Tomorrow Thursday, we will be handing out some Science, ELA, and Arts handouts, including a watercolor set if you didn't receive one yet.. If your child is working remotely, please come by to pick up this material.
We will also give out some spooky cereals, if you child wants to eat them while we watch a movie on Friday. This way, they will share the same experience as the children who come to the school.
On Friday, your child is welcome to wear a costume. We are also offering the children to share a scary drawing, a picture of themselves in costume, or to write a short scary story that we will share during an assembly on Friday. We will also watch a short dance performed by some students in school, and watch movies together.
On Friday the children will also take their vocabulary test about lesson 2 of the Wordlywise program. They can practice on the Wordlywise website.
Sunday October 25
We have returned to our building since last Monday. It seems that our safety measures are effective and are protecting our students and teachers. We will continue to be very vigilant and follow the directions from the NJ department of Health.
If you want your child to celebrate Halloween, costumes will be welcomed and celebrated on Friday both in person or from home!
All students are invited to submit scary stories, scary drawings, and pictures of themselves in costume (as long as they are appropriate of course). We will gather these contributions in a slide show that we will watch on Friday, before watching scary movies and maybe a little dance presentation during lunch!
One of our students' biggest struggle in this hybrid environment is to complete work ahead of time to avoid rushing at the last minute.
Please encourage your child to look at their to-do list or their calendar on Google Classroom every day and start their work early. Many assignments are meant to be completed in class.
The second most important thing for our children is to revise their work after receiving feedback from their teachers. This can happen during class and after class.
Sunday Evening October 18
While some students return to our school building tomorrow morning, many students will continue working from home.
If you are coming to school, please charge your Chromebook tonight. Make sure to bring everything you need, including earphones and a water bottle. Always bring a warm layer so we can keep the windows open.
We will be texting the daily health survey to all the students who are coming in.
If you changed your mind and have decided to keep your child home, or if you now want to send your child to the school, please let us know by answering the October survey.
We will resume handing out breakfast/lunch boxes between 1:00pm and 2:00pm on Halsey Street.
Friday October 15, 2020
There won't be any classes on Zoom tomorrow, as all the teachers are using this time to meet individually with the families of all our students.
Here is what students should spend their time on:
- Final revision on study guide Ch. 6, 7, 8. It will be closed at 3:00pm. You should have started the next study guide.
- Final redoing of assignments on Khan Academy by using the "Past" tab. It will be closed at 3:00 pm
- Completing any missing assignments in your G-classes
- Revising low-grade assignments in the Done tab.
- Working on the lesson 2 of Wordlywise
Tuesday October 13, 2020
Our children are rising to the challenge of writing in complete sentences, and of using evidence in all their responses. We have set the bar higher this fall, and have asked our children to go back and revise work until it meets the expectations. The children are showing real progress.
Please make sure your child(ten) go back to read their teachers' comments and make changes as needed. This is true for all the subjects. Every day there are several teachers holding office hours in the middle of the day. Encourage your child to use the help.
After a while assignments are closed and it's time to revise the following assignments.
The second study guide about chapters 6,7, and 8 of A Long Walk to Water will be closed on Friday at 3:00pm.
Overdue math KhanAcademy assignments from the first month of school will be closed on Friday at 3pm. To improve your grade, please log into KhanAcademy assignment page, then click “Past” assignments tab to retake any previous quiz/assignment.
Friday October 9, 2020
We will NOT have any synchronous classes on this Monday October 12, which will be a staff day. We will do the same again on Friday October 16.
Homeroom teachers will use Monday and Friday to schedule a meeting with each family on Zoom to discuss the progress of your child(ren).
Students should spent their time completing and revising work at their own pace.
Here is a check list for our students:
Clean-up your email inbox.
Look at your G-classroom To-Do Missing tab.
In your To-Do Done tab, open assignments to see the teachers' comments and make revisions.
Work on your Study Guide revisions from chapter 4,5,6.
Complete assignments for Tuesday.
Work on Khan Academy.
Mr. Wiggins will be holding open math office hours from 12:00pm to 2:00pm for students who need help for math. We will send the link to the students by email on Monday morning.
We will update you about our reopening plans at the beginning of next week. We are hoping that we can reopen safely on October 19.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday September 7, 2020
We have heard that a number of students' families and teachers have been contacted by the tracing service. Please answer their call.
All tests reported were negative. Please make sure to tell us if anyone had a positive test. We will keep all information confidential, but it would help everyone.
The state of New Jersey is now encouraging everyone to download the NJ COVID Alert App, which you can learn about here.
During the 2 hours between morning and afternoon classes, four teachers hold office hours every day. Students can go to any of these office hour to ask a teacher for help on an assignment.
