March 13, 2020
Dear RHES families,
The RHES Foundation wanted to write to the community following the Poway Unified School District closure announcement (specifically, that our schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3). Our understanding is to prepare for at-home learning through April 3rd, and possibly beyond if the need arises. This closure also pertains to school events and activities: all school events and activities are cancelled and may be rescheduled after the school closures are lifted. You will continue to receive email updates from the Poway Unified School District on school closure information, as well as other useful information, so please keep up on emails from the district and from our RHES Principal, Mrs. Keller.
We know that the school closures will put a lot of stress on our families, some more than others. The Rolling Hills Elementary Foundation would like to help you navigate this difficult time, and hope that the information provided in this document will be helpful in providing you with places to start looking if you are in need of help and support. Please continue past this letter for information on places to look for support in our local community, including childcare and food resources. We are also opening up the use of the Rolling Hills Foundation Facebook page as a method of making connections between those families who are able to offer support and those that are in need of support. Please communicate your needs or offer help and support here: https://www.facebook.com/PumaParents/.
Let’s come together (mentally, not physically) and support each other during this period of uncertainty and uncharted territory. Poway Unified School District has made this decision because it is all of our responsibility to keep those most susceptible at the lowest risk possible of contracting the virus COVID-19. To do that successfully let’s practice social distancing by always creating a 6 foot space between ourselves and non-family members, staying home and avoiding large gatherings, keeping calm and not panicking, staying informed and getting prepared, and most importantly being diligent about washing our hands. Our last request is to be mindful of how we are treating others, and to be mindful of xenophobia, as racism and intolerance have no place in our collective response to this global pandemic.
Our very best to you in this difficult transition period,
The Rolling Hills Elementary Foundation
Resources that the RHES Foundation has compiled for our community while our school is shut down:
Rolling Hills Elementary Webpage: https://www.powayusd.com/Schools/ES/RHES/home
Poway Unified School District Information: https://www.powayusd.com/en-US/Departments/Student-Support-Services/Raising-Awareness/Coronavirus
Friends and Family Community Connection contact is Becky Palenske:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (858) 945-2492
San Diego County Community Sector Support Webpage Link: Community Sector Support
United Way of San Diego County: https://uwsd.org
Nationwide Caregiver Posting Boards:
Local Babysitter and Nanny Posting Boards:
Local Mom/Parent Groups:
Local Social Media Groups and Blogs:
Links for info on COVID-19:
Talking with your children about COVID-19:
Get your household ready (some steps will be the same as preparing for other emergencies):
• Make sure you have a two-week supply of food, beverages, and water, including food for family pets. Ensure an adequate supply of prescribed and routine medications are on hand.
• Plan ways to care for those who are at greater risk for serious complications and who will take care of sick family members.
• If you have family members with increased risk of getting seriously sick, check with your medical providers about symptoms and treatment. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
• Create an emergency contact list of family and friends, teachers and employers.
• Talk with your children, family, and friends about what to do if an outbreak occurs and what each person would need.
If you have to miss work to care for your child, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. You can file an Unemployment Insurance claim and EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.
Keeping your families engaged in learning over this break
I found this post online, and that it was helpful in thinking about getting through the days at home, with intention, with our children:
First, assess where you are and what your kid needs. Some of you have children that read above grade level, dream of the math olympics, and have considered submitting some stats work to Science for publication. Some of you might have kids that are anxious about spelling, clunky with times tables and definitely not reading for pleasure. Most kids don’t need worksheets and projects and busy stuff for 8 hours a day, but all kids have areas that could use some growth.
Next, imagine where you want your kids to be in September. The goal might be technical: the school district expects this level of reading from second graders, that is where we need to be. It might be global: I want my kid to be less anxious about writing. WRITE SOME GOALS DOWN. This is going to save you. You will want to go back to your goals (THAT YOU WROTE DOWN) and see if you are making progress.
Find some hands off resources to help you meet your goals:
MyPlan Website and Apps (Raz-Kids, Benchmark Universe, Typing Agent, Moby Max): https://myplan.powayusd.com/LoginPolicy.jsp
Khan Academy – free, all things math, but lots of other courses as well (https://www.khanacademy.org/)
Outschool – online classes in Hogwarts and Chemistry and Emotion Management and Multiplication. Just not all at once. (https://outschool.com/)
Audible – kids can listen to books for hours each day. You are still a very good person. Harry Potter x 6 books pretty much expands the vocabulary, builds attention and relieves you of parenting duties for at least 400 hours. (https://www.audible.com/)
Typing.com – this will make your life better, your kids’ lives better and win win win. (https://www.typing.com/)
Podcasts – my faves are Shabam! (science, zombies, so very very topical), This Won’t Hurt a Bit (Emergency Medicine for lay audience, kid friendly), The Past and The Curious (like futility closet, but less grown up), 6 minutes (basically a soap opera, but there is some good vocabulary involved).
Carla Sonheim – serious online art classes, including free ones for kids (https://www.carlasonheim.com/)
Go Noodle: Dancing and some other silly things to get exercise indoors (https://www.gonoodle.com/)
Free online museum tours: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-toursutm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-share-article&utm_content=20200313&fbclid=IwAR2ZzMRazmbL1fYMWmpDu5NkmdocvRr3mcHyK1srSJg8B991wSj1XLLYtVQ
Writing/drawing prompts: https://www.sarahbrannen.com/storymarch?
Educational websites offering free subscriptions: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NUKLZN7hGSu1Hzm70kfzBKs-lsSELaEMggS60Bi2O2I/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true&pru=AAABcPNLgg4%2AXUMsDr3zWoc3uL5EqXnuKg&fbclid=IwAR12rtCdI8AAXk0YqHNdK1t8CUHXudriFUnPYii94OM7Z9kYCCcoPlpVrGo
Really comprehensive list of stuff to do: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o6kEgCKLn3cyIm2hehhhSTIk7yRTd0C3zx49JS4wwCI/preview?fbclid=IwAR2Mu0YskllfQqTBMMWTPxwUYWShI-Kxf48h7IJXC_NQmktnXuv8wYBm1wQ
Accept that a “school” day can have 1 hour of lunch, 30 minutes of “tea”, 1 hour of “quiet reading” and 30 minutes of “drawing to music” and still be a very productive day of school at home.