School Newsletter
April 17, 2020
Principal's Page
Dear Presentation Families,

I hope the “shelter in place” is improving as everyone adjusts to this new normal. Know that we continue to pray for all of you and for the day when we return to school to teach, learn, and to play at recess. Hot lunch never sounded so good. Miss you Mrs. Bradshaw!

This week I participated in a webinar that showcased best practices for the rollout and delivery of Distance Learning. The presenter had researched common practices and routines being implemented across the state and then showcased them in an effort to validate what Catholic Schools were doing and what they could aspire to. There were common practices when it came to mindsets, Learning Management Systems (LMS), communication, virtual instruction, learning activities, assessment, and resources.   

First, they wanted us to acknowledge that everyone from homes and schools were thrust into emergency distance learning and that it was not in any way easy. As a result we need to give ourselves grace and give grace to others. Next, they highlighted the need for a mindset of support for kids, teachers, and for families. It was noted that limited social interaction is a hardship for all as well as a gap that we should try to fill.

When it came to highlighting the most commonly used LMS or platforms, I was pleased to learn that Presentation had adopted those most commonly used. They noted that for K-2, you want a system that kids and adults can navigate with ease but by the time you get to grades 3-5, the kids should utilize the system more independently. Grades 6-8 should be able to navigate the system by themselves. Given that our school already used a blended learning model of 1:1 computing on Chromebooks along with teacher-led instruction in grades 6-8, that independence was duly noted.  

They then highlighted the need for communication with families and students on a weekly basis. Schools were using all-school newsletters for “big picture” messaging and weekly/daily communications from teachers that showcase weekly assignments, emails to parents, etc. Our Facebook page featured a Daily Schedule for the second graders. Have you ever heard of asynchronous vs. synchronous opportunities? Well, asynchronous opportunities may be recorded audio/video messages through the LMS that students can access anywhere and at any time. Synchronous opportunities on the other hand are “live” opportunities like teacher office hours where families/teachers can reach out for 1:1 communication or “Touch In Tuesdays” where MS students and their teacher meet via Google Meets.
 
It is so interesting that asynchronous and synchronous opportunities are also employed for virtual instruction. Asynchronous is considered the most effective for distance learning because it is more equitable in terms of technology access, accessibility at any time, and taking into account the various routines at home (e.g. parents working from home, Tier 1 and 2 essential workers, kids in daycare settings, etc.). I know one Presentation grandma noted that she cannot help her students with this distance learning stuff so they study at night and on weekends. Synchronous opportunities, however, can be used for small groups, discussions, read alouds, games, scavenger hunts, or Q and A sessions. It was noted that real time “live” teaching was not effective due to the inability to manage the students as you would in a classroom. Some schools started distance learning using real time teaching but have since dropped it. Therefore, while asynchronous instruction is most reliable for instruction, synchronous opportunities can be purposeful and engaging for check-ins, small groups, socialization, or unique help. Our K-4 teachers are exploring ways to roll out some synchronous opportunities very soon and Middle School plans to expand their offerings.
Please stay tuned next week as we showcase common, state-wide practices for virtual learning activities and assessment. Our thanks to Peter Stokes at Tierney Brothers for supplying the research noted above.

Panther Pride!

Mary Kane, Co-Principal
Distance Learning Update - IXL

This week we rolled out the IXL Diagnostics in Reading and Math. It required the students to answer questions that increased and decreased in rigor depending on their responses. The Diagnostic would then provide a baseline on the proficiency and mastery of standards and skills. It is not a test, rather a program that will provide supplemental practice in Math and ELA. For some this process went well, and for others it was frustrating. There were some nuances that were not covered in the training we attended on Holy Thursday. For example, who would have thought that they would roll out Math and ELA questions at the same time. Yes, there was a work around as Cole would say, but not everyone realized that when watching the start-up video. Also, while the training noted the Diagnostic would take 45-60 minutes in each subject, it did not indicate that the questions would continue to populate and that you had to scroll down and see the circle with a star in it to know you completed enough questions. As they noted in the Tierney webinar referenced above, we need to give ourselves grace and beg you for forgiveness. Our hearts were in the right place but truly the tech was not. The teachers are eager to have this baseline data as they plan for the next month of teaching and learning, so thank you for persevering! We are all in this together! Know that currently, we do not have any plans to roll out another school- wide program/platform. Thank you Jesus! 

  Registration for 2020-21: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Dear parents:

I know that there are many difficult decisions going on within the family during these trying times. We, the principals, are reaching out to you to help you in deciding to register your child(ren) for the coming school year.

The following is the most current information about registering for school year 2020-21: There is no deadline date to register and the registration fee has been waived for the coming school year.

