Current Families

Starting September 8th, 2020 our wonderful CNCS students, families and staff will be setting out on a new remote learning journey.

Starting with Remote Learning at CNCS

Starting September 8th, 2020 our wonderful CNCS students, families and staff will be setting out on a new remote learning journey.  To be clear, this is not a repeat of the spring, when Covid-19 shut down school.  We have had time to reflect, to learn new practices, to hear from students and parents in ways that pushed our instructional design.  We are going to be striving for daily deep, meaningful and authentic learning, using the arts and projects, even in the distance landscape.  To do this we will first prioritize Family Engagement, Partnership and Support.  (see below) Priority #2  for fall distance learning is frequent small group instruction.  We know it  to be a best practice in distance learning.  Small groups foster relationship building -between students and teachers-and among students.  They also provide for just right teaching- easier assessment, intervention and enrichment.  Priority #3 will be social and emotional learning. We have to acknowledge  all our students are experiencing the upheaval of school –at- a- distance and other pandemic related changes in their own ways. They need opportunities to know and voice their feelings and learn coping strategies.  With these three spokes on the wheel, we believe we can travel many distance learning miles.

The CNCS Fall School Schedule

At the heart of City Neighbors teaching is a developmental approach. We teach students from the time they turn 5 years old to the time they leave us as high schoolers. Within each day at each grade are times for learning and socializing as appropriate to their ages and stages. The distance learning schedule attempts to account for developmentally appropriate needs, this will include some flexibility, especially for families of younger children.

We have decided to start the day for all students with Morning Meeting at 9:00 am to meet, greet each other and the day. What follows will be learning time differentiated for each grade level. Younger students will have a common break time in the morning and all students and staff will have a lunch break from 11:30-12:30. 

Come afternoon we will look to a final round for teaching. Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers will design their afternoon schedule in ways best suited for our youngest students. At 1:30 each day,  students in k-5 will have asynchronous, or supported work while Middle School moves into Advisory, Elective and PE. Middle School students have an hour of independent or preparatory work each afternoon, with access to teachers as needed.

Teachers will have planning and collaborative time each day.  This is also a daily time to connect with families by email, text, phone calls and during office hours.   Individual teachers will publish grade level schedules when they return to teaching at the end of August. Teachers contract begins August 26th.

Family Engagement, Partnership and Support 2020-2021

Family Engagement at City Neighbors will be more important than ever this fall.  We’ve  heard from parents through surveys and emails, phone calls and roundtables about what you need. We are putting in place family literacy initiatives, family office hours, and new family-school communication systems, including a new one stop school website,  enhanced Jupiter Learning Management System for grades grades 4-8,  more feedback systems from parents to school leadership and a school directory for families to connect with one another.

Our school Board of Directors led by President Rochetta Gordon (parent of an 8th grader and 4th grader) includes 8 parent run committees, helping to steer the school ship.  CNCS started as a parent and teacher cooperative- we will draw on those roots now.  Each first Tuesday of the month  (starting in October) will be virtual Committee Night reaching out to families to connect, learn, and be involved.  The last Thursday of the month is the Board Meeting, starting August 28th.

But we know that families need individualized support too.  Parents and other caregivers need specific advice on teaching and what is expected for their child’s trajectory of development as a reader, writer, mathematician. Some families need specific resources due to the impact of the pandemic.  And several folks’ situation is changing from Spring.  We will continue to publish about resources and help distribute them.

August 2020  Resources: Food Boxes, Meals, Housuing and Eviction assistance email to follow newsletter today.

Many parents are worried about their family’s well being and their child’s need for peers to play with and develop with.  One option is to develop “pandemic pods” or “quaranteams” to provide socialization, and possibly shared education and childcare.  During the week of August 17th, CNCS is organizing parent-to-parent conversations at grade level and zip code level to connect and help one another address the developmental things kids will miss out on, and the need for families to establish life/work/school balance. 

RSVP for Pandemic Pods/Quaranteams Meet UpsWe will also send you some resources to check out beforehand when you RSVP.

Opt in to a family-to-family School Directory

Safety, health and well-being for students, families and staff in 2020

When we look at a photo of happy first graders at the 100th day of school, we remember to cherish the  moments when togetherness feels easy.  We took care of each other by being together .

Now, things are different and our ways of proceeding less obvious. We have to be flexible in new ways, responding to the changing demands we recognize in our lives.  Now we take care of each other by listening and problem solving together, with plenty of patience, compassion and grace.

When it comes to our children, every risk feels big.  We are all trying to cope with risk that comes with the virus, but the risks of isolation too. The goal is to make a realistic plan that will holistically keep teachers, families and children as safe and healthy as possible.

