Letter from Cathey Goodgame – August 14, 2019

Middle Campus Families, 
I hope you are having a wonderful week! We’re all a little more sleepy this week but we’re getting in the groove of the regular school day/week. 

I’ve included some very important information below. Please take a few minutes to read over it and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions for me. 

Wishing you well! 
Cathey

Changes to AGP
Academic Growth Period (AGP) begins tomorrow and I talked to the kids this morning during Morning Meeting about the plan for this year. You may know that AGP is a 30-minute class that meets every school day except Wednesdays. The original intention of AGP was to provide individualized academic support to students outside of the regular class period. Over the years we have moved away from that purpose but we have also noticed that our growth on MAP and Milestones is not where we would like for it to be. While students perform well on those assessments, we want to focus on growth no matter the students’ achievement levels. 

As a result, this year all students will work on a computer-based program during AGP. Some students will work on Reading/ELA, some on math, and most on both. Teachers working with the students will monitor their progress and will conference with them periodically to discuss their growth. We will provide earbuds for all students and those will be left at school with their AGP teachers. Students are welcome to bring their own earbuds but they don’t have to do so. Please remember that airpods and other wireless earbuds are not allowed at school. 

Morning Meeting
Speaking of Morning Meeting, we have one almost every Wednesday morning from 8:30 am to 9:00 am in the gym. Parents/guardians and community members are welcome to come to Morning Meeting anytime. We occasionally have schedule changes that move the meeting to the afternoon, but that shouldn’t happen for a while and I’ll let everyone know in advance if that happens. 

School Supplies Donation Reminder
We are still collecting donations for school supplies so it’s not too late to donate. We are asking for $45 per student, but will be happy to accept more or less and at any point during the year. Donations can be cash (correct change please), check made out to ANCS, or online (small fee applies) and scrolling down to Middle Campus Student Supply Fee. Thank you to those of you who have already donated. We’re about 60% to our goal for the year. 

Heat Advisory Information
I’m sure you all can feel the heat – it’s Atlanta in the summer so it’s HOT out there. We are keeping a close eye on both the temperature and the heat index and have been provided some guidelines from APS about recess and physical activity during classes – when to allow normal outdoor activities and when to modify them. In addition, today we began using a Heat Index app to help us have the most up to date information for our area before recess and physical and health education classes. Generally speaking, the guidelines outline activity, either “vigorous” or “light”, at varying levels, with activity levels decreasing as the heat index increases. It is rare for the heat index to reach a point where we cancel all outdoor activities but we know that is possible and will keep a close eye, managing indoor options as needed. 

It is critically important that students are regularly hydrating throughout the day at school. This is always true and even more so with the heat we are experiencing. We have water stations throughout the building and ask that you encourage your child to bring a water bottle and fill it regularly. In addition, you can help us by encouraging your child to layer clothing, especially on days when they have PHE (physical and health education classes). With the warmth outside and some colder classrooms this is an especially important, often overlooked, consideration.

If your child has a medical condition that is affected by heat please check in with him/her at home about this, including ensuring that your child and the school have all necessary medications for the condition. One of the most common examples of issues we run into related to health and heat is students with asthma forgetting their inhalers. Checking in with them before they leave home for things like this will be incredibly helpful and we thank you in advance. 

Info Session next week – Sixth grade and new 7th/8th families only
Each month, Somer Hobby, our Instructional Coach and MYP Coordinator, holds an IB MYP Information Session. The field of Education is known for using many acronyms and that one might be new to you – International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP). Over the years we have noticed that parents/guardians who attend these monthly sessions have a significantly better understanding of what is happening at the Middle Campus and how to support their children while in middle school. All parents/guardians of 6th graders and new to ANCS 7th/8th graders are strongly encouraged to attend these monthly sessions.

The first one is next week and there are two options for attending: Wednesday, August 21 (6:30 pm – 8:00 pm) OR Friday, August 23 (8:30 am – 10:00 am). Keep an eye out for an RSVP email from Somer Hobby soon if you haven’t already received it by the time you read this message.