Updates from Mrs. Williams

6.23.20

Good Evening Taft Families,

Please see this end-of-the-year letter from me.

Also, if you still need to pick up your child's belongings, I will be in the building from 8:00-2:00 tomorrow, Friday, June 19th!

5th grade families are invited to come between 2:30-4:30 for a "special" pick up and send off on Friday, June 19th!

This Summer Camp information came from the Orange County Youth Bureau.  It may be something your family might be interested in looking into for summer plans.  Summer Camps 2020.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


6.12.20

Happy Friday Taft Wizards!

I know that these last 3+ Months have been very challenging on so many levels!  I commend our students, their families, and our faculty.  I feel that we navigated this uncharted territory as best we could.

We hope to see many of you at today's Taft Retiree Parade this afternoon!  Come drive through the bus loop at Taft between 2:00-3:30.  Wave, beep, shout your best wishes and congratulations to our Taft Retirees.  Details can be found HERE.

4th Grade Students - If you are thinking of joining Instrumental Band for next year, please remember to contact Mrs. DiPasquale at mdipasquale@ws.k12.ny.us or check the email that was previously sent out.

Here is a special video from Mrs. Hughes' first grade class, celebrating Flag Day on June 14th! https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=uZhDsKJipQg&feature=youtu.be

5th Grade Students - Please look out for a special email at 4:00 this afternoon.

Here is the final video message for this school year.  I hope you all enjoyed them as much as I did!  https://youtu.be/Vpbz7hXMGy8

Happy Last Day of School!

Have a fantastic, safe, and healthy summer!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams

As always, I can be reached at 845-497-4000 ext. 22504 or cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us


 

6.11.20

Happy Thursday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/zASyf2bWrGk

We only have two days left!  Tomorrow will be the last day for assignments and Google Meets.  Students will have until Wednesday, June 17th to turn in class assignments.  Teachers can still be reached via email, but they will no longer have scheduled class Google Meets.

Today's Citizenship focus is on Digital Citizenship.  Please talk with your child about posting text, videos, and the such on line (social media, text messages, etc.).  Use this mnemonic to help you remember to THINK before posting...  Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind?

We hope to see you at some point during the Taft Retiree Parade tomorrow between 2:00-3:30!  Just drive through to say your goodbyes and best wishes.  Remember to stay in your car and drive safely.

Enjoy the day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


6.10.20

Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards! 

Here is a special video created by Mr. Davis along with some members of the Taft 5th Grade Chorus!  They are singing "Just Be Happy" by Pink Zebra.  You can find it in that shared Google Folder for Taft parents too.  HERE is a direct link to the video.  Enjoy!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/e6k9babxE7A

You are invited to attend our Taft Retiree Parade on Friday, June 12th from 2:00-3:30.  Details and information can be found HERE.  We hope you can help us celebrate these 6 women who have collectively dedicated 174 years to educating our youth

 Enjoy your day! 

 Yours Truly, 

 Mrs. Williams 


6.4.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards!

Happy Thursday!

Here is today's morning video: https://youtu.be/EaFGbUtMeEU

This may be a helpful article with some resources for families during this time.  It's from ChildMind.org - Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News.  This Child Mind Institute also has a lot of other great resources for families in regards to a wide variety of needs.  Be sure to check out the rest of the website.  Here's a direct link to the resources "For Families" page.  There's also a section of resources for educators, "For Educators".

Hang in there everyone!  We only have 7 school days left!  

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


6.3.20

Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!

Medication from Health Office

If your child has any medication in the Health Office at Taft that you need to pick up for the summer, Mrs. Davy will be at Taft from 10:00-11:00 today for medication return.  If you can't make it today, please email Mrs. Davy at cdavy@ws.k12.ny.us or you can leave her a voice mail at 845-497-4000 ext. 22531.

Parent Pick-Up

Today's pick up schedule:

Oli - Sed

8:30 - 11:00

She - Zar

12:30 - 3:00

 

If you didn't have a chance to pick up your child's belongings on Monday or Tuesday, you can come today. 

Correction from Yesterday - 5th Grade will be able to pick up on Friday, June 19 from 2:30-4:30.  More details to come.

Please contact Mrs. Williams if you have any questions at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us or 845-497-4000 ext 22504.

Here is today's video message:  https://youtu.be/5MwFJH8wZrE

Our word of the month is CITIZENSHIP.  Please see the attached image with some guiding questions for you to have a conversation with your child about citizenship and what it means to be a good citizen.

Washingtonville Scholarship Run information and registration HERE.

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


6.2.20

Happy Tuesday Taft Wizards!

School Supplies for Next Year:

If you would like to get a headstart on ordering school supplies for next school year, our Taft PTA is offering a great package for school supplies for next year.  This makes shopping quick and easy!  You order online and the supplies will be shipped to the school.  We will figure out a pick up when they come or they can be waiting at the school for the beginning of the year.  You will find the details of the sale in the attached documents.  This website we are using has been giving me trouble with attaching documents, so if that doesn't open, please see the documents in this Google Folder.

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/wDM1S-D8Nqc

Our word for the month of June is CITIZENSHIP.  I hope your children enjoy the book I read in the video today about what it means to be a good citizen.  Please have conversations with them about this.  We will continue to explore this word and what it means for the next two weeks.

Today's pick up schedule:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Gis - Loy

8:30 - 11:00

Loz - Oca

12:30 - 3:00

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


Student item pick up

Good Morning,

I understand that some people are having difficulty opening the PDF attachment that was sent out through our "Blackboard Connect" System.  I'm not sure what the problem is.  In the meantime, here is the text from the document.

I apologize for the multiple emails.

If you missed your time to pick up this morning, you may come during another time slot.

Have a great day,

Mrs. Williams

 

May 28, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

For the safety and wellbeing of our students, we have set up a schedule for parents to pick up their child’s belongings beginning the week of June 1, 2020.   We have cleared out the student desks and placed their belongings in a labeled, clear bag.  This will be a non-contact pick-up.  We ask that you stay in your car.  We will have staff standing by to bring your child’s belongings right out to your car and place the items in your trunk.  Please have any school-owned items in your trunk for return to the school (library books, classroom books, anything that belongs to the school or teacher, or school-owned instruments).  We ask that you drive into the school parking lot and follow staff members’ directions.  You will be asked to provide your child/ren’s last name and a staff member will direct you to the pick up location.

Please note this pick up is for students in grades K-4 only.  We will be contacting our 5th grade families for a separate pick up date that will include the yearbook, poetry book, student belongings, t-shirt and certification of completion.  This year due to the pandemic, all yearbook deliveries have been delayed until the end of June.

Please note, we will not be collecting Chromebooks at this time. Please contact our school nurse if there is medication that needs to be included with student items.

 

Last Name

Time

Date: Monday, June 1

Aba - Coc

8:30 - 11:00

Cof - Gia

12:30 - 3:00

Date: Tuesday, June 2

Gis - Loy

8:30 - 11:00

Loz - Oca

12:30 - 3:00

Date: Wednesday, June 3

Oli - Sed

8:30 - 11:00

She - Zar

12:30 - 3:00



6.1.20

Good Morning and Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!  Here we are finishing up our school year with just two weeks left!  We all know how difficult this entire remote distance learning has been.  We all know it's not an ideal way for our children to learn.  We do know that we all did our best to make the best out of this very challenging and difficult situation.  Please, let's continue for just 2 more weeks!  Thank you all so much for your continued support and understanding!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/ReRHrgyonB0

Our Library Media Specialist, Mrs. Martinez put together the rest of the Collaborative Sticker Poster with her family.  The students typically work on this together until it's all complete.  HERE is a video of the completion of the project.

