Updated: Jul 28, 2020
CONSTRUCTION & SCHOOL PLANNING UPDATE
This week the construction crew has been busy painting the interior and began to paint the exterior siding. Also, they started grading for the sidewalks.
REMOTE LEARNING & ATTENDANCE CLARIFICATION
I want to be sure that everyone understands attendance and completing assignments during remote learning. The state has given us very clear guidelines regarding attendance & the submission of assignments for days that students are at home for remote learning. In Senate Bill 704 that was adopted by the State Legislature on May 20, 2020 it states:
We are trying to be flexible with families since we know that many parents have to work during the day. However, the expectation is that assignments (that are grade and age level
appropriate) will be completed, even though students might complete their assigned work at different times or a teacher records attendance at different times throughout the day. All families during the remote learning days will need to complete the assignments given by the teacher and the teacher will take attendance - just like they would during "normal" school. Per the state, we will have multiple ways to collect attendance on a school day, Monday - Friday.
A student is considered present for daily attendance during a remote learning day:
• If a student completes their daily assignments, either offline or online
• Using Seesaw to complete assignments & tasks given by the ACS teacher
• Logging in to watch recorded lessons and meetings
• Using Raz-Plus to complete independent reading and tasks
• Using IXL Math to complete math tasks and practice and/or
If a student uses a daily check-in via:
• Live Whole Class Morning Meetings
• Live Virtual Specials
• Live Interactive Read Alouds
• Live Small Guided Reading and Math Groups
• Live and Recorded Empathy and Social-Emotional Learning Lessons, read alouds, & check-ins during the week
• Daily Google Check-in Form - this will be a very quick & simple form that can be submitted
If a parent chooses only remote learning vs. sending their student to school for Plan B, the
reading and math mini-lessons will be recorded unless we have enough families that commit to only remote learning. If enough families choose remote only instruction, I would be able to assign a teacher or teachers to teach only those remote learning students. Of course, if a teacher is assigned to only teach remote learning students, the schedule would change and those teachers would be teaching live and recorded lessons and giving assignments to be completed. We will not know this until after we have sent the Remote Only Commitment Form on August 3 and receive them back on or before August 7. If a family chooses to do remote only, you are "locked in" for 12 weeks (the end of the trimester).
If you choose to enroll your children at Alamance Community School, on the remote learning
days there will be expectations for recording daily attendance, following the ACS curriculum
which is aligned to the NC Standard Course of Study, participating in the school and state
assessment program, and completing all the assignments that are given by the teacher.
POLICY ELECTRONIC ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This past week, families received a great deal of information. Everyone needs to read the ACS Remote Learning & School Entry Plan. All families will be expected to sign an electronic acknowledgement form that they have read the ACS Remote Learning & School Entry Plan, in addition to the ACS Parent Student Handbook. The acknowledgement form will be sent later in August. If you were unable to attend the meeting on Thursday night, a recording of the meeting and the slide show are posted on our website under Resources.
FALL OPENING and FAMILY PREFERENCES
Our first day of school for students is September 8th opening with Plan B. With Plan B, we will implement a Monday/Tuesday schedule for one group (half the class) and a Thursday/Friday for the other group (the other half of the class) with Wednesday as a deep cleaning day in between the two groups and then another deep cleaning on Friday after dismissal. When students are not physically present in school, they are participating in remote learning.
On August 7, a Cohort Preference Survey will be sent to families to get information about their preference for the Monday/Tuesday cohort or the Thursday/ Friday cohort. However, we may not be able to accommodate all preferences.
We know that some families do not feel comfortable sending their children back to school even at 50% capacity (Plan B). Therefore, we will send out a Remote Learning Commitment Form for families on July 30 if they want to commit to a remote only option. Families choosing ALL remote learning are “locked in” for 12 weeks - they cannot change to Plan B until after 12 weeks (at the end of the trimester).
Given the difficulty that traditional public school districts are facing with providing
transportation at 50% capacity, they are not selling any of their older school buses as they
have in the past. However, another charter school has agreed to lease ACS one bus for the
2020 - 2021 school year so that we can provide bus transportation to families in need. Space
on the bus will be very limited to only 22 students. A Bus Transportation Application will be
sent to families on August 3 that indicated in the Registration Process that they were
Economically Disadvantaged and needed transportation. Priority will be given to those that
transportation is truly a hardship. The Bus Transportation Application will be due on August
MASK WEARING & BREAKS
The Governor has said that all students & staff in Kindergarten - 12th grade are required to wear a mask at school. As of today, the ONLY exception to this is is a child (or staff member) has a medical or behavioral disability and cannot wear a face covering. We know that this is going to be difficult for students and staff. Therefore, there will be breaks built into the daily schedule for staff and students to go outside, stay 6 feet apart, and take off their masks. Breaks will be taken at the teachers discretion and as often as they determine are needed. Teachers will be able to conduct lessons outside, as weather permits, to allow children and staff to remove their masks for longer periods of time.
