School Updates 2020-2021

School Updates 2020-2021

*This is to inform all readers that if you need this memo, notice, mailing and/or document in a language other than English, please call 413-783-2600 and request this in a specific language. We will take down your name, and address; a copy of this memo, notice, mailing and/or document will be sent to you within 2 school days.

*Esto es para informar a todos los lectores que si necesita esta nota, aviso, correo y / o documento en un idioma que no sea inglés, llame al 413-783-2600 y solicítelo en un idioma específico. Retiraremos su nombre y dirección; se le enviará una copia de este memo, aviso, correo y / o documento dentro de los 2 días escolares. 

*Tani waa in la ogeysiiyo dhammaan akhristayaasha in haddii aad u baahan tahay qoraalkan, ogeysiiska, dirista iyo / ama dukumintiga ku qoran luqad aan Ingiriis ahayn, fadlan wac 413-783-2600 oo ku codso tan luqad gaar ah. Waxaan la soo bixi doonnaa magacaaga, iyo cinwaanka; nuqul ka mid ah qoraalkan, ogeysiiska, boostada iyo / ama dukumiintiga ayaa laguugu soo diri doonaa adiga 2 maalmood oo iskuul ah gudahood.

*Điều này là để thông báo cho tất cả người đọc rằng nếu bạn cần bản ghi nhớ này, thông báo, gửi thư và / hoặc tài liệu bằng một ngôn ngữ khác ngoài tiếng Anh, vui lòng gọi 413-783-2600 và yêu cầu bằng ngôn ngữ cụ thể. Chúng tôi sẽ lấy tên và địa chỉ của bạn; một bản sao của bản ghi nhớ này, thông báo, gửi thư và / hoặc tài liệu sẽ được gửi cho bạn trong vòng 2 ngày học. 

***PLEASE USE THE GOOGLE LANGUAGE BAR (TOP RIGHT-HAND SIDE) TO TRANSLATE PAGE INTO Khmer, Lao, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese***


30NOV20

 

Dear SABIS® International Charter School Parents:

It goes without saying that the last several weeks have been a period of adjustment for all of us.  Students and parents have been getting used to the use of technology in the learning process as well as coping with new challenges that accompany learning online.  Responsibility for various aspects of the learning process that the school could previously manage have shifted to parents and students – organization, engagement, maintaining focus and motivation – and administrators, teachers, and staff have all been engaged in learning new approaches to deliver instruction and offer social and emotional support our students.  Without a doubt, it has been a period of both challenge and growth.

From the start of the 2020-21 school year, the school has been engaged in determining the impact of the spring school closure due to Covid.  Our analysis included diagnostic tests from early in the school year as well as student performance on internal weekly assessments including AMS and Periodic Exams.  With online assessments having begun at the end of October after allowing for an adjustment period, the results of our analysis show that the extent of the “Covid Slide” is significant for many students and consistent with what has been recently reported by school districts across the US.    

We realize and appreciate that you have put your trust in the school to operate in the best interest of your child/ren.  We also realize that it has been difficult not to be able to access your child/ren’s assessment results on a weekly basis as would be the case under non-Covid conditions; however, with the scope of challenges that accompany Covid and their potential to impact students’ results, we felt it would do students a disservice to release results without having conducted a thorough analysis to validate the results.

Given the information we now have of our students’ Covid slide and with their best interests at the forefront, we have made some important adjustments to our remote learning plan.

  • We will be re-administering diagnostic tests to evaluate student growth and re-position pacing ahead of Term 2.
  • We will be reassessing the number of internal assessments to balance the time between teaching and testing.
  • In Term 2, we will also return to releasing student scores on a weekly basis so that parents can monitor their child’s learning.

With regard to the end of Term 1, we will be making the following adjustments:                                                                                                               

  • We have extended the one week of review ahead of Term 1 final exams to two weeks to allow teachers and students more time to review concepts taught in the term.  This review will include time spent with the teachers going through the Practice Quizzes available on the SDP.  If you would like to access the Practice Quizzes, there is a PowerPoint online on our website to guide you on how to find and take Practice Quizzes.  (Click here to open the link and download the PowerPoint on your device.)
  • In order to ensure that students’ results reflect their knowledge and not a struggle or issues with technology, we will be limiting the final exams to multiple choice-style questions such as drop down, matching, drag and drop, etc., taken from questions students have seen throughout the term. 
  • Students who wish to re-take their final exams will be able to do so and improve their scores.
  • We will also be very carefully reviewing the best way to calculate End-of-Term grades based on our analysis of the Covid Slide and on student assessment results, given  that students have taken fewer tests this term than they would have under normal circumstances.  This could include a number of different possible scenarios such adjusting the weighting assigned to assessments.   As much as we would like to set the grading approach for the end of term now, there are simply too many variables to be able to do so at this time without potentially disadvantaging students.  We ask for you continued trust as we make a decision on End-of-Term grades based on your child/ren’s best interest.

During the coming three weeks, it is very important that your child/ren attend all classes, complete all review material, and take final exams.  Any support you can provide at home to help encourage them would be much appreciated.  With the strength of our mutual commitment to making the best out of this challenging situation, we will ensure that our students’ learning never stops.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (mthomsen@sabis.net) or our Director of Academics, Justin Baker (jbaker@sics-mail.net).

Best Regards,

Maretta Thomsen
Interim Director

 

24NOV20

Good Evening SICS Families:
We continue to work with DESE on the P-EBT Round 3 retroactive benefits.  We will keep you posted of the progress. 
 
Please remember, school-aged children are now required to have the Flu vaccine by December 31, 2020.  This does include students that are learning remotely.  The vaccine can be obtained at your doctor's office or a community clinic.  A staff member from our Health Office may be contacting you in the upcoming weeks to revise your student's immunization status. 
 

Wishing all a happy, healthy, and well-deserved break! We will resume classes on Monday November 30th...

 

20NOV20

Dear SICS Families:

We received P-EBT guidance from DTA that our SICS families will receive retroactive payments for students not processed in the Spring and September.  Details are still being worked on, but we will keep you posted. 

Also, THANK YOU!!! for participating in our canned goods/ Gray House food drive yesterday.

