

Connie


DECEMBER 11, 2020

Slideshow

Recording

 


DECEMBER 7, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope your week was filled with joyful reconnection and you found your rhythm during our return to whole school home learning. I found this to be a joy-filled and challenging week in many ways: filled with the delights of seeing the students again and the challenges of another shift in our curricular implementation. Although moving back into whole school home learning brought struggles to the surface and some sadness about not having a school filled with children (and the adults who guide/support them), it was remarkable to me how smoothly the transition went. We are getting good at this…the continuous fluctuations of on-campus and home learning, amidst troubling times. My deepest gratitude (and a huge sense of relief) go out to all of you!

This week’s quote was a reminder to me about the gifts that come out of struggle. A former colleague, and now dear friend, of mine, came up with a mantra we frequently turned to during turbulent times at my former school: “everything in my world is bringing me to my highest good.” Keeping this adage in mind as we continue to face the challenges of the pandemic has helped me to keep perspective and know that we can overcome any challenge that comes our way. I love this article, Eight Simple Tips to Bring More Love Into the World, as it gives useful strategies for how to keep our hearts open, even when faced with difficulty. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

Here are my updates for the week:

Mandatory Virtual Faculty/Staff Meeting – Friday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Please mark your calendars for this Friday at 3:00 p.m. when we will have a virtual all faculty/staff meeting. I will be updating you on the decisions about school reopening from our 12/10 board meeting, as well as sharing the State of Texas’ preliminary vaccine distribution plan.

December Birthdays

Please help me acknowledge our December birthdays. We hope you all have the most joyous day!
• Wendy – December 10th
• Tricia – December 23rd
• Grant – December 25th
• Emely – December 26th
• Regina – December 27th

Spirit Week, Part 2

Many thanks to the Fun Committee (Ashley W, Mya, and Ashley V – led by Emily C) for the creative and inspiring line up of WRM school spirit activities last week. The positive energy this promoted was palpable and brought smiles to many faces each day.

In conjunction with this, Jumpathon was a phenomenal success! Congratulations to Coach Teddy and the Jumpathon planning team (Angelo, Melanie, and Courtney) for an amazing event. The students were buzzing with enthusiasm for jumping and were especially excited about the videos of Coach Teddy taking the plunge into an ice bath at the culmination of each day (such a brave soul!). I am deeply grateful for the genuine love and excitement the week’s events brought forth in the WRM community.

The Jumpathon fundraising goal of $5,000 was exceeded!

This week’s Spirit Week activities are:
• Rock the 80’s – Wear your favorite Rock and Roll gear (Monday)
• Howdy Partner – Time to wear your western wear (Tuesday)
• 70’s Disco Days – Peace and Love outfits (Wednesday)
• Roaring 20’s – Jazz, Gatsby, and Fun (Thursday)
• Dia de Musica – It’s a Fiesta! (Friday)

Holiday Travel Plans

The Parent Community (TPC) and WRM’s Fun Committee have some holiday deliveries to make for each of you next week. If you will be out of town, let Mya know what dates so we don’t leave something for you at your house. She will coordinate a drop-off/pick-up approach with you based on your plans.

Virtual Staff Development Day – January 4th, 2021

The leadership team has begun our planning process for our January Staff Development meeting. As is our typical staff day routine, we will have a morning meeting from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. with team/level meetings and curriculum implementation prep in the afternoon. This is a regular workday for all faculty and staff so please be prepared to work your typical schedule.

The morning meeting’s agenda will include:
• Update on 2nd-semester enrollment plans/classroom roster review/etc.
• P2P presentations – a look ahead at the choices of presentations
Lynn – Tough to Treasured
Emily G/Laura – Story of Mammals
Amy – Born to Move
Ali – Praise: The Montessori Approach
Angelo – Creating Kinship: The Interwoven Web of the Whole School
Emily/Scott – Conflict Resolution in the 2nd Plane
Emely – How to Incorporate Multiple Languages into Montessori
Mary – Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment

That’s all I have for this week. Sending wishes for peaceful and fun-loving engagement in the days ahead.

Warmly,

Connie


NOVEMBER 26, 2020

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a restful Thanksgiving and are finding gratitude in the joys of this unique holiday season. As we prepare ourselves for home learning and this time of implementing our curriculum in a different forum, I am hopeful you will experience a peaceful transition and joy-filled connections with the students.

I recently attended a webinar entitled “How to Make Hybrid Learning Work During COVID-19.” the above screenshot was a slide from the seminar that I thought might be useful during this transition. There was a lot of helpful information in this session and if you have an interest in watching the webcast recording you can register here https://webinars.on24.com/edweek/MakingHybridLearningWork.

Here are my updates for the week:

WRM Spirit Week: Nov. 30th – Dec. 4th

It’s Spirit Week for all faculty/staff and students this week! Thank you to the Fun Committee (Ashley W, Mya, and Ashley V) for putting together these playful ways to bolster school spirit this week. We hope you will participate and encourage students to engage in the following ways:

• Wear White Rock Montessori Swag – Monday
• Wear Crazy Socks – Tuesday
• Wear School Colors – Wednesday
• Create artwork of the WRM Logo (Potentially use artwork for Holly projects) – Thursday
• Wild for White Rock (Crazy Hair) – Friday

Jumpathon Schedule and Sign-Up: Nov. 30th – Dec. 4th

Coach Teddy will facilitate Jumpathon this week with the students following this schedule and will also host Faculty/Staff Jumpathon and Happy Hour! on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Please use the embedded links to review schedules and sign up for a fun hour with your colleagues one evening this week.

Intervention Support During Home Learning

Elementary and Middle School classroom teachers, please review the intervention support schedule for the students in your cohorts who qualify for additional strategies to be in place. Tag me in a comment if there are any conflicts or issues that need to be addressed. Please discuss with the students in the list during their one on ones so they are clear about the purpose of this intervention support time.

If you are asked by parents about the implementation of these strategies, please let them know it is intended to mirror the types of support their students would be receiving in the classroom as part of our school Response to Intervention (RtI) practices. This is meant to bridge the transition to home learning for students who benefit from these additional strategies while in the classroom.

Calendar Update

I noticed on the website calendar we still have a conference day scheduled for Monday, December 7th. Please be aware that this is a school day for us and be sure the students are aware of this as well. Melanie and Courtney, please update the website calendar and make note of this in the Thursday Update.

That’s all I have for this week! I wish you a smooth start to whole school home learning tomorrow and for a peace-filled week.

Warmly,
Connie


NOVEMBER 15, 2020

When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates,
if everyone panicked, all would be lost.
But if one person on the boat remained steady and calm, it was enough.
It showed the way for everyone to survive.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Good evening everyone~

As we look towards our last week of on-campus learning for a while, I notice more anxiety creeping up in my days. The count of COVID-19 cases is on a rapid rise, and with it, the collective anxiety in our community has increased as well. Tonight’s quote from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that it only takes one person to stay calm amidst a time filled with panic. In so doing, the remainder of those experiencing anxiety can find their inner peace.

This quote comes from the mindfulness practice of Jack Kornfield, a world-renowned meditation practitioner and teacher. He has a wonderful 13-minute meditation called A Steady Heart in the Time of Coronavirus. I highly recommend it! https://jackkornfield.com/steady-heart/

Here are my updates for the week:

Faculty/Staff Picture Day

Tomorrow (Monday) is Faculty/Staff Picture Day. If you haven’t done so already, please sign up for a five-minute time slot here. I ask that you coordinate with your designated support staff for coverage during this time. If they are unavailable, please reach out to the front desk.

Town Hall Meeting – Tuesday, November 17th from 6:15 – 7:30 p.m.

I will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting this Tuesday to review WRM’s Stages of Reopening Plan, address some misunderstandings in the school community, and share the enrollment options for our families in the upcoming 2nd semester.

I intend to start with a mindfulness practice (you guessed it…Jack Kornfield’s A Steady Heart!) and then move to the agenda, beginning with acknowledgments at 6:30 p.m. Please join us for the mindfulness practice if you are so inclined. If not, it is important you are logged on by 6:30 p.m. I know this is very short notice so if you have a prior commitment, please be sure to watch the video recording sometime this week.

Transition to Home Learning Plan (HLP)

We are gearing up for our switch to home learning ad there are many details to review:

WRM Spirit Week is November 30th – December 4th. Encourage the students to wear their favorite WRM clothes/colors each day this week. The hope is to build connectedness and enthusiasm for our school during this time of campus closure.