Today is the first day for parents to pick up their children's belongings.  Please refer to the attached letter for details.

This schedule is for students in grades 1 - 4:

Last Name

Time

Date: Monday, June 1

Aba - Coc

8:30 - 11:00

Cof - Gia

12:30 - 3:00

Date: Tuesday, June 2

Gis - Loy

8:30 - 11:00

Loz - Oca

12:30 - 3:00

Date: Wednesday, June 3

Oli - Sed

8:30 - 11:00

She - Zar

12:30 - 3:00

 

Our Journalism Club with Mrs. Hughes was able to pull together one issue of Wizard Nation News digitally!  I think they did a great job.  You can view what these 3rd graders did HERE.

Today is also International Dinosaur Day.  I'm passing along this information for the dinosaur enthusiasts out there.  (see below)

Have a great start to the week!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams

An Afternoon of Live Prehistoric Fun!

Join us on Monday, June 1 from 12pm to 5pm ET as we celebrate International Dinosaur Day on Facebook! Expedition Commander Guy Gsell hosts the virtual event LIVE from Field Station: Dinosaurs - Kansas with a special guest appearance from The Mighty T-Rex and the world premiere of a new show!

If you're a parent or teacher looking for fun educational activities to beat the quarantine blues, don't miss this opportunity to catch-up with some of your favorite Field Station friends. Our webcast is a great way for your kids to celebrate their love of dinosaurs and to learn something new along the way.  This event is free and fun for all ages.

We have a dino-mite day filled with fun activities:

  • Try to stump our resident paleontologist, Jason Schein, at "Ask the Paleontologist". Jason will do his best to answer even your toughest dinosaur questions and then he'll fill us in on the exciting discoveries being made by the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute.  
  • Help us solve the coldest of all cold cases - what happened to the dinosaurs - at a sneak peak of our newest show - "Dinosaur Whodunit" - live from Field Station: Dinosaurs - Kansas. 
  • FSD's lead puppeteer, Chris Palmieri, will teach children how to build dinosaur puppets out of household items and then he'll perform a funny dino puppet show using his new creations.
  • Acclaimed author and paleontologist, Mike Everhart, will take us beneath an ancient ocean to meet the Tylosaurus, Kansas's official state fossil! 
  • Young artists will become Paleo Picassos with famed Paleo artist Christopher DiPiazza! Chris will be painting the Tylosaurus live and kids can follow along step-by-step. 
  • And for the first time ever, we'll be bringing together four of our most popular Dinosaur Troubadours to sing some of your favorite Field Station hits! 

We'll have all this and more. So gather everyone around the laptop for a terrific afternoon of dinosaur fun and learning!

Join us LIVE on the NJ and Kansas Facebook pages!

Sing Along with the Dinosaur Troubadours!

Get ready for the return of the Dinosaur Troubadours! Sing-a-long to Field Station favorites like "The Mighty T-Rex" with four returning Troubadours from the New Jersey location.

"VOTED BEST LOCAL THEME PARK" - TIMEOUT NY KIDS

Become the Next Paleo Picasso!

Grab your favorite art supplies and follow along as paleo artist Christopher DiPiazza of Prehistoric Beast of The Week, teaches us how to draw a Tylosaurus, the official state fossil of Kansas. You'll also see the gigantic mural of the Tylosaurus at the Field Station: Dinosaurs

-Kansas also created by Chris and painted by artist, Rachel Downs. Tune in LIVE on Facebook at 3pm CDT and 4pm ET.

Make Your Own Dinosaur Puppets

Dinosaur Puppet Master Chris Palmieri will teach you how to make dinosaur puppets using every day household items. Later in the day you’ll enjoy an all new puppet show using Chris’s latest puppet creations. You can follow along at home using the puppets you created with Chris!

*Come prepared by gathering the items in the picture on the right.


 

5.29.30

Happy Friday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/yl1vmH0ugWM

Please remember to take the district survey.  We have developed a survey to learn more about how our community is responding to teaching and learning remotely.  We want to hear how you are adjusting during this unprecedented time, understand what technology and resources you have available, and learn how the district can better support you. 

We are asking all teachers, principals, students in grades 3-12,  and parents/guardians, to provide input on this survey. This will take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete. Elementary students in Grades 3-5 can complete the survey through a link on Wizard Launch. MS and HS students will be receiving a link to the survey through their school email. Please encourage your children to complete the survey.

Your participation is crucial in providing a comprehensive understanding of how we can improve support for you and your children during these unprecedented times and will help us in planning for the future.  

We will be collecting survey responses from May 26th - June 8th. Below is the URL to access our district survey landing page. Once there, you will select which survey you need to complete and then select your school from the drop-down menu.

https://bbyt.es/start/G27M73LCQ

Remember to look for any library books your child may have at home, as well as anything that belongs to the classroom, their teacher, or the school.  You can drop these items off when you come to pick up your child's belongings next week.  I have attached the schedule again.  Remember, 5th grade does not need to come next week.  You can hold onto your district-issued instrument until the final 5th grade pick-up day later in June.  Contact Mrs. DiPasquale if you have instrument questions.  Contact Mrs. Martinez if you have library book questions.  She will also be sending out emails of the books that are signed out for your child.  Contact your child's teacher to find out if there is anything your child may need to return to the classroom.

Please let me know if you have any questions by either calling my voice mail at 845-497-4000 ext. 22504 or emailing me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us.

Thank you for all you're doing for your children!  We appreciate the family support during this difficult time!

Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Williams


5.28.20

Good Morning and Happy Thursday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/ALptnI6RqY4

We are in the home stretch with just over 2 weeks left of school.  Our official last day of remote lessons for students is Friday, June 12th.  Students will be able to turn in work until Wednesday, June 17th.  We all know that this remote learning was not ideal for our elementary students.  It was a challenge for students, parents, and teachers.  With that said, I want to say that I am impressed with everyone's ability to adjust and make it work!  We took lemons and made some tasty lemonade!  Thank you all for your support!  What a team effort by everyone!

Keep up the good work for just 12 more school days!

I will be working on a schedule for parents to come in next week to pick up their child's belongings.  So stay tuned for that information.

Unfortunately, we are not sure when our yearbooks will be in.  We will make sure that everyone who ordered a yearbook will get one!  So don't worry about that.

We have been working with our PTA, the 5th grade committee, and our 5th grade teaching team to come up with some creative and special ways to celebrate our 5th graders who are finishing up their time here at Taft and moving on to the Middle School.  A separate email to our 5th grade parents will be coming with more details.

I hope everyone continues to stay healthy and stay #WizardStrong!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.27.20

Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!!

Here is today's morning message: https://youtu.be/D4Q8YbGHKWc

Please remember to keep a daily schedule for your child/children so they can continue to have a set time and place for school work.  We are in the home stretch!  There is still learning to be done!  The weather is beautiful and I know that makes it hard to stay focused.  My mom always taught me "work before play", so I try to do that even now as an adult.  Get my work done early, so I can enjoy the rest of the day.  Or at least set blocks of time for work with timed breaks in between.  :)  I know it's not easy, but it will make the day easier.  ;)

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.26.20

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday Taft Wizards!

