Announcements

  • Week of 11/29

    Good Morning Families, 

    We hope you had a pleasant time with your families and extended families over the holidays.

    This week we look forward to seeing our Explorers work diligently on their Winter MAP tests! This will help provide us with updated information on our Explorer's strengths and areas for growth. You can help your Explorer succeed by sharing with them the importance of taking their time and doing their best work! Please ensure that they get a good night's rest! 

    On Tuesday, November 30th we invite you to attend the K-4 Curriculum Summit! This is a time for families and stakeholders to come together to provide ideas for our Explorers Third Term Project Based Learning! This event will be in person but masks will be required. Explorers may attend with their families! 

    There will also be a virtual FAC meeting on Wednesday, December 1st from 6:00 - 7:00. Please plan to attend! Last, just before the break, a new law was passed by the state regarding limitations on quarantines. Please see our updated Covid policy attached to this post for more information! Thank you for your support in keeping our community safe! 

    With Love,
    Ms. Talbot and Ms. Smith
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • 5-6 Project Based Learning Units

    Hi Families!
     

    I am excited to share with you our 5th grade Project Based Learning Unit, as well as, our very first 6th grade Project Based Learning Unit.

     In the 5th grade unit, Explorers will answer the generative question, “How can we elevate the indigenous stories and voices of history?”
    Explorers will begin the unit by identifying the key differences between elementary school and middle school Project Based Learning Units. In middle school, Explorers will have two Project Based Learning Units. The first unit focuses heavily on Social Studies and the second unit focuses on Explorers’ passions. 
     
    Explorers will dive right into learning about the key geographic features of Tennessee and the first inhabitants of Tennessee. They will study the four cultures of the major indigenous settlements of Tennessee (Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian). Going deeper, Explorers will also study four indigenous tribes of Tennessee and where they inhabited (Chickasaw, Cherokee, Shawnee, and Creek).
    Some key areas of focus will be tracing European exploration to Westward expansion and the significance of the Proclamation Line of 1763, Cumberland Gap, Wilderness Road, and the Watauga settlement, and Trail of Tears.
     
    Once an expert, Explorers will choose a tribe they would like to study more in depth and split into smaller groups. During the initial weeks of working in small groups, Explorers will spend time learning about a specific tribe’s culture.
     
    In the 6th grade unit, Explorers will answer the generative question, “What is the importance and role of biodiversity in our world? How can we work together to preserve Earth’s biodiversity?”
     
    Explorers will begin the unit by identifying the key differences between elementary school and middle school Project Based Learning Units. In middle school, Explorers will have two Project Based Learning Units. The first unit heavily focuses on Science and the second unit focuses on Explorers’ passions.
     
    Using the Engineering Design Process, Explorers will study what an ecosystem is and why maintaining a biodiverse ecosystem is important. We will study the five primary drivers of biodiversity degradation, pollution, climate change, invasive species, habitat change, and overexploitation of resources. Explorers will also research who is doing advocacy work aligned with preserving Earth’s biodiversity, and what that work looks like on a local and international level.  
     
    In both the 5th and 6th grade units, our learning will culminate with an exciting exhibition of learning! We can’t wait to get started with this Explorations unit! 

    Warmly,
    Ms. Hunter
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Learning while at home - What to do in case of Quarantine!

    Good Afternoon Explore Families, 

    Thank you for your partnership this week as we navigate these challenging times! Your curiosity and compassion are inspiring. We are the luckiest to serve this community. As we move forward through this year it may be necessary for different students and families to quarantine. We want to ensure that everyone experiences continuous learning when at all possible. 

    Attached to this email you will find the quarantine learning guide. Please take a moment to reset your Explorer's email and accept the invitation to your teacher's Google Classroom. Completing these two steps will ensure that your child can access all learning materials they may miss while in quarantine! Materials moving forward will be posted on Monday to be completed by Friday. 

    Please ensure that you are connecting with the main office and NOT your child's teacher if you are waiting to be tested, in quarantine, or have tested positive. The front office will also be able to track families who are unable to access Google Classroom during their quarantine time. 

    The main office will direct quarantined students to learning packets on google classroom. These are not for students who are absent or out for other reasons. Students not in quarantine will work with the teacher to make up missed work. Quarantined work on google classroom is for extended absences only. 

