Principal's Message

March 26, 2020

Dear Cottle Families,

We have now completed the first two weeks of the state mandated school closure, and we hope you are all still safe and healthy.  Cottle teachers and administrators are working very hard to make sure all of our students are successfully managing distance learning.      

Here are a few updates we wanted to share with you.  


  • Participation: I am thrilled to report that teachers have reported a very high participation rate for their distance learning instruction.  Thank you, parents/guardians, for continuing to monitor your child’s participation. As always, if you are having any issue with participating in Google Classroom or other online problems, please let us know.  


  • Attendance:     Beginning Monday, March 30, we are requesting that parents/guardians notify the school of your child’s “absence” if he/she is unable to participate in the online lessons/assignments on any given day, just as you would notify the school if we were in a normal session.  Please notify us by leaving a message for Ms. Scotton at 914-337-5376 ext. 1273 or emailing Ms. Scotton at scottond@tuckahoeschools.org  In addition, please notify your child’s teacher.


  • Distribution of devices     The rollout of Google Classroom to students in Grades K and 1 will begin tomorrow, Friday, March 27, or Monday, March 30.  District-provided Chromebooks were distributed to all students who needed one. Thank you to Mr. K and Dr. McDonnell for safely delivering devices to students’ homes.  You can find a step-by-step direction on how to log in to Google Classroom on the WEC website under “Important Announcements.” It is important to note that since this is the students’ very first time logging into google classroom, their screens will look a little different from the video. Please view this document so that you are prepared for this very first login. Click here for the “How To” video created and narrated by WEC’s very own STEAM Teacher and Tech Coach, Ms. Caneparo.  This video shows how to access Google Classroom from different browsers (i.e. Safari, Chrome).


  • Additional Instruction    Our teachers participated in a successful Professional Development Day last Friday, developing their e-learning skills and collaboratively planning more learning opportunities for their students.  Teachers in every grade are now working on ways to provide students with more interactive instruction, including plans to utilize everything from video messages and video recorded lessons to video conference platforms, such as Zoom, Screencastify and Google Meets.


  • Highlights:    Here are a few highlights from this week to update you on expanded e-learning at WEC.  Obviously, each grade /class will be implementing different approaches at various times to best meet their students’ needs.  It’s also important to note that each grade level may be using different programs (EPIC or Khan Academy, i-Ready or Freckle). 


    • Grade K:
      • Set up a grade level Google Classroom (GC) to promote consistency across all sections (class code:  qa56wmr). This should be there when your child logs into Google Classroom, and you will click the blue “Join” button (see the above links in “Distribution of Devices” section).  Please note:  your child’s username and password will be sent to you by your teacher tomorrow, Friday, March 27.
      • Set up GC lessons connected to our Reading Wonders program and input children’s logins for access to Reading Wonders
      • Set up interactive lessons on GC when appropriate
      • Created a schedule for roll out of GC assignments 
      • Communicated various website resources for parents 
      • Teachers will be providing video messages to their students
      • Students are expected to use GC to complete assignments on a daily basis
      • Grade level teacher meetings are taking place using Zoom or Google Meet.

    • Grade 1:
      • Set up a grade level Google Classroom (GC) to promote consistency across all sections (class code:  ridhwzw). This should be there when your child logs into Google Classroom, and you will click the blue “Join” button (see the above links in “Distribution of Devices” section).  Please note:  your child’s username and password will be sent to you by your teacher tomorrow, Friday, March 27.
      • Daily assignments will be posted within this google classroom 
      • Teachers will be providing video messages to their students
      • Students will be expected to use this platform daily to check and complete assignments
      • Grade level teachers meetings are taking place using Zoom or Google Meet.

    • Grade 2: 
      • Grade 2 teachers have used Google Classroom to teach and share ELA lessons.  
      • Moving forward, math, science, and spelling lessons will also be available on the Google Classroom platform.
      • Beginning next week, there will be video morning messages from the second grade team!
      • Grade level teacher meetings are taking place using Zoom or Google Meet.

    • Grade 3:
      • Two-day plans to lay out assignments for students
      • All assignments and necessary links sent out through Google Classroom
      • Advancing math learning through the EnVision online program and Kahn Academy
      • Continued building of writing skills through Writing Revolution activities
      • Pre-recorded morning meetings to review the day’s activities starting next week!
      • Grade level teacher meetings are taking place using Zoom or Google Meet.

