Announcements

  • featured post

    Family Bulletin 2/28

    Dear Explore! Families,

    Last week, we were able to start phasing in students by welcoming kindergartners and first graders back into the building! Overall, we had a great week back at school and kids were able to learn and/or resume the routines very well. This is a testament to you, our team, and the kids themselves. They are so inspiring with their joy and resilience. 
     
    This past week, we also had our second round of virtual exhibitions! We saw showcases from our heroic kindergarteners, got to learn about other cultures from our first graders, examined connectivity between humans and nature with our second graders, explored the world through play with our third graders, learned and wrote about diverse literature with fourth grade, and heard reflections from our fifth grades on their personal leadership growth over their time at Explore! It was such an amazing week! Thank you to our teachers, our family PBL cohort, and to Ms. Talbot fo r executing these meaningful experiences for our community. 
     
    This coming week, we will phase in our second graders. We are excited to have even more of our students joining us on campus as we head into the spring. We will also be celebrating our Core Values Spirit Week this coming week. Each day we will recognize a core value by wearing clothing and doing activities that relate to that value. Please share pictures with staff and on school social media pages of your family participating this week! We will culminate our Core Values Week with our Pathfinder Ceremony which will take place this coming Friday for our Morning Program. We will be able to see which community members are being named Pathfinders for exemplifying our core values. Please plan to attend and feel free to invite a friend or neighbor so that more people can learn more about our unique model. 
     
    Finally, can you believe that tomorrow marks March 1st? This comi ng Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the tornadoes that had a devastating impact on our city, and particularly our East and North Nashville neighborhoods. It was a time of uncertainty and also one of great strength and unity. I hope that we can all reflect on the strength that came from our community to love, support, repair, and work toward rebuilding together. We see evidence of rebuilding across the city, and that gives us hope. I challenge us all to reflect on moments of hope and unity as this milestone approaches. 
     
     
    Enjoy your Sunday!
     
    Love,
    Ms. JT
     
    Please read below for announcements:
    Second Grade Phase In- Second grade students who have been assigned in person learning will report to school tomorrow. Please make sure we have all the paperwork received by the front office so that we have emergency contact information on file for each student. Please be sure to send them with a mask with loops that go over the ears. 
    Core Values Spirit Week- Please see the attached flyer for the outline for each day of Spirit Week!
    Bus Schedule- As schools are reopening, we are working with our bus vendor to be sure that our busses are running on their stated schedule. Please know that we are aware that there have been some concerns on timing and are working to address those scheduling bugs. Please remain patient with us as we work through this.

    Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe - Principal (Explore! Community School)

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • featured post

    Family Bulletin 2/21

    Good Afternoon Explore! Families. 

    Each month, we focus on honoring the diversity of our community and world through cultural programming during our Morning Program. This month, in celebration of Black History Month, we have been very lucky to have a series of community leaders and artists to talk to our Explorers about their contributions to Black History. We have had civil rights leaders, health leaders from Meharry, authors and illustrators. Most recently, this past Friday, we had a live musical performance from a singer from the local band called the New Respects. We are so grateful to our Morning Program production team and community partners for sharing their experiences with our school. This is a key part of our mission and model and we stay committed to it throughout the year. 
     
    I wanted to share a few reminders and adjustments to this week's schedule taking our "Snow Week" into account. We are preparing to welcome student s back on campus by starting our phase-in this week. For students who will be attending on site, I want to share our in-person attendance policy. Any Explorer who has 4 consecutive days of unexcused absences or 8 total days will be re-assigned to virtual school and the in person slot will be filled with someone from the waiting list in that grade. This is because we have high demand for in-person seats and want to be sure each student that has been assigned in person is attending consistently. 
     
    - For grades K +1- Monday and Tuesday will be asynchronous days as teachers prepare for the phase in
    - Explorers who will attend in person will start class on Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    - There will be a MANDATORY parent orientation for any new families who will be attending on site in grades K-2. Orientation is Monday evening starting at 5:00pm. We will send a Calendy link for you to sign up for a 30 minute time slot. Link here: https://ca lendly.com/explore-community-school/explore-reopening-family-orientation-rescheduled?month=2021-02
    - The second grade phase in schedule is not impacted and we will greet them on March 1
    - Next week is also Exhibition Week! Please see the posts from Talbot and your teachers. Please plan to attend as students showcase their Craftsmanship. If you need to know how to get to each grade levels Exhibition, please use the following clickable schedule to access the sessions. Exhibition Schedule: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ovqi-wvG8JTPaWtWoOc2bpC9lvsha_4p3qsL0gj2-Cg/edit
     
     
    Have a Happy Sunday and we will be happy to start to greet Explorers this week!
     