 

16NOV20

Dear SICS Families:

Please click on the following link for the First Student Life Organization Newsletter!

(SLO_SPANISH)

 

13NOV20

Dear SICS Families:

Our Student Life Organization would like to invite you to join us in our annual Gray House canned goods drive which will be hosted on Thursday November 19 from 4-7p ONLY.  Please bring your non-perishable items to the main entrance of the school, remain in your vehicle, and wear a mask to ensure safety for all. Thank you for helping our Springfield community during this Holiday season.

Image preview

 

13NOV20

Special Education Parent Advisory Council
The Federation for Children with Special Needs will be offering parent rights training
virtually.   Annually SEPAC’s are responsible for holding one parent rights training and this
will be the perfect opportunity for our families to attend one or all of these workshops.
The registration link for Zoom is on the event page in both the description and in the
details.   Please click on the link below:

Parent Rights Training

13NOV20

Practice Tests Link: https://sics.sabis.net/downloads/general/practice-assessments.pdf

28OCT20

Dear SICS Families:

The MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) sent these resource links for our SICS families until the Round 3 P-EBT concern is resolved:

To apply for SNAP:

www.dtaconnect.com

To work with an organization to assist with SNAP application, families can find SNAP Outreach Partners here:

Mass.gov/SNAPOutreachPartners.

Additional food resources:

https://www.mass.gov/decision-tree/find-food-assistance

To learn more about P-EBT

DTAConnect.com/pebt

23OCT20

Dear SICS Families:

We are grateful to the individuals that called the school directly to let us know that you have not received your P-EBT Round 3 benefits.  This triggered us to initiate contact with the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and DESE is now actively investigating this with the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). We will keep you posted.

  • Try these quick Chromebook fixes before you fill out the Chromebook e-form!

https://sics-it.000webhostapp.com/

Chromebook e-form

  • As a reminder, please remember ALL students will have an opportunity to access meal centers during remote learning:
 https://www.homegrownspringfield.org/news/fall-grab-n-go-meal-service-english-spanish

 

  • Local website links that may be helpful resources:

http://www.westernmassrlc.org/resources

https://www.foodbankwma.org/

http://westernmasshousingfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Network-emergency-shelter-quick-list-6.21.14.pdf

Child Nutrition Outreach Program
Project Bread | 145 Border Street, East Boston, MA 02128
617-723-5000 | cnop@projectbread.org

 

16OCT20

Parent/Teacher Conference Google Form Link
Please click on the link below:

https://forms.gle/WJVRayT3VzWTM7mF7   (Sign-ups are now closed)

SICS Remote Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 3, 2020

12:00-4:00pm

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding Parent/Teacher Conferences remotely this year.  Please refer to the link on the SICS website to sign-up for a conference time in the Google Form.  The link will be on our website (www.sics.sabis.net) beginning on October 16, 2020 at noon.  Conferences will take place through TEAMS (your child’s TEAMS account) between noon and 4:00pm on November 3, 2020.  This is already a day off from school for our students in the calendar.  Please only sign-up for one conference, as time slots are limited.  This sign-up will be first come first-served.  Any parents that do not receive a conference time will have a time set up for a conference with a teacher after November 3, 2020.  You will be informed of your time slot and teacher that will be meeting with you in a follow-up email prior to October 30, 2020.

15OCT20

Dear SICS Families:

Please login to your accounts as you typically do today.  If you are having difficulty, use the paperwork that was given with your Chromebook to follow the two-step authentication process until it is completed.  If you are still having difficulty please contact us at 783-6200 and we will assist. 

 

14OCT20

Dear SICS Families:

Today we cut our live learning day short due to a phishing scam. A staff account was compromised and was used to forward the phishing scam to our contact list.  A phishing scam is a fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. The safety of our students is of utmost importance, which is why, as soon as we realized what happened, we stopped our afternoon live learning sessions to make sure we had it under control.  We reached out to our parents immediately to inform them of what was happening and why. We have rectified our systems, and school will continue tomorrow as scheduled.

 

14OCT20

Change ROBO Call selections

Please use this link to update your contact information for important announcements.  This new system allows for multiple contact numbers and email addresses to be included.  Our SICS families will now be able to choose a communication that works best for them!  

https://sics.bbcportal.com/

09OCT20

Dear SICS Community:

I am writing to inform you that due to the importance of accurate assessment and the complexity of conducting assessment online, the decision was taken by SABIS to pause weekly assessments (AMS tests and Periodic exams) in order to provide a smooth, highly functional assessment system.  We will use the information gathered through our experiences with assessment over the past week to iron out any issues so that when assessment resumes on October 26, 2020, assessment can be carried out smoothly and generate meaningful and reliable results.  Scores resulting from this past week of testing will not count toward students’ grades.

Over the coming two weeks, the school will be conducting mock assessments and will be working with students and staff to thoroughly familiarize them with the assessment process.  During this time, we will continue teaching, and mastery of concepts taught/learned will be measured by teachers in class through engagement exercises and through students’ regular completion of assignments. 

We will continue to keep you informed of developments regarding assessment and thank you in advance for your understanding and continued support.  Please enjoy the long weekend and take the opportunity to recharge and refresh.

Best,

Maretta Thomsen

Interim Director

 

08OCT20

Is your SICS Chromebook not performing properly?  Please fill out the below electronic form, so that our IT department may assist you.

Chromebook e-form

 

05OCT20

The Parent Connection will be hosting a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 6th at 6pm.  They will introduce families to the Administrative Team at SICS. To join the meeting, please click on the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83083700543?pwd=US9OUk1GREkxVlgxUEwra0Jta0tRZz09

Meeting ID: 830 8370 0543

Passcode: S@bis2020

 

02OCT20

Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, the nursing team is conducting a review of student immunization records. A team member may contact you to revise your student’s immunization status.

School aged children are now required to have the Flu vaccine by December 31, 2020. The vaccine can be obtained at your doctor’s office or a community clinic. SICS students are eligible to receive a free Flu vaccine at various Springfield Public School sites in the city. Please check their website at www.springfieldpublicschools.com to register for a site near you.  You should contact your doctor with any concerns about this vaccine. Please send a copy of your child's yearly physical exams to SABIS to keep immunization records current.

