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Newsletter - December 4th

We hope you had a great weekend. Our well-deserved winter break is just around the corner, and it is a good time to review classroom expectations, routines, and tapping into those authentic relationships that we fostered on day one. Those strategies will help us to maintain a sharp focus on the instruction, that is usually a little difficult to keep as we approach any breaks.

Please take a few minutes to read the following announcements, recognitions, and reminders. As usual, reach out if you have any questions or comments, or need help with anything.

We have a new tiger in our school – Welcome, Mr. Torres!

After much anticipation, we are excited to introduce our new Restorative Practice Coordinator. Ian Torres has six years of experience working with middle and high school students. His passion for working with kids started at a young age as education runs in his family. His mission is to create a safe school environment for all students, where students feel seen and heard. Mr. Torres will be part of the Becoming team and will work directly with students, staff, and families to ensure a positive learning environment for our tigers. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Torres.

Comprehensive School Plan (CSP) Updates

We’d like to continue unpacking and providing some updates on our vision plan for school (CSP). Our plan is constantly updated based on available data from student performance and parental and staff input. Our strategies are constantly reviewed and refined to meet the needs and wants of our school community. Here are a few updates on our CSP.

Academics

In our last LSAT meeting (a school advisory group of parents and staff), we briefly discussed the need to support all students in math -- not just the ones who are not performing at grade level (which is our school goal: to narrow the opportunity gaps at OA). We committed to exploring ways to cognitively challenge our students who perform at grade level or above grade level in their math classes.

As a follow up, last week a group of math teachers, an instructional coach, and the school administration met with the secondary and elementary math managers for the District to explore viable options to support our tigers. We are proud of the work we do at school and are ahead of the current District expectations of offering a high school math course in 8th grade (Algebra I). We are also proud of the commitment of our math teachers who are implementing an accelerated curriculum in middle school to ensure that all students are ready for Algebra I and designing support classes such 8th grade math enrichment class.

We’ll consult with a few other schools in the District who offer higher levels of math to see how they do it and what we could do at Oyster-Adams to go beyond Algebra I in the future (if possible). In the meantime, we’ll continue working on strong differentiation in the class and providing extension activities within our capabilities.

The second update related to our CSP is that we’re thrilled to announce the start of our High Impact Tutoring program (HIT). In the last weeks, teachers have been reviewing summative assessment and other forms of student performance data to identify students who will need the most support in their classes. We will prioritize students who are not at grade level in math, English, and Spanish and offer support within our capabilities and economical and human resources. We are also prioritizing students who are not currently receiving additional support. In the next few days, families will receive personalized letters inviting their students to be part of the program. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to [email protected].

Culture of Achievement

At the beginning of the year, we shared that we are one of the few schools in the District to be a pilot the districtwide initiative DCPS Becoming. This initiative will be rolled out to the rest of the schools at the beginning of SY 25. The work we do around Becoming is grounded in research-based best practices around whole child strategies.

The implementation of Becoming perfectly aligns with our socio-emotional learning (Conscious Discipline) and enhances some of the strategies that we have used. Becoming also supports the achievement of one of our strategic goals: to increase our loved, challenged index measured through the Panorama survey.

We’d like to invite our school community to participate in the second round of Escuela de Padres this Tuesday, December 5, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. where we’ll focus on Becoming. The event is virtual, and we’ll dive into our panorama data, provide updates on what we are doing as a school, and provide some suggestions for families at home to support one of our school priorities (the social and emotional wellbeing of our students). Here is the link to join.

Immunization Requirements

As you know, students in grades pre-K4, kindergarten, and 7 who are non-compliant with District immunization requirements are to be temporarily excluded from school beginning on Dec. 4 until they receive their required vaccinations.

Over the weekend, vaccine providers across the city responded to a high volume of students who are behind on routine pediatric immunizations. DC Health is working aggressively with community health care providers to increase capacity over the next several weeks in an effort to support families. However, some families may experience challenges with getting an appointment this week.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 4, students who were temporarily excluded should be immediately allowed to return to school if the student: Provides a paper copy of their immunization record demonstrating they have come into compliance (even if the Immunization Compliance Portal does not yet show the updated records) or provides proof of an immunization appointment.

We know that temporarily excluding students from school is a difficult, yet critical step to ensuring the health and safety of our school community.

Enrollment: Boundary Study

The school leadership team and DCPS have engaged in conversations with the office of the Deputy mayor of Education around the enrollment boundary study for the next ten years. Attached is the overall summary of the Boundary and Student Assignment Study. We’d like to encourage all families to attend the upcoming Town Hall meetings Dec 12-14: https://dme.dc.gov/page/dc-public-education-boundary-and-student-assignment-study-2023-town-halls. We’ve attached the town hall flyer in Study in English, and Flyer in Spanish and the flyer in English for easy access.

Key Dates in December

  • 12/4: Fire drill at Adams
  • 12/2, 12/3, 12/9 and 12/10: Holiday Tree Sale at Oyster
  • 12/5: Virtual Escuela de Padres (Becoming) 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • 12/6: Fire drill at Oyster.
  • 12/11: In-person LSAT meeting at Adams 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • 12/14: Virtual OCC meeting from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • 12/15: Student Winter Concert at Adams
  • 12/21: Student Winter Concert at Oyster
  • 12/22: Beginning of Winter Break.
  • There will not be cafecitos in December.
  • SIT meeting to be announced.

Announcements, reminders, and recognitions

  • We have several shout outs for this week: Thank you, OCC, for an amazing Holiday Tree Sale this weekend. We are so lucky for the amazing group of parents who volunteer to fundraise to meet the needs and wants of our school community. Thank you to the Cruz-Florez family who donated the much-needed goalies for the soccer field at the Adams campus.
  • The school admin team has been working with OCC and grade level leaders to finalize the plan for the overnight and international trips for grades 4-8. In the next week, we’ll announce a meeting with OCC to go through all financial details (donations, fundraising and paying fees). Each grade level will also host specific information sessions for each trip. The first session is for the 7th-8th grade Tiawan trip, it will be virtual on 12/13 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Here is the link to join the meeting. All sessions will be recorded and sent to families in the grade level communications.
  • Holiday Gift Card Donations: As the holidays approach, many of us are looking to show gratitude and ways to bring joy to the life of others. This year you can offer some support to help families in our OA community to make their holiday season a little brighter!

This is all for today-- we wish everyone a great week!

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