New Horizon School

Dear NHS Families,

As things continue to change in our world daily, the NHS faculty and I continue to work very hard to adapt and modify our on-line learning format to provide success for our students. The teachers meet within their departments, the department heads and I meet, and the entire faculty and I meet daily. Kudos to the NHS faculty for their phenomenal work!

As you know, we changed our structure for on-line learning this past week, by adding in Zoom classes and teacher office hours. We hope this has improved the experience for your child. It allows the teachers to have direct contact with students so that they can provide instruction, assess learning, and guide students who need 1:1 help. 98% of our students have checked in with their teachers, and 98% of our students have joined Zoom classes throughout this past week. Office hours allow teachers to meet the needs of individual students. Our goal for this 4th week of remote learning is to continue to increase engagement and improve structures and routines for your child. We noticed last week that NHS students seem happy and excited to be able to interact with their teachers and classmates on Zoom. They seem to feel as though they are “together again” and “part of the school community again”. This is good news! Last week I observed entire classes doing amazing activities together, such as taking a virtual tour of a museum together (“I want to see the bugs”, “I’m interested in seeing the animals”, etc.), doing yoga together, and cooking hamburgers together. Wow!

 

To recap: During Week 1, we focused on making sure that every student had the necessary technology and could log on to Schoology; During Week 2, we focused on helping our students use Schoology to check in with their teachers and participate in discussion posts either in writing or on voice recording, and upload completed assignments; and during Week 3 we focused on introducing Zoom classes and making sure that all students could join a Zoom class, participate via video and audio, and use some of the tools (thumbs up, mute, stop video, chat, etc.). This week, as public schools enter their first week of remote learning, and as we enter our 4th week of remote learning, NHS teachers will continue to work hard to engage, instruct, and assess your child’s progress while at the same time modifying and adapting our approach to better serve your child. NHS teachers will also continue to work hard to modify his/her Zoom classroom to ensure that it is an effective and sensory friendly environment.

 

Your feedback is important! Please share any concerns or questions you have with us so that we can continue to improve.

 

Our school calendar will remain as similar as possible to our published calendar in terms of days off and planned activities, although some activities may be cancelled or look and feel quite different if they occur remotely.

 

In that regard:

 

  • Remote learning will be in session all day on April 3rd, rather than ½ day as published in our Activities Calendar at the beginning of the school year.
  • Spring Vacation will take place April 6th – April 10th, as published in our Activities Calendar at the beginning of the school year.
  • School will resume on April 13th, due to the fact that we used one snow day earlier in the year.
  • 3rd Quarter Report Cards will be sent to you on April 27th.
  • Depending upon forthcoming decisions by the Governor regarding school closures, some activities are cancelled (e.g. Black Watch, Volunteer Week, Fishing Club, and the Spring Gala). We are currently discussing other activities that we would like to hold remotely (e.g. the Annual Meeting on May 21st, Exhibit/Awards Night on May 28th, and Senior Graduation on June 12th) if our campus is still closed in May/June. More to be determined regarding those activities.

In the meantime, while many of you are spending more time with your child at home, please consider watching some great movies together, movies that build character strengths.

 

Communication is an important character strength for a child’s growth and development. Below is a link to a list of movies that can help children learn to listen thoughtfully as well as to communicate clearly. Please note that after you click the link, you can select for your child’s age group.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-promote-communication

 

Compassion is another character strength that children need in order to navigate the social world. Here is a link to a list of films with characters who learn the importance of caring about others and acting with generosity and concern. Again, after you go to the website, click on the link to select the correct age group.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-inspire-compassion

 

Lastly, empathy is a critical trait for children in an interconnected world. It is important to their overall growth and success in life. The link below will take you to a list of movies that help children learn the value of taking the perspective of another person and focusing on the needs of other people. Once you’re there, select the age group for your child.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-inspire-empathy

 

Also, attached please find a flyer for your information.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Marla L. Veliz

 

Marla Veliz, Administrator

mveliz@new-horizon-school.org

March 31st, 2020

Posted In: School News

Dear NHS Families,

I hope that being at home with your family is going well for you. It is a big transition, and I’m sure we are all having some trying moments! I’m grateful that to the best of my knowledge, no one in our NHS school community has tested positive or fallen ill to COVID-19. That is good news! Please do let us know if you or someone in your family has tested positive. As always, all medical information will be kept confidential.

The faculty and I have been meeting daily, and the departments have been meeting daily to evaluate how remote learning is going for NHS. We have received a lot of positive feedback from students and families. Families have said that they appreciate the structure we are providing to support their child’s learning and the personal attention that we are giving to their child’s needs. We know that there have been struggles: a few students are having trouble logging on to Schoology, some are overwhelmed with understanding the tasks, and find it difficult. For the most part, however, the majority of our students are doing a great job, asking for help when they need it, and persevering.