 

01OCT20

Dear SICS Families:

As we now have closed out the 1st month of remote learning, we would like to thank the parents, the staff and especially the students for all of their hard work during the month of September.

Please be advised that starting Monday, October 5th, 2020 the Student Management team will start tracking attendance for all students in accordance to the 2020/2021 SICS Student Parent Handbook, pursuant to DESE regulations. For further review of the SICS Attendance Policy, please refer to the 2020/2021 Parent-Student Handbook on our homepage.

25OCT20

SICS has limited spaces available for this school year.  Please share this and go to the application page to complete and submit the form online.

We are opening the following Application Cycles: 

From

To

Waitlist Lottery*

09/25/20

10/26/20

10/29/20

10/30/20

11/30/20

12/04/20

01/04/21

01/29/21

02/12/21

*Lottery will be at 10A on site, unless we are remote learning then we will provide a zoom conference call-in numbers for the lottery.

24SEP20

Dear SICS Families:

Please refer to the link below for DESE's Back To School Letter for Families of Children with Disabilities.  (this letter is translated into several languages on the DESE website)

http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/sped/back-to-school-letter/

Also, starting next week (9/28/20) students that have Speech, Occupational and Physical therapy will be invited via Microsoft teams for these services.

 

23SEP20

Please note that round 3 of P-EBT benefits for SICS  families was uploaded to DESE by the deadline last week.   For more informaion, please visit https://www.map-ebt.org/

18SEP20
US Digital Code of Conduct

15SEP20

Dear SABIS Parents and Guardians,

As we transition into our new learning environment, I would like to introduce the breakdown of the Student Management Team during our REMOTE learning time for the 2020/2021 school year. The Student Management Team will oversee all behavioral challenges that may occur during remote learning and also help with tracking attendance. Please refer to the 2020/2021 SICS Handbook on our Website for further information regarding the “Code of Conduct” and “Attendance Policy”. If you have questions that pertain to student behavior or attendance, please reach out to the appropriate Student Management Team member.

Grade Level

K and 1st:            Ms. Drungo                      kdrungo@sics-mail.net                413-783-3434 x161

2nd and 5th:         Mr. LaPierre                     jlapierre@sics-mail.net                413-783-3434 x150

3rd and 4th:         Mrs. Hogan                      ahogan@sics-mail.net                 413-783-3434 x111

6th and 7th:         Mr. Londraville                jlondraville@sics-mail.net           413-783-2600 x182

8th:                       Mr. Cree                           rcree@sics-mail.net                     413-783-2600

9th and 10th:       Mr. Sanchez                     jsanchez@sics-mail.net               413-783-2600 x130

11th and 12th:     Ms. Poehler                     lpoehler@sics-mail.net                413-783-2600

CLASSROOM ATTENDANCE

Teachers will be taking attendance at the beginning of each class throughout the day. Please email the teacher or Student Management Team member directly if the student is having any issues accessing a “Live” lesson.

ABSENCES

Please email all written documentation regarding an ABSENCE or a MISSED CLASS to the appropriate Student Management Team Member and teacher to ensure proper tracking of attendance during remote learning.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I want to thank you for your on-going patience during COVID-19. The Student Management Team is here to support you in any way that we can.

Sincerely,

Derek Conway

Student Management Coordinator K-12th Grade

dconway@sics-mail.net

413-783-2600 x141

For further information please contact us on:
sics.sabis.net

14SEP20

Dear SICS Families,

A very sad thing happened over this weekend.

Early Saturday morning two of our beloved SICS students, both class of 2021, died unexpectantly.  Our counselors, teachers, and other support personnel have been, and will continue to be, available to students, teachers, and our SICS families on an ongoing basis.  Please call the school, (413) 783-2600, if you need assistance.  If you need immediate assistance please call The Garden at Cooley Dickinson/ BHN Crisis (413) 733-6661.

As parents/guardians, you may want to talk to your children too.  The death of a classmate may affect a child in a variety of ways depending on the age of a child, how well the child knew the deceased and the child’s prior experience with grief.  During these hard times, it is recommended that, as a trusted adult, you simply listen to your children.  If they seem to need to talk, answer their questions simply, honestly, and possibly repeatedly.

Our thoughts are with both families.

Sincerely,

Maretta Thomsen

Interim Director

 

11SEP20

Dear SICS Families,

School begins on Tuesday September 15th- this was the last full week of summer for our students.  Today we put in the mail a welcome letter from Ms. Thomsen and the student schedules.  The letter is also posted below for translation purposes (After FAQs).

  1. As a reminder we will have our final book distribution nights on Monday September 14th and Wednesday Sep 16 from 5-7pm.
  2. Please click on the link for a video of our first Parent Advisory Council and what Special Education looks like during remote learning. 
  3. Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our Athletic Director, Ryan Gaebel.                                                                                                                      

Which SICS athletic teams will be participating this fall?

  1. For the SICS Fall Athletics season the following sports will take place:
  • Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer
  • Golf
  • Boys and Girls Cross Country

Will SABIS compete at the Junior Varsity level?

  1. No, there will be no JV teams for the Fall 2020 season.

When will SICS Fall Athletics’ tryouts be held?

  1. All tryouts will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 and continue the following week (sport specific times and locations below)

Girls Soccer- 4:15 – 5:45 pm @ Greenleaf Park (athletes may exit car at 4:00)

Boys Soccer- 5-6:30 pm @ Greenleaf Park (athletes may exit car at 4:45)

Golf- 4:30-5:30 pm @ Fenway Golf, golf will practice at Veterans Golf Course beginning on 9/21

Girls Cross Country- 4 – 5:30 @ Forest Park (athletes should meet at grandstand of ball field)

Boys Cross Country- 4 – 5:30 @ Forest Park (athletes should meet at grandstand of ball field)

 

I heard that the athletic fields at SABIS will not be available for use this Fall, where will the SICS fall teams practice?

