• Dearing Newsletter: 10/17

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 10/17/2020

    Hello, Dearing Eagles!

    I hope this email finds you and your family doing well.

    This was a big week with an additional 100 students returning to school. Thankfully, we were still able to maintain smaller numbers in our classrooms and keep our safety procedures in place with little change. The biggest impact has been with dismissal, as we have many more parents picking up in the afternoon. We really appreciate your patience with this process. There is no question that the process takes a bit longer with our Covid-19 procedures, but it will get faster.

    There is an additional Covid safety measure that I wanted to remind you about, dealing with birthdays. We always want to celebrate and acknowledge student birthdays, but we can’t accept birthday cupcakes or cookies that are not individually wrapped, directly from the store. Items that are wrapped from home are not allowed.

    There are a couple of activities coming up that your child can easily participate in, whether virtual or in-person. This Thursday, October 22, is our book character dress-up day. Your child can dress as his/her favorite book character. I know our teachers will be posting their pics on our Facebook page and we’d love to see a pic of your child, too!

    As a reminder, October 23, will be a student holiday. Teachers will be involved in staff development. We will welcome our Eagles back to campus on Monday, October 25.

    On Friday, October 30, we will have our annual PINK OUT, promoting breast cancer awareness. We started this several years ago and began with staff, but students started to join in. If your child would like to participate, let him/her show us the pink!

    Thanks as always for all of your support and for sharing your child with us!

    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 10/7

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 10/7/2020

    Good afternoon Dearing Families! I hope this email finds you doing well. 

    We have another change quickly approaching and wanted to go over just a couple of things.  Our deadline for ‘Method of Instruction Change’ closed on September 30.  We had about 100 additional students indicating that they would like to return, which will bring our total number of students up to around 300, which is about 50% of the number of students that we typically have.  This number will allow us to continue with the same safety practices that we have already put in place.

    For new families that will now be attending, I wanted to remind you of a few of our safety measures that are in place that are clearly different from last year.

    • We are a closed campus, so if you are dropping your child off or picking up, please remain in your vehicle and drive through the pick-up line.
    • If you need to pick up your child early, please call upon arrival and we will deliver your child to you.
    • We are not able to accept dropped off lunches or backpacks.  If your child forgets his/her lunchbox, we will make sure that he/she picks one up from the café.
    • Please send a water bottle with your child each day, as we are not using the water fountains, only refilling stations.

    While we do our best to minimize the number of teacher changes, additional students coming to campus does prompt change. If your child will be impacted by these changes, teachers will be reaching out tomorrow to let you know, providing contact information and any other information that you may need.

    For our distance learners, I’d just like to take a moment to review our attendance procedures. If your child is showing academic progression in any capacity on a daily basis by completing work and/or participating in a zoom, then we are counting your child present. We have discovered in some instances, parents may think their child is on zoom or turning in work, when that may not be the case. Don’t hesitate to check in with your child’s teacher if you have any questions at all about your child’s participation. 

    Last but not least, teachers are knee-deep in parent conferences. If you don’t already have a time scheduled, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher to get that scheduled. Teachers are sharing beginning of the year assessment data and setting goals. We definitely want you to be a part of this as we are partners and will help your child grow together.

    I appreciate the many emails that I am receiving providing feedback and sharing with me the great things that teachers are doing for your children. I love to recognize teachers for exceptional service on a weekly basis, so if you see or hear something great, please let me know.

    Thank you so much for your continued partnership and support. 

    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 9/24

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/24/2020

    Good morning DRES families!

    The close of the first nine weeks is quickly approaching. With that it will be time for parent conferences. Teachers will begin scheduling soon, but you are welcome to reach out to your child’s teacher, as well. Friday, October 9, is a student holiday that is designated for parent conferences, but teachers will begin before that date, as they can’t get them all in on one day. In addition to October 9, Monday, October 12, is also a holiday.

    When the second 9-weeks grading period begins on October 13, all students who have chosen to participate in on-campus learning will be able to return to campus. We anticipate changes in classes and class sizes as students go from virtual instruction to on-campus instruction, and we will do our best to ensure our on-campus classes have a lower student-to-teacher ratio as a safety precaution. We will be in touch with our Dearing Elementary families that have any changes on Friday, October 9.

