Friday, August 13, 2021
Quote of the Week: “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.” -- Oprah Winfrey
Dear Ocean Shore Families,
Welcome to all of you, new families and returning ones! What a year 2021 has been, and it's not over yet. The delta variant promises to keep us on our toes. Education policy has changed since Tuesday and will probably change again. I invite you to take a deep breath and think about Oprah's advice. We have to look at our challenges as opportunities to practice flexibility, adaptability, and patience. It's my policy to share information when I receive it, as I understand it, and as quickly as possible. Sometimes, this means I have to follow up with changes or clarify a point that I misunderstood and communicated incorrectly. Like most administrators, I pride myself on my ability to answer questions with confidence. During this pandemic, that hasn't always been possible, and it has been humbling, to say the least. Luckily, as a former middle school teacher and current parent of a teenager, I've had lots of experience with humility and with being told that I don't know what I'm talking about! In all seriousness, I am thrilled to be returning to Ocean Shore as principal and can't wait to have this building filled with children. All of us at Ocean Shore will do whatever we can to create a safe, healthy, and loving environment so that your children can continue to grow, learn, and thrive.
Back to School Updates:
Schedule: School starts on Wednesday, August 18th at 8:22 am. The first three days of school are minimum days. The OSS bell schedule, with dismissal times for grade levels, is attached as a PDF.
Masks & Hand washing: Everyone (parents, children, staff) will wear a mask on campus, inside and outside, unless they are eating. Students will be allowed to take mask breaks when needed. An even greater emphasis will be placed on hand washing multiple times per day, and classrooms will all have working sinks. Hand sanitizer will also be available in classrooms, the MPR, and on the playground.
Pick up and Drop off: All students will enter their classrooms through the outside doors. The Edgemar and Nelson gates will open at 8:10 am. Any students who arrive before 8:10 should wait outside the gates. Teachers will be in their classrooms at 8:12 am to welcome students as they arrive. At 8:35 am, the gates will be locked and late students should come to the office. Parents WILL be allowed to walk students to their classrooms and to pick them up in the playground after school.
Lunch: Lunch will be free this year to all students. Teachers will be taking lunch count as usual, but no one will pay for their meals. The majority of students will be eating outside; some will be in the MPR so that every child has a space to sit and eat comfortably.
Back to School Night: Back to school night is on Thursday, September 2, 2021 @ 6:00 pm. The meeting will be virtual. More information to follow.
Travel: Please see the attached PDF with the CDC's travel recommendations and requirements.
Stay tuned for information about COVID-19 testing on school sites. We will be doing testing in response to positive cases but also doing screening tests. This is one of the policies that has been expanded this week and is being updated in our PSD Pandemic Framework. More information to follow.
Staffing updates: Our new teachers, Erika (2nd), Stephanie (3rd), and Bridget (4th/5th) are excited to get started and are looking forward to getting to know their students. We are still looking for a full time teacher for our special education day class, and are looking to hire a full time counselor as well.
Shout out of the week goes to all of our staff. Everyone is working so hard to get the school set up to welcome all of our students back safely. I'm so appreciative of all of them: teachers, office staff, kitchen staff, and custodians!
Additional School Business
EAT/School Garden: There is a garden clean-up scheduled for this Sunday, Aug. 15th from 10:00 to 1:00. It's an easy way to help the school and get exercise at the same time. Our garden needs you!
Flyers: PEF/Sports Basement discounts, OSS Bell Schedule, CDC Travel Recommendations, PSD School Year Calendar.
Principal of Ocean Shore. Check back here for weekly updates and messages from the principal.