Dear Harding Families,
First: Kinder class lists will be shared Monday, August 3 and 1st-6th lists will go out by Monday August 10. Thanks for your patience everyone.
Next, it is time to get together and start getting ready for school. Tuesday evening, August 4 at 7pm, I will host our first virtual Parent Education Session. One thing we learned in the Spring was that families would benefit from understanding our foundational approach to instruction. This Presentation and talk time will hopefully help families manage instruction at home by having home and school on the same page regarding foundational student learning expectations.
Hopefully you can join me; if not, will record the session for posting on our website. Additionally, I am working on having a Spanish translator but it is not confirmed at this time. Take care and stay safe.
Estimadas Familias de Harding,
Compartiremos las listas de alumnos de Kinder el lunes 3 de Agosto y las de 1ero a 6to grado el lunes 10 de Agosto. Muchas gracias a todos por tener paciencia. Es hora de reunirnos para empezar a aprontarnos para la escuela. El martes 4 de Agosto a las 7 pm seré el anfitrión de la primera Reunión virtual Educativa para Padres. Lo que aprendimos en la primavera es que las familias podrían beneficiar de entender nuestro método de aprendizaje. Esta presentación y el tiempo que tenemos para conversar podrán ayudar a las familias a dirigir la instrucción de sus hijos en la casa y a entender cuáles son las expectativas.
Espero que me puedan acompañar; si no lo es posible, la reunión será grabada y publicada en nuestra página de web. Además estoy tratando de conseguir a un traductor de español pero en este momento no lo tengo confirmado. Cuídense y manténganse sanos.
La Señora Takimoto
Dear Harding Families,
We fully understand that many families are in desperate need of childcare and a plan for the fall so they can work and attend to self care. We also understand the concern about what a distance learning model will mean for our children’s academic, social, and emotional experiences. It was our intention in promoting pods, to address childcare issues and pursue an avenue for regular and safer social opportunities and experiences that are so important to child development. In considering the needs of all, we also have to recognize that we are now in the midst of three global crises: health, social justice, and economic.
At this time, we ask you to pause your planning to consider the unintended consequences of pod arrangements.
- Some families may not have the resources, be in a position, feel comfortable, or have been invited to form a pod. This may cause feelings of exclusion, especially for kids who may see or hear of their peers congregating and learning together while they remain isolated. We encourage families to be sensitive to these circumstances. In many ways, this idea of podding is a creative solution to an impossible situation. At the same time, the formation of these groups holds the risk of exacerbating social and educational inequities in our country – see this article from the New York Times.
- Some conversations have begun to include hiring tutors/teachers to lead and/or supplement instruction. We are proud of the distance learning Harding teachers provided at a moment’s notice last year. Our teachers set a high bar for themselves and are using feedback and learning from the Spring to plan Fall instruction that should be much more student, parent, babysitter, childcare provider friendly. Our lesson plans should not require help from a tutor nor are they intended for reteaching by a tutor. We are concerned that too many cooks in the kitchen will create confusion and conflict.
- We have found that learning new concepts at a distance is more effective in small groups. Children will be clustered and partnered in a variety of learning configurations within their inclusive class. Families may naturally find a social pod after the start of the year if childcare is not an immediate issue.
- The health and safety of all our students and families is the first concern. Health professionals have cautioned us all to limit in person interactions, wear masks, and keep six feet distance. For more information on social bubbles from a doctor/parent, please click here. Guidelines and agreements are needed for all groups.
Our children are watching us: let’s show them that we are citizens who take care of each other, show up for each other, and work together to solve big problems. Please also consider that the concern about children “getting behind” is relative and fabricated on a biased system. What if we shift this deficit thinking to how this group of children may come out ahead?
We are committed to working together as a community to support all of our students, teachers, and parents (particularly BIPOC, neuro-diverse, and ELLs) during this incredibly challenging time. We’re still figuring all of this out; we’ll get some things wrong but we’ll keep making adjustments. No solution will address all of everyone’s needs. But if we work together, we are confident we can both support each other and ensure all of our children receive what they need this year.
Please stay tuned for next steps:
- The PTA board will complete and publish social pod recommended guidelines, “Things to Consider”, later this week.
- Parent education sessions with the principal will begin Tuesday, August 4 with the philosophy and research behind our approach to learning. We will meet again on August 11 to cover what to expect in the first week.