I hope you all enjoyed that beautiful 3-day weekend!  I hope that you and your family are doing well and staying healthy.

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/d87casxp6bY

Our Taft 5th graders put out their 3rd issue of the Taft Times: Student Edition.  You can find that HERE.  We hope you enjoy what the students and teachers put together.  This is a work that has really grown over the last several months and our students are so talented!

Here is a FLYER from another great local family resource called Merakey.  They may be able to help provide support to our Orange County families over the summer.  This is organization provides education and human services to communities all around our country.  More information can be found on their website: https://www.merakey.org/about.html  

In Orange County:  Merakey offers a continuum of care in behavioral health (includes mental health and addictive diseases), integrating services in both community and site based settings. These services provide a wide range of recovery focused treatment, services, and supports for children and adults.

Enjoy today and have a great week!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.22.20

Good Morning and Happy Friday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/WGSfhvcHzCY

Today is a lighter work day!  Teachers are not assigning new work that requires anything to be turned in today.  They may give you options such as a choice board, free reading, iReady, finishing up this week's work, or something like that.  There will be NO school and NO assignments being posted on Monday, May 25th, in observance of Memorial Day.

Please take time this weekend to enjoy your family as well as remember all the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Here is a video of the bugle call, "Taps".  This is played at dusk, flag ceremonies, as well as at military funerals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl9cpvbU1T8&feature=emb_title

Have a beautiful weekend!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.21.20

Happy Friday Junior Taft Wizards!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/F8iiH1-SQRY

Thank you to everyone who helped support a local nonprofit organization yesterday during the Hudson Valley Gives Day!  Here is a short silent video or slideshow that highlights some of what Food for Kids in Washingtonville has been doing and continues to do for our community and our children and their families!  https://youtu.be/WBvzC31I4Tw   Again, thank you for your support!

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.20.20

Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/-zh87Dy-9Wo

Today is Hudson Valley Gives Day!  This is ONE day where you can donate to a LOCAL nonprofit organization!  Keeping it in the community!  Please visit this website for more information and a link to give: https://www.hvgives.org/  You can donate to any local nonprofit organization, like our Washingtonville Food For Kids Organization!  

I hope that you and your family are doing well and staying healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.18.20

Good Morning and Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  This whole week should be good weather!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/oAivGWbhUP4

This week, some teachers are beginning to go in to safely pack up their classrooms.  We expect to have all classrooms packed up sometime in June.  We expect our yearbooks to also be delivered in June.  Once we have all of those things organized, we will schedule times for parents to come pick up their child's belongings as well as drop off anything that belongs to the school.

This Friday is an official school day, but it will be a little lighter in the work load.  Children will have a chance to complete a choice board, a Memorial Day activitiy, finish up work from the week, or practice some important skills.  Monday, May 25th is a holiday and we will not have school then.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.13.20

Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/GR7jVi6ZKGk

FREE Virtual Series on Zoom for Parents/Caregivers is being offered on Wednesdays, May 13 (TODAY) - June 17 from 3:00-3:45 pm.  It's called "Nourishing Your Family".  You can learn about healthy meal planning, community resources, shopping on a budget, food safety, and family physical activity ideas.  Check out the attached flyer for details and how to register.  You do need to register so they can send you the Zoom link to attend.  Please take advantage of this free program from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County.

National Calendar Days for Today:  We recognize our Business Receptionists and our Night Shift Workers for all that they do to keep companies and society going day in and day out.  Also take a look at National Frog Jumping Day!  Maybe try some apple pie, fruti cocktail, or croutons on your salad today!

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.12.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards!  Happy Tuesday!

Here is today's morning video: https://youtu.be/X_19arTxYcI

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in Field Day last Friday!  We had 50% of the entire school participate!  Our 3rd Graders came in 1st place with 56% participation.  Our 5th Graders came is 2nd place with 54% participation.  Our 1st Graders came in 3rd place with 48% participation.  Our 4th Graders had 47% participation and our 2nd Graders had 46% participation!

Here's the video from our PE Teachers with the Taft Field Day Results.

I want you to think of the strengths and talents your friends and family have.  Accept and honor those strengths!  Also, think about what strengths and talents you have!  Remember, we are all different and that's what makes us special humans!

Today is also National Limerick Day!  A Limerick is a funny nonsense poem with 5 lines.  Lines 1, 2, & 5 rhyme and typically have 8 or 9 syllables.  Lines 3 & 4 rhyme and typically have 5 or 6 syllables.  Look up some funny Limerick Poems and then try writing some of your own!  Share them with your teachers, your classmates, and even me!

Have a beautiful day and enjoy the sunshine!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.11.20

Happy Monday to All Taft Wizards!

I hope you enjoyed your beautiful weekend and even that snow squall we had!

Here's today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/kgo9q8pIPCE

Our first District-Wide Virtual Field Day was a huge success!  Fun was had by all!  Stay tuned for the results from our National Field Day on Friday!  Mrs. Mullady, Ms. Henn, and Mr. Martirano are still crunching numbers!  There were 1,335 videos posted to Taft's FlipGrid!  That's a LOT of videos!  It looks like everyone had a great time participating!  You can watch them by going to this link:  https://flipgrid.com/taftfd2020  You have to sign in with Google on your student google account.

Here is Mr. Klopchin, band teacher at the other 2 elementary schools, playing the Star Spangled Banner!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=J10Ar1yKkoI&app=desktop

Today is National Eat What you Want Day!  Enjoy some of your favorite foods today, but not too much.  You don't want to get a belly ache!

Have a great start to a new week!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.8.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards! Happy Friday!  Happy National Field Day!!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/ZpkqJVja8I0

Today is our first Virtual Field Day!  All three of our Washingtonville Elementary Schools are offering events for all students and families to participate in today!  Have some fun playing these 5 different games!  Video tape yourself playing each game... a separate video for each of the events!  Then upload that event video to the proper Event FlipGrid.  Go to your PE Google Classroom for links and more information!

PE Grades 1-2 Google Classroom

PE Grades 3-5 Google Classroom

National Anthem by one of our very own band teachers, Mr. Klopchin! https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=J10Ar1yKkoI&app=desktop

National Field Day OPENing Ceremony: https://youtu.be/Vq9NNV4CyQo

From our PE Teachers:

It's Field Day!! We hope you are wearing your Wizard gear and colors. Here are some last minute details:

1. We are not using a scorecard. We are using FlipGrid instead.
2. 5th Graders: Please put your score for each event on your selfie page after you complete your video in FlipGrid. This will help us out a lot!
3. We will post grade level points earned every hour starting at 10:00 AM.
4. You have one minute for each event and may only submit your video ONCE per event!
5. If you have questions, we will be at our computers ready to help you! Be patient, there are a lot of you!

Printed Event Directions Link:  Click the link for printed instructions.

Video Directions:  Click each link for video instructions.

Event 1:   Backboard Bank It- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX1A4bUwOJs

Event 2:  Water Bottle Trap - https://youtu.be/CC6oSU891Ns

Event 3:  Paper Plane Corn Hole - https://youtu.be/HamjCOVbUR8

Event 4:  Bowl Ball - https://youtu.be/oqxPvNgjuNw

Event 5:  Penguin Race - https://youtu.be/jiFUmvHk6_o

Let's BE SAFE, HAVE FUN, and KEEP THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME!

