Letter from Lara Zelski – April 1, 2020

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well, staying healthy and adjusting to a new and different home schedule. I know you are receiving a lot of information right now so I am trying to put as much in here as I can to avoid sending little bits at a time.

Students and families should be checking the HOWL website first thing each morning. Students have daily assignments and each Monday there is a video from the teachers to give an overview of the week. Additionally, please note that important communication from the school is being posted on the HOWL platform in addition to the courier and on Facebook. Please make an effort to look at this, as it is one of the main ways the school will be communicating with you over the next several weeks.

HOWL has a lot of resources beyond classroom assignments and videos from teachers. There is information from related arts, about family resources, and meals, and messages from the principal, assistant principal, and school counselor. Please take advantage of these resources, as they will help make this experience so much smoother and more manageable.

If your student is in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade, they participated in an online live webinar with Melissa Straub about digital citizenship and online safety this morning. There is also a live parent webinar (not appropriate for students) offered this afternoon, April 1 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm that we highly recommend you join if you are available. This webinar will be recorded and will be available for you to view later if you are unable to make it. We will provide you with the link once it is available. You can register for the parent webinar here.

Next week (April 6th – 12th)
Spring break! No assignments for students or class meetings. We are encouraging our teachers and students to take a break from school and spend some time regrouping, resting and enjoying some time away from screens. I hope you are able to do that as well.

First week after spring break (April 13th – 17th)
This begins phase three of our school closure plan. Students will still have some daily assignments, but we will not be doing each subject everyday. We will begin recording virtual lessons and conducting small group live check-ins with students. This week will be focused on teaching routines, procedures and expectations that will allow us to successfully teach and assess new content in a digital format moving forward.

April 20th and beyond
This is phase four of our school closure plan. During this phase students will be engaged in learning new content via pre-recorded lessons and small group live check-ins. Mondays and Thursdays will be literacy days, where our the focus is reading and writing instruction. Tuesdays and Fridays will be focused on math and social studies/science. Wednesdays will be a review/catch up day for students and a meeting day for teachers. Student work will become more in depth and the level of direct teacher support will increase. You can expect students to have more of a set schedule with structured/scheduled video calls. Student attendance will continue to be recorded and reported in Infinite Campus. Your child’s participation is always important. More information on this will be after spring break; we just want you to be aware that this is where we are headed.

I understand that this is a lot of information. We are all doing our best to make this plan work for us all. Please reach out to your teachers if your student (or you) is struggling with all of this. We have a team of people ready to support you! Let us know if you have questions, but rest assured that more information about what to expect after spring break is coming.

I am wishing you well,

Lara