03/16/20 Community Update

Community Update 03/16/20

Good afternoon La Tierra Community,

This morning the teachers, staff and administration of LTCS met to discuss our school plans for the next 2 weeks and likely beyond. We discussed many topics including state testing, required instructional hours, student learning and most importantly our communities health, both physical and emotional. LTCS utilizes a discipline program called Conscious Discipline. One of the basic tenets of this program is that when people experience stress or fear they revert to a survival state and are constantly asking, “am I safe?”.  When this occurs, humans are unable to learn because they stay in “fight or flight mode.” This pandemic is a new experience that none of us have gone through. Uncertainty abounds with no real answers for many questions. There is heightened stress in our communities, nation and world. Children feel it but frequently lack the words to be able to express it.  We feel due to this stressful time the best thing for our community’s overall health is to NOT send any required assignments or homework.  Each classroom teacher will be drafting an email and sending it to you by Tuesday evening. This email will include information on what students have been learning in class, ways that you can continue this learning at home, and online resources that will support the main content areas .  This information is being provided as an optional supplement and opportunity for  continued learning at home if you wish to utilize it. 

We would also like to give you some updates on the overall state of education in Arizona.  The governor is currently working with federal entities to discuss whether Arizona schools will have a reduction in required Instructional hours and if the state will be requesting or granted a waiver to not have state testing this year. As far as instructional hours we would like to let you know that due to required days of instruction (which has been dropped for the school year at this time) we far exceed the state mandated minimum hours of instruction. The grade level that has the least wiggle room in hours of instruction would be able to miss 15 days of school with no penalty. In regards to state testing,a few states already have a waiver granting them permission not to participate in state testing.  Again this is something the Governor’s office is working on with federal entities to determine.  We will be in touch with you, our school community, as new information becomes available.   

Finally, in an effort to provide our kids with some familiar faces, we have created a La Tierra YouTube channel and our teachers will be uploading videos that you will be able to access. These videos will not be strict instructional videos but will be a variety of videos with different topics from out teachers and staff.   To access the channel go to YouTube and search for “La Tierra Community School LTCS” (be sure to include the LTCS at the end for the current videos).  Lastly, we understand the impact of school closure on our families daily lives.  If you are experiencing any needs caused by this closure please contact me at julie@latierracommunityschool.org or Rhette at rbuller@latierracommunityschool.org and let us know what type of assistance you need.  We want to ensure that all of our families have enough food to eat and utilities are kept on, etc.  We are here to help in any way that we can so please do not hesitate to ask.  

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Thank you for your continued support during this time.

Be well and take good care of those you love.

Julie Jongsma