  1. Due to the field renovation project that is to begin construction, practices will be held at the following sites.
  2. Girls Soccer- Greenleaf Park

Boys Soccer- Greenleaf Park

Golf- Veteran’s Golf Course

Girls Cross Country- Forest Park

Boys Cross Country- Forest Park

When will the first game be?

  1. The game schedules have yet to be released.  October 1st is the earliest date that a game may take place.

Will everyone be able to tryout at the same time?

  1. It depends on how many athletes are signed up for a particular sport.  In the case of soccer, small groups (no more than 25) will tryout on certain days to limit the size of the groups.  On Friday, September 18, students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade will try out for boys’ and girls’ soccer.  On Monday, September 21, students in grades 7, 8, and 9 will try out for soccer. 

Soccer tryouts by grade:

 

Boys Soccer

Girls Soccer

Friday, September 18

Grades: 10, 11, 12 (5-6:30)

Grades: 10, 11, 12 (4:15 – 5:45)

Monday, September 21

Grades: 7, 8, 9 (5-6:30)

Grades: 7, 8, 9 (4:15 – 5:45)

Tuesday, September 22

Grades: 10, 11, 12 (5-6:30)

Grades: 10, 11, 12 (4:15 – 5:45)

Wednesday, September 23

Grades: 7, 8, 9 (5-6:30)

Grades: 7, 8, 9 (4:15 – 5:45)

 

Will masks be required during fall athletics?

  1. Yes, masks will be required for all attendees and participants at any SICS athletic event (game, meet, practice).  Masks, not gaiters will be expected to be worn during competition.  Mask breaks will be organized during athletic practices, as required, and in instances where social distancing is possible, mask breaks will be allowable.

Are spectators allowed at SICS athletic events?

  1. Spectators are not allowed at practices; parents must stay in their cars.  The PVIAC has yet to rule on spectators at competitions.

I work and can’t get my child to practice right on time. Can I drop them off early?

  1. Unfortunately, there will be no adult supervision for early drop off.  Student-athletes should arrive at practice no earlier than 15 minutes before the start time and should be picked up at the scheduled end time.

Will busses be utilized for away meets & games?           

  1. Yes, bussing will be provided for teams traveling to away games and meets that occur outside of the Springfield city limits.  The number of riders will be appropriately reduced so that social distancing protocols can be followed on busses.  Masks will be required to be worn by all bus riders.

Should my child attend an athletic event if he or she is not feeling well?

  1. No.

If my child misses school, can they still participate in sports that day?

  1. Similar to prior years, a student-athlete is required to participant in at least 4 classes throughout the day to be eligible to participate in athletics.  If the student-athlete does not attend 4 or more classes, they are not able to participate in that day’s athletic events.

What happens if an athlete or coach contracts COVID-19?

  1. The team would cease all activities for 48-72 hours so that contact tracing may be done.  Individuals who are deemed to have been in contact for over 15 minutes within 6 feet, even while masked, will be required to see their PCP and quarantine for 14 days.

Will there be a Fall II season for volleyball?

  1. SICS will not be participating in Girls Volleyball this fall.  However, there is the potential for Volleyball to occur during an MIAA defined “Fall II” season in late winter/early spring.  A final decision has not yet been made- as we will continue to follow COVID related trends, MIAA guidance and work with the Board and administration to make a final decision with regard to Volleyball.

Will there be a winter sports season?

  1. A final decision has not yet been made with regard to the winter athletic season.  While we are hopeful we will be able to participate this winter, we will continue to follow COVID related trends, MIAA guidance and work with the Board and administration to make a final decision with regard to winter athletics.

Will there be state tournaments at the end of the fall season?

  1. There will NOT be an MIAA tournament for the fall athletic season.

Will there be homecoming this year?

  1. There will not be a homecoming event this year.

Will athletes sell calendar cards as a fundraiser or be required to make a $50 donation to be able to participate?

  1. No, the calendar raffle will not take place this fall.  Instead, each athlete will be required to purchase a SICS mask at a cost of $15.  Parents will be encouraged to purchase additional masks to augment our fundraising program.

Who should I contact if I have a SICS athletics question or concern?

  1. For general questions or concerns, please contact Athletic Director, Ryan Gaebel, at rgaebel@sics-mail.net or (413) 783-2504.  For sport specific questions once the season begins, please contact the head coach as appropriate.
    1. Craig Constantinos, Head Boys Soccer Coach (coach52611@aol.com)
    2. Matt Smith, Head Girls Soccer Coach (mesmith354@aol.com)
    3. Jeff Hamilton, Head Golf Coach (jhamilton@sics-mail.net)
    4. Quinn McKenna, Head Boys Cross Country Coach (qmckenna@sics-mail.net)
    5. Jamil Abdul-Wadud, Head Girls Cross Country Coach (fastfeettc@yahoo.com)

 

Welcome Letter:

Dear SABIS Families and Our School Community:

We hope that our students and families have had a safe and wonderful summer.  Our administrative staff and our building services team have been working all summer in preparation for the upcoming school year.  Our teachers and staff have spent the last three weeks in professional development preparing to begin our school year teaching our students remotely.  Now the time has finally arrived for us to begin school.  We could not be more ready and excited.  Though this beginning to the school year will be like no other, we are confident that we are prepared to provide the best education for our students.

We spent much of the past week distributing books and other school supplies to our students.  It was wonderful to see all of our families and the smiling faces we encountered during this time.  It was a great reminder of why we do this, and it leaves us refreshed and excited for school to begin.  If you were not able to make one of the book distribution days this week, we will have two alternative days and times for pickup.  Final book distribution days will be held on Monday, September 14th from 5-7 pm and Wednesday, September 16th from 5-7 pm.  Also included in this envelope is your child’s schedule. Please note the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is requiring our students’ time on learning as 850 hours for our elementary students and 935 hours for our secondary students.  Our students will be expected to follow their daily schedule and attendance will be taken in each class each day.

As promised, we communicated with families a minimum of once a week throughout the summer and we will be doing the same for the school year every Friday.  For additional information at any time, you can access our website at www.sics.sabis.net.  Included on our website is communication, athletic updates, remote learning and IT support.  The information on the website is updated often, so please use our website as an additional resource. 