#TaftWizards  #WizardStrong  #WizardNation  #NationalFieldDay

For Teacher Appreciation today, dress up like one of your teachers and take a picture and send it to them!  Send a copy of any of your Teacher Appreciation photos to Mrs. Williams too.  I'd love to see field day photos too!

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! 

Thank you for your service, your support, and your sacrifices! 

Happy Mothers Day to all the special ladies out there!!

Have a great weekend!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.7.20

Good Morning and Happy Thursday to Our Taft Wizards!

Here's today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/n9m55mMnsQM

For today's Teacher Appreciation it's Thankful Thursday.  Spend a few minutes to write a thank you letter or a thank you card to your teachers!

I hope you all have been getting ready and practicing for tomorrow's PE Field Day!  This is something that ALL three elementary schools are participating in tomorrow.  Get your whole family involved!  Wear your Wizard Blue and Gold!  Take a 1-minute video of each event and post those videos to your PE Google Classroom.  You will earn 1 point for each video you post!  The PE Teachers will add up all the points for each class to see how everyone participated!  There will be no other school assignments or Google Meets tomorrow so you can all focus on Field Day!

You can find more information on our PE Field Day for Friday, May 8th HERE.  Or see the attached document.

Let's Go Wizards!  #TaftWizards  #WizardStrong

Have a beautiful day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.6.20

Good Morning and Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/_KuB5hsRuFg

For Teacher Appreciation today, be sure to use some watercolors to paint a picture for your teacher.  If you don't have watercolor paints, use anything colorful!  Snap a picture and post it to your teacher's Google Classroom or email it to them!  :)

Orange County put together a list of very helpful resources on their website.  It's titled "Hope Starts Here: Coping Through COVID-19".  You can find it here: https://www.orangecountygov.com/1954/Coping-Through-COVID-19  They have Stories of Hope and Resilience, Hotlines/Helplines, Virtual Support, Caregiver Assistance/Respite Services, Resources for Parents/Children, Resources for Teens/Young Adults, Resources for Healthcare Providers and First Responders, Coping with Stress and Anxiety, Dealing with Grief and Loss, Meditation, Work-Life Balance, Resources for Seniors, Information and Resources for loved ones with Developmental Disabilities, and many other topics!

Happy Nurses Day!  Thank you Mrs. Davy for all you do for our Taft students, families, and staff!!  Thank you to all of our nurses who are dedicated to their patients!  We appreciate you today and every day!

Thank you and have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.5.20

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday Taft Wizards!

Sorry this is a little late this morning.

Here is today's morning video message: https://youtu.be/Fz23LPIPotU

I want to share with you some great virtual parenting and family workshops being offered by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County.  Please visit their website for more information: http://cceorangecounty.org/family  There, you will find "Nourishing Your Family" virtual series where you can learn tips and tricks for healthy meal planning, food safety, shopping on a budget, community resources, and physical activity for the whole family!  You will also find "Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word" virtual class.  This 2-week virtual parenting workshop will support parents and caregivers to create nurturing environments in their home with the help of positive discipline tools.  The also have a "Parenting Warmline".  It's a new way to support parents and caregivers by providing non-emergency support, resources and education for raising children.  Call them during the designated hours or leave a message.  Their Parenting and Family Life Educator, Julika von Stackelberg will support you in your role of raising children.  Call the warmline at (845) 344-1234 ext. 27 on Mondays from 10 - 11 am or Thursdays from 1 - 3 pm.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!  Let's continue the celebration all week!

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


5.4.20

Good Morning and Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed that beautiful spring weather!!

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week!  Let's show your teachers some love!  See the attached flyer from the Taft PTA for some optional ideas or activities you can do to help make your teacher feel special and show some love and appreciation for them this week!

We have a special announcement to make to all of our elementary students - Please the below letter explaining our very first Virtual Field Day!  Yes, that's right, our elementary students in all three buildings will be participating in a Virtual Field Day this Friday, May 8th!  There will be NO other assignments or Google Meets this Friday, so your children can participate and enjoy these fund physical activities!

Here is today's Taft Morning Message Video: https://youtu.be/VzyP8opwlyk

National Day Celebrations today:  May the Fourth Be With You!  Happy Bird Day and Candied Orange Peel Day!

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams

Dear Families,

We’re excited to announce that our school community will be participating in the OPEN (Online Physical Education Network) National Field Day event on Friday, May 8th !

Field Day is an important tradition at our school. It is a significant day for our students and our staff, and we feel that in these incredibly challenging times this national event is a unique way that we can stay connected as a community and support one another in a fun and meaningful way.

OPEN is a national public service organization that provides curriculum and training support to more than 90,000 teachers in all 50 states. All #NationalFieldDay events are designed to be done indoors or outdoors using common household items.

All three elementary schools will be offering these field days activities to their students. There are five events. Students will earn a point for each of the 5 events that they complete. Below you will see a link to access directions for each event. In order to receive a point, we are asking students to upload a one minute video of them performing each event. We will post points earned by grade-level. Uploads will be open on Friday, May 8th, the official day of field day.

We appreciate your cooperation and are hopeful that your entire family will use it as a fun and meaningful way to be physically active together and with our entire school community. Please feel free to contact your child’s P.E. teacher with any questions or concerns.

Stay well,

Wizard Elementary P.E. Department

Printed Event Directions Link: Click the link for printed instructions.

Video Directions: Click each link for video instructions.

Event 1: Backboard Bank It- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX1A4bUwOJs

Event 2: Water Bottle Trap - https://youtu.be/CC6oSU891Ns

Event 3: Paper Plane Corn Hole - https://youtu.be/HamjCOVbUR8

Event 4: Bowl Ball - https://youtu.be/oqxPvNgjuNw

Event 5: Penguin Race - https://youtu.be/jiFUmvHk6_o

Please note that there will be no PE assignments this week due to field day.


4.30. 20

Good Morning and Happy Thursday Taft Wizards!

Here's today's morning message: https://youtu.be/lPPfzfQ7u74

Remember to send me those photos of you "All Dressed Up With No Place To Go!"  Be creative!  Post them to social media with hashtags #TaftWizards and #WizardStrong.  Also email them to me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us.

Every Kid Outdoors program - Where 4th graders and their families can visit National Parks for free!  Check out the website here: https://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/campaigns-initiatives/every-kid-outdoors

Today's National Day Celebrations - There are 11 different things to celebrate today!  https://nationaldaycalendar.com/what-is-national-today/  My favorites for today are National Poem in Your Pocket Day, Military Brats Day, Bugs Bunny Day, Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, and Honesty Day!

Enjoy your day indoors today!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.28.20

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday Taft Wizards,

Here is today's morning message: https://youtu.be/CoHrIBu9wAs

Parent Survery Responses - I looked through the questions that parents and guardians had from our Taft Parent Survey on April 17th.  Attached you will find a Q&A list of the questions that were asked with some answers.  You will also see information at the bottom of that document from some of the other survey responses that I have already shared with you.  I shared the main take-aways with the teachers so we can better plan and prepare our lessons for our students, your children.  Thank you again for taking time to fill out that survey.

As always, you can reach out to me or your child's teacher with any questions you have.  You can email me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us or call and leave a message on my office phone at 845-497-4000 ext. 22504 and I will call you back from an unlisted number.

Chromebook Distribution - Reminder, those parents who signed up to borrow a Chromebook have a set time to pick up their chromebook today.  Please follow the directions that you received in the email communication from the technology department.

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go - Also remember to continue to get all dressed up and do some ordinary things around your house.  Email them to me and/or your teacher, share them on social media and #TaftWizards and #WizardNation.  