We also asked TADS not to apply any late fee for payments this year.  Please register as soon as possible so that the school budget can be finalized and tuition assistance can begin to be given to families that have a need.

We want to remind everyone that before any assistance can be given, parents must have a signed agreement. Registering and completing an agreement now helps in determining final student numbers and provides us with the amount of tuition assistance needed by families. Having that information ensures that a fair and equable distribution of financial aid can be achieved.

Thank you in advance for registering you child(ren). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. It is our desire to assist you in anyway that will help you in registering for the coming school year.

Register today!! It provides us with much needed information to answer questions concerning the 2020-21 school year so that we can continue to serve Presentation School to the best of our ability.

Please keep yourself and families safe and know that you are in our prayers.

Gary and Mary
 
Please register now at  https://www.mytads.com .
Presentation's 4th Annual Beer Bust!!!


Please note that the 4 th Annual Beer Bust has been postponed.
The new date has yet to be determined but we will announce it as soon as we know.
If you have already purchased tickets, just hang on to them as they will still be valid for the rescheduled date!

Coronavirus Info

Please click here for helpful information on the coronavirus outbreak and helpful preventative tips.
Reminder for Box Tops collectors! The Box Tops for Education program is transitioning into a digital-only format. Box Tops is changing to fit today's families. The new and improved Box Tops mobile app uses state-of-the-art technology to scan your store receipt, find participating products and instantly add Box Tops to your school's earnings online.
Visit their  website to learn more and download the app today!

Please note that if you would prefer not to install the app once the program is fully digital you can still raise money for Presentation. Simply turn your receipts into the school office noting that they are for the Box Tops Program and we will scan them for you!
Have some Box Tops that you have clipped? Attach them to this fun collecting sheet and turn them in!
The Old Box Tops Clips

Traditional Box Tops clips are being phased out of production, but may continue to be found on many products throughout the store. You can still clip and send them to school.
Every valid Box Tops clip is worth 10¢ for your school.  Make sure each one has a clearly visible product acronym and expiration date.
The New Box Tops Labels

Eventually the Box Tops program will become digital-only. Participating brands are starting to change their packaging from a traditional Box Tops clip to the new Box Top label.
If you see this label, use the new Box Tops app to scan your receipt. Box Tops are still worth 10¢ each for your school. The app will find participating products purchased at any store and instantly add cash to your school's earnings online.
Please keep your lunch account current.
Log into:

All money for lunch accounts must now be entered online, cash or checks will no longer be accepted.

Please contact the school office if you are having trouble logging in.
SPORTS
4HG SPORTS CAMPS ARE HERE!

4HG is excited to announce our summer camps for 2020! Open to 3rd - 8th graders, our second annual "Faith and Football Camp"  returns August 4 - 6, 2020 to be held daily from 9:00 - 3:00 at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton, Minnesota.  Only 100 spots available! Discounted camp fee: $99*

​In addition to our hallmark football camp, 4HG will host a "Faith and Volleyball Camp"  July 13 - 15 to be held daily from 9:00 - 3:00 at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. The camp is open to 4th - 8th graders and is limited to the first 125 students to register.  Discounted camp fee: $149*

​Also new this year is our 4HG "Faith and All Sports Camp" to be held at Mendakota Park in Mendota Heights. This twice weekly camp will be held on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, June 9 - July 30. Registration is open to the first 200 students in grades 3 - 8.  Camp fee: $349

Register with confidence! If for any reason the 4HG Summer Camps must be cancelled, you will receive a full refund.

All camps are co-ed and include a camp t-shirt and assorted 4HG swag. During each camp, student-athletes will not only develop skills to help them on the field, they will have multiple opportunities to listen to inspiring mentors and to practice their Faith, which will help them grow closer to God and excel in life. Registration is as simple as clicking here! Register soon to secure your child's spot!
*If you are a Catholic United Financial Member or would like to learn more about CUF, you qualify for a $50 discount on this camp!

Our school participates in 4HG (For His Glory), a movement to create a healthy sports culture in our Catholic schools. To learn more about 4HG and its essential mission, please sign up for the quarterly newsletter by visiting www.4HG.co/in-the-news.
Looking Ahead
Our Mission: The purpose of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School is to provide a Catholic community that fosters the religious and academic development of the individual student in a safe and welcoming learning environment.
Our Philosophy: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School creates a supportive Catholic community committed to the Gospel message that calls us to faith, service, and worship. An environment of respect, peace and justice fosters an appreciation of God’s gift of life in all people. Each student is empowered to develop their own potential, which will lead to excellence in academics, athletic activities and the fine arts.