 

We would like to thank our school community in advance for the support they are providing our students as we begin our school year remotely.  We know that this may seem like a daunting undertaking, but we are here to provide the best education for our students.  We will follow through on that promise.  We look forward to having our students back to school as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we will see all of them through a computer screen on September 15, 2020, our first day of school.

 

Sincerely,

Maretta Thomsen

Interim Director

 

10SEP20

Good evening SABIS families,

We would like to thank all of our families that were able to attend our book distribution days this week.  It was great seeing all of you!   For those that were not able to attend this week, we have two additional days and times for book distribution.  Additional book distribution days are on Monday, September 14th from 5-7 pm and Wednesday, September 16th from 5-7 pm.  Thank you and have a good night.

 

08SEP20

Dear SICS Families,

We have done a mass reset of your TEAMS/ email login credentials.

For FIRST TIME USERS ONLY: the first time your child logs into their account should not be through the Teams app, students must sign in to their SICS email or a Chromebook before accessing Teams.

Please call (413) 783-3434 if you are in need of assistance.

20.21 School Year TEAMS Password Reset:

You will need to choose new passwords immediately upon signing in to your email/Chromebook. Remember, Chromebooks will automatically startup to sics login.  Please contact your teacher if you are having difficulty with the login. 

04SEP20#2

Dear SICS Families,

Professional Development Week 2 has come to a close and we are learning new and fun ways to interact remotely with our students! There have been several upgrades to our learning platforms.  Please see below for more information on fall athletics, book distribution, yearbook, and SICS back to school remote learning presentation.  (NOTE: Refer to 01SEP20 UPDATE/ The Attendance form will be opened until noon September 14, 2020).

 

FALL ATHLETICS

  • On, September 2nd, the SICS Board of Trustees voted to allow for our athletic teams to compete this fall.
  • We will be offering coed golf, boys’ and girls’ cross country and boys’ and girls’ soccer.
  • Tryouts will take place on September 18th, location, and time to be determined.
  • To be eligible to tryout, athletes must be signed up on familyid.com, and have a current physical on file.
  • We are confident that we can provide a safe environment per the guidlelines and modifications set forth by the MIAA.
  • If you have any questions, call (783-2504) or email Ryan Gaebel (rgaebel@sics-mail.net)

REMINDER Book distribution dates/times:

Grades K, 1, 11, 12, and 6- Tuesday, September 8, 2020- 10am-noon, 1:00pm-3pm

Grades 2, 3, 9, and 10- Wednesday, September 9, 2020- 10am-noon, 1:00pm-3pm

Grades 4, 5, 7, and 8- Thursday, September 10, 2020- 10am-noon, 1:00pm-3pm

 

Please click on the link below for the presentation from last night:

SICS Back to School Remote Learning

 

04SEP20#1

Dear SICS SENIOR Families:

Please refer to the following information from Mrs. Elkhay, Yearbook coordinator for the senior class of 2021:

Also attached as a flyer:

The SABIS ® Yearbook Staff invites students and parents to submit pictures for the 2020-2021 yearbook.

If you’ve got great photos that we can include in this year’s yearbook we’d like to see them.

The Yearbook Staff is looking for:

  • Summer Pictures – Please include student’s name and grade level

DUE NO LATER THAN October 16th

  • Remote Learning Pictures – Please include student’s name and grade level

DUE NO LATER THAN October 16th

  • Pictures of Seniors through their years at SABIS

IMPORTANT: Please include the student’s name and what grade/year they were in when the picture was taken

DUE NO LATER THAN October 16th

Help us get as many pictures as possible to create a

terrific book everyone will want to have!

Please be sure to enter a quick description of your pictures.

Pictures MUST BE in the .jpg format.

Submit pictures here:

https://images.jostens.com/415464814

If you have any questions, please reach out to Mrs. Elkhay, Yearbook Adviser

Email: lelkhay@sics-mail.net

 

SENIOR Pictures:

Your yearbook senior picture is a way to showcase your personality for years to come! Most senior pictures are taken on a smart phone by a friend or family member, but you could also hire a professional photographer. There are two ways to submit your senior picture:

1.E-mail the picture directly to the yearbook advisor, Mrs. Elkhay

     lelkhay@sics-mail.net

2.  Upload the picture yourself at https://images.jostens.com/415464814

Please adhere to the following photo specs for senior pictures:      

  • Color pictures only.
  • Pictures must be vertical.

    If you submit a horizontal picture, it will not fit our vertical template.

  • Digital images must be a minimum 1 MB file size for optimal clarity and at a resolution of 300dpi or greater.

**Pictures deemed unacceptable by the yearbook staff will not be used and you will be contacted for a replacement. **

You are encouraged to submit a baby picture:

If you only have a hard copy: Please deliver to Main Office - Attn: Lisa Elkhay

You are encouraged to submit a senior quote and dedication:

 Senior quotes and dedications can be up to 100 words long, including spaces and punctuation. Nothing inappropriate will be printed. These are due with the Senior and Baby pictures, no later than, 10/16. Submit your quote/dedication to Mrs. Elkhay via email.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DEADLINES; THEY HAPPEN FAST!!!

 

01SEP20

Dear SICS Families and Staff:

RE: SICS K-12 Remote Learning Parent Orientation

This orientation will give an overview of the structures and expectations for the upcoming remote learning school year at SICS. We will gather any unanswered questions to create a Frequently Asked Questions page for reference on our website. We look forward to your attendance!

When: Thursday Sep 3, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/upUufuCqqzIrH9Geljf5ZTQlT99O6LckjjA0  

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

28AUG20

Dear SICS Families and Staff: 

In preparation for the beginning of the school year, we have completed our first week of professional development.  It was wonderful to see all staff!  Please refer to our website for book distribution dates.  We will have student schedules out in the near future, date to be determined.   

Have a wonderful weekend!  

SICS Administration 

 

21AUG20

We are working hard preparing to begin the school year in our remote learning instructional model. Our teachers begin their professional development starting on Monday, August 24th for the next three weeks. For students in grades 2-12 that did not receive a school issued Chromebook in the spring, they can pick up one at the school from August 24- September 14th at the Primary building entrance between the hours of 9 am to 2 pm. Please call the school at 413-783-3434 in advance of pickup so it can be ready for you to pick up in safe manner. Kindergarten and First Grade Chromebook pick up will take place during our book distribution week.

