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    FAQ from September 10 Q&A Event with Administration
    Posted on 09/21/2020
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    1. How are you supporting families of need in the community? 
    We are supporting families in need in several ways. First and foremost, we are working with teachers to identify who these families are and what their specific needs might be. We are working in partnership with Annika Carlson (thank you!) to raise money for gift cards that cover basic needs and Doug sends them out regularly. As a staff we are also working to make sure families have all of the supplies they need to access learning. This includes materials from the supply lists sent out, devices and hot spots. 

    To ensure support continues through the year, we have established two new teams at Adams that include teachers, admin and support staff. They are the Family Engagement Team and the ELL Engagement Team. The Family Engagement Team will work with teachers and families who have students that are either not regularly attending remote learning classes or that are not participating when they do attend. This team will wrap around the student, teacher and families to help break down barriers and identify engagement strategies to support the student in showing up and participating in their own learning. The ELL Engagement Team will work on specifically engaging our ELL families, both by offering support and most importantly providing space for feedback on how remote learning at Adams is going for them. If you are in need or know an Adams community member that is, please contact Doug Sohn ( or Kelly Walter (

    2. How is the school approaching equity with the schedule challenges? For example. I suspect English-speaking folks are more confident navigating situations like this will have an easier time talking to teachers to ask for schedule changes.
    As a building we are working with individual families to build out schedules that work for their students. The teacher schedules were intentionally designed to allow for flexibility and access, specifically for our most vulnerable students. Our bilingual IA’s (Spanish and Somali) are working closely with our families to answer questions and support them in getting materials, tech and navigating both SPS and Adams communication.

    3. What are you doing to ensure all families have access to information, technology, assignments?
    See question #1. In addition, teachers have dedicated space in their day to hold office hours and family connection time to further support students and families in accessing and completing assignments. At this point, 1:1 meetings with the classroom teacher and support from administration when necessary has been successful.

    4. Can you explain what the flexibility is in the schedule and who to contact with questions?
    Schedules have been created so that if students are having a difficult time attending the scheduled classes from their teacher, they can attend at another time during the day. Most of our grade levels are departmentalizing, so this is an easy accommodation and the others are offsetting their subject areas to allow for a morning or afternoon option. In addition, there are both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for student to show they are participating, learning and accountable for their work. If you and your student are struggling to attend the current schedule, please contact your classroom teacher. Our teachers are working closely with all families to find a schedule that works for all students.

    5. Can we have parent volunteers on Teams calls and how could they help?
    Yes, technically we can have parent volunteers support in our virtual classrooms. Volunteers who are interested need to go through the same process of signing up as in years passed. Here is a link with information. SPS Volunteer Information. As a staff, we will be discussing how this will work for us, our families and students this year shortly. Once we have a plan, we will communicate that out to all of you.

    6. Can Adobe be downloaded to all devices to ease in submitting assignments?
    As of now, we don’t have the information needed to answer this question. Once we do, we will be sure to let the community know. However, there are ways to submit work electronically through SeeSaw and Schoology. If you or your student have not been taught how to do this by your student’s teacher, you can expect to hear more information on this soon!

    7. How are teachers building community within their classrooms?
    Our teachers main focus for the start of the school year is building relationships with students and families,building community within their own classrooms and a focus on Social Emotional Learning. Some of the ways you might see this right now are through family meetings, getting to know you activities, building a classroom charter together, teaching and modeling of classroom expectations and various ways students are connecting with each other (teams break out rooms, chatting during transitions, connections in classroom discussion).

    8. What are the platforms we are using this year?
    SPS is requiring and supporting the use of Microsoft Teams for instruction and class meeting times. Our K-2 team is using SeeSaw and our 3-5 team is using a combination of Schoology and Seesaw.

    9. Can attachments coming from Adams staff be sent in a PDF so they are more accessible?
    Yes, will do.

    10. Can you host parent education meetings on how to use Teams?
    Some grade level teams have begun offering information sessions. At this time, we do not have a whole school offering, however, this resource could be helpful in navigating Teams. This also went out in the Adams PTA Newsletter last week.
    “Someone made a request during last week's question and answer session for information and training on how to use TEAMS. We're including this link to the SPS website that has a lot of information about it.”

    11. Are we held to the same guidelines and parameters as previous years? How are excused and non-excused absences determined?
    Teachers are required to take attendance twice daily. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Please check-in with your student’s teacher if you are having trouble with attending morning and afternoon sessions to make a plan.

    12. Will our kids come to school for assessments?
    At this time, all assessments will be conducted in a remote environment. You can expect to see many forms of formative assessment (informal, such as, students showing what they know on whiteboards, teachers conferring with students, assignments turned in). At this time, we are not aware of any formalized standardized testing requirements.

    13. When do you anticipate the kids who have IEPs to get services?
    Services have already begun and IEP meetings will be held this fall to update IEPs to our current learning environment and student’s needs. If you have questions, please reach out to your student’s IEP case manager.

    14. Is the District still considering allowing some outdoor learning so that individual classes could spend some time together as whole classes or in subgroups, and if so, when we will have clarity on what will be allowed?
    Yes, this option was passed by the School Board in August. However, we are waiting for more clarity and direction on how to get our outdoor school up and running. We have started planning and will first focus on providing these in person outdoor learning options to our Special Education students and our students furthest from educational justice. More information to come on this.

    15. In Teams there is a recording feature. Is it an option to have teachers record sessions throughout the day for students to go back and watch later?
    Yes, there is a recording feature. We have just received guidance on what can/cannot be done with this feature and will be working as a building to decide our next steps in using this to increase access.

    16. Could we work with our teacher to cover the curriculum asynchronously and not attend any live lessons?
    We are asking that whenever possible, your student is participating in the online, live lessons from their teacher and as part of their classroom community. Our teachers are highly skilled in instructional practices and content masters and we believe students will be successful when engaging in their lessons. If your family is having trouble with the current schedule, please contact your classroom teacher to make a plan together that will best support your student.

    17. Will each PCP topic be once a week or will they vary on a three week rotation like last year?
    We are now calling our teacher PCP time “Specialist” time. Our specialists at Adams this year cover the subject areas of music, PE, art and library. This year, your students will be on a rotating two-week schedule.

    They will have synchronous meetings with grades K, 1, & 5 one time per week, every other week. These classes will have 1 day art, 1 day music, 1 day library, and 1 day P.E. during the two week rotation. On Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday students can work on their asynchronous lessons from us located in SeeSaw or Schoology.

    As for grades 2, 3, & 4, the above is true for them, except that one class in each grade will have synchronous time every week. (This is because there are only three classes per grade level) The asynchronous work time for their students will be on Monday, Thursday, (because they have library on Wednesday) or Friday.

    18. What is the support for children that are in day care facilities and does not have a parent supporting them closely?
    Adams is supporting students learning from Kids Co, which is housed in our building by hiring hourly tutors to support with remote learning, including helping students access classes, complete asynchronous assignments and navigate any tech issues that may arise. We have not yet made plans on how to support students in other day care facilities.