Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Kentucky Department of Public Health

Kentucky Covid-19 Resources and Information 

COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-722-5725

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Covid-19 Resources and Information

Questions: 800-232-4636


In-School Instruction Scheduled to Resume January 11, 2021 (Update December 8, 2020)

In response to concerns related to the incidence rate of COVID-19 in our region; please be advised that the School Board shifted the restart of our In-School Learning Model (face-to-face instruction) to Monday, January 11, 2021.  Students will continue to learn via NTI through December 18, 2020 as well as after December break, from January 4, 2021 through January 8, 2021.  While the situation is fluid, as we await to learn if there will be further Executive Orders issued by Governor Beshear, our current plan is to welcome our students back to our In-School Learning Model on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Focus Fridays

Beginning Friday, January 15, 2021, APS will resume Focus Fridays, which were suspended when we transitioned to NTI.  As a reminder, on Fridays, students learn from home instead of attending class in-person.  Our Focus Fridays were implemented as part of our school district’s comprehensive plan to respond to the emotional needs of our students and to the work demands being placed on our staff with the increasing incidence levels of COVID-19 in our region.  

 

We believe that providing students an opportunity to learn at home on Fridays, with school supports, in a less regimented environment than they are experiencing during the in-person school day, supports their emotional well-being during a period in our history that has proven stressful on all sectors, from business and industry, to education, to family units, and especially to one of our most vulnerable populations, our children.  Allowing students a more relaxed learning day, free from wearing masks and frequent reminders to sanitize and socially distance, allows for a greater focus on learning on Fridays, with less talk and emphasis on COVID-19 related safety measures.

 

On Focus Fridays, our Virtual APS (3-8), Virtual APS (K-2) and In-School Learning Model students are required to join a morning meeting with their homeroom teacher.  During the day students access asynchronous assignments for their courses in their Google Classroom and are expected to complete previously assigned lessons that extend into Friday.  If students need assistance or feedback on an assignment, they may be asked to join their teacher online for a small group breakout.  Teachers dedicate one-hour of their day in direct communications with students and/or parents that have questions, concerns or that need additional support.

 

Focus Fridays provide instructional staff time to devote to planning, training, collaborating and preparing (digitize content/organize lessons).  Support staff are engaged in deep cleaning the school, improving communication response with stakeholders, and ensuring processes and structures are in place to support both our in-person and at-home programs.

Virtual APS Enrollment Information

With the shift on November 23, 2020 from our In-School Learning Model to NTI, our students that were enrolled in our Virtual APS (K-2) and Virtual APS (3-8) Models likewise shifted to NTI.  On January 11, when we return, unless we hear otherwise from parents, we will make plans for students enrolled in those programs through the end of the school year to shift back to the Virtual APS Learning Models.  We ask parents that had children enrolled until a date in January to re-enroll their child if they would like their child to shift to Virtual APS when our In-School Learning Model resumes.  We are pleased to share that our Virtual APS Models will continue to be available to newly enrolling families and to students that may find themselves quarantined due to sustained close proximity contact with an individual with COVID-19.  Parents can enroll their child in the Virtual APS Model on a short or long-term basis by emailing Adrienn Carman, using the subject line, “Virtual APS” at adrienn.carman@anchorage.kyschools.us.  In the email, please include your child’s grade level, current homeroom teacher, requested start date and anticipated end date.  Please email no later than noon on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, if based on current conditions you would like your child enrolled in the program beginning Monday, January 11.

 

Suspension of Face-to-Face Instruction Begins Monday, November 23, 2020 (Update November 20, 2020)

As shared in our School News yesterday, in alignment with the Executive Order (EO) outlined by Governor Beshear Wednesday afternoon, APS will shift to virtual instruction Monday, November 23, 2020 through December 18, 2020.  The current order allows for a return to in-person instruction on January 4, 2021, after our December break.

If the COVID-19 incidence rate in our county changes or guidance is revised that allows for consideration of in-person learning prior to January 4th, we will provide updated information at that time. 