Book distribution dates/times:

Grades K, 1, 11, 12, and 6- Tuesday, September 8, 2020- 10am-noon, 1:00pm-3pm

Grades 2, 3, 9, and 10- Wednesday, September 9, 2020- 10am-noon, 1:00pm-3pm

Grades 4, 5, 7, and 8- Thursday, September 10, 2020- 10am-noon, 1 pm-3pm

Please only come to book distribution dates/times that apply to your child’s grade. We will not be able to accommodate those that arrive on dates/times that are not listed for your child’s grade. We will be providing alternative dates/times for pickup in the next week.

 

14AUG20

SICS REMOTE LEARNING PLAN 20/21 SCHOOL YEAR

Executive Summary

On June 25, 2020, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released guidance for school reopening that prioritizes getting students and staff safely back to school in person, while complying with a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements. Subsequent to that date, DESE and the Governor have updated and tweaked those requirements, and additional modifications are expected. On August 11, 2020, the SICS Board of Trustees voted to begin the school year in the remote learning model.  The following document details the remote learning model SABIS International Charter School will be utilizing for our reopening of the 2020-2021 school year. In this model, all students would begin the year remotely.  The SICS Board of Trustees will revisit the reopening plan on an on-going basis, as conditions may change.  The preference for the remote model was determined after an extensive feasibility study that took into account the physical space of our building, the number of students and staff we have on our rosters, and the health and safety mandates announced by various governmental agencies. We established this preference based upon consultation with a myriad of interested individuals, health and safety considerations, and a review of a family and staff data, which we undertook throughout the summer.

All three models – remote, hybrid, and in-person – are outlined below in detail. Each plan’s approach is first explained and is then followed by additional content that addresses matters such as attendance, students with special needs, and general hygiene. All three plans prioritize the maintenance of continuous instruction as part of a rigorous academic program.  All three plans meet the minimum student learning time requirements that DESE has established for the 2020-2021 school year.

SICS is also aware of the social-emotional health of our students; thus, the following plans detail how we will continue to provide important resources and services whether a student is in school or learning remotely. Because the health and safety of our students and families are among our primary concerns, the following plans also detail the measures and steps that have been or will be taken at SICS for in-person instruction. Health and safety decisions have been made in collaboration with, including, but not exclusive to: infectious disease physicians, pediatricians and Massachusetts public health experts, Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Massachusetts chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. SICS will be diligently following  any changes in regard to health and safety and will be in communication with DESE as conditions change throughout the school year.

SICS is also fully aware that changes may happen quickly, so we have contingency plans in place for changes that could occur. At SICS, we are committed to keeping the lines of communication open and will plan communication with families for news and updates, at a minimum, on a weekly basis.

The following information includes the final, comprehensive plans for consideration for the reopening of the SABIS International Charter School for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Letter from the Director of SABIS International Charter School

Dear SABIS Families and Our School Community:

These last five months have certainly been a whirlwind of activity, a real challenge, and different from anything in which we have previously been involved. I hope you have weathered the experience well, are in good health and spirits, and are looking forward to things getting back to a more predictable way of life.  Unfortunately, that time has not yet arrived.

 

Almost since the closing of our school as an on-campus environment, we have been planning for the reopening for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. In so doing, we have prioritized getting all our students and staff safely back to school in person, while at the same time complying with a comprehensive set of health, safety, time on learning, and curriculum requirements mandated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and/or Governor Baker.

 

On August 11, 2020, the SICS Board of Trustees voted to begin the year utilizing the remote learning model.   The choice for the remote learning model was made after an extensive feasibility study was done. The study included the physical space of our building, the number of students and staff on our current rosters, and the health and safety mandates announced by various governmental agencies. While the remote system of education is based on our experiences last spring with a completely remote educational delivery system, it includes a number of updates and improvements that were made to ensure the delivery of an engaging, high-quality education to our remote learners.

 

Over the next few weeks you will be receiving much additional information concerning the start of the school year, which begins on September 15, 2020.  The information will include organizing this remote process for your child, pick up dates for textbooks, your child’s schedule/teacher, and a more detailed explanation about expectations, attendance, and grading for remote learning.  Our staff will be utilizing the additional three weeks prior to the start of school engaged in professional development preparing for the school year remotely.

 

Finally, please be advised that while remote learning is the option as of today, this may very well change (with or without notice) due to DESE and/or state mandated modifications to the plan or a change in health and safety regulations brought about by a shift in the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Please be assured that it is our hope and intention to return to a 100% campus-based model of instruction just as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of the school staff if you have any questions or need any assistance in readying your family for the start of the school year.

 

Sincerely, Maretta Thomsen

 

Remote Learning Model

Based on the feasibility study and the Board of Trustees’ vote on August 11, 2020, SICS has chosen this as the model in which we will start the 2020- 2021 school year.

 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has increased the requirements for accountability in remote learning, which include attendance, engagement, assessments, and grading.  SICS will be providing a rigorous remote learning model to all students grades K-12.  Based on a remote learning model, all students at SICS will have the opportunity to receive a school-issued Chromebook for remote learning. The SICS Remote Learning Model will use the Microsoft TEAMS platform and the SABIS Digital Platform (SDP.) While the scheduled classes will be slightly different for students in different grades because of the structure of both teachers and classes in those grade levels, all students learning remotely will follow a class day schedule that meets the minimum student time on learning requirements of DESE. All academic instruction provided remotely will be aligned to the state standards. Teacher-created, recorded lessons and/or live- steamed lessons will be posted on TEAMS to allow for authentic instruction from a teacher in our school and a weekly schedule will be provided to families for all live-streamed lessons. In the live-streamed lessons, students can appropriately interact with the teacher through the voice or typed chat. Teachers will also provide office hours to assist students learning remotely who need additional help. The teacher-recorded lessons will be accessible by students at any time and may be used for review and preparation for assessments. Both students and parents have access to the SDP, where homework and assignments will be posted for additional access to curriculum while students are learning remotely. Students will be able to take graded, formative assessments and summative assessments through both TEAMS and SDP.  A proctoring protocol for assessments will be instituted for both students and teachers to ensure the fidelity and security of assessments and the results. This will allow teachers to inform their instruction and make adjustments when necessary. In addition, pre-recorded lessons on TEAMS that focus on exploring the arts and teaching wellness would be offered to students who can decide when these activities best fit their schedule. Our teachers using the TEAMS platform will provide tutoring for students in need. Our Student Life Organization will also provide student-led tutoring through TEAMS.