ASSESSMENTS & TEACHER ASSIGNMENTS
Several families have contacted me about teacher assignments and assessments. Class lists & teacher assignments will not be made until the end of August. Families will receive notification regarding teacher assignments on September 1. Because our building is under construction and we will not be able to occupy it until September, we are working on securing an alternate location to possibly conduct assessments for Kindergarten - Third Graders in mid to late August. However, the Coronavirus may dictate what we can and cannot do for in person assessments, so we are also investigating possible virtual assessments.
Genesis Athletics, our Before & After School Care provider, is actively planning how to ensure parents feel supported and students are learning during possible remote learning. The reality is many parents are or will have to physically return to work. In order to alleviate the pressures and stress that come with finding reliable and safe childcare as well as finding the time to support their online learning, Genesis Athletics in collaboration with Alamance Community School is proposing an off-campus program to support you!
The goal of the program would be to provide safe and reliable childcare, as well as providing a space and time for students to complete their school work. The program will be called Virtual Learning Camp and offered 5 days a week. The days that students are not on campus for school, this would be an alternative to a babysitter or large childcare facility. The Camps would have a structured schedule with a designated times students would get on their personal devices and complete their assigned school work for the day with the support of a staff member and possibly other classmates. To learn more about the program or register, please visit Before & After Care on our website. If you have any questions, or if you would like more information, please contact Evelyn Kreiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 585-738-7360.
If you haven’t completed the ACS Family Technology Survey, please do so. This survey is providing us with important information regarding your technology resources and needs for potential remote/virtual learning.
From July 27-July 30, we will have Grade Level & Team Chats. This is a 30 minute meeting where families can get to know the teams in a friendly, informal setting and put a name with a face & a voice.
ACS Families can find the Team Chat Links in their email copy of the newsletter.
After students have received their teacher assignments on September 1, we will have a time for families to meet, greet, & ask the teacher teams about curriculum, daily schedules, etc. at a Virtual Open House & Curriculum Night in early September before the first day of school on September 8. Teachers and teams are beginning to plan for the Virtual Curriculum Night. Dates and times will be announced in the next few weeks.
Make sure you have started the Registration Process if your child has been offered a position.
Leslie Paynter, M.Ed.
ACS FAMILY SURVEY LINKS
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION
ALAMANCE COMMUNITY SCHOOL
School ID: 9683495
Download the ALL-NEW Box Tops app. Register & type in Alamance Community School to link your account. Shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit your school's Box Tops earnings online. It’s so easy!!
**A big thank you to one of our parents, Andrea Paduchowski, for helping get us started with Box Tops!**
SCHOOLMINT & REGISTRATION
If you have questions about your SchoolMint account or questions about uploading records,etc., please email Jen Adler at email@example.com or call 919-479-1442 extension 707.
Jen manages our SchoolMint account and is able to assist with your questions on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
If you have been offered a spot for your child to attend, I strongly encourage you to accept the offer and begin the registration process ASAP.
Also, make sure that you are contacting your child’s doctor and school offices to access their records for the registration process. If your child’s doctor’s appointment isn’t until the summer, upload all the other documents and in that spot, upload a picture of the doctor appointment date.
As long as status is "Registration in Progress," you will not lose your spot. We understand that it is still difficult to get certain documents and appointments and that many students will not receive a final report card until mid-June.
FAVORITE ARTICLE FOR THE WEEK
“3 Keys to a Better 2020 - 21” by Jonathan Eckert is a great article in Edutopia.
In response to the upheaval of the pandemic, researchers and the leaders of over 100 schools focused on three fundamental areas of education, whether it’s in person or virtual.
BEFORE & AFTER CARE
The Before and After School information provided by Genesis Athletics is on our website at: Before & After School Care. There is a Registration Form that you can complete. If you have any questions, or if you would like more information, please contact Evelyn Kreiley at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at 585-738-7360
Genesis Athletics Virtual Leaning Camp Survey for off site child care during possible remote learning.
Be sure to tell your friends and family that they can still apply to attend ACS for the 2020-2021 school year. Here is the link to apply: ACS Application
CALL FOR EXTRA LEGOs, BLOCKS, BUILDING TOYS & BOOKS
If you are doing “spring cleaning”, we would love to have any extra Puzzles, LEGOS, blocks, and building materials for our LEGO/Engineering class and classrooms. Also, if you have children’s books (all levels) that you are no longer using, please set those aside for us too!
ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES
HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19
The National Association of School Psychologists has developed this resource for parents regarding how to talk to children about COVID-19. National Association of School Psychologists
LARRY FERLAZZO - NY TIMES BLOGGER - TEACHING K-12 ONLINE RESOURCES
HIGH QUALITY FREE WEBSITES & APPS - High Quality Educational Resources and Apps
GUIDANCE FROM NCDHHS on SCHOOL REOPENING SAFETY - StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12)
NC Kids - NC Kids is a digital library with online books available in ebook, video, and audio formats. The library collection ranges from beginning reader to young adult. You can also access these books on the go with the Libby App from NC Kids. A library card is required in order to borrow books from this digital library.
STORYLINE - Storyline, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
Don’t forget to check our website and Facebook page for previous messages & more school information! www.alamancecommunityschool.net and