Updates from the School Director: February 2021

Dear EQ2 Families,

For the past six months, every one of our EQ2 team members have overcome huge challenges to make sure all of our scholars can learn successfully, even when schools are closed. Our Operations Team never stops because they see our families as family; Ms. Montanez and her team simply will not allow any of our scholars to be without working technology and meals. Our teachers, most of whom have dedicated years learning how to become expert teachers in the classroom, quickly return to being the best teachers last summer in order to once again become amazing teachers, now teaching remotely.

And we never once used school closure as an excuse to cut corners; our English Language-Designated and Resource Service Programs teachers continued to teach small groups of scholars every day; scholar attendance is taken three times a day, with follow-up phone calls for every absence. Teachers also  keep detailed records of more than 100  scholars’ progress in learning each week, grading  classwork, tests, and participation to keep our families informed.

I’m proud to say that the hard work has paid off. Our Winter MAP test results indicate that our scholars have made powerful strides since they last took the MAP test in September. In fact, when compared to other middle schools across the country beyond California where students learned in the classroom since the first day, our scholars actually made faster gains, specifically, in math.  

We are going to do even better in the next few months. We began the school year with the commitment that our scholars will not fall behind. Our goal for the second half of the school year is now to help our scholars get ahead.

Here are some important updates:

Re-Entry Decision Announcement on March 12th, 2021: As we discussed in the February Cafecito, Equitas Academy will soon announce whether we will reopen schools this year for on-site learning this school year. If the decision is made to continue instruction remotely as we are now until June, no changes will be necessary in regards to schedule, classes, and the  start and end time of each school day. And should EQ2 be allowed to open from April to June this year, detailed information will be provided to all families almost immediately after the announcement.

In the meantime, please make sure you’ve completed the Re-Entry Commitment form as soon as possible to help us gather the information necessary to plan effectively . Our plan for potential school opening is now getting finalized. Here are some initial information I can share now to about how the school day may look like:

  • Your child will continue to remain in the same class, with the same teacher and scholars. To ensure safety,  each homeroom class will be split into two smaller cohorts that come to school on different days of the week. (All scholars will learn in person two days per week, and learn from home 3 days per week.  Cohort A learning on-site Monday and Tuesday, and from home on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Cohort B will learn from home Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and come to school on Thursday and Friday. 
  • This way, our school–normally with more than 400 students–will only have around 200 students on school grounds at any given time.
  • The school day begins with Arrivals and breakfast from  8AM-8:30AM, and Dismissal will begin at 2:20PM and end at 2:50PM.
  • Scholars who are deciding to not return to school this year will log on remotely from home at designated time, and may “sit-in” to learn with their classmates by watching the lesson through video and engaging in the interactive lessons we are already using now.

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE WEEK of 3/15/2021: In about three weeks families will once again have the opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss the learning progress of their children. Additional details will be sent home early next week.

REPORT CARDS: There will be 4 more report cards this school year. Electronic Report Cards will be made available on March 5th, April 2nd, and June 4th. And a Printed Report Card will be mailed home on May 7th.

EQ2 FAMILY DAY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 6th: We miss our families dearly this year, and this year’s Family Day each of our grade level teams will host listening tours to hear from their families to learn more about how we are doing as a school, how the scholars are doing as learners from home, and what needs are not being met and areas we can improve on. We are excited to hear from and speak with everyone, and invitations to the event will be distributed by this Friday.

ATTENDANCE: Should your child need to be absent, please make a quick phone call or send a text message to our office at 424-242-9212. The absence will then be marked as “Excused” on our records, but more importantly, your communication gives our teachers a chance to assign make-up work to ensure you child does not fall behind.

ELPAC ASSESSMENT: If you received an ELPAC notification letter, your scholar will begin their assessments March 1st. The ELPAC assessment this year will look a little different because of distance learning. The process will be divided in two parts: the Speaking 1:1 assessment, and the second part beginning March 15th with group testing for Reading, Writing, and Listening. Each EL Scholars will receive a specific time and date for their Speaking Assessment, and they will be testing with their Designated ELD teacher.

WELL WISHES TO MS. RENFORT, AND WELCOME, MS. CHEONG! Our Counselor Ms. Renfort is now officially on maternity leave, and we wish her the best of luck and joy as she grows her family. To continue the incredible work that she does for EQ2 scholars, Ms. Cheong will officially join the EQ2 team Monday, February 22nd. Her email address is TCheong@EquitasAcademy.org and she’d be ecstatic to hear from scholars and families for any reasons.

SCHEDULE A MEETING WITH MR. KO or MS. MONTANEZ: It has been difficult this year for us to be as available to families as we normally would be now that the school is closed, and we are moving to make it easier for families to request meetings with the School Director or the School Operations Manager.

You may now visit our website’s Contact page and look on the left side to find the respective Calendar availabilities of Mr. Ko and Ms. Montanez. Click on a day and time that works for you, and once the meeting is confirmed you will automatically get an email invite with the Zoom link. 

Thank you for being amazing families!

Sincerely,

Wil Ko, School Director, EQ2

Published by Wil Ko

Fight up, love down.

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