    If you would like to change your student’s method of instruction to in-person, please contact our registrar, as the window to change closes on Sept. 30. You can reach her at 512-594-4538. You do not need to call if you are keeping your method of instruction the same as it is now.

    Don’t forget that today is the parade/pep rally at Dearing from 5-6 p.m. Drive through and let the Dearing staff celebrate your child. We hope to see you there.

    Warmest Regards,

    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Digest: September 2020

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/23/2020

    Please click the link below to see the latest Dearing Digest campus newsletter from Principal Chandler.

    Dearing Digest: September 2020

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  • Dearing Newsletter 9/21

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/21/2020

    Good morning DRES families!

    Our first week with students on campus went very well. It was so wonderful to see the
    students again. They did an amazing job adjusting to the safety protocols that have
    been put in place. Additionally, our virtual learners are adjusting nicely to schedule
    tweaks and/or additional teachers. This is typically the time that things settle down in
    the year and become consistent, but we know this year will be different. As state and
    local health authorities continue to monitor COVID-19, we may continue to have changes
    throughout the year. We will do our best to minimize BIG changes for your child, but
    change cannot be avoided. We really appreciate your patience and support with this
    journey. It will take all of us working together to ensure that all students have a great
    learning experience.

    Our district has shared the screening process for families to go through as they send
    their student(s) to school each day, but I wanted to include an additional copy here for
    you that is easy to access. We all want to be as proactive as possible to ensure that we
    are minimizing the spread of COVID-19 so that we can keep students coming to school.
    Thanks for your help with this.

    A challenge that we have found is that all of our devices are checked out to students, so
    we have limited technology at school. If your child is attending in-person instruction
    and has a device checked out, please go ahead and have him/her bring it back this week,
    so that technology is readily available for him/her. We will keep the devices on campus
    unless we are directed back to 100% virtual instruction. If that happens, we will send
    the device home with your child.

    For all of our DRES families, I hope you marked your calendar for this coming Thursday.
    We will have a pep rally/parade from 5-6 p.m. and would love you to drive through. Our
    staff and community members will be spread out throughout the front parking lot to
    cheer your family on as you drive through. We look forward to seeing you all!

    Warmest Regards,
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 9/11

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/11/2020

    Good afternoon DRES families!
    By this point, you should have received at least one email letting you know of any changes for your child for next week. Some of you have received
    multiple emails and phone calls. The important thing is that you know what your child is doing on Monday. If your child was not in the 25% that will be
    returning to school on Monday, keep in mind that the window will open up in two weeks, which will allow you to change your choice to in-person
    learning, if you so choose.

    If your child will continue doing virtual instruction and will have any teacher change, that will also mean a google classroom or seesaw change. If you
    have any challenges with accessing that, don’t panic, as we know there will be bumps. You can simply shoot that teacher an email and he/she will get
    back with you as soon as he/she doesn’t have children in front of them.

    1. As for the students coming for in-person instruction on Monday:
      1. Don’t send the device back yet, as we want your child to have as little stress as possible as they return to school. Additionally, since parents won’t be admitted to the building, we want your child to have a few days to bring in any supplies, which may be a little each day, so as not to overwhelm him/her. I’ll send out more information about device return, later in the week.
      2. The doors will open at 7:05 for both student drop-off and bus drop-off. Please send your child with a water bottle as students will not have access to fountains, only filling stations, and wearing a mask. If you are dropping your child off, please remain in your vehicle and proceed through the drop-off lane. I promise we will help your child get to class and make sure he/she is offered breakfast, which is free for all students.
      3. Keep in mind we will not be allowing lunch visitors or accepting dropped off lunches, so make sure that you send a lunch with your child if you don’t want him/her to eat in the café.
      4. Please be sure that your child’s teacher is aware of how your child will go home, if you haven’t already.
      5. If you are picking up in the afternoon, please remain in your vehicle and be extra patient. It always takes longer at the beginning of the year and this year we are taking extra precautions, so it will take a while. It will get better. Just hang in there with us.

    Below you will see a note from Nurse Laura with more information:

    Hi Eagle Parents,
    I’d like to start by saying that I am so excited to see some of your Eagles on campus next week! It’s been a long time, and their smiling faces will be a welcome sight!

    There have been changes everywhere and the nurse’s office is no different. In case you haven’t already, be sure to check out the isolation procedures in PfISD’s Return to Learn Plan. Due to concerns for the spread of COVID-19, access to the nurse’s office will be limited. This means that minor first aid will be handled in the classroom and students will be triaged prior to any visit that may require further care.

