September 9, 2020
We are now officially in Week Four of the 20-21 school year, and while overall it has been a good start to the school year, I would like to share some updates and tips that will help you support your child at home. I know it’s a lot of information, but hopefully you will find it helpful. Thank you, in advance, for reading it and don’t forget about the Parents’ Club meeting tonight at 7 p.m.
We hope that the start of your student’s school year, while unique, has been filled with positive interactions with their teachers. Curriculum Night allows us to extend these positive interactions to our families. Formerly known as Open House, Curriculum Night is an opportunity for our teachers to share information about themselves and their courses with you and to provide information about how you can help your student(s) be successful. This year we are inviting you to our Virtual Curriculum Night on September 22. We will send information on how to access the videos our teachers are creating for their courses on September 21st. More details to come!
We also want to remind you that D99 has a resource site for our school community that includes resources that may be helpful for your child to use at home when seeking to stay organized and also stay healthy socially and emotionally.
Please consider bookmarking our D99 Student Support Services and exploring the “For Academic Support” and “For Parents/Guardians” tabs.
D99 is also teaming with Rush Neurobehavioral Center to offer a parent night focusing on organization and executive functioning via Zoom on September 22 from 6:30-7:30. The session will offer concrete strategies and also will include time for Q&A with Rush presenters. Please use the link below to register for this session:
Finally, we will offer two additional parent sessions on October 27 and December 8. We are still finalizing topics and will send additional information as we get closer to the dates, but please be sure to save the dates.
Virtual Academic Resource Rooms
Next week, all students at Downers Grove North will be invited to a Google Classroom called the Academic Resource Room in which students can find links to Zoom for help from one of our peer tutors. Students will be able to find the virtual meeting room links for each period of the day. When they enter the resource room, a staff member will ask for their name and in what subject they are seeking help and then will pair the student with a peer tutor. This is a great way for students to get some additional help beyond a teacher’s office hours. At the end of the month, we plan to expand the Academic Resource Room with after school and evening hours.
If your student is looking to make a one-on-one peer tutor appointment with an NHS tutor, please email Frau Burritt at firstname.lastname@example.org and specify the specific subject area with which you are seeking assistance.
Home Access Center (HAC) is our online system that allows parents to monitor their student’s progress throughout the year. If you are unsure how to log into HAC, here are step by step directions with screenshots to help clarify, and this link also gives some great tips on how to download the app, how to set automatic alerts for your student’s grades, and how to better understand some of the grading codes and/or symbols. For example, one of our codes is ‘Z4’. This code is meant to assist parents in knowing if an assignment is not turned in on the day it is due; once the assignment is turned in, the ‘Z4’ is removed. In order to help parents to encourage students to complete assignments on time and avoid a code like ‘Z4’, teachers enter summative type assignments (tests, papers, projects) into HAC before the day it is due with the due date.
Unlike the spring, teachers are recording daily attendance.
- Attendance will be taken remotely for each period. With the exception of lunch resource and study hall, students are expected to be present for all remote periods to which they are assigned.
- Please notify the Attendance Office if your student is unable to attend class and provide a reason for the absence so it can be coded correctly.
- North Attendance Office: (630) 795-8450.
- If when viewing HAC you see the attendance code of “U”, your student was marked absent for that specific period. A “U” indicates an Unexcused Absence. Please talk with your child about this absence and then if needed, reach out to the Attendance Office if you believe this is a coding error. Students who were experiencing tech issues should immediately contact their teacher to explain the situation. If there are questions about the absence, the Attendance Office will get you connected to your student’s dean to address.
- If when viewing HAC you see the attendance code of “T”, your student was marked Tardy for that specific period. There is no need for you to reach out to the Attendance Office, but we ask that you please remind your student to be mindful of the class start time. Again, any student having technical difficulties should immediately contact their teacher.
- Every evening we send out an automated call at approximately 5:00 p.m. indicating any unexcused absences your student may have that day.
We know that it can be very frustrating when a student tries to log into a Zoom meeting, and an error pops up on the screen. Our technology department has reported that the main errors that students are making are that they aren't signing into the Zoom app before joining each meeting and/or they are trying to join using an old/invalid invite link or they are selecting the wrong meeting from the drop-down list in the Zoom app. In order to cut down on the potential for these errors, please encourage your students to follow these steps each day:
- Before going to any classroom links, start by going to csd99.zoom.us, making sure there is nothing after the ‘.us’ in the address. Be sure that they do not accept one of the previous search links that appears in Google. Here’s a video of one of our staff members helping a student who kept getting errors when clicking on a class link.
- Next, log into zoom with their single sign on (SSO).
- At the end of class, remind your student to log out of zoom; When your student is ready to join the next class, repeat this process.
- Ask your student to close any tabs that he//she does not need for class to prevent connectivity issues.
- Finally, suggest to your student to shut down his/her chromebook each night instead of simply closing the screen. This allows the chromebook to update, and sometimes, it is this step that fixes the issue.
If your student is still having technical issues, please have them contact northCB@csd99.org.
Finally, at the end of the last school year, we launched a new podcast series, “Conversations with Mrs. Schwarze.” Click here to listen. I just recorded a session with our new Associate Principal for Student Learning Ryan Doherty where he shares tips about how students can be successful in a Remote Learning environment. I hope you’ll find it valuable; I’ll also be sharing it with students this week.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I hope to see you at Parent’s Club tonight at 7:00 p.m.; here is the link to join the meeting.
Janice Schwarze and the North High Administrative Team