Thursday, October 15, 2020

Weekly Update 10/15

 Dear Wines Families, 

Sorry, I forgot to post this yesterday. 

As always, I hope this message finds you well and your family healthy. We have an exciting week coming up next week with our annual Run-a-Thon with this year being our first virtual event and our event will honor Ms. Wahl for her over 50 years of dedication to Wines and the Ann Arbor Public Schools!! 

Run-a-Thon Next Week!!

Although the school year looks quite different this year, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to continue one of our favorite Wines traditions with a Spirit Week and virtual Run-A-Thon in honor of Ms. Wahl next week!

For new families to Wines, our annual Run-A-Thons serve as our largest fundraiser for the PTO. The Run-A-Thon is held in October during the school day on the soccer fields with a music, prizes, and snacks. Many parents say this is their favorite event at Wines as they join either to cheer their child on or to run along with the kids.

This year, your child will have the whole school week of October 19th (M-F) to collect minutes or miles run or walked, minutes danced, or however they choose to move their bodies to help celebrate our fabulous newly retired PE teacher Diane Wahl. Former Wines students are welcome to join in on the fun!

On Wednesday, October 21st we would love for the whole Wines Community to move their bodies in some way at 9:00 AM immediately following the morning meetings. In our past Run-A-Thons, Young Fives-2nd grades have run for 10 minutes, while 3rd-5th grades have run for 15 minutes. Feel free to pump your own jams in your backyard or neighborhood and see how far your kids can run during that time or make it even longer than 10 or 15 minutes!

At the end of the week, please fill out this FORM with the amount of time your child(ren) spent moving their body for the week. Also, please email photos of spirit week and your Run-A-Thon activities to WinesPTOSecretary@gmail.com. Parent volunteers will create a slideshow of the week's photos that you can share with your child and we can share with Ms. Wahl! We can’t wait to show Ms. Wahl how active our school was in honor of her!

Participate in whatever way works for you! You can simply move your body and record your activity or, if you wish, donate the Wines PTO will benefit by adding to their general fund which will help to support many student and teacher enrichment opportunities when we are able to return to school in person. Find out more about the PTO and how it supports the functioning of our school here. Any way you participate is a celebration of Ms. Wahl! Go Wines Wildcats!

Spirit Week

As we do each year, we will celebrate Run-a-Thon with a special Wines Spirit Week. Our Student Council met yesterday and came up with the following Spirit Days: 

Monday: Pajama Day

Tuesday: Twin Day

Wednesday (Run-a-Thon Day): Class Color Day

Thursday: Wacky Hair Day

Friday: Wines Spirit Day (if your child has Wines Spirit Wear, they can wear it today. If they don’t, they can wear red or anything that shows Wines spirit!). 

Wines Directory

Thanks to the tireless work of Robin Moore, our digital School Directory is ready. Robin used the choices families made when you registered regarding whether your information was included or not. If your information is not included and you would like it to be, please email Robin at moorero@aaps.k12.mi.us and she will update the document. Updates are made in “real time” on the document linked in yesterday's email.

That’s all for this week! 

David


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Weekly Update 10/7

Dear Wines Families, 

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend Curriculum Night last evening. Below is a link to a recording of my schoolwide webinar. I started the recording a little late, but the video includes the bulk of my presentation (you’ll miss a bit of my introduction and explanation of my COVID hairstyle and beard length—but not much else!). 

Dr. DeYoung’s Curriculum Night Presentation

Here is the rest of the news for the week: 

Run-A-Thon for Ms. Wahl Week of October 19th

Although the school year looks quite different this year, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to continue one of our favorite Wines traditions with a spirit week and virtual Run-A-Thon. This year, we will celebrate this tradition in honor of Ms. Wahl the week of October 19th!

For new families to Wines, our annual Run-A-Thons serve as our largest fundraiser for the PTO. The Run-A-Thon is held in October during the school day on the soccer fields with a DJ, prizes, and snacks. Each grade takes turns running for a set amount of time. Many parents say this is their favorite event at Wines as they join in either to cheer their child on or to run along with the kids.

This year, your child will have the whole school week of October 19th (M-F) to collect minutes or miles run or walked, minutes danced, or however they choose to move their bodies to help celebrate our fabulous newly retired PE teacher Diane Wahl. Former Wines students are welcome to join in on the fun!

