From the Desk of Mr. Drouhard
It was another busy week of preparing for our student’s return. We wanted to get our Amity Minute out to you on Friday, as it includes information that will be good to have and review over the weekend.
Thank you for your patience as we worked to get homeroom teachers posted to Schoology. With rebalancing classes and the use of a new program, we learned a lot about the process and will be better prepared for the future!
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have our typical open house where you get to meet the teachers in person. In place of that, each teacher has put together a quick hello video to welcome our students. You will find these videos on your child’s schoology page. When packing bookbags for the first day, please know that we do not need all the supplies at once. We can collect them as they come in.
We also were able to put together a video for our kindergarten students showing them what it will look like on the first day. The first part of the video also shows what it will look like for all students as they enter with our wellness screen and hand sanitizing. We had a special actor help us out, so please make sure you show your children! If you have student that is new to Amity there are also videos at the end showing you the hallways for the different grade levels.
We know that the first day brings a lot of anxiety for our students, and as parents we want to walk our children to the classroom doors. Unfortunately, we cannot let parents come into the building this year. You will need to say your goodbyes in the car or outside the building. We hate to have to do this, but need to maintain the safety of the building. Please know that we will have staff throughout the building to help guide students to classrooms. We will get them to where they need to be!
Have a great weekend!
Students will be able to arrive at four different locations around the building. (Amity main entrance, southeast doors on Galbraith, southwest doors on Galbraith, and west doors in the playground.) Below is a Map of different arrival entrances:
Please stay in your cars during arrival and remember to pull all the way forward to maximize the cars entering.
Students will have their temperature taken using a no touch thermal scanning thermometer and asked how they are feeling for the day. Students that pass this wellness check will enter the building and go straight to their classroom. Students that report feeling ill or are determined to have a fever will be assessed by our school nurse. If your student is determined to be ill, you will have to return to pick them up and take them home. Please make sure all contact numbers are up to date in final forms.
Although we are providing a screening process at Amity for all students, it is important that parents also do a wellness check prior to bringing or sending their child to Amity. Here is a link to the CDC’s symptom guidelines for COVID19.
1st Grade Arrival
With 1st graders having a long distance to travel to classrooms, our 1st grade teachers have decided to have their students report to the gym the first week of school. Our first graders know where the gym is located, and isn’t too far from the main entrance of Amity. Once the 1st grade team has all of their students, they will head up to their classrooms together.
For Car Rider Dismissal
Kindergarten and 1st grade car riders will be picked up in the east parking lot. (Outside the main entrance of Amity). It is important for Kindergarten parents not to arrive early, as our preschool students let out at 10:30 and 2:30.
2nd-6th grade car riders will be picked up in the west parking lot. (This runs through the playground area.) Families with students in grades K-1 and siblings in 2nd-6th will be picked up in the west parking lot this year. Our K-1 students will be brought to the 2nd-6th students in the west parking lot by a teacher within the building.
Please stay in your cars during dismissal and remember to pull all the way forward to maximize the cars entering.
We will also be providing Student Pick-Up Cards to help limit contact between parents and staff. If you would like to print out a copy of the student pick up card prior to the first day that is more than acceptable, or feel free to write the same information on a white sheet of paper or cardboard to display. This will also hopefully speed the pick up process with moving cars through the parking lot.
For Walker Dismissal
Parents that meet their students and walk home with them together will have designated locations for these pick-ups. These walk waiting areas are designated in yellow on all sheets and also have routes in blue that students should take to get to various points. Please note that we would like our K-1 parents to go around the outside of the parking lot to reach the walker locations.
Please remember that masks are required while on Amity’s property and we ask that you maintain social distancing standards of 6 feet while you wait. We will also be providing Student Pick-Up Cards to help limit contact between parents and staff, and walking parents should bring their student’s card to help speed the pick up process.
Odds and Ends
- All students will need to wear a cloth mask to cover their nose and mouth.
- Packing students lunches in book-bags will help students sanitize their hands when they enter the buildings in the morning. Please work to have as many things as possible packed away.
- Please do not allow students to bring toys from home.
- Please remember to send your child with a water bottle. With how hot it will be students will want plenty to drink after recess. We do have our water filling stations open as well as sinks in the classroom to refill bottles throughout the day.
- It will be a good idea to pack extra masks in your backpack so if they want to change them out mid day.
In Case You Missed It
Day in the Life
In an effort to make our transition back to school--either in-person or virtually--we have created a pair of documents to describe a "Day in the Life" of an Amity Elementary students. You can find those documents attached below.
Adjustments to Increase Safety Within the Building
We have been working all summer to come up with plans and materials to help improve our safety while going to school during a pandemic. Below is a quick snapshot of some of those improvements, and doesn’t capture all the different changes that have been made.
- Clear tri fold blockers for shared student tables and student desks.
- Arrows at 3ft intervals on the right side of the floors of Amity hallways to assist student travel.
- X’s on bathroom floors to maintain social distancing.
- Water fountains closed in hallways and classrooms.
- Disposable masks ordered for students that misplace/break their mask during the school day.
- Non contact scanning thermometers for student arrivals.
- Hand sanitizers installed in every classroom and school entrance.
- Creation of an additional clinic for medication disbursement and non-illness related visits.
- Installation of plexiglass barriers in main office area, nurses office, and cafeteria serving areas.
- Cafeteria capacity limited to 1 grade level to ensure 6 feet of distancing while students eat.
- Plexiglass dividers at teachers desks.
- Signs throughout the building listing COVID19 symptoms and prevention techniques.
