ABS Thursday Notes- July 9, 2020

ReOpening Schools Update
Although we were expecting Governor Cooper to announce the plans for ReOpening Schools last week, that announcement was delayed. We continue to work through the details and logistics of the potential scenarios for educating our students for the new school year. In broad strokes, each plan has some advantages and some challenges as well as many details to consider. Our greatest goal is to get back to learning while keeping our students and staff safe and healthy. We also recognize that safety and health requirements continue to change and our best-laid plans will need to be flexible and updated as we learn more about the science and government requirements.

Please read through these considerations as we develop the Plan B Scenario. We have planned a virtual information meeting for Wednesday, July 15 at 2pm. You will receive an invitation and link via your email today. If you have specific topics, or questions, please send them to us at this form so we can be sure to address them. Form to submit questions

Plan B- Only 50% of students would be allowed into school building at one time with moderate social distancing. 

 When students attend school in the building:

  • Health screening for all staff and students before entering the school building
  • Students are scheduled on alternating days to limit class size to 50%.
  • Students learn with remote learning on days he/she is not at school
  • No field trips, volunteers, visitors, or congregation of students.
  • Students and Staff would wear masks unless he/she has an exemption. Currently, the Governor has exempted students under 11 years of age.
  • Instructional Hours on campus: 8:15 – 1:30
  • Cohort A will attend only Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Cohort B will attend only Wednesday and Friday.
  • Mondays are “Flex Days.” All students are at home.
  • A and B Cohort instruction will be duplicated so students receive the same content.
  • Students bring lunch and eat at school.
  • Students will receive one live arts special lesson each on-campus day.
  • Teachers will deliver assignments and work remotely in the Remote Learning model, for the remainder of learning hours.

When a Student is learning from home. This may include:

Teacher-Led 

  • Live stream video of your teacher, with students participating in real time.
  • Options for side “chat” commentary and questions during instruction, from older students or from parents who are assisting younger children.
  • Recordings of a live stream video, if your student could not attend a live session, or for review.
  • Pre-recorded video of your teacher, presenting a lesson.
  • Small group break-out sessions online, teacher-led
  • “Chunked” lessons, where teachers provide live, brief instruction, then students return after attempting the work, for feedback or next steps.
  • Individualized learning by appointment, online or by phone, with teacher
  • Class gathering times online
  • Teacher office hours online

Assigned, Parent-Assisted or Independent Work

  • Teacher-assigned exercises and projects, journal entries, video viewing
  • Paper/pencil work provided by the school.
  • Art projects using school-provided or found materials
  • Video making assignments for students, with parents or partners, age-appropriate

Training

  • Teachers will train to use homogenous platforms across the school.
  • Parents may attend virtual training to strengthen their ability to assist students
  • Students will receive training in the use of platforms
  • All stakeholders will be trained in tools for attendance, communication tools.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What’s the value of only two days a week at school?
A: Several values:

  • Safety: By permitting half of the class (at most) each day, cleaning, social distancing in classrooms, hallways, and restrooms are more manageable. 
  • Social-Emotional Health: Students interact more immediately with teachers and socially with classmates 
  • Schedule: Parents are provided with some time for students to be away from home.

Q: Why “Flexible Monday” instead of “Flex Fridays?”
A: Mondays are holidays four times during the school year, which would deprive the “A” group of four days of instruction, leaving them off-pace with their counterparts.

Q: Why twice weekly, instead of alternating weeks?
A: It’s easier for students to absorb regular, progressive lessons and procedures if the schedule is continuous. 

Q: Will my student have recess?
A: Yes, we are hopeful we can create a schedule that provides opportunities for outdoor play during the school day, although the playground equipment may not be allowable. Scheduling is more challenging with middle school students.

Q: What practices will ABS put in place for student and staff safety during on-campus learning?
A: ABS will follow all NCDHHS requirements for student and staff health and safety at school.

Q: Will after-care be offered?
A: After-care will be available on the same day of my student’s Cohort.

Q: How will you select students into Cohorts?
A: Teachers will create class lists to divide classes to 50%. 

Q: Will siblings attend on the same Cohort days?
A: Siblings will be placed in the same Cohort days.

Q: Can my student attend with both A and B Cohorts?
A: No, to maintain 50% density, we can not accommodate students attending both days.

Q: Why is the day ending early? 
A: Teachers will need additional time to provide remote learning for those students who are learning from home that day.

Q: Can I choose full-time remote learning for my child and not send her/him into the school building?
A: Yes, we are anticipating some families will need a remote learning option to accommodate health concerns. Also, students or families under quarantine during the school year would also be able to continue accessing their education through remote education. 

Q: Can our family keep our spot at ABS if we enroll in the Virtual Academy offered by the school system for the 2020-21 school year?
A: The State does not allow a student to be enrolled in two schools at once. If you do not attend ABS, we will need to fill your spot from the waiting list to be sure we can support the school budget. The state funding is allocated on a per pupil basis.

New Parent Orientation 
Save the Date- Wednesday, Aug 5 at 10am for the New K-4 Parent Orientation at ABS. This program is designed specifically for new families in grades K-4th at ABS to support your transition into ABS and to answer your questions and will be provided in a virtual meeting this year. Please mark your calendars and will send you a link soon!

Middle School Orientation
Save the Date-Wednesday, Aug 5 at 2pm for Middle School Orientation. For new parents (grade 5-8) and also for parents new to middle school. This program is designed to answer questions about how our middle school program works (grades 5-8) and what to expect. This will also be a virtual meeting and we’ll send you a link soon!

Special Visits
Educational research shows that the relationship between the student and his or her teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success. This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children. In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins. A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet his or her teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year. Due to Coronavirus Safety protocol, Special Visits will be set up to occur virtually, individual meetings at the school, or on the phone. This year’s scheduled days for Special Visits are August 13 and 14, 2020. Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment in early August.

Garden Volunteers Needed
Now that you’ve completed all your own lawn and garden projects this past spring, please consider helping us out in the ABS gardens. Although we won’t all meet on the same day, the weeds are there everyday just waiting to be picked. If you are able to spend some time in the ABS gardens, wearing masks and socially distancing yourself, it would be greatly appreciated. You can log your volunteer hours directly into Helpcounter or send me an email and I can add them in. Thanks!

ABS July Board Meeting
The ABS Board of Directors will convene the June Board meeting on July 14, 2020 at 5:45pm using a virtual meeting platform. Board meetings are open to the public. If you would like to view the meeting, please email Principal Hollis for the link.

Around Town

Virtual Storytime
Saturday, July 11 | 10:30 am
Children’s author Constance Lombardo will read her new book Everyone Says Meow and lead kids through a drawing workshop. This is a Summer Reading Program event recommended for kids ages 3-7. Register by e-mailing youth@bookmarksnc.org. 

Bookmarks presents Yoga Storytime
Saturday, July 18 | 10:30 am
Join us for children’s storytime with Stephany McMillan from Rise and Flow Yoga as she flows with us through story. Please email youth@bookmarksnc.org to register for this virtual free event. This is a Summer Reading Program event recommended for kids ages 3-10.

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