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Family Communication

Family Communication – August 31, 2020

Hi Academy 360 Families –
We’ve kicked off week two stronger than week one!  Thanks for weathering all the challenges we had with Zoom last week….
A few updates/reminders for this week:
K-5 IStation – you were asked not to use IStation last week as students are getting ready to take baseline assessments this week (Kinder will be next week in-person).  While we know it will be hard, please do not help your student with any of the content as this will allow us to capture better data on your student’s ability levels.  Please wait for your teacher to inform you which day your class is testing. Before logging into IStation, you may be asked to put in the domain name.  See the image below for domain “academy360.denver.com
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Flocabulary – there has been some confusion and frustration around this – we apologize.  Please be sure that your student clicks “My Assignments” after logging into the program and only clicks on the images with the orange dot.  Your teachers are assigning grade level assignments that your students can work on independently.
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Blended Learning Time Blocks – these blocks are intended for students to work on their blended learning assignments.  The time is intended for work and not necessarily completion of that work.
In-Person Return: I will be in touch specifically with our ECE and Kindergarten families regarding the September 8th return to in-person learning with healthy and safety guidelines and expectations and clarifications around the schedule.
Want to smile?  Check out these Kindergarteners freeze dancing!

Family Communication – August 23, 2020

Hello!  While we know this first day of school will be like no other, we are excited to be “back” with our students, no matter the capacity or learning platform.

Below are a few things to do and know before tomorrow comes:

Computer TimesStudents can now access their computers from 7am-8pm Monday through Friday and 9am-3pm on Saturdays.

Zoom Video ConferencingThe school will be using Zoom for all live instruction; the application was pushed out to all students’ devices (and may require you to restart your computer if you don’t see the icon).

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Zoom Recordings: Starting Wednesday, August 26th, we will be recording Crew, Literacy, Math, and English Language Development daily so families that need to access learning later in the day can do so.  Should you not want your student recorded during these live sessions, please have your student turn off their video and send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required informing you want to opt out of recordings.  Students will still be expected to participate even though their video is off.  (We will delete recordings at the end of the semester.)

Zoom Security FeaturesZoom is now more secure than ever and we will be enabling many security features for our classrooms.  You will notice that your student’s classroom has both a passcode AND waiting room.  Students will need to enter your teacher’s passcode, then they will be placed in a waiting room before their teacher “brings them into” the room.  Here is a list of additional security measures Zoom offers and that our teachers will be using –https://blog.zoom.us/teachers-top-features-for-securing-virtual-classrooms-enhancing-student-learning-experiences/

Google Classroom – Students must accept the invite into Google Classroom before 8:15am tomorrow morning.  Please see the screenshot below to locate it.  Once your student “joins” their class, they can access their assignments, video links, announcements and more.  Students in grades 3-5 should need little support with finding this icon.  Click here for a tutorial from last spring!

Google Classroom (1).png

AttendancePlease see the attendance policy here – School Documents; attendance will be taken daily at 12:15p.  Please inform your teacher if you will need to be accessing the recorded live videos later in the evening.  We can update your attendance as present after proof of learning has been completed later in the day, evening.

Between now and Labor Day, we will be in and out of the school building.  Should you need assistance during the day while your teacher is teaching, please call me below or call Rosie at 303.210.5719.  Otherwise, your teacher is expected to get back to you within approximately one school day.

We look forward to “seeing” your students tomorrow!

Family Communication – August 17, 2020

Hello Academy 360 Families – 
 
We are grateful for the time you’ve allowed us to continue working on return to school plans.  Please see below for the most updated information.  
 
Return to School Planning
 
Virtual Instruction – all elementary grades will begin virtual instruction on Monday, August 24th.  I have attached the schedule for your reference; all “live” instruction is scheduled at the same time across all grades.  Students will be expected to be online “live” for approximately three hours each day. 
 