Jumpathon schedule:
• Students will participate in Jumpathon with Coach Teddy during their first schedule PE session this week. Primary students will join Coach Teddy during morning circle time on your scheduled day.
• Coach Teddy is very excited to offer a Jumpathon time for the faculty/staff as well! Keep an eye out for more information from him in the coming days.
• Thank you Coach Teddy for putting together this lovely event!

Classroom teachers, please send out an email on or before Sunday 11/29 establishing norms/schedules for your cohort. All cohorts should plan on starting the day with a group meeting aligned with our typical on-campus schedule: Primary and Elementary at 8:45 a.m. and MS at 8:30 a.m.

Elementary Extended Curriculum cohort specialists will provide work cycle support each morning and facilitate the Extended Curriculum classes to the group they are assigned (except for Gardening, which Scott will facilitate)

Classroom teachers will set up calendar events for all lessons and Extended Curriculum activities. Here is the list of July 6th start students who are opting in/out. You will only send calendar events to those who are opting in.

Building Access Sign Up Sheet – Stage 4 starts 11/21/20

For Friday, November 20th dismissal:
• There will be tables out at car line for kits and additional items to go home
• Extended Curriculum materials go to cohort specialist to connect with student kits

HLP kit preparations for January 5 – 15 HLP
• Due date to the office – Wednesday, December 16th
• Ashley V will make preparations for January 4th pick up date

MacBook Survey

If you have not yet completed the MacBook survey and would like to make the switch, please complete this form as soon as possible. There are three MacBooks left and they will be issued to the first three faculty/staff members who complete the form.

NetSupport Training

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing your NetSupport skills with us on Friday morning. The training session was informative and timely as we move into home learning. For those of you who missed it, see the pertinent links below…
How To document
Recording of lesson

That’s all I have for this week. See you all tomorrow!

With a steady heart~

Connie


NOVEMBER 8, 2020

Hello to you all~

I hope your weekend was restorative and you are readying yourself for our return to work tomorrow. It has been a busy political week for our country where half of the country is feeling heard and relieved while the other half is frustrated and in disbelief. As we embark on this next stage of our journey, I am hopeful a healing of the divide that has developed in our country can begin. The Montessori Peace Curriculum will be an incredibly important part of that process. Working with children to understand how to resolve their conflicts is the greatest gift we can give them during these turbulent times. Thank you for the part you play in preparing the way for our children’s future!

Here are my updates for the week:

Conference Day – Friday, November 13th

This is a conference day for teachers and a staff development day for everyone else. All those currently working on campus are expected to complete the expectations for this day on campus as well.

Boxed lunches for all faculty/staff will be provided from Central Market. We hope everyone working on campus can come together outside between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to share a meal and reconnect with each other. If you haven’t already done so, please complete this Conference Day Lunch Survey by this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Please bring a folding chair from home to come together outside if you can!

If you are working off-campus right now and are able to come to campus to join us for lunch, we’d be happy to have you! Please feel free to order a lunch and if you are not able to come to campus one of us will be happy to drop it off at the end of the day.

For those facilitating conferences, Courtney will send a schedule of your conference times on Wednesday, November 11th so you can set up the calendar events with Google Meet links.

Sanitizing Shared Spaces

Please be sure you are sanitizing any space that is shared with others between uses. This includes, but is not limited to the:

• Discovery Garden
• Spanish/Art Rooms
• Teacher Work Space by copier/laminator

Jumpathon – Week of Nov 30th

Thank you, Coach Teddy and the Jumpathon team for finalizing the school’s plans for this new activity. This is our replacement activity for Walkathon and it is becoming quite an exciting event! Coach Teddy will facilitate Jumpathon during each cohort’s first PE session of the week and he would love for the adults to join in some way. Please keep an eye out for an email from Teddy with more information for each of you.

Netsupport for Schools Training

WRM is utilizing Netsupport to provide support to students while they are engaging online. This program will be a critically important part of our support of students while in home learning. Melanie will be hosting a “how-to” lesson on Friday for all those in staff development. She will record the lesson for those in conferences that day and I strongly encourage you to review this material in preparation for our whole school movement into home learning at the end of the month.

Melanie will send out a calendar invite with a Google Meet link to all those who are in staff development this Friday.

Faculty/Staff Photos/Make-Up Day – Monday, November 16th

For those who have not had their picture taken yet, we have the photographer returning on Monday, November 16th. Because we moved the photos inside this year, it is important that everyone get their picture taken with the blue/indoor background for continuity. Please use this SignUp Genius to pick a time for your picture on this day.

Note, this will also be a picture Make-Up Day for those who were in quarantine at the time of our previous picture day plans.

That’s all I have for tonight.

See you tomorrow!

Connie


NOVEMBER 1, 2020

Hello everyone,

I hope your weekend was filled with time outdoors (the return of fall weather….ah!) and connection with those you love.

This week’s quote helps remind me of the opportunities COVID-19 presents to us. As a person who loves a good plan, embracing impermanence has been a growth opportunity for me these past several months. I cannot think of a time in my experience as a school leader where such flexibility and adaptability is required in our day to day lives. I have constantly been inspired by our team’s ability to adjust (both individually and collectively) so frequently since mid-March and am grateful for your constancy amidst these challenging times. Thank you for representing so fully the steadiness and reliability necessary during the continued impermanence of COVID-19.

Here are my updates for the week:

November Birthdays

Our lone November birthday is Laura Coyle celebrating this Wednesday, November 4th. We hope your day is filled with love and joy!

Materials Pick-Up Day – Friday, November 13th

As we look towards the next materials pick-up day, please plan to prepare 3 ½ weeks of materials for both home and on-campus learners. We will have one more week of school before the Late-Fall Break and then 2 ½ weeks of home learning for all students between Late-Fall Break and Winter Break. We will schedule another materials pick-up for Monday, January 4th for the weeks post-Winter Break.

MacBooks Available

We have a parent who is donating refurbished MacBook computers to the school and we would like to offer those to our faculty/staff in exchange for using Chromebooks. Please complete this survey by Wednesday, November 4th if you would prefer to use a WRM-issue MacBook instead of a Chromebook for your work at the school. The computers will be issued in the following order of priority:

1st priority – Classroom teachers and Admin
2nd priority – Ext. Curriculum teachers
3rd priority – Support staff

Submitting Daily Surveillance Reports to DCHHS

This past week, I started submitting daily surveillance reports to DCHHS on the attendance of students at our school, whether they are participating in on-campus or home learning, and if they are absent for any reason, to share those reasons via this report. In order to do this, I need to check Montessori Compass each day and gather the pertinent information. This is a very detailed process and requires clear information in order to complete it with fidelity.

Please assist in this process by doing the following:

• Forward any information about a student’s absence shared with you by parents directly to me and office@whiterockmontessori.org as soon as you see it

• Keep accurate attendance
◦ Students in home learning should be marked as present with the words Home Learning in the Note section no matter what the reason is for their time in Home Learning
◦ Students should be marked absent only if they are not present on-campus or in home learning
◦ If a student’s attendance changes mid-day, it is important to update that in Montessori Compass; including information in the Note section about the reason for the change

Thank you, in advance, for your support with this!

Emergency Preparedness Plan – Lockdown Drill

We will not have an actual Lockdown Drill on Thursday of this week, however, it is important you have a prepared plan in place and have shared the Lockdown Drill lesson in a developmentally-appropriate way with the students in your cohort. You will not need to complete the “Guided Practice” section and any cohort in full-home learning right now is exempt from this requirement.

Please be sure to complete your Lockdown Drill lesson by Thursday, November 5th, and let me know when it is done.

DCHHS Prevalence Rate Data/Impact of Campus Access

As many of you are aware, WRM has implemented our Stages of Reopening Plan in response to the ongoing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that plan, we are now faced with moving back into Stage 4, which is the highest level of mitigation measures for our school. There are several criteria in place that may cause WRM to move into that stage and it is possible, given the trajectory of the pandemic, we will enter into Stage 4 before or immediately after the Late-Fall Break. As a result, we may not be able to honor staff requests to work on campus during home learning. Please take this as an early warning to prepare for campus closures similar to what we experienced in the spring.

As an update on this trajectory, here are the low-end prevalence data numbers that are one of the components WRM uses to move through the Stages of Reopening Plan. If/when the low-end prevalence rate goes above 1.0 for 14-days, we will initiate Stage 4.

9/18 – 0.51
9/29 – 0.45
10/6 – 0.55
10/13 – 0.70
10/30 – 0.86

Please review the Stages of Reopening Plan and jot down any questions for our next one on one or team meeting.

That’s all I have for this week. Thank you all for continuing to provide stability for the students at our school and bringing your best selves to work each day. I appreciate you all immensely.