Enjoy celebrating these National Days: Great Poetry Reading Day, Blueberry Pie Day, Bravehearts Day, Superhero Day, and Workers' Memorial Day.  Find out more information by visiting the National Day Calendar website.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.27.20

Good Morning and Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope you all are doing well!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend and got outside, especially on Saturday.

I spent the weekend working on a very special video for all of you.  You can find it here: https://youtu.be/_VI3DsfJsDs  All of the teachers and staff at Taft want you to know that they miss you, they are proud of you, and keep smiling!  We are all here for you!

Today's Morning Message video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GDG3HQZoSbY

Also, this is a friendly reminder to order your Taft Yearbook if you haven't done so already.  You must order it online this week!  The cost is only $16.  Go to www.ybpay.lifetouch.com and enter our Taft Yearbook ID Code: 5239220  We need to sell just 20 more to make a sales quota by Friday!

Optional Fun Photo Assignment this week:  "All Dressed Up With No Place To Go"  Get all dressed up and take a photo doing something ordinary around the house!  Get the whole family involved!  Be creative!  Send as many as you like to Mrs. Williams or post to social media with the #TaftWizards and #WizardStrong.  Share them with your teachers in Google Classroom.

Happy National Babe Ruth Day, National Prime Rib Day, National Tell a Story Day, and National Devil Dog Day!

Have a great Monday!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.24.20

Good Morning and Happy Friday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's video message: https://youtu.be/1WLtwlRq2P0

If you want to learn more about Google Classroom, please sign up for one of our Parent University Courses.  If you can't attend one of these courses, they will be recorded and posted to the website so you can view them at a later time.  For more information, please see this document that was sent out yesterday by the District.  I also put it in our shared Google Folder.

Today's National Days to celebrate:  Arbor Day, Teach Children to Save, Pigs in a Blanket, and Hairball Awareness Day!

Enjoy the day and have a great weekend!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.22.20

Good Morning and Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!

Here is today's morning message video:  https://youtu.be/kmlHZleMV10 

We are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day today!  We know that everyday is Earth Day and we are always doing things to take care of this earth we live on!  If you visit the Discovery Channel website, they have some fun activities for children and families to do.  This is a great extension for your family to check out! https://www.discoveryeducation.com/learn/50-ways-to-earth-day/

Other National Celebrations today:  Administrative Professionals Day, Jelly Bean Day, and Girl Scout Leaders Day!

Please show some love to our office professionals at Taft!  You can email them by clicking on their name: Ms. FinnMrs. DiVirgilio, and Mrs. Destefano

Happy Celebrating!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams

4.21.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards and Happy Tuesday!

Here is today's morning message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMJAmA_t3Uk

I shared this resource with you about 2 weeks ago and wanted to share it with all of you again.  This Mental Health, Behavioral and Social Emotional Learning Resources list was compiled by Washingtonville staff for our families.  Please take a look at the attachment for resources that may help you and your family.  There are Crisis Resources, Parent Resources, Elementary School Student Activities, Middle School Resources and Activities, as well as High School Student Activities.  You can find the list attached as well as find it in our shared Google Folder.

Today is the last day to request to borrow a Chromebook from the school district.  Please visit this site for details and to fill out the form: https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/departments/technology/remote-learning-devices

Some national celebrations for April 21st - Library Workers Day, Kindergarten Day, Chocolate Covered Cashews Day, and Yellow Bat Day!

Thank you and have a great day.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.20.20

Good Morning and Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Here is today's video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z_kfyK9DZ8

Remember that we have a responsbilitly to educate our children in the community.  However, with that being said, our number one priority is health and safety... physical, mental, and emotional health need to come before learning can happen.  Please know that we understand the variety of situations everyone is experiencing.  We want you to make sure you're taking care of yourself and your family during this time of crisis.  Then once you are confident you are healthy and able, then please focus on the education.  If you absolutely can't get it all done, then focus on the reading, writing, and math skills first.  We are doing our best as educators to provide the best possible lessons and learning resources for our students and their families as they work from home so we can finish up the most important skills of this year and help prepare them for their next year of education.  We don't know when we will be back in school, as that is a decision made by New York State.

Thank you again to the 236 parents who responded the survey!  That is about 50% of our families!   I spent the weekend reviewing some of the questions from the parent survery and I still have more to review.  But so far, this is what I found when looking at the student workload and time spent working on school.  I will be sharing this with teachers and administrators as we move forward with our planning.

Has the student workload been manageable for your family?

Out of 235 parent responses:

Yes = 156 = 66%

Sort of = 58 = 25%

No = 21 = 9%

For those parents who would like more work, I encourage you to take time to continue to build on their learning by showing your child applicable ways to use what they're learning. This is the time to teach them new hobbies, new skills, or family specialties. Encourage them to think of projects that they can do to demonstrate what they are learning.

On average, how much time is your child spending each day doing school work?

After analyzing everyone’s comments and crunching the numbers, these are the results that will be shared with teachers and administrators as we continue to plan for distance learning.

Screen time: 

Out of 225 responses:

Less than 2 hours = 43 = 19%

2 hours = 47 = 21%

Green Level 90 = 40%

 2-3 hours = 32 = 14%

3 hours = 28 = 12%

3-4 hours = 20 = 9%

Yellow Level 80 = 36%

4 hours = 19 = 8%

4-5 hours = 29 = 13%

6+ hours = 7 = 3%

Red Level 55 = 24%

Non Screen Time

Out of 232 responses:

Less than 2 hours = 177 = 76%

2 hours = 29 = 13%

 Green Level 206 = 89%

2-3 hours = 9 = 4%

3 hours = 7 = 3%

3-4 hours = 3 = 1%

 Yellow Level 19 = 8%

4 hours = 2 = 1%

4-5 hours = 2 = 1%

6+ hours = 3 = 1%

 Red Level 7 = 3%

Total Screen Time:

Out of 225 responses:

Less than 2 hours = 9 = 4%

2 hours = 21 = 9%

2-3 hours = 28 = 12%

Green Level 58 = 26%

3 hours = 30 = 13%

3-4 hours = 26 = 12%

4 hours = 28 = 12%

 Yellow Level 84 = 37%

4-5 hours = 50 = 22%

6+ hours = 33 = 15%

Red Level 83 = 37%

---------------------------

I have also taken your questions and will create a Q & A page to share out with everyone.  I still need to gather some answers.

Moving forward, I will only be sending out a daily email.  No more phone calls or text messages.  So please check your email daily.  The email will usually be out around 9:00 am.

We have been translating emails into 12 different languages for several months now.  Please let me know if the translation you are getting is not accurate.  Also, let me know if you would prefer an English email instead of the translated email.  You can email me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us.

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


Yearbooks

Hello Taft Families,

Please be sure not to miss out on this year's 2020 Taft Yearbook!

All orders are placed online: www.ybpay.lifetouch.com 

Yearbook ID Code: 5239220

Order Deadline: May 1, 2020

Each yearbook cost is $16.

See the attached flyer.

Thank you,

Mrs. Williams


4.17.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards and Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week!

Here is today's morning message:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PivMLOEbv9E

Thank you to all the parents, 197 of you, who have already taken a few minutes to give us some feedback about how everyone is doing at home during this time of distance learning!  I will keep the Check-In Form open until 8:00 pm tonight.  Here's the link:  https://forms.gle/yiWdsGnH8tmap9oH6   If it's not opening for you, then try it on a different browser or another device, computer, or cell phone.

