This past week, we received the stocking permit which meant that we could begin receiving our furniture! By Friday afternoon, the majority of the furniture had been assembled and placed in the classrooms and offices. The crew has begun to complete the final tasks - ensuring the internet is up and running, touch up painting, hanging the smart TVs, and cleaning the building. As soon as the cleaners have finished, I will record a virtual tour. We should receive our Certificate of
Occupancy by mid-week. Once we receive the CO, the teachers can begin to set up their classrooms and we can start school in our building on September 21!! More information about carline and screening procedures will be sent later this week.
Our first week of school was busy, but joyful as we began getting to know our students virtually and also in person at Crosslink. There were definitely some hiccups with technology, however by the end of the week, students, parents, and staff seemed to be more comfortable navigating Google Meet and getting all the links to work. In many ways, the delay has been a blessing.
Over the past week, the staff working with the students at Crosslink have been learning what works and doesn’t work in a hybrid model. For example, some of the teachers found it quite difficult to conduct the morning meeting with the in person students at Crosslink and their remote students at the same time. They found that the morning meeting was not very enagaging or productive for either group - which defeats the purpose of morning meeting. Therefore, the staff are working on some possible solutions that they will try this week.
Our families have been doing a fantastic job ensuring that our students are logging into their classes and completing the Google Attendance Form - thank you and keep up the good work!! The Google Attendance form will continue to be sent out daily by your child’s teacher for parent completion by 9:00 AM to ensure that our students are engaging with their lessons and teachers. This process will continue until October 5 (the first 20 days of school). This attendance data determines our school funding for the year. A student is counted as present when they participate in their Google Meet classes, complete their assignments or tasks, complete the Google Attendance form, and/or engage in communications with the teacher.
Please direct your questions about attendance, daily schedule, login information, etc. to your
Parents will receive a detailed email tomorrow, Monday, September 14 with information about completing all of the required Beginning of Year Forms. Parents will need to complete ONE form PER STUDENT enrolled at ACS. These forms are rather lengthy and progress cannot be saved once you have started. So please allow time to complete them in their entirety. Beginning of the Year Forms are due by Sunday, September 20. If you would like to go ahead and access the forms now, Click Here for the Beginning of the Year Forms. If you have any questions about the forms, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently still looking for an experienced part-time Bus Driver with their CDL license and a safe driving record! We are continuing to advertise and really want to provide this service to our families that need transportation! However, if we cannot find a driver, we cannot run the bus. We are willing to pay $15/hour. If you know of someone that might be interested in part-time work, please have them email me at: email@example.com.
As I stated in last week’s newsletter, we remain committed to opening with Plan B & strictly following the health and safety guidelines from the NC Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS). Our ACS Safety Committee met to discuss student and staff safety and the guidelines for drop-off, pick-up, and conducting in person learning. Later this week, when we send the carline information, we will also share the procedures that the safety committee states we should implement from day one and opening the school. The committee has parent experts from the medical field and public health, so we believe we are following the best practices for health and safety to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Our goal is to open and stay open! We are very thankful for the safety committee’s support and expertise during this time. More than ever, we will need your support, empathy, and cooperation when we open with face to face learning on September 21. I ask again for you to please be patient with us as we navigate not only opening a new school, but also opening school during the coronavirus. We all face many challenges and some of our plans may work and some may not. Know that our intent is good and every decision we are making is to ensure that all staff and students are safe, that learning resumes in a meaningful and purposeful way.
EASY ACS FUNDRAISING!!
SHOP AMAZON, SUPPORT ACS
Anytime you shop Amazon, you have the opportunity to support Alamance Community School. Start your shopping at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/84-2196063 and a portion of your eligible purchases will be donated to ACS!
You can also select ACS as your Smile charity of choice. Visit smile.amazon.com and sign in with your Amazon username and password, if you are not automatically logged in. Click get started and then search for Alamance Community School to choose your charity and continue through the set-up process to confirm.
SUPPORT ACS WHILE GROCERY SHOPPING @ HARRIS TEETER
ACS is participating in Harris Teeter’s Together in Education program! Our account number for ALAMANCE COMMUNITY SCHOOL is 6842. You can simply tell your cashier (during check-out) that you want ACS’s account number (6842) linked to your Harris Teeter VIC card. Once the account number is linked, every time you shop during the program, 2% of your Harris Teeter brand purchases will be contributed by Harris Teeter to our account. It’s that easy!
BISCUITVILLE has canceled their Breakfast After Dark fundraiser in October due to coronavirus
Last, but certainly not least, all families should read the Alamance Community School
Remote Learning & School Entry Plan. In this document there is a lot of very important
information about how we must operate school for in person in struction during the coronavirus.
