Letter from Cathey Goodgame – April 15, 2020

Dear ANCS Families,

I hope you had a restful week last week! I appreciated that the weather allowed for some walks and bike rides around the neighborhood to balance my Netflix and Zoom screen time.

This week at the Middle Campus we are phasing in live sessions for each subject area and for Advisory. The schedules for these live sessions is posted on the HOWL website and can be found here, along with a video by me explaining the new schedules, for each grade level: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth. I hope you’ve had a chance to look at the live schedule and/or watch the video with your child. During Advisory on Monday the students worked to revise their own daily schedules so this would be a great time to check in with them about their online school plan.

For some students, the new live schedule is going to mean that they need to wake up a little bit earlier but still at a very appropriate time for middle schoolers. As much as they want to sleep in, they don’t really need to sleep beyond 9:30 am or 10:00 am, especially if they are going to bed at a decent time. Most of the research says teenagers need between 9 and 10 hours of sleep each night so please continue to keep an eye on that at home to support productive school days online.

In addition to some students choosing to work later and needing to adjust their sleep schedules, we also know that some students have responsibilities at home that will make shifting to this new schedule challenging in a very different and real way for students and families. We want to be sure we continue to support students who truly cannot be present for these sessions. If your middle schooler is unable to attend the live sessions please reach out to your child’s advisor(s), Mr. Sanders, or me and we’ll work together to make a plan for success.

As we move into the new phase, many of us have found it helpful to think about what’s staying the same and what is changing. Here are some of the highlights of those two categories:

What’s staying the same?

  • Assignments will continue to post for all scheduled classes at 8:00 am each day. This means students can start work at 8:00 am if they choose to do so.
  • Students still have until 9:00 pm to complete assignments each day.
  • Advisory assignments will continue to be due every day.
  • AGP should continue to be done on the assigned platform for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • A Days continue to be Tuesdays and Thursdays. Assignments will be posted for all four A Day subject classes each A Day.
  • B Days continue to be Wednesdays and Fridays. Assignments will be posted for all four B Day subject classes each B Day.

What is changing?

  • Advisory groups will have a live session each Monday, in addition to the regular Monday assignments.
  • Two subject areas will go live each day based on the live schedule. These live sessions are in addition to posted assignments, not instead of.
  • Attendance will be taken during live sessions.
  • Starting next week, teachers will use assignment performance to determine differentiated groupings for some of the live sessions.
  • Teachers will end their online days at 5:00 pm each day. Students completing work between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm will not have access to teachers to answer questions during that time. Teachers will respond to questions the following day. If your child does not need to work beyond 5:00 pm, we encourage them to end their day by this time as well.

We realize that these changes can be hard to process, especially for the adults at home who aren’t actually following the schedules. We are happy to answer questions as often as needed so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions for us. We’re all in this together!

Wishing you well,