    Love
    Ms. JT
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • featured post

    Re-Opening Plan FAQ Video

    The following video responds to some the frequently asked questions we have received from our community related to our re-opening plan and timeline. Please watch for more information, context, and our rationale. https://zoom.us/rec/share/NcXCMEVIWKdq4AmkjAErZa5OVHhREj29cKQbt0f6bt2ZIF-1IUk3w539wc4p3LFD.Pkc5MWLe_X_TOnNl?startTime=1612453027000

    You can always email feedback@explore.school with additional questions or concerns. 

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • featured post

    Return to In-Person Schooling Update

    Dear Explore! Families,
    Our team has been working to finalize our timeline for re-opening. We are informed by MNPS, other charters, and their reopening schedule, but we have always developed our plans based on health metrics and the details of our staffing. Our team has been working diligently to plan for a safe reopening. Please read below for the details for our plan.
     
    Re-Opening Timeline
    • Feb. 1-19-Onsite MAP Testing
    • Feb. 22- K + 1 students return to campus
    • Mar. 1-2nd grade students return to campus
    • Mar 8- End of Quarter Close Out week
    • Mar. 15- Spring Break/No School for Students
    • Mar. 22-23- Teacher Planning/Asynchronous Learning for all students
    • Mar. 24- 3rd grade students return
    • Mar. 29- 4th and 5th grade students return
    FAQs
    Why are intermediate students waiting until after Spring Break?
    Intermediate students are scheduled to take the TNReady state assessment this year in person. The state testing requires social distancing, and extra personnel to staff small groups to ensure the secure administration of the exam. We need to plan so that we can effectively staff the 2-3 week window of formal secure testing and the other students who will be working on campus. The test scores will not hurt students, this is data to give insight to learning and potential learning loss. 
     
    Will all students who requested be able to come on campus?
    We have planned to serve as many students as we safely can onsite, but we know our demand for in-person may exceed our capacity in some grades. There will still need to be at least one teacher per grade level who continues to provide instruction for those families who will remain virtual for this school year. The other teachers and other team members will be assigned onsite so that class sizes are small for social distancing and that we can staff each day even in the case of staff sickness or absence. 
     
    How will you choose?
    When we planned to offer learning labs, we used a systematic approach to determine which students to prioritize for onsite learning considering learning needs, attendance, and siblings of those Explorers who had already attended on site. We will then start to add names from the return to school survey until we reach the space limit for that grade level. 
     
    What are Next Steps?
    We will be communicating with families next week about assignments. Then we will have orientation for families of Explorers who will be learning on campus for the first time this school year on Feb. 18th. We will have small group sessions for families to sign up. This is a MANDATORY orientation which reviews the policies, procedures, and paperwork for onsite learning this school year. 
     
    We hope this communication helps you to visualize and plan for your family. We are very eager to see our friends in person and to recreate our physical community of joy and excellence. Have a great evening, 
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Classroom Placements for Physical Re-Opening

    The placements for in-person learning are being finalized by our team, and will be sent out this Friday, February 12th. We will send the notice directly to Explorer's emails. If your Explorer is on the grade level roster for in-person learning, s/he will receive an email at their Explore email address from our team.

    If your Explorer is on the list to remain a virtual learner, s/he will not receive an email. There may be a small waiting list at some grade levels, and we will continue to accommodate as many Explorers as we can. Know that roster assignments are based on the number of staff members available and student demand at each grade level. Some teachers will remain virtual. If your Explorer's currently assigned teacher is to remain virtual, and your family selects in-person, the Explorer would have to be added to a roster for an in person teacher. 

    Once families are notified about their assignment, then we will send the link to sign up for orientation. 

    Thank you again for showing community, compassion, and courage during these dynamic times.


    All the best,
    Stephanie "Ms. JT" Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Family Bulletin 2/7

    Dear Explore! Families, 

     
    This week our team will be focusing on the core value of Courage. We pick a core value each week to celebrate and elevate during Morning Program. This school year has been a year that has required tremendous courage from all members of our community. We have faced much rapid change as a community and have done so with courage and grace. 
     
    I know that many families are feeling anxious and uncertain as we plan for the rest of this year and are curious about what it means for the future. Our planning this year has been grounded in 1) following health guidelines to the highest fidelity possible, 2) implementing our authentic Explore! Programming, and 3) providing targeted supports to our staff and community. We have made an effort to show courage and communicate openly with families as conditions change and develop. We plan considering our capacity to accomplish the three goals we listed above. In order to continue to offer a safe, sustainable, high quality school experience, we have three variables to manage; time, space, and human resources. We have had time to plan, we have more than ample space at Explore! We have to reopen very strategically to ensure we have all of the human resources needed to run all aspects of programming at a high level.
     