    Thank you again for your partnership! Remember that together all hearts and minds will rise! 

    With love, 

    Explore! Leadership 

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [School Health Updates]

    Dear Explore! Families, 

    I am writing to inform you that 2 additional members of our community have tested positive for COVID. They were on the school premises and did have direct exposure with a limited number of other members of our community. We have conducted our contact tracing using the process outlined by the Metro Health Department. We have made contact with the individuals who are considered close contacts to these parties. If you have not had a direct call from a representative from the school, there is no further action for you to take. 

     Fortunately, our mitigation strategies will allow Explore! Community School to remain open during this time. Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of your entire family for COVID-19 symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough. When it doubt, sit it out! Stay home if you are unsure and communicate with the front office. 

    Please know the community members were very proactive in reaching out to notify us. As such, we were able to work quickly to notify the close contacts. We will continue to implement our health and safety protocols as outlined for the duration of this school year.
    Some families have asked for more details about our mitigation plan. Please see the list of proactive strategies we will use to keep our school safe. 
    1. Universal masking.
    2. Daily Temp Checks for all.
    3. Staff Self Screener.
    4. Accountability Log for staff tracking.
    5. Hand Washing/Sanitizing when moving through spaces in the building.
    6. Frequent Building Cleaning.
    7. Nightly sanitation.
    8. Frequent cleaning in the cafeteria and other shared spaces.
    9. Spot cleaning of high-touch surfaces (door handles, stair rails, etc.).
    10. Assigned Seating.
    11. Symptom Look-Fors Guidance for Staff.
     
     
    How you can help!
    1. Read Bloomz regularly for updates.
    2. Ensure we have a current phone number and emergency contact information on file at the front desk! If not, please complete the following. https://forms.gle/pBEAP9YNn1geRcEo7
    3. Donate kids-sized masks to Explore! 
    4. Donate a new plastic water bottle so that all Explorers can have a water bottle and not use the water fountain (we will be ordering some as well)
     
    We are showing community and craftsmanship each day! Thank you all for your support and cooperation during these dynamic times. 
     
    In partnership,
    Stephanie “ Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe, Executive Principal
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [Community Health Update]

    Dear Explore! Families,
     
    I am writing to inform you that 2 individuals have tested positive for COVID. They were on the school premises and did have direct exposure with a limited number of other members of our community. We have conducted our contact tracing using the process outlined by the Metro Health Department. We have made contact with the individuals who are considered close contacts to these parties. If you have not had a direct call from a representative from the school, there is no further action for you to take. 

    Fortunately, our mitigation strategies will allow Explore! Community School to remain open during this time. In general, parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of your entire family for COVID-19 symptoms. Please see the family screening questions attached below to monitor for these symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. When it doubt, sit it out! Stay home if you are unsure and communicate with the front office. 
    Please know the community members were very proactive in reaching out to notify us. As such, we were able to work quickly to notify the close contacts. We will continue to implement our health and safety protocols as outlined for the duration of this school year.

    Here are a few other reminders for families about ways you can help:
    Household Contact: Please remember that if a member of your household test positive for COVID, then the household members also need to quarantine. Household members are considered close contacts so siblings or other family members need to remain at home. This is also true if an older sibling or household member tests positive, please keep the children at home until 10 days and a negative test.
    Water Bottles: Explorers are not able to use the spigot portion of the water fountain for germs during the Pandemic. Please send Explorers with a water bottle. We have filling stations at the water fountain which are more hygienic. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you need help with a water bottle
    Testing Sites: Some families have been seeking testing and having a hard time finding places to test. The CVS on Murfreesboro Rd in Antioch had some times as did Walgreens on Murfreesboro Road near the Dollar General Market. 
     
    Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our community safety.
     
    Sincerely,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • K-4 Project-Based Learning

    Dear Families! 

    We are so excited to share with you our first Project-Based Learning Unit for K-4 learners: Homes around the World. In this unit Explorers will work to answer the generative question, “How can we support the access and protection of the right to a home for both people and animals?” 
     
