Friday, March 27, 2020

A Few Updates...



I hope this week's note finds you well, and that you have been able to embrace some signs of spring over the past few days.  I have seen many robins, and the buds are starting to shed color on the trees and bushes; that reminds me to celebrate the positives!

Report Cards Available Online
Your child's 2nd marking period report card is now available to view online. Click here to access the viewing instruction. Here is a short video that also explains how to access the report card online. If you need to update your email or phone number on Schooltool, please click this link.

Distance Learning
Hopefully you and your child have been able to access the distance learning portal.  We have received a lot of feedback about the activities provided for your children. The feedback has ranged from, "This is awesome! Thank you!" to "This is not enough. When will more learning be provided by the teachers?" and  "We are overwhelmed! This is too much!"
Please know that all of these feelings are normal and understandable. These first two weeks of activities, up until our scheduled Spring Break, are intended to help ease the transition to online learning. All activities planned through next week are meant as review and to keep your child engaged and productive. We are also using these weeks to make sure every family has access to the technology necessary for online instruction, and to ensure that our teachers and families are comfortable with the technology. Instruction that will include new material will begin after the Spring Break week, if schools are still closed, and will continue via the district's Distance Learning Portal as well as teachers' Google Classrooms. Please continue to reach out to your child's teacher if you have questions, or call our school and leave a message for me at 315-487-4653. 

Funny Little Story
One day last week, after a lot of working hours on the computer, I went out to walk my dog at the Conservation Area on a very muddy wooded trail.  We came upon one of our Onondaga Road families who had set up a picnic near the trail in their attempt to be outside for some fresh air, too.  Practicing "social distancing," we yelled to one another from several feet apart, excited to see each other.  My dog, Paisley, does not understand social distancing, and she has no manners!  So Paisley ran excitedly into the family's picnic, splattering them with mud.  Worse, she put her muddy face into their picnic basket, stole a full bottle of water, and ran away with it!  I tried to apologize for my dog's poor manners while I was running after her, shouting my good-byes to the family.  It was a muddy sight, for sure!  To our OR family that we may have offended (and you know who you are!), I promise to make it right, some day when we're together again at school, and replace what my naughty dog took.  Thanks for laughing with us!

Be well.

Friday, March 20, 2020

OR Update...


Online Learning Available!
The West Genesee Elementary Online Learning Portal is now open! You can access it by clicking here or you can find it under the "Connect" section located on the bottom left of the West Genesee Home Page at westgenesee.org. To help ease the transition to online learning, all activities assigned are review or practice activities for the next two weeks. Each week the site will be updated, and you will still be able to access the previous weeks if necessary. If we need to continue with online instruction after the Spring Break week, new learning will take place.  Some of that future new learning will be provided via this portal, and some will be assigned via Google Classroom by your child's teacher. If you have any trouble accessing the portal, either contact your child's teacher, email me at jclark@westgenesee.org or call the main office at 315-487-4653 and leave a message.  

A Few Notes From PTA
If you are still interested in ordering a yearbook, you are more than welcome to place an order before April.  The link is:
 www.ybpay.lifetouch.com  - Use this ID Code: 11989220  

Across the district, PTO/PTA has come up with a fun way to keep kids connected to one another through a Virtual Spirit Week.  If you and your family would like to participate, take a look at this note:




Stay well, and stay connected.  I'll blog again next week!
Sincerely, 
Jeannette Clark


Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Greetings from my new office (at home)...
My message earlier in the week indicated that our building would be accessible throughout this week.  However, at this time, all of our schools are currently closed

Building principals are now working from home.  If you need to contact me, you are welcome to email me at jclark@westgenesee.org, or call the school to leave a message, 315-487-4653.  Your message should go directly to my email.  

I realize that many of you are ready to begin home instruction for your children.  Please know that you will be receiving another message from me on Friday.  At that time, I will share information about how to access online learning opportunities through the West Genesee district website homepage.  

This page will provide you with reading, math, and special area activities (art, physical education, library and music). We have also included the Positivity Project which, I believe, you will be able to access if you have a Gmail account.

The activities for the first two weeks were put together by our instructional coaches and administrators, to keep consistency among our schools. If it is necessary to continue instruction remotely following our upcoming Spring Break week, our teachers will be contributing to the remote instruction page with new learning.  

Through remote learning, it is our intent to minimize potential instructional slide. We do not want to add any pressure to families during this stressful time. We do want to help families by providing activities that will keep children productive and engaged. Stay tuned for more information regarding our remote learning opportunities.  

Finally, if you have technology needs, please see the note from Superintendent David Bills on the district website, or call the technology office at 315-487-4677.

Stay tuned, and stay well!
Sincerely,
Jeannette Clark

Monday, March 16, 2020

Updates from OR

While we abide by the health and safety recommendations, I want you to know that I will truly miss your (our) children for the next few weeks.  I hope that you and your family use the time to reconnect in positive ways...Read some good books together.  Dust off those old board games and play together!  Have meals at the table together.  Most importantly, take care of one another...

I hope these updates help, and we will keep in touch as much as possible.  Please note:
  • We will NOT have school this Friday, March 20.  This is the latest update in the attendance schedule.
  • Our Science Fair is postponed.  I am not yet sure about rescheduling, but will let you know once we are back in regular attendance.
  • Our 3rd grade chorus concert is cancelled for next week, and  rescheduling remains to be seen.  Stay tuned.
  • We will let you know as soon as possible about report card distribution and whether they will be available to you online.
  • As of now, we will not be taking the NYS English Language Arts Assessment, but will let you know of any changes.
  • The Gertrude Hawk Candy Sale Distribution still needs to be determined.  As of now, I anticipate the packages being delivered to school, but I do not yet know of a distribution process.  Maybe we can get volunteers to deliver!  Stay tuned for that, too. 
  • We anticipate returning to school on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.  Again, this is subject to change, but we'll keep our fingers crossed!
Fifth grade parents and families have been planning some events and fundraisers, but at this time, these events remain to be seen:
  • The bake sale scheduled for the Science Fair is cancelled indefinitely.  If we are able to host it at another spring event, I will let you know.
  • The Applebee's Fundraiser Flapjack Breakfast is also cancelled indefinitely.  We are unable to reschedule this event at this time.  Many families already purchased tickets for this breakfast, so please stay tuned for information regarding refunds and/or donations.  For now, the funds are safe and we will keep you posted.
And a few other odds-n-ends, as I anticipate your questions:
  • Within the next few days, you will receive information regarding alternative learning experiences for your child while we are not in regular attendance.  Stay tuned while we finalize plans for you!
  • If your child was not here today (Monday) and you need to pick up his or her personal belongings, the building will be accessible Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week from 8:30-3:30 each day.  Please know that you will still need to bring ID and buzz in at the front door if you need to retrieve something from your child's locker. You will not need to come for school books or materials, but we will make learning accessible online.  See the District website and note from Superintendent David Bills if you need information about accessing a Chromebook for your child, or call the technology office at 315-487-4677.
I will be in touch!  Most importantly, stay safe and take care of your health.  Think spring!
Respectfully, 

Jeannette Clark