    At this point we are still running onsite MAP testing and serving lunch for virtual students. We will start to serve lunch for in person students, will continue to offer tech support to virtual students and in person support to families and students. Teachers and leaders will have to plan and implement in both virtual and in person formats. The blended school model requires a great deal of coordinating people and systems to offer a high quality in person and virtual experience at the same time. Additionally, we have to carefully organize staff to reduce cross exposure to prevent class and/or grade level quarantines. Thus far, by planning intentionally, we have been able to function in a safe and healthy way for students when they were on site, and for staff who continue to work on site and in the community this school year. 
     
    I close today asking us to reflect on two core values. The first is COURAGE. It takes courage to accept change, it takes courage to persevere during an unprecedented time. We thank you for the courage you have shown during this long season. I also ask to have COMPASSION. Our teachers and team have worked with great dedication to our Explorers, families, and mission. This time has been challenging for everyone. Let’s continue to work together with compassion and understanding so that we can close out our year victoriously and head into next year with both joy and determination.
     
    Sincerely,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe
     
    Please See Below for Announcements:
    Intent to Return- Please see the survey for the intent to return. We love our Explorers and families and want to plan for next year for our current Explorers and any family or friends who may also be enrolling. Here is the link to the recording from the Looking Ahead Community meetings for more information. LINK: https://zoom.us/rec/share/qiAb_kWvU8TlqIlQb_oJXaFMAzX5ln_JYfRQREfCCK4dWMFOWy2AoGyancl5I2fO.gjs6nFnoVzYN3VNH?startTime=1611271956000
    Pathfinders- Please complete the survey to nominate members of our community for living our Core Values. 
    Update Addresses-If any families are a new address to email Jasmyne Booker  to get it updated. We need to be sure we have the accurate information on file for each student. P-EBT are being sent to the address on file. Please be sure yours is correct.
    Open House- We will start to host in person and virtual tours for families. If you know a neighbor or friend who would like to attend a tour, we will have small, socially distanced tours (8 or less) on 
    Tuesday mornings at 10am and Thursday afternoons at 2pm. Please reach out to Coach Haywood  or Maggie P. to refer a family for a tour or more information. We will also be hosting prospective families at our Friday Morning Programs. Please be on the lookout for new or interested families. Tours for prospective families are happening on Tue/Thu and Fri of each week. Please refer a friend or neighbor!

    -Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe - Principal (Explore! Community School)

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Update: P- EBT Cards

    Pandemic Electronic Benefit Cards (P-EBT) have been sent out to all of our Explore! families. For this round of P-EBT all of our students were eligible, as we are a Community Eligibility Provision school. 

    P-EBT provides parents with $5.70 in benefits per student for each day that child qualifies. This second round it was for 40 days from this school year while we were operating our virtual learning. These benefits can be used to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon and Walmart.

    There may potentially be a round 3 of P-EBT, but official word is not out yet. Once we have that information we will share qualifications and a timeline. 

    If you have received a card and do not want to use the benefits you may mail the card back to DHS. The address is listed below. 

    Tennessee Department of Human Services 
    Family Assistance Office of SNAP Policy
    Jame s K. Polk Building
    505 Deaderick Street 
    Nashville, TN 37243
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Family Bulletin 1/10

    Dear Explore! Families, 

    I know you may be reeling from the events of this past week in our nation’s capital. It was another shocking event, layered on top of the series of challenging events that our city and country has endured this past year. This is yet another situation to ponder, reconcile, and communicate with your children and families. So much to think through, and so many charged emotions to manage all at once. And yet, life still goes on everyday, and so must we. How can we support each other as a community through these tough times?We are fortunate to have robust and well integrated Social-Emotional supports at Explore! The Explore! SEL Bloomz page is regularly updated with resources from our counseling team to help families address the issues facing our children today. As adults, it is hard to know, “How much should I equip our children with knowledge versus protecting their innocence?” Right now, that is a tough line that we find ourselves walking often. I believe that age appropriate honesty is always best. The greater our collective awareness, the greater our collective capacity for compassion. I ask families to adopt some family routines that will help you experience mindfulness with your children, and give space for your family to talk through difficult and often confusing experiences. Please sign up for the Bloomz SEL page (Code: 58YTNH) for resources to use at home to support social emotional learning and promote mental wellness. Our teachers model many of these practices in Morning Meeting. We will invite families to an upcoming Morning Meeting “Open House” to see some the SEL strategies being used by staff. Stay tuned for that “Open House” soon. This way you can see some examples of how to include them in your home life as well. We are committed to showing love and support to our community in the best and worst of times. Please stay engaged. We are unique and united! Explorers, Rise Up! Rise Up!