Please don't miss out on ordering this year's yearbook!  An email will be coming later on this evening with information on how to order.  We will have a Distance Learning section in there to remember this historical time!

I hope everyone is staying well.

Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great weekend!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


 

4.16.20

Good Morning Taft Wizards!

Happy Thursday!

Here is today's video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDouNj9xfV4

Our district has compiled some more helpful community resources.  In the attached documents, you will find a variety of community resources such as medical, dental, financial, nutrition, mental health and more.  You can also find these documents in this shared Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X_Ph4gaM1s5aHQQt9nNw7C3y2pkAQG2K  Look in the Community Resources folder.

You can also find a lot of helpful resources, specifically during this coronavirus pandemic by visiting our district website and clicking on the red bar at the top:  https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/district/coronavirus-updates  

You can find a lot of clickable links on that page, or on the left hand side you will find information on: Meals for Students, Childcare During School Closure, Covid-19 District Updates, Online Learning Hub, and the Remote Learning Guide for Parents.  Each of those links have a ton of information for our families and community members!

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.14.20

Good Afternoon Taft Families,

We are looking to get a good sense of how our Taft families are doing with the distance learning as well as in general how you're family is holding up during this difficult time.  We know there is a wide range and variety of family situations that everyone in the community is having to deal with.

Please know that everyone here at Taft and in the Washingtonville School District are here to support you in whatever ways we can.  We have a responsibility to continue to educate our students while also providing supports to help your children and your family be successful.  Together as a team, we can support each other and make the impossible possible!

Please take a few minutes to answer these questions honestly and with as much detail as you can.

Please complete it by Friday, April 17.

Here is the Google Form with the questions:  https://forms.gle/DTeVciC6vn59A8KCA 

As always, you can reach out to your child's teacher if you have any questions or need any help.  You can also reach me anytime by email at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us or leave a message on my office phone at 845-497-4000 ext. 22504 and I will call you back from an "unlisted" number.  You can also find me on the Remind App... I'm still learning how to use it myself, but I think you can find me and then text or call me.  I have it set that you can send me messages through Remind from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday.

Thank you for all that you do for your children and your family!

Take care and be well,

Mrs. Williams


4.13.20

Happy Monday Taft Wizards!

I hope this email finds you and your family well and healthy!

The Kids for Peace Organization updated their document with tons of ideas for fun activities for children and their families while schools are closed.  Please see the document for a bunch of great ideas to engage your children in "Uplifting Our World Through Love and Action".  I tried to attach it, but it is giving me some trouble.  You can find this file in that Google Drive I shared with you before.  It is in the "Extra Curricular Activities for Students" folder.  Or you can find it on their website: https://kidsforpeaceglobal.org/COVID-19/

This begins are FIFTH week of school closure!  I am so proud of all the learning our students are engaging in while they are home!  Thank you to the parents and families for providing them with support as their teachers create online lessons that are a balance of simple yet new information for your child to engage in and continue to practice and learn important skills.

Check out some of photos from last week's Spring Spirit Week on Taft's webpage!  They will continue to be updated today. https://tf.ws.k12.ny.us/updates-from-mrs-williams/taft-spring-spirit-week

Today's message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az3UTTUrO2k

Have a great day!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.10.20

Good Morning and Happy Furry Friends Friday Taft Wizards!

I am looking forward to seeing those photos with the students and their furry friends, either pets or stuffed animals.  Remember to post to social media with the hashtag #TaftWizards or email them to your teacher or Mrs. Williams.  I hope everyone had fun participating in our virtual Spring Spirit Week!  Thank you to all who participated!

It's hard to believe that we are finishing up our FOURTH week of at-home learning.  This was our first week of introducing new material and having common lessons at each grade level across the district.  I know we had quite a few bumps and wrinkles along the way.  Remember we are all in this together, learning and growing each and every day!  This is something we have never experienced or planned for before and I truly feel that everyone is doing a great job!  Thank you so much for your support, your patience, and your understanding as we all work through this together.

Today's morning message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLL8pFZxtMQ

If you lost your job or health coverage, or are uninsured, you can visit the New York State of Health website for information. If you are in need of financial assistance, here is a useful website: Resources for Financial Assistance During COVID-19.

For those who celebrate Easter, may you have a peaceful and joyful celebration this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.9.20

Good Morning Taft Families,

Happy Thoughtful Thursday!  For today's Spring Spirit Week theme, have your child find a quiet place where they can be thoughtful, do work, read a book, or just quietly relax.  Take a picture of them in their thoughtful place and share it with their teacher, or email it to me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us, or post it to social media with the hashtag #TaftWizards.  I look forward to seeing all of their thoughtful locations!  It would be great if everyone could take a few minutes to think of at least 5 things that we have, instead of things we don't have.  Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn't.  :)

Check out Taft's Instagram (taftelementary) for this week's photos.  We are also getting some photos up on our Taft website.

Today's video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3XDwNsAZ44

Here is another helpful resource for parents as well as educators from The Greater Good in Education Program, with a website titled, "Supporting Learning and Well-Being During the Coronavirus Crisis".

If you are celebrating Passover, may you find peace and joy as you celebrate this week.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


4.8.20

Good Morning and Happy Wizard Wednesday Taft Wizards!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy.

Here is today's video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znuQsqWTdUU

I loved seeing all those Tech Tuesday photos yesterday.  I look forward to seeing today's Wizard Wednesday photos!  Go BLUE and GOLD!!  Remember to hashtage it #TaftWizards when posting to social media.  You can also share the photo with your teacher or Mrs. Williams.

Tomorrow is Thoughtful Thursday.  Show us your quiet place where you can focus and think.

Here's a direct link to the Mental Health, Behavioral, and Social Emotional Learning Resources document I showed you in the video.  I also attached it in case that link doesn't work for you.

Also here is the link to the YouTube channel where all of the morning messages are, as well as the tech help videos! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg

Make it a great day!

Mrs. Williams


4.7.20

Good Morning and Happy Tech Tuesday Taft Families!

I loved seeing all those Manic Monday Wacky Hairstyles.  You can check them out on Taft's Instagram Account or look up #TaftWizards on different social media platforms.

Today is Tech Tuesday.  So let's see those photos of students using all their different types of technology!

Talking about technology... I know some students and parents might be struggling with using all this technology.  We are trying to learn along with you and help you out.  Please check our district website for tech support by visiting the Online Learning Hub in the Technology Department's Webpage: https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/departments/technology/online-learning-hub  There are helpful resources there.  You can also request Technology Support on that page.  Feel free to reach out to your child's teacher for support.  We are creating helpful videos and resources as well.  See the attached document for some of them!

Remember to also visit the Shared Google Folder for lots of other resources on technology, district/school information, as well as mental health supports.  The name of the folder is "Parent Resources for Home from Taft Spring 2020".   https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X_Ph4gaM1s5aHQQt9nNw7C3y2pkAQG2K?usp=sharing 

Here is today's video message:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbRf-WyugbQ

Have a great day everyone!

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams

Helpful Tech Videos for Students and Parents

Washingtonville CSD uses Google Chrome Apps for our digital learning. Please make sure you are using a Google Chrome Browser https://www.google.com/chrome/ for all school work. Make sure you are logged into the Chrome Browser on your computer (Mac or PC).

If you’re using a Chromebook, you are all set, just sign in with your school account!

