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COVID-19 Updates

March 28th, 2020

Move and Virtual Learning Update 


 

March 20th, 2020

Greetings KMS Families,

Please read the latest update from DCSD regarding COVID-19.

Next week was our planned Teacher Appreciation Week! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Kittredge for reinventing school this week! Last Friday, with almost no notice, the teachers put their heads together to create a plan for online learning at KMS. They brainstormed potential barriers, problems and issues we expected to come across. They determined how we would collaborate and communicate internally and with our community. This week, they have adjusted plans and format on the fly as new, unpredictable issues were brought to them. I am in awe of their creativity and dedication to their craft and their students. If you have a moment, please send a word of thanks to the amazing teachers of KMS. I know they would appreciate hearing from you.

I want to encourage all of you to stay strong through this period of adversity and uncertainty. Personally, I have been thinking about my grandmother, who was three during the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. Her father died from the flu leaving her mother widowed. Soon after that, they lived through the Great Depression and World War II. I knew my Gramma Betsey to be a woman of strength and love. She cared for others and for my family. She demonstrated perseverance. I look to her experience to find my own strength when I'm feeling anxious and worried about what's to come. And, of course, I know that we can do hard things! In fact, we are doing hard things right now. We will come through this and at some point, be on the other side of it.

I hope everyone can stay home, stay healthy, and hang in there!

Sincerely,

Dr. Neely, Principal
Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers

 

March 17th, 2020
 

DCSD has expanded the locations for meal sites. All information is included in the link below.

3.17.2020 Meal Site Expansion 

 

Dear KMS Families,

Here are a few tips and resources from the counseling department about ways to help minimize worry and anxiety during this time of uncertainty. Your ability to stay calm and available for your children may be the most important thing they need. Should you need support, please reach out to us and to other professionals in the field.

The basics:

  • Limit your children's exposure to the media (you may also want to limit your own exposure)
  • Provide a calming influence, as needed; identify healthy distractions for yourself and your children
  • Model life balance; consider meditating together___try www.smilingmind.com.au or www.mindyeti.com
  • Help children address their fears; validate feelings yet focus on things within our control
  • Keep to a routine that provides for adequate sleep, study time (which might be best broken up into 20-40-minute sessions with breaks to refuel the body & brain), physical activity, and appropriate social connection (ask children to offer ideas for family time that does not include technology)

General Tips from adaa.org:

  • Pay attention to your child’s feelings.
  • Stay calm when your child becomes anxious about a situation or event.
  • Recognize and praise small accomplishments.
  • Don’t punish mistakes or lack of progress.
  • Be flexible and try to maintain a normal routine.
  • Modify expectations during stressful periods.
  • Plan for transitions, as much as possible.

Child Mind Institute "Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus"

Parent Resources from National Assoc. of School Psychologists

Essence Magazine "How to Talk to Your Kids"

Harvard School of Ed "Helping Children Cope"

For children who enjoy writing, talk with them about creating a journal about this time in their lives, if you think it might alleviate stress or worry. If they enjoy writing but this topic might create worry, encourage them to write for a limited number of minutes per day about the worries (start with one minute). The idea is to help them "contain" the worry. Then, help them develop other writing activities that focus on distracting themselves from the stresses they are experiencing.

Lastly, think about creating new routines that foster a sense of safety and connection, particularly at times, like bedtime, when worries tend to arise. Like the writing suggestion above, you might offer your child a chance to get worries off his or her mind at the end of the day. If you have a sand timer, you could set that and just listen to them and answer questions, as needed. Then, do a relaxing activity with them: read together, listen to music, do a meditation, or just close your eyes and try to synchronize your breathing. Children's needs at a time like this will differ widely, sometimes even from one day to the next. Try to be patient with them and yourselves.

Please let us know how we can support you.

Your Counseling Team,

Donna Kelley 
Donna_M_Kelley@dekalbschoolsga.org

Denise Nelson
Sonya_Nelson@dekalbschoolsga.org

 March 15, 2020

Greetings KMS Families,

We are no longer going to "open" the building on Monday as was previously communicated. If you or your child needs something from the building, please email me today stating specifically what is needed. I will work with individuals on a case by case basis to see if building access can be granted. If it is, it will only be allowed on Monday, 3/16. This is being done to prevent exposure and to encourage both staff and families to stay home. As I'm sure you're aware, social distancing is being recommended as way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Instructional staff will not be present in the building while schools are closed. All questions for teachers can be emailed to them directly. Teachers will be available via email on school days during "normal" school hours. You can expect a response within 24 hours, usually less.