All students will be provided with IXL and Lexia accounts to supplement SABIS academics and offer additional opportunities to access relevant ELA and math curriculum remotely.

Attendance and participation rates will be taken daily by teachers in the TEAMS platform and will be submitted to our discipline team for follow up with families through phone calls and emails. All students will be issued a school email address for further secure correspondence with teachers and staff as necessary.

Staff that provide academic or behavioral interventions, social emotional support, and wellness checks will take attendance in a similar manner and follow the same protocols for classes on TEAMS.

In the remote learning model, IEP and 504 meetings will be held remotely through TEAMS, unless a parent requests an in-person meeting. In this case, all health and safety precautions will be taken. Services such as OT, PT, Speech, and BCBA will be conducted remotely.

Students on IEPs, 504s, English Language students, and students experiencing homelessness will have their circumstances reviewed and will have additional plans developed based on the findings of the review.

 

Communication with families about any news, changes, or adjustments will be done through various means of including Robocalls, website announcements, email, phone calls, and the two SICS Facebook pages. Translation services will be provided.

 

 

Hybrid Learning Model

When it is deemed safe, the following hybrid model of instruction will be used at SICS.  This hybrid model will allow for the recommended distancing and will be a blend of in-person instruction and remote learning. To follow with DESE guidelines of a minimum of three feet between desks, SICS has developed a cohort model. Cohorts will be established organically as SICS parents make the choice between sending their children to learn onsite or to keep them at home learning remotely. Cohort A will be comprised of students who will be learning onsite, and Cohort B will be comprised of students who are learning remotely.

For Cohort A (onsite), SICS would follow the recommendations of the federal, state, and local health professionals. Students in Grade 2 and above would be required to wear masks, and mask breaks would become part of the daily routine in the school. In following with recommended safety guidelines, SICS would utilize multiple building entrances/exits and would stagger student entry and exit from the building to follow the distancing parameters. Instruction for Cohort A (onsite learners) will follow the typical daily schedule with all current health and safety recommendations put into place on a daily basis. Cohort A student schedules would be adjusted to minimize the number of students in a classroom. Should the number of students in Cohort A exceed the space available and required in order to maintain the distancing regulations required, SICS would try to utilize the cafeteria and cafetorium (these would not be used for breakfast/lunch) as much as possible as additional classroom space for subjects like art, music, and PE. When feasible, Cohort A students would remain in a set classroom for the majority of the school day and teachers would rotate into the classes for instruction. Student movement through the building would be minimized and specific protocols for restroom use will be utilized to reduce student movement in the building. Recommended sanitizing would take place when a teacher rotated into a classroom. Classrooms will be supplied with hand sanitizer, masks, sanitizing wipes and appropriate cleaning materials. Breakfast and lunch would be delivered to classrooms and the students would eat breakfast and lunch in classrooms.  Surfaces would be disinfected each night.

It should be noted that if the number of students learning on site exceeds all space available, the school may have to split Cohort A into two sections (Section 1 and 2) and adopt an every-other- week onsite/remote learning approach. In this case, students in the same family would be put in the same section so as to facilitate transportation.

For Cohort B (online), which receives instruction remotely, we would be using the Microsoft TEAMS platform and the SABIS Digital Platform (SDP). Recorded and/or live-streamed lessons would be posted on TEAMS to allow for authentic instruction from a teacher in our school. Cohort B (online) students and parents would have access to the SDP, where homework and assignments would be posted for additional access to curriculum while students are learning remotely. Cohort B students would be able to take formative assessments through both the TEAMS platform and SDP. This would allow teachers to inform their instruction and make adjustments when necessary.

 

For Cohort B, counseling, tutoring, and discipline meetings will be continued and followed through on as needed. (For additional information regarding remote learning, please see remote learning model below.)

 

Students on IEPs, 504s, English Language students, and students experiencing homelessness, regardless of Cohort A or B, would have circumstances reviewed and would have plans developed based on the findings of the review. In the hybrid learning model, IEP and 504 meetings would be held remotely through TEAMS, unless a parent requested an in-person meeting, in which case all health and safety precautions would be taken. Services such as OT, PT, Speech and BCBA would be conducted at school with all health and safety precautions taken. In some cases, these services could also be provided remotely.

 

Under the hybrid model, communication with families about any news, changes, or adjustments would be done through various means including Robocalls, website, email, phone calls, and the two SICS Facebook pages. Translation services will be provided.

With advance notice of a minimum of one week, parents would be given the opportunity to change between onsite and remote learning.

Under the hybrid model, daily attendance in all lessons will be required for all students regardless of cohort. Attendance and participation rates would be taken daily by teachers and would be submitted to our discipline team for follow up with families through phone calls and emails. All students would be issued a school email address for further secure correspondence with teachers and staff as necessary.

 

In-Person Learning Model

After conducting a feasibility study that included a detailed map of the school’s facilities (instructional and non-instructional), we determined that it would not be possible to bring all 1574 students and the approximately 200 staff back to the building and still follow the required current health and safety recommendations. If the recommendations change, the following plan would be implemented in the event that all of our students and staff were able to return to school.

SICS’s first goal is to bring the students back safely to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs. SICS’s students’ and staff’s health and safety is of upmost importance to our school. SICS would follow the recommendations of the federal, state and local health professionals. In following with recommended safety guidelines, SICS would utilize multiple building entrances/exits and would stagger student entry and exit from the building to follow the distancing parameters. Classes would resume instruction onsite following the typical daily schedule with all current health and safety recommendations put into place on a daily basis.

