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Principal's Updates

Dear LLESD Parent Community,

Please join Alain and me for an important update of the LLESD Social Contract and site-specific plans for a safe return to in-person learning at La Entrada and Las Lomitas.

On Thursday, October 15, we will be hosting a webinar that will include essential information for the upcoming weeks at both sites. In order to support maximum attendance and families who have students at both sites, we will have scheduled the event as follows:

We look forward to sharing the information with you and responding to questions as they arise.

As always, take care of yourselves and each other.

Our best,

Mark Jones and Alain Camou

Dear Families,

As indicated at the School Board meeting on Wednesday night, the District sent out a survey to all K-5 parents asking for their commitment to In-Person or Full-time Virtual Classroom.  We need your confirmation in order to determine whether current cohorts will need to change to accommodate students whose family has changed their mind about the learning program going forward.  Our number one priority in determining cohorts going forward is maintaining the cohort size of 16 or less for safe social distancing purposes.  The administration will use your feedback to work with teachers and families to determine the best way to organize students.

If you haven't completed the survey, here is the link for you to do so. We would like the data by Tuesday night, October 13.

LLESD 2020-2021 Revisit Options 1-3 in-Person or Virtual Classroom

All the best,

Mark Jones

LE Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

I’m enclosing a reminder about tomorrow’s pick-up day for Grades 4-5 and some additional site information. It’s been a pleasure to see your children’s smiling faces in our Virtual Classrooms this month! As a Las Lomitas parent myself, I am pleased to see my child learning and participating with his teacher and peers once again. Though Virtual Classroom is not ideal, I applaud the parents, teachers, and staff for our team approach to supporting students’ learning.


Materials Pickup (Grades 4-5 only)

Please see the schedule Mrs. Dineen shared below for our next materials pick-up day. Grades 6-8 will have theirs within the next few weeks. We will communicate with families once we have firmed up the date(s).

Please have a sign with your child(ren)’s name(s) and teacher’s name displayed on the front dash as you pull through the bus loop.

Grades

Date

Time

4 and 5

Friday, September 18

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 


Tech Support

As we continue to work through the glitches of the Virtual Classroom, please refer any login or device issues to techsupport@llesd.org for the quickest response. If you have a district-provided device, we will also need the four-digit asset number. This information will allow our techs to troubleshoot issues remotely and determine if your child’s device needs to be returned or not.


Virtual Classroom Webpage

Similar to the Distance Learning Webpage, we have created a resource to help guide families in the Virtual Classroom. We will add more information to this page throughout the year. Please take a moment to visit our La Entrada Virtual Classroom Webpage.


Student Gatherings

Along with the three other safety pillars of hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing; limiting gatherings is an integral part of a safe return to in-person learning at La Entrada. It has come to my attention that student gatherings are happening over the weekends and after school beyond that of social bubble cohorts. While I understand and appreciate the need to get our children outside and socializing, I implore all parents to make sure they practice mask wearing and physical distancing if this happens. Please help us bring our children back to school safely.


In-Person Learning

This week we welcomed our Strategies students back to La Entrada. We have also brought to the district office a small cohort of students who have had challenges with virtual learning. We will build on these small cohorts in the coming weeks to include students who are children of essential workers or who are having difficulties engaging with virtual learning at a level that supports their academic, social, and emotional well-being. At the September 9 Board Meeting, Dr. Polito received direction from the Board to pursue a waiver for in-person learning. Please look for more information from Dr. Polito and me as we collaborate with teachers and staff to plan a safe return to school for your children.


Zooms are for Kids  

A reminder that learning pod tutors, home teachers, parents, or any other adults should not log onto classroom Zooms. It is unnecessary, highly inappropriate and a breach of privacy and confidentiality for the children in the classroom. Only students should login to their teachers’ Google Classrooms and Zoom links.


School Site Council (SSC)

Looking for a way to support our wonderful school and gain insight into the work our teachers and staff are engaged in? Please consider joining the SSC. SSC is composed of elected school staff and parents who develop a plan and budget to improve instruction at the school with state funds designated yearly for this purpose. The budget may fund such things as staff development and training as well as equipment purchases in the areas of Language Arts, Math and Science, Social Studies and other curricular areas. This is a two-year commitment and we are looking for two parent representatives to join, including a parent of an English Language Learner. If you are interested, please fill out this form and/or reach out to me at mjones@llesd.org.


Thank you for your unwavering support of your children and our school over this unique first month of instruction. Our staff and I have been impressed by your children’s engagement in the Virtual Classrooms. We know this hasn’t been easy and will continue to be a challenge even if and when we return to in-person learning. Together we can continue to foster an environment to support students’ success.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other.

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear Middle School Parents,

Parent Information Night (PIN) begins tonight at 5:30pm with our Math teacher presentations. Science goes on at 6:00pm and our Art-Music-Tech Wheel teachers present at 6:30pm.

I have included the PIN Schedule with Zoom links again for your reference.

PIN Schedule: 9/3 @ 5:30pm 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

Here is a final reminder about the Parent Information Night (PIN) Schedule with Zoom links. This will be your guide for our PINs on September 2 and 3. It can also be found on the homepage of the school website.

PIN Schedule: September 2-3, 2020 

 

Please note the timing of each evening in the summary schedule below:

September 2: Grades 4-5 @ 5:30 p.m., Grades 6-8 Core/World Language/PE @ 6:30 p.m.

September 3: Grades 6-8 Math/Science/Art-Music-Tech Wheel @ 5:30 p.m.

We hope to see you there!

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

Dear La Entrada Community,

The first day is in the books! I hope your children enjoyed meeting their teachers and seeing each other after the long break. I must admit that I miss the unbridled energy that usually accompanies the first day of school. That said, I was still able to see and hear many of our students' joy in their teachers' Zoom meetings. We had a scare in the morning with Zoom going out, but, to my relief, were able to right the ship and sail into the school day.

I hope today went smoothly for you and your children. We are learning every day about how to most effectively deliver instruction through a digital platform, so please be patient with our teachers. We continue to build out the Virtual Classroom tab of the website as well. Here you can find login directions, bell schedules, Zoom Meeting expectations, and our Virtual Classroom Learning Agreement, among other items.

Feel free to call the office anytime at 650-854-3962 if you are having trouble logging in. We can contact your teacher or help troubleshoot your issue in real-time. Please call the office to report your child absent if they will not be attending the Virtual Classroom on a given day. We look forward to seeing your children on day two!

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

We look forward to seeing you and your children at our Student Materials Pick-Up Day on Friday, August 21. I am including some items and links below relevant to the start of the school year. This letter and the documents linked within, along with my welcome letter mailed home last weekend, will be posted in the “Virtual Classroom” tab of the LE website.

First Day of School:

The first day of school is Monday, August 24. 

6th-8th Grade Students:

Before 8:50 a.m., log in to your school-issued Google account, launch the Google Suite (the 3x3 “waffle” icon in the top right corner of the screen), click on Google Classroom, and click on your first period teacher’s “card” (Period 1 on the schedule you received).

4th-5th Grade Students:

Before 9:00 a.m., log in to your school-issued Google account, launch the Google Suite (the 3x3 “waffle” icon in the top right corner of the screen), click on Google Classroom, and click on your teacher’s “card.”