    In this unit Explorers will learn about what a home is. They will discover the places where people and animals live. Next they will discover animal habitats around the world. They will build habitats and will explore the threats to animal homes including policies, natural disasters, and human economic pressures. 
     
    We will learn more about the ways that people in our own community are working to preserve and take care of animal habitats and animals that are without a home. Some classrooms will explore animal habitats of classroom pets, building the habitats and learning about what different animals need to survive. 
     
    Having thoroughly investigated animal homes we will move into thinking and learning about the homes that people have around the world. We will discover the ways that we build homes differently to represent the different climates and raw materials in different parts of the world. Explorers will work to answer the question How does climate and geography impact a home's design. They will use the engineer and design process to construct a model home based on a region of the Earth they feel inspired by. 
     
    In the next stage of the unit Explorers will explore what it means to be without a home. They will explore again the reasons why people lose their homes including policies, natural disasters, and economic pressures. We will compare and contrast the similarities with animal homes. 
     
    Explorers will discover individuals who at one point were without a home and who have very successful careers. We will look at stories of hope and will think about organizations in our community that is working to help individuals find homes. We will think about the ways that we can partner with these organizations and raise awareness for both people and animals who are without homes. 
     
    Our learning will culminate with an exciting exhibition of learning! We can’t wait to get started with this Explorations unit! 
     
    Warmly, 
     
    Ms. Talbot 

    Jessica Talbot - Director of Academic Operations and Project-Based Learning

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Family Bulletin 8/23

    Dear Explore! Families, 
     

    I am writing to inform you that 2 members of our community have tested positive for COVID. They were on the school premises and did have direct exposure with a limited number of other members of our community. We have conducted our contact tracing using the process outlined by the Metro Health Department.. We have made contact with the individuals who are considered close contacts to these parties. If you have not had a direct call from a representative from the school, there is no further action for you to take. 

    Fortunately, our mitigation strategies will allow Explore! Community School to remain open during this time. In general, parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of your entire family for COVID-19 symptoms. Please see the family screening questions attached below to monitor for these symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. When it doubt, sit it out! Stay home if you are unsure and communicate with the front office. 

     Please know the community members were very proactive in reaching out to notify us. As such, we were able to work quickly to notify the close contacts. We will continue to implement our health and safety protocols as outlined for the duration of this school year.

     Here are a few other reminders for families about ways you can help:
    Water Bottles: Explorers are not able to use the spigot portion of the water fountain for germs during the Pandemic. Please send Explorers with a water bottle. We have filling stations at the water fountain which are more hygienic. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you need help with a water bottle
    Parent Meetings: All parent meetings large and small will be held via Zoom or phone call. In person meetings will be rescheduled for virtual meetings. Please stay tuned for updated invites for planned meetings
    Building Access: Just a reminder that we will be limiting access to the building only to staff/providers, Explorers, and Martha O’Bryan Staff who work in designated areas. We will continue to share updates on the visitation access for the building as things develop.
     
    In partnership,
    Stephanie “ Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe, Executive Principal
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [Today and Next Week at Explore!]

    Dear Explore! Families,

     
    Can you believe we are at the end of week two! Today is a very special day. It is the school’s 7th birthday!! We were happy to sing Happy Birthday to Explore! In English and Espanol. Thanks to Mr. Rand, Maestra Hernández, Ms. Talbot, and our teachers for coordinating a fun activity for us to celebrate this milestone. 
     
    Here are some updates related to transportation and buses:
    - Remember, Friday dismissal starts at 1:45pm
    - Cleveland Park Boys and Girls club stop has been added to North bus for Fridays
    - We will no longer offer early drop off as of this Friday
    - Bus Route times have been updated. We will share the latest version in a separate post
     
    Explore! Conduct in the Community
    We know that the adjustment to being back at 100% capacity, plus the transportation challenges, have added to the natural stress that many feel as we are coming back to school. We are all members of the community who are governed by our shared core values. There are a few areas where we can show more community and compassion to our school and neighbors. Please read below:
    - We use ALL HANDS ON DECK for dismissal. Staff members have active duty posts to make sure all Explorers are safe and accounted for. - Be kind to our team
    - Sometimes, unexpected things happen. Assume the best and be patient and supportive while we are working through (i.e. a car breaks       down in the line. That happened yesterday!)
    - Use kind words when addressing staff, even with concerns. It would never be okay for a staff member to yell at a family and it is never         okay for a family member to yell at a staff member. Ever. Take a mindful moment and respectfully share your concerns
    - Be kind and patient with each other as well, obey the traffic patterns and show courtesy to other drivers and other Explore! families
    - Please DO NOT block the driveways of neighbors on Dew, 11th and 12th Streets. Please leave that space so they can access their                  driveways
     