- Class lists will be posted by email: July 31 for Kinders and by August 11 for 1st-6th. Please notify the office ( email@example.com) or PTA President Ted Lam (see below) if you want your email shared with your child’s class and/or PTA class/grade level parent coordinators; their main job this year is to assist teachers with class/grade level communication and connections.
If you want to assist with inclusive community connections, are a creative thinker/strategist, and/or want to help teacher/parent support work, please email Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for your commitment to our Harding students.
Linda Takimoto, Harding Principal
Ted Lam, Harding PTA President
Estimadas familias de Harding,
Comprendemos que muchas familias están buscando desesperadamente a quien cuide a sus niños y necesitan tener un plan más concreto para poder trabajar y mantener su salud mental. Nosotros también estamos preocupados de cómo el modelo de aprendizaje a distancia impactará las experiencias académicas, sociales y emocionales de los niños.
En este momento pedimos que esperes y consideres las consecuencias de formar grupos:
- Necesitamos que seas consciente de que algunas familias quizás no tienen recursos, se sienten incómodos, o no han sido invitados para participar en estos grupos. Esto puede causar sentimientos de exclusión, especialmente entre los niños que escuchan que sus amigos se están encontrando para aprender juntos mientras que ellos están excluidos. Recomendamos que las familias sean sensibles a estas situaciones. La idea de formar grupos es una solución creativa para una situación imposible. Al mismo tiempo, la formación de estos grupos resulta en más injusticia social y académica en este país. Mira este articulo del periodico New York Times.
- Algunas conversaciones han empezado para contratar a tutores y maestros para complementar la educación académica de los niños. Estamos orgullosos del modelo de aprendizaje a distancia que proporcionaron los maestros de Harding el año pasado. Nuestros maestros tuvieron estándares altos y están utilizando los comentarios que recibieron y lo que aprendieron en la primavera para planear lecciones que son mejores para los estudiantes, sus padres, y niñeras. Estas lecciones no requieren a un tutor y tampoco están hechas para que las enseñe un tutor. Nos preocupa que si hay muchas personas enseñando, el niño terminará confundido.
- Hemos encontrado que con el modelo de aprendizaje a distancia es más fácil aprender conceptos nuevos en grupos pequeños. Los niños serán agrupados en configuraciones académicas dentro de su clase. Las familias pueden formar un grupo social al principio del año si no necesitan guarderías.
- La salud y seguridad de los estudiantes es lo más importante. Los profesionales de salud nos han recomendado que limitemos la interacción entre personas, que usemos máscaras y que mantengamos una distancia de seis pies. Si quieres más información de un médico que también es padre oprime aquí. here. Las reglas y seguimientos son necesarias para todos.
Nuestros niños nos observan: mostremos que somos ciudadanos, nos cuidamos el uno al otro y trabajamos juntos para resolver problemas grandes. Por favor considera que la preocupación de que los niños se van atrasar académicamente es relativa y fabricada por un sistema parcial. Qué pasa si cambiamos esta forma de pensar negativa y ayudamos a que este grupo de niños siga para adelante? children may come out ahead?
Tenemos el compromiso de trabajar juntos como comunidad y apoyar a todos los estudiantes, maestros y padres durante estos momentos difíciles. Todavía estamos viendo lo que va a pasar: algunas cosas van a salir mal pero haremos cambios para seguir mejorando. Ninguna solución abordará las necesidades de todos. Si trabajamos juntos podremos apoyarnos y asegurar que nuestros niños recibirán lo que necesitan este año.
Estos serán los próximos pasos:
- El PTA va a delinear y publicar reglas para formar grupos.
- Reuniones educativas para padres empezarán el Martes 4 de Agosto donde la directora explicara la filosofía de aprendizaje. Nos encontraremos nuevamente el 11 de Agosto para discutir las expectativas de la primera semana de escuela.
- Las listas de alumnos de cada grado serán publicadas por correo electrónico: el 31 de Julio para Kinder y el 11 de Agosto para 1ero a 6to grado.
- Por favor contacta a la oficina (email@example.com) o al presidente del PTA Ted Lam (ve abajo) si quieres compartir tu correo electrónico con la clase de tu hijo y/o los padres coordinadores del PTA de cada grado. Su trabajo este año será asistir a los maestros con la comunicación y conexión de cada clase y grado.