On Wednesday, October 21st we would love for the whole Wines Community to move their bodies in some way at 9 AM following the morning meetings. In our past Run-A-Thons, Young Fives, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade have run for 10 minutes, while 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, and 5th Grade have run for 15 minutes. Feel free to pump your own jams in your backyard or neighborhood and see how far your kids can run during that time. Or make it even longer than 10 or 15 minutes!

Stay tuned next week to find out more about the Run-A-Thon including:

· How you can celebrate every day of the week by joining in Spirit Week

· How you can raise money for Wines by being active for Ms. Wahl 

Shout Outs to Ms. Wahl

The PTO newsletter, The Wines Times, wants to send Ms. Wahl our loudest shout outs as she heads to retirement.  Please send your email message to shoutoutsformswahl@gmail.com. Shout outs should be in text, png or jpeg format only. One message/file per family please.  Deadline for shout-outs is 10/12.

That’s all for now. Thanks again for all of your support and as always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns. 

David




Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Weekly Update 9/30

 

Dear Wines Families, 

Thanks again for your patience as we roll out the final phase of our online platform and connect secure Zoom links with Schoology. It does appear that connection is inconsistent. Some classrooms are connecting quickly and some are slower. The initial connection can be slow—particularly when class starts in the morning. A “white screen” is not an error and so please wait a little while. Our teachers are monitoring the situation and have a backup plan to use the older links. We completely understand that this can be frustrating and we are doing all that we can to ensure a safe and easy online experience. But, as I’ve said since August, there will be hiccups so patience is key! Here is the rest of the news today: 

School Supply Distribution Today and Saturday
We will be hosting our “drive through” school supply distribution today from 4:00-6:30 PM and again on Saturday from 9:00 AM-Noon. Please enter through main Newport Rd. entrance and drive up to the front doors. You will be greeted by a staff member. Please have your child’s name and grade level written on a piece of paper and hand this piece of paper to the staff member. This will help us speed up the process. If you have library books or classroom books from last year, we can collect those from you as well. 

Shout Outs to Ms. Wahl
The PTO newsletter, The Wines Times, wants to send Ms. Wahl our loudest shout outs as she heads to retirement.  Please send your email message to shoutoutsformswahl@gmail.com. 
Shout outs should be in text, png or jpeg format only. One message/file per family please.

Curriculum Night: Oct. 6 
Our virtual Curriculum Night takes place next Tuesday evening beginning at 6:00 PM. Grade levels will present at 6:00 to 6:25 and will repeat their presentation at 6:30 until 6:55. I will host a schoolwide webinar at 7:00. Zoom links will be coming out soon. 

Walktober Continues!!
Our annual celebration of Walktober will go on this year! For returning families, you will recall that during the month of October, we participate in International Walk to School Day and also have a weekly walk to school all month. While we can’t walk to school this year, we will be encouraging all of our kids to take a daily walk each Wednesday after the morning meeting. 

See you tonight or Saturday for supply distribution. 

David







Monday, September 28, 2020

Wines Update 9/28

 Dear Wines Families,

I have a couple of important announcements today that I need to get out to you before my regular Wednesday message.

PTO Meeting Tomorrow Night

Our PTO meeting takes place tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. Please check your email for a Zoom link. As a reminder, all Wines parents are members of the PTO and are invited to the meetings.

School Supply Distribution: Wednesday or Saturday

We will be hosting drive through supply distribution on Wednesday from 4:00-6:30 and Saturday from 9:00 AM-noon. Please enter through the main Wines entrance from Newport. Please stay in your car. You will be greeted by a staff member. It will be most helpful if you write your child's name and grade on a piece of paper and hand that piece of paper to the staff runner. This will speed up the process greatly. You may also drop off library books from last spring or classroom books your child may have borrowed. If you can't make one of those times, please contact me and we will try to arrange an alternate opportunity. 

Save the Date: Curriculum Night Oct. 6

Curriculum Night takes place next Tuesday, Oct. 6th at 6:00 PM. Look for more details from your child’s teacher and/or from me later this week.