Warm regards,

Connie


OCTOBER 25, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone~

Well, the cooler temperatures of fall are upon us as the colors begin changing and the leaves fall. I l-o-v-e this time of year…there is something about the cool, crispness of the air that I find truly rejuvenating. I’m curious to hear about your experience of fall weather when I see you this week!

The above quote has been on my mind quite a bit lately especially with the ongoing challenges we are encountering as a result of COVID-19. The world is definitely ‘in the mud’ at the moment and it gives me hope to think something beautiful will come out on the other side of all this. Thich Nhat Hanh’s words always resonate strongly with me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to focus on the positive end result to keep me moving forward. I hope this quote has a positive impact for you as well.

Here are my updates for the week:

Revised WRM Calendar

Here is an updated copy of the faculty/staff school calendar noting our switch to home learning after our next break. After much thought and conversation, I have decided to move forward with a whole-school implementation of this process. Young Primary children and early-start students will all have access to the HLP and we will let individual families decide if they will participate.

We won’t be doing a survey. Instead, families can just take an absence if they choose not to engage in learning during this time. I’ve scheduled an email to go out tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. and am giving parents the opportunity to ask questions through the FAQ form we’ve been utilizing throughout.

If you have questions or concerns about this approach, please jot them down for our next team meeting or one on one. I’ll be happy to answer them then.

School Picture Days This Week

Thank you to Mya and Courtney for coordinating this change in our schedule for school pictures to take place this week. With the upcoming rain and chilly temperatures, we have decided to take pictures indoors and will be using the LE D classroom. Here is the schedule of days/times for each level. On your cohorts day, please follow these procedures:

  • Students line up in the hallway on yellow arrows

  • Go in one at a time for pictures

  • Take off face mask for pictures; put back on immediately after

  • Line up on blue arrows in the hallway after picture

  • Return to the classroom together

We look forward to getting things started tomorrow.

WRM Pumpkin Patch

This week, each cohort is invited to select pumpkins from along the driveway for decorating in the classroom as a celebration of fall. We will be making pumpkins available to our home learners so I request everyone complete their selections by end of the day on Wednesday. I will buy any extra pumpkins that are needed so those in home learning can pick one up after they get their picture taken on Friday.

Many thanks to Emily Guitierrez for securing this donation from Outdoor Aesthetics for our school.

Extra Masks

We have lots of extra masks available in the front office for any student who arrives at school without one or needs a fresh mask at any point in the day. It is important that students continue to wear masks throughout the course of their day.

Work Location Survey

As we move toward our time in home learning, I’d like everyone to fill out this survey to communicate your work location plans. The completed form is due by November 1st.

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Warmly,

Connie


OCTOBER 18, 2020

Coronavirus FAQ: What’s The Deal With The ’15 Minute Rule’?

The conventional wisdom is that it takes 15 minutes of close contact to a contagious person to put you at risk. But even a short exposure could prove problematic.

Welcome back, everyone!

I hope your break was all you wished for and you are returning to school tomorrow feeling refreshed and well-rested. What beautiful fall-ish weather we were gifted with this past week…such a delightful time of year to have a break from school!

This week’s article is from NPR’s Coronavirus FAQs…”What’s the Deal with the 15-Minute Rule?” I thought the information was interesting and timely as we move into the fall illness season.

Here are my updates for the week:

 

Positive Coping Strategies for COVID-19

Many thanks to Kim Davis for facilitating our Town Hall Meeting on October 6th on Positive Coping Strategies for COVID-19. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, please review the recording at your convenience.

 

Stages of Reopening Plan

In an email last week I mentioned that it is likely WRM will move back to Stage 3 of our Stages of Reopening Plan due to an ongoing increase in the prevalence rate in Dallas, as well as DCHHS’s moving the county back to the “Red – Stay Home, Stay Safe” risk level. If the two-week prevalence rate continues to remain above 0.50, we will move students in blue on our Roster by Classroom back to home learning. This could happen as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

We do have some students transitioning to home learning for the next two weeks based on their activities during the break last week. If you are impacted in any way, you were tagged in the tracking sheet with your assigned action items.

 

School Photos, October 26th – 29th?

May need to reschedule school photos (again!) due to the possibility of moving back to Stage 3 of our Phases of Reopening Plan. Please tentatively prepare for this schedule and prepare for the possibility we will need to cancel or rethink this plan. I will keep you posted.

Monday, October 26th – Primary

Tuesday, October 27th – Lower Elementary

Wednesday, October 28th – Upper Elementary

Thursday, October 29th – Middle School

 

Progress Reports Timeline – Updated

October 19

Last day to update student records

Narratives due to Director – a peer to have reviewed narratives before submission in order to:

Make any corrections to capitalization, punctuation, organization, grammar

Give input into content

Review together and finalize before submitting to Director

Revision: Submit conference times and locations to Communications Coordinator

See the rest of the timeline here.

 

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins Galore!

Thank you to Emily Gutierrez and her family for the donation of many beautiful pumpkins. Her father works for Stephanie Walker of Outdoor Aesthetics and they provided the pumpkins after they finished using them as outdoor decorations for a local automobile dealership.

We would love to send a thank you note from the children. Is there a classroom that is willing to take on this activity?

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Connie

 


OCTOBER 7, 2020

Staff Meeting (video)

Staff Meeting (slideshow)

Early-Fall Break Travel Questionnaire – Faculty/Staff

 


OCTOBER 4, 2020

Hello!

Well, it has been quite a weekend for some of you as we moved through the problem-solving steps of our first confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus. Many thanks to those who gave up a part of their weekend in order to address this evolving situation.

I am happy to report that the individual impacted by this diagnosis had mild symptoms and has fully recovered. We are all very grateful for that!

After completing all of the contact tracing steps, I have decided to quarantine three of our on-campus cohorts: Primary D, LE C, and UE C. All siblings connected to those cohorts will be in remote learning for all or part of this week as well, with the exception of Primary siblings.

It is critically important that you not engage in any communication with parents about this topic that is not directly related to their student’s classroom engagement. WRM is in an on-going implementation of our Emergency Preparedness Plan and all direct communication regarding that plan needs to go through me. If a parent reaches out to you to try and engage, please direct them to me. The pattern language to use would be “I am not at liberty to discuss this with you. I need to refer this question/comment to Ms. Laufersky.” Thank you for your support and cooperation.

This situation is an important reminder of the importance of keeping individuals 6 ft apart even while wearing masks. While we all know that masks are an important protective measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19, when it comes to contact tracing they are not a factor in determining who needs to be quarantined.

The WRM Board of Trustees and I will be meeting tomorrow evening to discuss our school’s Social Contract and the upcoming travel season. Once that meeting is complete, I will be scheduling a mandatory faculty/staff meeting to update you. That meeting will be on either Wednesday or Thursday evening, so please pencil it in. The agenda items will include:

• Home Learning Protocols when cohort or individual student quarantines are implemented

• Early-Fall Break guidelines for travel, including abiding by WRM’s Social Contract

• The upcoming holiday season and its potential impact on COVID-19 exposure on campus

The quote for this week was part of my daily reflection this weekend and what an important time to consider this question? Being a part of this community enriches my life in many significant ways. The team we have at WRM provides support, comfort, acceptance, acknowledgment, and confidence to my life day in and day out. I still pull in the driveway each morning feeling fortunate to work at our sweet school. Thank you all for the part you play in our community, for all of the energy and effort you put into keeping our school happy and healthy, and for just being you! I am truly grateful.

That’s all I have for this week. For those who have moved to remote learning, and those who spend their days as remote educators, I wish you a beautiful, health-filled week. Faculty and staff who remain on-campus, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Warmly,

Connie

 


SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone~

I hope your weekend was all you wished for and you are looking forward to returning to school in the morning.

This week’s inspiration is an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Trevor Noah. In it, Dr. Fauci discusses the progression of COVID-19 and what communities can expect this fall and winter with regard to illness transmission. I hope you find it as informative as I did.

If you have not already done so, please consider getting a flu vaccine this fall. Public health officials remind us that mitigating the impact of flu season will assist the medical community in combating COVID-19 this fall and winter.

Here are my updates for the week:

October Birthdays

Please join me in celebrating our upcoming birthdays.

Happy belated birthday, Eduardo! – 9/21

• Angelo – 10/2

• Ashley V – 10/2

• Anassiri – 10/5

• Holly – 10/8

• Mary 10/14

Reporting Student Symptoms Form

When a student is not feeling well, please complete this form and send them to the front office. It is helpful if you send a book or some other simple activity from their kit they can do while undergoing observation. Please open this form and save a Shortcut to your Drive folder.

