Friday, March 20, 2020

The Grove Grizzly
Spring Break
Our Spring Break has officially begun as of today. While our students will not be participating in Distance Learning throughout this week, I also recognize that families cannot partake in many activities or plans that they typically would do during one of our breaks. As a result, Mrs. Corey and I have been planning some fun activities/challenges that I will push out to our families Monday-Friday of next week for you to engage in if you wish. Also, many publishers and authors have provided permission for educators to read aloud their books during this period of Distance Learning, so I will be reading a book aloud to students throughout the week to keep them engaged in listening to a story, just as we did during our Family Reading Program. The links for students to listen to the story will be provided in the Grizzly email blast to parents or links to students on SeeSaw and Schoology, as this is a resource that is meant just for our student body.
Please be sure to also follow the guidelines for social distancing sent by Dr. Harris throughout the Spring Break. We all have a responsibility to keep each other healthy in hopes to get back to school, work, and our regular schedules in the near future.
Distance Learning
Thank you to all of our families, students, and staff for a successful first week of Distance Learning. While it has definitely been a shift in how we typically operate, our students and staff did an amazing job transitioning to a new way of learning and our parents were so supportive of both students and staff!! We will continue to work out kinks and certainly encounter challenges along the way, however, I am extremely proud of our community and the level of collaboration and engagement shown by all!!! Way to go GROVE!!!
With that said, we know that after Spring Break we will also be returning to Distance Learning. Consequently, our staff will spend the first day back focused on reconnecting with students and addressing students social/emotional learning needs. Families can anticipate that all activities and assignments will relate to the social/emotional learning of students on Monday, March 30th, rather than specific content areas such as math and reading. We feel strongly that after two weeks of not being in our traditional school setting, it will be important to check-in and reunite as a community, even if it is done virtually. While each classroom teacher will provide activities/assignments for their individual classes, we are designating Monday, March 30th as an all school spirit day! This means that all students and staff should wear their favorite Grove gear or school colors on Monday, March 30th to show their Grizzly Pride!! Many classes will be checking in via Google Hangouts for students to see each other, and I would love to receive emails or tweets of students in their Grove Gear!! Pictures posted on Twitter should include the handle @GroveAve220!!
The remainder of the week after Spring Break will return to our expected Distance Learning assignments and activities, with social/emotional lessons and activities periodically being included, just as teachers normally would do in their classrooms. It is important that all students continue to engage fully in Distance Learning, as we will be increasing our expectations of students to three core assignments a day, with teachers starting to include new learning and beginning new units of study.
Since our current situation is ever changing, please follow the information and recommendations in the district emails from Dr. Harris, and you can expect that I will follow-up with information specific to our building. As of right now, we will be continuing our Distance Learning plan from Monday, March 30th through Tuesday, April 7th.
Donut with a Grownup Event Update
Under the extraordinary circumstances that we face today, and following the guidance of the CDC and local government, we are compelled to cancel our Donut with a Grownup event that was scheduled for April 9th.  As one of our most popular events, we anticipated attendance well over current guidelines.  Due to the uncertainty of the timeline in which these guidelines will be lifted, we will not plan to hold this event during this school year. 
First, we would like to thank our amazing chairs, Priscilla Morrison and Amanda Unter. They worked so diligently these past months to plan and put many activities in motion to ensure fun time would be had by all attendees and to bring new ideas to the table.  Their efforts are so appreciated!

Second, as a 501c3 organization, we are largely reliant on funds raised by these large events to enable the many programs we support for our Grove students and staff.  These funds had been planned to support items such as buying T-shirts for the Family Reading program, supplying educational magazines and reading materials to all classrooms, enabling our annual author visit, supporting teachers through annual stipends, maintaining our Outdoor Classroom, and providing wonderful Field Day activities and memories for the whole school.  Without this event, we will face decisions about what programs we need to reduce or eliminate.

If you have already purchased tickets or made a donation to our event, we ask you to thoughtfully consider that as a donation to the PTO.  In the case that you are financially unable to donate, please formally request a refund by emailing Fiona Chin, our PTO Treasurer at by end of day Wednesday, March 25th.  After that date, we will consider your purchase as a donation and we deeply appreciate your understanding and generosity!
We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy and thank you for staying connected to our school and Grove community!
Grove Avenue PTO
Mrs. Matthews
Our original plans for the BIG EVENT from our Family Reading Program were scheduled for Thursday, April 9th. With that said, we have cancelled those plans, as our entire school taking a trip at the same time will not be feasible for April 9th and probably the rest of the year. Consequently, I will be working to find a suitable alternative for our students when we return to school, as we want to honor the hard work the students did throughout the Family Reading Program earlier this winter. The actual details of the event were not revealed to our students as we were anticipating that this might happen. However, the date and general information were shared with parents at our last PTO meeting, and we know students were eagerly anticipating the announcement.
Referendum Update  
The referendum officially passed last week! Thank you to all of our families that supported the referendum efforts prior to election day, and thank you to everyone who went out to vote!! We are looking forward to the improvements that will be made to Grove as a result of the referendum passing!!
Summer School Information
Online registration for all summer school programs, including 220BOSS, is open. We are excited to launch our 220BOSS or Barrington Online Summer School program for elementary students this summer to extend additional learning opportunities to our children during the summer months. This optional program is in addition to our regular summer school options, which are housed at Roslyn, Rose, and Sunny Hill. 
The  220BOSS Course Description document linked here and our summer school website explain the details and expectations of the program as well as our typical summer school programs.
Upcoming Dates
Monday, March 23rd – Friday, March 27th – SPRING BREAK, NO SCHOOL
Monday, March 30th – Friday, April 3rd - Distance Learning
Monday, April 6th – Distance Learning
Tuesday, April 7th – Distance Learning


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