Parents and Guardians of Mountain Vista Students,
In August, I challenged our teachers and staff to be fearless this school year. Having no idea what the future would hold, I encouraged the adults that care for your children to think outside the box, be creative, engage students in new ways, and plan memorable lessons that would help our students grow. I had no doubt that our staff would be fearless. But in my wildest dreams, I could not imagine just how fearless our staff would actually need to be. The end of the school year is here and like many of you, I feel the end of this school year is bittersweet. I’m excited to know that our students will soon have the opportunity to rest, play, and enjoy their summer yet I’m heartbroken for all of our students who left for Spring Break two months ago and never returned to their classrooms. The remainder of this letter will outline what the end of the school year will look like and our modified plans for the summer. Please carefully review the important information below.
Our final distribution of printed materials for learning at home will be Thursday, May 7 for collection on Thursday, May 14. All student work is due no later than Friday, May 15. Our staff will collect all school-owned materials including Chromebooks, library books, textbooks, books from teacher classroom library collections, musical instruments and athletic uniforms on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We will be collecting school-owned materials in a drive-up system outside the school office, similar to how we distribute meals each morning and collect student work on Thursday afternoons. We will practice social distancing and even though we will want to give hugs and high-fives to each of our students before summer begins, we ask that students and families prepare to social distance too.
Recognizing the many unique challenges and hurdles faced in our transition to remote learning, the Oracle Elementary School District Governing Board approved a recommendation to modify the Quarter 4 grading system in our District for this school year. Teachers will have the ability to deviate from their traditional systems of grading. Such changes will reflect student effort during the school closure without penalizing students that did not have access to technology devices, internet, or other supports during the school closure. The following represents how final grades will be determined:
Preschool-3rd Grade: The foundation for Quarter 4 grades will be based on each child’s Quarter 3 grade. Final Quarter 4 grades can improve upon the Quarter 3 grade but not lower it. In addition to traditional grades being included on each child’s Report Card, a narrative/comment section may be used to briefly capture the child's engagement in the provided learning activities.
4th-8th Grade: Like with Preschool through 3rd Grade, the foundation for Quarter 4 grades will be based on each child’s Quarter 3 grade. The Quarter 4 grade will also be based on work submitted for the teacher to evaluate mastery and assign a letter grade. Unlike Preschool through 3rd Grade, if insufficient work was submitted to demonstrate progress or mastery, the child’s Quarter 4 grade may be lower than the Quarter 3 grade. In addition to traditional grades being included on each child’s Report Card, a narrative/comment section may be used to briefly capture the child's engagement in the provided learning activities.
We recognize there are still other unique circumstances and we will address these with individual families. The District intends for all students who were on track to be promoted to the next grade, go ahead and be promoted to the next grade. If a child was already a candidate for retention before the school closures and continues to be a candidate for retention, the child’s teacher will schedule an online meeting to be held before May 20 to determine the most appropriate grade level for the child to complete during the upcoming school year.
We are committed to honoring the accomplishments of our promoting 8th Grade Class of 2020. Although we are not able to hold a large ceremony in the school gymnasium, we will stream an online 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony on Wednesday, May 20 at 5:30 PM, at www.osd2.org. During the online ceremony, Mariah Villalba, our Salutatorian and Avery Jennings, our Valedictorian will speak to their peers remotely. The recipients of several merit awards and scholarships will be revealed and each of our promoting students will be individually recognized. Promotion certificates will be mailed home to each promoting student.
Summer School at Mountain Vista K-8 and College for Kids at Central Arizona College – Aravaipa Campus are unfortunately cancelled this summer. If we were able to safely offer in-person academic enrichment and support this summer, we definitely would! Knowing that summer programming will not be available, we will launch appropriate academic enrichment programs and interventions for our students at the beginning of the new school year.
Traditionally, registration paperwork for the upcoming school year would be sent home with students each May. The global pandemic and social distancing requirements have changed our registration process for the upcoming school year. Registration paperwork will be mailed home to each Mountain Vista family during the week of May 11. To allow our office staff ample time to prepare for the upcoming school year, we ask that completed registration packets be mailed back to the school by June 1, 2020.
We plan to begin the new school year on Thursday, August 6, 2020. We will continue to monitor the health and safety mandates from the Arizona Department of Health, Arizona Department of Education, and Governor Ducey’s office. In the event that the start of the school year needs to be modified to accommodate student health and safety, we will contact families directly with the information provided in each child’s registration paperwork.
I have great gratitude for you, your efforts and your commitment to our Mountain Vista students. Because of you, our staff and our resilient students, we will continue to persevere through this pandemic. I hope this information is helpful, but please do not hesitate to contact me with any specific questions you have.