Family Update – April 20, 2020
Last Updated: Monday, April 20 at 10:36 AM
Dear City Garden Families,
It was wonderful to see some of you on Monday during our “Joy Parade!” We will continue to find ways to connect with you all as we navigate this time apart. The entire City Garden staff misses each of you and your children SO VERY MUCH! We continue to hold you all in our hearts and minds, and we wish you well each day.
I am sharing a number of updates with you here. There is a lot of information—thank you for taking the time to read this! The information will also be posted on the COVID-19 page of our website at this link.
Thank you for being an important part of the City Garden community. Please take good care of yourselves and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you.
Updates to City Garden Families – April 22, 2020
Ms. Mosley is organizing our first-ever Virtual Talent Show! Please send a video of up to 3 minutes “showing your stuff” to Ms. Mosley at firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday, April 24th. This can include a solo performance, your whole family, pets, or whatever ensemble you and your child(ren) choose. We will share details soon regarding when the Virtual Talent Show will be “released” online for you to view!
Mobile Food Market
Kennard Williams, City Garden’s Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, is working with City Garden volunteers and the St. Louis Area Food Bank to organize a Mobile Food Market at City Garden next Thursday, April 30th. If your family could use groceries, please come pick up a box between 2:00 and 4:00pm! Bags will include produce, dairy, meat and other items and will be distributed via a no-contact drive-through line. There will also be accommodations for walk-through’s. If you do not have transportation, please reach out to Kennard at email@example.com and we will work to get food to you. This is not just for City Garden families, so please feel free to share the info with others. Look for a shareable Facebook event on our FB page in the next couple of days. Please wear a mask if possible if you come to the Mobile Food Market.
Distance Learning – Expectations for Students
Thank you for your patience, flexibility, commitment and feedback as we have transitioned to distance learning. We continue to be very proud of and grateful to both our guides and our students for navigating this new way of doing school! Our main goal during this time is to support our students and families holistically—your health and wellbeing are the most important things. We also realize that some clarity regarding expectations about participation in distance learning would be helpful.
Since we will be out of school for the remainder of the school year, we ask and expect all students to participate in the distance learning lessons and programming that their guides have planned for them. If you are facing challenges with your child or children’s participation, please let us know so that we can provide additional support and/ or modify your child’s learning plan. If you do not wish for your child or children to participate, we simply ask you to let your child’s guide know. We realize that all families are facing unique challenges and circumstances during this time, and we are here to support you. Please reach out if we can assist you in any way.
Guides will be sending out 3rd quarter report cards the week of May 4th for Primary 3, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Junior High. Primary 1 and Primary 2 guides are sending or have sent a summary of things for students to work on based on the latest assessment, which took place during the 3rd quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic began right at the same time that 3rd quarter ended, so we were unable to complete report cards or hold parent communication conferences. We are working to complete 3rd quarter report cards for K-8 graders now, which will contain information for your children from January through March. This will be the final report card for this school year. For the 4th quarter, we will track participation and effort. However, nothing from the 4th quarter will negatively impact your child’s record.
The main goal during this time is to support all students in continuous learning. We will continue to strive to make the workload stimulating but not overwhelming for our students.
Wellness Survey – We want to hear how you are doing! Please be on the lookout for a wellness survey in your email inbox soon.
Medications and Belongings at School
Some students still have medications and other essential belongings at school. We would like to return all medications and other essential belongings over the next few weeks.
Ms. Liz Harris will be at school on the following dates, when you can stop by to pick up your child(ren)’s medications and belongings:
Monday, April 27, 2:00-5:00pm
Tuesday, April 28, 10:00am-1:00pm
Wednesday, April 29, 2:00-5:00pm
Mobile Market is happening on Thursday, so no pick-ups on this day
Friday, May 1, 2:00-5:00pm
We will allow a few people in the building at a time and ask you to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
If you are unable to come to school during any of these times, please contact Ms. Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org to make other arrangements. Thank you!
We look forward to your family returning to City Garden in the Fall! If you have not yet completed your Confirmation of Re-Enrollment Form, please do so by May 1, 2020.
We have students on our waitlist for 1st and 2nd grade (applications are still being accepted) and will hold a lottery for those available spots on May 8th.
Start Date for 2020-21
The start date for all students for the 2020-21 school year is Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
Though there are many unknowns regarding what will happen between now and August, we are moving forward with plans to open school on August 26th, and we will adjust plans as needed, if schools remain closed. We promise to keep you informed along the way!