These are the office hours for tomorrow Thursday:
Tuesday October 6, 2020
We are really happy that almost all our students attend each of their classes every day. Thanks for all you do to help us reach full attendance. We greatly appreciate your support, and realize how much we depend on you.
If a student arrive 15 or 20 minutes after the beginning of a class, teachers are not necessarily monitoring the waiting room anymore. They put all their focus on interacting with the students in the class, or making comments on their work. So if your child has a difficulties getting in the classZoom, they need to let their teachers know right at the beginning of class.
All the children should have completed their vocabulary exercises on their WordlyWise lessons. They will take a test on Friday and can review their vocabulary and practice for their test at https://app.exploros.com/login or go back to their WordyWise assignment in their ELA G-class.
It was wonderful to see all our students gathered in all four classZooms this morning, going on about their school day as if nothing had changed! It felt like a community focused on learning and teaching, despite the inevitable technical challenges.
We apologize to some students who found themselves waiting in Zoom waiting rooms while teachers were figuring out how to transfer the hosting of our classZooms between classes. It was also unclear for some students whether or not they were supposed to come to which dance classes. We will clarify this.
Teachers and students have taken precautions to not to risk expose others. The coming two weeks will hopefully confirm that nobody was exposed inside the school. We stay in touch with the Newark Health department, and have not heard of anyone in our community being infected. Please share any news with us –we will keep everything private– and take the call if the tracing services contact you.
Most of the students should have received their first study guide with feedback from their teachers. Instead of using a traditional grade, we are experimenting with a rubric that helps the children go from beginner to advanced level in four steps. Do not compare this to a traditional grade.
Tomorrow and the next two weeks, all our children will work from home. Our schedule will stay exactly the same.
Please make sure your child logs in on time for homeroom at 9:00 am. Their classZooms will open at 8:30 am for the early birds.
All students received an email with all the regular Zoom links for their Monday classes.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to serve breakfast and lunch this week as we have to wait for the chef to be completely cleared before handling our children's food. In the meantime, you can obtain breakfast and lunch from the Newark district on Monday and Thursday at the following locations: NPS Lunch Program.
One of our goals this fall is to train our children to revise their work. We are learning that you can't leave a word undefined for a spelling or grammar mistake. We need to fix them. We can't leave a sentence without a capital letter at the start and an end mark at the end..
We are practicing reading our work aloud before submitting it.
Please look for assignments that are returned to your child for revisions.
This afternoon one member of our school community learned that they had tested positive for the Covid. That person is not showing symptoms. Families of children who were in school on the same days as this person have been contacted by text and email.
After consulting with the Newark Department of Health, we have decided that Discovery is going to go all remote for the next two weeks. We will work with the Department of Health to figure out how and when to reopen safely.
Our schedule will not change. The link to a few of the classes will be updated and we will let you know on Sunday.
Please make sure that your child has completed their first study guide for A Long Walk to Water and that they are starting their work on the next three chapters.
All children should also be done with the first lesson of WordlyWise, which they find in their ELA G-Classroom.
When you look at your child's assignment with the To-Do feature in Google Classroom, go to the Done tab. If your child received a low grade, he/she needs to revise the assignment. There will usually be a comment form the teacher asking for revisions to be made.
Monday September 21, 2020
Our students are getting used to our regular schedule.
Let us know if you need your usernames and passwords.
The hours of the classes go as follow:
Most students working from home do not have to log in during lunch & independent work. They need to be working on completing and revising their assignments. The best way to find out your assignments is to use the To-Do feature on Google Classroom.
Some students do have some classes at 1:00pm, there will also be some online dance and singing classes.
Sunday September 20
We are so proud of how our students are adapting to this new school year! After a few days of being very quiet in our "strange school," children's voices started to be heard, smiles started to be seen, and children didn't want to leave because they wanted to finish their Kahoot game at the end of the day. The children are getting more comfortable interacting with each other, even when they are not in the same space.
Your children are becoming more and more comfortable with all the digital tools we are using, and they are contributing their ideas to solve some of the problems we faced.
Of courses there were many difficulties, assignments that appeared twice, or didn't appear, Zoom addresses that were incorrect, students appearing in the wrong classes, teachers scrambling to find their Google slides, and many others. There will be many more challenges. But together we will provide a great education to our children this year.
Here are some recommendations that teachers wanted to share with parents:
When you work from home
Sit upright, in front of lighted area, and keep your camera on. Wait for a break to eat your food.
Wear the school dress code and take your hood off so we can see you.
Let the teacher know if you need to step away, don't just disappear!
When you come to school
Wear the school dress code, including a school hoodie or a plain color sweater. We keep the windows open... stay warm.
Charge your Chromebook and bring your charger AND earphones.
Bring pencils and sharpener.
As always you will start your day in your homeroom. We will show you how to see your schedule during homeroom.
