• Dearing Newsletter: 12/10

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 12/10/2020

    Good Morning Dearing Families,

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

    Sadly, I needed to share with you that our “Rock Around the Parking Lot” event that was scheduled for this Friday has been cancelled. Though we began planning well over 6 weeks ago, we did not consider the increase in COVID cases across the central Texas area that would occur after Thanksgiving. While it hasn’t directly impacted Dearing at this time, our primary intent will always be safety, and we don’t want to do anything that could potentially be unsafe for students or staff. Additionally, with all of the planning that staff put in to create their displays, it would’ve been impossible to maintain social distancing guidelines for set-up and take-down. Consequently, it also looks like there is rain in the forecast, which would have also impacted the event. In any case, we will pack up our ideas and push back to next year, when hopefully, this pandemic will be behind us.

    The window to choose the method of instruction for your child that will begin in January closed yesterday. We will be working on any adjustments that we will need to make based on those choices over the next few days. If any adjustments require a teacher change for your child, we will reach out to you before the end of next week.

    As you know, we have one more week before our winter break. We will again send devices home with the students that have checked them out. Please encourage your child to log-in to Istation to practice their math and reading skills. Just a few minutes a day can significantly impact the retention of skills and can even support new content learning.

    Remember that our last day before break is December 18, and that is an early release day. Students will be dismissed at noon. Students will return to school on Wednesday, January 6, to begin the second semester. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

    Warmest Regards,

    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 11/19

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 11/19/2020

    Dear Dearing Parents,

    As we move into the holiday break tomorrow, we will be sending any devices that were checked out to students, home with the students. This is simply a proactive measure on our part. As we all recall from this past Spring, many students left for Spring Break and did not have needed learning materials with them and then our campuses were shut down. We are not anticipating a shutdown at this time; however, going forward we would like to establish this norm of sending learning materials home with students prior to lengthy holiday breaks in order to be prepared should any issues arise. If your child would like to practice his/her reading or math skills over the break, encourage him/her to log in to Istation. It’s really great practice!

    Other than that, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy and stay safe!

    Warmest Regards,
    Christy Chandler
    Dearing Elementary Principal

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  • Dearing Newsletter: 11/16

    Posted by David Wiechmann on 11/16/2020

    Good Morning Dearing Families,

    It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. We only have five days left before Thanksgiving break and much to do before staff and students head off.

    Our fourth and fifth graders will be taking interim assessments this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. The assessments are designed to not take more than an hour, which is nice. We do want students to do the best they can because it gives us direction with what we need to work on with each of our students.

    Wednesday is Spirt Day at Marco’s Pizza, so if you are in the mood for pizza, drop by and support Dearing Elementary. I believe you do need to tell them that you are from Dearing. It will begin at 11 a.m. and last until 9 p.m. Our PTO is also sponsoring a Turkey Feather Fundraiser. Be sure to check out the Dearing PTO Facebook page for more information.

    To this point, our DRES community has been evenly split between in-person and virtual learners. We continue to brainstorm and think of ways to bring the two together, while making sure that ideas are COVID friendly. We love that many of our virtual friends participate in any dress-up days that we have. All of the students have enjoyed seeing each other. Moving forward, we will have an event coming up in December, “Rocking Around the Parking Lot.” It will be Dearing’s version of a fun light display, that will allow all of our DRES families to drive through the parking lot for a little festive cheer. There will be more information coming out, right after Thanksgiving break.

    In thinking about our students, you will soon have the opportunity to change your student’s method of instruction from virtual to in-person, if you choose. We will begin accepting phone calls starting December 1. The important thing is that you share with us by December 9, so that we have time to make changes and create more classrooms, if needed.

    I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy your family and be safe.

    Warmest Regards, Christy Chandler

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  • 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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