Middle School Electives:

In order to pivot to in-person learning with stable cohorts at some point during the school year, we have had to put on hold our electives program in lieu of an Art/Music/Technology Wheel taught by Ms. Gregori, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Lanzino. Sixth graders will begin with Technology, seventh graders with Music, and eighth graders with Art. Please see the “wheel” rotation below:

 

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

1st Trimester

Tech

Music

Art

2nd Trimester

Music

Art

Tech

3rd Trimester

Art

Tech

Music

 

With stable cohorts in self-contained classrooms the likely public health expectation should we be able to return to in-person learning, this structure (one teacher at a time in each grade level) gives us an opportunity to offer live instruction from our electives teachers.

La Entrada Zoom Meeting Expectations:

Thank you for being an upstanding digital citizen. Please read La Entrada Zoom Expectations for 2020-21 to make sure all students have the opportunity to learn in a safe and inclusive classroom environment.

La Entrada Virtual Classroom Expectations:

We look forward to a productive start to the year with students engaging successfully with their Virtual Classroom community.  We’ve provided some summary bullet points below but encourage you to read the complete document for Virtual Classroom expectations.

La Entrada COVID-19 Learning Agreement for 2020-21

The COVID-19 Learning Agreement provides details in the following areas:

  • Attendance - Students must attend Zoom sessions to be considered present. Parents must email or call our front office attendance clerk to notify the school of an excused absence.  Marie Stosz, our attendance clerk, can be reached at mstosz@llesd.org.
  • Workspace - Students should develop a workspace that is free of distractions.
  • Online Classroom - Google Classroom will be the main learning platform for all students.  Middle school students will be able to view grades on School Loop. 
  • Homework and Grades - Students will be assigned homework per our Board Policy. Students will receive grades as they would in an in-person classroom.
  • Materials - Any borrowed school materials and technology must be cared for and returned in acceptable condition.
  • Privacy and the Right to Privacy - Please respect the privacy of others in the Virtual Classroom.  This means photographs, screenshots, recordings, and other methods of capture of the classroom may not be taken or shared without the permission of the teacher and/or administration.
  • Daily Tasks - Sample “daily routine” schedules are provided to guide you through the Virtual Classroom experience.
  • Cyberbullying - Students are expected to be kind and respectful to all other participants in the Virtual Classroom.  Any violation of this expectation will result in disciplinary action.
  • Personal Conduct and Consequences - Treat all students, teachers, and school staff with respect. 

School Loop:

For 6th-8th grade families, School Loop is an important way to keep track of course grades.  Please register for a parent School Loop account at: 

“Register Now” for School Loop

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and Las Lomitas Education Foundation (LLEF):

Thank you to LE PTA and LLEF for providing breakfasts and lunches this week while our teachers prepare for the launch of a new school year. We appreciate you!  Please consider joining these student-centered organizations if you have not already done so.

La Entrada PTA:  https://laslomitaspta.org/

LLEF:   https://www.llef.org/about

Dates and Events:

We know things will look different this year in many ways.  We plan to offer as many of our events in a virtual format as possible.  Please check the LE Calendar (found on the La Entrada website) for updates.

Meet the Teacher:

We will share grade level and department welcome videos this year for Meet the Teacher so students and families can put faces to the names on their schedules. Please look for the videos in a communication from me on Friday.

Parent Information Night (PIN):

Details are still evolving but PIN is likely to be the first week in September. More information to come soon.

School Picture Days:

At this time, we have delayed school pictures until further notice.

See you on Friday!

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

August 14, 2020

Dear La Entrada Community, 

I hope everyone is healthy and finding moments in each day to experience a little joy. I have been oscillating between anxiety and hope over the last several weeks as we prepare for the new school year. In normal times (remember those?), I always choose hope, but we all know it’s not that easy. With the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding us, it’s a tense time for everyone, myself included. That said, seeing our teachers and staff working diligently to prepare their virtual classrooms for your children gives me hope.

No one has all the answers. I have never been in a prolonged situation with so many complexities, competing interests, and constantly shifting guidelines.  We will come out of this at some point, but it’s not looking like we will experience anything resembling normal for quite a while. I encourage our entire learning community to work as a team to support our students in this time of profound uncertainty. They need us now more than ever.

A quote shared with me recently speaks to my view of our mindset at La Entrada as we start the year: “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” I respect any fear students or parents have about embarking on yet another distance learning journey, especially to begin the school year. Through all the inevitable obstacles we will face this fall, we have the courage to focus on what’s most important: our students. Students and parents, La Entrada is here for you, you are here for each other, and we are prepared to give you our best selves each and every school day.

Stay strong and safe,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

-------------------------

Student Placement:

The placement process is arduous, focusing primarily on student needs and programs. This year, to eliminate the possibility of cohorts mixing, we've clustered students who receive services outside the classroom (speech, special education, English language, etc.). This limits the number of adults coming into contact with cohorts when we return to in-person learning.

Classes have been balanced by student need, program support, gender, heterogeneous ability levels, teacher input, and parent input. These data are all very nuanced and make up only a few of the demographics we consider when determining placement.

The last step was to layer in family needs based on virtual learning survey data and COVID comfort levels with face-to-face learning. We considered data for families who wish to be in the Virtual Classroom for an extended amount of time (at least the first quarter in K-5) or for the entire year. All families will be able to make decisions about in-person v. virtual learning at the quarter marks. The first quarter ends on October 23.

I share this process to help you understand that we may not have been able to honor all placement requests this year though I can assure you that we have done our best to consider every student’s needs, balance every classroom, and provide programmatic stability to deliver a quality educational program.

Materials/Technology Pickup:

We are scheduling a technology and materials pick-up day for Friday, August 21. Please look for communication from the school to locate your child(ren)’s scheduled block of time. We will schedule alphabetically so families can collect materials for students in multiple grade levels.

Meet the Teacher and Parent Information Night (PIN):

For Meet the Teacher, we will send welcome videos from grade level teams later this week so students and parents are able to put names to faces before the first day of school. We are still working out details for a virtual PIN and will communicate those soon. PIN will be held within the first two weeks of school.

New La Entrada Leopards:

Please welcome our new 4th grade teacher, Chelsea Yee. She comes to us following a successful stint in Sunnyvale Unified after earning her credential from the Stanford STEP program. Another 4th grade teacher, Irena Kvam, joins us from Woodside Elementary. Irena recently completed her Master of Education and brings a diverse and inclusive lens after having spent several years as a paraeducator at Woodside.

Gabriella Forster joins the La Entrada team as our new French teacher after recently completing her student teaching at Westmoor High School in Daly City. She looks forward to sharing her love for the French language with our students. Doe Myers returns to La Entrada to teach 8th grade Core. LE’s Librarian for many years, Doe has been teaching English at Summit High School in Redwood City. Finally, Cynthia De Lamare is our new 4th-5th grade Special Education teacher. She recently completed her Master of Special Education and has over 20 years of work and volunteer experiences with preschool through high school-age learners. Please join me in welcoming all of our new Leopards!

