New Horizon School

June 16, 2020

Congratulations NHS Graduating Class of 2020

Dear NHS Families and Friends,

As the school year comes to a close, I have a few reminders for you.

Today, June 16th, is the last day of classes.  Your student will need to log on to Schoology to answer discussion posts, and attend Zoom classes beginning at 12 PM.  All assignments should be turned in no later than Friday, June 19th, but the sooner the better so that teachers will be able to grade them.  Report Cards will be distributed on Friday, June 26th.  If you have any question or if you don’t receive your student’s report card on that date, please contact Vikki Colson at vcolson@new-horizon-school.org.

Wednesday, June 17th, we have conferences by appointment on the calendar for 1 – 3:30 PM.  Please contact any teacher with whom you wish to have a conference to schedule with him/her directly for a Zoom conference.

We were hoping to schedule a time for families to come by the school to pick up their students’ belongings and return books and other school items to us, but at this time we are still unable to allow gatherings of people on campus.  We will contact you during the summer to schedule a day and time, if public health guidelines allow it.

Summer School begins on July 7th and will be an online program due to continued concerns with the community spread of COVID-19.  We will send a letter to families whose students are enrolled in Summer School to explain the schedule for office hours and Zoom classes shortly.  Reminder, the theme is “Celebrate Community”, and we will be teaching math, reading, writing, and teambuilding (social skills) through the theme.  The teachers have planned a lot of fun and educational activities that promote community building, and they will be mailing summer school supplies for these activities to your home shortly, if your son or daughter is enrolled.

Please watch for our monthly newsletters the first week in July and again in August.  We will keep you informed as our planning goes forward for the fall.

Last week Chris Reykdal, OSPI, announced that schools will return to campus, face-to-face instruction, in September.  However, as we have learned over the past four months, this is a fluid situation with many changing regulations, guidelines, and recommendations.  We will prepare for on campus, face-to-face instruction, as required by OSPI.  However, we will also plan for continuous learning using other models as well:  1) online full time with improvements based on what we have learned this spring, 2) online part time with improvements combined with on campus part time, 3) some staff and students online and some staff and students on campus, or 4) some combination of all of the above.  In the meantime, we are preparing for on campus instruction:  having our HVAC systems inspected; purchasing Personal Protection Equipment (masks, face shields, gloves); purchasing hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and disinfecting wipes; installing portable handwashing stations; and studying the square footage in the classrooms to determine the student:teacher ratio that will allow the required 6 ft physical distancing that will be required in each of our classrooms.

With the number of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 continuing to increase in King County and elsewhere, it seems unlikely that we will be allowed to open school in September on campus full time.  As noted previously, this is a dynamic situation, with constantly evolving data, regulations, and guidelines.  We will keep you informed throughout the summer regarding our plans for the fall.

We look forward to “seeing” those of you whose students will be joining us for summer school on July 7th, and we look forward to staying in touch with all of you throughout the summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at mveliz@new-horizon-school.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Marla L. Veliz

June 16th, 2020

Posted In: School News

New Horizon School in Renton, Washington, is pleased to announce the 2020 Graduating Seniors.  Congratulations to Rachel Chronister, Thérèse Miller, and Roger O’Brien.  We are proud of you!

www.new-horizon-school.org

 

June 12th, 2020

Posted In: School News

“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” 

James Baldwin

June 7, 2020

Dear NHS Families and Friends,

Following the terrible murder of George Floyd, we have seen ongoing protests and other calls to action demanding change.  We need change.  Doing nothing condones the unjust actions of others.

New Horizon School does not accept racism, and as a school we will stand up against racism.  We have begun the process of examining ourselves as educators, our individual actions, and how we teach about social injustice, systematic oppression, and racism.  We will continue to teach about the past, so that our students have more tools to navigate the present.  We will teach anti-racism, so that we can be a part of the solution.

During this past week, the faculty and I have been present for NHS students:  listening to them, reassuring them that they are safe at home and at school, answering their questions honestly and factually, and modeling for them how to stop racism.  It is a work in progress, but as a faculty and staff, we will stand together with our students, families, and board members, to stop racism.

Speaking for myself, I support the need to address the issue of police misconduct and brutality.  I support peaceful protests against injustice and inequity.  I support the requirement for members of law enforcement to turn on their body cameras and fully display their name badges.  I support the need to establish violence de-escalation training and teams within law enforcement.  I support the need to require law enforcement to provide first aid to save Black lives.  The killing of Black men, women, and children must stop.  I believe that we need social justice, and to accomplish that, we need to take apart our country’s racist system.  For my part, as an individual, I will speak up and say stop when I witness racism, I will talk to children about our country’s racist history, and I will guide children in recognizing the worth and dignity of every Black American.

As a school, the NHS faculty and I will continue to discuss ways that we can be a part of the solution, so that our NHS students can be the change needed to build an equitable society.  Our curriculum and program has always focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, and compassion.  We have always taught history.  We now know that we need to do more:  we need to teach about the racism upon which our country was founded, and we need to teach anti-racism.

We have NHS students and families of color who are hurting right now.  I assure you, we will continue to uphold our Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policies which prohibit racism and discrimination.  As the teachers and I continue our conversations, we will determine what is needed to strengthen our programs and practices as well as to increase racial equity awareness, close the gaps in education experienced in our nation by Black students, and absolutely make sure that our Black students and other students of color know that they are safe, loved, and celebrated.

It is heartbreaking that tragic events such as the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, and others have taken place:  these events are connected to a long, long history of inequity and injustice in our country.

I highly recommend the resources below.  Now would be an excellent time to share a book, read a significant article, and watch an important video interview with your son or daughter, and be a part of the solution.

Books:
· Coretta Scott King Book Award winners

· “Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice”, (Adapted for Young Adults), by Bryan Stevenson

Videos:
·“Ta-Nehisi Coates on Police Brutality:  The Violence is Not New, It’s the Cameras That Are New”, author of “Between the World and Me” 

· “A Guide to white Privilege” by Courtney Ahn

Article:
·“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, by Peggy McIntosh 

Last week the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) shared some information from models for re-opening schools that have been developed in other states.  Ideas included innovative approaches with differentiated instruction, increased integration of technology, teaching deeply, using a whole child approach (social/emotional learning), equity considerations, team teaching, using staff creatively, and a focus on student mental health and well-being.  These are all concepts that the NHS faculty and I have been talking about as well.  Some states have described this process as “instructional reconstruction”, “school reform”, and “reimagining education”.  Whatever Washington State decides to call it; school will certainly look different next year in our state.  We expect OSPI to announce new guidelines tomorrow, and we expect those guidelines to discuss all of the above, as well as various options (or combinations of options):  on-site face to face school, split/rotating schedules without distance learning, split/rotating schedules with distance learning, phased in opening without distance learning, phased in opening with distance learning, and/or continuous learning in the remote environment.

The Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and I are pleased to announce that NHS will waive the balance of volunteer hours for families.

We are still accepting enrollment for Summer School 2020.  Be sure to mark if your student wishes to receive .5 credit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Have a good week.

Sincerely,

Marla

Marla Veliz

June 11th, 2020

Posted In: School News

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