May 17, 2020

Message from Mr. Childers May 17, 2020

Hello Parents,

This is Tom Childers contacting you from Antioch Elementary. Thank you to the 125 parents who took time to provide feedback regarding Remote Learning. I have read all of the feedback, analyzed the ratings and shared this information with each team so that we can improve the process. Remote learning is our current reality and will likely continue to be part of instructional programs across our country in the future. I am working with the staff to make immediate improvements to remote learning and also improve the future of remote learning at Antioch Elementary.  I would like to provide a response or offer clarity to some of the most frequent feedback that we received.

  1. Concerned about the teaching style of their child's teacher for remote learning. UCPS has provided latitude or flexibility for teachers to present content.  I felt this was an appropriate response at the beginning of the remote learning process. I now feel that a more structured and consistent approach would more effectively serve our community. I cannot deviate from the expectations of UCPS, however I have discussed this concern with the staff already and do plan that this aspect of remote learning will be improved in the future.
  2. Concerned about excessive or repetitive emails with instructions about remote learning. I have discussed this concern with staff and have encouraged each team to limit the number of emails or to post resources/information in a central location. In the future our staff may utilize one platform for the entire school or a platform for kindergarten through second grade and another for third through fifth grade.
  3. Concerned about the need or desire for more remote learning per day. This issue is one of the more difficult concerns to adequately address. The responses were very divided. Some parents are asking for 3-4 hours of remote learning daily, while other parents are concerned that as working parents or parents of multiple Antioch students… more is not possible. I do feel that parents need more support to ensure that their children are learning. I believe we can achieve a balance of teacher/parent support to maximize remote learning. Research is very clear about the most important factor in a child's education…. The TEACHER. Remote learning cannot replace the face to face instruction that your child received daily at Antioch… however I do believe that the process of remote learning can certainly be improved.
  4. Overwhelmed with too many resources. Our teachers are heart-broken about remote learning. When I met with our staff on March 16th to explain what was about to occur… we had teachers in tears. The staff has tried to provide multiple resources to give parents choices during remote learning. We have learned along the way that more is not necessarily better. Our staff has been working diligently to clearly identify recommended and optional activities. I realize that parents are confused and frustrated with various login credentials and passwords. Antioch will continue to reduce the request for parents to access multiple student platforms. Hopefully, UCPS will move towards a single sign-on platform to make this process easier.
  5. Concerns about the appropriateness of printed packets from UCPS. It is difficult to make all parents happy within one classroom. As UCPS creates print materials for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade… the system recognizes that the materials will not be appropriate for all students. The packets were created to ensure that all students have access to instructional content. Some parents love these resources and rely heavily on them each week, while other parents don't use them at all. While I appreciate your feedback, Antioch does not control the creation of this content and to be honest I am not sure that we could do any better to create print resources that meet the need of every child.
  6. Some parents have offered suggestions for a remote learning schedule. Parents have suggested that teacher conduct "live" virtual instruction daily from 9am-12pm. This plan would NOT meet the needs of all families. Many parents work during the day and would not be available during these hours to support their children. Families that have multiple children in school would struggle with managing who uses the devices within the home. I believe the perfect balance of remote learning to be a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded). This approach would make learning more universally accessible for students and families.
  7. Antioch Elementary has 926 students currently. Once again, I appreciate the 125 families that took time to provide feedback. I will openly and honestly admit that our school can do a better job with remote learning and the survey is one piece of the improvement process. I also recognize that it is simply impossible to please everyone. Some parents want more "live" zoom instruction, while others want less. Some parents want instruction offered in the morning, while others want instruction in the evening after they return form work. Some parents want more resources, while others want fewer resources.

I was amazed at the consistency of the results in the survey data. Here are the numerical results of the survey.

I feel the communication from my child's teacher to be…

Clear, Helpful and Explicit = 1--------Confusing, Not Helpful and Vague = 5

Fifth Grade (15 responses)

1.9

Fourth Grade (25 responses)

1.9

Third Grade (19 responses)

1.9

Second Grade (18 responses)

1.9

First Grade (22 responses)

1.9

Kindergarten (25 responses)

1.9

 

I feel the work that is provided by my child's teacher is...

