Important 2019-2020 District E-mails

Below you can find copies of vital e-mails that Spectrum has sent out to the Spectrum community during the 2019-2020 school year. This is a great resource for families who are joining us throughout the school year. 

Spectrum Parents/Guardians,


Please see the attached letter detailing our Directed Study program for the 2019-20 school year.


Thank you!

PDF Attachment

Parent Portal Updates - 9-13-19

Please see the attached letter from Spectrum's Executive Director, Mr. DeBruyn, for information on updates on the Parent Portal for Infinite Campus. Thank You. 

Parent Portal Updates 9-13-19

Spectrum Families,


 Lifetouch Studios will once again be at Spectrum on Friday, September 13, 2019 to capture student pictures for those who did not have their picture taken the evening of Open House in August.  Please note that all picture re-takes will take place on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Student pictures will take place on the stage of Spectrum’s high school building.  Students in grades 6-8 will be walked over (and back) to the high school building at the appropriate time by Spectrum staff.

Lifetouch will start student pictures at 8:00 a.m.  If you have late arrival and/or are a fulltime PSEO student, please make sure that you are at Spectrum early, around 8:00 a.m., as Lifetouch will only be at the school in the morning – approximately 8:00 – 10:30 a.m.

The easiest and most convenient way for families to order and pay for pictures is by going to the Lifetouch website at www.MyLifetouch.com and enter the unique picture code for the September 13th date of EVT2H6XH9.  The best time to order pictures is prior to September 13th; however, you may also order them after but must do so within 48 hours after they have been taken. 

 

PDF Attachment

Commonly Asked Question for Volunteer Hours.

The success of Spectrum is in large part due to the direct involvement of our families.  Research also indicates that students’ success in school is often tied to the academic support and involvement of their parents/guardians.  Spectrum welcomes your involvement at school.  In fact, we encourage our families to volunteer around twenty hours per school year.  Through the generous and helpful spirits of our families, pitching in and lending a hand in a wide variety of areas, Spectrum has been able to accomplish great things over the years and our students have reached tremendous heights.  No task is too small and all help is greatly appreciated!
 
Thank You!
Thank You to all of our marvelous Spectrum Volunteers we have logged an overall total of 857.05 volunteer hours to date! You have helped us kick off another great fall season of school!
 

Questions?

Spectrum has a person on staff to connect our parents/guardians with the needs of the school.  Janice Dammeier, our Volunteer Coordinator, can be found at the High School building.  She can be contacted at (763) 450-9850 or jdammeier@spectrumhighschool.org.
 

What is Helpcounter?

At Spectrum, we subscribe to an electronic database system called HelpCounter for our volunteers to sign up and track their volunteer hours from any computer.  It records volunteer hours directly to the family's volunteer file.  Links to the login pages can be found on the school website at www.spectrumhighschool.org.  Just click on the tab “For Parents” and choose the drop down “Parent Volunteer Information", and " Parent Volunteer-HelpCounter” choose the link: HelpCounter Support & Tutorials for added answers to your Helpcounter questions.
 

 How do I enter my hours?

There has been some confusion as to How Your Volunteer Hours are recorded. The only time that your hours are automatically recorded is if you manually sign-up on the laptop in the school office. ANY OTHER VOLUNTEER HOURS WILL NEED TO BE RECORDED BY YOU, or you may send them to me in an email to be recorded for you. If you have signed-up for an event online, you will still need to record the hours, they are NOT automatically entered into your account, as we cannot assume that everyone has fulfilled their commitment. Once you are online at Helpcounter, www.helpcounterweb.com/ci/volunteer,  look for the tab "Record Hours/Review Past Hours Volunteered." Please remember to save the email that was sent to you with your customized access-link to Helpcounter in it. I am able to resend that to you if you cannot locate it.
 

What if I’m not able to volunteer? Are there other ways I can contribute?

Spectrum understands that parents’ lives can get very busy between work, home, family, and other responsibilities.  As a result, they are not always able to volunteer at school as much as they would like.  If this is the case and parents would still like to support their child’s education and the school in other ways, they are welcome to donate *financially (gift cards or currency preferred).  These funds are typically used to free up moneys in the classroom.  No amount is too little and all contributions are greatly appreciated.
 
*According to the NonProfit Times (April 20, 2017), the value of volunteering is approximately $24/hr.  These are funds saved by the school that are able to be allocated to other educational needs.

Spectrum families, 

Spectrum will be conducting its annual School Board Election on  Monday, April 20, 2020 and  is seeking candidates to run in the upcoming election.   Please consider your interest in becoming a member of Spectrum's robust and strategic board who collectively provide direction and guidance to the school.  