As a result of the feedback that we have gathered over this first week, we are making some adjustments to our on-line learning program for the upcoming week. We are introducing more “Zoom” classes led by specific teachers at specific times, during which students will meet together with their teacher and their classmates. Teachers will “host” the class, give students some time to interact with each other, and then present the day’s lesson and activities. Teachers will help students during the remainder of the class. We hope that the “Zoom” classroom environment will provide even more structure and support to your child’s learning day.

Your child will check in to each class in Schoology every day, M-F, answer the question provided by the teacher and respond to one other classmate (in each class). Your child will click on the “Zoom” link at the top of each class on the day and time the “Zoom” class is scheduled. Your child will meet with the teacher during office hours, via “Zoom” to ask questions and get extra help. Your child will turn in daily assignments as soon as possible, with Sunday still being the final deadline. Please ask the teacher if you have questions. Our goal is to for your child to be increasingly independent with the on-line learning experience.

It’s hard to imagine that just a few short weeks ago we heard about the first life lost in Washington State as a result of COVID-19. Now we are hearing about dozens in our state, hundreds in our country, and almost 10,000 globally. Our lives are changing rapidly every day, as we see our local governments, the CDC, and the WHO responding to mitigate and slow the transmission of the virus. We see these agencies reaching out to us as and to our healthcare providers trying to help us prepare.

The same principles of personal hygiene and protection apply, along with social distancing, but the most noticeable change is that we can no longer gather together in restaurants or events. This is difficult for adults and children.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Health Officer Jeff Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.

  • All events with more than 50 people are prohibited until further notice
  • All events with fewer than 50 people are discouraged and prohibited unless organizers observe COVID-19 prevention measure.
  • All bars, dance clubs, fitness and health clubs, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other social and recreational establishments until at least March 31.
  • All restaurants and food service establishments cannot provide dining room service. They may remain open for drive-through, takeout and delivery.
  • All other retail – including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies – should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.

Under the order, events include: community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities. I encourage you to follow the order and help slow the transmission of the virus.

I also encourage you to plan now so that you can be ready in case many people are sick and can’t go to work. Planning and preparing your household in case of illness is a proactive step. Make sure that you have a 30-day supply of any prescription medications needed. Talk to your family, and plan ways to care for those who may be at greater risk, those who are elderly, or those have underlying health conditions. Talk to your neighbors, learn about their emergency plans, and see how you might be able to help each other. Make an emergency contact list. Identify a specific room to care for someone in your family who may need to be isolated away from the rest of your family. Learn about organizations in your community that may have resources and may provide help in case you and your family are quarantined.

Your workplace should be making plans too. Ask about how your workplace can still operate if many workers are out sick or if they need to stay home to care of their family members.

Do your part to prevent discrimination. COVID-19 is not connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. Misinformation creates fear, harms people, and makes it harder to help people stay healthy.

 

Keep washing your hands!

 

Sincerely,

Marla L. Veliz

Administrator

 

March 21st, 2020

Posted In: School News

Dear NHS Families and Friends,

 

New Horizon School has transitioned to on-line learning to include daily check-ins with teachers, assignments, chats, video conferencing, and a variety of other learning activities on several digital formats:  Schoology, ALEKS, Kurzweil 3000, Zoom, and others.  Please contact the teacher if you have any questions about assignments or activities.

We are reaching out to all of our school district representatives and other organizations to extend the invitation to continue all previously scheduled meetings via Zoom video conferencing.  If you have a meeting on your calendar that was previously scheduled, I will be contacting you to transition the meeting to an on-line format.  Please email me at mveliz@new-horizon-school.org if you have any questions or concerns.

During this unusual time, we may feel some stress related to COVID-19.  We may be fearful or feel anxious which can cause some stress.  Coping with this stress together can help us become a stronger school community!

Fear and anxiety about an infectious disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Coping with stress together will help you, the people you care about, and your community be stronger. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include worry about your own health and the health of your family, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty focusing, difficulty sleeping, or a worsening of chronic health problems.

As parents and educators, we are always busy taking care of others.  At this time, it’s important to take care of ourselves as well.  Be sure to take breaks from watching the news; use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, stretching, or meditating; and try to eat healthy meals, unwind, and connect with your support people.

If your child is showing signs of stress, provide reassurance, let him/her know that they are safe and that it is OK to feel upset.  Limit exposure to the news.  Continue your family’s regular routines if possible and make time for relaxing and fun activities.

Reach out to us if you need support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marla L. Veliz

 

Marla L. Veliz, Administrator

New Horizon School

1111 S. Carr Rd.

Renton, WA  98055

March 15th, 2020

Posted In: School News

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