In-Person Instruction – we are in final approval stages of welcoming back our ECE and Kindergarten students, starting September 8th.  These grades will be in school for in-person instruction four days a week, Tuesday through Friday.  Mondays will be remote days for Kindergarten.  All families should be prepared to return to virtual instruction should COVID-19 rates worsen or the county reverts to Stay at Home orders.  More details, including a health and safety plan, will be provided prior to September 4th.  Should Kindergarten families prefer to stay in virtual instruction, we are prepared for virtual live teaching for those students and will happily support them remotely!  
 
PLEASE NOTE: We will continue to evaluate staggered, in-person return for additional grades as the month of September progresses, while analyzing the health and safety of our students and staff as well within Denver County.  We are committed to giving families ample time for planning should in-person be a possibility for additional elementary grades.  Please reach out to me directly if you would like to talk further about in-person instruction.  
 
Week of August 17th
 
Starting today, you will begin hearing from your teachers regarding what to expect during the start of school and making arrangements to pick up your students materials, which will include: virtual schedule, tech sheet, reading materials, computers, and more.  Pickup will be scheduled for Thursday, August 20th and Friday, August 21st.  K-2 teachers will be on the west side by the playground and 3-5 students will be in the front of the building.  Please stay in your cars; we’ll hand you what you need and have you on your way.
 
Please continue to monitor our website for all the latest and updated information.  Please reach out should you have additional questions. 

Family Communication – July 29, 2020

Dear Academy 360 Families – 

 As many of you heard within the last few hours, Denver Public Schools is extending its 100% virtual learning through Friday, October 16th (it was previously scheduled to end on Friday, September 4th).  Several of you have reached out to me inquiring about A360’s plans for return to in-person learning in light of these recent developments.  

Early Stages & Planning for In-Person Learning: Academy 360 is committed to creating plans for in-person learning prior to October 16th, while maintaining safety for our students and staff members.  For your planning purposes, this will most likely look like a hybrid approach. We are considering bringing ECE/K students and other high-priority students back first and hope to create schedules in which prioritized student groups are small, and in-person instruction occurs two or three days a week (with virtual learning occurring on the “off” days). We are also considering a staggered approach over the course of the first eight weeks of school (i.e. ECE/K + high priority groups the first two weeks, then the addition of 1st/2nd grades the next two weeks, and so on). We strive to be as equitable as possible while being both conservative and consistent with our approach to hopefully identify that return to in-person education can be both safe AND successful, if done intentionally and with all the appropriate health and safety guard rails.   

School Day Hours: All elementary schools in DPS are moving to a 6.5 hour school day.  For your planning purposes, in-person days will most likely be 8-2:30p or 8:30-3:00p; we are still waiting for confirmation from DPS on this.  

Outdoor Classroom Environments: We are going to capitalize on our small learning community and the flexibility of our non-DPS owned facility.  We were recently awarded $15,000 to create outdoor educational spaces; we know the outdoors create safer environments for everyone during COVID-19, and on days when the weather allows, we will teach from those spaces.  

We understand the decision for in-person versus virtual learning is extremely personal to each family.  If your family has decided that 100% virtual is what is best for you at this time, that does not change, and will be fully supported by A360. 

We hope to hear more from DPS regarding their small group priorities and scheduling and hope to have tentative scheduling plans out to you no later than Friday, August 7th.

We continue to welcome your thoughts and feedback as we together navigate this exceptionally unique time in the history of our lives.  

Thank you for being a part of this family of learners.  Together, we are A360.

Family Communication – July 22, 2020

Hello Academy 360 Families –

As many of you know, Denver Public Schools (DPS) is shifting to fully virtual/online learning for the first two weeks of the school year; Academy 360 will do the same.  Below are working details as we plan for this change.

Delayed Start Date

The school year will start on Monday, August 24th.  We will conduct virtual/online learning through Friday, September 3rd.  It is the hope we will move to either hybrid learning or in-person come Tuesday, September 8th.  NOTE: that decision has not yet been made and continued plans should be made for these different instructional scenarios.