Getting Outdoors

I strongly urge you both personally and professionally to spend time outdoors as much as possible. We are having a wonderfully temperate fall and the natural air circulation of the outdoors is one of the best ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All rooms with windows now have screens so opening them up for proper circulation is a significant benefit while indoors.

Drill Update

Evacuation Drill – Tuesday, September 29th at 2:15 p.m.

Progress Report Timeline

It is that time of year when we start our preparations for Progress Reports. Please review this timeline in preparation for this important communication tool for our school.

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Warmly,

Connie


SEPTEMBER 20, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone~

Wow, we are entering our 6th week of the typical school year! It seems the time has flown right by. Each and every day I notice extraordinary things happening throughout our school. What  joy it is to see so many of our students working outdoors (and what a blessing the more comfortable temperatures have been!). I love today’s quote because it reminds me to take a step back, breathe, and enjoy all the gifts our 4.5 acre campus has to offer. Thanks to you all for working together to make outdoor access a reality for all the students at our sweet school.

Here are my updates for the week:

Faculty/Staff Children: 8:00 – 8:25 a.m.

Faculty/staff children must remain with an adult when at school between 8:00 – 8:25 a.m. If you have a student who is not in your cohort, please be sure to send them to their classroom at 8:00 a.m. While we are in advanced mitigation measures, it is not okay for faculty/staff children to be left in a classroom, or allowed in the hallways, kitchen area, or outdoor spaces without an adult. For this reason, it is critically important for faculty members to arrive at school and fully prepared in their classroom by 8:00 a.m. so they can host staff children at that time.

Laminator

The laminator has been repaired. Please be sure to follow these tips for using the laminator created by Regina.

Severe Weather Drill Tuesday, September 22

We have our first Severe Weather Drill of the year on Tuesday of this week. Due to our mitigation measures we will conduct this drill in stages. There will be signs in the hallway to notify you of your cohort’s location. Here is the schedule:

10:00 a.m. – Primary A and LE A

10:05 a.m. – Primary B and LE B

10:10 a.m. – Primary C and LE C

10:15 a.m. – Primary D and LE D
10:20 a.m. – UE A

10:30 a.m. – UE B

10:40 a.m. – UE C

10:50 a.m. – Middle School

The next Evacuation Drill is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29 at 2:15 p.m. Please be sure to have your drill locations in place, including 6-ft distancing between children.

Materials Pick-Up for Home Learners

We will continue to schedule materials pick-up days every three weeks. Please have materials/follow up work ready to the front desk by end of day on Wednesday prior to scheduled days.

Here are the scheduled days for the rest of the fall semester.

Friday, September 25th

Friday, October 23rd

Friday, November 13th

Town Hall Meetings – Belated Thanks!

Thank you to Regina for her Upper Elementary breakout during The Prepared Environment at Home. My apologies for missing this in last week’s acknowledgements.

Outdoor Spaces Sign-Up

There has been some confusion about the Discovery Garden area on the Outdoor Spaces Sign-Up sheet. I have reviewed the issues and think I understand where the confusion lies.

From 11-11:30 a.m. each day, one of the Primary cohorts will be in the entire Discovery Garden (Garden, Arbor, and Butterfly Garden areas). This is now adequately reflected on the document.

It is possible for a cohort to use the Butterfly Garden area when another cohort is in their Gardening class. However, the Arbor, the picnic tables in front of the Arbor, and the picnic tables in front of the chicken coop would not be available at that time. If there is any disruption between the two groups, the group who is holding their Gardening class takes precedence for use of the space.

Please be sure to use the bottle of alcohol in the Arbor to spray down the Arbor benches and picnic tables of all areas your cohort uses. Because this is such a widely used area, including every cohort of the school at some point throughout the week, it is necessary to follow our most stringent mitigation measures. Also, all students and adults should wash their hands thoroughly after each visit to the Discovery Garden.

That’s all I have for this week. Many thanks to you all for the significant efforts you put in every day. I appreciate you!

Connie


SEPTEMBER 13, 2020

This week’s inspiration…

MS Socratic Discussion in the woods.

Happy Sunday everyone~

I hope your weekend was filled with enjoying this glorious weather and unwinding after an amazing week at school. There are so many things to celebrate about these past four weeks, including gradually making ourselves ready for the next wave of students to return tomorrow. Many thanks to you all for the part you have played in implementing our mitigation strategies and creating a beautiful experience for all our students, whether on-campus or working remotely.

This week’s inspiration is a photo of some Middle School students engaging in a Socratic Discussion in the woods. This area is one of my favorites on campus as it is heavily shaded and tucked neatly into this quaint part of our property. Do you have innovative ideas you’d like to share? If so, you can share them here.

Here are my updates for the week:

Welcome Coach Teddy!

We are thrilled to welcome Coach Teddy for his official first day of school tomorrow. He will be working with Tricia in the LE C cohort and facilitating the PE and Athletics program at our school. For those who need to be in contact with him, his email address is coachteddy@whiterockmontessori.org.

Faculty/Staff Resource Page

Thank you, Ms. Melanie, for gathering all of our pertinent information on the Faculty/Staff Resource Page. I encourage you all to bookmark this page and remember to use the password 5580 to log in.

Lockdown Drills

We will be postponing all actual lockdown drills for now given that this form of practice would put students and faculty members in close proximity to one another for an unsafe period of time. We will add these drills back into our schedule when we are able to move to Stage 1 of our Stages of Reopening Plan.

In the meantime, please submit a plan of your lockdown locations for your current classrooms to me by this Friday, September 18th. Almost all of you are in a different classroom than your typical one and this is an important part of the preparatory process for you to think through.

School Photos Update

We have postponed our school photos dates to October 27-30 and will only take individual photos this year. No group photos will be conducted at this time.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (GWCTD) Price Increase

This week, Philip Luna, owner/operator for GWCTD announced a price increase for faculty/staff lunches. We are truly grateful to Mr. Luna and the GWCTD staff for providing meals to us within the mitigation measures we have set as a school.

Thank You – Town Hall Meetings

We have had a strong start to our Town Hall meetings plan and I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your contributions to this important effort.

Technology/Creating Balance in the Digital Age – Emily, Scott, Rob

Creating a Climate for Student Learning – Angelo, Ashley, Holly

Montessori Principles while Social Distancing – Angelo

The Prepared Environment at Home: Primary – Mary

The Prepared Environment at Home: Elementary – Candy

All sessions – Melanie!

We will be moving away from the weekly approach to Town Hall meetings at this point and implementing monthly topics moving forward. This week’s session on talking with children about COVID-19 will be postponed for the time being and we’ll start in October with a Positive Discipline series led by Emily and Scott Connery.

That’s all I have for this week.

See you tomorrow~

Connie


SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

This week’s innovative idea comes from Tricia Bell who created this multiplication bead board for the students in LE with red push pins and cardboard. Thanks for sharing this with us, Tricia!

Do you have an innovative idea or inspiration to share? Use this form to submit your inspirations!

Communicable Disease Response Plan (CDRP) – Stages of Reopening

As you are already aware, WRM will not be moving to Stage 2 of our reopening plan tomorrow. After I sent out my community email on Saturday afternoon, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) did release their COIVD-19 Weekly Summary. The median prevalence rate for the city of Dallas was 0.555. I am committed to sticking with the set benchmark of a median prevalence rate of 0.5 and will wait to bring back our next wave of students until that marker has been hit. The parents of some of our remote learning students have contacted me this weekend to see about changing their children to Essential Worker status, which I have approved. In those cases, I have copied their classroom teachers into my email communication so you will be aware of those students joining your cohort tomorrow. At this point, the earliest we will move to Stage 2 would be Monday, September 14th and that is only if the median prevalence rate for the city of Dallas is 0.5 or lower.

As we welcome additional students to campus, please be sure to review our mitigation norms. This will be a great opportunity to revisit them as a cohort! I highly recommend picking a section of the mitigation plan to review each day during community meetings, similar to the approach I used during the beginning of the year Staff Development Meetings.

August/September Birthdays

Happy belated birthday to Emily Gutierrez (August 25) and Rob (September 2)! And a wish for all our other September birthdays for a celebration of love and joy on your special day.

Lisa – September 8

Lynn – September 10

Candy – September 15

Outdoor Spaces

It has been a priority for me to create useful outdoor spaces for our UE A and UE C cohorts, who are working in the upstairs classrooms without direct access to the outdoors. This past week we created designated spaces for them in the Butterfly Garden area and the Arbor area. Please note these areas will be utilized throughout the day as their direct access to the outdoors. The teachers from those classrooms will block out specific times of the day using the Outdoor Spaces Sign Up sheet. If you are using these spaces for your personal or classroom use at other times throughout the day, please be sure to restore the space to a clean, organized, and risk mitigated level so the students and teachers from these cohorts can have equitable access to the outdoors.