If you believe strongly in the mission and vision of the school, than we need you!  If you have financial, educational, business, human resource, or other experience that you feel would add value to the board, than we need you!  If you have connections within the community that may bring benefit to the school, than we need you!  If you would like to be a part of the governance team of a growing organization, providing policy oversight and assisting with the long-term strategic plan of the school, than we need you!  

To determine your eligibility to run and for more information on the election, please see the attached document.  


Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you!

 

Board Solicitation Announcement Attachment

Spectrum is excited to explore bringing a therapy dog into our buildings on a weekly basis. We believe that there are many benefits of a therapy dog, including lowering stress and increasing attendance. We are also aware that there may be students or adults who have allergies or other concerns about dogs. We will do our best to work with families and staff to make this a positive and fun experience and try to lessen and/or alleviate concerns by announcing in advance when and where the dog will be. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Janice Dammeier, Volunteer Coordinator, at (763) 450-9850 or jdammeier@spectrumhighschool.org.


Therapy dogs through *Therapy Dogs International (TDI) are well trained and certified to work in places where a lot of people are present. They and their owners go through a certification process and follow strict guidelines to ensure safety and cleanliness.


The therapy dog that will be joining us weekly at Spectrum is "Mabel". Mabel is an 8 year old Goldendoodle. She has been a therapy dog through TDI for six years. Her owner, Shelby Howe, is a Spectrum parent. She indicates that Mabel loves to visit schools, colleges, and nursing homes. Mabel also enjoyed hanging out with Spectrum seniors as they waited to present their senior capstones recently.


*For more information on Therapy Dogs International, click here .

 

Spectrum Families,

Apologies for the confusion.  Here are some clarifications and corrections to information released yesterday regarding quarter 3 Service Learning grades.

1. Assignments posted, submitted, and graded throughout the quarter will remain as they are. 
2. Assignments and assessments that were due on 3/18/2020 will be entered into the grading calculation as "exempt." This action will not  impact on your student's final grade. 
3.The final grade calculation will be based up work already posted and graded throughout the course of the third quarter service learning rotation. 
4. Your students final grade will be posted as either a "Pass" or "Fail."

 

Quarter 4 Service Learning grades are currently postponed.

 

Thank you,

Spectrum Administration

Dear Spectrum Parent/Guardian,


As previously indicated, in preparation for distance learning starting on Monday, March 30th, we are working hard to ensure all students have internet access at home (whether through wifi or connecting their phone). In order for the school to accurately access this information, we're asking that each family complete the following Internet Access Survey by tomorrow,  Tuesday, March 24th, at 6:00 p.m.

Please click here to access the survey.

Spectrum Parents,

As noted in the communication sent Sunday morning, Spectrum will be opening all three buildings at specified times for students to pick up supplies, materials, and instruments. If your child needs to pick up items, please have them enter the buildings through the Event Entrance @ either building.

The buildings will be open at the following times ONLY:

*Tuesday, March 24th from 7:30-8:30 a.m. AND 3:30-4:30 p.m.

*Wednesday, March 25th from 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Other Important Notes:

1. Choral music folders for all grades (6-12) have been relocated to the event entrance in the High School building.

2. Students will only have access to lockers and the music room for instruments. No other classrooms will be opened.

3. The buildings may not be staffed during this time other than a custodian.

4. Please minimize interaction with other people during this time.

5. These times are subject to change if further direction is received from the Governor or Commissioner of Education.

Thank you for continuing to work with us to ensure students are prepared for distance learning beginning Monday, March 30th.

Dan DeBruyn

Executive Director

Spring Sports Update - March 26

We just received an update from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) regarding Spring athletics and activities.  Effective immediately and continuing until the governor of Minnesota has lifted his school closure declaration:
 

  • All participation in MSHSL spring activities at all member schools is suspended.
  • Participation includes, but is not limited to, competitions, training, practices, scrimmages, and contests.

 

No decisions regarding the cancellation of spring activities have been made at this time. The MSHSL has indicated their intent to be responsive to member schools and to keep future participation options open for the spring activity season.  Additional information will be provided as it becomes available and as decisions are made.

We are grateful for your patience as we navigate the COVID-19 situation.  There is no need to request a spring sports refund at this time. The previous deadline to request refunds by April 10 has been extended indefinitely.  Once we have a better understanding about the spring sports season; we will give each participant one week to make a decision about whether to continue in spring sports or request a refund. 

Thank you for your understanding!
Rick Peterson
Director of Athletics

The folllowing is the manuscript from the video recorded on March 25th by Spectrum's Excutive Director, Dan DeBruyn. 