Virtual/Online Instruction

The teaching team is working on a virtual/online schedule that will be a combination of direct/live teaching, blended learning (IStation, Spelling City, etc.) and opportunities to be physically active/take breaks.  The live instruction will be recorded and posted in Google Classroom should you be unable to have your student log onto the computer at specific times of the day.

100% Virtual/Online Instruction

For those families that have elected to be fully online for the semester, we are working on programming for that platform.  I will communicate directly with those families during the week of July 27th.

Mask Wearing & Hand Washing

We ask that you begin to practice with your student both mask wearing and hand washing now as they are both critical to the reduction to the spread of this virus.  Even if you start with mask wearing 30 minutes a day, then 60, then 90, this will help with compliance once they return physically to school.  Here is a great resource on handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer – https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html.

ECE

The school is working on grant opportunities to get technology into the hands of our preschoolers.  Similarly to last year, our preschool teachers will begin posting lessons onto our website for students and their families to access starting Monday, August 24th.  (PLEASE NOTE: this is different from DPS as their ECE program doesn’t begin until Tuesday, September 8th).

Week of August 17th

This week will be utilized for K-5 to make individual family calls to outline what families can expect during the two weeks of virtual instruction, get them what they need (computer, schedule, tech sheet, books, etc.).  ECE families will be invited to meet with their teachers, either by phone, video or socially distanced outside, to learn more about each preschooler before the school year starts.

Registration

Starting next Monday, July 27th, families will have an opportunity to begin registration online: updating information in Parent Portal, lunch applications, and more. Families can access the info here:  http://academy-360.org/about-the-school/academic-calendar/

Meet Our Staff!

We have a great number of our staff members returning from last year.  Additionally, we welcome back both Ms. Stelling (previous 4th/5th grade teacher) and Mrs. Ginny (previous 1st/2nd and Special Education teacher) to Academy 360 and have a couple new faces joining our team!  http://academy-360.org/who-we-are/staff-members/

Zoom Family Town Hall

We will be hosting a Zoom video town hall next Tuesday, July 28th from 5-6pm for families wanting to join to have their questions answered, share feedback and more.  Please join us at any time during the hour. Spanish translation provided.  Below are details:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/8583609460?pwd=bFJxbG9XSlhWKzFZQmlvQ0V4aDZMdz09

Meeting ID: 858 360 9460

Passcode: included in July 22nd email

As always, we welcome communication from families either by call, email, or text and are updating our website regularly.  Our goal is to communicate to you all weekly between now and the start of school.

Family Communication during COVID-19

May 18, 2020

Hello A360 Families!  We are in the final two weeks of this spring’s online learning.  No video updates for the week; please complete this survey if you have not done so related to next fall’s hybrid learning – https://forms.gle/3xWnvF87QZ1NNuzGA

RMPBS is broadcasting Colorado Classroom: Read with Me at Home as a free in-home early reading resource for all Colorado families with K-3rd grade children, including those who may not have consistent access to high-speed internet.

Broadcasting on RMPBS channels statewide in English with Spanish closed-captioning, the program provides fun early literacy lessons with Master Teachers from around Colorado to help children and their parents stay engaged in learning to read.

Parents and caregivers can access these resources at RMPBS.org/coloradoclassroom or by calling RMPBS toll free, at 800-274-6666.

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May 11, 2020

Hello Academy 360 Families – Attached is the family announcement for May 11th; this message focuses on Fall 2020 planning knowing we most likely need to prepare for a hybrid of small group in-person learning and online learning.  A survey will be sent in the next day or two for family feedback.
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May 4, 2020
Happy Monday, A360 Families! Please “listen” to this week’s announcements –
May4thFamilyUpdates
It’s Virtual Spirit Week!  Students and staff will be participating all week!
VIRTUAL SPIRIT WEEK SCHEDULE:

Monday, May 4th:  Stuffies! During office hours, students bring their favorite stuffed animal.

