Bronco News 2-16-2022
.Hello from the Executive Director.
If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.
Hello Bronco Families,
The weary part of me wanted to write, “Change is hard,” instead of this beautiful quote by Maya Angelou. I fantasize sometimes about having conversations with wise sages such as Ms. Angelou where I learn to spin the most challenging scenarios and hardships into something positive and inspirational. Someday maybe I will develop that gift of communicating in a way that spins straw into gold. Until then, I will continue to spend a good amount of time searching for just the right meaningful quote to start our weekly conversations. Thank you Maya Angelou…
I sat in front of my computer every day this week trying to figure out the best way to share news about my plans for the future. It is harder than I anticipated because I love this school community so very much. I’ve worn many hats and worked in many school systems as a teacher, a mentor, a charter school founder/administrator, a superintendent, and a board member. Of all my experiences, CCCS has the strongest team and most dedicated staff when it comes to a child focused learning environment. I feel so blessed to end my career in education on such a high note with some of the most incredible educators and families on earth.
As much as I love this school community, I made a promise to myself not to become one of those educators who hang in there until I become a crabby, resentful, mean old bat. Nobody needs that! I am writing to let you know that I submitted an intent to retire (or at least partially retire) to the CCCS Board of Directors recently. Over the next several months, I will work with the Board and staff to help with the transition and to set the school up for a great new beginning next year. I will be forever grateful to all of you for making this a beautiful and rewarding journey.
Now back to regular school business…Below you will find a chart shared by ODE regarding new masking rules as of March 31, 2022. The chart is simple, but the implications are complex. School leaders throughout Oregon have been tasked with the responsibility of determining the best scenario for our own schools in alignment with the guidance and recommendations of our local public health departments. It would be lovely if it was as easy as saying goodbye to the masks we are all tired of wearing.
We are being asked to choose between two different but undesirable situations. Here are some of our questions:
Are we willing to lose more instructional time and days due to stricter quarantine requirements and increased risk of having to move to distance learning due to anticipated staff shortages in favor of making masks optional?
What impact will it have on our students who will have different quarantine requirements with masking depending on vaccination status?
How can we protect their confidentiality within the different requirements for wearing masks for vaccinated/unvaccinated status?
How will it impact students who test positive or are in quarantine who must mask from days 6-10 in order to attend school?
How do we find the time and staffing to complete the increased contact tracing requirements that would be in place if masks become optional?
How do we protect the school in case of legal action? We would have no protection through insurance or from the state if we do not follow the guidance regardless of the mandate.
These are heavy questions that require thoughtful examination and consideration. The chart above shares a simple explanation of the choice schools must make. To help you understand the complexities, I am sharing notes from meetings this week with ODE/OHA and Lane County Public Health. The conversation will likely evolve over the next several weeks, I will continue to share information with you all as the conversation unfolds.
Notes from ODE/OHA Meeting:
CDC, OHA, ODE, and PACE (our insurance company) still “strongly advise” masks in schools through the end of the school year regardless of the lifting of the mandate
Limited Liability for schools only applies if schools follow COVID mandates, rules, and guidance. If schools choose to remove mask rules, they must consider the risks and implications on school operations and school liability
If school removes mask rule:
Test to Stay option is eliminated for unvaccinated staff and students
Requires any unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated staff or students to quarantine for 5 full days and wear a mask while at school for days 6-10
Schools should anticipate more days of absence for unvaccinated students and not fully vaccinated staff
Schools are now expected to do contact tracing since public health departments are overwhelmed by high case counts. Expect increased workload due to additional contact tracing if masks are not being worn
At this time, contact tracing is only required during lunch when students are not wearing masks
We would have to go back to contact tracing every situation where there is a positive case
There is higher potential for segregation between masked/unmasked and vaccinated/unvaccinated students and staff
Under consideration in some schools - masked students in one area of rooms, unmasked in others; vaccinated students/staff in one area, unvaccinated in another area…. These are unacceptable scenarios for CCCS.
From Lane County Public Health:
Schools will bear a greater responsibility for contact tracing and quarantining
Rescinding the mask rule could lead to a detrimental number of quarantines. MM RESPONSE: ODE recognizes that schools which shift to optional masking will likely see increased student time lost for out of school quarantine. Test to Stay Modified Quarantine is an option only in schools which maintain universal masking under the present indoor school mask mandate. The CDC is not considering any change to the long standing definition of close contact.