    We understand that there are a lot of variables to manage. We are making adjustments to our systems each day based on our observations and your feedback. We want and value your feedback. However, If our team gets reports of inappropriate behavior from a family member to a staff or community member, we will follow up with that family directly as outlined in the Community Conduct portion of our handbook. 
     
    COVID Concerns
    Another topic that has been surfacing is that families are wondering about our response to COVID in schools. I will attach our handbook addendum that outlines our approach that we reviewed at our July orientation sessions. We are still working towards our high fidelity approach with several mitigation strategies in use to prevent the spread of COVID. 
     
    Things you can do:
    - Make sure your Explorer(s) has several masks that fit well over nose and mouth and are comfortable for use throughout the week
    - Donate kids sized masks at school! We give out nearly 80-100 masks a day for students and visitors coming to do business on campus
    - If possible, send your Explorer(s) with a water bottle so they will not use the shared water fountain
    - Notice any new symptoms that your Explorer may have. When in doubt, sit it out! Stay home and communicate with the school
    - If your Explorer or someone in your household has been exposed, please communicate via the Front Office team as soon as possible. This  team is trained to manage the tracking and communication for all things COVID related
     
    So much happening but we are persevering like the Phoenix rising!
     
    This will serve as our bulletin for the upcoming week!
     
     
    Have a great weekend and we will see you all on Monday!
     
     
    Love,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT’ Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [Video to Accompany the Post]

    Good Afternoon,

    Last year, we made some videos so that we could make the communications more clear and details. 

    https://zoom.us/rec/share/uMZlgeqbLgPf-otjWTAThZolMjtwoJu2t17ojUdgg_N3BH3L0_Ol90uf53E_uNQJ.fRmqXMJAGEbq8E7W?startTime=1629474739000

    Please see the video for more details and clarity.


    Thank you,
    Ms. JT

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Universal Mask Policy

    Dear Explore!

    Families, I want to reinforce that the safety of our entire community is our highest priority. As such, we are going to continue with our current mask policy at Explore! Which is all community members are masked when on campus. This is in accordance with MNPS’s decision announced last night, based on recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We continue to implement a variety of mitigation strategies to make the school environment as safe as possible and masking is one that has helped us keep our Explorers consistently at school. We ask for your continued support and cooperation. Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions or concerns.

    In partnership,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Week of November 22nd

    Dear Families, 

     
    As we head into the break I want to share my deep gratitude to this community. Working with our Explorers, Staff, and Families this past week for the Exhibition reminded me again of what we can accomplish if we work together. 
     
    Academics:
     
    For those of you who might have missed the virtual exhibition of learning you can find the slide deck on Bloomz. Please do not post via social media as this is meant to be shared internally only! It was a heartwarming experience. 
     
    Next week Explorers will begin taking their second round of MAP. Please ensure that Explorers are well rested so that they can do their best and drain their brains on the test! 
     
    Community Connection: 
     
    There are many upcoming events and opportunities to become involved. Please see below for more information! 
     
    On Tuesday, November 30th we will have our K-4 Curriculum Summit. The summit is a chance for families to collect their ideas and give voice to our curriculum. This event will be in person at the school. 
     
    On Thursday, December 2nd we will have our annual title one meeting. It will be held virtually from 5:30 - 6:30 via zoom. This meeting will help participants understand how Title 1 funds are allocated. 
     
    On Tuesday, December 7th we will have a virtual parent project team meeting. 
     
    Thank you for all you do to support our community! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
     
    Love,
     
    Ms. Talbot 
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Exhibition Planning Details

    Dear Families and Friends,

    We are overjoyed to announce our first exhibition of the school year Homes Around the World. Our community has worked hard to answer the question “How can we support the access and protection of the right to a home for both people and animals?” This exhibition will be a two-part Exhibition.