Tuesday, May 5th:  Wear your favorite color

Wednesday, May 6th:  Wacky Wednesday, dress up wacky!

Thursday, May 7th: Book Character Day! Students dress as their favorite book character.

Friday, May 8th: Show & Tell

April 27, 2020
Happy Monday, A360 Families! Please “listen” to this week’s announcements –
April27thVideo
April 20, 2020
Happy Monday, A360 Families! Please “listen” to this week’s announcements –
April20thVideo
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April 13, 2020
Click here for updates, in both English and Spanish – April13thVideo
Click here for more information about wireless services – https://www.dpsk12.org/internet-access-and-technology-support-for-remote-learning/
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April 6, 2020
Online learning starts TOMORROW, April 7th; please listen to updates from Mrs. Becky provided here – CLICK HERE – April 6th Updates

Lamentamos que esta comunicación no esté en español; ¡por favor contacte a la Sra. Rosie, 303.210.5719, para recibir apoyo!

UPDATE: Struggle of Love Food Bank is 11a-2p, not 11a-4p.  Our apologies!

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April 2, 2020
Hi A360 Families – 
 
As we experience a third week being apart, know how much our staff is missing your students and you.  As you may have seen yesterday, Governor Polis extended the in-school learning closures through the end of April.  While we know COVID-19 continues to create additional hardships, know that A360 teachers are committed to providing you as much instructional content as we are able.  There is a lot in this email about online learning starting next Tuesday; we hope to not overwhelm you, but rather set up both you and your students for success next week and the weeks to follow.  Some of these tech platforms will be new to you, but familiar to your students!  
 
Online Learning: Starting Tuesday, April 7th
Each day by 9:00a, teachers will post a morning message for their students and lesson plans will be uploaded onto Google Classroom under “Classwork”.  The work is created in a way that students can work on them independently and with minimal supplies (their computer and sometimes pencil and paper).  Everything will be organized in folders through Google Classroom and assignments will have due dates, although we certainly understand things come up and assignments may need to be submitted late.  Please do your best to complete assignments daily, or if need be, weekly.  
 
Content Areas
There will be daily lessons in Literacy (50 minutes), Math (50 minutes), English Language Development (30 minutes for students that are English Language Learners), Science (30 minutes), Social Studies (30 minutes), Art (20 minutes) and PE (20 minutes).  Students can reduce their IStation minutes to 15-20 for Reading and Math daily; upper elementary students should continue their Common Lit and Khan Academy assignments.  
 
Office Hours
Teachers will host video office hours from 1-3p daily; there will be a link posted on their Google Classroom under “Stream”.  These hours are a great time to ask questions should your student be struggling with an assignment.  This link will remain live throughout those two hours; students can click on and off the video as needed.  Teachers will be off camera and have their sound on mute until they hear a student come onto video.  NOTE: Please remember that while your student will be the one primarily on video, often things can be seen in the background.  It is recommended to find a space in your home where students can focus on their work in a space where video can also be used, if necessary.  Even if your student does not have a question, this live stream will allow your student to see their teacher everyday, which could just be good for the heart!
 
We would like to make Tuesday, April 7th’s office hours mandatory for all 2nd through 5th grade students, so we as staff can help ground academic expectations for your students.  If your schedule allows, please try and prioritize 1pm on Tuesday, April 7th.  
 
Attendance
K-5 teachers will be taking attendance everyday by 5pm.  Attendance will be determined in a few different ways: good faith effort of engaging in the lessons online, coming to teacher office hours, responding to teacher’s questions on Google Classroom, completing IStation minutes and more.  The front office will also be checking in regularly throughout the week if we see your student’s attendance is low.  It is so very important that your student attends online school everyday.
 
Daily Schedule, Monday through Friday
While we understand you need to create a daily schedule best for all people in your home, we recommend setting aside at least four hours of instructional time for your student and using PE and meals/snack as breaks from computer learning.  Lessons will post daily at 9am, teachers will have “live” office hours from 1-3pm and teachers are expected to take attendance by 5pm.  
 