The governor’s EO has the force and effect of law. Therefore, all Kentucky school districts are required to comply with all provisions of any EO applicable to school districts. 

Below we have assembled information that we hope will be helpful to our families during this transition to NTI.  Please do not hesitate to contact our school at 245-2121 or our district office at 245-8927 if you have questions or if we can be of assistance.

NTI Program Structure

The structure of our NTI Program will be similar to what was delivered in the fall, but is also responsive to survey feedback we received from parents in October, 2020, at the conclusion of the NTI we delivered from August 25, 2020 through September 25, 2020.

Students currently enrolled in our In-School Learning Model, Virtual APS (3-8) and Virtual APS (K-2), can expect to be online Monday through Friday and will receive a blending of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  Focus Fridays will be eliminated until we return to face-to-face instruction, though Fridays may look a bit different for students in response to parent and staff feedback.

If your student is currently enrolled in the APS Virtual K-2, they will rejoin their homeroom class and teacher.

When the need arises for students to receive in-person individual or small-group evaluation or other services, in compliance with KDE guidance referenced in Governor Beshear’s Executive Order, staff members will reach out to parents with details.

Daily Learning Plans Begin Monday, November 23, 2020

As our learning model shifts from In-Person Learning, to Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI), students will receive a Daily Learning Plan (DLP) for each school day; the DLPs will be posted the night before by 5:00 p.m. The Daily Learning Plans will be on the Anchorage website www.anchorage-school.org  on the home page link for NTI 2020-2021. The DLPs will contain multiple pages and the Essential Art assignments will be found on your grade-level DLP, which means you only need to access one DLP for core class and EA class assignments. 

APS Lunch Available During NTI

We are happy to share with families that beginning on Monday, November 23rd, lunches will be available for pickup between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day.  If you would like a lunch for your students, or other family members, please place an order at the following link by 11:59 p.m. the evening prior:  APS School Lunch Order Form.  On each daily menu, you must choose at least one item, out of at least three categories, and one must be a fruit or vegetable.  You may choose any number of fruits or vegetables.  In order to be state compliant, if a fruit or vegetable is not chosen one will be chosen for you. The cost is $4.00 for kindergarten through 5th grade students, $4.25 for middle school students and $4.50 for non-students.  At the link you will find lunch options updated each day, as well as directions for ordering. 

Please note the following pick up directions:

To pick up lunches ring the doorbell to the kitchen door located to the right of the cafeteria doors.  There will be signs posted to help direct you to the kitchen door.  For assistance, please call 502-550-4466.

Upon ringing the doorbell a staff member will greet you.  Please announce all student names in order that staff will be able to collect the prepared lunches for you.

No payment will be taken at time of pickup.  You may send in a check or pay for lunches through your child’s MySchoolBucks account.

Please be advised that current health guidelines prohibit those that are picking up lunch from eating it on school grounds.  For assistance with any aspects of our school lunch program please contact School Food Service Director Sue Bierens at sue.bierens@anchorage.kyschools.us.

Positive Test Results Need To Be Reported To School During NTI 

Under new regulation, all parents and guardians are required to report to the child’s school if their child tests positive for COVID-19. If this happens, even when a student is in Virtual or NTI instruction, please call the school ASAP and ask to speak with Adrienn Carman, school secretary, or if she is unavailable, please speak with Nurse Misty Killinder. Positive reports need to be made with a live person – please do not leave the message on a voicemail.  

Should a positive test occur over a weekend or on a day that there is no school, please contact Superintendent Kelley Ransdell at 502-303-1415. 

At the conclusion of the phone call you will be sent an email receipt of your report as your verification that you have met the legal obligation of making the report.  Please know your name will remain confidential, but the school needs this information to report the positive case, as well as use for contact tracing to determine if other students will need to quarantine. When you call, you will be asked some questions to help APS advise the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Department (LMPHW) to assist in contact-tracing efforts.

At the K-12 School Public Health Report link on our website, our school families can find information related to the number of students and staff from our school district that have tested positive for COVID-19.  The quarantined students and staff information is in reference to those that have been quarantined due to contact within, but not outside of school.

