Remote Roundup - March 18, 2020

Remote Roundup - March 18, 2020
Posted on 03/18/2020
Remote Roundup

The look of the Weekly Wednesday Update will be different during remote learning to reflect our current learning situation. Our focus will be on supporting families and students in the online learning environment and sharing our learning experiences with everyone.

While the school is closed until further notice, feel free to reach out to any staff member using our emails listed on the Classrooms page of our school website. Please take care of one another and yourselves.

The Google Doc version of today's Remote Report may be viewed at WJMS Remote Report Week 1.


WJMS Remote Report, Week 1: March 18th, 2020

Off & Running: Our first week of remote learning at WJMS

Photo: Mrs. Dignan working at homePhoto: household items arranged to create a color wheel

Mrs. Dignan teaching art from home and one of her creative “remote learning” art activities, designing an at-home color wheel.


A Message from the Principal

Dear West Jeff Middle families,

First, I want to thank everyone for being so flexible and understanding as we work through this new remote learning experience. There have been many hurdles and bumps along the road and the learning curve for students and teachers is steep.

On Monday, we checked out over 75 Chromebooks to students ready to begin this digital journey. By Tuesday, I was amazed to see how many students were logging into Google Classroom or Schoology, navigating their learning and submitting assignments. While we're seeing a lot of what we call "productive struggle", I am proud to see classmates offering suggestions and tips for getting things done. Our students have been great about helping each other.

Photo: a fabric-covered freestanding unicorn holiday decoration holding signs that read "everything will be okay" and "we've got this!"There are so many uncertainties in our lives right now, both personally and professionally. We will continue to keep school as consistent and meaningful as possible and know that we are responding to questions and concerns as quickly as we can manage. I truly believe that the connections we keep with our students are just as important as the learning. We really do miss our students – they are the reason we do this job.

Please continue to encourage your students to log in, complete the attendance question, task, or survey for each class, reach out with questions, and stay connected to each other in a safe and healthy way.

Despite all of the frustration and unknowns, I have seen so many members of our school community rise to the occasion. Our students have been incredible, our teachers have been creative and flexible, and our families have been so supportive. As someone who works and lives in our mountain community, I feel lucky to call it home.

Kim Halingstad
West Jefferson Middle School


Counseling Corner

How can we help support you? E-mail us:

Contacting Counseling Staff:

Dan Keane, 8th Grade & 7th Grade (last name A-L)

Craig Enlund, 6th Grade & 7th Grade (last name M-Z)

Jen Baker, Social-Emotional Learning Specialist

Dr. Britni Dawson-Giles, School Psychologist


Mental Health Request Form for current WJMS students – this is a virtual counselor request note.


Photo: a golden retriever wearing a harness that reads "Therapy Dog, Please Pet Me" resting its head on its paws next to an open book.Archie's Comfort Corner is a Google Classroom for students and families to remain positive amidst changes by learning strategies for self-care, ways to support each other and our students, and enjoying positive vibes from Archie the therapy dog. There will be daily motivational messages and a link/assignment for class members to lift up those working to ensure continued student success.

To access Archie's Comfort Corner, login to Google Classroom, click on Add/Join Class and enter class code axmulug .


Instructional Tips and Strategies for the Remote Learner

Limit Distractions

Photo: a student sitting at a desk at home set up for remote learning.Help students find a quiet, structured place to work from similar to how you might create an office space for yourself at home.

Help students to stay focused by only opening the tabs/software they need online to complete their work.

Create a schedule that you can follow pretty consistently. Set the work time for the time of day that your student is most energized and able to focus. Build in opportunities for snacks and breaks from the screen to help your student put all of their attention on their work when it's time to do so. It's okay if your student does better with shorter chunks of time for working with breaks built in between. (Reach out if you'd like help in finding a sample schedule.)


Encourage your student to collaborate and communicate with others.

Middle school students thrive on social interaction, so building in opportunities for your child to talk and collaborate with their friends and teachers will help them in navigating to full-time digital learning.

Help your student practice accountable talk with their peers – rather than just sharing answers – by asking clarifying questions, paraphrasing and revoicing each others' ideas, and agreeing or disagreeing with evidence and rationale.

