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August 27, 2020
Dear APS families,
With the summer coming to a close, I know you are all waiting to learn about the next steps in our return to school process. Our principals, assistant principals and program coordinators are working to ensure that each student has the best possible learning experience when they return in September, whether in the hybrid model or the remote academy.
For those families who have selected the hybrid model, the assignments of cohorts is ongoing and will be communicated by each school’s principal once complete. We anticipate this information to be out to parents within the next few weeks. Due to complexities of assignments at each grade level, families with children at different schools may receive information at separate times from each principal. Our goal is to provide complete information to assist you with your planning for the school year as soon as possible.
The process of making assignments for all our students is a complex one that usually takes months and involves many factors for consideration. Given our current circumstances, we are attempting to do this with a very short time frame while addressing such factors as classroom assignments, teacher assignments, transportation for our K-6 students in a hybrid model, and a focus on our students with special needs, English language learners and others who require additional support. Above all else, our team is working to ensure the safe return to school for our students and our staff.
The safety of our buildings is paramount, and we’ve taken major steps to ensure that we can maintain a high standard of health and safety. We’ll all be required to wear masks, wash our hands regularly, remain at a responsible distance from each other, and monitor our own health carefully. The district is increasing our nursing and custodial staff. We will work diligently to ensure the cleanliness of our school buildings, disinfecting them regularly but even more thoroughly on Wednesdays and weekends. We have put in place aggressive ventilation protocols that will circulate air in each classroom multiple times an hour; this procedure will begin two hours before the school day starts and continue until two hours after school. As you are aware, we are limiting the number of students in our buildings and on our buses so that we can better maintain distance and safety. With these precautions in place, we will finally be able to be in-person with our students and can begin to offer some normalcy to our lives and our students’ lives.
Some faculty and students, for medical or family reasons, will be teaching and learning through the remote academy. These pioneers will be breaking new ground in online learning and mixing synchronous and asynchronous strategies to engage their classes.
Our educators return to school on Monday, August 31st for professional development that will further shape the school year for our students. This professional development will take place over a ten-day period and provide our staff the opportunity to set up their classrooms, receive training in our new learning management system, Schoology, and connect and collaborate with each other. In the near future, our parents and guardians will also have the opportunity to receive training on Schoology, which provides our families to have a simple view of their children’s assignments, due dates, progress on assignments and grades.
These ten days of professional development for our educators will allow us time to acclimate to the health and safety procedures that have been added to ensure the wellbeing of all in the APS community.
I wanted to thank our families for their patience and flexibility as we continue our work on these details.