A MESSAGE FOR TPS FAMILIES - Today is the fourth full day of “staff retreat” for our Project School teaching team. To call it a retreat is a bit misleading, even in the best of times. This is the time of the year when we work collaboratively to create greatness for the year ahead for all children, families, and staff. It is the time when we push our thinking to be better and do better. It is the time when we work together to develop our P3 – problem, project, and place-based curriculum. And, it is a time where we build our team, strengthen our connections, and reestablish our teaching community. This year, we are working to accomplish all of these things, but also so much more. We are working to decide the best ways to support our students in multiple learning formats. We are working to strengthen our use of technology to improve the virtual experiences that will be an important part of the year ahead. We are working to on-board nine new members of our teaching team (classroom teachers, teaching fellows, and student teachers), and we are working to create systems, structures and schedules that will support our students in a TPS education, while in a time layered with COVID-19 related challenges. And through all of this, we are challenging our community to engage in work to operate as an anti-racist institution. Yesterday we spent the afternoon virtually with a phenomenal NYC-based educator, Cornelius Minor. Among other things, Cornelius is the author of the book, We Got This, which our teachers read this summer. Both Cornelius and his book are brilliant, affirming, and challenging of the work we do. One thing that Cornelius shared with us that struck a chord is his belief that, “a schedule is a moral document.” The schedules that we are creating for the start of the most complicated school year of our lives should clearly reflect what we believe to be most important, what we most value. They should serve as a commitment to our students, families and to one another other, as team members. We are working on the schedules and all that goes along with them. As we are putting together what education will look like this year, especially in the first four weeks when 90% of our students will be learning off-site, we are striving to create schedules and experiences that value our students, families, and staff. Next week we will continue to do this work, and will then be joined by our amazing support staff for continued professional development. You will receive the specific guidelines for our virtual learning plans next week. We know that it is hard to wait and to have so much be unknown. Know that we are working incredibly hard to make this happen, and that we greatly look forward to sharing specific plans with all of you. We wish all of our families, and the entire community, continued safety, health and peace.
TPS Families - our staff is now hard at work on 2 weeks of professional development, in the lead up to our return to school on Monday, August 17. We promise you that much more information will be headed your way in the days ahead. You inspire us all to work our hardest to bring you heart-mind-voice educational excellence, no matter the format or location. Thank you for all of your trust and support!
TPS Families, the latest edition of The Family Update has hit in-boxes this morning. Please take a look to stay in-the-know about school happenings. Wishing everyone a beautiful Sunday!
TPS families, we need your help - we are down to 16 families we need to hear from confirming your placement for the beginning of the school year. As we have shared, we are providing mostly virtual instruction, along with an in-person option for families who need the care. In order to take the next steps in our planning, we need to have information from everyone. If we don't have your response yet, Ms. Rene called to give you a gentle reminder. Thanks for getting back to us ASAP.
Download our new smartphone app for iPhone and Android, and you'll be able to stay in-the-know about important announcements, calendar items, special events, and more. Use the app to access our directory, to send communications to staff right from the app, and to visit each teacher's portal page with all the learning links you need. You can check out the lunch menu, read through the family handbook, and submit required absence notifications. You can even make a donation via the app to support heart-mind-voice educational excellence. Search for The Project School in the app store - for everything TPS in the palm of your hand!
TPS Families, please check your in-boxes for a very important message regarding our switch to all-virtual learning for the start of the school year, beginning August 17. The safety of the children and all of our community is paramount in our planning.
Good morning, TPS Families! Your weekly Update has just hit in-boxes. Please have a read! Wishing you a beautiful and safe day.
TPS Families - due to increased COVID-19 community cases, we are moving our mask making to a DIY set-up. Instead of Switchyard tomorrow, we'll be organizing materials & instructions to be picked up (safely) in upcoming days. Please check email for details. AGAIN - we will NOT be meeting at Switchyard tomorrow for mask making. Our deep thanks to the parent organizers!
All schools in the area just received the following statement from the Monroe County Health Department: "Based on the sharp increase in cases over the past few days and a possible increase in hospital demand the MCHD thinks it would not be unreasonable to consider going to your “plan B” while we monitor this situation. Dr. Sharp reminds you that this is still a school system decision. However, considering a delay in re-entry of in-person classes for a couple of weeks is worth considering." This statement affirms the decision that we have already made to delay the start of any version of school at TPS until August 17. It also causes us to lean more strongly toward the virtual start that we again shared as a possibility in the letter to our families on 7/22/2020. We will finalize the decision of how we are opening by by 7/27/2020 at the latest. We will then work with families who MUST have care at school to support their needs. In our weekly update this week there will be a survey that will also help our families to connect to each other. Please pay special attention to the opportunities this creates for connecting our new families to our veterans. We are all in this together, at least 6 - feet apart!
