SRES Principal Announcement

SRES Principal Announcement
Posted on 10/09/2020
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Updated October 9, 2020

Are we building a sense of belonging for our students? In Native American and First Nations cultures, significance was nurtured in communities of belonging. Lakota anthropologist Ella Deloria described the core value of belonging in these simple words: “Be related, somehow, to everyone you know.” Treating others as kin forges powerful social bonds that draw all into relationships of respect.

In the classroom, we believe ensuring a sense of belonging for each student is critical for success. As many educational institutions around the globe are undergoing, extending, or planning closures due to COVID-19, half of the world’s student population is unable to attend school. Educators face the challenge of teaching remotely at an unprecedented scale, and in most cases, for the first time.

At Salt River Elementary School, we’ve developed a new initiative to connect with students, especially during distance learning. Welcome to TEAM Up, where students are randomly grouped with an SRES staff member who will connect with them via mail, email, phone call, Class Dojo posts, and more! Sometimes all it takes is a simple, “Hello. How are you today?” to check in and remind your child they belong to our school family and help them feel a sense of connectedness to their school.

TEAM (Teach Empower Affirm Mentor) Up is meant to show our genuine care for students and provide interaction between school and home that’s not focused on academics or attendance. Soon, your child will receive a postcard in the mail from their TEAM Up leader. If your child does not receive it, please call 480-362-2430 to verify we have the correct address on file.

We cannot wait to see you face-to-face. In the meantime, let’s TEAM Up!

Your Principal, Amanda Guerrero, Ed.D.

This message was adapted from here and here.


Update from September 21, 2020

Salt River Elementary School is requesting waivers, pursuant to section 1.2 of Title 25 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), of the 25 C.F.R. subchapter E regulatory requirements enumerated below on behalf of SRES for the fall semester of school year 2020-2021 as part of the school's efforts to ensure that a quality education will be provided for the students served at our school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SRES is requesting these waivers, because the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has rendered traditional educational methods impractical or potentially injurious to the health and safety of students, families, and educators.

This post is required by federal law. For a full list of requested waivers, please read the following: 

Questions? Please call SRES Principal Dr. Amanda Guererro at 480-362-2400 or send her an email.


Update from September 1, 2020

Greetings! Ske:g Taş! For those new to our school, my name is Amanda Guerrero, and I am the proud principal of Salt River Elementary School. This is my fifth year as SRES principal and I am blessed to serve this great Community. Even though we have had to begin school via distance learning, SRES is focused on providing quality education to our students. I could not be any prouder of our teachers and staff in how they have viewed this unprecedented time as an opportunity for growth. They have been working diligently to prepare weekly lessons, integrate technology, and communicate with our families.

STUDENT WORK PACKETS
Student work packets are available for pick up by families at the parking lot in front of the school off of Center Street every Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. When you pick up your child’s new packet, please drop off their completed work from the previous week so it can be graded. If you are unable to pick up your student’s work packet, it will be mailed home on Wednesday (but this gives your student less time to complete it!).

STUDENT ATTENDANCE
While learning at home, your child’s attendance is crucial to their learning and mastery of classroom objectives. We are still accountable for meeting state learning standards and requirements. Please ensure your child is logged on by 9 a.m. so their attendance is counted for the day and they participate in classroom learning. If your child is unable to attend classes for any reason, please call 480-362-2467 to report the absence.

We thank you for your patience during these new times full of both challenges and opportunities. We hope this time of distance learning allows us to safely return to campus and be together more quickly—thank you for keeping yourselves safe and healthy. I would also like to thank our dynamic teachers for their dedication to this profession. They have worked extra hours in developing online content and packets for our students. I would also like to thank our families and Community for their collaboration and continual support. It is essential that we work as a team for the success of our students!

Wishing you well!

Your Principal,

Amanda Guerrero, Ed.D.

Tips for Teaching and Learning at Home
We are living through an unprecedented time in our Community right now. Our children are learning how to handle it by watching us. Showing that we support them in their academic journey and that learning continues through times of crisis is a life lesson they will hold onto for a very long time. Below are some tips for facilitating learning at home.