Once your child is logged into their Chrome Account, they can access just about everything through their Wizard Launch. This can be found right in the center of the district webpage. https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/

You can also access Wizards Launch on an iPad! Check out these directions to download what you need on your iPad. If you are having any difficulty, it’s ok. Be patient. Reach out to your teacher for some help. You can also ask Mrs. Williams. There is technology information on our district website, in the Online Learning Hub. There, you can fill out a request form for help from our district tech department. https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/departments/technology/online-learning-hub

Here are some videos that may also be helpful in addition to the other resources shared with you.

Parents Guide to Google Classroom in 2020 https://youtu.be/2Iowi-gmbys

How to Complete an Assignment on Kami https://youtu.be/l9pfZbBozH4

All About Kami- Student View https://youtu.be/_5izLX8c5Qw

How to Add Kami Extension to your Chrome Browser https://youtu.be/aK4mW6tdAHI

Google Chrome on a Mac https://youtu.be/oDjQhUFeYs8


4.4.20

Dear Taft Families,

     We at Taft all hope this letter finds you well and healthy.  We have been in contact with every teacher, teaching assistant, and related service provider at Taft over the last three weeks and we all miss being with our Taft family and community, which includes our students and you, their family.  When school was closed with such short notice we did not have much time to prepare and send home materials for your children.  Over the last three weeks, our teachers have been preparing remote lessons that would enrich and maintain our students’ skills and learning.  With new information coming from the state and federal governments, we are now transitioning to more direct, online instruction beginning on Monday, April 6.  Our teachers have risen to the challenge of remote teaching and have been working together in collaboration with teachers across the district to develop appropriate lessons for every child at every grade.  Your child may even see recorded lessons from other teachers on their grade level team from other buildings.  Our teachers have been learning new technology that they may have never used before.  They are spending hours in virtual professional development workshops as well as in faculty meetings, grade level meetings and in small group planning meetings.  This is all a brand new way of looking at education. Please be patient as we are navigating through this.  We are grateful to have the ability to video meet with each other and share work over the internet!

     Each teacher will have a Google Classroom as a way to stay connected to their students by posting daily assignments through a Daily Learning Guide.  Please have your child log into their teacher’s Google Classroom everyday.  The district did post a suggested schedule for elementary students on our website.  Please know that this is a suggested outline for your child.  There are not times listed because the time is flexible to meet the needs of each family.  The average amount of time for your child to work in each subject is approximately 30 minutes.  That means we would hope they would spend 30 minutes on reading, 30 minutes on writing, 30 minutes on math, 30 minutes on science or social studies, and 30 minutes in one of the special areas (art, PE, music, library) each day.  This would equal a total of approximately 2.5 hours a day of work.  We suggest that children take breaks from their work by having snacks, lunch, or going outside.  This whole time should not be on a digital device.  The teachers are developing lessons that may include an introduction on the screen and then your child will have some practice time in that subject off the screen.  Many assignments are designed to be independent, but some may require support.  Please help your child find a quiet place to work without distraction.  Assignments may be completed in a variety of ways.  The students should follow the teacher’s directions and reach out to their teacher if they have questions.  The teachers will evaluate students’ work and provide feedback based on the expectations of the assignment.  Students should do their very best to apply their skills and knowledge to complete the tasks.  There may also be online apps or websites that are designed to engage your child in digital activities that support various skills.  We understand that some households have limited to no technology.  The district is working on ways to help with providing some technology to those who need it.  We also understand that the technology may be brand new for your child.  We ask that your child try their best.  We are all learning how to navigate this brand new way of learning and teaching.  Our main goal is to support your child’s continued learning and strengthening of important academic skills.  If you or your child is struggling or has questions please reach out to your teacher.  We are all here to help in whatever way we can. 

    Here in Washingtonville, we know we have a strong community who is very supportive of each other and because of that, I know that we are going to persevere.  Please reach out to your fellow neighbors through phone or video chat to see how they’re doing and to just connect.  We must remain in contact with each other.  Please reach out to the teachers or counselors at Taft or myself if you need any support with anything.  You can email anyone directly or you can call and leave a message on our main office phone and we will get back to you.  You can also find a lot of information and technical support on our district webpage.

     We are a community of first responders and we want to take a moment to recognize and thank you all for your service and dedication to the community.  Words can not express our appreciation for all you do.  We speak for everyone at Taft when we say thank you.  We know the variety of situations each person and family in our community may be facing - not having work or a paycheck, having to go in to work as an essential employee, working from home, and juggling everything in this new way of life each and every day, all while trying to stay healthy or caring for those who are sick.  We understand that there is a lot of stress and uncertainty as we pull through this crisis.  What is going to get us through is the support we can give each other.  The lack of personal connection right now is very challenging.  We are Taft Wizards.  We are Washingtonville Wizards.  We are Wizard strong. 

     Please understand that health and safety is our number one priority for our students, staff, and families in the Taft and Washingtonville community.  As educators, we are also responsible for providing the best possible education we can to our children in the community even under these most difficult circumstances.  Just like anytime, but especially during a time of crisis, we are flexible and understanding to families’ needs.  If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know. 

    As the current situation continues to change, we will continue to reach out with important updates.  In the meantime enjoy the valuable time with your family and daily virtual connections with neighbors, friends, and teachers.  We are all in this together Taft Wizards. 

Yours truly,
Mrs. Williams and Dr. Hindley


4.3.20

Good Morning Taft Families,

Happy Friday!  I hope this email finds you and your family doing well and staying healthy!

I wanted to share some useful resources with you that I have come across recently.

The resource for today is from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).  On their website you will find an article titled, "Care for Caregivers: Tips for Families and Educators".  You can find this at: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/mental-health-resources/care-for-caregivers-tips-for-families-and-educators

Here is today's morning message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjpB2hAdXl4

Here is the link to the YouTube channel so you can view all the posted videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg

Next week starts a new chapter in our distance learning.  Please have your child log into their Google Classroom each day.  In case you're not familiar with Google Classroom, I found this helpful video on YouTube.  "Video introduction to Google Classroom" at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iowi-gmbys&feature=youtu.be

Please, join us next week by celebrating Taft Spring Spirit Week!  See the attachment for details.  Follow the theme each day, take a picture, and share it out so we can all be connected and united while we are apart from each other!  #TaftWizards

Have a great weekend!

Take care and be well,

Mrs. Williams

Taft Spring Spirit Week
April 6 - April 10, 2020
  • Let’s all come together while we are apart and have a little fun during the week we were supposed to have spring break!

  • Take a picture of yourself each day with the theme for the day.

  • Have your parents post it to social media and hashtag it: #TaftWizards

  • Post the picture in your Google Classroom.

  • Email the picture to your teacher or Mrs. Williams!


Manic Monday
Wild and Crazy Hair

Tech Tuesday
Show us what technology you’re using at home.

Wizard Wednesday
Wear that Blue and Gold!

Thoughtful Thursday
Where do you like to relax and think?

Furry Friends Friday
You and a furry friend! (stuffed animal or real)

 


4.1.20

Good Morning Taft Families,

I hope this email finds you and your family doing well and staying healthy!

I wanted to share some useful resources with you that I have come across recently.