New La Entrada Roles:

In addition to our new hires, many of us are taking on new or adjusted roles to meet the needs of our small, stable cohorts. Tanya Rianda and Trevor McNeil move from 7th grade Core to 8th grade Core. Daniella Lefer (most of whose career has been as a middle school Core teacher), Jill Ohline (who has taught almost every grade level in K-8), and Teri Alton (rising from 6th grade Core) move to 7th grade Core. Kristy Fordham, who has taught 4th grade and visual and performing arts middle school electives at LE, moves to 6th grade Core. Candice Johnson (who taught 5th grade at LE for several years) and Leah Wachtel (English Language Development teacher from LL who has taught 5th grade for many years) move to 5th grade. Caitlin Davis (LE’s Librarian and a primary teacher for many years) and Angela Ping (4th-5th grade Technology and 4th grade teacher at LE) take over 4th grade classrooms. Jennifer Montalvo and Vivian Tavernakis expand their counseling roles to serve students in K-8.  Finally, Janet Gregori, Parker Kelly, and Tony Lanzino will rotate through a VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) wheel for 6th-8th grades in lieu of our traditional electives.

All of our repurposed staff members have the appropriate credential and experience necessary to set them up for success in their new roles. I would like to honor each of these teacher’s flexibility and sacrifice in allowing La Entrada to create stable cohorts during the pandemic. Their new roles help us pivot to in-person learning when the opportunity presents itself.

Peer Coaches:

All new and repurposed teachers have been assigned dedicated peer coaches within their grade levels or departments. Peer coaches act as teacher mentors to help their mentees get up to speed with curricula, align instructional practice, scope, and sequence with their grade level/department teachers, and help them integrate into their teaching teams. We’ve placed a high priority on supporting new and repurposed teachers this year by making sure they have a partner and a guide every step of the way.

Virtual Classroom:

We are rebranding distance learning as our “Virtual Classrooms” to communicate the same sense of accountability and community we expect in our in-person classrooms. The schedules we are using for our virtual and in-person classrooms will mirror each other to promote routine and consistency should we transition between the two environments during the school year.

Our virtual classroom will be more synchronous than it was in the spring, with teachers delivering live, virtual instruction to begin each instructional period/block. I’ve attached a sample instructional period below for your reference.

The live, virtual Instructional Session format below aligns with our in-person instruction:

  • Begin with brief direct instruction (mini lesson) or academic challenge (“anchor task”).
  • For much of the live instructional session, students work independently or collaboratively on assignments (in a virtual breakout room or offline).
  • To provide individualized support, the teacher meets with small groups online to provide differentiated targeted support and engaging challenges while students work independently or collaboratively on assignments.
  • Throughout the session, the teacher may remain in the Zoom meeting room so students can (log back on to) get assistance.

Google Classroom and a “Single Landing Page:”

Google Classroom will be used as our Learning Management System (LMS) to provide students and parents with a standardized learning platform. Students will login to their district-issued Google account to see all of their teachers’ virtual classrooms in one place. We moved in this direction to address students’ and families’ feedback from the spring about the need for one point of access. Teachers have been participating in Google Classroom professional development throughout the summer and will engage in more advanced training this week. We already have a number of Google Classroom “experts” on campus who are sharing their expertise with colleagues.

Attendance and Grades:

We expect to take attendance and give grades to students this fall. SchoolLoop will continue as our grading platform.

Safety Protocols:

We are still working out safety protocols to implement when students return to in-person learning. We will engage this week in professional development on the Four Pillars of the San Mateo County Pandemic Recovery Framework (health and hygiene protocols, face coverings, physical distancing, and limiting gatherings) and in continued health and hygiene professional development prior to returning to in-person learning.

PLEASE NOTE: All staff members and visitors are required to wear a mask while on campus. Let’s keep each other safe!

LE Virtual Classroom Expectations:

We are in the process of completing a school-wide Virtual Classroom expectations agreement for students and parents. Each grade level is also developing its Virtual Classroom expectations and will share them soon. I encourage you to read the school expectations with your child. Our teachers will review grade level expectations with students when school begins.

More to Come:

I couldn’t possibly capture answers to all the unknowns in this welcome letter so please continue to look for communications from me in the coming weeks as we work through the kinks at the start of the school year. Everything will be posted to the school website. Here’s to a successful 2020-21 school year!

Dear La Entrada Community,

I’m including another reminder about our Instructional Materials Pick-Up/Drop-Off days on June 10 and 11. I’ve included new information about middle school lockers. The schedule is at the bottom.

I will include a final reminder on Tuesday, June 9.

1.)  Lockers:  All current 6th and 7th grade students will retain their current lockers for the 2020-21 school year. There is no need to clear out lockers right now. We will collect in August any outstanding textbooks or library books contained in lockers. We hope most textbooks are at home with students and will be delivered to the school on June 10.

2). Yearbooks: LE Yearbooks will not be available until the fall. Our distributor suspended operations due to COVID-19 concerns. We will contact everyone (including current 8th graders) in the fall when yearbooks are ready to go.

3.)  Medication: Please pick up any medication you have stored in our nurse's office on June 10 or 11 or it will be disposed of.

4.)  Technology: Please hold onto your Chromebook if you borrowed a device from us.  If you are an 8th grader with a device, please return it on June 10 or 11 at any of the drop-off times. Please note that all digital cameras should be returned at your designated time on June 10.

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

---------------------------------------

Dear La Entrada Community,

This message provides information about the final week of the school year, June 8-10. We have posted the special schedules for the three days on the distance learning webpage. For students in Grades 4-7, please note the instructional materials drop-off and student materials pick-up schedules below (these are one in the same).

Instructional Materials Drop-off and Student Materials Pick-up:

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, we have scheduled times for students in Grades 4-7 to drop-off instructional materials and pick-up student materials from the 2019-20 school year.

If you have multiple children at LE, feel free to come at the youngest child's scheduled time to drop-off/pick-up materials for all of your children.

Please remember that we are still following the Public Health Officer’s guidelines for essential gatherings and social distancing. Only one family member should exit the car to drop-off and pick-up materials. Wearing a mask is mandatory.

Staff members will direct you where to go upon entering the parking lot at your designated time. Here are the schedules for June 10 and 11:

 

Wednesday, June 10

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

12:00 - 12:30pm

Grade 6: A - L

1:00  - 1:30pm

Grade 6: M - Z

2:00  -  2:30pm

Grade 7: A - L

3:00 - 3:30pm

Grade 7: M - Z

 

Thursday, June 11

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

9:00am - 10:00am

Grade 4: A - L

10:30am - 11:30am

Grade 4: M - Z

1:00pm -  2:00pm

Grade 5: A - L

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Grade 5: M - Z

As always, I hope your families are safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

I have received a few questions about yearbooks, medication, and technology. Please see my answers below. I'm also including my original update about next week in case you missed it.

1.)  Yearbooks: LE Yearbooks will not be available until the fall. Our distributor suspended operations due to COVID-19 concerns. We will contact everyone (including current 8th graders) in the fall when yearbooks are ready to go.

2.)  Medication: Please pick up any medication you have stored in our nurse's office on June 10 or 11 or it will be disposed of.

3.)  Technology: Please hold onto your technology if you borrowed a device from us.  If you are an 8th grader with a device, please return it on June 10 or 11 at any of the drop-off times.

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

---------------------------------------

Dear La Entrada Community,

This message provides information about the final week of the school year, June 8-10. We have posted the special schedules for the three days on the distance learning webpage. For students in Grades 4-7, please note the instructional materials drop-off and student materials pick-up schedules below (these are one in the same).

Instructional Materials Drop-off and Student Materials Pick-up:

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, we have scheduled times for students in Grades 4-7 to drop-off instructional materials and pick-up student materials from the 2019-20 school year.

