Dear friends and families of Yujin Gakuen
We are wrapping up Week #5 in our Slow Rollout. Remember that tomorrow there is no school as teachers have a professional development day. Next week, we will continue teaching the full schedule, but we will have only three days of instruction due to parent-teacher conferences being held Wednesday evening and Thursday all day and evening. Thursday and Friday of next week will be no-school days.
This is a repeat of the email that went out earlier in the week regarding parent-teacher conferences. Parent – Teacher Conferences are scheduled for:
Wednesday, October 29 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm and
Thursday, October 29 from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm.
There will be no school on Thursday, the 29th or Friday, the 30th. Teachers will email conference sign-up information soon, which will be similar to how we scheduled conferences at the start of the year.
Meeting with your child’s teacher should help build strong family – teacher partnerships. Partnerships that are needed if you and their teacher are to reach your common goal: helping your child get the best education possible, which is especially important during distance learning.
The October conferences will be different this year. In previous years, the focus had been on grades, assessments, and class work. This year the focus will be on how your child is adjusting to the distance learning format and giving time for a conversation about your child.
Be sure to talk with your child before the conference. Find out what they think of school this year and find out why. What parts do they enjoy? What parts are a challenge? Also, ask your child if there is anything they would like you to talk about with their teacher. Make sure your child doesn’t worry about the meeting. Help them understand that you and their teacher are meeting together in order to help them
Site Council – Notes from the Last Meeting
The first Site Council meeting was held via Zoom last Tuesday, October 15, 2020 at 3:00pm
Parent representatives: Alison Corwin and Rebecca Hart
Chelsea Hardrath in attendance
Staff: Ashley Baker, Kumiko Vanderbush
Wendy Williams, Tom Piowaty
- Questions or concerns raised by Parent Groups
- Parents had positive comments for staff and how they were doing such a good job during CDL
- There was a concern that people might have been going on site and taking things from the Silverlea site. One particular item of concern was the bench that used to sit at the front of the school. The bench has been moved to YG’s new location. Incidentally, the YG sign was also moved to the YG site, but the structure on which it hung was not moved. We are working with the artist who created the original sign so she can restore it, and we are working with 4J to build a new structure to hold it once it is restored.
- There were some parents who were uncertain about how their young students would adapt to distance learning, but they were pleasantly surprised with how well they are doing. There are still some concerns about having so much screen time.
- There was also a question about how parents could support teachers during zoom time. At this time, we are not permitted to have any volunteers helping to manage our Zoom meetings, but we are hoping that will change. In particular, we would hope that in the future, we could, at least, have guest speakers from the community talk with our classes during distance learning.
- Several parents have expressed concerns about the amount of “screen time” their students are experiencing each day. Parents can make their own decisions about how much screen time their children are exposed to each day. Activities can be done off line.
- A few parents have expressed concerns with children getting headaches seemingly from too much zoom time. A related concern was over the way students were sitting and viewing their screens, and what could our school do to help students with ergonomics: could the school share more information on the best ways to set up the learning environment at home (e.g., neck/head angle, distance from screen, lighting).
- Site Council Beginning of Year Tasks
- Reviewed the role of site council and reviewed the By Laws
- Amended the bylaws to:
- change the time of the meetings to begin at 3pm instead of 3:15
- restore the role of supporting professional development for staff
- Subcommittees – this was tabled until the next meeting.
- Review Decision Making Grid – this was also tabled.
Outline a work plan for the year
The council agreed to develop a work plan for this year to address the following:
- How to make the new school environment feel more like our own community or feel like our “home.”
- Focus on opportunities given the current situation to do things that would have been difficult to do during normal times. Repairing taiko drums was an example. YG will look for options for repairing the taiko drums.
- Build a sense of community. We will be looking for ways to encourage and enhance a sense of connection. Some ideas that were brought up: would it be possible to hold group activities (online like class reward party with facilitated games or activites) or doing something like an online movie night.
- How to ensure students were continuing to advance academically and socially.
- Developing a process for our school community to determine our permanent location.
Agenda for next meeting
- Stakeholders Reports
- Old Business
- Review Decision Making Grid
- New Business
- Develop a work plan for the year
Results of PTO Election
New members of the PTO board were elected at the last PTO meeting, Thursday, October 15th. The newly elected board members are:
Kathryn Moakley – president with Ashley Sensei as co-president
Heidi Iwashita – vice president
Ashley Ferryman – secretary
Chelsea Hardrath will remain as treasurer one more year
The old PTO board will be meeting with the new board at a “pass down” meeting prior to the next scheduled PTO meeting to be held on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
YG Family Zoom Meeting – Tuesday, October 27
Technology Appropriate Use Expectations
Key back-to-school information for families
This is a repeat of information already sent to families, but I thought it would be helpful to send it again.
Do you have what you need for your student’s return to learning? Here are links to some key back-to-school information. For more information see the 4J webpage.
Contacting the School – After Amy Sensei’s Departure
Even though Amy is no longer at YG, and we do miss her, we will have a substitute secretary answering the phone. Terri Johnson, who used to be the secretary at Kelly Middle School, is coming out of retirement to serve as our substitute secretary until we hire a permanent secretary. If you wish to contact us, please call the school office at: 541-790-4606. Our address is: 850 Howard Avenue, Eugene, OR 97404
Calendar of Events
October 23 (F) – No School – Professional Development/Planning Day
October 27 (T) – 5:30pm-6:30pm, YG Family Zoom Meeting
October 28 (W) – Regular School Day
4:00pm-8:00pm, Parent-Teacher Conferences via Zoom
October 29 (Th) – No School
8:00am-8:00pm, Parent-Teacher Conferences via Zoom
October 30 (F) – No School
November 3 – Election Day
November 4 (W) – 7:00pm-9:00pm – 4J School Board Meeting
November 11 (W) – Veterans’ Day – No School