BEE In the Know!

Greetings parents and community members,

We are just a few days away from the October 5 Board Meeting where we will learn the final plan for our reopening model on October 26. In the meantime, APS just released their “Intent to Return” survey to all families that must be completed by October 10 for every APS student. I understand there is a lot of speculation and concern right now in regard to in person learning, how it will look, and above all else, what safety protocols will be in place. I highly recommend filling out the intent survey right now if you have any interest in returning face to face because you can always change your answer after the board meeting on October 5. Aside from public health data, staff surveys will remain a critical part in our reopening plan which will impact how we staff our school. Until results are shared or released by APS, I am asking that you do not ask your child’s teacher if they will be returning for in person learning. I promise to balance the reopening plan with the needs of our school and community but there will inevitably be changes to the in person model that will look and feel different from a traditional school year. Safety will also become a new focus as we will work hard over the next month to ensure all protocols are in place for our students and staff that are eligible to return. I am confident that we can do this with your patience and support. There will be much more communication in the coming weeks about how this will look so please stay tuned for important updates and meeting dates.

This week brings our Virtual Spirit Week as we want to continue our teacher and student focus on quality virtual instruction and student engagement. 100% of our students have logged in and participated since day one and we are averaging a weekly login rate of 100% for grades 3-5 with all grade levels over 90%. Spirit Week involves daily dress up activities with in class learning experiences that kids can do independently or with their class. We hope this helps to make the day a little more fun. Be sure to have your child wear a hat tomorrow for “Hats Off to Kindness Day” and then their HIVE colors on Friday to help close out the week with our virtual dance party at 2:15! Post all pics using #BrandonSpiritWeek and post your spirit videos HERE. Link for Friday’s dance party can be found HERE.

We also had our first GO Team meeting of the year last Thursday where we welcomed our newest staff member to the team, Ms. Maggie Blease. Rachel Davis, our 3-5 ESOL teacher was also re-elected back to the GO Team. We also welcomed back Patterson Calhoun and Claudia Fotzeau representing our two parent seats. We have scheduled two additional meetings for the month of October, October 8 at 3pm (with public comment) and October 15 at 3pm (without public comment). See above for links and details. These meetings will be used to review our most updated budget and leveling numbers as well as to hear community feedback around the APS reopening which can help inform our decision of how it will look for Brandon. I hope you can join!

As we move through this week as well, and with a continued focus on Social Emotional Learning, I want to make our families aware of some more sensitive subjects that will be touched upon. The September SEL book of the month is Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and the SEL lessons will be focused around recognizing prejudice and understanding and how to be an ally. Day 3&5 discuss sensitive topics such as skin color and the social unrest we are experiencing. Day 5 specifically has a video from Sesame Street, “Coming Together to Stand up to Racism” for kids and families. As always, we want to be sensitive to our students and families and if you have any concerns, be sure to let your teacher know and they would be happy to allow you to attend class later.

I also want to thank our 720 survey respondents who offered valuable information to us in regard to virtual learning! The survey results were great and gave us excellent insight into how our students are doing each day in regard to technology, learning environments and schedule stamina. All specific feedback was shared directly with homeroom teachers as this is the best way to get quick fixes and have individual class or teacher concerns be addressed. We’ve posted the results on our Parent University page HERE.

Aside from this, have a great #BrandonSpiritWeek and be sure to support our school on Wednesday night at Chick-Fil-A on Howell Mill Road where we will receive a portion of the sales!

Take care

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