 

If all of our students were to return (this would be with the understanding that no distancing requirements were in place), SICS would require students to wear masks and take additional safety precautions. Student schedules would be adjusted as much as possible to minimize the number of students in a classroom. SICS would utilize the cafeteria and cafetorium (these will not be used for breakfast/lunch) as additional classroom space. When feasible, students would remain in a set classroom for the majority of the school day, and teachers would rotate into the classes for instruction. Student movement through the building would be minimized, and specific protocols for restroom use would be utilized to reduce student movement in the building. Recommended sanitizing would take place when a teacher rotated into a classroom. Classrooms would be supplied with hand sanitizer, masks, sanitizing wipes, and appropriate cleaning materials. Breakfast and lunch would be delivered to classrooms and the students would eat breakfast and lunch in classrooms. Surfaces would be disinfected each night. The nursing staff would follow the re-entry guidelines set forth by various health and safety agencies. Staff will utilize increased use of PPEs. A triage plan has been developed to decrease congestion in the nurses’ offices and would allow the nursing staff to prioritize student health needs. A separate room would be utilized for students and staff that are presenting with viral symptoms. This room would be utilized until parents could come and pick up their child. Mask breaks would become part of the daily routine in the school. Please reference the remote learning model (above) for families that have chosen to continue with full remote learning. Communication with families concerning process, procedure, and protocols would be frequent. Updates to families on various aspects of the school functioning would take place a minimum of once per week through various means of communication including Robocalls, website, email, phone calls, and the two SICS Facebook pages.

 

 

Out of school time plans

For time that goes beyond the normal school day. SICS students and families will have access to the SABIS Digital Platform (SDP) where students can access accounts where assignments, homework and other pertinent information will be posted for each individual students accounts. Each SICS student will also have their own email to communicate directly with school staff for any questions or clarifications they may have. The SICS website, at www.sics.sabis.net will also be a resource for updates, enrichment materials and any news on the school or events that are planned. All of the above resources can be accessed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to allow our students and families access to relevant school information.

 

 

Student Support and Professional Learning

In the hybrid model, as indicated in the three plans above, all safety, wellness, and social emotional supports are taken into consideration. For the cohort that will be learning remotely, or for students that are exclusively remote, meetings will be conducted remotely. This will include meetings with guidance/adjustment counseling staff, and discipline staff. Staff that provide academic or behavioral interventions, social emotional support and wellness checks will take attendance in a similar manner and will follow the same protocols for classes on TEAMS. Remote Learning staff will also provide office hours for students who may need additional assistance or have questions. Our school interventionists will also provide interventions both and in-person and remotely as needed. New teacher training and all staff training prior to the start of the school year will provide extensive professional development to prepare staff to instruct remotely and in-person. For the cohort that is in school in our hybrid model, SICS will provide an extended day program on a first come-first served basis. The extended day program will be a before and after school program and will utilize all health and safety precautions.

 

Other

Additional information regarding transportation and cohort information will be provided to parents prior to the opening of school. All updates, including our Professional Development Calendar will be posted and will remain on the school website, found at www.sics.sabis.net. Updates to families on various aspects of the school opening and the functioning of the school will take place a minimum of once per week through various means of communication including Robocalls, website, email, phone calls and two SICS Facebook pages.

 

Certification of health and safety requirements

SABIS International Charter School hereby certifies that the school has met all health and safety requirements issued by DESE.

 

12AUG20

Dear SICS Families and Staff,

Last night SABIS® International Charter School Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting as SICS and SEM are receiving daily advisories through collaborative discussions between vested entities (local school districts, Department of Early and Secondary Education, Department of Health, CDC and governmental advisories).  The Board on Thursday, August 6th made the decision for our school to begin 20/21 school year in a hybrid model based on available information at that time.  At last night’s meeting the Board rescinded their original vote from last week and voted to start this school year remotely.  Monitoring the current trajectory of the coronavirus had a major impact on this decision.  Our first and foremost goal is to maintain the health and safety of our SICS families and staff. 

We have been preparing this summer to accommodate all three of the learning models (in-person, hybrid and remote learning).  Our IT team has created many user-friendly adjustments to our remote learning platforms.  We will have more information on book and technology distributions, teacher and section assignments, and virtual introductions coming to you in the following weeks.  We are looking forward to providing a learning environment that allows us to all remain safe and healthy while navigating through these uncertain times. 

 

10AUG20

Dear SICS families and staff,

We know that this has been a trying time.  We hope, regardless of this, that you have all been healthy and safe. Many of you are aware that the SABIS® International Charter School Board of Trustees at a special board meeting on Thursday, August 6th made the decision for our school to begin the year in a hybrid model contingent upon factors such as busing and food service on September 15th.................................................................  The Board of Trustees is holding a special meeting on Tuesday, August 11th, and will be revisiting and voting on the reopening plan at this meeting.  The administration has been discussing the many issues involved in the reopening for months.  We will communicate with our families when a decision has been made.  We also intend on communicating with our stakeholders a minimum of once a week as we approach the opening of the school year on September 15th.................................................................

 

17JUL20

Dear SICS Families,

We are hoping our families are having a safe and enjoyable summer.   We are aware there are many questions our families may have regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  We wanted to give you an update on our progress for the 2020-2021 school year and ensure our families that we are taking all of the current health and safety recommendations into consideration as part of our summer work.  Our students’ health and safety is of upmost importance to us and we will make sure that we are prepared for a safe opening by following closely the recommendations by federal, state and local health professionals.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has asked our school to submit a preliminary reopening plan summary that is due to the department on July 31, 2020.  Our school staff is working diligently to put this plan together for the department to review. In addition to the preliminary plan, Commissioner Riley of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has asked for a finalized comprehensive reopening plan for August 10, 2020. This plan request includes options for an in-person learning model, a hybrid learning model and a remote learning model. He has asked that we do not share our plans with families prior to the August 10, 2020 date.  As things are changing often by the day and are fluid, we will not be informing families of our plan prior to August 10, 2020.  We look forward to seeing our students and families in the fall and hope that our families have a safe and enjoyable rest of the summer.

 

Sincerely,

SICS Administration

SABIS® International Charter School of Springfield

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