Zoom Update

At this time, we have successfully authenticated all students in Zoom. Parents and students do not need to do anything at this time so no need to follow any steps that came to your child’s email. Teachers will be working with students this week to ensure they are able to find and use the secure Zoom link in Schoology. Teachers will alert families as to when their class will switch from the link they have been using thus far to the new link. We are hoping this occurs for each classroom this week.

David

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Weekly Update 9/23

 Dear Wines Families, 

I hope this finds you well. A few important announcements for this week are below. 

Zoom Authentication

I’ve received a number of emails from families who have not received the email to complete the process of authenticating your child’s Zoom account. I sincerely apologize for the continued challenges. There are some issues on our end in terms of setting up the accounts and so there is certainly the possibility that the issue is on our side. However, I do want to make sure everyone is looking in the right place. The email will go directly to your child’s AAPS email, not the parent. So, the first thing to do is to make sure you are looking there. If you need your child’s email address and password, please let me know and I can send it to you. You can log in to the account via Gmail. 

If the email is not in your child’s account and is not in their Spam folder, then the issue is likely on our end and we are diligently working on it. If this is the case, please fill out the form below and we will try to rectify the situation right away. 

WE DIDN’T RECEIVE THE ZOOM AUTHENTICATION EMAIL

If you did receive the email and haven’t followed the authentication process yet, HERE are the directions. If you followed the steps you received an error message of some kind, that is when you should contact the help desk at 997-1222 or email: family_techsupport@aaps.k12.mi.us

Change in School Supply Distribution Dates

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we need to move our School Supply Distribution dates to next week. The new dates are Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 4:30-6:00 and Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. If you made alternative arrangements with me for supply pick up, that date is no longer possible either so please try to make it to the new dates. If you cannot make either date, please let me know and we will work out another time. 

PTO News

Please join us for our first PTO meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 29 from 7:00-8:30 pm. In this meeting we will be conducting board elections, reviewing and voting on approval of this year’s budget, planning fundraising strategies for the year, and brainstorming ideas for keeping the Wines community connected during this challenging time. PTO meetings for this school year, or until further notice, will be held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm and will occur virtually over Zoom. Remember, every Wines family is part of the PTO and is welcome to attend our monthly meetings. The link for next week’s meeting will be sent prior to the meeting.

The PTO Wines Times newsletter wants to hear from you! Do you have a tip to share about virtual learning that may inspire or help another family? Maybe it is how you use the breaks, set up your at-home space, or what snacks have helped everyone stay energized. Send in your tips (1 email per family, please) to virtuallearningtips@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

As We Settle In…

While most certainly this is not a normal start to the school year and the amount of time it is taking to find our “rhythm” is certainly longer than normal, we are beginning to find some consistency. I want to touch on some of the feedback we have received from families as it relates to screen time, student engagement, and in some cases, student frustration. 

I want to point out that we are still very early into the school year and today marks just the eighth full day. In any year, these first few weeks of school are a transition and a time for kids to reacclimate to school and for our younger students, a period of stamina building. For all students, this a time of significant change from summer routines. Students often struggle during this period and can be irritable, frustrated, tired, etc. While this virtual learning experience adds a significant new variable, in many ways this transition period is similar to normal school years. The biggest difference is that parents don’t see the entirety of your child’s day during regular year so families are understandably more in tune with the moment to moment emotions of your child. We most certainly want to continue to work with you and hear your feedback since this is new to all of us. We will continue to tweak our approach as we learn what makes the most sense at each grade level. But we do ask for you understand that students are still transitioning and this transition may be a bit longer than in normal years. 

I also want to touch on parent participation in school. Again, this is very new and certainly there is a need for adults to support our kids. We thank you for this!!! We hope that as routines are more normalized, parents or adult caregivers are able to fade away your support. The way I see it, your main job each day during the regular school year is to get your child to school safely each day. So, either putting them on the bus, dropping them off, or sending them to walk or bike. This year, getting them to school means ensuring they are logged on each morning. Once that is done, we want our teachers to monitor the class, monitor student progress, and monitor engagement, and monitor behavior. Kids wiggle, become disengaged, and even misbehave during class time in school. Unless the issue is severe, generally we handle these things at school. I want to give parents the freedom to let these things happen in the virtual world as well. And we will most certainly be in contact with you if we need your support or intervention. 