Let's say it's 1Apr22 and masking is optional. If Student A is masked in class and a close contact to Student B, who is positive, does student A have to quarantine? MM RESPONSE: In a mask-optional environment, close contact exposures are required to quarantine out of school per the Novel Coronavirus Interim Investigative Guidelines (updated Jan. 14, 2022), 8.6 states that unmasked indoor close contacts constitute an exposure “when masks may not be worn.” - NO OPTION TO NOT QUARANTINE
Estimated 1:4 positive cases go unreported (CDC, LCPH) - could significantly impact exposure in schools
Links to the latest information from ODE regarding mask rule changes:
Face Covering FAQs, ODE
And since I haven’t miraculously developed that motivational, inspiring words of wisdom gift in the writing of this letter, let me leave you with the words of someone more gifted than me.
Life is about change. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s beautiful.
Most times it’s both. ~ Kristin Kruek
.Hello from the Dean of Student Services.
What does “school readiness” look like as children approach and enter middle school?
Seeking appropriate connection is an important skill for adolescents to succeed in schools.
There are many forms of connection pre-teens and teens struggle with, sometimes even literal connection. The impulse to touch peers - whether that be playful pushing, kicking, throwing things at others, or teasing poking - is common, but brings problems and risks. The impulse to connect with words has positives, but can slip into gossip, dicey subjects and jokes, and stirring-the-pot that ends in discomfort/isolation for others, high emotion, distraction, and even harm.
I know, I know. I’m describing every teen school movie ever made.
Still, it’s worth talking about connection-seeking to dig deeper into healthier alternatives for connection. School readiness means students finding ways to connect with each other that foster human learning, not distract from it.
The question is not how to get students to just stop inappropriate connection, but how to find what better connection looks like. For example, if you have the impulse to push your friend, what else could you do? If you are worried or troubled or fascinated by what others are saying, what else could you do besides pass those words on? If you want to call out silly things in class, what else could you do? Where can you be creative, connected, and explore new things?
The old outdated model says middle school students are filled with “raging hormones.” Too often preteens and teens are treated like unpredictable, unreasonable beings. In reality, adolescent brains are doing important, remarkable things - there are important changes in the way they remember, think, reason, focus attention, make decisions, and relate to others.
Dan Siegel’s book Brainstorm shows how adolescent brains are connection-seeking and risk-seeking. He looked for finding the teen equivalent of baby-proof latches and gates over stairs. Siegel takes into account the science about adolescent brains craving risk-taking and novelty seeking, social engagement, increased emotional intensity, and creative exploration.
Rather than simply thinking students are entering into independence, adult relationships are still needed. Interdependence matters. We know peer relationships are suddenly elevated. Still, adults practicing healthy connection support peer connections. Parents navigate a new kind of relationship with children at this stage, and this generates new ideas and connections. Connecting over camping and the risks of navigating the wilderness might offer ways of connecting to nature and feel alive. Connecting on goals and projects might offer new models of how to connect on shared interests.
The good news is that doing the (tricky) labor of parenting a preteen/teen is a part of school readiness for children. When parents find new ways of connecting with their child, this helps them explore and practice new kinds of healthy connection with others. While it is difficult to suddenly lose earlier routines and build new ones, building new connections at home is part of bigger work afoot, and impacts school readiness.
Siegel advocates something called “Mindsight.” Rather than dismissing behavior as emotional and irrational, adults can acknowledge connections between behavior and emotions, which leads to gaining insight into thoughts and feelings, as well as others’ emotional states.
School readiness for rising middle school students is paying attention to thoughts and feelings, including natural feelings of wanting connection with others. As a parent, ensuring that children have plenty of different ways to connect. Knowing positive options for connection makes way for success in both relational and academic ways.
