WELCOME TO THE "O"

November 6 , 2020

Dear AWESOME Occoquan Families,

I am writing to communicate key details for the second quarter.  This letter includes critical information regarding the return of students on-site, as well as continued virtual learning, as approved by the school board on October 21st.  Read the full Board Brief HERE

Phased-In Details

Students who indicated an in-person preference or who did not select a preference will be phased in under the 50/50 model as follows:

PK/KG: November 10th

1st Grade: December 1st

2nd/3rd Grades: January 12th

4th/5th Grades: January 26th (beginning of third quarter)

Students will be assigned to a ‘House’ (T/TH or W/F or T-F or VO).  Mondays will remain virtual asynchronous learning days for all students.  Students who were attending in-person four days each week in the first quarter will continue to do so.

Emergency Cards

We have about 150 students with no emergency card on file.  Emergency cards are completed through the ‘Return to Learn’ packet in ParentVUE.  Ms. Flores and Ms. Linton are currently calling individual families who have not completed this important process.  It is critical that all students have this information updated in ParentVUE.

Daily Student Health Screening and School Health Procedures

Parents/guardians are asked to do a health screening check at home each morning prior to sending their child to school.  Students are required to wear a face covering on the bus as well as throughout the school day.  Students will be expected to physically distance from others as well as maintain proper hand hygiene throughout the day.  Signage and staff support will encourage these practices. It is important to me that returning to the school building be a positive experience for our students.  Children read our word choice and tone with great accuracy.  I am asking all adults to keep their reminders and messages positive for our Tomcats.  Please take a moment to review the important links below. 

Health Screening for Students Link

Parent/Guardian Guide to Health Protocols Link

PWCS Return to School Safely Video for Students

Face Coverings

As previously mentioned, face coverings are required while on the bus as well as at school for all staff, students, and visitors.  The face covering must be worn over the nose and mouth.  Please have your child practice wearing a mask prior to returning to the building. 

Face Covering Regulation Link

Schedules and Class Placements

With the shift to 50/50 on-site and concurrent teaching in the second quarter, KG-5th grade schedules will change beginning November 9th.  Canvas homeroom pages will be updated by Monday, November 9th.  For the second quarter, our bell times remain unchanged, 9:00AM-3:40PM.  As a reminder, K-3rd grade is phased in during quarter 2.  Fourth and fifth grades will be phased in at the beginning of the third quarter on January 26th.  When students connect from home, they can expect to see their teacher leading a lesson from within the classroom,  working with them as part of small group instruction, and even doing partner work with a peer who is in the building or working virtually once their grade level has phased in for the 50/50 model.  Our team is committed to ensuring that all students are actively engaged.  We appreciate your patience as we learn to navigate new technology as well as develop best practices for concurrent teaching.    

Technology

Each classroom will have a panoramic/tilt camera with remote control and Bluetooth headset for use during live streaming.  Additionally, once on-site, teachers may request that students bring their devices back and forth between home and school.  The PWCS Digital Equity Plan includes a device for every student K-12.  We have purchased laptop sleeves that will fit into most backpacks to help protect devices. 

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Students arriving by bus will be greeted by a staff member and dismissed in small groups by class.  We will direct them to the correct door to enter and exit.  Students arriving via our Kiss and Ride line will be welcomed by a staff member in the parking lot.  They will follow the same procedure as if they were a bus rider once they exit the vehicle.  Staff members will be stationed throughout to help all students find their correct classroom.  For dismissal during quarter 2, students who go to Kiss and Ride, or ride a day care van, will be called first.  For bus riders, teachers will walk their students through the bus loop to their bus.  This will be adjusted for quarter 3 when multiple bus runs are needed.

Breakfast and Lunch Procedures

Breakfast and lunch will be served daily.  Breakfast will be available in the lobby and monitored by staff to assist with physical distancing.  Lunch will be in the cafeteria where the students can spread our and we will only have 24 students in the cafeteria at one time. 

Reporting an Absence

Beginning in the second quarter, if your child will be absent from school, please phone the front office at 703-754-7181 or email Mrs. Linton, Occoquan's attendance secretary, at lintonal@pwcs.edu and copy the teacher.  This procedure should be followed for both in-person and virtual days.

Visitor Protocols

Occoquan will not be allowing any visitors at this time, unless there are special request approved by Central Office.  While we miss our visitors and volunteers very much, most business will continue to be conducted via video conferencing.  If you have an appointment, please call upon arrival to review the visitor attestation over the phone with our front office staff, wear a face covering, hand sanitize upon entry, and maintain physical distancing throughout your visit.  As a protection to our students and staff, on-site visitors will be kept to a minimum.

Early Pick Up

If a student needs to leave school early, we ask that parents/guardians provide prior notification, when possible, to the teacher and office staff.  This notification should include the name of the person that will be picking the student up as well as the approximate time and reason for the early dismissal. Please be sure your emergency card indicates this person has permission to pick up.  Upon arrival, they should ring the bell at door 1 and have their photo ID ready.

Daily Cleaning

Staff members recognize that daily cleaning is all of our responsibility and are committed to ensuring that our students learn in a safe environment.  Our custodial team deep cleans every evening and cleans high touch surfaces throughout the day.  Teachers have been trained in cleaning high touch surfaces within their classrooms throughout the day as well.  Curious as to what this looks like?  Watch this video to learn more. 

High Touch Surface Teacher Cleaning Video

Want to learn more about what is being done to ensure our school facilities are properly cleaned and maintained?  Visit the FAQ page and select ‘School Facilities’.

Cameras During Virtual Instruction

I want to reiterate the importance of students having their cameras turned on.  It truly makes for a more engaging experience and is an important way for teachers to gauge how their students are doing.  We understand that there may be unique circumstances preventing a student from turning on their camera and ask that parents work directly with their child’s teacher if they have a special circumstance. 

Key Contacts

Assignments/Grades/Class Schedule: Classroom teacher

Mental Health: Ms. Banach, School Counselor, at banachma@pwcs.edu or Ms. Johnson, School Counselor, at johnsoms@pwcs.edu

Attendance: Ms. Linton, Attendance Secretary and Office Secretary, lintonal@pwcs.edu.

Registration/ParentVUE: Ms. Flores, Secretary, at floresne@pwcs.edu.

Technology: Ms. Gore, Instructional Technology Coach, at goredm3@pwcs.edu or Mr. Pena, Technical Support Specialist, at penadj@pwcs.edu.

Food Services: Ms. James, Food Services Manager, at jamesoj@pwcs.edu.

Transportation: Ms. Flores, Secretary, at floresne@pwcs.edu.

Any of the above/concerns/questions/moral support/anything: Mr. Lint, Principal, at lintmp@pwcs.edu.


Red, Green, Black, and Blue.  My tribe is my crew. We are O-C-C-O-Q-U-A-N my school is a perfect 10 at The "O"!