Home Schooling Update


Ruby Van Meter Students, Families, and Caregivers,

Last Friday, Governor Kim Reynolds, made the decision that all schools in the state of Iowa will remain closed for the spring semester.  We will continue to provide updates on how this announcement impacts distance learning for the remainder of the 19-20 school year.

Here are a few things you and your student can plan for:

1. A level packet has been mailed and you should be receiving it at the address of where your student currently resides at.  If this information has changed or you do not receive you student’s learning packet please contact your student’s teacher.   This packet contains grade level lessons in reading, word work, math, social skills, and Related Arts.  General information was provided to help structure your learning time with your student. If your student uses a communication device, a tips page was also included. The next packet your student will arrive the week of May 4th.

2. Online resources provided by the district are accessible on the DMPS homepage following the COVID-19 link. https://www.dmschools.org/coronavirus/.  Here you will find approved online resources to support your student at home.  Your student’s teacher will also have some helpful approved online resources that is familiar to your student.

3. If you requested a device and/or internet services for your student, your teacher will be contacting you today to provide you information.  We will offer 2 opportunities for laptop/device pick up.  Tuesday, April 21st from 1-3 pm and Wednesday, April 22nd from 11-2 pm.  Please work with your student’s teacher to coordinate a time to pick up a laptop for your student.

4. If your student uses a communication device and it is currently at school, please arrange a time for pick up with your student’s teacher. We will offer 2 opportunities for laptop/device pick up.  Tuesday, April 21st from 1-3 pm and Wednesday, April 22nd from 11-2 pm.

5. We are exploring virtual learning opportunities through Microsoft Teams and provided information for you to get started (info attached)  While we know this may not be the most ideal way for our students to engage in learning, it does provide an opportunity to learn.  This learning is voluntary and we will continue to problem-solve with our teachers to make content as accessible and differentiated as possible during this time.  

As always, the health and safety of our students, families, and communities are most important.  Please continue to follow the CDC guidelines and follow updates from the district on COVID-19.

RVM Administration, Cindy Weisz, Jennifer Brindle-Rothman, Laurel Friedman



Getting Started With Microsoft Teams

Tips and Protocols for Successful Virtual Engagement

Check out this Teams Quick Start Guide for a visual overview of the entire platform.

Join “Learn about Teams” for detailed directions.

Joining a Virtual Meeting in Teams

Check out this short video resource from Microsoft Teams about joining a virtual meeting. This is a great resource to share with staff members when you send an invitation to a Teams Meeting.

When joining a meeting, start by entering with your mic muted and choosing if you want to appear with video by toggling the three switches underneath the purple Join Now button.

Setting Up and Managing a Virtual Meeting in Teams

Check out this short video resource from Microsoft Teams about creating a virtual meeting and inviting participants. Detailed directions can be found in Learn about Teams on the “Meeting Basics” channel. These are great resources to share with staff members who might be setting their own meetings with PLCs and other teams.

1. Select New meeting in your calendar in Teams.

2. Type in a meeting title and enter a location. An online meeting is created by default.

3. Choose a start and end time and add details as needed.

4. Enter names in the Invite people box to add them to the meeting. Note: To invite someone outside our organization, type in the appropriate email address(es).

5. See DMPS staff availability in the Scheduling assistant to see available times in a calendar view.

During your meeting, do you want to share something on your screen with everyone?

Select Share. Select what you want to share:

• Desktop lets you show everything on your screen.

• Window lets you show a specific app.

• PowerPoint lets you show a presentation.

• Browse lets you find the file you want to show.

• After you select what you want to show, a red border surrounds what you’re sharing.

• Select Stop sharing to stop showing your screen.

Effectively managing a virtual meeting can make it more user-friendly and successful. Try these management tips:

• Ask all attendees to mute the microphones when they aren’t speaking. This improve sound quality.

• Use the Chat in a meeting for questions and responses, or to indicate who wants to speak. Ask another member of your team to moderate the chat, repeat questions verbally for all to hear, or add documents to share.

• Sharing your screen can be helpful when walking through a process or referring to a resource or website.


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