Dear Lower School Parents,
We are only ONE WEEK away from back to school! The teachers are excitedly preparing their classrooms and we are looking forward to a wonderful year!
Save the dates from this summary of events:
Friday, Aug. 14 at 9 a.m. In-person Carpool Parade (A-M) — LS students that last name starts with A through M and will attend school in person.
Friday, Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m. In-person Carpool Parade (N-Z) — LS students that last name starts with N through Z and will attend school in person.
Monday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. IDL Carpool Parade (A-M) — LS Students that registered for Independent Distance Learning (IDL) that last name starts with A through M.
Monday, Aug. 17 at 9:30 a.m. IDL Carpool Parade (N-Z) — LS Students that registered for Independent Distance Learning (IDL) that last name starts with N through Z.
Monday, Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. Virtual Parent Orientation — LS parents to review policies, safety protocols, learning programs and expectations.
Tuesday, Aug. 18 at TBD Virtual Meet the Teachers — Students will join a Zoom meeting with teacher and classmates. The teachers will send the links to each class.
Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. Athletics and P.E. Zoom — PS-MS parents and Athletic team to discuss sports and P.E.
Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 a.m. First Day of School — First day of learning for students on campus. LS Carpool begins at 7:30 a.m. Class starts at 8:05 a.m. Teachers will announce IDL start time.
Lower School Carpool
Students will use carpool for arrival and dismissal. For the safety of everyone involved, all parents and family members must remain inside their car at all times; they are not allowed to exit the vehicle for any reason. Face coverings are required at all times during carpool for students in K-8th grade, adults and every person inside a car.
A zone has been assigned for Lower School, including a specific carpool route. Review the map to get acquainted with your zone and the process for drop off and pick up.
View the Carpool Guidelines for details and instructions per division.
To practice the new carpool route assigned to Lower School, parents and students that registered for In-Person Instruction are invited to a Carpool Parade on Friday, Aug. 14 (look at the chart above for times based on last name). Families that will attend school on campus will have the opportunity to practice the new carpool route and pick up the Orientation packet.
The Orientation Packet will include carpool tags, forms and other materials to get you ready for the first day of school.
Download a copy of the Lower School Carpool Map.
IDL Carpool Parade
Students that registered for Independent Distance Learning (IDL) will have the opportunity to practice the new carpool procedures and pick up supplies to facilitate their remote learning. On Monday, Aug. 17 (look at the chart above for times based on last name). IDL families will pick up their assigned technology devices, Orientation packet, school supplies if ordered through EPI, and other materials to learn from home.
Virtual Parent Orientation
Parents of Lower School are required to join us for a Zoom meeting on Monday, Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. The virtual session will:
- Review the Back to School Plan in detail.
- Explain the enhanced safety measures, protocols and procedures.
- Focus on important sections of Student-Parent Handbook.
- Provide an overview of class dynamics and schedules.
- Answer any questions as parents prepare for the first day of school.
Also, during Orientation parents will receive access to the Student-Parent Handbook and a link to sign the Handbook and Back to School Plan Acknowledgment Form.
Register for Zoom Meeting click here
Meeting ID: 883 0002 3183
Meet the Teachers
On Tuesday, Aug. 18 K-4th grade students will virtually visit their classrooms and meet the teachers. Stay tuned for a postcard in the mail with assigned times and Zoom details.
Instructional Preference Registration
Thank you for completing the registration form online to select your preferred method of instruction. Parents must sign the waiver that pertains to the instruction preference and return the printed copy at Orientation or before the first day of school. Print and sign one copy per child.
In-person – Back to School COVID-19 Waiver
Individual Distance Learning – Distance Learning Acknowledgment and Waiver
We will assume attendance in person for enrolled students that did not register for an instructional preference.
Athletics and P.E. Meeting
The Athletics department is hosting a virtual parent meeting to review updates and details pertinent to Youth Sports, Athletics and P.E. for Primary, Lower and Middle School. Join Coach Mitriel and Coach Marge Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. to navigate through the protocols to conduct physical activity in a healthy environment.
Join Zoom Meeting click here
Meeting ID: 830 6347 9744
Health Forms Are Due
As we prepare for the new year, the required Health Forms are due by the first day of school.
Student Health Form – The parent AND physician must sign this form by August 19, 2020. Bring the health form to the physician’s office during the examination for them to sign or they can complete if a visit occurred recently (physician offices are used to filling out these forms.) Scan or take a picture of the signed document and email to the nurses.
Current Immunization Records – Provide an updated copy attached to the health form by August 19, 2020. All students, new or returning, must provide an updated immunization record and health form every year.
We must comply with state requirements to maintain up-to-date records and keep our community in good health, especially during this pandemic. Contact the nurses for questions or details.
