I just wanted to touch base since things are changing so often. As you know, we’re off school at least through 3/27. I wanted to communicate several things to you in the meantime. I know this message is long, but stick with it (you’re stuck at home anyways, right?).
I just wanted you to know that I’m going to be communicating mostly through Remind. If you are not signed up to recieve text messages, you can do so by texting the number 81010 with the message “@svondra1” for period 1, “@svondra3” for period 3, or “@svondra5” for period 5.
I have turned on the ability for you to message me back on Remind if you need anything. I also have access to my email if you prefer to contact me that way, but will probably only be checking that about once a day. If you need a quicker answer, feel free to contact me through Remind.
I was finally able to log in to Focus, so I was able to put in your grades and download gradesheets. Everything is in except for the Membean grades because that has to be logged in using our FWISD Google account, which we still do not have access to. Since y’all still don’t have access to Focus, I’ve uploaded PDFs of each classes’ grades. I’ve taken off your names, so look for your ID number like you do on the gradesheets in class. This will at least let you know your average, what you’re missing, etc. If you are missing anything, and would like to make the assignments up while you are at home, you are welcome to do so and email me the work as you finish it. You can find hardcopies of handouts from class on the Documents page of this website. You can work on them electronically if you don’t have a printer. Or, if you have the hardcopy from class in your backpack, you can take a picture of the completed work and email it to me (please make sure the picture is clear and readable). I left the NRI assignments that were supposed to be for this week and next week up since I had already scheduled them (in case we get access to the Google accounts sometime soon). These are not mandatory, but if you would like to complete them, I will be glad to give you extra credit for them. The same goes for your Membean for this week and next week: not mandatory, but extra credit opportunities.
Third: Schedule on Return
Assuming we do go back on 3/30, we’re going to be changing around the schedule. Originally, we were supposed to finish The House on Mango Street this week and next week and then do our Membean, NRI, and Independent Reading tests at the end of next week. However, with these two weeks being lost, we’re going to change some things up. If we return on 3/30, we will spend the next two weeks (weeks of 3/30-4/3 and 4/6-9) finishing The House On Mango Street. We will not have Membean, No Red Ink, or Independent Reading tests this 6-weeks. Please note that this means that your grade for the 5th 6-weeks (assuming they keep the 6-weeks the same and don’t change it; if they do change it, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it) will be made up entirely of daily grades. So make sure you’ve got everything turned in.
With the start of the 6th 6-weeks on 4/14 (again, assuming we’re back and assuming they don’t change the 6-weeks structures), you will be starting a new unit where you’ll read your Independent Reading Book in class. It must be a fiction book (no non-fiction or poetry books this time) and must be at least 250 pages. You are welcome to check one out from my library in class, bring one from home, have an electronic one on your phone/laptop, etc. Since we’re not going to have an Independent Reading Book Survey this (5th) 6-weeks anymore, you’re welcome to save the book you were going to read this 6-weeks for next (if you’ve already read most of it though, you’re going to want to pick a new one). You must have this book picked and ready to go by 4/14.
Fourth: STAAR Testing
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Governor Abbot has waived the STAAR Test for this year due to us missing so much school because of the Coronavirus. Here is all we know as of right now: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article241199061.html. At least amidst all the other crazy in the world right now, we don’t have to worry about the STAAR test. So, if/when we return to school, we’ll be able to have class like we always do and won’t have to try and cram for STAAR.
Fifth: Bored? Try Reading.
This announcement is not directly tied to our class, but is rather just a helpful tip from your friendly English teacher. If in the midst of your Coronavirus quarantine you get bored with Tik Tok, Netflix, and X Box (seems impossible, I know), try reading a book. If you don’t have a lot of books at home, check out this cool app called Libby: https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/. Libby lets you check out ebooks and audiobooks from local libraries (for free, of course). If you download the app, you can check out ebooks from the Fort Worth Public Library. (If you don’t have a library card, it can link you directly to the Fort Worth Public Library’s online application for one. It’s a pretty simple process and lets you access hundreds of books on your phone.
Thanks for sticking through all of these announcements. Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do for you in this strange and uncertain time. If you talk to someone who has me for English and they haven’t gotten this message, will you please pass it along to them for me? Thanks, y’all. Stay safe and healthy. I’ll post more info as necessary.