Si quieres ayudar a conectar a nuestra comunidad, si piensas de una forma creativa y te gusta hacer estrategias y/o quieres apoyar el trabajo entre maestros y padres, por favor manda un correo electrónico a Ted firstname.lastname@example.org
Te agradecemos mucho por tu dedicación a los estudiantes de Harding.
Linda Takimoto, Directora de Harding
Ted Lam, Presidente del PTA de Harding
Mi nombre es Verónica y soy madre y miembro del PTA de Harding.
Queremos que todas las familias que hablan Español se sientan incluidas y puedan participar en las reuniones y discusiones del PTA. Nos gustaría conocerte! Escribe un correo electrónico a Ted Lam (presidente del PTA) email@example.com con tu nombre y el nombre y grado de tus hijo o hija.
Hello Harding Community,
With Governor Newson’s announcement last week, we now know we will definitely be starting the year in distance learning. There are still a lot of unknowns but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep enjoying your summer:)
- Start thinking about the school structure, routine, and space that your family wants or needs at home.
- Consider and start organizing any child and/or adult school and/or work support needed for distance learning in your home.
- Teachers at each grade level will provide students with the same curriculum and schedules; in general, live lessons will be scheduled between 9am and 2pm, (Usually all in the morning for younger students), with recorded lessons for flexibility and making up anything missed.
- Class lists will be released as soon as possible with Kinders first (hopefully July 31) to help them make connections, assist children with the “transition”, and form social groups/pods if interested. Class lists may be released, initially, without teacher assignments. Final teacher assignments will be set the week before the official start of instruction on August 17.
- ALL plans are subject to change. Please have flexibility at the top of your coping tools at all times.
So, back to the beginning…keep enjoying your summer. Take care and stay safe.
July 12, 2020
Hello Harding Community,
Sorry to skip a week but I had a chance to get out of town and took it. I hope you all had a fun holiday weekend.
PTA continues their commitment to community building with new and continuing families. The next virtual meeting for incoming TK/K families will be held Saturday, July 18 (see below). New families had lots of questions about teaching and learning in a pandemic at our June meeting and I link them here with answers for all.
In my last message I announced that Harding was awarded $26,475 from a district Ed Fund Hewlett Packard Foundation grant. We were one of nineteen district schools granted money to further the exploration and implementation of Learner Centered Environments and Deeper Learning. We have implemented student centered instruction in language arts with Teachers College Units of Study for Reading, Writing, and phonics. Differentiated instruction and student voice and choice are foundational expectations of this model of instruction. Teachers teach for independence, focusing on learning skills and strategies, providing various tools for support and self-assessment. This grant will support teacher time for study, lesson planning and lesson evaluation, as well as resources, to transfer workshop model practices to math. We hope to improve teacher practice and math learning conditions so students can increase their engagement, and deepen math learning
Teachers continue collaborative program improvement practices. Instructional lead teachers are doing some work over the summer to create teacher communication guidelines and schedule expectations to align practices and templates K-6th to make it easier for families, especially with multiple children, to access and understand weekly learning plans. They are also creating a distance learning website for a “one stop” family information resource in addition to parent education and support resources for managing learning at home or in childcare.
I’m sure we are all well aware of the national and local “discussions” regarding the opening of schools in August. I’m also sure that it is in all our best interest to continue to work together for the collective well being. In all transparency, for financial and logistical reasons, it appears that we will start the school year in full distance learning, adding cohorts of 12 students on site at a time, as staffing and safety permits. If we get all students in a cohort to be on site, students will be at school part time, partial day a couple days a week, to allow for social distancing and cleaning. So, if you need regular childcare, I recommend that you arrange it for the time needed to support work and other responsibilities. If you don’t need childcare, I also recommend that you connect with other Harding families to form cooperative learning and/or social cohorts or pods outside of school. In any setting, school or home, attending to the mental health of all through regular social connection and break opportunities will continue to be important. Connect with the PTA to continue the conversation, connect with others in the community, and engage in the work collectively.
Take care and stay safe.
Hello Harding Community,
Here are the requirements for return to school published by the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and the CDC. The district has determined it is impossible to open schools as we used to know them. Therefore, the following two models are being developed:
- A full-time distance learning model.
- Hybrid models — some in-person; some online.
District re-opening task force work will be done July 9 and the district will submit a plan for approval to the county office of education on July 17.