Engaging, Appropriate in content and length  = 1--------Not Engaging, Not Appropriate in content or length = 5

Fifth Grade

2.1

Fourth Grade

2.1

Third Grade

2.1

Second Grade

2.1

First Grade

2.1

Kindergarten

2.1

 

I am satisfied with type (Virtual-Live, Virtual-Recorded, Other) of instruction that my child is receiving.

Highly Satisfied -The Teacher is doing a great job = 1--------Not Satisfied - The Teacher could do much better = 5

Fifth Grade

2.2

Fourth Grade

2.2

Third Grade

2.2

Second Grade

2.2

First Grade

2.2

Kindergarten

2.2


Antioch Elementary will strive towards continuous improvement. Thank you for going on this journey with us!
 

IXL Learning continues to be a terrific resource for your child. Please review the follow information to help get your child started or to enhance his or her work.

Student Quick-Start Guide

IXL Real-Time Diagnostic

IXL Mobile App Guide

May 16, 2020

Grade

Students with

 pinpointed

Diagnostic Level

In Math

Students with

Pinpointed

Diagnostic Level

In Language Arts

Kindergarten

36% = Up 1%

36% = Up 3%

First Grade

41% = Up 4%

34% = Up 5%

Second Grade

54% = Up 7%

51% = Up 6%

Third Grade

51% = Up 7%

43% = Up 7%

Fourth Grade

41% = Up 3%

34% = Up 4%

Fifth Grade

32% = Down 1%

23% = Up 1%

 
Our students are certainly using IXL Learning as a learning resource. Students have answered more than Two Million Four Hundred Thousand questions so far this school year. I feel that our school community is not utilizing this terrific resource to the full potential. The single most important feature of IXL Learning is the ability to adapt to your child's needs. This feature is dependent on your child completing and maintaining a "pinpointed" Diagnostic Level. Once your child has achieved this goal, he or she will be guided by recommendations that are specifically targeted for their needs.

Please continue to support your child by ensuring that he/she is completing and maintaining a "pinpointed" diagnostic level. This can be done by logging into IXL Learning using the student credentials and then clicking on the diagnostic arena. If your child answers questions outside of the diagnostic arena… this WILL NOT provide assessment data necessary to provide targeted recommendations. Your child should be logged into his or her account anytime they use IXL Learning.                                                                  

Please email me if you have difficulty obtaining your child's username and password. I can provide it for you (tom.childers@ucps.k12.nc.us).I have included two documents and two videos, on the Antioch Elementary Website, that will maximize your child's efforts and parent's understanding of this learning platform. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for these resources. The platform includes concepts for Math and Language Arts for grades K-5. Science and Social Studies content is also available for grades 2-5.

The IXL Challenge during April and May. I am happy to partner with the Antioch PTO to sponsor the IXL Challenge for all students. To participate in the challenge students must do the following:

  1. Complete or maintain the Diagnostic for Language Arts and Math. Students should assess until he/she achieves a pinpointed value (e.g., 350, 160, 420, etc.).
  2. Answer 100 Language Arts and 100 Math questions each week.
  3. Complete the IXL Challenge Entry Form each week.

IXL Challenge Details:

  • Winners (one entry for K-2 and one entry for 3-5) will be randomly drawn from all entries for the current week.
  • K-2 winners will select 6 books from the fall book fair.
  • 3-5 winners will receive a gift card to Barnes and Nobles in the amount of $20.00.
  • The deadline for weekly entries will be each Friday at 5:00pm.

Week of May 11th: 85 students submitted their data for the IXL challenge.78 students qualified for the drawing. Here are your weekly winners -

Winners for May 11th: Shreya Gupta, Fifth Grade from Mrs. Scott's Class and Bryan Muraya, Second Grade from Mrs. Aalborg's Class.