If you have multiple children at LE, feel free to come at the youngest child's scheduled time to drop-off/pick-up materials for all of your children.

Please remember that we are still following the Public Health Officer’s guidelines for essential gatherings and social distancing. Only one family member should exit the car to drop-off and pick-up materials. Wearing a mask is mandatory.

Staff members will direct you where to go upon entering the parking lot at your designated time. Here are the schedules for June 10 and 11:

 

Wednesday, June 10

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

12:00 - 12:30pm

Grade 6: A - L

1:00  - 1:30pm

Grade 6: M - Z

2:00  -  2:30pm

Grade 7: A - L

3:00 - 3:30pm

Grade 7: M - Z

 

Thursday, June 11

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

9:00am - 10:00am

Grade 4: A - L

10:30am - 11:30am

Grade 4: M - Z

1:00pm -  2:00pm

Grade 5: A - L

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Grade 5: M - Z

As always, I hope your families are safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

This message provides information about the final week of the school year, June 8-10. We have posted the special schedules for the three days on the distance learning webpage. For students in Grades 4-7, please note the instructional materials drop-off and student materials pick-up schedules below (these are one in the same).

Instructional Materials Drop-off and Student Materials Pick-up:

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, we have scheduled times for students in Grades 4-7 to drop-off instructional materials and pick-up student materials from the 2019-20 school year.

If you have multiple children at LE, feel free to come at the youngest child's scheduled time to drop-off/pick-up materials for all of your children.

Please remember that we are still following the Public Health Officer’s guidelines for essential gatherings and social distancing. Only one family member should exit the car to drop-off and pick-up materials. Wearing a mask is mandatory.

Staff members will direct you where to go upon entering the parking lot at your designated time. Here are the schedules for June 10 and 11:

 

Wednesday, June 10

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

12:00 - 12:30pm

Grade 6: A - L

1:00  - 1:30pm

Grade 6: M - Z

2:00  -  2:30pm

Grade 7: A - L

3:00 - 3:30pm

Grade 7: M - Z

 

Thursday, June 11

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

9:00am - 10:00am

Grade 4: A - L

10:30am - 11:30am

Grade 4: M - Z

1:00pm -  2:00pm

Grade 5: A - L

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Grade 5: M - Z

 

As always, I hope your families are safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

This message provides information about the final week of the school year, June 8-10. For students in Grades 4-7, please note the instructional materials drop-off and pick-up schedules at the bottom of the message. We will post the special schedules for June 8-10 on the distance learning webpage.

Grades 4-5:

During the last week of the school year—one regular and two minimum days—we would typically be doing fun activities and holding celebrations in the classrooms and around campus.  In light of our current situation, we would like the end of the school year to mirror some of the same experiences on our distance learning platform. The last three days give us a final opportunity to enjoy one another's company before transitioning to summer break. 

To maintain consistency, the schedule for June 8-10 will remain the same as it has been, with class meetings and posted asynchronous lessons, but the workload may be lighter and not necessarily subject-based.  Please remember that you can always have your student read or access our usual online programs (Sora/Dreambox/Fogstone Isle) to continue work on reading and math. 

On Wednesday, June 10, the last day of school, there will not be core classroom teacher office hours after the final morning class meeting, when students will say farewell to their teachers and classmates. Specialists' class meetings will still be held on June 10.  Depending on the rotation of the specialist schedule, your student might be saying good-bye to a specialist teacher as early as this Friday, May 29.

Grades 6-8:

The last few days of the school year at the middle school level are also usually reserved for fun classroom activities and projects.  Due to our shift to distance learning, the close of the school year will look a bit different.  On Monday, June 8, core academic teachers (Math, Science, Core/English/Social Studies, World Language) will post asynchronous learning opportunities.  These lessons will be subject area-focused but may be an enrichment or extension to concepts taught previously this year.  All teachers will share a Zoom link to be available for drop-in office hours at their regular times.  There will be no class meetings on June 8.  Class meetings that would have typically been scheduled for this date will now be drop-in office hours.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 9 and 10, we will run a modified minimum day schedule.  Periods 1 through 4 will meet via Zoom on Tuesday and Periods 5 through 8 will meet via Zoom on Wednesday.  These period class meetings will be your students' final class meetings of the year.  (Note: Grades 6-7 Cores will not meet for all three periods but rather only the first of their Core period double-block.)

Instructional Materials Pick-Up and Drop-Off:

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, we have scheduled times for students in Grades 4-7 to pick-up and drop-off instructional materials from the 2019-20 school year. I am including the schedules below and will send reminders as we approach the last week of school. Please remember that we are still following the Public Health Officer’s guidelines for essential gatherings and social distancing. In my reminders, I will include logistical details for the two days. Here are the schedules for June 10 and 11:

 

Wednesday, June 10

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

12:00 - 12:30pm

Grade 6: A - L

1:00  - 1:30pm

Grade 6: M - Z

2:00  -  2:30pm

Grade 7: A - L

3:00 - 3:30pm

Grade 7: M - Z

 

Thursday, June 11

Student grade level and last name beginning with:

9:00am - 10:00am

Grade 4: A - L

10:30am - 11:30am

Grade 4: M - Z

1:00pm -  2:00pm

Grade 5: A - L

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Grade 5: M - Z

 

As always, I hope your families are safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear 8th Grade Families,

I am sharing further details about this week’s (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on May 27-29) diploma photo event to prepare you and your graduate. Our goal is to make this event as meaningful and festive as possible for our grads since they are losing the opportunity for an in-person culminating event. Please come at your scheduled time and be prepared to queue up in the bus lane of the parking lot. Students should wear professional attire for their diploma pictures. Students should also wear masks, which will be taken off for the pictures.

As you enter the parking lot, Mrs. Dineen will direct traffic. Staff will guide you to queue up next to marked cones by the curb of the bus lane. Per public health orders, all family members other than the student will need to remain in the car throughout the event with windows rolled up. When you get to the front of the queue, the graduate will go to:

Station 1:  Textbook and School Materials Drop Off (located by grass area close to office):

  • There will be a large canopy with balloons and a sign congratulating our graduates
  • Place library books in library box
  • Place textbooks in labeled boxes
  • Place cameras and digital cameras in labeled boxes
  • Place instruments on rolling rack
  • Graduate walks to Station 2

Station 2:   Diplomas and Photo:

  • Graduate walks to table by front office to pick up diploma
  • Graduate walks to Jensen Hall entrance for photo session
  • Families will be able to watch photo from car
  • Graduate walks to Station 3

Station 3: Pick-Up Personal Items and Graduate Surprise Gifts:

  • Graduate walks along the bus lane in front of the school toward the parking lot exit
  • Family pulls vehicle up to Station 3 so next vehicle can queue up for diploma and photo
  • Graduate collects Art Portfolio, if applicable
  • Graduate collects locker contents, if applicable
  • Graduate collects two surprise gifts for graduation (Sorry, I can’t spoil the surprise just yet!)
  • Graduate returns to vehicle and staff assists vehicle in exiting the parking lot.

On Tuesday, May 26, we will send a reminder of your scheduled time. If you have any questions about your time, please contact Marie Stosz at mstosz@llesd.org. The photographer will connect with you via email after the event. We have secured three free downloads for each family.