    On November 17th we invite you to join us virtually to hear the story of the learning of this unit. You will hear Explorers share their public service announcements and will learn about the work of organizations in our community who are supporting those people and animals without a home. This Virtual Exhibition of learning will take place from 12:30 – 1:30. Please see below for details on the zoom link.
     
    November 17th Meeting Link Details:  Please reach out for details! 

    On November 18th and 19th, we invite you to participate in a service project to benefit Safepaw, Park Center, and The Village at Glenncliff.
    Upon arriving at school please sign in at the main office. We will have volunteers that will show you to the service project location. The following are individual class times. Please plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to allow for parking as you don't want to miss out on your classes window. 
     
    November 18th:

    Time: 8:30 – 9:15 Knight/Bennett and Bohannon/McGee
    Time: 9:30 – 10:15 Beckham and Junod
    Time: 11:10 – 11:55 Hawkins/Boggs
    Time: 12:00 – 12:45 Titus and Risley
    Time: 1:00 – 1:45 Kelley and Brown

    November 19th:

    Time: 8:30 – 9:15 Bishop and Weinberg
    Time: 9:30 – 10:15 Ecton and Jasko
    Time: 12:00 – 12:45 Hubrins and Offut
    Time: 12:45 – 1:25 Graham
     
    We sincerely hope that families will be able to attend both parts of the exhibition. You can help us make the most of this opportunity by contributing to our community drive or gofundme links! Please look for the gofundme links soon! We look forward to celebrating this day with you!
     
    Love,
    Ms. Talbot and the Project Team
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Week of November 1st

    Dear Families,

    It was amazing to see so many of you at parent-teacher conferences! If you were unable to attend a conference please try to reschedule with your teacher! Thank you for your partnership! 
     
    At parent-teacher conferences, several families expressed a need for the Bloomz access codes. You can find those attached to this post! Thank you for helping us exercise craftsmanship! 
     
    Next week we have a full week of instruction. Grades K-4 will begin their drives to support local organizations that support those who are without a home in our community. Please see the attached fliers for more information.  
     
    Please join our Project-Based Learning Parent meeting on November 2nd from 6:00 - 7:15. Your participation helps us bring our EXHIBITIONS and learning to life! 
     
    Join Zoom Meeting - please reach out for link
     
    Meeting ID: 829 261 8712
    Passcode: 7DeiVJ
     
    The middle school will be hosting Spirit Week this week. Please see the attached fliers for ways they can demonstrate community! Middle School would love your support! If you have, or are willing to donate any of the following please reach out to Ms. Smith @ dsmith@explore.school or 917-622-7304. Here is a list of what is needed:
     
     
    * Photo Booth
    * Hay bales to sit on
    * Fall themed backdrop 
    * Arts & Craft Room
    * Small white pumpkins
    * Paints & brushes
    * Glue
    * Fall items and fall colored paper to create Fall Collages
    * Fall Ball Decorations
    * Financial donations for pizza and drinks
    * Candy for candy bags 
     
     
    We are thankful to report that we had less than 5 cases of covid i n our community this week. As we move into flue season we will be encouraging all community members to wash their hands and use practice hygiene! 
     
    Thank you to everyone who has reached out to provide an opportunity to connect. Your insight is invaluable as we grow. Please know that Ms. Smith and I are available and willing to meet if you have not yet had the opportunity! We look forward to another great week!
     
    Love,
     
    Ms. Smith and Ms. Talbot 
     
    Reminders: 
     
    - Please refrain from parking on South 8th street to walk up to the school for arrival or dismissal. 
    - If you arrive to Explore before 7:45 please remain to supervise your Explorer. Explorers who walk should form two lines to enter the building. 
    - Please do not enter the school pick-up line from South 7th Street. This disrupts our communication systems and makes pic k up longer for everyone. Please use Shelby to 12th to dew. Please also do not approach from south 11th. 
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [Health Updates and COVID FAQs]

    Dear Explore! Families, 

    I am writing to inform you that 2 additional members of our community have tested positive for COVID. They were on the school premises and did have direct exposure with a limited number of other members of our community. We have conducted our contact tracing using the process outlined by the Metro Health Department. We have made contact with the individuals who are considered close contacts to these parties. If you have not had a direct call from a representative from the school, there is no further action for you to take. 