    • Grade 4:
      • All assignments will be posted on Google Classroom.  
      • The students will receive a daily slideshow that explains what the assignments/lessons are for that particular day!
      • Teachers are using Google Classroom as a mode of communication with their students, as well as email correspondence from both students and parents.
      • Grade 4 teachers have started to use Screencastify as a way to pre-record videos to their students that are used in a variety of ways.  For example, a teacher might use it to video herself going over the day’s agenda and what the expectations are, similar to a morning meeting!  
      • Teachers can use Screencastify to verbally state step by step instructions while showing a particular document on the screen!
      • Grade level teacher meetings are taking place using Zoom or Google Meet.


Our 5th Grade Departmental teachers are doing a phenomenal job, as well!  All of the assignments for fifth grade math and science have been communicated through teacher websites.  Google classroom will soon be added to assist in posting “Morning Messages” and tracking student participation.   Departmental Specific Highlights:


  • Math – Teachers are introducing new topics starting Thursday, March 26th.  Students will watch tutorial videos titled “Visual Learning” and “Take Another Look” to assist in the completion of “Quick Checks” and “Practice Buddies”.  All of these assessments may be monitored and assigned through the online Pearson Program. Reinforcement of these skills and strategies will be available with the use of Khan Academy, video segments describing all of the steps needed to solve each day’s new topics.  


  • Science –  Students are working towards completion of Chapter 2: Cells to Systems.  Each child has been asked to answer questions on a bi-weekly basis assigned through their teacher’s website.  These questions are submitted via Google Slides and shared upon completion. In addition, students will soon be asked to complete a science activity in Freckle, an online program already in use with ELA and social studies.     


  • English Language Arts – Not even a pandemic can stop the 5th grade from starting our next novel study!  We will begin this journey together on Monday. Esperanza Rising is a beloved story about overcoming adversity and making the best of any situation.  Perfect timing as we are living through these uncertain times. Students will receive a PDF file of the book via Google Classroom (a hardcopy delivery will also be sent) and work will be assigned a couple of times a week.  This may include vocabulary, comprehension questions, and Writing Revolution activities. Be sure to check Google Classroom daily, as students will have a morning message from their teacher along with a question of the day to facilitate discussions about the reading.


  • Social Studies – We will now move on to our next unit of study, Economy of the Western Hemisphere. Although a variety of economic systems can be found throughout the Western Hemisphere, all nations struggle to answer the three basic economic questions: What goods and services shall be produced and in what quantities? How shall these goods and services be produced? For whom shall these goods and services be produced? Slideshows, videos and readings will be posted on the Social Studies Google Classroom page.

  • Please keep in mind that our main goal is to provide students with varied and interactive opportunities to maintain and advance their academic skills during this prolonged period away from the classroom.   


  • Please note additional Google Classroom updates and information:
    • Ms. Lanaro’s Reading Google Classroom Code:  txxrxqm
    • Music Google Classroom Codes:  
      • Grade 5 - ksmzckz
      • Grade 4 - fe4tmy7
      • Grade 3 - q6zdgx4
      • Grade 2 - bvn7ksl
      • Grade 1 - jo7jh4q
      • Grade K - geqqjg4
    • Ms. Schivley’s Grade 5 Application of Art in the Real World Google Classroom Code: f4xrr4q
    • Ms. Derbin’s Art Google Classroom Codes: 
      • Grade K - up47gxy
      • Grade 1 - crcsv5l 
      • Grade 2 - 3rp72bv
      • Grade 3 - krjn2rt
      • Grade 4 - 5zhm4q


    • P.E./Health Google Classroom Codes:
      • Grades K-2 - cha3pzd
      • Grades 3-5 - iwqhupd
      • Health (all grades) - cinzmrn


  • Assessments    The report cards for the last marking period will be on hold until April 6.  We feel it will be more productive to prioritize teachers’ time in favor of current instruction.     Grade 3 – 8 standardized testing in both ELA, Math and Science has been cancelled by the New York State Department of Education for this school year.  


We are so proud of our Cottle Cubs for engaging so willingly, and even enthusiastically, in this new learning process!  Our teachers and staff have been phenomenal, and we know without the support at home from parents this would not be possible.  So, thank you, all, and let’s keep up the good work!  

Again, we ask that everyone give their best effort without becoming overwhelmed or over anxious.  Please continue to contact your child’s teacher(s) or service provider(s) if you have any questions about assignments or if you need clarification on anything.  We are ALL learning together, and if we stick together we will come through this trying time together. Please be kind to yourselves and to others, and, as always, feel free to contact WEC administration as well. 


Peter Kilgallen and John Morash


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