We are extremely excited to spend three days this week celebrating your children’s careers at La Entrada and Las Lomitas! In addition to the administrators, counselors, and Mrs. Webster, staff members will join us off and on over the three days to honor your children. Did I mention that we will be playing fun, upbeat music?

I look forward to seeing you all next week!

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

The end of the school year is fast approaching. Please note the dates below on your calendars:

  • Monday, May 25: Memorial Day holiday.
  • May 27, 28, and 29: We will be hosting an 8th Grade Drive-Thru Event (10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) for diploma pick-up, photo, and instructional materials return.  I will send a message with further details to 8th-grade families.
  • June 8, 9, and 10: We will have a special schedule for the final week of school. I will send a message and post the final week's schedule soon on the Distance Learning page on the website. Please remember that June 9 and 10 are minimum days.
  • June 10: We will hold a virtual 8th Grade Graduation ceremony at the regularly scheduled time of 5:30 p.m. More details to come.
  • June 10 and 11: We will use the minimum day on June 10 and the full day on June 11 as instructional materials drop-off and pick-up times for 4th-7th graders. Times will be staggered to encourage social distancing. I will share and post the pick-up/drop-off schedule in conjunction with the final week's instructional schedule.

We're almost there!  I hope your families are safe and well.

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

It’s not too late to purchase a yearbook for the 2019-20 school year! Please be aware that our distributor, Herff Jones, has closed during the pandemic and the books will not be ready until the fall.

If you purchased a yearbook already, we will contact you for pick-up when they come in. If you are unsure whether or not you purchased a yearbook, please email Michele Paolini at mrpaolini@herffjones.com. Include your child(ren)’s first and last names and La Entrada in the message. Michele has assured me that she will respond promptly to any inquiries.

 

If you would still like to purchase a yearbook, please visit:

https://www.yearbookordercenter.com/

School code: 12021

 

I hope you are all safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community,

The LLESD Governing Board passed a resolution last Wednesday outlining the district’s grading policy during this emergency school closure. I have attached it for your reference.

Please note a few of the key components: Students will be held harmless from March 13 as it pertains to course grades, students in Grades 4-5 will receive progress reports toward standards, and students in Grades 6-8 will receive Credit/No Credit grades. There will be a narrative component to the 4th-5th grade progress reports and comments from a pull-down menu on the 6th-8th grade report cards.

Regarding math placement, rising 7th and 8th graders will matriculate to the next grade level in the same math pathways as the 2019-2020 school year. Rising 6th graders’ placement will be based on our recommendation from previous CAASPP scores. A Google Form containing your child’s math placement will be emailed from Mrs. Philippe this week. Should you request a math placement different from our recommendation, please complete the waiver (Section 2) on the Google Form. All submissions will be delivered electronically to Mrs. Philippe.

Finally, we are looking at the last two days of school—minimum days on June 9 and June 10—as a time to drop-off and pick-up 2019-2020 instructional materials. We are still working with Menlo Park law enforcement and public health to make sure we can organize such a gathering. It will likely be drive-thru with scheduled times. I will update you as soon as I learn more.

I hope all of your families are safe and well.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear Sixth and Seventh Grade Families,

I hope this communication finds everyone well and in good spirits. The impact of this shelter-in-place has taken its toll on all of us in a variety of ways and I hope you are finding the time to process and connect with family, friends, and loved ones.

Site and district staff, teachers, and administration have been gearing up for DL 3.0. Grades 6-7 Core and Math teachers will layer into their existing program a 1:1 End-of-Year Check-In with each student who was performing below grade level benchmark when we transitioned to distance learning in March. There will be three key components to the check-in: reading, math, and social-emotional well-being. The check-in serves multiple purposes:

  • Determine where students are in reading and mathematics in relation to the end-of-year standards
  • Understand students’ social-emotional needs
  • Provide families with an End-of-Year update and recommendations for summer work
  • Collect information and design program for students who will qualify for summer school
  • Inform student placement for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Assess the ability to virtually collect information on student progress and learning

It will be very important for your child(ren) to have a quiet place to work with their teacher(s) for the virtual check-in. They should not receive any support from siblings or parents as our goal is to learn as much information about student progress as possible. Our hope for these 1:1 check-ins is to provide teachers more information about students’ current academic and social–emotional status so we can adjust programs as necessary to support their needs in the 2020-2021 school year. Please look for communication from your child(ren)’s Core and Math teacher(s) for more information and make sure the scheduled check-in time takes priority as it will be difficult to reschedule.

If your child was performing at or above grade level when DL began but you believe he or she needs a 1:1 check-in from a teacher to promote social-emotional health, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers (does not have to be Core or Math) or LE Administration, and we will make that happen. Teachers will continue to connect with students in a variety of ways but it would be helpful for us to know if your child is in particular need of a check-in.

Monday, May 11 is a teacher planning day to prepare for the final push of the school year. Tuesday, May 12 will be an Instructional Materials pick up day (as discussed previously, this is not common—look for an email from your teacher if he or she has anything for you to pick-up).

We will likely have a school materials pick up/drop off day in late-May or early-June, depending on future guidance from the San Mateo Public Health Officer. Please stay tuned for that!

Thank you for supporting your children and each other as we continue to problem-solve in these unprecedented times. I know shelter-in-place is not easy but I hope it brings each of us heightened perspective to the value and challenges of bringing our families closer together.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear Fourth and Fifth Grade Families,

I hope this communication finds everyone well and in good spirits. The impact of this shelter-in-place has taken its toll on all of us in a variety of ways and I hope you are finding the time to process and connect with family, friends, and loved ones.

Site and district staff, teachers, and administration have been gearing up for DL 3.0. Teachers in Grades 4-5 will layer into their existing program for the next three-to-four weeks a 1:1 End-of-Year Check-In with each student. There will be three key components to the check-in: reading, math, and social-emotional well-being. The check-in serves multiple purposes:

  • Determine where students are in reading and mathematics in relation to the end-of-year standards
  • Understand students’ social-emotional needs
  • Provide families with an End-of-Year update and recommendations for summer work
  • Collect information and design program for students who will qualify for summer school
  • Inform student placement for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Assess the ability to virtually collect information on student progress and learning

It will be very important for your child(ren) to have a quiet place to work with their teacher(s) for the virtual check-in. They should not receive any support from siblings or parents as our goal is to learn as much information about student progress as possible. Our hope for these 1:1 check-ins is to provide teachers more information about students’ current academic and social –emotional status so we can adjust programs as necessary to support their needs in the 2020-2021 school year. Please look for communication from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) for more information and make sure the scheduled check-in time takes priority as it will be difficult to reschedule.

To prepare for the next four weeks of DL, teachers have been planning their instruction, materials, and schedules to include the 1:1 End-of-Year Check-Ins. Monday, May 11 is a teacher planning day to prepare for the final push of the school year. Tuesday, May 12 will be an Instructional Materials pick up day (as discussed previously, this is not common—look for an email from your teacher if he or she has anything for you to pick-up).

We will likely have a school materials pick up/drop off day in late-May or early-June, depending on future guidance from the San Mateo Public Health Officer. Please stay tuned for that!

 

Thank you for supporting your children and each other as we continue to problem-solve in these unprecedented times. I know shelter-in-place is not easy but I hope it brings each of us heightened perspective to the value and challenges of bringing our families closer together.