TPS Families, a very important message was just sent to you via email from Ms. Cathy, regarding a change to reopening plans. Please read as soon as you are able. It has also been posted to our Facebook page. Stay safe!
As we move forward with our plans for reopening, and the using of outdoor spaces as much as possible, we are seeking 2 very important things! 1) A survey to mark our green space property lines for the purposes of fence installation; 2) Large canopies (10x20 feet or larger would be ideal, but any size would be great to consider) that can be set up for shade and protection during outdoor learning. Know of anyone who can help us with either of these? Please be in touch asap: email@example.com. Thanks!
TPS Families - the weekly Update has just arrived to in-boxes. Please take a look at your earliest convenience!
"Daniel Tiger" will air an episode dedicated to teaching children how to deal with COVID-19 and safety: https://people.com/parents/daniel-tiger-coronavirus-pandemic-episode/?fbclid=IwAR2S3siHRUzhds3pDV6oNzlybPi6eZASXJJPC7cIq4bIvpiB6HNQ90Za6Js
We have received responses from almost all of our families (only 10 students left to reach!) for their plans for August-October school at TPS. As parents and educators, we know how challenging it is to decide what is best for your child and your family. This is tough stuff! Thanks for working with us to create the best situation possible. We are now working with responses to determine the placements and groupings that give the best chance for physical distancing. Once we have this information, we will share it with all families, likely sometime the week of July 20. These are the plans will be based on current knowledge of the pandemic. If the situation with COVID-19 changes in our community, so too will our plans. We recognize that the results of the best plans we are able to put in place may mean that some families will want to change their commitment. We will work with families who feel this way and will most definitely consider all requests. Below is an article that speaks to us as we are making decisions. There are 2 points that we believe are worth noting in response to the article: (1) We very much hope that Governor Holcomb listens to teacher-leaders and requires face-coverings in schools. As you know, we would certainly support this decision, as it is a requirement that we have made, as well. (2) In Indiana, officials are not currently using specific metrics to guide local school districts as they decide when to reopen and when to remain virtual. Rather, districts are taking an assembly of input from state, local health and education officials to make that decision. State health commissioner Kristina Box said the state does not currently have specific metrics for schools to follow in their counties, but that could change as the state’s infection rate climbs. As a school that is working diligently to make the best decisions possible, we would WELCOME specific metrics for schools to follow in our county. If you have interest in expressing support for this, we encourage you to contact Dr. Box and the ISDH at 877-826-0011. As we have said from day one, we are constantly watching the data. Increases in cases in our community must be considered, and understanding the data matters. Reopening is most certainly complicated for everyone. Thanks for your support. https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-schools-reopening-could-be-complicated-by-covid-19-infection-increase.php?fbclid=IwAR1kLZy2kh9epmApXhF4jrB8aeGXmyjj4VFB2U0SmRt4ZakY-iDRqSgFj_k
Hello TPS Families! Our important weekly email Update has just hit inboxes. Please read through it at your earliest convenience, paying special attention to the optional Q&A sessions happening tomorrow, and the deadline Tuesday for completing your learning format commitment form. Thank you so much!
Sharing a beautiful new resource created by our Kindergarten teacher Ms. Liz, as part of her masters course work. Here is her description of the site: "Loving Library was created help educators find books and resources to use in their classroom to educate their students in a way that fosters tolerance, empathy, anti-racism and activism. We want to give educators the tools to be agents of change in their communities and to make a difference in the lives of their students." This link has been added to our growing resource library (linked on our website) of anti-racism materials for children and families. Thank you, Ms. Liz! https://sites.google.com/view/loving-library/home
TPS FAMILIES - an extremely important email has just landed in your in-boxes regarding reopening. Please make sure to read it as soon as you are able. We miss you greatly, and are wishing you continued health and safety!
We are pleased to share our reopening plan, approved this evening by our school board. We thank the members of our reopening committee for all of the thoughtful and meticulous work they put into crafting this plan, and we thank our board for their deep commitment to what is best for the children and families of our school community. A link to the reopening plan is below. You can also check the COVID-19 banner at the top of our website at any time for timely updates. https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/783848/reopening_plan__approved.pdf
At 4:30 today there will be a special Zoom board meeting, where the reopening plan will be discussed and voted on. The public is welcome to attend. Community questions can be submitted publicly in the chat bar. This meeting will also be recorded and posted later, for those unable to attend. Find the Zoom link and details here: https://www.theprojectschool.org/article/262061
We are so excited to be almost ready to introduce our new website and smart phone app to you - they are getting their finishing touches this week. Stay tuned!