    Fortunately, our mitigation strategies will allow Explore! Community School to remain open during this time. Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of your entire family for COVID-19 symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough. When it doubt, sit it out! Stay home if you are unsure and communicate with the front office. 

    Please know the community members were very proactive in reaching out to notify us. As such, we were able to work quickly to notify the close contacts. We will continue to implement our health and safety protocols as outlined for the duration of this school year.

    Rest assured that we are working diligently to keep our community safe. We currently have ~1% of our students as confirmed positive and 5% of all students in quarantine which is better than most schools in Middle Tennessee which empowers us to have stronger continuity in our instructional programming. 

    I know many families had questions about our quarantine and communication processes. 

    Please see the attached document for responses to FAQs about our school’s COVID response.
     

    Have a good weekend!
    Stephanie Ms. JT Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Week of 9.27

    Good Evening Explore Families! 

     
    I hope this finds you well and enjoying this beautiful start to Fall! I’m looking forward to the leaves changing, apple cider donuts, and cool mornings! I’m excited to learn from Explorers some of their favorite family traditions! 
     
    Academics:
     
    This week we are working to wrap up instruction for quarter one. Teachers are working through unit assessments and Explorers are showing all that they know! Please continue using STMath, practicing your math flips, and working on your child’s sight words at home. These are key areas of instruction that will support our mathematicians and readers. 
     
    Next week we have our Academic Overview Meeting. For those families that can meet in person, we would love to see you from 5:30 - 6:30 at the school OR you can join virtually from 6:45 - 7:45. This is an adult-facing meeting and when possible we recommend that Explorers remain at home. At this meeting, we will discuss the plan we are implementing to help Explorers recover academically in reading and math. We will review some of our key policies and share some exciting new programmatic changes for quarter two. I sincerely hope to see all of you there! 
     
    Community Connection:
     
    Please join our morning program celebration Friday, October 1st at 8:05! Please email us for the link! 
     
    Next week we will also have our second parent project team meeting. It’s Tuesday, October 5th from 6:00 - 7:15. Please join us at the same link! This group's work is essential to the school's work in Project-Based learning events like our Drive-In Movie, The Dinosaur Museum and much more! Please join the team there are lots of ways to become involved! 
     
    You should have received an invitation to our school's SEL page. If you did not and would like to be added please let me know! 
     
    Reminders:
     
    On Friday, October 8th Explorers will remain at home as Teachers have a professional development day. 
     
    Remember that Fall break is from October 11th - October 18th. Explorers will not report during this time and the building will be closed. 
     
    Report Cards will go home in folders on October 25th.

    Please mark your calendars for October 29th. This is our parent-teacher conference day. Your child’s teacher will be reaching out to you to schedule a conference! 
     
    Fall Festival will take place on October 21st! This is a time for Explorers and families to connect and share memorable moments! Please stay tuned for further information! 

    We will have picture day and are working on those logistics right now! We know looking back on these photos brings a lot of joy!

    Last, in response to family feedback, we have created a staff directory. It is our hope that this directory can help you connect with non-classroom-based staff. 

    Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or just fun family fall traditions to share! 

    Love, 

    Talbot 
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Family Bulletin 9/6

    Dear Explore! Families, 


    I hope you all had a pleasant Labor Day weekend and spent some time enjoying the lovely weather. We come back with a four-day week and continue on with our school goals and priorities. 

    This week, we will continue with MAP testing. MAP stands for the Measures of Academic Progress, which a computer-based test that Explorers will take three times a year. The results from this test will give us valuable information on how to meet your Explorer’s specific learning needs. Another way to monitor progress is that on Friday, families can expect the mid-quarter progress report. Progress reports will be sent via student email on Friday. After reviewing, you can set up a time to talk with your Explorers’ teachers and get more specific insight as to their progress thus far. 
     
    We will be sending communications about after-school programming. We will be offering an Explore! After-school program with academic support and activities. We will send a survey later this week, please respond so we can determine interest. It will follow a similar structure as Summer School. Summer school at Explore! went well and students benefited from the extra time in small groups. We feel confident that this extra instruction will be helpful for our Explorers. 
     