As a parent, I understand the desire to help your kids in this virtual realm. The other day, both of my twin 7th graders were turning in an assignment during the day and each asked me to look it over. I immediately began to help them when I realized that if they were in school, I wouldn’t be there to look over their daily classwork. So I told them that this is their independent work and I’m not available to assist. Obviously, we can’t pretend that everything is just like brick and mortar schooling, but the more we can try to find those boundaries, the better it will be for our kids. 

Sorry for the long message today! 


David






Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Weekly Message 9/16

Dear Wines Families, 

I hope this finds you well and I hope the kids are getting used to full days of remote learning. As I indicated last week, our teachers are working on tweaking their daily schedules as they learn about students’ engagement level and stamina in this new learning environment. Teachers too are learning about their own stamina. 

Schoology Begins Next Week

Next week our “classrooms” will be found in Schoology. Teachers have been working with students this week on how to access and use Schoology and working with families who may not have received their QR codes in the mail. 

School Supply Distribution: Sept. 24 and Sept. 26

Next week, we will be distributing school supplies for every student. There will be drive through distribution at the front of the school building. 

Distribution will take place on Thursday Sept. 24 from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM. A second opportunity will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9:00 AM to noon. If you are unable to attend one of those distribution times, please let me know and we will work on finding another opportunity. 

At the distribution, if you have library books or classroom books/materials from last year, you can drop those off at that time. If the materials are for a specific teacher, please indicate on the item which teacher it belongs to. Library books do not need any identifier as they have school barcodes. In addition, included in returning students’ supply box will be their yearbook from last year. 

If you are a new enrollee and you have not dropped off your enrollment paperwork yet, we can collect it at that time. If you dropped your enrollment paperwork off earlier and were not able to retrieve your originals, we will have those ready for you at that time as well. There will be a distribution of Art materials at a later date.  

To expedite the process, please have a sign with your child’s first and last name and grade level visible to us from your car.

Attendance

If your child will be absent from school, please call the school phone at (734) 994-1973 or email Robin Moore at moorero@aaps.k12.mi.us. As with a regular school year, we need to account for each student daily. As this is not a “normal” school year, we know that some families have consistent absence patterns due to the unique situations in their families. We certainly understand this. If you have such a situation, please be sure your child’s teachers knows and also send Robin an email with this information so we can make note. 

Thank you for your continued support. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. 

David


Friday, September 11, 2020

Wines Update 9/11

 Dear Wines Families, 

Well, here we are at the end of our first week of school. Obviously, this was a new experience for everyone and I think overall it was a GREAT week. I myself had a new experience this week. After over 25 years as a classroom teacher and principal, I am very comfortable in classrooms with kids. However, today I read a story to a Kindergarten classroom via Zoom for the first time and I was really nervous. I found myself awake at 5:30 AM practicing in front of my computer on a Zoom call that only included me to make sure I held the book up just right!!! I think things went well and I'm looking forward to reading to the rest of the Kindergarten and Young 5's classroom next week! 

 

Full Days of School Next Week

Next week there is a small change from what I've shared earlier. Students will not be using Schoology to "go" to class. Instead, we will utilize the same Zoom links from this week. Next week, teachers will spend time daily working with kids to have them gain familiarity with Schoology so that on Sept. 21, our days will start in Schoology without any problems. By now, many of you have received your QR codes in the U.S. mail that will help students log on to Schoology and/or Clever. Mail is not consistent right now, so if you haven't received yours, don't worry. Teachers will be working with you next week to make sure everyone has their QR codes and we will get you your code in time for the 21st if you don't receive it by mail. Please let your teacher know starting Monday if you have not received the mailing. 

Next week are full days of school and our special area classes also start next week. Being the first week of full virtual school days, our teachers will be working with their daily schedules to maximize their instructional opportunities and also monitoring student engagement and fatigue. So schedules will likely shift based on how things go. A more firm daily schedule will be in place for the week of the 21st based on this information.

 

Attendance

We had great attendance this week! If your child is going to be absent from school, you can alert us in two ways. You can call the Wines main line at (734) 994-1973 and leave a message. You can also email Robin Moore directly at moorero@aaps.k12.mi.us. Just like when we are in the school building we do need to account for each child daily. 

 

Thanks for a great first week of school and certainly one I'll never forget. Have a nice weekend and we'll see the kids on Zoom at 8:10. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. 

David