Principal Message August 31, 2020
Posted on 08/31/2020
Hello Korematsu Families,

I hope everyone had a restful weekend. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the first three days of school wiped me out! Please remember that during the first couple of weeks of school teachers are focused on building community with their classes along with spending time on learning and teaching how to navigate the technology piece of distance learning. I equate distance learning to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It takes time to figure out the right amount of screen time, how much independent learning time is needed, and much more! Also, what may be just right for one student could be too little or too much for other students. Teachers are working on the flexibility piece of distance learning to make sure we meet the needs of each student at Korematsu. It is a daunting task, however, I know we will get there. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we start out the new school year. Here are this week’s updates:

Back to School Night (BTSN)

• Wednesday, September 2, 2020
o Primary (TK-3rd): 5:45 pm
o Intermediate (4-6th): 6:45 pm
Teachers will send out a zoom link to parents for you to join their BTSN presentation. Your experience will be similar to what your students get on a daily during DL: both asynchronous (recorded BTSN teacher presentations) and synchronous (live presentations and/or live Q & A sessions after the presentations).

Welcome NEW Staff Members

I would like to introduce and welcome our three new staff members joining our team for the 20-21 school year:
• April Mears, School Counselor: Ms. Mears is excited to be our school counselor this year! This will be her sixth year as a school counselor. Recently, she became a dog mom to an Australian shepherd named Lucha. Her favorite things include homemade cupcakes, hiking and researching new places to eat on Yelp. She is looking forward to meeting your kiddos!
• Doug Shank, 3rd Grade Teacher: Mr Shank has been a teacher for 4 years after spending almost 10 years working in insurance. He is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and moved to California from Boston last year after his wife took a job at UC Davis. Last year he served as a Math Paraeducator at Korematsu and is excited to be teaching 3rd grade this year.
• Sue Schlageter, Kindergarten Teacher: Mrs. Schlageter graduated high school in South Lake Tahoe, attended UC Davis as an undergrad, and received her teaching credential at Sac State. She has taught Kindergarten, 4th, and 5th grades. When she's not teaching, Mrs. S enjoys reading, cooking, doing arts & crafts, planning parties and shopping for treasures at thrift stores. Her favorite thing to do is spend time at home with her husband, son ( 7th grade), daughter (5th grade), and their tiny 110-pound Rottweiler. She is super excited to join the Korematsu staff this year!

Attendance & Engagement

Attendance will be taken by teachers daily during live sessions each morning before noon for elementary grades. A student is considered present if they show up to the live session. Parents are expected to call the school to excuse the student’s absence if they will be unable to attend a live session. Parents will be notified by robocall daily if a student has not attended the live session and thes parent has not called to excuse the absence. A weekly review of absences will occur and may prompt an additional outreach. (Restart DJUSD Reopening Guide for Families 2020-21, p. 14) Please remember that during spring 2020 we were in an emergency situation that allowed for more leniency with attendance and student engagement. Since Distance Learning is the mode for students accessing school for the fall 2020 semester, schools now have protocols and procedures to follow through state legislation. Please note that we are also monitoring student engagement for students during their independent and asynchronous assignments: turning in assignments, etc.

More Distance Learning Tips

Chromebook Alarm Clock: If your student is forgetting when they need to get onto a live class or when to get back onto a meeting after a break/recess, we have a solution! If you go to vclock.com, it is a free alarm clock service and students can set alarms on their chromebook to not miss class time. Each child in your house can have a different alarm sound, so there is no confusion. The directions are at the bottom of the main page (easy to follow- I tried it myself!). I have also attached the directions below:
• Set the hour and minute for the online alarm clock. The alarm message will appear and the preselected sound will be played at the set time.
• When setting the alarm, you can click the "Test" button to preview the alert and check the sound volume.
• You can configure the alarm clock appearance (text color, type, and size), and these settings will be saved; they will be used when you open your web browser next time.
• The online alarm clock will not work if you close your browser or shut down your computer, but it can work without an internet connection.
• You can add links to online alarm clocks with different time settings to your browser's Favorites. Opening such a link will set the alarm clock to the predefined time.
Headphones: I highly recommend your child wearing headphones during class time. We find it is easier for them to hear their teacher and it helps with focus. I have found some for under $5 in my search. You will start to see most of our teachers wearing headphones with a microphone in hopes to make their voice/delivery of instruction clearer for students. I am working on ordering some headphones in bulk for those families that need some assistance.
Privacy Boards: Some families are using science display boards as a way to decrease distractions while students are learning. Some of our families have multiple students in school, plus parents working from home with limited space in the house. A board acts as a way to let students have their own space. I have attached pictures of two very cool privacy boards done by Corina at Harper Jr. High (thank you for sharing!) that have a class schedule, calendar, etc. on them. I also gave you some plain options as examples of privacy boards. Privacy Boards.pdf
See you this Wednesday at BTSN (virtually, of course!),

Principal Curtaz