    Finally, we thank families for their open communication about any community exposure or positive cases. I ask all families to stay tuned for any symptoms or any communications from loved ones about COVID exposures. There is an existing pattern of an uptick in cases following any major holiday. I ask us all to remain vigilant. When in doubt, sit it out. Our team will continue with our mitigation efforts. We thank you for your ongoing partnership.
     
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Classroom Explorers Revealed

    Dear Explore! Families,

     
    Thank you for your partnership in this week’s learning! This week we classrooms continued to establish their unique identities. Students shared their individual interests and experiences. They learned that individuals have the power to rise up and improve our world through an exploration of changemakers and explorers. 
     
    I am very pleased to announce the following classroom identities for this year. 
     
    Kindergarten: 
    Ms. Bohannon and Ms. McGee: The Jane Goodall Room 
    Ms. Knight and Ms. Bennett: The Robby Novak Room 
    Ms. Hawkins and Ms. Raven: The Lebron James Classroom 
     
    First Grade:
    Ms. Risley and Ms. Norris: The Joan Proctor Room
    Ms. Titus and Ms. Guyton: The Michaela DePrince Room
    Ms. Sanders and Ms. Norris: The Gabby Douglas Room
    Ms. Bishop and Ms. Guyton: The Bindi Irwin Room 
     
    Second Grade: 
    Ms. Junod and Ms. Schnaufer: The John Henry Classroom 
    Ms. Kelley and Ms. Schnaufer: The Aretha Franklin Room 
    Ms. Beckham and Ms. Hale: The Wilma Rudolph Room 
    Ms. Brown and Ms. Hale: The Nicholas Lowinger Room 
     
    Third Grade:
    Ms. Ecton and Ms. Kaufman: The Simone Biles Room
    Ms. Spall and Ms. Weinbergl: The Amanda Gorman Room
    Ms. Jasko and Ms. Williams: The Jackie Robinson Room 
     
    Fourth Grade: 
    Mr. Hubrins room: The Michael Jordan Room
    Ms. Graham: The Walt Disney Room
    Ms. Offutt: Ella Fitzgerald Room 
     
     
    Academics: Next week we will finish out our MAP testing for students. Teachers will use this information to help inform instruction and build learning plans for students. 
     
    This week we are sharing a math game that you can play with your students!
     
    K-2 Take a pack of playing cards. Remove the face cards. Draw a card. Ask students what number comes before the number you drew. What number comes after. Each person gets a point when they answer correctly. Pose a challenge by asking the student to sequence or put the numbers in order! For second graders draw a number and ask them to count on or back from the number you drew. 
     
    3-4: The game is played with three players. Take the same deck of cards. Remove the face cards. Deal out all the cards. Two players put a single card on their heads. The referee adds them together mentally and share the number. The first player to name a part or addend wins. Discuss your strategy! 
     
    Social and Emotional Learning: Explorers have been working hard to learn the systems and procedures in classrooms. They are building relationships and forming small communities. This week in reading they explored our core values and discussed ways they can demonstrate them both in person and at home. 
     
    With this strong foundation in place, students will begin to be recognized for showing the core values both throughout the day and at the end of the day closing circle. 
     
    A reminder that school is out tomorrow and Monday. We will resume school on September 7th, 2021. If you have a K-2 student please send extra clothes to be kept at school so that we can ensure we have them in case an accident occurs. 
     
    With Love, 
     
    Ms. Talbot + Ms. Cummings 
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • North & South Bus Routes

    Hi All -

    Happy Wednesday! Attached are the run sheets for our North and South Bus Routes. They reflect our dismissal time of 3:15 pm Monday thru Thursday and 1:45 pm on Fridays. As always if you have any transportation changes please give us a call at the main office by 1:30 pm Monday thru Thursday and by 12 pm on Fridays. This helps tremendously to make sure we have your Explorers in the right location at the end of the day. 

