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Weekly Wednesday Update April 15

Hello SES Community,

Welcome to week three of Distance Learning! We hope all is well and that you and your student have been able to get into a new groove. Please know that teachers are working hard to adapt too and they are willing to support students in any way possible; reach out if you need support!  Below are a few logistical updates we want to make sure you know about.

Attendance: 

It is very important each student login to Schoology EACH DAY to indicate they are “present” for attendance. This is how the Minnesota Department of Education is able to count these days as actual school days. You will receive an automated message if your student didn’t check in. If they are sick one day and not able to login, please call the attendance line at (952) 431-8750 to report their absence.

Spring Conferences: 

Next week, if the building was open, we would be having spring parent/teacher conferences… but alas it is not. Please know that we still value the opportunity to connect and communicate regarding students’ successes and challenges. Instead of meeting in person, you can expect an email from each of your student’s teachers that will briefly give you an idea of  what content and big projects they have covered so far, as well as what you can expect coming up. If you have specific questions for your student’s teachers, as always, please reach out and they are happy to schedule a Zoom call, email, or phone call.

SES Earth Day Celebration:

We are excited for Earth Day next week. In fact, we have a group of teachers and seniors who are working hard to offer fun Distance Learning activities to still celebrate in true SES fashion!  Stay tuned for more details!

Spring Intensive Theme:

We have had to make the difficult decision to cancel Spring Intensive Theme. While we don’t know yet if we will be back at school in May, we do know we will not be ready to pull off a successful Intensive Theme, given the current circumstances.  Therefore, classes will continue as normal throughout the rest of the trimester and we will not pause to do any Intensive Theme classes. We know there are some seniors who need a PE credit to graduate and were planning on taking it during this Intensive Theme. Please don’t worry! Mr. Nelson will reach out to those students/families specifically and help them through an Independent Study class to ensure their progress towards graduation isn’t interrupted.  As you can imagine, we are as disappointed as you.

Please continue to be safe and take care of one another. We are here if you need us.

 

Highlights from SES Distance Learning

In true SES fashion, teachers and students are connecting as a community to learn and support each other. At the junior end of the building students have shared their distance learning work spaces to show how they are developing routines and structures to support their engagement. 

There have also been Pod Zoom meetings to touch base, and share learning.  This week they shared how things are going, questions and one positive thing about quarantine. (At the top of the list… more sleep and spending time with family and pets… they are actually getting bored of video games and miss school!!) Many students have also been using Zoom to get help on assignments from teachers and AVID tutors and, coming soon, they will be doing Zoom discussions on Things Fall Apart as part of their Imperialism unit. 

And, as we have been moving into spring (ok, maybe not this week so much) the students have started heading outside to make phenology observations. (Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.) This has been a popular assignment as it gets everyone away from their desks and screens and out into nature. 

 

SES School Spirit Challenges via FlipGrid!

During this time of distance learning and socially distancing, we need something to bring us back together.  And so we have for you… SES SPIRIT DAYS!! Every Wednesday during distance learning (and maybe a few bonus days here and there) we will be having themed dress-up days to keep ourselves connected within the SES community, even though we are all so far away.

We have created a Flip Grid to share our school spirit within our school community. The more students participate the better chance they have to win fabulous SES Merch… yep drawings and prizes!!  And, every week, we will pick some of our favorite participants to highlight through SES Social Media.   

Students should watch for the announcement of these SES School Spirit Challenges every Wednesday (and keep an eye out for bonus days too) via Updates to the SES Juniors 19-20 group or SES Seniors 19-20 group in Schoology.  The Update will include the link to a new Flip Grid Topic where you can post a mini-video of yourself showing your SES School Spirit! (Bonus points if you involve your family and/or pets in the videos :) #SESCommunitySpirit

Today’s Challenge… Western Walkin’ Wednesday!

 

SES Community Fun through Social Media

Don’t forget to stay connected to the SES community through social media.  Connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see cool things organized by members of our SES community. One new and super exciting thing to check out is the student created Instagram SES2020SENIORS to honor our 2020 graduating class. 


Notes on Tech Issues and Support:

As we have been working with students on iPad issues, many have been cleared up by one of the following:

  • Updating the iPad’s operating system in Settings
  • Updating the app that has been the issue by reinstalling it in Self Service (student App Store). The most common apps in need of an update are Schoology, Drive, Docs, and Notability.
  • Restarting the iPad by turning it off completely and then back on

iPad Tech Tip

Since students are doing more on their iPads with Distance Learning, they may find it helpful to split the screen or float apps on top of each other. Here is a video short on one way to make this happen.

Video Conferencing Update

Zoom is back with the added security of passwords and a waiting room feature.

Support structures in place for distance learning:

Reminders worth being repeated:

  • Schoology has been working better in a browser {school.district196.org} than on the App.
  • While working with the district tech people, we have found out that if you have Charter/ Spectrum internet there is an issue with the two programs working together. Please use the Home Internet Browsing Issue Workaround Directions document to help alleviate this issue. 

 

Mental Health Resources

Our school mental health staff continue to be available during this time of distance learning. If you have concerns about your student’s mental health, ask if they would be open to talking with Mrs. Cairns (School Psychologist), Mr. Nelson (School Counselor) or Nurse Jenni via phone, text, email or video conferencing. We also have therapists we can refer to that are doing therapy on-line. Please contact: terri.cairns@district196.org , Nathan.nelson@district196.org  or jenni.greseth@district196.org.

 

Notes from Counselor Nelson

AP Testing:

In the 4/8 Weekly Wednesday Updates we included a summary of the changes made by The College Board regarding students' ability to take AP Exams at home. Students and families are highly encouraged to visit theAP Coronavirus Updates page. This page contains details including: the dates for each exam, how exam administration will be structured, and specifics about the types of question(s) that each exam will ask. 

If you have any questions about AP testing, please ask your AP teacher or the SES AP Coordinator, Nathan Nelson. We appreciate all of your flexibility and understanding as we work through this unique time.

SES Senior Scholarships:

There are eight scholarships available and the application deadline is Friday, May 1. For your reference, the application process is outlined in the 4/8 Weekly Wednesday Updates.

SES Foundation:  Five - $1000 scholarships for SES seniors

Flint Hills Discovery: Two - $2500 scholarships for SES seniors

Fairview Ridges:  One - $1500 scholarship for a SES senior

Criteria: 

Each applicant will be evaluated on: academics, activities, community service, and leadership. To be eligible for the Flint Hills scholarship, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.6 and have plans to pursue a career in a math or science related field.  Applicants should also have experience in leadership and entrepreneurialism.