Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caretakers,
Welcome to the new school year at Braddock Drive and Gifted Magnet! My name is Rabell Afridi and I am your child’s fourth grade magnet teacher. I am looking forward to getting to know you and collaborating to assist in the cognitive and social development of your child. Together, we are the biggest advocates for your child and I know that as long as we can work together, your child will be successful. It is my goal to facilitate the growth of your child to become an active agent in transforming our world. Please read this letter carefully, as it contains important information about your child’s classroom and program.
Learning, first and foremost, begins at home. Parents are their kids’ first as well as lifelong teachers. This is why it’s pertinent that you as parents, guardians, caretakers, etc. contribute to your child’s intellectual advancement. Furthermore, because you know your child better than anyone, communication between us is essential. Just as significant is both talking and listening to your child.
I highly encourage you to have conversations with your children about both their social and academic experiences at school as well as about the knowledge they have gained. The more you talk with your children, the more you will understand how they are benefitting from school as well as how they can be further supported.
By engaging with your child about school, it will help assist in retaining the information they gain at school. Encourage them to keep a journal to write down their thoughts throughout the day or even just questions they have. Ask your child to explain their homework to you and/or concepts they learned, read with them and to them. Try to ask them as many questions as possible!
If you would also like to support our classroom, you can complete the google form survey that I have already sent out, which lists opportunities for involvement. I will ask that you start out by signing up for no more than 3 opportunities to allow for as many parents to be involved as possible. However, if there are still spaces open, then I will ask our room parent to send out the form for another round.
I will be sending you a schedule with my Office Hours for the beginning of the year as your children start this new academic journey. These office hours will be limited and most likely over the phone for everyone’s safety. These informal and completely optional office hours will take place in the first three to four weeks of school as we adapt to the new year and continue to learn the safety regulations.
My primary mode of communication with you will be through an application called Class Dojo. I will send home a detailed instruction sheet with the steps you need to set up that app. It is absolutely essential that every parent is connected to Class Dojo and checking it a few times a week. I will post important reminders on it, school supply requests, and update you about what we are doing in our classroom! If you have any problems setting up your Class Dojo account, I highly recommend that you look up their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the website as it has extremely helpful information.
Daily Schedule (Subject to change in the virtual environment):
|8:20-8:35||Community Circle/ Morning Meeting/Mindfulness/Check HW|
|9:50-10:20||Novel Read Aloud|
*Modified Tuesday Schedule
|11:25-12:30||Reader’s Workshop and P.E.|
Other Important Issues:
Student homework assignments and distance learning assignments will be accessed on Google Classroom. Students will be trained by me and learn how to navigate Google Classroom. They will also know how to find their assignments, turn in their assignments and will learn other features of Google Classroom. This will be one of the first activities we do in our 4th grade class. I will also create a video resource library that includes “how to” videos about Google Classroom. Students can access the videos at any time if they need a reminder of how to navigate Google Classroom. This video resource will also be shared with parents.
Every minute of every school day counts, including the virtual classroom! All students are expected at school regularly unless they have a reasonable/valid excuse (please see read school policy regarding this).In the virtual learning environment, students will be expected to complete any missed work on google classroom. The student is responsible for finding out about assignments missed. Please be sure your child is on time to school every day. Tardy students miss out on important instruction and disrupt learning for others.
Children should bring a backpack to school to carry their folders, materials, books, etc. If you can, please ensure that your child has sharpened/mechanical pencils or pens to bring to school as well. I would encourage students to bring pens rather than pencils to avoid the sharpening need. Due to sanitizing restrictions, students will not be sharing materials with their peers.
Required Classroom Supplies Each Student Needs to Bring to School:
- 1 Yellow Composition Notebook (college ruled)
- 1 Red Composition Notebook (college ruled)
- 1 Green Composition Notebook (college ruled)
- 1 Blue Spiral Notebook (college ruled)
- 2 yellow highlighters
- 2 red pens
- 2 blue pens
- Daily supply of pencils/pens (5 at minimum)
- 1 Box of crayons (24)
- 1 Box of color pencils (24)
- 1 Box of markers (12)
- 1 pack of glue sticks (2 glue sticks with them every day)
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 pencil box that can fit in their desk and hold the supplies
I encourage you to work closely with your child on homework because it’s most beneficial when they receive immediate feedback/support.
