Principal's Newsletter

Bradford School

Bradford School News
April 9, 2020

“If you want your children to listen, try talking softly to someone else.”
- Ann Landers

A Kids Book About Coronavirus
• You may want to share the attached book with your child. It was written by Malia Jones, a social epidemiologist who studies how infectious diseases spread in humans. It has an easy to read bold typeface and uses kid-friendly language to explain COVID-19. When describing how the virus spreads, for example, Jones discusses how snot and spit can transmit germs, and how these germs then stick to other substances. She also addresses children’s emotions, validates their feelings of being scared, and ends with practical advice such as “Don’t pick your nose!”

Adjusting Student Workload and Assignments
• We have been hearing from many of you over the past few weeks that the workload is overwhelming, and we understand how difficult it has been to balance your own work with the need to help your children with their schoolwork. Therefore, after Spring Break, we will be making some adjustments to assignments to hopefully help reduce the stress level in your households and to help students manage their workloads more effectively. For example, all homeroom teachers will be taking a careful look at both the content and quantity of assignments; in all grades you will see an overall reduction of work posted (in some grades this will be reflected in an A day/B day schedule and in other grades there will simply be less assigned). This will be consistent among classrooms within grade levels. There will also be a reduction in what is required from related arts teachers, as we know sometimes these assignments are a challenge to complete. However, in each grade level, as well as in the related arts areas, students will be provided with an extension menu of enrichment options so that he or she may choose an optional assignment to complete if more work is sought.

• After Spring Break, the related arts schedule will be as follows: related arts teachers (with the exception of P.E.) will post assignments on alternating weeks. For the week of April 20th, Spanish, Music, and Library will post assignments. For the week of April 27th, Technology and Art will post assignments and we will continue to alternate weeks until we return to school. Again, related arts teachers will also post a menu of enrichment options in case your child would like to do more.

• Please note a change in attendance procedure moving forward. We are going to begin marking students present when they log in and answer the attendance question for the day. Going forward, attendance will be separated from work completion. However, if a student is answering the attendance question but not completing the assignments, the teacher, counselor, or case manager will reach out to you and may request a conference. You may also see a reflection in the student’s grade for that subject. We still expect every student to complete the posted assignments so that they can meet the grade level curriculum requirements and be prepared to move up to the next grade level. We appreciate your patience with us on this issue as the district has just put out this guidance.

Music Program
• As we begin to plan for the 2020-21 school year, one of our goals is to initiate a pilot band program for fourth and fifth graders. We are looking into the possibility of having participating students rent instruments and we are also looking to build our own stock of musical instruments so that every fourth and fifth grader has an opportunity to play an instrument. If you have a woodwind or brass musical instrument at home that you are not using and would be willing to donate to Bradford, we would appreciate it. We will also need “band parents” to help with the band program’s logistics and support. If you can donate an instrument or you are interested in being a band parent, please email Mr. Creekmore.

Spring Break Enrichment Ideas
• Please be sure to check out WideOpenSchool Powered by Common Sense. This website was created by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit known for rating education and entertainment content based on its suitability for kids, with help from dozens of partners. The site brings together content from a diverse group of educational companies, such as National Geographic for Kids, Khan Academy, Scholastic, Time for Kids, etc.) to help you find free, reliable educational resources and activities. Use their interactive daily schedule customized by age (may come in handy over Spring Break!), or choose from a list of virtual field trips or live virtual events like story times and concerts. You can also peruse links to materials for every school subject, all available for free and vetted by Common Sense Media. I highly recommend this site! One tip: the K-5 activities may seem a bit easy for upper grade students; so, click on the 6-12 resources to find appropriate higher level challenges.

Wishing you and your families a restful Spring Break, and all of us at Bradford extend our well wishes for a joyous Easter and Passover!

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