 

Good evening Spectrum Community,

My name is Dan DeBruyn and I have the distinct honor of serving as Spectrum’s Executive Director.

This communication comes on the heels of Governor Walz’ press conference this afternoon where he issued a “stay at home” executive order from March 27 through April 10.

In addition, the Commissioner of Education directed all schools to begin implementing distance learning next Monday, March 30th and continue through Thursday, April 30th. Staff would return to work on Friday, May 1st and Monday, May 4th in preparation for the students’ return to school on Tuesday, May 5th. The purpose of the Distance Learning Period, as stated by the Governor, is to provide continuity of education during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also preserving the health, safety, and lives of Minnesota’s students, educators, and the broader public. If these dates are extended for any reason, we will continue to keep you posted.

The Governor’s Executive Order also directs Spectrum (and all public schools) to continue providing free school-age care to school-enrolled students pre-k through age 12 for the children of critical workers, which includes educators providing school-age care, grocery workers, medical, and other emergency personnel. If you fall into one of these categories of workers and are in need of childcare during school hours, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Janice Dammeier.

Teachers and staff have been working diligently to ensure that we’re prepared to serve our students and families through distance learning beginning on Monday. Tomorrow evening, the school board will be reviewing and approving Spectrum’s distance learning plan, which we will post on the school website and send to all of our families and staff on Friday. We ask that you read through the plan, review student expectations with your child(ren), and let us know if you have any questions prior to Monday morning.

We recognize that the current circumstances are challenging and impact each of us differently. I want to thank you again for the way you support each other and our teachers and staff. Spectrum is an amazing community.

Please continue to stay safe and we will be in touch soon.

The folllowing is the transcript from the video recorded on March 27th by Spectrum's Excutive Director, Dan DeBruyn. 

 

Good evening Spectrum Community,

My name is Dan DeBruyn and I am Spectrum’s Executive Director.

I’m connecting with you today for three reasons:

  1. To share Spectrum’s Distance Learning Plan that was approved by the Spectrum School Board last night.
  2. To share a handful of pointers that we would like to encourage families to consider in preparation for Monday and the kickoff of our distance learning program.
  3. To provide some encouragement as we venture into the world of distance learning together.

Spectrum’s administration and staff have been working incredibly hard to create a distance learning plan that is user-friendly, consistent, flexible, and provides quality teaching and learning. This plan was presented to the Spectrum school board at their meeting last night where the Board asked many pertinent questions and moved forward with approval - keeping in mind that the document and plan will be adapted as needs arise and feedback is sought by parents, students, and teachers. The Spectrum distance learning plan can be found on the school website under the new tab for distance learning. It will also be sent out by email to all families and staff by tomorrow morning. Parents are encouraged to review the student expectations with their children. We’ve also provided a user-friendly video explaining those expectations that we hope will be helpful to your students as they prepare for Monday morning.

Second, we want to provide a handful of pointers that we hope will be helpful for parents as you anticipate your students starting distance learning on Monday. 

  • As is good practice for students when completing homework, we encourage families to set up a specific location in your home where your children can be expected to work on their school work.
  • In addition, it would be a good idea to establish some daily routines and discuss a schedule with expectations for school time. That schedule should include a conversation each night with your children about what they worked on and perhaps looking over their work together.
  • Of course, you know your children best and locations, schedules, and the amount of accountability will vary greatly depending upon their age and their level of self-discipline.
  • Another important consideration is to ensure your child has access to the internet at home. We recognize that internet access varies by community and speeds or data plans also vary. As all students across the state delve into distance learning on Monday, in addition to many parents working from home, we anticipate some glitches will happen. This is part of the reason we ensured that our distance learning plan allows for flexibility and most of the lessons are pre-recorded instead of being live streamed.

Lastly, we want to encourage parents, students, and teachers as we work together to make the best of the situation. While no one could have anticipated our current situation, we believe that, by working together, we can and will be successful. Please know that we do not expect parents to become teachers and we have tried to put the necessary supports in place to ensure your students success and ongoing connection with his or her teachers and other support staff. It’ll be important for grace to be extended from each of us.

Your feedback will be very important to us as we look to continually improve our distance learning model and plan. For this reason, we have provided a link on the Distance Learning page on our website for you to provide feedback and ask questions. This will be monitored daily and we will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner - including this weekend as we ramp up to Monday morning.

Our teachers are excited to reconnect with your students on Monday! Please continue to stay safe and let us know how we can help. 

Thank you.

Spectrum Community,

This email is a follow up to the video communication posted last night with updates on Spectrum's distance learning plan to begin on Monday morning.

