November 6, 2020

Dear Lower School Families,

I hope the time you virtually met with your children’s teachers during this week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences was fruitful. Parent-Teacher Conferences offer an opportunity to learn about your children’s progress academically and socially during this first part of the school year. Please know you are always welcome to contact your children’s teachers to have a conversation by phone or Zoom.

Your child will need to bring a bag lunch and snack from home this coming week (November 9-13). Students do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator so please plan accordingly. Also, it is very important that none of the food brought from home includes nuts of any kind. As always, students are expected to have a water bottle at school each day.

Thank you for your patience during carline this week. There have been glitches causing names to not appear in the SchoolPass system even when license plate information has been entered. We have discovered that with the time change the angle of the sun is creating glare on the license plates, preventing the cameras from accurately recording license numbers. Our hope is as the sun settles lower in the sky that the cameras will again accurately capture the license plates and transmit the information to classrooms so that your children are ready when you reach the front of the carline.

I would like to clarify instances where online learning is an option in Lower School. We currently have 20 students who are online learners, meaning they receive all of their instruction virtually and are in homeroom classes equipped for this type of learning. It is not possible for students to move in and out of online learning for occasional or short-term absences. If your children are absent, they will receive assignments from their classroom teachers via Google Classroom, SeeSaw, or upon return back to school. If there is an extended absence related to COVID, please contact me for more information.

When we return from the Thanksgiving break on November 30th, we want to remind you about seasonal changes to the dress code:

  • Shorts may no longer be worn. 
  • Leggings or tights must be worn under skorts.
  • Hoodies are not allowed inside the building.
  • Appropriate outerwear (jacket, gloves, hat, snow pants) need to be at school each day.

In addition, there is one new revision to our dress code (it has already been in effect in the Middle School and Upper School):

  • Students are not permitted to have extreme or unnatural hair color/style.

There is no school for students on Tuesday, November 10th. This is a faculty workday. These “workdays” are new this year and were announced in a September 28th message from our Head of School. We added 17 new homeroom classes in the Lower School this year, and in the “pod” environment it is very challenging for teachers to find time that they are all available to plan instruction collaboratively as a grade. These workdays are designed to provide that important opportunity, and we thank you for your support.

This week’s parenting article is from The Washington Post and is entitled “How to Talk to Younger Children About the COVID Pandemic.” It can be found using this link.

Hopefully, your children have mentioned that we continue with our weekly assemblies. Even though they are broadcast via Zoom, we celebrate birthdays, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, share some laughs, learn about different cultures, ponder Words of Wisdom and try to guess the Flag of the Week. While we cannot be together in the theatre as we have in previous years, we are committed to making them as “live” as possible. Here is the link to the slides from Wednesday’s assembly to give you an idea of what we do.

Finally, a big thank you to all of YOU for the recent survival kits all faculty received on Wednesday from PACA. It is greatly appreciated, and please know we are feeling your gratitude during these unique times we are living through.

Be well,

Head of Lower School