Also, please be mindful of our Garden Rules when using these spaces. All of our outdoor space guidelines are located in this document.

I have coordinated the Extended Curriculum Schedule with Outdoor Spaces Sign Up sheet. Please review your classroom’s signups for Ext. Cur. and other uses of outdoor spaces to ensure everything is appropriately covered.

Handwashing Stations

Thank you for your use and care with the outdoor handwashing stations. Please remember, these stations are difficult for younger children to manage so an adult needs to work the foot pump for them. This applies to Primary and the younger students in Lower Elementary. Any student in Upper Elementary who is still developing the gross motor skills to manage this task should be aided in the process as well. The stations are susceptible to breaking at the lower neck if a student uses the sink to brace themselves in order to work the pump.

Window Screens

The entire west side of the building has been outfitted with screens so please feel free to open them to get the air circulating in the classrooms. Remember, this is a key mitigation factor for our school (and a great way to bring the outdoors in!). We will have screens for all windows by the end of this month.

That’s all I have for this week.

See you tomorrow~

Connie


AUGUST 30, 2020

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond 

them into the impossible.” 

–Arthur C. Clarke

Hello everyone~

The above quote is inspiring to me during these challenging times. I know that in the past six months, I have experienced a sense of being guided towards meeting the impossible with a growth mindset and embracing thoughts of innovative possibilities.

This week’s innovative sharing is a bead frame created by a friend and former colleague in Houston. This was made by purchasing $6 worth of office products and using materials they already had available! When I received this I felt inspired that another school, facing the same challenges we are, is finding their way, just like we are! There is solidarity in this realization…a sense that we aren’t alone in this, which for me brings comfort and a motivation to continue moving forward.

Have any of you been inspired to create items that would benefit your students in these past couple of weeks? If so, you can share them here!

Here are my updates for the week:

Red Zone/Orange Zone Days

As the Texas heat hit a peak this past week, we found ourselves in situations where decisions about outdoor activities were in question. As we most certainly face more high heat this week, I thought I would share the Outdoor Activity Guidance from our Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Please check the notifications at the front door to see what level the Air Quality Alert is at each day during our peak high temperature season. Then use this guide to make decisions about student’s outdoor activities for the day.

Materials Pick-Up Day – Friday, September 4th

We will have a materials/follow up work pick-up scheduled for this Friday, September 4th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please have everything needed to go home to our remote learning students to the front desk by the end of the day this Thursday, September 3rd.

Our intention is to schedule pick-up days every three weeks. Here are the scheduled days for the rest of the fall semester.

Friday, September 25th

Friday, October 23rd

Friday, November 13th

Fire/Evacuation Drill Recap

Thank you all for your thorough efforts during our first fire drill this week. The drill went very smoothly and was a helpful first start to our drill practice season*. I thought I’d share our drill requirements from Child Care Licensing so you can be aware of what is ahead of us (from our Emergency Preparedness Plan). Please check your Faculty/Staff Calendar to see the already scheduled dates for the rest of the year.

DFPS Child Care Licensing Drill Requirements

*One note for all to be aware of. Doors to the outside environments also should be closed during fire/evacuation drills. The reason for closing doors is to reduce combustion caused by excess air (oxygen) that enters a room when a door is open. Please integrate this awareness into your ongoing fire/evacuation drill preparations.

Middle School Building/Soccer Field

As we continue our preparations to welcome more WRM students back to campus, we have needed to create an alternative space for the MS student while the building is being finished (expected by end of September). On Friday of this week, we will be setting up a tent on the soccer field that will become the temporary MS building. This was the determining factor in adjusting the Extended Curriculum Schedule and the soccer space being removed from the Outdoor Spaces Sign-Up Sheet for the time being.

Free COVID-19 Testing

North Texas teachers and construction workers can be tested for COVID-19 for free even if they have no symptoms and don’t live in Dallas County.

If they do live in the county, they can take proof of residence to:

Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St. in Dallas, Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Drive in Mesquite, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The entrance is on La Prada Drive.

Those who are Dallas County residents can go without proof of address or identification to:

Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave. in Dallas, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the county wanted to give teachers peace of mind with school starting in person in some districts. “This will help teachers and those who are going back to work to have access to tests,” he said.

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Warmly,

Connie


AUGUST 23, 2020

Hello everyone,

I hope your weekend was rejuvenating and you are feeling ready for a new week at school. When I reflect on last week, I am filled with gratitude for our sweet community. There are many amazing things happening on campus and in our home learning program and I deeply appreciate all of your efforts to bring this together.

Earlier this evening I sent an email to our parent community about the use of vented masks. The CDC recommends not using these masks because they do not effectively filter out the respiratory particles that transmit COVID-19. Tomorrow morning I will be delivering extra cloth masks to each of your classrooms. If any students arrive at school with a vented mask, please have them remove it, place it in a ziplock bag and place this note in it.

Revised Extended Curriculum Schedule/Outdoor Working Spaces

Please review this revised Extended Curriculum Schedule in preparation for our first week of these important components of our school programming at WRM. We look forward to enriching the days of our students in this way. The revisions may require you to slightly modify your classroom schedule so you will need to review it closely. Please use this sign up for use of the outdoor spaces and be sure to review/implement the Outdoor Spaces Guidelines when you are working with students outdoors.

Parent Education Series – Town Hall Meetings

Our first in the series Town Hall Meetings that were planned as part of our June workgroups starts this Thursday. Thank you, Angelo, Mary, Candy, and Regina, for taking on this important parent education event.

Emergency Preparedness – Evaluation Drill

We have an Evacuation/Fire Drill scheduled for this Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Please make a plan for what location each of your cohorts will utilize for this important practice measure. UE cohorts, your groups will all evacuate out the back deck to the Discovery Garden and will need to coordinate where each group will evacuate to.

Updated WRM School Calendar

With our most recent changes in approach for the Fall Semester, we’ve made some revisions to the annual calendar. Please review the updated calendar here.

New Drop-Off Procedures – We Need Your Help!

With our new drop-off locations in their full implementation stage, we will be making a couple of refinements to our typical morning car line procedures. We appreciate your help in supporting this!

We will be blocking the driveway with designated line up signs starting at 8:05 a.m. If you arrive after 8:05 a.m. please park across the street in the neighborhood.

If parents arrive to drop their student off after car line closes at 8:45 a.m., the protocol is for them to come to the door, ring the bell, and sign their student in. An Admin Team member will take the student’s temperature and ensure the screening form is complete before welcoming them into the building. Please avoid chatting with parents in the parking lot and don’t assist them with the late drop-off process as it may interfere with our morning mitigation procedures.

Thank you for your cooperation in these very important areas!

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

This week, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner will begin delivering lunches for our families who have reserved them in advance. Please be sure to return the cart assigned to your cohort to the kitchen hallway in the morning. Lunches for all cohorts will be placed on those carts for you to gather for your cohort.

Reporting Student Illnesses

If you have a student who is exhibiting or communicating they have symptoms of COVID-19, please complete this form and send them to the isolation room at the front office. I will evaluate them and determine next steps. Completing the form is a critical part of the process in order to keep track of all reported symptoms in one location for the health department.

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Warmly,

Connie


AUGUST 16, 2020

“When our emotions are regulated, kids actually regulate to us.” – Dr Scott Mills

Good evening everyone~

Well, here we are on the eve of a new school year. It seems a bit surreal at the moment! For those of us who started in July, this re-start may feel familiar and comfortable. For those who are delving into this atypical school year for the first, there may be feelings of vulnerability mixed with anticipation. Whatever you are feeling tonight, I hope you will rest easy and awake feeling refreshed and optimistic for the year ahead.

Tonight’s quote comes from the resilience workshop I attended this weekend. It was quite an event…very worthwhile and centering. I loved the reminder that the students will take their lead from us, making it ever so important to compartmentalize (thank you, Angelo!) so we can be grounded and present for them.

AMI has a wonderful article for us all to enjoy this evening…”Returning to the Montessori Classroom.” I was inspired by the thoughts included in this writing and hope you will be too! Here’s a little tidbit from the introduction.

“Across the world, schools and early years childcare providers are facing the challenge of returning to school, in a constantly changing global picture of Coronavirus response. Particularly in the case of young children, the concept of social distancing, keeping the environment as safe as possible while creating a welcoming and joyful atmosphere, feels like a step too far for many schools to cope with. But what is it about Montessori education which makes this transition easier to understand for children?”

