YG Newsletter – October 22, 2020

YG Newsletter – October 22, 2020

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.

Parent Conferences

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
    • Admin
    • Teachers
    • Classified
    • Families
  • Old Business
  • New Business
    • Develop a work plan for the year

Site Council agendas and notes will be kept on the YG website at this link.

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.

More information about the YG PTO is available on their website. It is also linked in the menu on the YG website.

YG Family Zoom Meeting – Tuesday, October 27

At the last YG Family Zoom meeting, October 15th, we took a poll asking what topics families would like to discuss at the next meeting. Parents asked to discuss ways to enhance our children’s social connections during the pandemic. So, we are inviting families to meet via Zoom next Tuesday to talk about this topic and to share their ideas with each other.
Here’s a brief outline:
A brief welcoming and brief overview of this and future meeting
A brief sharing of ideas and resources
Break out rooms
Games that can be played online (across ages)
Supervising online play dates
Making initial contacts to set-up Zoom dates
Creating your own Zoom invites
Reconvene and feedback from families
Introducing topic for the next meeting
We will plan on recording the meeting and sharing with families so they can view the meeting on demand. A Zoom invitation will be sent out via email Monday evening. We are looking forward to meeting again. See you on Zoom!

Technology Appropriate Use Expectations

4J established the 2020-21 Summary Tech Appropriate Use Expectations (Spanish version). These serve as guidelines for technology use, summarized, along with the device protection information. We are sharing this with families, students and teachers to help establish expectations for use of technology resources. It includes points that are important to teachers and students, such as expectations that students not record the teacher or others or take screenshots without permission. It also includes information about the Student Device Protection Plan.
Families should note that devices may not be taken out of state, and many learning applications will not work and cannot be supported outside of Oregon.

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.

Family Toolkit: Are You Ready to Zoom?5 Tips for Creating an At-Home Workspace7 Tips for Creating Good At-Home Study Habits

4J Calendars

4J Calendars Overview
2020–21 Elementary School Calendar
2020–21 Middle & High School Calendar
Printable School Calendar
Online Calendar

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


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