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Panther Parent Week #5

Panther Parent Week #5
Posted on 09/13/2020

Week #5 – September 13, 2020

Update

At this point, the decision from the Health Department and Hamilton County Schools is:

  • School opens Monday
  • One classroom is required to quarantine for 14 days. These teacher and families have been contacted by the health department with this information. If you have not been contacted, then your classroom is open for business as usual on Monday.

Good afternoon Thrasher Families,

Going into the school year, we prepared for “when” (not “if”) Thrasher encountered an active case of COVID-19. I hope you join me in how proud I am of our parents, teachers, and students today.

Faculty & Staff

Our team worked over the summer to review CDC guidelines, Hamilton County Schools’ recommendations, and our building resources to create a plan for keeping nearly 600 people safe every day. The plan has been put to the test each week, and it is holding. Our teachers have been diligent in this, even as we enter the fifth week of school. Due to the faithfulness our teachers exhibited in the school’s plan, contact was kept to an absolute minimum. Both the health department and the school district commended Thrasher on the work we’ve done before and during this moment.

Parents

You have also been phenomenal in that you have been pre-cautious, responsive, and collaborative with us. Every time children have had a temperature or any kind of symptoms, you have kept children home pre-emptively and communicated with our school nurse about it. To date, nearly a dozen parents have voluntarily taken their families for COVID testing and stayed home from school to await results. Each time the negative result came back, we celebrated with you.

While we had a positive case in the building this week, the family involved did everything correctly, nimbly, and responsibly. We can’t share specifics, of course, because of privacy, but I can tell you that as soon as a symptom became apparent, the school and the parents were immediately responsive – just as we have known parents to be when we call regarding a symptom. In the instance this week, a pediatrician cleared the child to come back to school, but the parents chose to submit to testing and kept the child home while waiting for the results. That is a family that cares deeply about everyone in this community.

We also have families taking Option 2 – Thrasher @ Home – and you know how this is can be a strain on jobs, family routines, and children.

Students

Let’s not forget that children are also heroes in this environment. They have been strong and resilient - not to say that this is a perfect way to be. We know that while children are adjusting to this new world, it’s also a stressor on students. We forget how important a smile is until we wear masks for a month straight. We forget how disconcerting small changes are – changes like bathroom protocols, lunch gatherings, and recess cohorts – until we make them routine. We have nearly 100 students taking Option 2 – Thrasher @ Home, and their routines are completely different this year. They are adjusting to a disconnected, virtual experience, and it’s not been easy on anyone just yet.

We talked during grade level meetings this week, and the topic that dominated conversations was how the stresses of this time are affecting children and adults. We took a reminder to release the stress valves of children especially. Continue to support us as we hold children’s social-emotional supports a little higher than academics, and continue to work with us as we still prepare children for the next grade level. It’s a delicate balancing act.

Sanitizing

During the weekend, Thrasher has been descended upon by a team to fog and sanitize the building. Also, we now have an extra team member named Robert. He is dedicated to Thrasher and works with us all week. His job is to sanitize every high-contact point in Thrasher twice each day – door knobs, bathrooms, etc. Robert started with us on Tuesday, September 8.

Remember the Date

  • Tue., Sept. 15 – Fire Drill
  • Fri., Sept. 18 – Panther Pride Assembly w/ Reflections Arts Awards

 

One Way Halls

We adjusted our rule on the one-way halls. These will only be in effect as classes travel in a group. At all other times (arrival, dismissal, individual movements), we will not require the one-way path. We believe we are still honoring the CDC guidelines and safety measures with this.

 

Bus 79 and Bus 12 Change

 The bust stop on Day St & Kentucky Ave is moved from bus 12 to bus 79. This will start on Monday, September 14, 2020. 

Weekend Lunch

Parents can now request lunches to be sent home with students for the weekends. If you want the school to send meals home with your student, you need to email Donna Warren each Wednesday before 9am. Warren_d@hcde.org

Car Line Update

The morning car line is working like it should now. Thank you for shifting with us. We have had difficulties with the afternoon car line because of the new software. We worked with the SDM company this week, and we believe the issues are corrected. (The software was only summoning one child per family, so try to imagine the delay that was causing.) Friday car line went much smoother than the rest of the week.

Outdoor Classrooms

At the beginning of the year, Thrasher had outdoor classrooms. Today, the number of outdoor learning spaces has nearly doubled, and that is due to parents jumping in. And, there is a chance these spaces will be enhanced with more tools – white boards, shade, mobile carts. We’re working on this with a Mrs. Mies and a few parents who have kickstarted this. If you want to help out in any way, let us know. We'll connect you to the other parents who are making this happen.

We videoed our last assembly outside; you may have noticed. It was hard to find a time outside that was silent for video. You probably heard around 150 children in the background playing and learning during assembly. When we edited the video, we were extremely pleased with all the joy we heard in the background. A lot of the changes this year are actually really good!

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