Leslie Paynter, M.Ed.
The NCDHHS has stated that we can have the Genesis Athletics Virtual Learning Camps on site as long as we could isolate them from mixing with the other cohort and we continued to follow the safety guidelines. Since we have some unused rooms, I am very pleased to announce that we have arranged for the Genesis Athletics Virtual Learning Camps to operate at ACS, in addition to the Before & After School Care. The Virtual Learning Camp students & staff will have access to their own entrance and exit and their own bathrooms. We feel this is a huge benefit for our families! Available spots are limited based on cohort selection, so if you are interested in the on-site (at ACS) Genesis Athletics Virtual Learning Camp, you will want to enroll ASAP!
Please contact Evelyn Kreiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 585-738-7360.
We have been researching for families some devices that are a minimal investment and would be able to run Raz Plus, IXL, Google Meet, and Seesaw - which is what the elementary students will need to be able to do on a device. They will not need something incredibly complicated or “fancy”. We have created an ACS 2020-21 Remote Learning Device Buying Guide to assist families with purchasing devices for their students. Here is the link to the ACS 2020-21 Remote Learning Device Buying Guide
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 cloth face mask. However, they will need to wear a face shield. We will handle these situations on a case by case basis. We know that wearing masks will be difﬁcult for most students and staff. Therefore, breaks will be 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 and social distancing can be maintained, to allow children and staff to remove their masks for longer periods of time.
REMOTE LEARNING & GUIDELINES FOR ATTENDANCE & 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:
• Schools must ensure that remote instructional time, practice, and application components support learning growth that continues towards mastery of the standard course of study. The Plan shall include work measurement guidelines appropriate to each grade level, including deadlines for submission of assignments and methods to assess and grade learning during remote instruction.
• Schools must track and report attendance on remote instruction days, including protocols for determining attendance, the reporting system to be used, and how attendance procedures will be communicated to parents before remote instruction begins.
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. 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.
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
RECESS AND BREAKS:
“How will recess and other non-classroom activities will look during the coronavirus and Plan B reduced capacity?” The CDC guidelines and in “Lighting the Way Forward: North Carolina’s Guidebook for Reopening Public Schools” states that in Plan B (reduced capacity), we must “avoid mixing students in common areas.” For example, we will need to stagger recess by class, restrict hallway use, and avoid taking multiple classes to the restrooms. Furthermore, we are to ensure that there is at least 6 feet between staff and students in any outdoor setting. On July 20th, the NC Department of Health and Human Services stated that schools are “not to use larger playground equipment that cannot be disinfected between uses until social distancing requirements can be eased”.
Therefore, as you can see, based on these guidelines, recess becomes quite problematic to ensure the safety of the students and staff. We will still have 30 minutes of recess, short movement breaks, and breaks to go outside and remove the masks (while staying at least 6 feet apart).
Recess will look and feel different than it has in the past. We are looking at purchasing individual play equipment, such as jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, sidewalk chalk, etc. that students can use separately when outdoors, in addition to having physical activities that students could do individually, such as yoga, zumba, calisthenics, etc. With the NC ACCESS Grant, I have asked to purchase outdoor furniture (nice metal picnic tables, etc.) for outdoor classrooms for this fall. This will enable us to ﬁnd places on our campus that will be conducive for creating some nice outdoor classroom spaces. However, we will need to invest in some good “tents” for shade. I know that we are going to need assistance from families with donations of individual play equipment and shade for the outdoor furniture/classrooms.
Click here to see our Amazon ACS Recess, Outdoor, & Technology Wish List that families can purchase items and donate to the school. Of course, you may be able to ﬁnd these items (hula hoops, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, etc.) at other locations for a better price. Also, many teachers are hoping to get enough hula hoops to also help children with social distancing.
THE “MUST READ” DOCUMENT TO SUPPORT REMOTE LEARNING & REOPENING SCHOOL:
All families should read the Alamance Community School Remote Learning & School Entry Plan. In this document there is a lot of very important information about how we must operate school for in person instruction during the coronavirus.
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!!
SCHOOLMINT & REGISTRATION
The start of the school year is quickly approaching and there are still 88 registrations that have not been completed. We need your help! We cannot request your student's records, make teacher assignments, and assign them to a cohort until their registration is completed in SchoolMint!
Please take time - ASAP - to complete the registration process for your students. We need this information to complete class lists, cohort assignments, and student curriculum accounts.
If you have questions about completing your student's registration, please email: email@example.com.
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
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