Paper Packet Pickup & Supplies
DPS is making work paper packets available at its food distribution sites.  Those sites closest to our neighborhood are the Montbello Campus at 50th and Crown and the Evie Dennis Campus at Green Valley Ranch Boulevard and Telluride Street; pickup packets, food, or both from 11:00a-12:30p Monday through Friday.  Food is also available for adults – https://www.dpsk12.org/coronavirus/food-distribution/
 
Additionally, starting this Friday (4/3), Academy 360 is making available in its lobby: paper, pencils, and crayons; please take what you need for your students.  Our lobby is open 7a-6p Monday through Friday.
 
Computer Time Restrictions
Students are able to access their computers Monday through Friday, 7a-7p and on Saturdays from 9a-1p.  YouTube is now unblocked from the computers but SafeSearch is still on.  Please continue to supervise your students when they work on their computers.  
 
ECE Families
You will receive a separate email this afternoon as to what you can expect from the ECE team members.  Thank you for your continued patience and advocacy.  
 
Attachments
I have attached a few images and a video on Google Classroom.  Please use if you find helpful!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugSvRwEp99E
 
Remember, none of us (families, teachers, admin, students) are expert online instructors – we are all in this new, mandatory way of educating your student.  With a little bit of patience and learning along the way, together, we can do this!  We have always been a team in your student’s education and we will need each other’s partnership even more than ever!  Everyday we all become a bit more tech savvy and are always happy to share our learnings with you.  
 
We are sending a HUGE amount of love to each of you.  Please continue to call/text/email us with questions.  We’ve got this!  
March 25, 2020

Happy Wednesday, Academy 360 Families –

Information distribution, resource sharing, and online instructional planning is moving at a rapid pace.  Here are more things you need to know as the extended break ends on Friday, April 3rd and as remote learning begins on Tuesday, April 7th.

K-5 Instruction – April 7th

Our teachers have begun working on remote instructional learning, which begins on Tuesday, April 7th.  While we certainly understand the strain this puts on our families and have gotten feedback that this attempt at homeschooling has been beyond challenging, we hope that come 4/7, our K-5 students will be regularly and consistently engaging in their lessons and academic work at least four hours daily.  The instruction will be delivered through the Google Classroom platform and will consist of a combination of independent work, instructional video tools, blended learning websites (Common Lit, Khan Academy, Splash Math) and more for each content area (Literacy, Math, Writing, etc.).

Teachers will host daily office hours – they are more than willing to support you and your students through this new process. We recommend thinking about a daily, consistent schedule that works best for adults and students.  We will have more information as we near 4/7, but wanted families to have ample time to think about the instructional time goals and create a daily schedule that works for everyone in the household.  Kindergarten Families, please look for an email from Mrs. Kristen to your email address; we will be inviting you as parents/guardians to join Google Classroom as to break down the technology barrier for our younger learners less familiar with the platform.  

Internet Access

Great news!  Xfinity has opened up all its hot spots for free!  Linked here is more information – https://wifi.xfinity.com/.  Below is a screenshot of all hotspots in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch.  Should you live outside those neighborhoods, you can search for your zipcode on their website.  Should you still be having difficulty with access, please email me directly.

Computer Access

Thank you to everyone that completed the DPS technology survey – only a few of you need a computer from us.  Ms. Rosie will be reaching out to make appointments for pickup this Thursday (3/26).  There is a very specific way in which we are to give you the device; please stay in your car and wait directly in front of the school building at your appointment time.