 

All the best,

Mark Jones

La Entrada Principal

Dear La Entrada Community, 

The staff at La Entrada continues to refine Distance Learning platforms and meeting options to respond to the needs of their classes and individual students. This may look different from grade level to grade level and classroom to classroom as access to technology and wifi varies greatly for our students, families, and teachers. For continuity, teachers are delivering lessons through La Entrada’s primary digital platforms—SchoolLoop and Google Classroom—and holding live class meetings through Zoom. Class meeting and office hour schedules are available on the La Entrada Distance Learning Webpage.

In Grades 4-5, teachers will continue to hold three-to-five live class meetings and specialists (Art/Music/Tech/PE) two live class meetings per week. In Grades 6-8, please consult the LE DL Webpage for the class meeting master schedule. Core content areas—Core, Math, Science, and World Language—will continue to deliver lessons three days a week and PE and Electives two days a week. I’m providing a brief explanation of classroom meetings and office hours for your reference:

  • Classroom Meeting: These are specified synchronous learning times that teachers have set aside to support continued social and emotional connection among students and the teacher. They are typically whole class, though teachers may create other times to meet, which would be scheduled between your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and you.

  • Office Hours: These are intended to be used by the teacher to connect with students and/or parents on a 1:1 and small group basis, to answer questions, and provide support. This may be done via virtual meetings, phone calls, or email. 

Please understand that class meetings and office hours represent only a portion of teachers’ interactions with students. Each class and child is at a different place and teachers are responding to students and parents throughout the day in a variety of ways. In addition to whole class meetings and 1:1 and small group office hour times, teachers are using time daily to plan and record lessons for asynchronous learning; prepare materials; respond to student work; answer student, parent, and school emails; collaborate with colleagues, specialists, support teachers, and administration; and contact families. As during the regular school year, teachers are attending IEP, 504 Plan, and SST meetings in addition to meeting weekly with their grade levels and administration to strategize and coordinate our work from now through June. We continue planning and gathering feedback for Distance Learning best practices for the fall. 

All of this happens in concert with many of our teachers tending to their own families and children’s Distance Learning experience while juggling the new and complex work environment we find ourselves in due to Shelter-in-Place. Please utilize teachers’ office hours posted on the La Entrada Distance Learning Webpage to reach out with any questions about your child’s program or simply reach out to them via email if that is easier. Staff at La Entrada and across the district are simultaneously refining a Distance Learning program, developing plans to close out the 2019-2020 school year, and plan for what school might look like for the 2020-2021 school year. 

I encourage you to find times to reach out and create virtual meetings or playdates for your children. I also invite you to read the articles linked below for other ideas on supporting your children in self-guided learning:

It is important to note that Site and District Administration are developing a plan to collect feedback on Distance Learning from staff and parents. This will help inform and refine our program for the possible delivery of remote learning in the fall. We will continue to refine our process of using various platforms and modes of synchronous learning (whole class, small groups, 1:1 meetings) blended with asynchronous learning. We will use this information as well as the feedback gathered to support Distance Learning in the future.

The struggle is real and proving to be more difficult as time goes on. It is weighing on all of us in different ways, at different times, and for different reasons. As I’ve mentioned in previous memos, my wife and I have faced challenges in supporting our first- and ninth-grade children while continuing to work full-time. That said, I’m recognizing the precious moments made available to us in Shelter-in-Place. Earlier this week, we were in the yard collecting data on the number and types of animal life we observed. Over the course of our half-hour “lesson,” we observed two caterpillars (the sea-foam green one was a crowd favorite), four black beetles (they were massive!—my son’s words), several hundred roly-polies (we stopped counting), three centipedes (we had to save the roly-polies from them), and  twenty-four spiders (more roly-poly saving involved). Did I mention the hummingbird, lizard, and red-tailed hawk we also observed? Shelter-in-place is not easy but these opportunities remind me of the learning landscape available when we slow down to look and be present with our children.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me. Continue to practice grace and understanding as we navigate this together. We need to remember we are in it together. Let’s continue to turn towards each other for support.

This message, along with all previous principal updates, can be found here.

Stay safe,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

There will be no class meetings or office hours on the Monday, April 20 instructional planning day. Instead, we have moved Monday's class meetings to other days of the week. Please look closely at the above schedules to prepare for the week ahead. Our teachers will continue reaching out to you directly with class-specific information as well.

We understand the burdens faced by many families at this time and will work with you to adjust the distance learning program to meet your family's individual needs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your teacher(s) or administration for help. I hope you are all safe and healthy. 

Stay strong,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

I hope this communication finds your family safe and well. I want to thank you all for your patience and resolve in collaborating with your child(ren)’s teacher(s), staff, and site and district administration during this public health crisis. I continue to be in awe of our community’s resilience and generosity as we navigate this landscape together. I also remain in admiration of the tireless work our staff is accomplishing on a daily basis.

The purpose of this communication is to provide access to our district’s new Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for technology use during Distance Learning. Please take some time to review this AUP with your child(ren). I would also like to take this opportunity to remind families that Monday, April 20 is a workday for teachers to prepare materials for the next two weeks of DL 2.0. There will be no instruction for your child(ren) on this day. April 21 will be an Instructional Materials pick-up day. Though uncommon, since almost all instruction in DL 2.0 is on digital platforms, we will open the MUR from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. for instructional materials pick-up.

  • Please look for specific communication from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) regarding materials and whether or not you need to come on April 21. If you do not receive communication from any teacher(s), then we have no instructional materials for you to pick-up.

  • You can also bring back any school or classroom library books you have at home at this time.

Let’s continue to stand in solidarity as we brave this historic event. I most certainly look forward to the time that campus is filled with your children and our staff.

Take care and be safe,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

As we prepare for DL 2.0 for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, La Entrada will place an intentional focus on students' social-emotional health during this time of isolation. The schedules below integrate Grades 6-8 PE and Electives and Grades 4-5 Specialists into DL 2.0. We have attempted to balance the asynchronous instruction teachers have been delivering through SchoolLoop and Google Classroom with students' need to interact live with teachers and peers. 

Students in Grades 6-8 can expect to meet live with their Core teachers multiple times each week. All other content areas will schedule live class meetings on alternating weeks. Core curriculum instruction--Core, Math, and Science in Grade 6-7 and ELA, Social Studies, Math, and Science in Grade 8--will be delivered on M-T-TH. World Languages instruction will be delivered on M-W-F and PE/Electives on W-F. Class meetings with teachers may take a variety of forms: check-ins with each class, opportunities to talk to peers, instructional follow-up, etc. We hope these regular, live class meetings provide the connection your students may be missing during shelter-in-place. We also recognize that not all students will be able to login to specific class times. Teachers will continue to deliver instruction asynchronously.

Students in Grades 4-5 will continue to hold regular class meetings. Our self-contained teachers will continue to deliver instruction in reading, writing, and math on M-T-TH. Specialists--PE, Art, Technology, Music, and Library--will deliver instruction on W-F. We believe this balance of core and enrichment distance learning curriculum addresses the academic and social-emotional needs of our upper elementary students.

As mentioned previously, some families will want more or less curriculum than offered above. I strongly encourage those looking for more to explore the resources in this tab. Our students have logins to programs, such as Dreambox Learning and IXL, that provide access to grade-level standards without a live teacher. Students can also access a wide variety of books via the SORA App. You can find all of these resources and more in the "La Entrada Distance Learning Online Resources for Students and Families" button on the left. For those who are having difficulty meeting the current demands of DL 2.0, please reach out to your child(ren)'s teacher(s).