I assign homework that is relevant to the academic program and is, I believe, a reasonable amount for your child to have. Usually, we spend time in class going over the previous night’s homework the day it is due. As a general rule, I do not assign homework on Fridays. However, homework may be assigned on Fridays when, for example, students are working on a project or report. Class work that is not completed during the time frame given during the school day, becomes homework and is due at the beginning of the following school day.
Homework will be checked on google classroom.. If during the time it is being checked, homework is not present, it will be considered late. Students will not receive credit for homework turned in late (unless due to an excused absence/tardy). Students that have a reasonable excuse (such as illness or a doctor’s appointment) and provide verification of such can turn in work up to one day per absence and receive full homework credit. If a student turns in an assignment on time, but it is not completed as expected, they may receive partial credit, depending on the circumstances.
A key component of my philosophy is college and career readiness. To foster a love for college and excitement for future careers, every Friday in our in person or virtual classroom will be (with a few exceptions due to necessary schedule changes) “College Fridays!” I will share a College/University/Institution with the students and have them take notes on it. Students will also be encouraged to wear “College gear” for any institution they like, every Friday! I myself will be rocking college gear as well! At the end of the year, students will do informational research on colleges of their choice.
I encourage and expect students to be respectful of themselves as well as others. I foster a values-based classroom environment that recognizes and rewards the community of learners for making positive choices. Students understand and describe the meanings of our classroom values in their own language and are expected to uphold and demonstrate these values throughout the entire school year. When problems or ‘issues’ arise, I encourage students to apply conflict resolution skills (guidance/training provided). If need be, I hold conferences with students involved, in addition to having students reflect on incidences in written form. Behavior is generally maintained as an entire community; however, each student will have their individual behavior information on their “Class Dojo” profile which parents can keep track of (this may be utilized more in a virtual classroom). There are certainly consequences for inappropriate behavior.
Consequences (subject to change in a virtual environment)
: Here are the steps that will be implemented in the class if a student is unable to comply with the classroom rules:
- Verbal Warning
- Recess/Lunch mini student/teacher conference (to discuss positive behavior steps to replace the undesired behavior).
- Missed recess to complete a reflection in Ms. Sosa’s office
- Parent/Teacher/Student conference: the purpose of the conference will be to collaborate and come up with ideas to support the student and establish a positive behavior support plan.
The school has a very specific behavior plan that is implemented in addition to mine. You can find out more about this by reading the other enclosed school-wide information.
Birthday Celebration Policy:
Birthdays are special events for many individuals and although I do recognize students’ birthdays in the classroom, I do so in a modest manner, to maintain the academic flow of the day. Due to the fact that I often have students with diverse religious/philosophical beliefs and/or food allergies/restrictions, I do NOT welcome edible birthday treats, to avoid children feeling left out. Generally, the class will sing “Happy Birthday” to a student on their birthday and I will recognize the student with a small token of appreciation (changes from year to year). If you would like to honor your child’s birthday in the classroom, the donation of a book dedicated to them for our classroom library is greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding.
Food Prepared Off School Grounds:
Because the District cannot oversee preparation methods used elsewhere, food prepared in private homes and brought to school grounds for distribution at special events is restricted in accordance with Board Rule 2320 which stares, “Food prepared outside of school premises shall not be served on school premises.” Essentially, all food that is brought to school that is intended for student consumption, must be store/restaurant bought.
If you have an emergency, please call Braddock Drive at (310) 391-6707. You can contact me at [email protected]
I know this year is going to be fantastic and I am so excited to meet all my new wonderful students. I look forward to working with you, parents so we can have a successful year helping our children grow!