As outlined two weeks ago, Harding teachers are developing plans for next year to keep what worked last spring and incorporate feedback and new learning into next year’s plans for instruction. The PTA, School Site Council (SSC), and I have also mapped out a plan for not only welcoming incoming families but establishing community connection and communication systems to facilitate ongoing academic and social support.
With any amount of distance learning we need to promote and normalize family engagement because it now includes efforts in facilitating your child’s learning. This is especially true for our young students who must always be touching, feeling, doing, and exploring concepts for themselves. They will not be able to do this at school and they might not do this at home without intentional facilitation and support. We are expanding our mindset from teaching our students to teaching both our students and their families. We will need to empower caregivers with the confidence, skills, and knowledge to facilitate open-ended learning at home, so that student robust learning is happening even when children are not in classrooms.
I have really been enjoying the sunshine and warm weather this past week, I hope you all are too. Take care and stay safe.
Hello Harding Community,
I have an update on when we will know what school might look like next year. The district is now looking at mid-July for completing plans for how school will be administered. I’m sure that with any scenario, we will all have to remain flexible depending on how COVID progresses throughout the school year.
Parent leaders and I met last week to map out how to welcome transitional kindergarten and kindergarten families to the school and assist with this important new beginning in such an uncertain time. Our first event will be a virtual meeting on June 27 with other “meetings” to be held throughout the summer for other families new to the school as well. Stay tuned for the schedule.
I hope everyone is enjoying some sort of summer. Teacher summer learning recommendations focused on getting children away from screens/technology as much as possible. In any case, we all hope that the whole family is reading daily. Rising 5th and 6th graders have a special opportunity to join a free reading club. Click the link from Ms. Hanssler, Harding 5th grade teacher, for more information – starts on June 22!
As I work with teachers on a social justice/social studies curriculum, I continue to think about how our school systems support inequities. We have worked on our instructional and discipline approaches, classroom libraries, and our own understandings and beliefs. Every year, every approach, every interaction, success or mistake, is an opportunity to learn and improve. One of our former teachers, Imani Pierce, is putting this kind of thinking, and more, into the creation of a school to “reclaim excellence in the education of African American youth.” They hope to open in the fall of 2021. If you are looking for an action to take, consider donating to Sile School, the Ed Fund West COVID-19 Response Fund, or The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
Take care and stay safe.
Meal pick-up locations & volunteers needed: The School District has 22 meal pick-up locations for students 18 years or younger from 11am to 1pm, unless noted, Monday through Friday. For details, please visit https://www.wccusd.net/mealfoodoptions. Volunteers are also needed to help assemble and distribute meals. Details can be found at this same link.
June 7, 2020
Hello Harding Community,
Well, we made it, but not really. We are still in a pandemic and another emotional peak in the struggle to end racism. The 2019-2020 school year has ended and we still have a lot of work to do. The good news is that we have this caring and committed community to move forward with on taking action.
The Harding Instructional Leadership Team met last week to map out our initial actions: 1) Apply teacher learning and family feedback to improve teacher communication, grade level alignment, delivery of instruction, and parent supports for distance and/or in school building learning. 2) Create a social justice curriculum to embed into morning meetings and social studies reading and writing units of study.
If you didn’t have a chance to watch the CNN Sesame Street Town Hall, please find time: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/app-news-section/cnn-sesame-street-race-town-hall-app-june-6-2020-app/index.html. Children’s books and videos like this will help you navigate hard topics with your children, keep the conversations and learning going, and identify action to take. My hope is that we maintain this current momentum for lasting change, especially with educating for and modeling being antiracist.
Last week the state issued guidelines for reopening schools and the district formed a task force for planning how school will look next year. This task force will meet next week. Their goal is to have a plan drafted by the end of the month.
In the meantime, take care and stay safe.
June 5, 2020
The Harding PTA wishes our school teachers and staff, and our Harding community a safe and peaceful summer! Thank you for your dedication and support throughout the 2019/20 school year.
This Saturday, 7am PST, CNN and Sesame Street will host a town hall addressing how to stand up to racism. If you can, we recommend that you tune in at this link.
In addition, we encourage our community to stay informed about matters related to the State Budget and other issues important to our community. One such channel is through the California State PTA (CAPTA). You can join their mailing list here. We encourage you to read about CAPTA’s current campaign to stop state budget cuts to schools. More information can be found at this link.