Grout’s Light is Bright: V16

COVID-19 Pandemic News

Who could have predicted the biggest 2020 fashion accessory was going to be face masks? Apparently, I need to up my game because I’m still wearing my kids’ masks. Speaking of masks, check out this high school principal who spoofed MC Hammer for COVID awareness.

Two weeks ago, the TODAY show reported US coronavirus cases had topped 4.5 million and this week the CDC reported the US is at 5.3 million—man, oh man.

Back up to August 4th, Oregon’s first large summer camp outbreak was reported with 25 campers and staff testing positive—the very one our daughter was scheduled but had cancelled her attendance to participate! As schools across the country continued to weigh reopening concerns, a school district in Georgia had to close and quarantine over 800 people due a COVID outbreak while Chicago schools, like PPS schools, scrapped the hybrid model moving to distance learning. The recent analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association seems to be doubling down on these decisions, at least in terms of kiddos, reporting a 90% increase in COVID-19 cases in US children in the last four weeks.

As if it’s not already getting “REAL,” it got real-REAL this past week when the PAC-12, yep our local fav college teams, scrapped their football season following the first ever collegiate team to do so (UCONN; ESPN) the week prior. It appears cousin COVID is going nowhere causing cities like New York to invoke COVID-19 checkpoints and the Mayor of Los Angeles to threaten to shut off water and power at homes hosting large parties and even our own very own Governor, Kate Brown, to consider restricting interstate travel to prevent virus spread.

Leading medical expert, Dr. Fauci went on record saying that the, “Coronavirus is so contagious, it won’t likely ever disappear” but he offered hope noting that he was “cautiously optimistic” there would be a vaccine by 2021 (CNBC). Yet, as I stay up late to write this after my parents head home after grappling with their home-sale dilemmas, I see a news alert noting citizen concerns with taking an early vaccine due to timeline questions—typically vaccines take much longer than projected to develop. If you’re curious to learn more about the vaccine work, The New York Times developed a Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker which is incredibly interesting.

Social Justice Uprising News

A hospital CEO says we are battling 2 viruses, Coronavirus and racism and that, “the 2 should explode at the same time has the potential to finally show the true strength of our shared humanity.” Yes, let’s build on this! The Oregonian reported, “a growing divide among Portland demonstrators against police violence” as nightly protests passed the 70-day mark two Wednesday’s ago and around the same time Governor Kate Brown created a Racial Justice Council to change programs and policies—please see:

Meanwhile, several of your Grout teachers have been spearheading ‘Diverse books for Diverse kids’ initiatives on Donors Choose and just last week several of these projects, plus many others to provide distance learning support, were funded—thanks due to those in our community who donated/promoted and the Gates Foundation who launched the philanthropic effort to 1.5 match for one day! If you’re looking for a great list, check this out—15 Diverse Children’s and Young Adult Books:

PTA News

It has been a busy 2 weeks since Volume 15 of this newsletter. Here’s the skinny.

  • Do you have an incoming Kindergartener (KG)?
    • KG Connect Chair, Jamie Rose-Lyle, started a Grout Kindergarten Connect 20-21 Facebook group for incoming Kindergarten families as one way to connect since we have been unable to offer any of our regularly scheduled summer play dates.
  • Are you curious what your PTA is doing to go beyond ‘talking about supporting equity?’
    • Your Grout PTA President and your new Grout Principal are in lock-step from an ‘all heart in’ mission to learn, drive and collaborate how we can shift that every step taken is one with a equitable lens now more than ever!
    • The Grout PTA Equity committee meets every Tuesday from 3-4 pm, here’s the Google Meeting link if interested! Committee sign-up is on Konstella and all are welcome.
    • Your Grout PTA President engaged in National PTA training sessions about “Let’s talk about Race.”
  • What else?
    • Your Grout PTA Board met 8.12.20. Meeting minutes to be posted on Konstella soon.
    • Your Grout PTA Board sent 2 leaders to the Oregon PTA Virtual Leadership Trainings today, 8.15.20 where we learned about advocating at the state and national level and more! Did you know we need to fulfill 3 credit hours per year and submit our completion to the Oregon PTA by November? We knocked out 2-of-3 credits today!

Quick closing note—I want to continue to provide this newsletter but need to scale back the news related content to focus on school and PTA-related messaging moving forward plus this is just too long; I get it. My family is going on vacation for a bit and will resume in 2 weeks. All my love. Text/call me anytime though with your questions, comments, or concerns at…602-703-5854.

Lastly, we want to continue to recognize our Grout families who may be sick, have loved ones that are ill or those that may be grieving someone who has died due to COVID-19. We also want to continue to recognize our Grout families who have experienced injustice and those that are protesting in the name of change or committing to learn how to be the change. We “heart” you all.


Your Grout PTA

Grout’s Light is Bright: Volume 16

#GroutElementaryStrong #GroutsLightisBright

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