Please take a few moments to watch the video, review the plan, and watch the summary video of student expectations with your student.

Spectrum's website has also been updated with current information on COVID-19 and Spectrum's ongoing efforts to provide continuity in education for the students.

Spectrum teachers, administration, and staff want to express our appreciation for your support during this challenging time. We are confident that, by working together, our students will continue to be successful. We are looking forward to reconnecting with your students on Monday.

Please send us any feedback in the designate "Concern or Question" box on our website here. We will be monitoring beginning today and are here to assist.

Thank you,

Dan DeBruyn

Executive Director

The folllowing is an updated provided by Spectrum's Excutive Director, Dan DeBruyn. Watch the video here

 

Good morning Spectrum Community,

My name is Dan DeBruyn and I have the honor of serving as Spectrum’s Executive Director.

I’m connecting with you today for three reasons:

  • To share some insights as we’ve begun implementing Spectrum’s Distance Learning Plan this week;
  • To highlight the importance of the social/emotional health of our students, families, and staff; and
  • To make some announcements

As we kicked off distance learning this week, many teachers, staff, parents, and students were anxious and a number were also enthusiastic about this new adventure in teaching and learning. Students and teachers have been reconnecting after the two week school closure, which we’ve heard from many has been refreshing and helpful in bringing a little normalcy back to people’s lives.

Of course, there have been a number of challenges in implementing the plan. This is especially the case when those things are outside of our control - such as access to Schoology. Schoology’s a great platform and learning management system that’s served our school well for a number of years and has all of the tools necessary for successful distance learning. Unfortunately, with over 20 million users across the country, complications and access issues have come up. Schoology’s been working around the clock to address these concerns and has made some improvements. Updates from Schoology can be found here. Spectrum’s IT staff are incredibly talented and knowledgeable - working closely with Schoology to address issues as they arise. We are so grateful for people’s patience and the grace being extended as we work with them to address concerns.

Limited access to Schoology has brought questions to the forefront about assignment completion and attendance. We want to remind people that attendance is being kept in terms of work completion and check in points and not specific days or times during the week as long as things are completed by 3:00 p.m. on Friday. It has been recommended to consider having students work at non-peak times (such as 7-10 a.m. or after 2:00 p.m.) to gain better access. Please know that grace will continue to be extended to students for attendance and the timeliness of assignment completion as we work together to address access issues. Our teachers, and staff are happy to work with you, providing flexibility and grace, to help our students be successful.

We also continue to have families in need avail themselves of the opportunity to have lunches delivered from the school on a daily basis. If your student(s) are in need, please contact our Lunch Coordinator, Jennifer Russell by email at jrussell@spectrumhighschool.org.

The second area I want to highlight is the importance of maintaining positive mental health for students, parents, and our staff. In a time when there are many unknowns, it’s important that we monitor our own well being as well as the well being of our students. If there is a disruption to learning, we will work through that together when we return to school. Our teachers are trained at meeting the academic needs of students and differentiating as needed to help them be successful. In addition, our school counselors are available to talk with students about any mental health needs and/or work with parents to refer them to outside resources. We need to continue growing our grace as we work together. Each of us has challenges unique to our situations, our jobs, our families, and our friends. Many teachers are teaching students while also helping their own children through distance learning. Many parents are adapting to working from home while assisting their own children with school work or having their students at home while they’re at work. Some families are impacted by economic challenges to their careers. Children are trying to make sense of it all, while putting forth their best effort to do their part. We’re in this together!

Since the current executive order has schools extending distance learning through April 30th and returning to school on May 5th, Spectrum is determining which large events will need to be cancelled this spring. While we’re still holding out hope that some events will be able to continue in some fashion, there are a number of events that are necessary to cancel in advance. As those decisions are made, we’ll be updating the events on the Frequently Asked Questions portion on our website and noting them as “Cancelled” on the website calendar.

So far, the following items have been noted:

  • Prom 2020, previously scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd, has been cancelled at this time
  • The 6th-12th grade Band Concert, previously scheduled for Friday, May 1st, will not be happening on May 1st. Discussions are in progress about a possible alternative to this concert.
  • The National Junior Honor Society and Nation Honor Society Induction Ceremony, previously scheduled for May 1st, will not be happening on May 1st. Discussions are in progress about a possible alternative.
  • Spring Break, scheduled for April 9, 10, and 13) WILL continue as scheduled.

 

Your feedback is really valuable to us as we navigate distance learning and support each other through these challenging times. Please continue to utilize Help Desk and send your questions or concerns by using the buttons on the new Updates page on our website.

We care for and appreciate each of you and your families. Please stay safe and let us know how we can help!