Simply Fresh Lunch Program
Make sure to purchase school supplies before class starts. Online ordering is no longer available, but you can review the supply list to shop for the items. Pre-ordered supplies will be delivered directly to the classroom for students to retrieve on the first day of school.
- Kinder supply list
- First grade supply list
- Second grade supply list
- Third grade supply list
- Fourth grade supply list
HSES requires a daily uniform for students in the 2s classroom through 8th grade. Parents can purchase new uniforms through Dennis Uniform (school code VHY) or used uniforms through the PTO (pre-ordering form coming soon). The Dennis Uniform website includes specific garments per grade level and gender.
View the Lower School uniform guidelines.
After School with Kidventure
Kidventure leads the after-school camp that offers a structured program at a lower cost with age-appropriate activities to support student development. Visit their site for registration and additional information
Back to School Plan
For more details on how we plan to conduct the school year, view our Back to School Plan for 2020-2021.
First Day of School
We can’t wait to see you Wednesday, August 19 – in person or on screen!
Ready to embark on your reading journey? No matter where you go or what you do, you will be able to travel to new places and meet new people in your books!
During the summer, we want you to read every day and read a variety of wonderful books! HAISLN, a group of Houston area independent school librarians, provides a list of incredible books.
Dear Lower School Parents,
We can’t believe it’s the end of another school year! It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the first day of 19-20 with big smiles and first-day selfies. And what a year of surprises it has been, from Imelda to COVID-19 and everything in between. But no matter how challenging the circumstances may be, we are blessed to rely on our wonderful students, parents, faculty, staff and community to overcome any obstacles. We are grateful for your support and trust as we conclude another successful school year.
We will offer a drive thru-experience Thursday, May 21 for parents to pick up and drop off items, while complying with state safety guidelines for end of year functions. The teachers will pack all student belongings for parents to pick up through the carpool line, also providing the opportunity to return any school belongings. Each division, and grade level, has been assigned a date and time to limit the amount of people on campus.
9:00-9:30 a.m. — Lower School students that last name starts with A thru M.
9:30-10:00 a.m.— Lower School students that last name starts with N thru Z.
To maintain social distancing during this process, we are requesting parents to drive up and open their trunks for teachers to insert the belongings. For cars without an accessible trunk, parents must lower the back-passenger window for teachers to place the bags. The same process applies for returning items; however, they must be ready in a bag labeled with your child’s name, for the teachers to easily retrieve either from the trunk or the back-passenger side.
We want to remind parents to follow the carpool safety guidelines while driving on campus to protect pedestrians and incoming traffic. We also ask that you remain in your vehicle at all times for the safety of our community.
At this time, we are only accepting items that need to be returned to the school such as library books, textbooks, athletic uniforms, classroom materials, etc. We will not be accepting used uniforms at curbside pick-up or during the summer break. We will notify parents when it is safe to drop off used uniforms.
Final Fun Friday
Tuesday, May 19 is the last class Zoom session for Lower and Middle School.
On Friday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m. the enrichment teachers are hosting a Final Fun Friday Zoom celebration.
Students are invited to join the fun virtual party to celebrate the last day of school and kick off the summer break. Zoom links will be posted in Google Classroom and the community website.
Report Cards will be released Wednesday, May 27, by the end of the day.
Lower School will assess students based on their assignments during distance learning and the knowledge they acquired before Spring Break. The performance indicators will not fall below the previous trimester.
In addition to the project-based assessments, the teachers will include personalized narratives in the final report card.
We appreciate your flexibility as we finalize the details to finish off the year under these odd circumstances. We can’t wait to see you next week at any or all of these events.
Let’s Come Together, Even If Apart
Dear Lower School Families,
I reach out to you with the same sadness you must be experiencing due to the Governor’s announcement today that all schools must remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. As much as I felt this strong possibility, I was holding on to the hope that we could come together for the last three weeks of school and finish the academic year as a community. I know this has been challenging for families, just as it has been hard for teachers and staff. We chose the field of education because of our love for the kids! Those smiles, hugs and “ah-ha” moments charge our energy, and we truly miss the face-to-face contact that brightens our days.
I am working with the Board of Directors and Leadership team to finalize a plan to complete the school year remotely, including the details of what to expect in the future. I am very proud of our community response to the pandemic so far. Despite the challenges, we have received many positive and encouraging comments that motivate us to continue working through this. We are grateful for your kind words!
We launched remote learning after Spring Break with the ability to fine-tune the program based on your wonderful feedback and our research on best practices. We have scheduled more distance learning training for faculty and continue to offer support and development opportunities during this online instruction period.
