Led by Principal Laurie Armino, a trio from the Sinnott Elementary School team offered insights into the start of the 2020-21 school year, including an “extremely high” attendance rate and modifications for virtual Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
“I was amazed at how smooth the school year started,” Principal Armino shared. “We were all nervous but teachers, and all staff across the district, spent many hours over the summer preparing for the opening of the year.”
Sinnott is averaging between 3 to 7 student absences per day out of a 772 student population, according to Armino, which has allowed her staff “to reach out personally to all of those families” to support them in getting their children to log-in to their classes. Armino added that staff are implementing a variety of programs to increase student engagement and balancing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) with helpful tips to support parents.
Assistant Principal Vanessa Espitia explained that Sinnott is in its second year of implementing PBIS, and the team has worked to modify the delivery to an online model during distance learning. Sinnott has developed an online platform to support parents with at-home SEL strategies.
Sinnott fifth grade teacher Amber Loanzon was impressed with how the 2020-21 school year started in Milpitas, with students and staff well-versed in remote learning after the transition from last Spring semester.
“Most of the kids want to connect. They want to chat and have conversations. They like to be heard,” said Ms. Loanzon, who has encouraged the engagement with 1-on-1 and small group sessions, as well as online games, sing-a-longs, daily fun facts, and scavenger hunts.