Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! School looks very different this year, but we are excited to be back nonetheless. I know the first few days have been a little challenging, but I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to work out the kinks. We are committed to making this experience enjoyable and meaningful for all of our families.
We have a few new faces this year (besides my own). Please smile and say hello to Mrs. Teague our new 4th grade teacher. Mrs. Teague comes to us from Centerville and we are excited to welcome her to Mills Lawn. We have a new Instructional Aide. Mrs. Parker is a familiar face around Mills Lawn. She has worked in the building over the last few years. This year she joins our team full time. Sara Mabra, another familiar face will be joining the team as well as an Instructional Aide. Rounding out the team is Lexi Goodridge our new Building Sub. Welcome to the team!
Different from years past, all of your student’s back to school paperwork can be found online. Please take a moment to visit the district website at www.ysschools.org and click on the announcements on the top left-hand side. If you have not done so, please return the form as soon as possible. In the event of an emergency, we need to be able to contact you quickly. Updated forms help us save precious time in moments of crisis and help us communicate information more effectively. PLEASE make sure we have the most up-to-date contact information.
As you can imagine we have received quite a few phone calls over the last few days regarding tech issues. The Village as a whole has its own connectivity issues which are being amplified with parents and students all working from home. Slow connections speeds are a real issue but not one we are able to effectively resolve at a school level at this time. We do have a few tips that we would like to share that we hope will help.
• Do not keep students logged on during breaks. It might seem as an easy way to circumvent the issues of trying to get on in the first place, but in actuality, it strains the system even more.
• Close all open windows on your Chromebook.
• Make sure your child is sitting as close to the wireless router as possible.
• Disable grid view. It takes more bandwidth to show everyone’s face.
• If you are unable to connect during a live teaching session, email your child’s teacher and a link to the lesson will be sent to you that you can watch at a later time.
We are trying to address everyone’s issues in a timely manner. Please be patient with us. If your issue is specific to Abre, you can report those issues with Abre directly on the home page by clicking the question mark in the top right corner and choosing “Create Support Ticket.” Someone should get back to you within 24 hours.
Thank you again for all you have done in getting this school year off to a strong start. Together we will make this an amazing year!
Ms. Michelle Person
Ms. Denman, Mrs. Kinney, & Mrs. Turner-Smith
This month in Kindergarten we are getting to know one another and learning school-day routines. We will be developing our fine motor skills with hands-on practice and beginning to recognize letters and sounds using our kindergarten Phonics Dance. In math we will be sorting, classifying and counting numbers 0-5.
Mrs. Scavone & Ms. Simms
Thank you, first grade parents, for helping your child navigate this new virtual learning environment via ABRE. We couldn't do it without you! Some skills that we are hoping students can successfully complete independently are: mute/unmute on Google Meet, camera on/camera off on Google Meet, and joining/leaving meetings on Google Meet. Additionally, thank you parents for being close when tech issues arise these first few weeks of virtual learning. Lastly, we are asking that during breaks, students step away from their screens. It's important to give their eyes a break. Make sure to have your child listen for the signal to return to the meeting. Thank you for working with us!
Mrs. Hoover & Mrs. Mabra
Second graders are working hard to become independent online learners. We will be working on navigating Abre and Seesaw, as we continue to learn more about each other as a classroom community. In Social Studies we will be looking at Digital Citizenship and the Constitution. In Reading we will be exploring the reading components of our new reading program Ready Gen. In writing we will be working on building stamina and sentence construction. For math, we will start working towards building fluency adding and subtracting numbers up to 100.
Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Earley, & Ms. Morgan
Third Graders have been busy. We are making agreements about how to share, hand signals we will use, respecting each other's work, and special considerations for learning online. Addition and subtraction with regrouping is our first focus in Math, using tools from Eureka, such as number bonds. We will move into repeated addition and multiplication. We are learning how to use Math Charts to assess the accuracy of our computation. We are working on Digital Citizenship, applying our reading and writing skills. We also are reading a shared novel, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. This novel study integrates narrative reading and writing. We also are studying science through this novel. Learning technology tools has been very important. Examples are Jamboard, Epic Books for Kids, and Flipboard.
Mrs. Hitchcock & Mrs. Teague
Wow! What a great start to 4th grade! In ELA we started learning about Porpoises and the peril they are facing through reading a fiction narrative. We are connecting this story to Science by discussing conservation efforts that 4th graders can do daily. In Math students are learning about place value and rounding. Social Studies topics for this month are map skills and Colonial times. We're excited to continue working daily with students. Keep up the good work! Remember we can weather this storm together.