ECE Families 

We thank you for your continued advocacy and requests of resources as we hope to keep our youngest learners engaged.  The English/Spanish bilingual attachment is a helpful resource as it outlines and recommends a daily schedule, blended learning sites, at home activities and more.  As it relates to technology, DPS nor Academy 360 has enough computer devices at this time to hand out to all preschoolers. Several of the websites recommended on the attached can be accessed via cell phones and all families should plan to use that device at this time.  We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep families posted should that change.  The ECE team is getting on a call Friday to identify additional ways in which families can engage students beyond what the attachment suggests.  We thank you for your continued patience!

Additional Updates

  1. The Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer season is on pause for the moment.  We hope to have more information about the season as we get closer to April 17th;
  2. Girls on the Run (GOTR) has been cancelled for the spring.  If you paid electronically, the money has been refunded to you.  If you paid in cash, the school will get that reimbursement to you.  We plan to have GOTR in both fall and spring in the 2020-2021 school year;
  3. Rocky Mountain PBS will be aligning its television programming to instructional content beginning Tuesday, April 7th.  More information is coming, but plan on tuning in to PBS, if able!

Should you have questions or concerns about anything mentioned above, please feel free to reach out to me directly – email hidden; JavaScript is required or communicate directly to your teacher.  The (720) 336-0320 number is still available for texting needs.  Additionally, DPS is always updating resources here – https://www.dpsk12.org/coronavirus/faq-covid-19/#family

We know these are unique and challenging times and uncertainty can be extremely stressful.  WE ARE HERE FOR YOU and ready to help!  No ask is too big – just let us know what you need.

Be well, stay well and talk soon, Becky

March 20, 2020

Hello Academy 360 Families –

I hope this update finds you staying safe and healthy during these unique
times in our society.  By now, I am sure you are aware of the Governor’s
Executive Order to close all public and private schools through Friday,
April 17th with a return anticipated for Monday, April 20th.  Since this
announcement, both DPS and A360 teams have been joining together to figure
out what this means for instruction for your students while at home.  While
we do not have all the answers today, I would like to send you
updates/tasks being worked on:

*Instruction*
I had the first of many conversations with teachers today to identify ways
in which we can deliver direct instruction to your students; the goal is to
have this method identified and ready to be used by *Tuesday, April 7th*.
In the meantime, K-5 students should keep working on paper assignments,
tasks posted in Google Classroom, IStation minutes, etc.  Currently, we are
considering our lead teachers recording themselves teaching lessons on
YouTube, then either posting it to Google Classroom or emailing it directly
to families for them to access on their schedule.  The goal would be that
students access these videos daily for instruction.  We hope to supplement
these lessons with paper materials to support the learning.  *Should we go
this route, we will give access to YouTube and limit the times in which
students can log onto their Chromebooks (for example, 8am to 6pm).
SafeSearch will still be on and families will need to monitor their
student’s computer use.  *

You may receive an email from the district inquiring about computer use,
access, etc. – if you have not yet received a device from us, go ahead and
complete the survey as the information will get to us.

*Students with IEPs*
Should your students receive special education services, the goal is to
have those videos emailed directly to both parent/guardian and the student
(for privacy protection).  Should you have questions about this
specifically, please be sure to email Mr. Wright at email hidden; JavaScript is required

*Computer and Materials Access*
We are grateful that we were ahead of most schools in this regard as we
were able to get into your hands both your student’s computer and paper
materials earlier this week.  If you were unable to get these materials, we
will schedule another day or two in which you can come safely into the
school to access these materials – probably later next week.  ECE families,
I am working with DPS to see if we can get preschoolers computers.  Until
then, we hope to identify ways to engage students through online platforms
you can access on your phones, like YouTube, etc.

Things are moving quickly and we will try and get you communication as
quickly as possible.  Please continue to check email, Facebook and text
messages.  Should you need anything immediately, please email me (or Rosie)
directly.

Love to our entire A360 community!

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Hello Academy 360 Families – please remember to practice drop-off and pickup safety with your car and students.  When dropping off your student, please either use the drive lane OR park your car and walk in your student.  Please do not let students run from anywhere in the parking lot – it is a terrible accident waiting to happen.  We appreciate your attention to safety!