The resource for today is from the New York State Office of Mental Health.  It's a guide titled: "Feeling Stressed About Corona Virus (COVID-19)? Managing Anxiety in an Anxiety-Provoking Situation".  I attached the PDF document to this email, but you can also find it here:  https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/guidance/covid-19-managing-stress-anxiety.pdf

Also, here is today's morning message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_q_7DoJAwo

Here is the link to the YouTube channel so you can view all the posted videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg

I hope you enjoy this beautiful day!

Take care and be well,

Mrs. Williams


3.31.20

Dear Taft students and families,

All of the teachers and staff at Taft have been working so hard to create lessons and activities for you to do at home. They all miss you very much! We are all looking forward to the day we can be back together in school! In the meantime, here is a message from almost everyone at Taft!

Please take care of yourself and be well,

Mrs. Williams


3.28.20

To all Taft Staff: 

You all are doing an amazing job!

I know how complex, uncertain, different, and stressful these days are. But I want you to know that you are all doing an amazing job and working to your strengths!

I really appreciate your flexibility, professionalism, and willingness to step outside your comfort zone to do something totally different! Many of us are using forms of technology we never even knew existed!

We are so fortunate to have these tools and means available to us! Imagine if this happened just 10 years ago!

Please continue to keep your health a priority, your physical and psychological health!

I feel for one that this whole situation is making us stronger and bringing us closer together, even during this time of isolation. Secondly, it’s making us rethink teaching and learning. 

I am looking forward to getting back to the regular routines, whenever that may be. In the meantime, keep on keeping on. We got this!

Thank you so much,

Christine

Here is a great photo put together by our awesome Taft PTA.  Thank you to our parents for your continued support!

Thank you taft staff

 


3.24.20

Good Morning Taft Families,

I hope this email finds everyone healthy and happy.  I created another YouTube video with today's message and announcements!  Please share this video with your children.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can stay connected to Taft!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg?view_as=subscriber

As always, feel free to reach out to your child's teacher through email.  I am also available through email.  You can still call my office phone and I will return your call from a "blocked" number.  845-497-4000 ext. 22504  or  cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us

Be well and enjoy the day.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


 

3.23.20

Good Morning Taft Families,

I hope this email finds everyone healthy and happy.  I created another YouTube video with today's message and announcements!  Please share this video with your children.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can stay connected to Taft!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg?view_as=subscriber

As always, feel free to reach out to your child's teacher through email.  I am also available through email.  You can still call my office phone and I will return your call from a "blocked" number.  845-497-4000 ext. 22504  or  cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us

Be well and enjoy the day.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


3.20.20

Good Afternoon Taft Families,

I hope this email finds everyone healthy and happy.  We just finished our first full week of distance learning and I wanted to reach out to everyone to see how you're doing.  I created a YouTube video to say hi to everyone!  Please share this video with your children.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can stay connected to Taft!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIzKUDN8rdOmlRlhvgYYRg?view_as=subscriber

As always, feel free to reach out to your child's teacher through email.  I am also available through email.  You can still call my office phone and I will return your call from a "blocked" number.  845-497-4000 ext. 22504  or  cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us

Be well and enjoy the weekend.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Williams


3.17.20

Dear Taft Families,

We hope this email finds you well.  As we begin to navigate our first week of being home, I want to provide you with a litle more information.  I know each of our teachers have sent home paper packets as well as many online resources.  Remember, these are suggestions of activities and assignments for your child to work on while we are out of school.  They are not required and they are not being graded.  We do not want any child to struggle with anything the teachers sent out.  Everyone is trying to provide a variety of activities to keep our children engaged in learning activities.

A lot of resources are right on your child's Wizard Launch platform.  This can be found by going to the District Webpage: https://www.ws.k12.ny.us/  The Wizard Launch link can be found in the middle of the main page.

When logging into Wizard Launch the student MUST use their own District Google Login Credentials... Please make sure you are logged out of personal Google Accounts.  Some of the applications may only work in a Google Chrome browser.  Make sure you are in Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer or Safari or another browser.

Here is a Google Folder with important PDF documents for your reference:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X_Ph4gaM1s5aHQQt9nNw7C3y2pkAQG2K  

The buildings and grounds in Washingtonville will all be closed through April 13.  Playground - Please do not bring your children to the playground.  It is not being sanitized and we want to keep germs from spreading.

Special Area Teachers (PE, Music, Library, and Art) have all created some helpful documents with activities and websites for your children to utilize while home.  Please see the Google Folder referenced above for those documents.

This may also be helpful, especially for your youngest children when trying to explain to them why we are not in school right now - Coronavirus Social Story for children: https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html?fbclid=IwAR2Vwr47mWVCnpmR2FPGDmpDtlos8vfanMvRwPuILd_bBDaeHvyfV_4zZZw

I have also included a list of some character education videos that were recently made available free to parents.  Please see below.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you need any support or help.  Our teachers are all working hard to stay connected and supportive during this complex situation.  I am also available at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Take care and be well,

Mrs. Williams

Character Tree Videos for Children:

3.16.20

Dear Taft Parents and Families,

This is a very new experience we are all embarking on.  Thank you all so much for your cooperation and understanding.  Our faculty and staff have been working over the last couple of days in preparation to make the best out of this closure for your children.

First and foremost, we want to make sure we are mindful of our health and safety as well as that of our loved ones!  Our passion for teaching and learning is why we are in the field of education and we want you to know that this month outside of school will not be easy.  As always, we continue to work together as a team for the benefit of our children and we are grateful for working through this with you, our community.

Taft will be open to parents today, Monday, March 16 from 12:00-3:00 and tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 from 8:00-3:00 so you can pick up any personal belongings, medications, or materials for your child.  We want to make sure all students have what they need since the building will be closed through April 13.

If your child needs to borrow a district Chromebook, those can be picked up at the High School today, Monday, March 16, from 12:00-3:00.

Our teachers prepared some review and practice packets last Friday and sent them home with students.  Our plan was to finalize those packets today, but with the County Executive’s order to close schools, we pulled together some resources a little quicker than anticipated.  Many teachers have also provided parents with digital resources for your child to access online. In this day and age of technology, the online resources can be almost endless and oftentimes overwhelming.  Especially now with many companies offering free resources and memberships to parents and children to access. Please don’t get yourself or your children overwhelmed with work. Our hope is that your child finds balance in the practicing of their educational skills.  Make learning fun by following a simple schedule with short periods of time on task and breaks in between. The most important skills we suggest to practice are reading, writing, and math. Those three skills should be practiced daily. Make it fun and do it together as a family.  Balance paper work with screen time. You can incorporate science and social studies topics through those skills. Each day, you can spend time in the enjoyment of music, art, and physical education. Some of our special area teachers have created some idea lists for you and your family as well.  Take advantage of the nicer spring weather and spend some time outside in the yard as a family. For the next four weeks, please be flexible and responsive to your children and their needs.

As a district, we are providing daily food for distribution from 11:00-12:00 at each of the elementary buildings as well as several off-campus locations (Village Hall & Mountain Lodge Fire House).  The Food For Kids Backpack Program will also continue. They have yet to finalize the details, but this will also be available for our FFK students.

Please be well.  Keep your social distance from others.  Continue to practice healthy hygiene measures.

Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher for support via email. You can email me at cwilliams@ws.k12.ny.us. You can also call and leave me a message at 845-497-4000 ext. 22504. I will return your phone call from a “No Caller ID” number.  

Please visit the district website for updated and important information about how to talk to your children about this situation.  https://wsk12nyus.finalsite.com 

Thank you so much for your understanding, flexibility, and cooperation,

Christine Williams

Wizard Launch Info