Adult family members should stay connected to each other and the teachers as well.


Be Patient

The first weeks of our transition to remote learning will be a learning experience for everyone – teachers included. There is a lot of "new" happening for us all. Be patient with yourself, your student, and your teachers.

The teachers are working very hard to create effective learning spaces and experiences for their students, and that will take a little time as we get feedback and begin to see students' work coming in.

Please share your ideas, ask questions of your kids and of us, and give yourself and your students time to familiarize with this new way of learning.


Jeffco Resources:


Please reach out to instructional coach Caity Mergendahl with any questions you have about instruction or learning for your student at


Remote Learning Plan

A student sitting at a desk at home, set up for remote learning.Attendance during remote learning will be tracked by students' completion of an attendance task for each class by 8 am the following day using the selected platform for each class period. Please check individual teachers' websites from the Classrooms page or refer to our remote learning slide deck if have questions about which platform students will be using.

Teachers will be available for additional help and guidance during their office hours of 9 am to noon and 1 to 3 pm. Students are not required to be online at these times unless they need additional help from a specific teacher; the attendance task is required to be submitted by 8 am the next morning to monitor student attendance. Attendance for teacher aides will be based on a full day's attendance and there will not be an attendance task that will need to be completed for these courses.

Please see our WJMS Remote Learning Plan post and slide deck for specific information.


School News

Following is material not included in the gDoc Remote Report that may be of interest to our students and families.


The Colorado Department of Education announced on March 17 that the administration of end-of-the-year assessments, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), will be paused for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Governor Polis signed an executive order on the afternoon of March 18 suspending in-person learning in public and private schools from March 23 to April 17. Further communication will be forthcoming from our district.


Share your sports photos with yearbook!

The West Jeff yearbook staff wants photos of our students participating in team sports. Teams do not need to be affiliated with West Jeff Middle. If you can share both team photos that include West Jeff students and action photos from games, they can be sent to Mr. Hahn via e-mail at or shared via Google with


West Jeff Middle Garden

Are you interested in helping plan, construct, or fundraise for a school garden? We plan to start construction of a school garden this spring and summer to repurpose the old tennis courts. To help this project get underway, we need help with reaching out for donations of funds and materials (tools, soil, wood for raised beds, seed, plants, etc.), holding fundraisers, grant writing and community outreach. If you are interested in any aspect of helping get our garden off the ground this spring, please contact Kate Broyles at


PTA News

The previously scheduled March PTA general meeting has been postponed in alignment with the district's remote learning and work plan. The February minutes have been published to the Documents page of the PTA website.

Make lunch or dinner plans on Wednesday, April 8th to order carryout from JJ Madwell's for a PTA Restaurant Fundraiser to help support the Cleveland family! All orders that mention West Jeff Middle School between 11 AM and 9 PM will have a portion of the sale donated to our PTA, which in turn will directly help the family of one of our students fighting leukemia.

If you are interested in serving on the 2020-2021 PTA board or would like to nominate someone to serve in any board position, please email us at You must be a current PTA member to run for office or vote; you may join at any time. Changes to the slate will be communicated here and on our website. The slate will be voted on Wednesday, April 15th at the PTA meeting.

One of the PTA board positions we are looking to fill for the 2020-2021 school year is Vice President of Education. In this position, a volunteer board member leads committees that focus on supporting teachers and programs at the school, including the PTA Reflections arts program and an educator grant program, and serves as a liaison for teacher-led programs such as Science Night and GeoBee. PTA board members attend monthly general membership meetings during the school year and 3-4 board meetings per year.

As always, you are welcome to follow PTA on Facebook to stay in the loop about school and community events and contact the PTA board by e-mail at


Community News

Conifer HS Bleacher Bucks: Have you already put in hours being a parent or spectator sitting on bleachers? The Conifer Lobos Unified Boosters are raising funds for new bleachers with back rests so you can look forward to sitting in comfort in the years ahead on the main athletic field at Conifer High School. Please consider making a donation at


Jefferson County Public Library events: Effective March 14, all Jefferson County Public Library programs, classes, events and outreach activity were suspended until further notice. When branches reopen, we will resume listing upcoming programs at the Evergreen and Conifer branches.

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