Bees are Buzzing!

Greetings Parents and Community Members!

I’m happy to be back in the BeeMail this week, talking about all things Morris Brandon and outlining what you need to know to help make the coming days successful for our students, staff and families. We’ve had a great start to this week! We are close to completing our Fall administration of the MAP Growth (K-5) and MAP Fluency (K-2) assessments, and our students are showing up each day, whether in person or online, ready to learn and grow. Our COVID mitigation strategies seem to be working as we are seeing a steady decline in the number of positive cases within the building, and as students and staff steadily return to in person learning each day. Please see below for some important notes.

  1. Surveillance Testing – We test more and more students each week and continue to ask for your child’s participation! You must re-consent to participate this year using THIS form. Beginning the week after Labor Day, twice a week Surveillance Testing will be mandatory for all staff. Here is how positive cases are handled:
    • If a student tests positive, we always follow up with an additional test to confirm the initial results.
    • There is a higher probability of getting a false negative as opposed to a false positive due to the low sensitivity of the antigen test.
    • All results are held confidential, and we only contact parents if there is a positive result on either the initial test or the retest.
    • The bulk of our positive cases are being self-reported, as we are averaging around 2-4 positive cases from Surveillance Testing each week.
  2. What I Need (WIN) – We are excited to start our WIN time (What I Need) the week of September 7. WIN is the chance for select students (as identified by our 5 intervention teachers) to receive extra support everyday in lieu of going to French. Students that are eligible for this extra support will receive communication from our WIN teachers soon. Furthermore, we are excited to begin extension and higher order thinking skills (HOTS) for students that are eligible based on MAP data, during the same WIN time. These classes will be facilitated by our Gifted support teachers every other day, allowing students the chance to still attend French.
  3. Parent Information Nights – THANK YOU to all parents who participated in our virtual Parent Information Nights last week. You had the opportunity to hear from your child’s homeroom teacher, as well as our PC and MC specialists and school nurses. If you were not able to attend your student’s class meeting, all sessions were recorded and posted at under the Grade Level News tab.

  4. GO Team update – The Morris Brandon GO Team is a group of elected educators, parents and community members who help set the strategic plan, budget and trajectory for our school. We met for our first meeting of the year on Thursday, August 26, to nominate and elect new members. In addition, I shared information on our enrollment, budget, Georgia Milestone scores, intervention supports, and school improvement plan. All minutes and recordings are always posted on and accessible HERE.

  5. MAP Growth and MAP Fluency – Our students, teachers, and staff have done an incredible job assessing nearly all of our students on our new Universal Screener which has taken the place of STAR. Students in grades K-2 have taken a reading fluency assessment, and all students in K-5 have taken the MAP growth, which produces a percentile ranking based off of 11 million students in the United States. The greatest part of the MAP screener (aside from the valuable data it provides us) is the growth aspect that we can see from the Fall to Winter administration. Since this will be the primary focus in our parent/teacher conferences, we are holding January 3 as our conference date so we are able to share all of this data with you. Of course, if you would ever like to meet with your child’s teacher before January, please reach out!

Thank you again for taking the time to read this information, for sharing your thoughts or concerns with us, and for trusting your children in our care. We have made great strides since school began, and I am so happy and thankful to be a part of such an amazing school and awesome community. As a school we are nearly 91% vaccinated, but it is still important that we continue to emphasize our mitigation strategies so we can keep our teachers and students safe, in the building, and ready to learn each day. If there is anything that you need, just let us know.


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