Letter from Lara Zelski – August 28, 2019

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

Remember, Curriculum Night is tonight. The schedule was designed to allow families with students in more than one grade level to attend each grade level’s discussion. Additionally, it provides time for everyone to learn more about our related arts curricula, meet our support teachers and learn more about what they are doing to support teaching and learning each day. If you only have one student at ANCS, you only need to attend one of the classroom sessions. If you reserved a space for childcare, you should drop your child off in the cafeteria prior to going to a classroom session. Please remember that this is not a time for an individual conference. Conferences will begin in mid-September. We hope to see you tonight! The schedule is as follows:

  • 5:30-6:15 – classroom session one
  • 6:15-6:45 – Related arts and Support Teachers – in auditorium
  • 6:45-7:30 – classroom session two

We all know that getting to school on time and having regular attendance is important in all schools and it is especially important in schools like ANCS where it is virtually impossible to recreate the learning that takes place in the classroom due to our hands-on, interactive curriculum. We cannot simply create a packet of work that will equal the teaching and learning that takes place each day at school.

Additionally and more importantly, a growing and compelling body of research demonstrates that chronic absence from school – typically defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days in a year for any reason, excused or unexcused – is a primary cause of low academic achievement and a powerful predictor of which students will eventually drop out of school. For example, children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school. By high school, attendance is a better predictor of school dropout than test scores.

We are asking you to make every effort to have your student at school each day and on time for morning meeting by 8:00 am at the latest. We do understand that if your child is ill, they will stay home until they are healthy enough to attend school. We are not asking you to send your child to school sick. We are asking for you to schedule family vacations based on breaks that are already on the school calendar. It is also helpful if you schedule appointments for your child on Wednesdays after the early dismissal if at all possible. We want your child at school so he/she can be actively engaged in the learning process and take full advantage of all ANCS has to offer each day.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and willingness to assist us with this matter. As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.