March 15, 2021
Dear Pond Cove Families,
Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for March 24. All families will be offered a conference on or around that date. Your child’s teacher will contact you soon to schedule an appointment if they have not already done so. All conferences will be held remotely via Zoom. As a staff, we greatly value this time to connect with each of you and discuss your child’s social/emotional well-being and current level of academic performance.
The purpose of the upcoming conference is to celebrate your child’s progress up to this point in the year and set goals for further growth. However, I anticipate that many of you may have questions about current school logistics and/or future operations at Pond Cove. My hope is that the question and answer section below addresses questions pertaining to the school so that you can use your conference time productively.
Question: Has the hybrid/fully remote programming impacted the school’s ability to cover some content areas or specific learning targets within content areas?
Answer: Yes, we have found the need to prioritize content this year. The bullets below provide a general summary.
We are prioritizing instruction in reading, writing, and math while operating within a hybrid/fully remote instructional model.
All grade level teams report that they will cover most and in some cases, all of the standards they would cover in a typical year in reading, writing, and math. However, fewer skills will be formally assessed than in a typical year.
Grade levels are covering fewer topics in science and are not teaching topics to mastery. Science is not being formally assessed this year.
Grade levels are covering fewer topics in social studies and are not teaching topics to mastery. Social studies will not be formally assessed this year.
Question: Does the school have a plan for addressing unfinished student learning that potentially may exist due to prioritizing instruction this year?
Answer: Yes, all students will be formally assessed in reading, writing, and math at the end of the school year as we do every year. Kindergarten through grade 4 staff will work collaboratively to make any needed adjustments to our curriculum scope and sequence for the 2021-2022 school year based on student need. In addition, our intervention specialists and educational technicians will provide targeted support in math and literacy for students who are performing below grade level in the fall.
Question: Will Pond Cove be open to in-person learning for 100% of students for the 2021-2022 school year?
Answer: We are exploring options to safely reopen Pond Cove for 100% in-person learning. Pond Cove, like all public schools in Maine, must follow Maine DOE safety requirements. A district-level school reopening committee has been formed and has several meetings scheduled to explore ways to overcome the many barriers to reopening. Stay tuned for more updates from me, our superintendent, and our school board chair.
I hope you enjoy your upcoming parent/teacher conference.