     

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • PLEASE READ: [Transportation and Dismissal Adjustments]

    Dear Explore! Families,

     
    I am writing with updates about our bus transportation and general dismissal adjustments. Our team is working to secure alternative transportation and drivers. The issue is that there is widespread shortage of bus drivers already AND the impact of COVID. A compounded issue. I will email again by the end of the week with updated options heading into next week. 
     
    I commend our community for immediately figuring out ways to help. Our FAC members and other families offered to carpool and reached out to ensure Explorers are safe and that families have options. We thank you all for your service to our community!

    As a result of this ongoing situation, we are going to shift our dismissal to 2:45pm for the rest of the week in order to extend our dismissal window to 2:45-3:30pm to accommodate the increased car volume. If you can come earlier, please do. If you can't, the normal dismissal window is still a vailable. 
     
    Please see the shifts below:
    Today
    - Any bus riding family who needs help getting their Explorer home/to after care from Explore! Please be sure to contact the main office      so we can coordinate the carpool for today. We have about 10 slots available as needed
    - Thank you to families as most have already made other arrangements
    - We are going to get bus passes for families who may need to use public transportation until the bus issue is permanently resolved. We        will provide 1- 7 day pass per student and 1- 7 day adult pass per household. Call the school if you need a bus pass. You will have to sign      for it when picking up
    - We will have to adjust our school hours to allow for a longer dismissal window
    - We are also going to relocate the walker pick-up to reduce the congestion at the front of the school. Today we will have staff directing      parents to the new location which will be at the rear of the school. 
    - Parents who are doing walker pick up should use S 8th Street as another access point (near the Community Health Clinic)
     
     
    Rest of the Week
    - Starting tomorrow, we will have early drop off for BUS RIDING families who need support with AM transportation
    - We will have several Explore! Leaders at school early to receive students starting at 7:00am. We will accept students at the front door        from 7:00-7:30am until the bus issue has been resolved. This also extends our arrival window giving families more flexibility in the             morning 
    - Once the buses are back operational we will phase out the AM drop off
    - Starting August 12, 2021, we will phase our dismissal for the rest of the w eek, starting tomorrow
     
    - 2:45-3:00pm is 4-6 Dismissal
    Any 4-6th graders and siblings will be dismissed first via Car or Walker
     
    - 3:00-3:15pm - K-3 Dismissal 
    K-3 students will be picked up via Car or Walker
     
    We will print a hard copy of this information and circulate it at dismissal as well. Please send me a Bloomz or email if you are able and willing to provide some carpool support. 
     
    I thank you all for your willingness to be flexible and make this very complex situation work. I will continue to share updates as they come, and will provide a look ahead to next week on Friday.
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • [Transportation Updates :-]

    Dear Explore! Families,

     
    I have some updates to share about today’s dismissal and next week. For today, I want to clarify that we are on standard Friday dismissal which is at 1:45pm. Guess what??? Starting Monday, we will be able to run our North and South Bus!! We have added the Boys and Girls club stop to the North route so all of those students are accounted for on the North route. 
     
    We still need solutions for East bus riders, most primarily for those needing to get to Shelby Bottoms for the after school program. We have about 8 students who will need rides. Please send a Bloomz if you are willing to help with carpooling. THANK YOU for all of the tremendous support and flexibility from families as we work through this. 
     
    Today’s Dismissal
    - Dismissal is from 1:45-2:30pm today. We have extended the window again today to allow time for the extra cars
    - Walkers families should come via S 8th Street and pick up from the rear
    - Please bring your placards and/or IDs
     
    Monday
    - North and South buses will run!
    - We will post updated routes and times for families. We don’t expect major changes
    - We will resume our standard arrival and dismissal times
               -Arrival: 7:45am
               -Dismissal: 3:15pm
     
    Again, we give thanks to so many in our community for your kindness, flexibility and willingness to help. However, we did have some members act on our staff in frustration. No staff members deserves to be treated with disrespect or hostility for a situation beyond our control. Our team works with community and compassion and we expect the same for our families. This is a very, very small set of interactions, but they make an impact on the teacher and school. Please be mindful even when frustrated. Take a deep breath, breathe, and repeat. 
     
     
    We can do this! We are doing it! School has been off to a really strong start inside in spite of it all. 
     
     
    Have a lovely weekend and stay cool!
     
    Ms. JT
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
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