We are waiting to receive guidance from the State of Missouri regarding summer school. If it is safe to return to school during the summer, we will plan to hold an in-person summer school program. If not, we will likely hold a distance learning summer school program. The health and safety of our students is our greatest priority, so if it is unsafe to hold in-person summer school, we will opt for distance learning. We will let you know as soon as we have more information!
Admissions/ New Students
We are excited to welcome a new class of kindergarteners and many new preschool-aged students into our Primary program in Fall of 2020! Our kindergarten lottery was held on March 13th and was live-streamed on Facebook. Twenty-five of the 30 available kindergarten spots were filled by sibling preference. Thus, there were 5 available lottery spots. We had 23 non-sibling applicants from within our first catchment area and an additional 24 applicants from outside the first catchment area. Thus, 25 siblings received spots and 5 out of 47 non-sibling applicants received spots. We were able to implement the new enrollment preference for Free or Reduced Lunch eligible families.
We look forward to welcoming our new students into the City Garden community. If you would like to help welcome our new students and families, please fill out this very brief form! We are working to find creative ways to connect and make our new families feel welcome during this time of social distancing, and we’d love your help and your ideas.
Family Assistance Fund
We have set up a Family Assistance Fund for City Garden families who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are in need of financial support at this time.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted your family financially and you are in need of assistance with groceries, rent, utilities assistance or other needs, you can either reach out to Ms. Kristina Mavers-Vogel at email@example.com, or you can make a request at this link.
If your family is able to and interested in contributing to the Family Assistance fund, you can make a contribution at this link, or you can participate in our 24-hour Charidy fundraiser on April 28th and 29th. Read more below about our Charidy fundraiser.
Charidy Fundraiser April 28-29
As we did last year, City Garden is holding a 24-hour online fundraiser April 28th and 29th. All funds raised will support our COVID-19 needs and response, and donations will be quadrupled! Thus, if you make a $25 donation, City Garden will receive $100. This is a great opportunity for our school, and we’d love for as many parents as possible to participate in some way!
We are committed to providing whatever supports are needed for our families during this time, and we are committed to keeping all of our staff employed throughout this time of economic uncertainty. We are facing budget shortfalls from lower tuition and less state funding. We need your help!
We ask those who are able to consider making a contribution on April 28th or 29th, and we ask all of our families to share information about the campaign with others via social media, text, email and phone. Please watch email and our social media pages for more information. We are looking for folks to be part of our texting and phone calling team on April 28th! If you are able and willing, please sign up at this link.
Thank you for your support!
The search for City Garden’s next principal is under way. COVID-19 has pushed our timeline back a bit, but we are pleased to report that we have some strong candidates. We have been working to design a process that includes guides, staff, parents and students and reflects our community’s values. Please be on the lookout for more information about this later this week! We need and want your engagement as we select and welcome our next school leader.
Organizational Updates and School Growth
The City Garden board voted in February not to add new students in Fall, 2020, and to delay growth until Fall, 2021. The board has taken all of the feedback received from our community over the past several months very seriously, and is working with leadership to ensure that City Garden is living up to our mission and vision in all ways. The board and leadership are working to ensure that City Garden is healthy and strong organizationally, that we have a strong culture and climate among our guides and staff, that our parents and guardians feel included, engaged, and satisfied, and, most importantly, that our students’ holistic needs are being met and that we are moving the needle towards equity in our academic programming. Though we have been dealing with the urgent needs and issues presented by COVID-19, we have continued to work on these things. We look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks and months and receiving your feedback as together we create the path forward.
Please click below for previous updates and other resources from City Garden regarding COVID-19.
School Closure Announcement– as of March 19, 2020
Services & Resources Announcement – as March of 19, 2020
Family & Community Resources – as of March 24, 2020
SLU Public Health Professor talks COVID-19 with Junior High Students – as of March 25, 2020
Physical & Creative Activities from Ms. Danielle Combs – as of April 2, 2020
Community Resources and Social-Emotional Learning
1. Family and Community Resources
2. Supporting Children and Discussing COVID-19
Distance Learning Program
Joy Parade – as of April 14, 2020
Family Assistance Fund – as of April 21, 2020
Community Update – as of April 20, 2020
Family Update – April 20, 2020