  1. Provide a Dedicated Space for Learning: Find a dedicated space in your home that is free from distractions for your child to work in. This space should be as calming and as quiet as possible for them to focus and learn. In my home, this is in the living room coffee table or at the kitchen table. The TV is off, the cell phone is put away and the children wear headphones to block out the sounds of other siblings.
  2. Keep a Schedule: Keeping a consistent schedule for your child during this time is essential. School begins at SRES at 7:45 AM. Build consistency for your child so they are used to the schedule at school once it is safe to return. Lunch typically occurs for forty minutes between 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Include lunch, break times, snack times and even send them outside for recess if feasible. Children are typically resilient and will adjust to the schedule.
  3. Mistakes Are Okay: Mistakes encourage inquiry and should be a learning opportunity, not a penalty. Everyone makes them, even teachers, and it is perfectly okay. Do not get upset with yourself or your child if mistakes happen. This is a great time to set the example for your child on how to overcome a mistake and show them how you work through a setback. That is how we learn!
  4. Communicate: Communicate with the school, your child's teacher, and your children. This is one of the most important keys to your child’s success as they learn from home. Your child’s teacher is there to support and guide, so it is okay to rely on her and any learning tools they give you. The teacher is there for support. She wants your child to succeed. Please reach out with any issues, difficulties, or concerns you may have through Class Dojo, email or phone call. Rely on their expertise to create the most effective and positive routine for home learning. We will soon implement Microsoft Teams so that teachers and students can interact through video conferencing. Stay up-to-date with the class expectations, assignment details, due dates and class times to keep things going smoothly and keep your child’s academic progress moving forward.
  5. Take a Break: You are not expected to sit with your child at a desk or table for seven hours and put on a full day of school. Let yourself and your child have a break. Know that it will not be the same as learning at school, but that it will still be valuable learning time with your child, supporting their future. Their teachers are setting the plans, expectations, and assignments; your job is to support your child in meeting those plans, expectations, and assignments.

Adapted from an article on ourcommunitynow.com


Update from July 22, 2020
We hope this message finds you and your family well. School begins remotely for our students on Monday, August 3. Your student’s teacher will reach out to you to introduce themselves and let you know what to expect. During the initial remote phase, work packets and materials will be mailed home to each student. We need your help to ensure the work is completed, as it will be collected and evaluated for progress based on grade-level standards, as well as documented on student report cards.

If you have yet to return your student’s enrollment packet, please visit our website to print one out, which you can turn in by using the lockbox in front of SRES. Everyone who submits completed enrollment paperwork will be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes, including tablets, gift cards, games, and more! If you have enrollment-related questions, please call Ms. DeClay at 480-362-2430.

Our site leaders have created a safe and effective plan to eventually reopen our school to staff and students, which the Education Board will soon review. Additionally, Salt River Schools recently launched a survey to gain insight on the effectiveness of remote learning and its impact on students and families. Please visit www.SaltRiverSchools.org to take the survey, which will help guide education-related decision making.

At this time, we are researching three learning options:

  • Remote: With this plan, every student will be issued a tablet or laptop, as well as a mobile hotspot, if needed. Teachers will provide classes virtually (on a computer) to students at home using an approved Learning Management System for students in pre-K through sixth grade.
  • On-Campus: This plan would be as close to a “normal” school environment as possible. The health and safety of all stakeholders is our primary concern. In addition to procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we will have extra hand washing stations, cleaning supplies, and we will establish updated protocols for our Health Office. Upon reopening, SRES will undergo daily deep cleaning, facemasks will be mandatory, and there will be an abundance of hand sanitizer. Passing periods and lunch times will be staggered to ensure social distancing, and we will work to incorporate recommendations from federal, state, and Community officials as they become available.
  • Hybrid: This plan offers both on-site and remote learning to reduce the number of students on campus each day.

The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. Regardless of the plan we proceed with, our staff is prepared to quickly modify our approach should the need arise. I am available Monday through Friday by phone (please leave a voicemail) or email to address any of your questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Wishing you well,

Amanda Guerrero, Ed. D
Salt River Elementary School Principal
480-362-2400 | Amanda.Guerrero@saltriverschools.org

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