Today we launched our unit for the fall: Water a Right for All. Children experimented working in small group, over Zoom, to explore all the uses of water and create thinking maps. It was not without technical difficulties, but many students took the lead in finding ways to collaborate over the internet. You can see examples of their work at the end of this update.
Please make sure your child brings earphones to school. It is the only way they can connect to at-home children for small group work, or for tutoring or other forms of support.
If your child works from home, make sure to come and pick-up material for the next two weeks. Make sure your child has all the required supplies as indicated here.
Tomorrow we will start using our regular schedule.
At-home students always starts the day by joining their homeroom at 9:00am at the latest.
On Monday and Friday, after homeroom, some at-home children have to login to a different Zoom to meet in level-groups. This will be explained to them during homeroom.
From Tuesday to Thursday, all students stay in the same classZoom all day.
Wednesday September 16
We are almost at the end of our orientation week. Tomorrow we will be launching our multi-disciplinary unit: Water a Right for All?
Students coming to the school, please charge your Chromebook and bring earphones. You will need them for some group work we will experiment with.
Students working from home, please come pick up some paper material you will need in the coming two weeks.
For all parents: you can now fill the Free Lunch Program Application on the parent portal. It makes it easier for us to compile all your forms. Thanks!
Tuesday September 15, 2020
Today and tomorrow, our children meet the four academic teams: Science, ELA, math, and History/Social Studies, for introductory classes.
We ask that at-home parents come to pick up some work packets at school (our next book, some math and social studies material). We are busy screening children in up to 9:00 am, and if you come after 4:00 pm, you need to check and make sure we are still in school.
Children coming to the school need to bring a warm layer. We keep our windows open so if it is cold outside, it is cooler inside as well. They need to bring their Chromebook fully charged. Students also need to bring earphone so we can have them work in small groups.
Wondering if your child has work assignments to finish? Log in in Google classrooms and click on the To-Do feature. It will show you work that is assigned, work that is done, or work that is missing.
Monday September 14, 2020
We held our fist assembly today at 1:30 pm. Children from each group read their proclamations or manifesto. The assembly also allowed all children to see each other, including the children who just joined Discovery this September. See some pictures below.
Students who come to school need to charge their Chromebook and bring them to school!
School dress code is required for ALL students.
Masks need to stay above the nose!
We continue to hand-out breakfast/lunch boxes everyday between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.
Thank you to all parents, all teachers, and all children for making Discovery possible in these complicated times.
Sunday September 13, 2020
Are you ready for week 2 of Hybrid Discovery?
Thanks for all your support in making hybrid schooling work!
We learned a lot from our first days working in our classZooms. Overall we feel that our children participated more actively than in the Spring. It makes a huge difference that teachers are able to see the faces of students who are working from home.
The children who come to the school building are following safety precautions carefully. As they become more comfortable we have to keep impressing on them that keeping our masks on and keeping our distances is crucial.
We very much appreciate that families of children who feel unwell keep their children home until they are assured it is safe to return. Be assured that all personal medical information will be kept strictly confidential. If you have any doubt, keep your child home, and our nurse can help you decide what is best.
This week, is oursecond and last orientation week. Students will find their Monday to Thursday schedule in their G-Orientation class. We will start our regular schedule on Friday. Some students will change group on Tuesday as we had to make adjustments to keep each school area at a maximum of 15 students. You will see the changes in your G-classrooms.
We continue to hand-out breakfast/ lunch boxes every day between 1:00 and 2:00pm. We will not be able to help you before or after this time.
Here are some reminders for students working from home or coming to the school.
The three ways you can follow your child's work:
on your phone or on your computer
See your child assignments
on your phone (let us know)
See your child screen activities
on your computer
See your child presence and participation in classes
(available in a few days)
Wednesday September 9, 2020
We are ready for our third day of hybrid school. Some students are calling it "strange school!" We all have to learn new ways of interacting in this environment.
So far the interaction between in-school and at-home students is working well. It is also very helpful for the teachers to see the faces of their students. Thanks you for making this effort.
Everyone is responsible to keep our entire community safe. If your child shows COVID-like symptoms, or if anyone in your housed has been exposed to the Coronavirus, let us know. We will keep it confidential and take the necessary measures. We have done really well so far.
Students coming to school, please make sure you bring your Chromebook fully charged, and some earphones.
We will continue handing out lunch/breakfast boxes outside the school for families who are keeping their children home. The distribution will happen between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.
Thursday's menu: blueberry muffin, yogurt, and mixed berries cup for breakfast. Baked chicken w/peppers and onions, broccoli and Mac&cheese ; sliced apples for lunch.
Sunday September 6, 2020
Ready for the new school year on Tuesday?
If your child is working from home on Tuesday, click from home for the latest information.
If your child is coming to the school building on Tuesday, click coming to schoolfor the latest information.