This year I invite you to check in with me as you need to.  I certainly have never led a school through a pandemic year, so I want to hear from you, partner with you and help our school community get through as we start the year and as we keep going.  We will do our best to be agile, adapting and responding, but I think we have a solid steel frame to build upon.  Five years from now, I hope we can look back on some photos  of how we showed up for each other—for City Neighbors students, families and staff–in new ways.

Feel free to email comments, ask questions, or share an idea.  kseidl@cityneighbors.org

K-2

Vicki Almon and Stevie Dissinger

Kellie Monroe and Gentry Harris

Jessie Tawney and Sharon Jackson

3-5

Megan Doyle

Tracy Pendred and Kim Spears

Tracy Pendred and Kim Spears

6-8

David Fitzsimons, Cortnie Belser, Annie Rouse, Brittany Brown

David Fitzsimons, Cortnie Belser, Annie Rouse, Brittany Brown

David Fitzsimons, Cortnie Belser, Annie Rouse, Brittany Brown

Sara Reinhardt

Emily Snellings

Log-As-You-Go Volunteer Hours Form

Zoom connection ACTION NEEDED

Hello City Neighbors Families,

It was so good to see you at materials and device pick up these past few days! At the time, we got to alert you that each child should receive an email sent to their student cityneighbors.org email asking them to approve the request to be added to City Schools Zoom.

By now, your child should have received an email from Zoom in their City Neighbors gmail.

We have learned that some students have not yet received their Zoom login information or else they have received the incorrect student’s login. Please complete this ZOOM ISSUES form, even if you successfully joined Zoom, so that we can continue following up with the school district until it is resolved. You can also let Ms Seidl know directly.

Please double check today and this evening to see if the email has been received and to follow through with the directions to create an account. For more specific assistance, Mr FitzSimons created a video to show how to click on the zoom email:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUFx2-tLx38

If you receive a Baltimore City screen, you are finished. You do not need to enter a username or password on the Baltimore City screen.

To check your new zoom account, click on this zoom:
https://sites.google.com/cityneighbors.org/5thcncs/home

If you are met with a screen that says “Please wait for the host to start this meeting”, you are set to go.

If you are met with a screen that says “This meeting is for internal users only”, try to set up your zoom account again.

Thank you for all of your grace and patience as we work through these bumps in the road on the way to a great school year.

Best,
Kate Seidl

SUPPLIES:
SHARE school supplies and Chromebooks

City Neighbors Teachers have reconsidered school supplies for remote learning. They have painstakingly selected, ordered and will be creating individual sets of school-at-home materials that will help turn the corner of the living room into a more functional classroom space for fall learning online and for learning independently or with family members. The cost of these materials, which includes math manipulatives, whiteboards, writing tools and art materials is $50 per CNCS student, the same price of an annual SHARE school supply coop in 2019. We ask each family to purchase a SHARE if at all possible. Adding a donation of $10 supports another CNCS family that may be experiencing financial hardship.

CNCS has purchased numerous chromebooks laptop computers to meet the needs of our learners. As I shared in spring, come September, families in need of laptops for distance learning will have the option to 1) purchase a chromebook from CNCS at a discount The chromebook will cost $150- and we recommend a case. or 2) borrow a chromebook with an agreement for financial responsibility. One time pay or payment plans will be available. We will also work on an individual basis with families who need assistance with accessing reliable wifi. We will ask families currently using school chromebooks to check in with us to make a plan for fall.

CNCS SHOP

School Supplies for Remote Learning per CNCS Student

USD $50.00

SHARE supplies will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

School Supplies for Remote Learning per CNCS Student
Plus $10 Donation

Your donation supports another CNCS family that may be experiencing financial hardship.

USD $60.00

SHARE supplies will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

School Supplies for Remote Learning per CNCS Student
Plus $25 Donation

Your donation supports another CNCS family that may be experiencing financial hardship.

USD $75.00

SHARE supplies will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

School Supplies for Remote Learning per CNCS Student
Plus $50 Donation

Your donation supports another CNCS family that may be experiencing financial hardship.

USD $100.00

SHARE supplies will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

One time payment for Chromebook Laptop Computer

Savings of up to $75.

USD $150.00

Laptop(s) will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

Pay in 3 Installments of $50 for Chromebook Laptop Computer

Savings of up to $75.

USD $50.00

Laptop(s) will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.

Otterbox Chromebook Laptop Case

USD $20.00

Laptop(s) will be picked up by each family from School during the week of August 31st.