- Logistical plans for movement of students, cleaning of areas, and minimizing shared materials.
Teacher Assignments Posted to Schoology
Information regarding the posting of class lists came out this week via email, and will look a little different than years past. You will be able to view your child’s homeroom teacher by using Schoology. Schoology is an integrated learning management solution (LMS) that provides support for district and school-wide communication. Schoology enables our parents and teachers to engage with learning materials and their school community from the classroom and beyond. By now, you should have received login credentials in the mail to access Schoology.
Below is our Deer Park Schoology Guide. This guide provides instructions on how to login to Schoology on a computer as well as a cell phone.
Hybrid Schedule Outline
- The hybrid ("A" day and "B" day) model will be in effect for students in grades 1-12. Kindergarten students will operate on a 5-day week, half-day schedule. AM and PM kindergarten lists will be separated by the "A" and "B" model as well, with last names determining AM or PM placement.
- All teacher assignments and student schedules will be made available as soon as possible. We will communicate the assignments and schedules through Schoology.
- Our current plan consists of a hybrid model for school for grades 1-12 (beginning Monday, August 24th) with an "A" group attending on Monday and Tuesday and a "B" group attending on Thursday and Friday.
- The "A" Group will consist of students with the last names Abney - Langdon. These students will attend school on 8/24, 8/25, 8/31, and 9/1.
- The "B" Group will consist of students with the last names Lange - Young. These students will attend school on 8/27, 8/28, 9/3, and 9/4.
- Following the first two weeks of school, students attending "A" days will attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday, and be expected to complete work from home on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Students attending "B" days will attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday, and be expected to complete work from home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
- Wednesdays will be used as remote learning days, and we will have expectations for teachers to connect virtually with students to hold discussions and review lessons, while the buildings are deep cleaned in an effort to mitigate cross-contamination.
- Further information regarding what to expect of students during their days that they are working from home will be coming out soon.
Request a Change to Hybrid Learning Days
As everyone knows at this point, students are being split into A and B days by student last name. We have had a few requests for changes to a child's A or B day designation. With very few exceptions, we are not entertaining requests in-order to keep our class sizes fairly even to allow for social distancing. However, some exceptions will be taken into consideration. A couple of exceptions include, but are not explicitly limited to, children that live in the same household with different last names, as well as higher needs students in special education. A form for parents to make a change request is now available. Please understand that not every request will be approved. Approvals will depend on the impact the request may have on class size.
Print the form and return it to your child's assigned school. You will need to print one form for each child and return to each child's school. Thank you.
Amity School Times
- 7:45 AM- Doors open at Amity to start wellness checks.
- 8:00 AM- School starts
- 3:05 AM- Kindergarten and 1st grade dismiss
- 3:15 AM- 2nd-6th grade will dismiss
Kindergarten School Times
AM Kindergarten Time Schedule:
- 7:45-8:00 AM Kindergarten arrival and wellness check
- 8:00-10:45 AM Kindergarten academic time
- 10:45- AM Kindergarten dismissal
PM Kindergarten Time Schedule:
- 12:10-12:20- PM Kindergarten arrival and wellness check
- 12:20-3:05 PM Kindergarten academic time
- 3:05- PM Kindergarten dismissal
Below are posted lunch and recess times for the 2020-2021 school year. Options for purchased lunches at Amity will be limited to either a pre-packaged hot or cold lunch.
10:20-10:45 (25 Min Lunch)
10:50-11:15 (25 Min Lunch)
11:20- 11:40 (20 Min Lunch)
11:45-12:05 (20 Min Lunch)
12:10-12:30 (20 Min Lunch)
12:35-12:55 (20 Min Lunch)
Tips for Mask Wearing
We understand that it is going to be an adjustment for students to wear masks for the entire day. Amy McKnight, our guidance counselor shares some resources below to help students adjust to prolonged mask wearing.
As we return to school, we are asking for your help to think about your children wearing masks at school. At first, this can be confusing and uncomfortable for many children. Here are some tips from kidshealth.org to help you and your child get used to masks at school:
- Help kids get used to masks. As much as you can, give kids time to practice wearing their masks before they might need to wear one outside of your home. Teach them how to put them on and take them off. Having them wear masks during screen time will help them get used to the mask while also keeping their mind off the feeling of the mask.
- Encourage kids to decorate their mask. This might help them feel a sense of ownership and control over the situation. A personal touch can help make it more of a normal part of their routine, and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask. Depending on the type of mask, kids can draw on it with markers or put stickers on it.
- Make them together. If you make masks or cloth face coverings at home, let older kids help you. There are no-sew masks that are easy to make, often with materials you probably already have (T-shirts, bandannas, etc.). If you sew masks, maybe kids can select the fabric or patterns for the masks they'll wear.
- Have a few masks handy while kids play. This lets them use their imagination about how to use them during playtime. It also helps make masks a more normal part of their everyday world. You can ask your child to put a mask on a stuffed animal, and then ask follow-up questions about why the stuffed animal is wearing the mask. Depending on your child's response, you can clear up any confusion and offer reassurance.
- Have more than one mask. Sending children to school with two or more masks gives them choices during the day in case one becomes uncomfortable or wet during the day.
To add some fun to wearing masks and hand-washing, here are some songs that you and your child may enjoy:
Amity Guidance Counselor
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information Page
A page on the Deer Park website has been created which is dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date information on all things affecting Deer Park Schools. It includes several quick links to local, state, and national health organizations, along with a frequently asked questions section. Please visit the page to stay up to date with all COVID-19 information.