Letter to families:

May 6, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Grandparents of Gardner School Students,
I do hope that you are all well and finding a rhythm to home learning. Once again, it was a drastic, frantic, and unplanned change of events to our learning, but I thank you.
I have a few updates for each of you. We will not be sending out additional work. This will give your child(ren) time to catch up on missing and current assignments. We will not collect work again until May 14, which is a Thursday, not a Tuesday. Report cards will be mailed out the following week, along with a yearbook for each child. This is a gift from us this year! We wanted every child to be able to enjoy one!
 
We need each of you to be at Peakview School or Gardner School between 11:00-12:00 on May 14. At that time, we will collect any work, iPads, books, stuffed animal book bags, and basketball uniforms. If you are unable to come to one of the schools at that time, please notify me and I will arrange for a pick-up. We ask that 7/8th graders call the school to arrange a time to come clean out lockers between the 18th and 21st of May. If you are missing a child’s jacket or other valuables, phone the school and we will label it to get it back to its owner on the 14th. Teachers will also bag up students’ supplies to be picked up on the 14th.

This is teacher appreciation week, and so, I must thank each of you for taking on the job as a teacher! Applause, applause, applause! I am so sorry that this happened, but we will go down in history as the “remember those COVID 19 teaching at home days?” All I can hope for that it is a singular event, one that does not have to happen in the fall or ever again. We have taken so much for granted in our lives, and I hope that each of you is able to stay strong and continue to be proud of your kids even while being a parent and a teacher!

I will most likely not get to say goodbye to you in person and that makes me sad. Many of you know that I have been at the Gardner School from the time I turned 21, which has truly been a lifetime. I taught many of you or your siblings. The school has been my life and I am proud to say that. I know most of your children will be returning next year to the Gardner Valley School, and I wish nothing but the best for everyone involved with the new little school.
I would like to recognize the 8th graders who will be heading in many different directions: Nino Cisneros, Cole Cordova, Sofia Crosson, Trey Medina, Gabe Ortibez, Victoria Sanchez, Aiden Trujillo, and Keegan Yetter. Please watch for a newspaper profile on each of our graduates. As Principal Pam always says during farewells,  “Good Bye and Good Luck!” I wish each of you the very best.
Principal Pam

A message from Superintendent Moore:

PLEASE READ MR. MOORE’S LETTER-

Huerfano RE-1 School District

Message from Superintendent of Schools

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community members:

It is with great sadness that I announce all Huerfano RE-1 schools will be closed for in person instruction the remainder of the school year (through our last day of May 22nd) as stipulated by Governor Polis late Monday evening. We, as educators and compassionate people, are devastated that we will not have the opportunity to gather with our young people for in person instruction, celebrating end of year events or saying “goodbye” to our students. Kids, I can tell you for a fact, your teachers miss every one of you.

I know everybody entertained the hope that we could possibly resume normal instruction, events and activities in May. Unfortunately, these items will not occur. Also, to be clear, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has “canceled all performances, festivals, competitions and all athletics for the remainder of the 2020 season” , ending on June 1, 2020.

Parents and students, remote learning will continue through May 22, 2020. I ask that you please finish strong and make every effort to do the best that you can.

There are still many school related items such as: IPad return, classroom book returns, locker clean-out, outstanding fees paid etc. that will need to be addressed many of which will depend on the status of the Corona virus and regulations put in place by the Huerfano and Las Animas Health Department. We will let you know any plans considering the above-mentioned end of year items as soon as they are developed.

On a positive note, we do have plans for an alternate format of graduation on May 22nd that will be held downtown at the intersection of 5th and Main similar to a homecoming parade with recognition of each graduate and issuance of their diploma. A 2nd, more traditional graduation,  with a very limited number of guests along with extensive social distancing will be held on June 13th at the football field complex if allowed to do so by our health department at that time. These plans have not been finalized at this point yet we do know that we want to recognize our fantastic graduates with the recognition they so rightfully deserve. This will be a historic and memorable time for our seniors considering the extraordinary health crisis we are enduring. The specifics of our nontraditional and traditional graduation ceremonies will be released in due time.

This “closure” of schools will not affect our free breakfast and lunch pick-up program. This will remain available for those wanting to participate. 

All these changes to the delivery of instruction, stay at home orders, loss of income and fearing for our health and that of loved ones have been unexpected, frustrating, challenging and frightening, to say the least.

However, I know that our students, families, teachers, administrators and staff members have risen to the occasion during these most difficult times.

I, personally, want to thank everyone for your flexibility, patience, understanding, thinking safety first for all our community and your continued support.

May you all remain positive, safe and healthy!

With kindness and respect,

Michael J Moore

Superintendent/Huerfano Re-1

CLICK BELOW TO OPEN THE DOWNLOAD:

school closure parent letter

Thanks, PL

Some Fun at Home

“Everything can be taken from us but one thing: the freedom to choose our attitude in any given circumstances” -V. Frankl. When my children were teens, I can’t remember how often I had to remind them by saying, “You are in charge of your attitude.” Sometimes I had some eye-rolling in return, but the phrase has stayed with them.

