Welcome to the 2020-21 Year, Wiseburn!
Last spring, when we moved to distance learning the first time, we had no idea that this would be our new normal. But we came together, as the Wiseburn community, and finished off an incredibly unusual year. Now, we're kicking off a new school year. We're welcoming back our brilliant students — and welcoming some new faces to Wiseburn — to a school year truly unlike any other.
With the lessons learned from last year, our teachers and students are ready to get back into our virtual classrooms and learn, and to navigate this new year all together. Despite the difficulties of the past few months and the continued uncertainty ahead, we at the district start this new school year with a rejuvenated purpose: Engage. Empower. Elevate.
Those three words summarize the commitment of this District to our students and community. We aim to engage our students in learning, elevate our student's achievement and experiences in our district, and empower our students to inquire, to think critically, to "fail forward fast," and to learn from mistakes.
The way we fulfill these commitments is virtual for the time being, but it doesn't change our dedication. Our teachers, staff, counselors, and administration have worked non-stop to consider our mission and listen to our community as we've planned for this year.
What that means for our returning families and caregivers is the excellence in education and the community you have come to expect from Wiseburn. For our incoming families and caregivers, this means you can anticipate a supportive, welcoming community where your students will be encouraged to grow and learn and given the tools they need to succeed, thanks to our incredible teachers and staff — all of whom are outstanding and have risen to the challenge of teaching amid a global pandemic.
Families and caregivers, I want to say thank you. We couldn't do this without you and the support you provide your students with each and every day. Remember that you can always lean on the Wiseburn teachers, staff, counselors, and administration. We fully recognize the weight of these times on you and we are here to support you and your students. In addition to the in-classroom support, our families and caregivers can turn to our CARE Team, as noted in the message below. The Wiseburn team also continues to develop helpful resources to help navigate our distance learning curriculum, such as this Distance Learning Technology Guide. If you have other questions, remember you can always reach out to your school site using the contact information on our directory page or through your student's school website. Wiseburn, if I have learned one thing over the past year, it's that we will continue to be resilient in the face of the unknown. I know we are ready to make the most of this year and whatever it may bring. With that being said, welcome to the 2020-21 school year. Have a great first day and beyond, Wiseburn!
Wishing our families a safe and healthy year ahead,
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent
Distance Learning Tips
Distance learning is a change for all of our students and their families and caretakers. While it's markedly different than in-person instruction, distance learning presents opportunities for students to learn and practice their executive function and self-advocacy skills. Here are some helpful tips for our families and caregivers to help their students make the most of distance learning.
- Set a routine. The key to distance learning is consistency. Start the day at the same time and have your student(s) go through their morning routine just as they would for in-person schooling. It helps set the tone for the day and prepare them mentally for instruction.
- Make a visual schedule for school days. Help your student print or draw their schedule so they can see their upcoming day at a glance.
- If possible, set up a space for learning. Remove distractions like televisions, toys, gaming devices, or cell phones, and try to minimize noise. Have writing utensils and paper handy if possible as well. If the space your student is using for distance learning is a shared space or is a space they use for leisure, try to make a habit of setting up that space with visual cues to indicate the school day has begun and the space is now in school mode (i.e. place books, papers, pens, and pencils out).
- Write down your student's usernames and passwords for various learning programs on a handy sheet of paper or sticky notes. Keep this in an accessible place near their workstation.
- Encourage your students to ask questions and ask for help when they need it. If the teacher is in the middle of instruction (particularly for older students), encourage them to write those questions down as they come for a more focused discussion later with the teacher.
- Ask students about what they're learning. This is a great way to reinforce lessons learned through instruction. For example, ask your student(s) to tell you three vocabulary words, or what they're reading, or what their last lesson was about. The ability to recite and "re-teach" these lessons will reinforce the student's learning.
- For older students, encourage them to make "to do" lists to keep track of assignments. As they cross items off, provide them with positive encouragement.
- Remind your student(s) to take breaks to stretch, move around, and rest their eyes. These breaks are built into Wiseburn's schedules, but make sure your students utilize them and step away from their devices.
- Encourage your student to find healthy after-school outlets. Once the school day and homework is done, encourage your student to try stress-releasing activities, like: stretching, dancing, meditating, relaxing, calling a friend, going outside with the family (while still observing social distancing and mask guidelines), reading a book, creating art, playing with a pet, helping cook a meal, or taking up a new hobby.
Hello Wiseburn Families and Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year. The Wiseburn Elementary School Counseling Department consists of a team of dedicated professionals committed to developing a school culture and climate that is respectful, positive, accepting, and safe for students of all backgrounds. We call ourselves the CARE Team because our number one goal is to provide Counseling and Access to Resources in Education (CARE). We promote students' academic growth, social-emotional development, and mental health by development, facilitating, and implementing programs for all students and providing additional support to students based on individual needs. The Counselors work directly with teachers/staff through consultation and workshops, with parents through one-on-one conversations and parent workshops, and with students through one-on-one counseling sessions and small group counseling sessions. If you have any concerns, big or small, please reach out to us so we may help. Follow us on IG: @wusdcareteam