Ways to Stay Cool

Tonight’s stormy weather promises to bring some cooler air (whew!) for the next couple of weeks. Even so, we will still be out in Texas summer heat. Here are some quick and easy ways to cool yourself while engaging in the outdoors.

• Peppermint essential oil on the back of your neck is remarkably effective for cooling down

• Take a water bottle filled with cool water with you for a nice little spritz when you need it

• Wet bandanas on the back of the neck work wonders

 

Be sure to share with others any suggestions you may have for keeping cool outdoors!

 

Yes/No List

It was brought to my attention the insensitivity of the use of the terms “whitelist/blacklist” when talking about our technology supports for students. My apologies for my lack of awareness in this area. While these terms are often used in the technology world as a way to sort control mechanisms, they are clearly inappropriate in our culture today. Thank you to the person who brought this to my attention and for suggesting an easy alternative…the Yes/No List. I am sincerely sorry that my thoughtlessness may have been offensive and I commit to being more aware of my use of words in the future.

Parent Information Sessions

This Wednesday and Thursday evening are the Parent Information Sessions by level. Please be sure to set up your calendar event for 6:30 p.m., include a Google Meet link, and invite the parents from your cohort. Instead of starting in a large group and moving into breakouts, I will be providing a recorded message for you all to share at the start of your session.

Please be sure to invite me to your calendar event!

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you bright and early tomorrow. 🙂

With positive anticipation~

Connie


AUGUST 14, 2020

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Staff Development Week: August 10-14, 2020 (slideshow)

Healthy Compartmentalization (slideshow)

P2P Summit Presentations


AUGUST 13, 2020

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Staff Development Week: August 10-14, 2020 (slideshow)

Technology Updates (slideshow)

Webcam tutorial (video)


AUGUST 12, 2020

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Staff Development Week: August 10-14, 2020 (slideshow)

WRM COVID-19 Mitigation Plan (Google doc)

Face Shield Sanitization Procedure (website)

Awareness and Advocacy Education (slideshow)


AUGUST 11, 2020

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Staff Development Week: August 10-14, 2020 (slideshow)

WRM COVID-19 Mitigation Plan (Google doc)


AUGUST 10, 2020

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Staff Development Week: August 10-14, 2020 (slideshow)

WRM COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet: Aug 3 – Sept 4


AUGUST 9, 2020

Hello everyone,

I am so excited we will all be together tomorrow for the start of the 2020-2021 school year! Preparations for this school year are definitely going to be different than anything we’ve experienced before and our staff development week will be the foundation to move us forward. I’ve attached an agenda for all of you and some other announcements/updates below. See you soon!

The image above is of a material Rob and Scott created for Primary students to use outdoors. They took some bamboo (thank you, Ginger!) and cut it into the dimensions of the red rods. Now children can build a maze to engage in this quintessential Montessori activity outdoors! This is another example of the ingenuity and innovation that is demonstrated each and every day at school. Thanks to you all for being open to new and creative ideas as we navigate the impact of COVID-19 on our days.

Here are some important links for this week and beyond:

Agenda for Staff Development Week

Extended Curriculum/Outdoor Spaces Schedule

Updated Classroom Map

Sign up for Friday’s P2P Summit Presentations

Student Learning Kit Preparations

All classroom materials are due by end of day Thursday, August 13.

Working in Classrooms – Preparing for 100% readiness

Use Building Access Sign Up Sheet – Be sure no two teachers are working in the same classroom at the same time

Beginning of Year (BOY) Checklist

Long-Sleeved/Legged, Light-Colored Clothing Resources

If you are looking for affordable, resale clothing to round out your school year wardrobe, here are some options for you:

Poshmark

Patagonia Worn Wear

ThredUp

I will be setting up a clothing swap table in the main hallway this week if anyone has items they’d like to share with the team!

That’s all I have for tonight. See you in the morning!

Connie


AUGUST 4, 2020

Virtual Extended Curriculum Meeting (slideshow)


AUGUST 2, 2020

Hello WRM Faculty/Staff members,

We have a potential case of COVID-19 in the July 6th start community and out of an abundance of caution, I am closing campus until lab results come in. Please do not come to the building to work in classrooms or on any projects tomorrow, at the least. I will keep you posted as soon as I know more.

I will send my typical weekly update in the next couple of days.

Sending wishes for health and peace of mind,
Connie


JULY 30, 2020

Mandatory Faculty/Staff Meeting – July 30, 2020 (slideshow)

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet


JULY 26, 2020

Hello everyone~

It’s been an interesting week for sure, filled with setbacks and unexpected changes, and with quick adjustments from the faculty/staff. Thank you to all those who adapted and created an ongoing beautiful experience for our students and families.

Parent Survey Results

I have not yet received all of the survey responses for the adjusted approach this fall but I do have a pretty good sense of how the results will impact our approach. I look forward to sharing this with you at our mandatory Faculty/Staff Meeting this Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Mitigation Plan Highlight for the Week: Handwashing

The chart above shows the specific steps for effective handwashing techniques. This short video from the CDC demystifies common questions about fighting germs and hand hygiene.

The CDC notes it is important to wash hands (ours and the childrens) at these times in the day:

Before, during, and after preparing food

Before eating food

Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

Before and after treating a cut or wound

After using the toilet

After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

After handling pet food or pet treats

After touching garbage

There are handwashing stations on every porch so children can wash their hands prior to entering the classroom each morning and at key times throughout the day. Regina came up with this clever approach to creating a place for hand towels on the porch. This is an empty kleenex box with paper towels placed inside. She then used small bungee cords to attach it to the post. Thank you, Regina, for sharing this resourceful approach with everyone!

That’s all I have for now. I look forward to our time together on Thursday.

Warmly,
Connie


JULY 22, 2020

Mandatory Faculty/Staff Meeting – July 22, 2020 (slideshow)

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet


JULY 19, 2020

Dear WRM faculty and staff~

The words in tonight’s quote are a balm to my aching soul. It was deeply disappointing to get the news this week that we will not be able to offer on-campus learning until September 8th and I have been reeling the past couple of days with the situation of yet another change to our plans for this year. These words from the wise sage, Mother Teresa, remind me that life is filled with joy and pain, opportunity and setback, hope and discouragement…and we always have an opportunity to decide how we will respond to it. We are being given the chance to practice flexibility and ingenuity once again and I know we will rise to the occasion with the same grace and professionalism we have time and time again over these past four months.

Some faculty and staff members will remain working these next couple of weeks and the rest of us will prepare for starting our school year remotely. Earlier this evening I sent out a new survey to our currently enrolled parents adding a fully-remote option for the entire school year and for the first semester. I anticipate many parents will choose one of these options. Others, however, are in need of their children to be at school and we will continue to create an environment to provide care with a fully-implemented Mitigation Plan as soon as we possibly can. In all of these scenarios, I will once again be asking you to adapt and change to new opportunities.

I will be holding a virtual mandatory faculty/staff meeting on Wednesday, July 22nd at 3:30 p.m. Please join me via Google Meet at meet.google.com/aan-mtbn-gxz. You can submit any questions you may have in advance of the meeting here. We will record this session and share it with anyone who has a conflict during that time.

Today, as in so many other days the past few months, I feel a deep sense of appreciation for all of you. In your own unique and beneficial ways you have given your gifts, talents, and sheer grit to this process and I am truly grateful. Thank you for once again demonstrating what an amazing community we have at White Rock Montessori.

With heartfelt thanks~

Connie


JULY 16, 2020

Hello WRM faculty and staff~

Sadly, as you are likely already aware, Dallas County has ordered all schools to refrain from on-campus learning until September 8th at the earliest. I am spending today working on our next adjustment to this current news and am prioritizing the following:

contacting Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to request reconsideration for our school because we already have a fully-functioning mitigation plan in place and it is workingcontacting childcare licensing to see if this applies to our Primary program, which falls under their purview not Dallas County’s

contacting the parents of our Essential Worker Plan to see if they want their children to continue over the next few weeks or if they want to postpone and pick up their program on August 17th

developing a new survey for our parent community to identify any change in plan they want to consider given this situation

scheduling another Town Hall meeting for next week

Please be prepared to participate in a mandatory All Faculty/Staff meeting sometime soon. The Leadership Team will send out some information as soon as possible.
Thinking of you all while advocating for our school to remain open!
Connie

JULY 12, 2020

Hello July 6th start team~

Congratulations on an amazing first week with children on campus! What a joy it was to have our campus filled with the enthusiastic energy of this cohort of students and faculty/staff. I am filled with appreciation and positive feelings about our official return to school for this small group from our community. I hope you found some time this weekend to relax in the glow of having accomplished an extremely challenging task and are looking forward to the adventures the week ahead will bring!