An important list of links that you may need is included below.

4th Grade Website

5th Grade Website

6th Grade Website

KMS Staff Directory

Please take care of yourselves and your family. I have personally found the CDC website to be helpful as we navigate this pandemic and make hard decisions about leaving the house. Again, please let school administration know if you experience any personal illness or problems of any kind that prevent your children from doing or accessing schoolwork. We will support you and your family.

Sincerely,

Dr. Neely, Principal
laura_neely@dekalbschoolsga.org

Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers 

We thank you in advance for your patience as our goal remains to provide this service to our students and families while minimizing risk and exposure to our community at large.  

 

REMINDER about Social Distancing: We also encourage our community to follow CDC guidelines about social distancing. The CDC and public health officials are continuing to share guidance for the general public to practice “social distancing,” which they have described as “all individuals should limit community movement and adapt to disruptions in routine activities.”  The CDC also says, “social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”  Please be mindful and take precautions daily.  These measures and overall good hygiene practices will help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

March 13, 2020

Greeting KMS Parents,

We have a few updates for you. Please read each section carefully. Thank you!

Virtual Learning Message from DCSD:
Teachers will provide students with a virtual learning assignment that is content-specific and relevant beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice. Each assignment will be aligned to the standards and what the students are currently learning. Assignments may involve reading, writing, conducting research, performing mini labs, completing practice problems, taking notes, and/or answering questions. Virtual learning access will be made available to students in grades 1-12 through VERGE. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will receive electronic copies of their virtual learning assignments via their parents' email addresses on file. KMS Keeps Learning Going While School is Closed
Our staff was prepared for online learning early this week. Today, during our time together at the building, we worked in teams to create a simple and clear learning plan for your children to work on while at home. All assignments will be posted as usual on the grade level homework calendars and the MPArts homework calendars. Use the left navigation menu on our website to find your grade level’s websites and calendars. If your child prefers to use VERGE, he/she can do so. Everything is the same, no matter where you find it. We have a list of important information for you as you help your child complete schoolwork:

  • Work for the week will be posted on Mondays by 9am.

  • Teachers will reply to parent and student emails pretty quickly during normal school hours, and always within 24 hours.

  • Teachers will post due dates for assignments. You can keep up while we are out, or you will have up to two weeks to turn in everything upon our return to school. We think that most #kmskids will want to keep up and have work graded on a regular schedule. This will prevent our students from having a lot to do in a little period of time after this school closure is over. 

  • Mr. Osborn, Librarian and Mrs. Alnakdali, Library Assistant are available via email for any questions you have about technology, passwords, access to online sources, etc. Additionally, Mr. Osborn has set up a Google Voice phone number for tech help phone calls. You can reach him weekdays from 8am to 2pm at (770) 674-8187. 

  • Be sure to email your teacher directly for questions about specific assignments. 

KMS Parent - Teacher Conferences
Conference night is postponed. We will reschedule a new date after we return to normal school attendance.

School Administration
Both Ms. King and Dr. Neely will be available via email and will return emails within 24 hours of receipt. Please reach out to let us know if you are experiencing any issues with online access and work completion. Remember that your child will have two full weeks after we return to complete anything they couldn’t get done. Due dates from teachers are provided to help your child stay on top of work and to have items graded now if preferred. 

If anyone in your household contracts COVID-19 or has any other serious problem that prevents your child from keeping up with school, we will work with you and support your child. Please keep us informed about issues such as these.

Work at our new school site
Work at our new school site will continue. We will provide an update very soon about the progress being made. 

We will miss seeing all of your children every day! We hope that all of you stay very healthy and safe during this stressful time. There are so many unknowns! We hope you know you can count on us to provide an engaging & new type of learning opportunity at home. You can stay up-to-date with COVID-19 and how DSCD is addressing it at www.dekalbschoolsga.org.

We will see you soon!

Sincerely,

Dr. Laura S. Neely, Principal

Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers 

 

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