This is our schedule for this first week of school. Remember that we end at 1:00pm each day during the first week of school.
Lunch boxes will be handed out outside for families who are not sending their children to school, as we did during the Spring.
Wednesday September 2, 2020
School starts on Tuesday September 8.
Students coming to the building shouldarrive between 8:00 and 8:45 am
students working from home should login their G-homeroom at 9:00 am.
We sent a letter to all families who requested their child come to the school two weeks ago. If you didn't receive your weekly schedule, call, text, or email us to know which days your child is scheduled to come to school.
The first week is Orientation Week and we will dismiss all students at 1:00pm every day. Starting on Monday September 14, the school day will go from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm.
This will be our schedule during the first week:
Your children's homeroom teachers will contact you soon for a one-on-one Family Zoom conference to go over their schedule, and show you how to follow your child's work.
Finally, we encourage you to download the Google Classroom app on your phone, and login with your child's email and password. This will be the best way to see their assignments and their grades.
For Discovery families who chose to send their children to school
We will open as planned on Tuesday September 8, as Newark is still classified green (low risk).
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday September 8-10 will be half-days, dismissing at 1:00pm. We will start our regular full school days starting on Monday September 14.
This Tuesday September 1st, at 6:00 pm, we invite you to join a Parent Circle to review all the new routines that we have put in place to keep the school safe. It is important that you or another adult from your family attend.
If you have changed your mind and have now decided to keep your child(ten) home, make sure to let us know. Call, text, email us and fill-out the Back-toSchool survey again: back to school survey.
For families who are new to Discovery
There will also be a Parent Circle for families who are new to Discovery onThursday September 3, 2020 (no need to attend the Tuesday meeting).
For all families
We will have individual family conferences the following weeks with all families to go over schedule, G-classrooms, attendance, and expectations, and to answer your questions.
Thursday August 20, 2020
Today for the first time since last March, we welcomed a small group of students inside the school. Students in the summer III program inaugurated Hybrid Discovery and did wonderfully.
We learned a few things...
- Plug and charge your chromebook in the evening, so you have a full battery when you come to school.
- Bring all your school supplies, your Chromebook AND the book Harbor Me.
Monday August 17, 2020
Starting Monday August 17 Until Friday August 28, we will again serve
lunch and breakfast boxes to go. They will be handed out on Halsey street from 11:00 to 12:30pm.
All children who participated in the Summer I program, reading Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, and completing math tasks on Khan Academy are receiving written feedback on their work
. Please make sure your child reads the feedback form their teachers and revise their work accordingly by September 8.
We postponed welcoming students for the summer III program, as we received new guidance issued by the Department of Health on Thursday evening (
link). We are starting remotely for these students on Wednesday 8/19 and hope to welcome them in school shortly after.
We are still on track to welcome all students who opted to attend in person for 1 or more days starting on September 8, 2020. See below for our opening plan.
We will continue to update you here each time we have news.
We hope you are healthy and in good spirits!
Wednesday August 12, 2020
Based on all of the parents' responses to our survey, we are for now able to offer the following:
- If you asked for one or two days, your child may come on Monday and Friday.
- if you asked for three days, your child may come Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
- If you asked for four or five days, your child may come every day of the week.
The situation evolves daily. Today the Governor and the Department of Education announced new guidelines, and new procedures to ensure schools meet health and safety standards. We are waiting to hear more details.
In the coming days you will receive a personal text/email confirming your choice about sending your child to school or having them work from home.
We want to welcome in priority our students who struggled with remote learning in the Spring, and children of parents who can't go back to work if their children are not coming to school.
On the other hand, if your child is handling online learning successfully, and you are able to go to work while your child is learning from home, you may wish to consider opting for remote learning at this time.
This is a summary of what we have done to prepare the school:
- We will welcome a maximum of 60 children in 4 different classrooms
- We space seats 6 feet apart and installed plexiglass barriers on each desk
- We set hand sanitizing stations in each classroom, and next to the bathrooms
- We have mandated that each child and each teacher wear face masks inside the school at all time except when we are eating or drinking.
- We will offer each student a set of two washable masks and will have disposable masks available, as well as face shields
- We have asked each teacher to get tested before returning to teach
- We will screen each adult and each child every morning by taking their temperatures and having teachers and families answer a daily health survey
- We received confirmation that the HVAC system has been adjusted to allow as much fresh air as possible. The filters will be changed monthly instead of every three months and they will use MERV 11 filters which is the maximum that our system can handle
- We setup portable air purifiers with HEPA filters to increase the change of air in each teaching space
- A nurse will follow-up with each family if their child has shown COVID-like symptoms and have been sent home
- We will provide each child with a Chromebook and will assist them as best as we can if they don't have internet access
You will find more details in our reopening plan below.