We understand the burdens faced by many families at this time and will work with you to adjust the distance learning program to meet your family's individual needs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your teacher(s) or administration for help.

Best regards,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

Teachers will return on Monday for a distance planning workday for our new phase of distance learning, DL 2.0. Mrs. Dineen, Mrs. Philippe, and I will meet with all teaching teams to refine the DL 2.0 Schedule to include Specialists in Grades 4-5 and PE and Electives in Grades 6-8. Our current core curriculum of reading, writing, and math in Grades 4-5 and Core, math, science, and world languages in Grades 6-8 will continue. We are adding social studies back to the core curriculum in Grade 8 for DL 2.0.

Grades 4-5 and 6-8 core curriculum teachers will teach 2-3 concepts in each content area each week and will continue to hold virtual class meetings and office hours (“on call” support for students to answer questions via Zoom, Google Meet, phone, email, etc.). Grades 4-5 Specialists and Grades 6-8 PE and Electives will teach concepts and provide opportunities to meet with students each week as well, which we will define further tomorrow and Tuesday. Our goal is to create a dedicated time throughout the week for students to connect with their teachers and each other. We recognize that attending to students’ social-emotional health is likely the most important component of distance learning. Please look for communication about DL 2.0 from your child(ren)’s teacher(s).

Most instruction will continue to be delivered asynchronously. I know many teachers, especially in Grades 4-5, are holding regular class meetings, which is wonderful for strengthening students’ social-emotional health and peer connection. We expect these to continue.

The challenge in middle school is one of equity. A good number of students for a great many reasons are unable to attend multiple in-person lessons from a variety of teachers throughout a distance learning school day. When we make our lessons available for students to access asynchronously at a time that works for their own families, we provide more access and opportunities for families to support the learning. We can neither control attendance nor the conditions preventing a student from attending. For this reason, asynchronous instruction will continue to be the dominant mode of lesson delivery.

We will on Monday attempt to standardize the digital platforms we are using across grade levels to simplify distance learning access for students and families. For Grades 6-8, you can expect SchoolLoop to continue as our dominant platform for sharing lessons and assignments. The Google Suite—including Google Classroom—will also continue as a central platform since every student has access through their district Google email. Most teachers are using Zoom now for virtual meetings and office hours. We will confirm which platforms will be used by each grade level on LE’s Distance Learning tab.

Our students receiving support in reading, math, and/or have IEPs will continue to receive support through our intervention specialists and case managers respectively. Intervention specialists and case managers will continue to reach out to their caseload to provide additional support as needed. 

I thank you for your patience, understanding, and grace as we simultaneously learn how to fly and build this distance learning plane. The moving parts are often quite daunting for us educators as there are a number of “behind the scenes” issues that don’t make their way onto a schedule, such as how to connect with students we aren’t seeing in our classes. Students with special needs require our consistent focus, as do those experiencing food insecurity, family turmoil, or countless other issues stemming from the crisis about which we may not even be aware. Our staff is also handling a variety of personal issues, many supporting their own children with distance learning, while creating meaningful learning for your children. They do this with the utmost professionalism, care, and concern for your children’s well being. 

We will post the updated DL 2.0 Schedule on our website’s Distance Learning tab later in the week when we get it fully fleshed out. We will continue to be mindful of creating a schedule that supports working families and families with children in multiple grade levels, classrooms, or receive instruction from multiple teachers.

As a reminder, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the La Entrada campus will be closed until further notice. We will, however, continue to have office hours on Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Future office hours will be communicated at a later time. We will also prepare instructional materials for pick-up on Tuesday, April 7 if you receive direction from one or more of your child(ren)’s teacher(s). This is not common since we have moved almost exclusively to digital learning platforms, but we will meet you outside the MUR if you have something to pick-up. Thank you for being partners in your children’s learning during this challenging time.

Take care of yourselves and your family!

All my best,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

At the request of Menlo Park Emergency Operations Center (EOC), we have closed and padlocked all of LE's entrances, effective immediately. The EOC reports that the police department is fielding multiple calls and complaints regarding the use of open spaces at school facilities and has requested a coordinated approach by all Menlo Park school districts. They have asked us to take swift action to reduce the amount of police resources it is taking to manage the daily situation at the school fields/facilities and reduce the number of calls they are fielding each day. More importantly, closing the campus will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread.

Some of our teachers will be on-site on Monday, April 6 to plan for Distance Learning 2.0. You may see what appears to be an open campus on Monday but I ask that you continue to remain off-campus. After Monday, we will padlock all entrances once again until further notice. I know these are challenging times for everyone and want you to know that we do not make this decision lightly. We will look for guidance from San Mateo County Public Health and EOC as to when it will be safe and resource-appropriate to reopen the campus. I hope you are able to enjoy the rest of your spring break. We look forward to starting up again on Tuesday, April 7. Look for messages from me and your child's teacher(s) between now and then.

All the best,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

On behalf of the La Entrada staff, thank you for your extraordinary effort and patience in working with us as we navigate this new learning terrain. Our district-wide effort to launch Distance Learning (DL) 1.0 has been a success and has surpassed the state’s examples of exemplar programs that focus on computer programs only. The teachers at La Entrada have gone above and beyond to provide as differentiated a distance learning program as possible and I have heard a great deal of positive feedback from the parent community.

The magic lost through distance learning is neither the rigor of the content nor the delivery of instruction per se, it’s the “in the moment” decisions a teacher makes when she or he sees your child respond to the curriculum and instruction. A teacher’s ability to accelerate or decelerate instruction based on individual student needs is impossible to replicate through distance learning. This we acknowledge. 

Some parents have asked for more work and some have asked for less. La Entrada students’ needs and families’ access to resources is widely disparate and the equalizer--being able to attend school--is no longer a controlled variable. The staff at La Entrada want you to know that we are here to support your family regardless of which end of the instructional spectrum you are on. If your child needs more, then please feel free to utilize the resources available on our DL Webpage. If your child needs less, then, by all means, slow down and allow him or her to take a break. Your child will not be penalized for not turning in work at this time. I will discuss grading in a future message.

As we pause from distance learning for spring break, please know that La Entrada staff has been gearing up for DL 2.0. Over the last eight days of DL 1.0, teachers have been collaborating in teams to prepare work and begin plans for the transition. I also took time to check in with virtually (no pun intended) all staff members to prepare them for the work we will do and to understand their needs to make the transition a success.

Monday, April 6, will be a planning day for staff and an opportunity for you to gather instructional materials if needed. Tuesday, April 7, will provide you another opportunity for materials pick-up. Your child’s teacher(s) will contact you if materials have been laid out (this is not common for most LE students--materials are shared through digital platforms). We will open the MUR for pick-up, similar to last week. Please continue to practice physical distancing if you pick up materials. If you are unable or unwilling to come to these pick-up days for any reason, then our bus drivers will make home deliveries on Wednesday, April 8.

In DL 2.0, we will continue to focus on the core content areas of reading, writing, and math in Grades 4-5 and core, math, science, and world languages in Grades 6-8, with 2-3 new concepts taught in each area per week. The content will be based on key ideas that will prepare students for the next grade. In addition, we will integrate physical education and electives into DL 2.0. Please look for an upcoming message from me about scheduling. We are sensitive to the broad range of family needs and are working to prepare a schedule that meets as many of those needs as possible.

