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Tuesday Talk with Dr. Dain - October 6, 2020

Greetings Pirate Nation!

I don’t know about you, but this crisp, fall weather has been a nice renewal for my soul and a reminder to my brain to get outside and allow Mother Nature to share her healing powers!  And the Chiefs victories sure help too!  Please find below some district news, updates and reminders that I hope you will find helpful.

Piper Prairie Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

The Piper School District is proud to announce that Piper Prairie Elementary School is one of the country's 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020! The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
 
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students  master challenging and engaging content.
 
About the special recognition, Piper Prairie's principal Bilee Jo Grable said, "We are a uniquely powerful school that capitalizes on community support, inclusion, and parent involvement. Our students are at the center of everything we do. This award couldn't have come at a better time to honor the continued hard work of our students, staff, families, and community."

Aristotle Insight:  Keeping Students Safe Online During Class Time

Our district has recently implemented a new piece of software that helps our teachers with classroom management and ensures students’ internet safety in the current hybrid environment. Aristotle Insight K12 allows teachers to make sure students are maintaining focus from remotely through real-time viewing of student screens, browser tab control, and highlighting off-task students for the teacher. It also gives the teachers the opportunity to block and allow websites needed for class and creates real-time alerts of dangerous behaviors. Student monitoring is limited to the duration of the class period, and no more than 90 minutes per class. We believe this resource is critical to ensuring student safety and success in our current learning environment. 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Just a reminder that Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held October 28-30 in a virtual environment. Look for detailed schedule information coming soon from your child's school and teacher.

Below is some information one of our administrators shared regarding parent preparation for Conferences.  I thought it was helpful information and wanted to pass on to the community at large.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will look a little different, but how you prepare for them is not, as they provide great insight into your child's progress and are a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the parent/teacher relationship. In order to get the most out of this brief encounter, we encourage parents to consider these four important points:

1. Before you video conference, please be prepared.
While teachers are the "main event" at conference time, your role as the parent is no less vital. To prepare for the meeting, make sure you have all the right documents in front of you at your computer or device.

2. When the time arrives, please be there on time. 
Attending the conference is essential to building the relationship with your child’s teacher and maintaining lines of communication. By arriving on time, you communicate to teachers that you respect and appreciate their time. Keep in mind you are not the only parent with whom the teacher is meeting—try to stay within your allotted conference time. You can always schedule a follow-up phone call or check-in if needed.

3. Plan for the future: please keep the lines of communication open. Arrange a way to communicate going forward. Ask whether the teacher’s preferred method of communication is phone calls, e-mails, or continued meetings. If you want to monitor certain behaviors or skill development for your child, set a future check-in point. For example, “Let’s all encourage Johnny to e-mail his teacher for math support if he does not understand the assignment this week. Why don’t we check in again on Monday for an update?”

4. Don't forget to CELEBRATE!
 Hybrid & Remote learning is new for teachers, parents, and students so celebrate your success in this brave new world!

Remote Learning Assurances

Please remember that we need all families to complete the “one-time” remote learning assurances found in Skyward!  The form should take parents less than 60 seconds to complete!  We appreciate your family completing the form at your earliest convenience!  Our state due date is October 16th, so we truly appreciate your quick responsiveness in this matter!

Piper Portrait of a Graduate

Calling ALL Pirates!  Every school system is unique, but they are connected by a shared aspiration: that all students have an educational experience preparing them to be effective lifelong learners and contributors.

Now more than ever, that experience must not only provide for the acquisition of rigorous academic content, but it must also be more intentional about fostering critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and other 21st century skills our young people need to thrive in this complex, rapidly changing world.

We will be asking the Piper Community to come together to help us create our Portrait of a Graduate.  The meeting dates are below:

  • October 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 via Zoom
  • November 18th from 6:30 to 8:30 via Zoom

We need YOU!  Please consider joining this community task force to help us develop our future graduates. Additionally, if you know someone who needs to be involved in this work, please complete the link below and I will be in touch soon with next steps! 

https://forms.gle/so612UuakhYqUFBP9

COVID-19 Family Reminders

Just a quick reminder that if in the unfortunate case a parent exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting test results, children in the same home need to be quarantined/excluded from school until the parent’s test results are received.  This type of vigilant attention to the health and well-being of others keeps our school communities safe!  Thank you for your assistance.

Remote Learning Assurances

Please remember that we need all families to complete the “one-time” remote learning assurances found in Skyward!  The form should take parents less than 60 seconds to complete!  We appreciate your family completing the form at your earliest convenience!  Our state due date is October 16th, so we truly appreciate your quick responsiveness in this matter!

Calling all Substitute Teachers!

Becoming a substitute teacher is a great way to have an impact on your community, and we are always looking for great substitutes to join our team! To apply, click here. Substitute pay is $110/day for emergency substitutes or $120/day for fully licensed teachers.

Anyone with at least 60 hours of college credit is eligible to apply for an emergency substitute license in the state of Kansas. For more information about how you can apply, click here.

Parent “Technology Help” on District Webpage

Want to log into your child’s Canvas account? Your student can’t remember how to log into Skyward? Just need some technology help?  Please check out Under the Parent Tab a page on called “Technology Tips and Support” that can help parents!  See Link Here: https://www.piperschools.com/Page/530

Proud to be a Pirate,

Dr. Jessica Dain

Superintendent