Mrs. Barclay & Ms. Lowe
We are happy to have our 2020-21 school year underway. We appreciate the patience of students and families as we venture down our virtual learning path. Academics are beginning even as we continue to build new relationships with each other. Students will begin using ALEKS, our online tutorial math program next week. This program is completely individualized and students may move through the curriculum as quickly as they wish. In the next couple of weeks, students will dive into our new ReadyGen Literacy curriculum. We will begin reading Night of the Spadefoot Toads, which also gives us a great base for our science unit on ecosystems.
Mr. Montrose & Mrs. Pettiford
In 6th grade, students are completing activities that encourage a growth mindset as well as building a safe supportive virtual learning community. Our focus question for the first two weeks of school is “How can we, as 6th grade virtual learners, build a safe, supportive classroom community? Students have also been learning how to navigate through their virtual classroom through tools such as Google Meet, Google Classroom, their Digital Schedule, and Abre. We are off to a great and are impressed by how quickly our students are learning to use these tools!
Jambo from the Music Room! Kindergarten through fourth grade musicians are hard at work learning our classroom expectations, moving, singing, and playing instruments – from our music kits or “found instruments” from household items. Using Abre Class, fourth graders are LIVE with Mrs. R on Tuesday (4H) or Thursday (4T) at 11:00 on Google Meet. Kindergarten and second grade musicians are LIVE with Mrs. R at 12:00 on their assigned music days, and first and third.
This month in Instrumental music 5th graders will be getting to know the band and orchestra instrument that they will have the option to play later this semester. They will also be taking a deeper dive into how the written language of music works. 6th grade band and orchestra will be starting their adventure on the instrument they have selected as their primary instrument from last year's trial rotations. They will have access to video lessons taught by Mr. Mayer for each song in the band and orchestra books. They will then be asked to record themselves and submit the recording through a program called "Smart Music." I will send a tutorial video about using smart music next week when I've had a few more days to work out some of the functionality.
Our MLS PE students have had a great 1st week of PE classes in our Virtual Gym! This month our students are exploring Standard 5: A physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction. Students in grades K-2 will explore how our body moves in a variety of activities. Students in grades 3-6 will continue to build our PE class culture by sharing what types of activities they enjoy, and we will begin learning about the components of fitness. Please encourage your child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day!
This quarter, Mrs. MinehART is happy to be able to meet with each of her classes, once a week. Art class in one hour, however students will be live in a Google meet together for Art class during the first half of that hour, or the second half. Those who meet during the second half will begin Art class by accessing the lesson through Abre class. The first meeting together is learning how to navigate to Art class, what the procedures and expectations are, and starting on a first Art project. The second week, students will finish the first art project, and learn how to submit a photo for Mrs. MinehART to view. September 15 is International Dot Day, so in honor of the well-loved book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, art class will be a celebration of that "holiday." A reminder that the school supply list had art supplies listed, so that students can create art at home. Plain paper and drawing/coloring materials are some basics that all students need. Contact our PTO for assistance.
Hello Mills Lawn students and families,
I am Mr. Hurwitz, and I am your librarian. In the library we work on literacy. Literacy is the ability to understand information and to share information. I will be working with students all year to help everyone be able to communicate in different ways. Since we are online, we won’t have access to our wonderful collection of books in the school library. The Greene County Public Library is open and would love to have you and your students check out books while we are schooling from home. I am happy to help with reading suggestions. I am also always happy to help with technology concerns. If you have any questions or need support, please send me an email.
Through an array of activities consisting primarily on dialogue and discussions we will focus on the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) aspect of learning through a different lens. The pandemic has had a profound impact on all of us and our young learners need a forum to share their thoughts and feelings on this new journey of learning. My role as a counselor and educator is to facilitate a safe space for our student’s that incorporates our five Skills for Life: Cooperation, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Personal Best in a welcoming environment. Since last spring and throughout the summer I have met with student’s one on one and in small group settings to provide them a more intimate setting and will continue to offer that opportunity for those that desire these informal gatherings.
We are off to a unique start to the school year where both students and teachers are learning new skills very quickly. As we all embrace a growth mindset, we can experience this moment as an exciting time full of great opportunities and future educational changes. The focus of the PBL Foundations class is to help students develop skills that encourage them to take on challenges, ask questions, and identify the drive that stems from their own curiosity. I have partnered with Agraria this year, to provide students with as many outdoor experiences as possible. Our project goal is to have students create a map of their personal outdoor space as well as study the soil, and how water impacts the space, trees, plants, mammals, insects, and birds. By the end of the year, each student will have a detailed map that documents their learning. Agraria educators and I are working very closely to expand student knowledge and understanding of their environment while encouraging critical and creative thinking. As we meet in our virtual classroom, students will have the opportunity to share their findings and support their peers in project-related decisions.