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Walter Hays Community Letter - 4/21/21

Dear Walter Hays Families,

Happy Wednesday. I hope your week is going well.

This week we welcomed all Grades 4 and 5 cohorts back to school 5-days-a-week. Next week, the cohorts in Grade 2 will also return together. I want to thank the teachers and front office staff for all their hard work to prepare for this return. However, we all look forward and hope that it will remain safe for all students to return to school to campus for the 2021-22 school year. Thank you all for your patience and partnership during this very challenging year, there is nothing more than I want than to have our entire community be back together at Walter Hays.

On-Site School Arrival and Start Time

Students attending school on campus should not arrive earlier than 8:15 a.m., as there is no adult campus supervision prior to this time. This is an important safety measure for your children. Class begins at 8:25 a.m.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Information

Walter Hays students,Grades 3 -5, as well as all children in Palo Alto and throughout California at those grade levels will participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Walter Hays students will participate in this assessment program on the week beginning the week of April 26th. The assessments in the CAASPP System provide information to parents, students, and teachers about the student's progress and readiness for college and career.

If you would like more information about the CAASPP System or student participation, please visit the Parent/Student tab of the California Department of Education's (CDE) CAASPP web page and PAUSD's Assessment web page We urge you and your child to view the practice test online at the California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced Practice Test web page. I think you will find that several of these items are both interesting and challenging, and you can also experience how the computer-based test format works. In recent weeks, teachers have been practicing these types of questions in class to help students feel more comfortable with the format.

Our testing window will run over a four-week period, from Tuesday, April 27th- May 21st. Your child's classroom teacher has shared their specific testing schedule.

Following the spring 2021 testing, individual student score reports will be sent home to parents and will include an overall score, a description of the student's achievement level for English-Language Arts and Mathematics, and other state-determined information.

It is important that your son(s) and/or daughter(s) take these tests, so please be sure she/he is well rested, has a nutritious breakfast and lunch and is at school ready to do their best that day. Unlike previous paper and pencil tests, CAASPP is a more engaging experience and far better enables students to show how they think in addition to what they have learned. We ask you to remind your children of the importance of not giving up and to Persevere when they encounter a question that seems too difficult.

Parent Education: "Parenting Through the Pandemic: What's Next?"

On April 28, at 12 PM PST, Common Sense Media will sponsor two compelling speakers:

Dr. Madeline Lavine and Dr. Danielle Ramo

Please click this link to learn more about this free event:

"Parenting Through the Pandemic: What's Next"

Topics include anxiety, resilience, social media, and rules for tech use. All PAUSD parents can attend. Registration is required and the session is for parents of younger and older children.

Parent Input Forms

Our classroom placement process for next year will begin in May. Although I believe that our teachers possess all of the information they need to create balanced class lists, I invite you to add your input using the Optional Input Form, which is attached to this letter. These forms should contain information that the teacher may not already know about your child and is not meant as a teacher request form. Please refrain from making specific teacher requests and note that the completed form will be given directly to your child's teacher. This information will be one of many pieces of data they use in making placement decisions. This year this form should be submitted to the Walter Hays office by Monday, May 3.

Have a good remainder of your week!


Principal Mary