Answers to your Questions- A Letter from the Principal
Welcome to an unprecedented beginning of the school year at Ruby Van Meter. Recently our superintendent, Thomas Ahart and our school board, made the decision to begin the school year through distance learning (virtual). We support this difficult decision and will continue to follow the recommendations and guidelines of the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Our staff has been hard at work preparing for virtual learning opportunities for your learner. Virtual classes will be through Microsoft Teams (calls will look like they are coming from a 319 prefix) and will begin on September 8th. Virtual learning will consist of online courses, live virtual classrooms (whole group, small group, and 1:1) and print materials.
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES (DISTRICT K-8)
- Students will be provided a district-owned electronic device such as a tablet or laptop computer to be used in their home.
- Each student will be provided a daily schedule for attending and participating in virtual classes through Microsoft Teams and Canvas.
- Daily live remote instruction will be provided in literacy (reading and writing) and math.
- Science, social studies, art, music, and PE instruction will be provided throughout the week.
- Students will spend time in learning experiences both with their teacher and others (synchronous) and work on their own (asynchronous).
- English Language Learner (ELL), Special Education, Gifted & Talented (GT), and intervention supports will be provided virtually.
- Students’ screen time will be limited to 3-4 hours per day.
Virtual orientations will occur on Thursday, Sept 3rd. You will receive Microsoft Teams invitation to all 3 times. Please join the one that best fits your schedule.
Distribution of computers and/or internet connections to students that need them will begin on Friday September 4th and continue on September 8th and 9th.
HOME LEARNING SPACE
Setting up a learning space at home can include the following ideas:
- Pick a spot and stick with it
- Choose a comfortable chair
- Ensure the WIFI is working
- Check the lighting, natural light is best
- Maintain a routine
- Establish the rules
CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER
For the safety of your learner, correct contact information is critical. It is important that you notify the office if you move or change phone or cell phone numbers or email during the school year. This allows us to keep our records current in the event of an emergency.
The state of Iowa requires that schools take attendance each day. Attendance during virtual learning will be based on participation. Please continue to call the office at 515-242-8220 if your student will not be participating due to illness, medical appointments, etc. Office staff will inform the classroom teacher that your child will not be participating that day. You may receive a follow-up call from one of the nurses if your child is sick.
Your learner’s teacher will be making contact with you soon to introduce themselves and to start setting up IEP meetings to establish virtual and hybrid learning needs.
During IEP meetings the team will discuss the following IEP Team decisions in preparation for occasions when virtual/hybrid learning is necessary.
- What Accessibility needs are unique to the student for virtual/hybrid learning?
- What other Needs of the student are unique to the virtual/hybrid setting and his/her/their individual circumstances?
- How will Services on page F be prioritized, adapted, and delivered to the student to make progress in virtual/hybrid learning? What, if any, services will not be delivered in virtual/hybrid learning?
- What Additional Considerations are important for the implementation of this IEP with these adaptations?
- What Goals are prioritized by the IEP team and how will Progress Monitoring for these goals be adapted for a virtual/hybrid setting?
- * What other Needs of the student are unique to the virtual/hybrid setting and his/her/their individual circumstances?
Des Moines Public Schools provides a wealth of support and resources for families. Check out the link: https://www.dmschools.org/familyresources/
You can also find resources here: https://www.dmschools.org/virtual-return-to-learn/
You can find information on disaster relief, child care, domestic violence, English Language Learner Community, Employment assistance, Financial assistance, Food assistance, Health, Housing/homelessness, Legal, Mental Health, Personal hygiene items & cleaning supplies, Technology, and Free online community partner programs.
We look forward to working with you to make the 2020-2021 school year a great one for your learner. Please call us at 242-8220 if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance.
Cynthia Weisz, Principal