Winners for May 4th: Ryan Zarambo, Kindergarten from Mrs. Wilson's Class and Charlie Becker , Third Grade from Mrs. Clarke's Class

Winners for April 27th: Flint Tchouateu, First Grade from Ms. Pierce's Class and Ella Beauchemin, Fourth Grade from Mrs. Bleakley and Mrs. Sarcona's  Class

Winners from April 20th: Anne Wilson, Second Grade from Mrs. Rossmann's Class and Greyson Atkins, Fifth Grade from Mrs. Prince's Class

Bus Transportation Request for 2020-2021: Parents are asked to complete this survey to request bus transportation for the upcoming school year. Please complete by May 29, 2020.

Gold Daisy Award: Union County Macaroni Kid is an online publication for parent and community resources. The owner is expanding her platform and has organized a staff and school pride/appreciation award called the Gold Daisy School Award. With the support of local businesses, the award will provide monetary donations to elementary schools.

We will open the contest for voting on May 4th and close voting on May 31st. Votes can come from anyone - staff, administration, students, parents, neighbors and friends - but only one vote per email address! So we are asking for you to help your school - please spread the word through your newsletters, teacher correspondences, PTO and social media outlets. You can find a link to the article that will run on our website HERE and a link to the voting form HERE.

End of Year Grading, Picking up Student personal items and  Student Promotion:

  • All Antioch Students will receive a report at the end of the school year to document their progress during the school year. More information is forthcoming.
  • It is our hope that students/parents will be permitted to retrieve personal items such as bookbags, lunch boxes, yearbooks, jackets, awards, etc. Our school is awaiting details from Central Services about this process. I promise to notify you once I have the details.
  • All students will be promoted to the next grade unless otherwise discussed in a virtual meeting.
  • Our fifth grade students will be honored with a virtual promotion ceremony. This will be shared during the first two weeks in June. Students will not come on campus for this event. Fifth Grade Promotion Certificates and individual awards will be placed with each student's personal items and may be collected at a later date. I will notify you once I have the details. Antioch Elementary and the PTO will partner to provide our fifth grade students with a promotion gift which will also be retrieve when permission to do so is provided.

IMPORTANT: All parents should complete the Parent Input Form by May 29, 2020. Please use this form to provide the staff of Antioch Elementary some insight into the teaching style that you feel best fits your child. Complete a separate form for each child at Antioch Elementary.  The staff of Antioch will consider all information provided, but makes no guarantees about classroom assignments. Also classroom assignments may be subject to change. Only 43% of parents have completed the form to date.

Special Area Teachers: You can access the special area content by clicking this link.

UCTV Channel 16:

Union County Public Schools and Union County Government have partnered to provide at-home educational opportunities for elementary students during the school closure. The educational programming, titled Learning in the U, will air on UCTV Channel 16 with free content specifically geared for Union County students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Short 15-minute lessons created by UCPS elementary teachers will cover most content areas and support the school district’s current remote learning plan. The programming is also available online at http://www.unioncountync.gov/departments/media-public-relations/uctv-16

 Programming will begin Monday, May 4. The schedule below will apply to each week until the end of the school year. • Monday and Wednesday—8 – 10 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. • Thursday – 6 – 8 p.m

Congratulations to Antioch's very own Mrs. Janet Jonas who will be featured on this platform!

Having technical problems with UCPS resources… Student help desk link:  https://studenthelpdesk.ucps.k12.nc.us/

Please email me directly (tom.childers@ucps.k12.nc.us) if you are not receiving email updates from the school. Each student can have up to four email addresses associated with their account. Please check your spam or junk folders before emailing me. Look for the following sender information - ANTIOCH ELEMENTARY <email@blackboard.com>. I encourage you to email me again even if you have emailed in the past. I am currently compiling a list of individuals who are not receiving the emails through our third party sender. Blackboard Connect is trying to trouble shoot the issues.

Thank you for supporting our school - working  together as one team on one mission, we are meeting needs, challenging minds and celebrating accomplishments.

Until next time… Have a great day!