Our fourth and fifth-grade teachers have been connecting with students via Zoom or Google Meet daily (or close to it) to promote social-emotional health and connection with peers. This practice will continue, as will our middle school teachers’ daily office hours, found on the DL Webpage. Middle school teachers will continue to deliver lessons through a combination of synchronous (all students present at a specified time) and asynchronous (watch a pre-recorded lesson on one’s own time) platforms, with SchoolLoop and Google Classroom the primary forms of assignment communication. We are committed to the social-emotional well-being of your children and have made this a focus of discussions with teaching teams and grade levels. Teachers will make themselves available to connect students with peers and themselves as much as possible. We’ve staggered teaching times and office hours in middle school to make this possible.

Many of you have kindly reached out with offers of support to our families in need. An inspiring bright spot in these tumultuous times has been the care and compassion our community has shown for our neighbors and the most vulnerable among us. Here are some local initiatives that welcome your support right now, or that you can access if you are in need:

  • Donate to PVSD Families in Need. PVSD PTO is collecting donations through April 3rd to disperse to vulnerable families in our district. 

  • San Mateo County has created the San Mateo County Strong Fund to respond to the urgent needs of families, small businesses, and non-profits who are struggling with the economic consequences of the coronavirus response.

  • Ravenswood Emergency Fund through the Ravenswood Education Foundation is offering extra support to Ravenswood School District families during this time.

  • Second Harvest Food Bank 

  • Pets In Need has established a temporary emergency assistance program for local pet owners financially hurt by the coronavirus pandemic  

  • San Mateo County is accepting volunteers for a variety of jobs. Fill out this form if you are interested.

We are a united community that will use this event to bring us even closer. Please know the staff is here to support you in any way we can. If we learn anything from this historic event, let it be to appreciate our families, our neighbors, and each other. Let us use this as an opportunity to stand in solidarity and teach our children that today is truly a gift: to be present, to be heard, to be loved.

Find the space to be kind to yourselves. 

Take care of yourselves and your family,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

As a follow up to last Thursday’s communication regarding N95 mask collection, I am sharing our new protocol for supporting local emergency care providers. We have decided to centralize efforts and partner with San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be a collection center for the following emergency supplies which are in high need in our hospitals:

  • Masks

  • Nitrile/latex gloves

  • Face shields

  • Goggles

  • Thermometers

  • Food service gloves

If you are able to donate any of the following items being collected by our EOC, please deliver them to the LLESD District Office at 1011 Altschul Avenue between 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. any day next week. I want to thank the handful of parents who came by last Friday to drop off masks. I will get them to the district office next week.

We have completed our first three days (yes, it has only been three days) of distance learning at La Entrada. I’m certain your respect for teachers has been amplified over the last few days as you have supported your children with the tasks teachers have provided. I know distance learning has looked different across both sites, grade level to grade level, and even class to class. Please continue to practice grace and understanding as you work with your child(ren)’s teachers.

We performed an almost complete redesign of the learning environment in the course of a week. This redesign includes not only developing the academic program for distance learning, but also distributing device and internet access, lunches, medication, and instructional materials. Our physical learning pedagogy has been flipped on its head in an extremely short window and teachers have been left with trying to prepare work for eight days as well as wrap their minds around the idea of and resources that support distance learning.

Many teachers are at home with their own children navigating the parent interface of distance learning. Trying to build lessons in this new learning environment as well as supporting one’s own children in their distance learning is a Herculean effort indeed. Please be patient as all teachers are in different spaces and comfort levels with technology and working harder than ever to support your children to the best of their ability. Most teachers are video conferencing with your students right now and I expect that number to increase should we move to Phase 2 of distance learning after spring break if the closure extends as predicted.

On a district level, we are working on Distance Learning Portals that can be found on our LLESD, La Entrada, and Las Lomitas websites. There are some resources available now and you can expect to find this more fully developed and robust in the days and weeks to come. You will even be able to find a daily activity from ME if school closures go beyond spring break.

In the meantime, as you navigate distance learning as a parent, please email the following people if you have questions:

Please discuss online learning etiquette with your children. Teachers have developed class agreements with students to ensure the smooth delivery of instruction and exchange of ideas. We ask you to be a partner in your child’s learning by reinforcing appropriate online behavior.

I am in awe of our staff’s “can do” problem-solving approach to this crisis--no complaining or hand-wringing, just getting it done and connecting with your children in as meaningful a way as the situation allows. We will continue to evaluate the distance learning program as we go and adjust to meet the needs of students. If the closure indeed proves long-term, Phase 2 will address the new learning environment expectations for teachers and students. Despite the many challenges, our staff continues to shine brilliantly! I hope we are all taking moments to decompress and recharge this weekend. Our self-care is vital now more than ever.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School

Dear La Entrada Community,

I will keep this as brief as possible since I know many of us are being inundated with information on a number of fronts. Our teachers have spent the last two days preparing our distance learning program through spring break. The seven-county Shelter in Place Order added a tinge of the surreal to our work. Since learning is considered "essential," most of us continued to prepare on-site for the weeks ahead. Though we understand the closure may be much longer than the next three weeks, we have been preparing instruction and curriculum through spring break only at this time. Should we close for a longer period, we will re-evaluate our program to meet the new learning environment.

For now, we are using SchoolLoop, Google Meet, and Google Classroom--three programs widely used at LE and accessible through students' Google email--to connect with students. I have received several suggestions to use Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other platforms to which the district is currently looking should we need a long-term solution. I have seen many teachers' communications to families over the last day-plus. I am heartened consistently by their empathy, thoughtfulness, and professionalism.

On a personal note, I have a ninth-grader and a first-grader. I'm trying to maneuver some of the same battles facing us all--multiple distance learning platforms, trying to teach content to my own children in a number of areas, figuring out daycare (we have none), down to our last three rolls of toilet paper, all of us feeling "on edge." At the same time, I recognize that we can still make ends meet and will likely be able to work through this pandemic as a family.

We've discussed as a site the need to be kind to each other and to families about whom we know nothing of the burdens you bear through this crisis. As a result, we are trying to be as flexible as possible about work by not expecting assignments to be turned in right now (if that is what your family needs). We will work with you on a case-by-case basis as much as possible to meet the needs of your children. We met virtually as a site yesterday afternoon to stagger Office Hours (when students can connect directly with their teachers) to give students a chance to see teachers and classmates' faces and feel connected to the school during this isolating time. We recognize the social-emotional strain on students and have made addressing social-emotional learning a core component of our distance learning program.

We certainly do not have all the answers and will look to your students to guide us in adjusting our program to meet their needs as we navigate uncharted waters. Our teachers are doing their best to transfer their learning environment online while still maintaining the personal connection so critical to learning. Should your child be looking for more extension activities beyond the district minutes we've allocated, please contact your child's teacher(s) directly and they will be happy to provide you with differentiation opportunities.

Administration will be on site from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. for the foreseeable future so please reach out to me, Mrs. Philippe, or Mrs. Dineen if you need something from campus. Look for another message from me before spring break and please wish your children my best!

Take care of yourselves and your families,

Mark Jones

Principal

La Entrada School