    Please also be sure to screen your child(ren) prior to school each day and keep them home if they exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness. Students will be screened upon arrival and sent home if they show signs of illness at any point during the day. In order to limit exposure and spread, it is very important that children be picked up quickly. Depending on symptoms, you may be referred to a physician for testing and your child may have to remain at home for an extended period of time.

    Finally, please report any illness that your child may experience, even if you do not suspect COVID-19, as well as any COVID positive family members. Symptoms may vary from person to person and be seemingly unrelated. Additionally, we track all illnesses to identify trends and concerns throughout the building.

    Thank you for being patient and part of our team while we navigate this new normal. I really can’t wait to see those bright faces next week!

    Laura Ellason, RN
    School Nurse
    Dearing Elementary

    Thank you for sharing your child with us! We will get through this together!
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 8/25

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 8/25/2020

    Good afternoon DRES families!

    I hope this finds you well. I had just a couple of items that I wanted to share with you.

    First, I’m not promoting Kellog’s products, but am promoting reading and Kellog’s has an offer that one of our teachers shared with me. If you are already purchasing Kellog’s products, you can get a children’s book for each box you purchase. There are a great number of titles that look to be favorites. Click the link here: https://www.kelloggsfamilyrewards.com/en_US/promotions/feeding-reading-national.html

    Secondly, one of our DRES parents shared a great resource for internet services. Sudden Link is offering a free 60-day internet access for K-12 and/or college students that have been impacted by Covid-19, which is anyone having to do virtual learning. After the 60 days, you can cancel or pay $14.99 a month with no contract, so that may be a great option for some.

    On another note, it is inevitable that teachers get sick, have appointments, deaths in the family, etc. Obviously, they will need to be out from time to time. We aren’t using substitutes during virtual instruction, so I wanted to share with you what I have shared with teachers. If a teacher is to be out, I have asked that they share that with you and pre-record and/or find recordings that can be shared in the place of synchronous learning. We want to minimize that as much as we can, but wanted you to be aware.

    Lastly, the option to return to in-person instruction is quickly approaching. Principals across the district will be sharing their safety plan for returning to in-person instruction, next week. Please keep an eye out for that, as I would love to get input from the DRES community.

    I want to personally thank you for how you are supporting us in the education process. It certainly is a partnership, more now than ever. If you come across additional resources to share with our community, please let me know, as we are in this together!

    Warmest Regards,
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 8/14

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 8/14/2020

    Good afternoon DRES families!

    We have completed our first two days of on-line instruction. I know it has been a little bumpy, but we expected that and allowed for that in our schedule. Teachers have really taken some time these two days to get to know the students and to practice navigating the technology. We will continue to practice with the students, until it is smooth sailing.

    Over the next few weeks, we will be screening our students to identify strengths and weaknesses, so that teachers can adapt their small group instruction to meet the needs of each child. This will be new, as we typically have our students in front of us when we do this. You can help your child do his/her best by making sure that he/she has a quiet place to focus on his work.

    Many of you have called the office for tech support, which is great! We won’t have quite as many people on duty in the office next week, as they will be in zoom meetings, supporting students, but please don’t hesitate to call. Additionally, you are welcome to email Mr. Joseph, Ms. Craigie or me, and we are willing to support you with your technology needs, as well, or point you in the right direction.

    So far, most of the issues have had to do with logging in, so I just wanted to quickly review that. Computer log in for your child is as follows:

    Username: s(student ID number) Example Username: s189509
    Password: x(birth month, birthdate) PF! Example Password: x0728PF! (If birth date is July 28)

    Your child’s email is: firstname.lastname@stu.pfisd.net

    If you are having challenges accessing your child’s teacher’s zooms and/or seesaw or google classroom material, please email your child’s teacher directly, so he/she can support you. Also, we have acquired a few more laptops. If your child still needs a device, please email Sue.Denison@pfisd.net so that she can schedule a time for you to come check one out.

    Above all, hang in there, as this will pass. Things will start running much more smoothly. It’s like the front parking lot the first week of school. Soon it will run like clockwork. Having said that, I am available for you to express celebrations, concerns or even tears....just reach out to me. We’ll get through this together.

