AN IMPORTANT REOPENING UPDATE FOR TPS FAMILIES While all of this continues to feel nearly impossible, the thought of all of you working so hard alongside us is the inspiration that we think of when trying to make the best decisions for one and all. As you likely know by now, there has been no good news in the daily data so far this week. Today’s map, as seen below, looks almost identical to the one from yesterday. One of the criteria that the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) have recommended as important when making decisions is the 7-Day Positivity percentage. For more information on these metrics, check out this article: Positivity Methodology. With the percentages of both of these numbers, All Tests and Unique Individuals, we remain deeply concerned about the high percentages, the spread in our community, and the risk that this creates for students, families, and staff when bringing larger groups together. With all of the concerning news above, there is a new glimmer of hope. As Penny Caudill from the MCHD has stated, there is a lag between IU’s testing and the labs that they are using reporting all results to the State. We are very hopeful, as is the MCHD, that when this information is provided, the percentages above will improve. Unfortunately, at this moment, we don’t have access to this information so we are making a huge decision for all of our TPS community on information that is incomplete, at best. When taking all of this information into consideration, we have decided to maintain our status quo for another week. This means that in almost all cases, we are asking families to remain in the learning format that they are currently a part of until the week of 9/21/2020. I say in “almost all cases” because I fully recognize that for some families, the announcement of one more week of the current situation may be the thing that you feel like you just can’t do. If this is the case, if one more week is just too much, we want to hear from you and work with you to see what solutions we might be able to come up with to get you and your child through to 9/21. We will certainly do our best. We shared in our last survey that you would know what learning format your child will be placed in from when we shift until winter break. All students will be in the learning format that families chose, ideally beginning on 9/21. If you stated that you prefer to stay with the same teacher more than a particular learning format, you will stay with that teacher. You will receive a personal email that gives you more information about this in the coming days. Regardless, this does not need to be a worry for families. Part of you may be wondering what makes us confident that a week from now will look different than today. The truth is, we don’t know for sure! What we do know is that there is professional speculation from the local health department that when the lag from I.U. testing is addressed, we will begin to see data moving in the right direction, with some downward trends. While we can’t say for certain, this seems logical. And it gives us hope. If you know that you and your child can not continue in your current learning format for another week, we need to hear from you asap so that we can work on solutions to help. By Friday, 9/11, please email email@example.com with your name, your child’s name, your child’s grade, and the need that you have for the week of 9/14-9/17 so that we can begin to work on solutions. We truly are here to help and will do the best that we can to create an option for next week that can make it all work!
TPS has an immediate opening for a full-time Instructional Assistant. We are seeking the right candidate for this opportunity to work with an inspiring group of educators in a whole-child academic setting. Safety of students, families and staff is a top priority for us. Please share the link, and follow instructions to submit an application! https://www.theprojectschool.org/page/current-openings
TPS Families - this week's Update has just hit in-boxes. Wishing you a beautiful rest of your Monday and long weekend.
TPS families - we are still working on our weekly Update. So in the meantime, we wanted to make sure that everyone remembers that tomorrow is Labor Day, and therefore these is no school. Meal pick-up is moved to Tuesday due to the holiday. We hope you have a peaceful and very safe extra day off together. We look forward to reconnecting on Tuesday!
TPS Families - as this week comes to an end, and we enter into a long holiday weekend (with no school on Monday), we wanted to share with you some information regarding the latest positivity rates for COVID testing in Monroe County and at Indiana University. As of today, Monroe County has a positivity rate among unique individuals of 10.8%. This data can be found on the Indiana COVID Dashboard: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm As of this week, IU has reported a 3.5% campus-wide positive rate among asymptomatic individuals discovered through mitigation testing; a 26.8% positivity rate among people receiving symptomatic tests; and 30 Greek organizations that have been put on whole-house quarantine because of alarming positivity rates in their residential membership, many well above 50%. This data can be found on the IU COVID Dashboard: https://fall2020.iu.edu/dashboards/bloomington Ms. Cathy spoke this morning to the Monroe County Health Department and shared her concerns about the rising numbers and their implication for the expanded reopening we have planned for September 14. The MCHD said that it would be prudent to communicate this concern with our families, and so that is what we are doing now. As we have said in all communications since the opening of school virtually, we very much want the children to be back with us at school. We eagerly await being able to expand F2F, but only when it is safe to do so. We are hoping this may happen on September 14, but we need everyone to realize that there is a possibility it may not be able to happen. Nothing matters more than the health of our students, families and staff. Our great hope is that the data presented next week will show decreased numbers in our community, and that we will remain on track with our current plan. We will continue to be transparent in the news we communicate with families, based on the data. We hope you are able to have a safe and relaxing long weekend. We thank everyone for practicing social distancing, masking and hand washing protocols to keep yourselves and our community safe!
TPS Families - please remember that surveys are due by 5p today to let us know which learning format you are choosing for our planned phase 2 reopening on September 14. We really need to hear from all TPS families today. Thanks!
TPS Families, hello! You have just received an important time-sensitive email regarding the next phase of our reopening plan. We hope that you will read it quickly and thoroughly, and respond to the enclosed survey by Thursday at 5p. Thank you so much for all of your ongoing support and encouragement, and the trust you place in us.
TPS Families - a mid-week Update has just landed in your in-boxes. Please have a read to stay in-the-know!
TPS Families - Reports of Zoom outages are happening all over the world today. If you are having any difficulty getting or remaining connected, feel free to let your child’s teacher know that you tried, and then continue to have your child work on their work for today... take a dance break, be creative, and know that it will all be okay. We appreciate your patience!
Good Monday morning, TPS families! Welcome to the second week of school. We are so grateful to all of you for your kindness, trust, grace, flexibility and patience as we move through this new process with your wonderful kiddos. We are so touched to receive these sweet homemade treats from a parent this morning... they are a reminder that we’ve got this, with such awesome and supportive families as our partners! Wishing everyone a wonderful day!
We are so deeply proud of our kindergarten teacher, Ms. Liz, who has just earned her Master of Arts in Education. Our faculty models a love of heart-mind-voice lifelong learning for our students. Congrats, Ms. Liz!
TPS Families - Although we are starting off virtually, we have a family who will be seeking a daily morning ride for their child once F2F schooling can happen, because of parent work schedule. They are in the general area of BHSN, and would love to arrange this ride now, so things are in place for whenF2F hopefully begins. They would be happy to drop their child off to someone's home in that area each morning, and also to contribute to the cost of gas. If you think you'd be able to help out, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make the connection. Thanks!
TPS families doing virtual learning - the school day for you will begin tomorrow with the drive thru welcome. Nothing will take place beside that until the afternoon, to give everyone a chance to pick up their materials, and get home and settled. Teachers are reaching out to their classes with the class-specific game plans. We cannot wait to see all of you in the morning!
TPS Families - the weekly Update has arrived to in-boxes! Please have a read, to make sure you are prepared for our first day of school tomorrow. Don’t see it? Please check your alternate in-boxes (spam, social, promotional), and message us at email@example.com if you still don’t find it. We cannot wait to see everyone tomorrow morning - we have missed you so!
TPS Families - we've begun sending class-specific emails with lots of important information, including links to today's Zoom class open houses. Emails from our new system will typically come from a "no-reply" address. Please make sure to check your filters such as Spam or Promotions if you are not receiving communications in your in-boxes. We are so eager to connect with you!
TPS Families, supply lists are now posted on our website, and have been sent out to you via email. Thank you so much for your patience while we got them finalized!
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.