Parents will receive a survey next week to share their perception of how HSES managed COVID-19 and the effectiveness of the remote learning program. This anonymous survey will help us identify where to adapt the program to support your needs.
It has been delightful to see all the creative ideas our community has originated to stay connected while physically apart. Our heartful students, parents, teachers and staff have formed lively birthday parades, designed fun social media challenges, initiated acts of kindness, hosted Zoom get-togethers, and much more.
We are creating additional ways for students to connect and conclude the year together. This includes honoring our graduates until we can gather at a later date to celebrate this important milestone, welcoming new families to the school by following social distancing, and conducting virtual tours for future families – which have already proved a success with new students enrolled in every division. We welcome your input and engagement as we draft new concepts, we can’t do this without you!
Once the details of the next phase are announced, we will determine how to proceed with summer activities on campus. Until then, we continue to work with the administrative team and nursing staff to safely reopen the school when approved. From class sizes, to social distancing, hygiene measures, and health and sanitation supplies, we want to cover every aspect to promote a safe environment.
In the upcoming school year, we will deploy the one-to-one device initiative to enhance classroom instruction and accommodate remote learning if needed. Each student in kindergarten through second grade will receive individual iPads and students in third through eighth grade will receive Chromebooks.
This is a difficult time for many families as they navigate through financial uncertainty that could affect their plans for the upcoming year. The school offers financial aid and payment plans to help families weather hardships that may arise. Contact Ranelle Johnson in the Business Office for assistance. It is our sincere hope that all students return despite these challenging times.
I am holding in my heart the day we will all be back together again! The anticipation of our joyful reunion is what gives us strength and courage to face these remaining days apart. I pray for you and your family; and that you may stay safe and healthy during the days and weeks ahead.
Dear Lower School Parents,
We want to thank your family for allowing us to continue this academic journey together. We are very proud of our students and their dedication to complete school assignments under these special circumstances, especially adapting to a new environment with such flexibility and growth mindset.
Revised Grading Policy
We have adjusted the grading system for online learning, taking into consideration the emotional health and wellbeing of students, along with accountability and flexibility.
Lower School will continue to assess students based on their assignments. Teachers will follow the revised guidelines to assign the performance indicators for Trimester Three in report cards. These performance indicators will not fall below the previous trimester. Project-based assessments will take place to complete the academic year.
Teachers will communicate with students and provide feedback on their performance for each assignment. The grades applied in Google Classroom represent the completion of an assignment; they will not transfer as a grade into report cards. If parents have questions or concerns about an assessment contact the teacher.
We hope that this new grading mechanism will reflect an accurate academic progress during their independent distance learning.
Lower School students can participate in enrichment Zoom classes for an afternoon of fun beginning Friday, April 24! This is an opportunity to kick off the weekend with Mrs. Daniels, Coach Marge and Mrs. Day. Every Friday at 12 p.m., students can join activities in music, P.E. and art to enrich their creativity. These classes are optional and will not be graded.
Sra. Avila is also offering Spanish enrichment sessions every week starting Monday, April 20. She will be joining the class Zoom meetings on the dates and times mentioned below, and will extend the session for students that would like to stay and practice Spanish with her. This is a voluntary option for students to enrich their language skills. The Zoom classes are divided by grade:
- Kinder – Tuesday at 9 a.m.
- First Grade – Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
- Second Grade – Wednesday at 10 a.m.
- Third Grade – Monday at 10:30 a.m.
- Fourth Grade – Wednesday at 9 a.m.
- Spanish Practice – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1 p.m. (open to all LS students)
We understand that each household has a different dynamic to accommodate students and parents working from home. We value your trust and the commitment, courage and resilience of every student to make this happen!
WELCOME BACK CYBER SAINTS!
Campus may be closed amid COVID-19, but the learning still continues. Faculty and staff wish these cybernetic learners good luck on their first day of remote classes. #HSESstrong
ZOOM CLASS SCHEDULE
Every Lower School classroom will use Zoom for virtual, face-to-face meetings starting Monday, March 30. The online video conferencing platform provides user-friendly chat opportunities for teachers and children to conduct lessons remotely.
Mon.-Fri. at 9 a.m. — Mrs. Brown
This example schedule shows how to complete schoolwork that works best for each family and how to incorporate fun, movement, and breaks into a day of distance learning.
Have fun by creating a masterpiece under Mrs. Day's guidance. You can create artwork with chalk on the fence, sidewalk, patio or any other space that needs some colorful design. Take a picture of your final creation and tag us #HSESstrong.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Just as students follow the tenets of learning at school as highlighted in the Social Contract, they are also expected to follow a Code of Conduct during remote learning. We recommend that parents review these guidelines with their children to establish expectations as they embark on their online learning journey.