This week’s article entitled The Beauty of Doing Difficult Things highlights the growth individuals undergo when they persevere through overwhelming situations. It resonated for me as I reflected on the weeks leading up to our opening last Monday and the significant efforts it took to bring this early start together. I hope Dr. Van Tulleken’s reflections hold meaning for you.

Here are my updates for the week:

Personnel Manual 2020

I have completed my revisions to this year’s Personnel Manual. While many are minor adjustments to our standard policies, there are a few updates of which to make a particular note:

COVID-19 addendum to Employee Leave and Illness policies

Use of audio, video, and/or name in published works

Distance learning protocols

Extended Curriculum Plan

This week marks the beginning of Extended Curriculum classes for our July 6th start cohorts. Ext. Cur. Cohort Specialists, please review the Extended Curriculum Plan as you prepare for the week ahead. Ext. Cur. Content Teachers, please pay particular attention to the cycle breakdown at the top of the document because the dates and approach have changed. Classroom cohort teachers, this is a new approach for everyone, so please provide collegial support as we move into this new way of enriching our students’ experience at school.

July 6th start team, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sol-U-Guard Hand Soap and Disinfectant Spray

A parent in our July 6th cohort community has donated several bottles of Sol-U-Guard hand soap and cleaning disinfectant to our school. This botanical-based product is EPA-registered to disinfect 99.9% of germs. The hand soaps are for you to use on the outside handwashing stations as those soap dispensers are inadequate. The disinfectant spray is meant to be used on the classroom materials because it does not need to be wiped off. You just spray it directly on the materials and allow it to evaporate to complete the disinfection process. Both products are on the counter in each of the classrooms marked as Sol-U-Guard.

That is all I have for updates this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Appreciatively,

Connie


JULY 5, 2020

Dr. Gupta Explains the Efficacy of Different Masks

Happy Sunday to our July 6th Cohort Team!

I hope you are feeling excited for the return of students to school tomorrow! The campus is ready and your environments look really beautiful. Thank you all for the incredible amount of effort it has taken to bring this all together. “It takes a village” to open a school early during a pandemic. 🙂

I know these past few weeks have been filled with moments of anxiety as we consider how to operate the school in such a unique fashion. Please know how much I appreciate each and every one of you and that I have faith you are fully ready for this new adventure!

Here are some updates for this week:

Masks

Masks are a big topic for us as we make this transition to reopening our campus. If you have not yet picked up your two WRM-issued masks, please do so first thing tomorrow morning. They are located in the Activity Room hallway on a table by the laminator.

The above graphic and link below it are from a recent news story on the effectiveness of different types of masks. I encourage you to watch the short video of Dr. Sanjay Gupta during his CNN interview. Thank you to Angelo and Russell for putting together these videos on How to help a student with a mask and how to put on, take off, and launder your mask.

Daily Screening

It is important you remember to complete the daily screening upon arrival each day. You can take your temperature at one of the wall-mounted thermometers in the hallway and save the link to your phone for easy access.

Mitigation Plan

Please be aware that you are expected to have read the full Mitigation Plan in preparation for our start of school tomorrow. If you have any questions, please post them to the FAQ document.

I shared this document with the WRM Board of Directors last week and they were astounded by its thoroughness and our readiness as a school. I wanted to send along their well-wishes to you for our first day tomorrow and share their confidence in you (and mine) that this unique first week back will be amazing! I believe in all of you and in the extensive work we have done in preparing for this big day.

Composting

We are still restoring the rain garden environment to a usable condition for students after the construction in the spring. It is hoped this will be resolved this week. In the meantime, there will be no composting for the classrooms on the east side of the building (Elementary) until access is resolved. The west side of the building can use the composting tumbler located near the fence on the Primary Playground.

July 6th Cohorts Outdoor Space/Extended Curriculum/Free Play Access

Free Play: Please coordinate rotations between level cohort teachers.

Rob/Lisa – Garden and Primary Playground (11:00)

Emily G/Candy – Woods and Climbing Area/Soccer Field (12:15-12:45)

Regina/Laura – Woods And Climbing Area/Soccer Field (11:30-12:00)

Outdoor Space availability during Work Cycle – Please sign up for when you want to use a specific space. Thank you Emily C for preparing this!

Daily Checklists

You can use these daily checklists to prepare your mornings and restore your environments each afternoon. Thank you Angelo for putting these together.

Changes to Mitigation Plan

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) required some changes to our Mitigation Plan last week before they would approve it for our opening this week. They are listed below:

1) All water bottles will need to be brought back and forth and sanitized every night

2) Yoga mats will be sanitized daily

– Teachers will spray with alcohol solution after lunch

– Allow to air dry

– Students will store in their designated space in the classroom after sanitization is complete

3) Primary only

– Bedrolls will be replaced with nap mats and need to be sanitized daily; children can bring a blanket in their backpack and it must go home each day for washing

– Supervision of handwashing required

Handwashing Stations

All handwashing stations have been prepped for the first day with water for rinsing, soap, and ½ paper towel rolls. Thank you Emily C and Scott for making the prep for the first day a little easier on the cohort teachers.

Follow-Up Items from Staff Meeting

There were two questions from our staff meeting last week that I said I would get back to you on…storage of ice packs and yoga mats.

Ice Packs can stay in the classroom freezer and only the classroom teacher can access them to distribute to students. Teachers and students must wash their hands before and after handling them. The teacher must sanitize the ice pack using alcohol spray after each use.

Yoga mat storage – we are working on some prototypes for yoga mat storage. In the meantime, please find creative ways to store them at each student’s designated work area. Candy and Angelo have some resourceful and easy to implement ideas I sense they would be open to sharing with you. We look forward to sharing various other prototypes with you as they are developed.

Afternoon Car Line Plan – July 6th Cohorts

The afternoon car line will run very similarly to our morning procedure. Office staff will be posted at each pick-up location and a member of the Admin Team will use the walkie talkie to call students out when their parent arrives.

1) One person from the Admin Team will be calling cars as they come in and directing them to the appropriate pick-up location.

2) Teachers will send the student out to the area where they were dropped off in the morning.

3) The student will wait on the dot placed there by office staff.

4) Office staff will open the door and invite the student to get in their car.

That’s all I have for this week. My mantra tonight is…we are ready and have everything we need to welcome children back to school!

Sleep well…you got this!

With deep appreciation,

Connie


JUNE 26, 2020

Beginning of Year July Staff Meeting for July 6th start (slideshow)

Staff Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet

Pre July 6th Building coverage Sign-Up Sheet

Primary Student Learning Kits

Elementary Student Learning Kits

Covid-19 Health and Safety Lessons

Cleaning/Disinfecting Checklist – Classrooms

Submit questions through FAQ form

Proposed PS Classroom Layout Template

Car Line Procedures


JUNE 1, 2020

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet


MAY 28, 2020

May 21st – 28th Staff Development slideshow

Staff Development Agenda (Google doc)

Meeting with all staff before Google training (video) (chat transcript)

About June 1st – 15th Work Groups (Google doc)

June 1st – 15th Work Groups Survey (form)

2020-2021 Contract Meetings

Faculty/Staff Communication Channels

Google Calendar training (video) (chat transcript)

Google Sheets training (video) (chat transcript)

Positive Discipline Seminar (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 27, 2020

May 21st – 28th Staff Development slideshow

Staff Development Agenda (Google doc)

Meeting with all staff before Google training (video) (chat transcript)

Meeting with all staff after Google training (video) (chat transcript)

HLP Certificate of Completion (for Continuing Education hours)

Questions About the WRM 2020-2021 School Year (Google doc)


MAY 26, 2020

May 21st – 28th Staff Development slideshow

Meeting with all staff (video) (chat transcript)

HLP Certificate of Completion (for Continuing Education hours)

How to do Montessori in the time of corona? article

Outdoor Space Possibilities


MAY 22, 2020

May 21st – 28th Staff Development slideshow

Meeting with all staff (video) (chat transcript)

Google Training Survey


MAY 21, 2020

May 21st – 28th Staff Development slideshow

Meeting with all staff (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 15, 2020

May 11th – 15th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet

End of Year Closing Checklist 2020

Pattern Language about next school year


MAY 14, 2020

May 11th – 15th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet

End of Year Closing Checklist 2020


MAY 13, 2020

May 11th – 15th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access Sign-Up Sheet


MAY 12, 2020

May 11th – 15th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 11, 2020

May 11th – 15th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 8, 2020

May 4th – 8th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

EOY Evaluation Sign Up on Appointment Slots Calendar

Evaluation & Self-Reflection – You must complete and submit this prior to your evaluation time.