    On another note, this week was the deadline to choose whether or not you would like your child to return to in-person learning, when available. If you did not complete a survey in Skyward or share with the campus, the your child was defaulted to on-line learning for the first grading period. Either way, we are committed to partnering with you and providing the best experience for your child that we possibly can.

    What’s on the horizon?
    August 19: Marco’s Spirit Night 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
    September 7: Labor Day (Student Holiday)

    Have a great weekend! Stay safe out there.
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter 8/7/20

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 8/7/2020

    Good Afternoon Dearing Families! We are just days away from our 2020-2021 school year kick-off. I know we won’t see you and your child in person the first day, but we are still very excited! We got through the craziness of spring, together, and we will get through this Covid season, too! Our community will tackle it together and be stronger for it.

    Monday evening, I will send out our schedule for “Meet the Teacher.” Hopefully, you have seen our save the date on facebook. It is scheduled for August 12, 5-7pm. Your child’s teacher will contact you prior to the 12th, providing you additional information about his/her classroom, contact information and such. The evening of the 12th, there will be a 15 minute window for each teacher, so that you can get additional information about what instruction will look like. These 15 minute windows will be staggered, allowing for you to attend for multiple children. I also want you to know that daily time is built in to teacher’s schedules, every day, to allow for any support that you many need.

    If you indicated on the Skyward survey and/or by phone that your child would be needing a device, it is time to get those devices to you. If you did not indicate that your child needed a device and he/she does, simply send us an email and we will get you on the wait list. We will have a device pick-up service at the following time, right in front of Dearing. Simply drive up and we will guide you through the stations.

    Monday, August 10th Tuesday, August 11th Wednesday, August 12th

    9:30am-5pm 10am-7pm

    8:30am-5pm

    If for any reason you have not received any communication from your child’s teacher by 5:00pm on Tuesday, please email me or our registrar at Dianna.Gutierrez@pfisd.net and we will problem solve the situation for you.

    I am so looking forward to partnering with you this year, to ensure that your child has a great learning experience!

    Warmest Regards,
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 8/3

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 8/3/2020

    Good morning DRES families! 

    It’s had to believe that the first day of school is just over a week away. We are working on preparations to welcome staff back this week and all of you, shortly after, though we know it will look different.

    First, a word about virtual instruction which we will all begin with. The district has posted Virtual Learning
    Guidelines to give you an idea of what it will look like.

    Website: https://www.pfisd.net/fall2020

    Additionally, I would like you to be aware that when local authorities allow us to resume in-person instruction, your child’s assigned teacher could potentially change. The reason for this is because we don’t yet know how many students will be returning for in-person instruction and how many will continue virtual instruction. Once we know that information, it will help us know how many teachers we need for either virtual instruction or in-
    person, so please be sure that you complete the return to learn survey in Skyward, so that we can adequately prepare for your child. If you need assistance, please contact our to assist you at Dianna.Gutierrez@pfisd.net. The deadline for completing this survey is August 6.

    When students do have the option to return, the district has outlined new routines and protocols to follow in order to keep your child safe. You can access these here: https://www.pfisd.net/Page/7838 We will also modify our campus procedures in order to minimize the number of people that your child comes in contact with, while maintaining a quality program. Your child will continue to have special areas and recess, it will simply be in smaller, consistent groups. We will practice social distancing at lunch, significantly reducing the number of students that are in the café at a given time and provide breakfast in the classroom. Everything will be done in small groups as opposed to campus-wide assemblies and such. We will have additional staff on campus to support cleaning procedures in restrooms, playgrounds, other common areas, as well as equipment. We will explicitly teach handwashing techniques and highly reinforce them, also have handwashing breaks built into the day. We are even considering our travel patterns in the building to ensure that to many students are not in a hallway at any given point of time. We will continue to think through and tweak the precautions that we will take and continue to update you, prior to returning to in-person instruction.

    As for the immediate, we are in the process of preparing a very easy to navigate resource on our campus website, that will support us in kicking off virtual instruction. We will notify you when it is up and ready, prior to the start of school. Mark your calendars now for Virtual Meet the Teacher on August 11. We will get some quick information out for you to review, prior to August 11, then have a live interaction time for you, your child and his/her teacher. (More information to come.)

    One last thing. Our school times are not changing for elementary. Our day will continue to be 7:35-2:50.

    For now, stay safe out there. We look forward to working with you!

    Warmest Regards,
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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