Dear Sequoyah Families,

I hope you're all doing well. 
Can you believe that it's already May. We're in the home stretch. Hang in there!  With the last month of school comes celebrations and culminations. Teachers and staff have been working hard to think about how to reimagine some of our traditions with distance learning, as well as coming up with new ones to share.  I hope your family joins in on the events! 

8th Grade Play
As Josh mentioned in his recent letter, we're looking to honor the 8th graders in their transition to high school during a formal ceremony at a later date. I'm excited that we get to continue the tradition of the 8th grade play on it's original time and date, although the place has changed. The 8th graders are rehearsing and then will tape the recording of their play, entitled " To Have, Have Not, and Have Again."  Families will be invited to attend the performance.

Talon Tales
We will continue the tradition of honoring Sequoyah students as writers with the celebration of the Sequoyah literary magazine, Talon Tales, on Friday, May 22nd. Parent volunteer, Julia Edwards, led a team of parent editors in collaboration with teachers and students to produce this annual publication. Stay tuned for more details, including the possible delivery of the publication to your home for the event.

Sequoyah Renaissance
As we think about culminating the year, we would like to celebrate the ways in which we restructured the curriculum and the ways students adapted and continued their education at home. Theater specialist, Leilani, will curate a virtual display made up of one piece of work from the year from each student that somehow demonstrates a Habit of Mind. Students will have the option to choose from visual art, written work, or any other work that they'd like to submit.  All of the work will be organized by class and edited together in a slideshow. Parents will be provided a link to see how in 2020, Sequoyah persevered and with great creativity, continued learning from afar. 

Digital Musical Compendium
Music specialist, Ron McBain, notes that Sequoyah students have been full of the creative spirit as they continue to find power in the arts during these times. They are working on ways to express themselves through music and share their work with the community. Their work will culminate in a digital compendium. He's working with students during music class to curate uplifting song selections that will offer hope to the Sequoyah community. 

Look out for more details on all these events.

The Last Week of School Events
For the last week of school we're planning a week of fun events. So far, Teddy Bear Picnic, Generations get togethers, 8th grade tributes , and class partie s are in the works. 

We'll make sure to go out with a bang!

Reports and Assessments
Teachers continue to assess work collected and offer feedback to students periodically. Please continue to submit work or encourage your student to submit work via google photos for the lowers or google classrooms for the middle and uppers. Reports will be written and shared with families over the summer that documents student growth over the year. A drop off in performance during distance learning will not be considered in the year end report, given all of the difficult circumstances that families and students are having to manage. However, feedback may be offered to support students continued growth in areas that were highlighted before distance learning began. The narrative reports will most likely be shorter in length and have a slightly different format.

Zoom opportunities to build community and support academic work

Say Hi to Betty!  Betty misses you and would love to chat. She'll be on Zoom on Thursdays from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Students, parents, faculty, and staff are all welcome to drop in to chat and catch up with her and each other.

Lunchtime Chats with Anais -  Social emotional learning specialist, Anais will start holding weekly informal lunchtime sessions on Wednesdays from 12:15-1:00 p.m. for students in the 4th-6th grades. The theme of the discussions will be friendship, personal values and any other related topics that the participants would like to discuss. Eating lunch on the call is welcome!

Optional Zoom Study Halls will be offered by daycare staff from 1:00-2:00, Monday-Thursday for students Bamboo through Egrets Perch. The purpose of study hall is to give students a space to complete school work alongside peers and an adult who could help to answer any questions they might have. There will be two different hosted Zooms for Bamboo-Backyard and Nest-Egret's Perch.

Google Hangouts
We are enabling students' google accounts to use Google Hangouts. This will allow students to conduct video calls with each other using their own accounts. Student accounts can only video call other accounts. Parents of younger students will be receiving their childrens' google logins in the next few days. 
Please see the attached slides for information about how to access Google Hangouts. 

Parent Chat Follow Up
Emily, Josh and I would like to thank all of the families that were able to come out to the academic program parent chats. If you weren't able to come, please take a look at the recorded presentation here .
We sincerely appreciate all of the appreciations and words of encouragement offered to Sequoyah teachers and staff. I would like to emphasize that the goals of our distance learning program are to: 
  • Support student social-emotional and academic growth
  • Maintaining relationships with peers and teachers and
  • Provide a sense of stability and community
If you feel like you or your child needs a break or a modified work plan for any reason, please feel free to reach out to your child's teacher and or Emily Singer so that we can offer support. We understand that different families have different needs and the most important thing during this challenging time is to take care of your mental health. 

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Emily and I have set up a link to schedule office hours with us here

I look forward to seeing you all at tomorrow's All School Meeting.
Thanks so much,

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