Thursday, February 17- Lottery Information 6pm VIA zoom
Friday, February 18- Clothing closet open from 11:45am-12:15pm
Monday, February 21- Presidents Day NO SCHOOL
Thursday, February 24- Lottery Information 8:30am VIA zoom
Friday, March 18- Clothing closet open from 11:45am-12:15pm
Friday, April 15- The CCCS Board approved April 15th as a staff preparation day in line with Eugene 4J’s schedule. There will be no school for students on this day
The student leadership team had taken on the task of repainting the bathrooms, but we need your help. If you have any spare paint that you could donate or if you’re able to volunteer to help us paint that would be great. Please contact Jen Moiser or Beth Monterrosa if you’re able to help. Thank you!
New Student Lottery Applications:
Siblings who are not currently enrolled but will apply to attend in the 2022/23 school year (as openings become available) must complete the Application for Lottery/Waitlist form. Forms received post lottery will be added to the waitlist. The online form can be found HERE or on our website by clicking on the school information tab and then the admissions ribbon. Applications are due by March 18, 2022 at 3:30pm.
Drop off & Pick up
If you arrive early for either drop off or pick up, please turn off your engine as you wait so our kids and staff can breathe fresh, clean air and to help us do our part in conserving natural resources. We appreciate your care!
Lost and Found
Lost and Found items will be placed on tables outside the entrance to the school until Friday. Please come check the tables if your child(ren) is missing anything. All remaining items will be donated to local thrift stores after Friday.
You can sign up to receive emergency and weather-related text messages from the CCCS office by texting EZCCCS to 313131. You must sign up annually to maintain the service. Standard text rates apply.
CCCS and SBAC Testing
Every year, students in grades 3–8 and grade 11 complete state tests. These assessments provide useful information for students, parents and schools, although they are only one measure of students' academic success.
Today's state assessments are not the multiple-choice "bubble" tests students experienced in the past. The questions are interactive and go deeper, allowing students to engage with texts, build equations and explain their answers. Students are challenged to think critically and analytically, and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems which better prepares them for college and careers.
Standardized test results are generally low-stakes for students, but provide a useful “temperature check” on how students and schools are performing toward the learning standards and where extra attention is needed.
Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the Smarter Balanced tests this spring between March and June 8th. CCCS tends to start their testing after spring break. Homeroom teachers will communicate testing plans/schedules via their weekly correspondence to families. Most students participate in state testing, but parents have the right to opt out if they choose. An informational notice about state testing and an opt-out request form are available via the link below. If you choose to opt your child out of state testing this year, the opt-out form must be completed and turned in to the office no later than March 1st, 2022.
If you have any questions at all about state testing or opting out, please contact our testing coordinator Melissa Sepulveda - firstname.lastname@example.org Thank You!
State Testing Notice Opt-Out Form can be found HERE.
Hello from PCS (People for Coburg School), the school's parent group. Three things to know or help out with this week….
Clothing Closet: Open this Friday from 11:45 am - 12:15 pm. If you are looking for gently used school clothes - or you have any to donate - the clothing closet (located on the playground) will be open before/after dismissal this Friday 2/18.
Student Request: Spare paint to donate? Time to help paint? The student leadership team had taken on the task of repainting the bathrooms, but we need your help. If you have any spare paint that you could donate or if you’re able to volunteer to help us paint that would be great. Please contact Ms. Mosier (email@example.com) if you’re able to help. And ask your student which bathroom theme they voted for!
LOTS of other exciting updates (Bronco Bash on 5/14, jogathon date set, etc.)… the monthly PCS eNews is being emailed out tomorrow, but a sneak peak is attached.
Questions or comments? E-mail PCS@coburgcharter.org. Thank you!
.CCCS Board Corner.
CCCS Board of Directors currently has an open Board seat. The Board is looking for individuals who have a passion and understanding of CCCS’s Mission and Vision and who are committed to the education of CCCS’s students. Of particular interest to the board are those people who have experience working with budgets and finances. The important task of governing a Charter School is a privilege granted to us by the State of Oregon. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to receive more information about board work and the rewarding experiences it can offer.
We are in need of volunteers to be Playground Pals! The main responsibility of this role would be to help with supervision during recess and lunch. If you are a fully cleared volunteer please consider signing HERE.
Lightning Softball Camp
Thank you to our February sponsor,
Kara Schmidt - Principal Broker & Agent with Elite Realty Professionals!
Help support people, that support our school! Kara is a residential real estate broker that works with buyers, sellers, and investors!