    Love,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe

    Announcements
    - Report Card Calls- Please use time during your upcoming teacher calls to ask questions about your Explorers’ report cards. Report cards were sent out last Friday afternoon. Teachers will be prepared to discuss your Explorer’s performance and actions steps you can take to help them at home.

     - Intent to Return- Please see the survey for the intent to return. We love our Explorers and families and want to plan for next year for our current Explorers and any family or friends who may also be enrolling. Our team will be hosting some upcoming meetings to preview our planning for next year and to discuss the middle school build out. 

    Looking Ahead Meeting- Thursday, January 21, 2020 at 5:30pm- This meeting will provide an overview of planning for the 21-22 school year so families can have updates, ask questions, and provide feedback.

    Middle School Meeting - Thursday January 21, 2020 at 4:00pm- This meeting is for students in grades 4 and 5 and external families who want to learn more about the middle school program at Explore! as we expand to 6th grade. - Open House- We will start to host in person and virtual tours for families. If you know a neighbor or friend who would like to attend a tour, we will have small, socially distanced tours (8 or less) on Tuesday mornings at 10am and Thursday afternoons at 2pm. Please reach out to Coach Haywood or Maggie Prisinzano to refer a family for a tour or more information. We will also be hosting prospective families at our Friday Morning Programs. Please be on the lookout for new or interested families. Prospective families will start attending Morning Program this coming Friday 1/15/2021. In person tours start Tuesday, 1/19/2021.

    - New Website- Please check our updated website at www.explore.school! Thank you to Mrs. Maggie P and Ms. Kimberly Ellis for their hard work in building a new website for our school! Please check it out. It continues to be built, but is already a hub of information for families

    .- FAC Meeting- The Explore! FAC Meeting is this Thursday at 5:30pm. Please plan to attend. We will share updates and resources. We will share the meeting link this week and it will be on the FAC page as well.

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Zoom Update

    If your Explorer is using a school-issued device, the Zoom extension has been re-added and redeployed to all devices. Please restart the device and this issue should be resolved. 

    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Family Bulletin 1/3

    Good Afternoon Explore! Families, 
     
    I hope you had a restful break and found new and safe ways to celebrate holidays and honor traditions. The doors have closed on the year of 2020. The events taking place downtown on Christmas Day was an unexpected blow to our city and another variable that our officials have to manage at this time. We have now officially entered 2021 with hope and expectation. We hope for health, safety and peace for our Nashville community, state, nation, and world. We will all continue to do our part so that our community can heal and be restored to the vibrant city that is meant to be. 
     
    As we have all school year, we will continue to monitor the data related to COVID-19 transmission and community spread when making our decision about school phase in. TN has updated their vaccine schedule where educators have been moved up higher on the list to prioritize educators as essential employees, As we learn more information about the combined impact of the community spread and vaccine effectiveness, we will share updates.
     
    Explorers will resume the full day of live classes on Wednesday of this week. We have professional development on Monday and Tuesday of this week. On Tuesday, Explorers will work asynchronously following a live Morning Meeting. 
     
    As we transition from the long break back to school this week please do the following before Wednesday:
    - Reset bedtimes and routines (go to bed on time starting tonight!)
    - Reset morning routines (alarm clocks, getting washed up and dressed, eating breakfast, etc.)
    - Reset working areas (remove toys or other distractions, replace pencils and pens)
    - Charge computers
    - Check your teachers Bloomz pages for class.grade specific updates
     
     
    We are looking forward to seeing you all this week to continue this unique school year with love and community. 
     
    Announcements:
    Schedule for this Week:
     - Monday- No School for Explorers
     - Tuesday- Morning Meeting at 7:50am then asynchronous learning for the day
     - Wednesday- Normal Remote Learning Schedule
     - Thursday- Normal Remote Learning Schedule
     - Friday- Morning Program and asynchronous assignments
     
    Report Cards- Explorers will receive their second quarter report cards in their email on Friday by EOD. Please review and plan to discuss questions and updates in your teacher calls next week. 
     
     
    Have an excellent evening!
     
    See you all Tuesday for Morning Meeting!
     
    Love,
    Stephanie “Ms. JT” Jarrett-Thorpe
    EXPLORE! COMMUNITY SCHOOL
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