Going about schooling your children at home if a huge task, not to be taken lightly, but it can work. Reach out to your children’s teachers. They will return your calls and are just as upset that your children are not currently learning within the school as you are. If you see your children reaching a frustration point, take a break. Teachers use all sorts of brain breaks that include physical tasks throughout the day. Do not expect perfection or that your children will learn a concept the first time.
Try to make positive memories out of a tough situation. There is plenty to do in addition to the school work. Here is a list of some fun home-bound activities that you may not have thought about to encourage creativity in youngsters:
play a game of hide-and-seek
create recitals, performances, or skits for the whole family to watch
build a backyard fort, a tent made from sheets, or use all those Amazon boxes to create a fortress
get out some cards and play Hearts or learn a magic trick
plant some seeds and soon you will be able to transplant them to the outdoors
go on a backyard scavenger, treasure hunt, or search for new daily signs of spring
search the internet for sites (there are many that you no longer have to pay for since the quarantine)- try Lunch Doodles with Mo WIlliems, my favorite
take a virtual tour around the world: there are train rides and museums. You can watch a released Broadway show or a concert
write a letter to a neighbor, a grandparent, or a long-lost friend
keep a journal of events during the stay-at-home order or make a time capsule. You and your children are living through a historical time
learn to bake some cookies
leave a bouquet of wildflowers as a May Day treat on a neighbor’s porch
have a virtual game night
celebrate Earth Day by using recycled materials to make art
hold a family dance party
fingerpaint with chocolate pudding, shaving cream, make some playdough or slime
Tune into Dolly Parton online reading children’s books each Thursday night
go through old photo albums and share stories about some pictures
get some face paint and perform a circus act
or snuggle up with a kitty and read a book

There is so much that you can create with your children so that when they look back on the time that they couldn’t go to school, they will recall the family-time as pleasurable.

Stay well,

Principal Pam

50th EARTH DAY

This coming Wednesday, April 22 is Earth Day. If you would like to help with our annual highway cleanup, borrow some vests and pick up some garbage bags from the Gardner School when we distribute lunches on Tuesday from 11:00-12:00. Anyone can stop by. Thanks!

Updates from Principal Pam

Greetings to all of the Gardner School Parents,

I keep getting many positive updates from the staff that most of the students and parents are taking advantage of the open hours to speak with staff and that more and more students are logging in to the prerecorded class videos and/or the zoom lessons.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any frustration that you may be having and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. The Gardner School phone dials directly into my home line, so do not hesitate to call the Gardner School at 746-2446.

Most teachers are contacting each of their students prior to the live lessons, and we hope that you are blocking out time to participate. Your children will be more successful with their lessons if they attend the classes. The schedules are as follows:

Kindergarten with MS Pagnotta-                   prerecorded lessons to access at any time

First Grade with MS Jody-                            prerecorded lesson
Second Grade Reading with Pam-               Google Meet Thursday 2:00, with the ability to view the meeting later
First and Second grade with Ms Jody-         Google Hangout Wednesday 11:00

Third  Grade with Ms Camilla-                      open hours for email/remind  zoom 10:00-11:00 Monday
Fourth Grade with Ms Camilla-                     open hours for email/remind and zoom  11:00-12:00 Monday
Third and Fourth Grade with Ms Camilla-      zoom 10:00-12:00 Wednesday

Fifth and Sixth Grade with Ms Hanlon-         scheduled appointments M-TH,/ google hangout 9:00-10:00 Tuesday  

FIfth and Third Grade with Ms Tanzy-           Monday 9:00-10:00 google hangout  for reading
Fifth grade with Ms Tanzy-                           Prerecorded Reading lessons through Google Classroom
7th and 8th Grade with Mr. Vialpando-        open hours for text/email, zoom 1:00 Tuesday
5th-8th Grade with Mr. Crosson-                open office hours email, prerecorded weekly lessonsESS with Ms Fogel-                        open office hours phone 1:00-4:00
7th Grade Geography Ms Fogel.                 zoom 3:00 Thursday
8th Grade Civics Ms Fogel                         zoom 2:00 ThursdayCounseling with Mr. Bobian-                       Will respond M-F when you reach out on Google Classroom

If you phone the school and no one is available, the calls get transferred to my home line. Call anytime between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Here are some links that you may find useful:

webpage for resources on COVID-19 and staying physically and emotionally healthy at home.

And here are top tips for at-home learning:
Maintain a schedule
Motivate your students
Communicate with multiple tools
Choose the best tools, and stay with them!
Support independent learning
Recognize the emotional impact of the pandemic and lack of social interaction

I hope that you and your children are making the best of a tough situation. Try to make time for a lot of breaks so that your children will find success, and when you notice your child is frustrated, put the work away for a while. I hope that this helps. I look forward to hearing from you.

All my best,

Principal Pam