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Update from Richland Principal

Third Quarter Update from the Principal
 
March 24, 2020
 
Dear Parents/Guardians:
 
As we close out the 3rd quarter of the school year, we find ourselves learning and navigating through a new normal. During this unprecedented time, we can find comfort in our mission and PRide values. Although the delivery mechanism has changed, we will continue to Focus on Learning for Every Student Every Day. Additionally, the “R” (resiliency) and “I” (innovation) of our values will emerge and guide us through a productive and successful remainder of this school year. 
 
 As families adjust to a virtual approach to learning in the home, we have some general tips and suggestions to consider:
Teachers - Online Learning
  • Create a daily/weekly routine or schedule that works well for your family. While we acknowledge and understand that everyone may have unique circumstances in the home, we also know that students perform well when they know and understand the routine with applicable expectations.

  • Create a learning space for your child(ren): Designating an environment free (or far from) distractions will likely result in more efficient and productive work time. We have seen photos of many creative ideas that our Richland families have shared.

  • Incorporate breaks: Our staff is focusing on quality of work, not quantity. We do not anticipate our K-3 students spending several hours per day on structured learning activities. The activities that teachers share with your family can be chunked and separated throughout the day with breaks, family time, and reading. We recognize that we might not have hit the “just right” level yet and are striving to get to a place that is not “too much” or “too little”. Thank you for your patience with our team as we adjust to this new model as well!
  • Have Fun - Remember that other learning opportunities exist: Learning can occur naturally throughout the day in fun and practical ways. If families are cooking dinner or baking together, children can help with measurements (fractions). You could talk about doubling a recipe or cutting a recipe in half. Playing board games can incorporate fun, family time, and learning. Our family has been playing Monopoly in the evenings, and my daughters take turns being the banker. Counting the money and making change reinforces math skills.

  • Talk with other parents/families: Nobody needs to go through this alone, and it is okay to ask for help. We are fortunate at Richland Elementary to live in a community where people are supportive, intelligent, and compassionate. Collaborate with other families, share ideas, and learn from each other.
We also have a general list of reminders and useful information:
  • Report cards will be released on April 1st, rather than March 27th.
  • The request for student Chromebooks has been reactivated. Requests for students' devices can be completed using the form at the bottom of the PRrams.org page.
  • Pine-Richland School District has extended the closure of our six schools through at least Friday, May 1, 2020. Click HERE to visit the District’s webpage dedicated to COVID-19. You can view all previous communications, resources, and documents.  
  • Any Richland Elementary events scheduled through May 1, 2020, will be either postponed or canceled (i.e. Family Fun Night). Applicable updates will be shared if new information is available.  
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced the cancellation of all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year as a result of COVID-19. This includes the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA).  
  • As our "new normal" becomes part of everyone's daily/weekly routine, many new ideas may surface for teachers to connect with students and families. For now, in an effort to have a consistent approach, all of our homeroom teachers are sending the learning opportunities to students/families, and we are following-up with check-ins and/or recorded videos for things like read-alouds and/or clarification of concepts. While live video conferencing with students is not currently part of the District's approach, we know things can change by the day/week/month and are working toward the possibility of embedding this concept. As time progresses, we will continue to strive for continuous growth and improvement.
 Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate through these circumstances together. 
 
Respectfully,
Dr. Gene Nicastro, Principal
Richland Elementary School