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting with Family Friends (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 7, 2020

May 4th – 8th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 6, 2020

May 4th – 8th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Building Access: Student Showcase Items Pick Up


MAY 5, 2020

May 4th – 8th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MAY 4, 2020

May 4th – 8th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

#CommunityStrong Communication Examples from Courtney

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qTlHqGr3F4Xrg22BLDNEMT4qolwc2fMeMJ8rCNMAI8k/edit?usp=sharing

Where to Donate

register.whiterockmontessori.org/communitystrong

Shareable Links to #CommunityStrong Video 

On Google Drive – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Sg3EV33jgaWEw5xbKQ8S_dF0xvkIIVMx/view?usp=sharing

On YouTube – https://youtu.be/dFlr_B5r89A

On Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/414791252


MAY 1, 2020

April 27th – May 1st Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 30, 2020

April 27th – May 1st Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 29, 2020

April 27th – May 1st Staff Development slideshow


APRIL 28, 2020

April 27th – May 1st Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 27, 2020

April 27th – May 1st Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 24, 2020

April 20th – April 24th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 23, 2020

April 20th – April 24th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 22, 2020

April 20th – April 24th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Community Strong Video Requests


APRIL 21, 2020

April 20th – April 24th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 20, 2020

April 20th – April 24th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 17, 2020

April 13th – April 17th slideshow


APRIL 16, 2020

April 13th – April 17th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 15, 2020

April 13th – April 17th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Student Socials Form


APRIL 14, 2020

April 13th – April 17th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

#CollegialConnections


APRIL 13, 2020

April 13th – April 17th slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 12, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone~

I wanted to start this week’s email out with an expression of gratitude for each one of you. On this weekend of celebration for many, I have had the joyful experience of authentic conversation with many friends and loved ones. What a beautiful gift during this time of social distancing! As I have shared my experiences of these past few weeks with those I love, I find myself sharing my appreciation for all of you who have been warriors on this path with me. In the past five years, my experiences at WRM have often been filled with inspiration and hope. This has been magnified exponentially in these past few weeks and for this, I am truly grateful.

Here are my updates for this week:

Week Three – Home Learning Plans

Many thanks to all who have submitted their weeks three and four lesson plans, syllabi, and/or Week-at-a-Glance documents. Having this information in advance is an important part of our Emergency Response Plan. I send wishes for joyous implementation of the work you have created this week!

One on One/Team Meetings Revisions

If you have not yet updated the One on One/Team Meeting Document please do so tonight. It is important you follow the directions at the top of the page.

8th-Grade Graduation Plans

The MS team, along with dedicated parent volunteers, is preparing to move to a virtual 8th-Grade Graduation platform this year. This event is such an important part of our school community and we are excited for these plans to come together.

For your part, we will be facilitating 8th-Grade Journals this year. If you have typically taken part in this ritual in the past, we ask that you write a handwritten note to the students and take a picture of it. Then save it to the individual student’s folder saved here. A parent volunteer will be creating a Shutterfly album/journal for each of the graduates this year.

AMS Opportunities

During this time of crisis, AMS is offering relevant webinars and opportunities to connect. For those of you who were counting on the AMS conference to complete your professional development hours this year, their webinar offerings are a great opportunity to fulfill this requirement.

Trauma and Stress Webinar, Part 1: Understanding the Effects on Children

AMS Connect Live! is a series of networking sessions that keep you connected during this time of isolation. Join us on Zoom for resources, generative conversations, and idea-sharing. This week’s sessions are:

Monday, 3:00 PM: Secondary Teachers*

Tuesday, 3:00 PM: Elementary II Teachers**

Wednesday, 1:00 PM: Heads of Schools Human Resources Advice

Wednesday, 3:00 PM: Elementary I Teachers**

Thursday, 3:00 PM: Early Childhood Teachers

Friday, 3:00 PM: Infant & Toddler Teachers

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to beginning Week Three with you tomorrow.

In appreciation,

Connie


APRIL 10, 2020

April 6th – April 10th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 9, 2020

April 6th – April 10th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 8, 2020

April 6th – April 10th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 7, 2020

April 6th – April 10th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

Teacher Procedures for Calendar Event and Hangout Creation


APRIL 6, 2020

April 6th – April 10th Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 5, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone~

Wow! We made it through Week 1 of WRM’s Home Learning Plan. While it was not without its opportunities for learning something new, it was wildly successful in so many ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your work in making this transition happen.

Angelo shared this inspiring video with me earlier in the week and I thought it would be a lovely sentiment to start Week 2 off for us. The title of the YouTube video is We’re Never Lost if We Can Find Each Other.” A statement made partway through resonated so strongly for me (there’s so much peace in people’s faces) that I chose that as a title for tonight’s inspiration. Seeing you throughout the week in our grid view of Google Meet (thank you again Ms. Mary!!!) was a welcome and peaceful experience during times of stress. For me, this was a profound experience…realizing each of you is a part of what kept me grounded throughout the week. Thank you for that. I am truly grateful!

Here are my updates for the week:

Revised School Calendar for Home Learning Plan

Here is a review of the adjusted school calendar, as presented last week, based on our HLP approach:

Week 1: Monday, March 30th – Friday, April 3rd

Week 2: Monday, April 6th – Friday, April 10th

Week 3: Monday, April 13th – Friday, April 17th

Week 4: Monday, April 20th – Friday, April 24th

Week 5: Monday, April 27th – Friday, May 1st

Week 6: Monday, May 4th – Friday, May 8th

Week 7: Monday, May 11th – Friday, May 15th

Last Day of School for Primary and Elementary Students: Friday, May 15th

Monday, May 18th – LE & MS Conferences

Tuesday, May 19th – Primary & UE Conferences

Revised Timeline for Progress Reports

Thank you, Emily Connery, for creating this revised timelines of Progress Report due dates. Please review them and make a note…the first date of responsibilities is Tuesday, April 28.

Times/Needs of Support

We have some faculty members with openings in their schedules they can use to provide support to classrooms who need it. This can be in the form of monitoring work cycle, providing social interaction times, monitoring students while you give lessons, etc. Please complete this form to request areas of support and I will match the appropriate person with your classroom.

Building Visit Sign-Up Sheet

Here is the form to use in order to schedule a time to visit the building this week. You may only sign up for one slot, so please plan ahead and be prepared! While you are there, you will need to remove any classroom materials or books from student cubbies so I can have Maribel’s crew pack the student’s things for pick up on April 17th & 18th. Let me know if you have any questions.

That’s all I have for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. for our staff meeting.

In gratitude~
Connie


APRIL 3, 2020

March 30th – April 3rd Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 2, 2020

March 30th – April 3rd Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


APRIL 1, 2020

March 30th – April 3rd Staff Development slideshow

Instructions for Creating a Calendar Event (slideshow)

Instructions for Creating a Calendar Event (video)

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video)


MARCH 31, 2020

March 30th – April 3rd Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MARCH 30, 2020

March 30th – April 3rd Staff Development slideshow

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)


MARCH 27, 2020

Staff Development slideshow presentation

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting (video) (chat transcript)

10:00 a.m. Google Meet – Basic Training (video)

1:00 p.m. Google Meet – Intermediate Training (video)

3:00 p.m. Google Meet – Moderator Training (video)

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Meeting (video)


MARCH 26, 2020

Staff Development Week slideshow presentation

8:30 Morning Meeting

Melanie’s Lesson on Sharing Settings (Google doc)

Google Teach From Home hub website

Moderator Needs (Form)


MARCH 25, 2020

Staff Development Week slideshow presentation

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting

3/25/2020 morning meeting (video)
3/25/2020 morning meeting (chat transcript)

Extended Curriculum Meeting

3/25/2020 Extended Curriculum meeting (video coming soon)
3/25/2020 Extended Curriculum meeting (chat transcript)

Ethernet Adapters and Cables for wired internet connection

Melanie’s Lesson – Ethernet adapter for wired internet connection
Ethernet Adapter and/or Ethernet Cable Request Form (for wired internet)

Hating your home wifi? Let’s fix it (article)

Schedule an appointment with Melanie


MARCH 24, 2020

Staff Development Week slideshow presentation

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting

3/24/2020 morning meeting (video)
3/24/2020 morning meeting (chat transcript)

Document Camera

How to Use Your Phone as a document camera
How to Use Your Phone as a document camera article
Shelf on Amazon


MARCH 23, 2020

Staff Development Week slideshow presentation

8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting

3/23/2020 morning meeting  (video)
3/23/2020 morning meeting (chat transcript)

Primary Level Meeting

Video of 3/23/2020 Primary Level meeting
Chat transcript of 3/23/2020 Primary meeting