Student Wellness Check Must Be Completed By Parents before Any Visit to School Campus

Per Team Kentucky Healthy at School Guidelines, when students come to the school campus for any reason, including to pick up learning packets, books or a lunch, it is required for parents to ensure that an adult caregiver conducts a Daily Wellness Check  for each of their students prior to allowing students to come to school.  At the beginning of the school year we asked all parents to sign a form attesting that they would do so, thus as we transition to NTI, we just want to remind parents that the Wellness Check is required for any type of visit to the school campus.

Please note there is no daily submission of the wellness check; however, if any answers to these questions are “yes”, please keep your child home.  If a student is on campus for individualized or small group services, temperatures will be taken and a wellness check completed once the student arrives on campus.

Please note that from time to time, the Daily Wellness Check questions are updated by the state of Kentucky and the hotspot states are subject to change even daily.  The most current Daily Wellness Check questions are posted on our website on a prominent Daily Wellness Check link that parents can bookmark to their smartphone and access easily. Our goal is to make this process as easy for parents as possible.  Each time the questions are revised in the Team Kentucky Healthy at Schools Guidance, or that the hotspot states change, we will update the questions on our website.  We will not notify parents via the School News each time the hotspot states are updated, since that occurs so frequently, however we will notify parents via the School News when the other questions change.  Please keep in mind, international travel was added to the list for travel that requires a 14-day quarantine from school campus.

Athletic Field and Playground Closed Effective November 23, 2020, Per Healthy at School Guidelines

The KDE Healthy at School Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools, which schools must follow per Governor Beshear’s Executive Order, includes the following restrictions related to use of school playgrounds and social spaces:

Avoid Providing Access to Playgrounds or Social Spaces

Access to all social spaces, such as playgrounds, communal gathering spaces and football stadiums, should be restricted during in-person activities. These activities should be structured to move groups swiftly through the building and avoid lingering.  

In compliance with the Executive Order, beginning Monday, November 23, 2020, the athletic field, playground, and all other indoor and outdoor spaces at Anchorage School will be restricted to use.  We are hopeful that our county and state COVID-19 incidence rates will decrease swiftly in order that we will be able to provide access once again to our facilities.

Anchorage Tech Support

During NTI, if your child is experiencing technology issues, they should restart their Chromebook to see if it resolves the issue.  If they have restarted their Chromebook and still have issues, the parent or student may send a text to 502-209-7661, which will be staffed by one of our technology experts.

When sending the text, please provide the student’s name and grade level, then briefly describe the issue:

Can’t Login, No Sound, Issue with a Program-please provide the name of the program.

Also let us know the best way to contact you: text, phone call, email or a virtual meeting.

Someone from our technology team will respond to your request. Using the tech support option, rather than reaching out to your child’s teacher, will allow for a more rapid resolution of the issue, and will minimize disruption of instruction for the other students.

Pick-Up of Learning Materials

Teachers will notify students if there are items that need to be picked up.  Please plan to pick up these materials at your convenience outside the district office following the precautions listed below:

·         If another parent or student is picking up material, please wear a mask and keep a distance greater than 10 feet just to be safe and wait your turn to pick up your materials.

·         We encourage you to use the provided hand-sanitizing station prior to retrieving your packet(s) from the box.

·         We encourage you to spray off packets with disinfectant before bringing them into your home.

APS is Here for You

During this ever-changing situation, it is extremely common for adults and children to experience anxiety related to the many effects of this pandemic.  Please remember that your Student Support Team (Sara Wiles and Missy Niedert) is here for you!  If you would like a member of our counseling staff to meet with your child, please use the Counseling Referral Form or contact them via email (sara.wiles@anchorage.kyschools.us and missy.niedert@anchorage.kyschools.us). 

 

Message to Anchorage School Families (2020-2021 Non-Traditional Instruction Learning Model; Updated August 14, 2020)

Anchorage Families, 

Thank you so much for your patience as I know you have been eager to learn how APS will deliver Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) in the fall of 2020.  The school website now includes detailed information regarding the Non-Traditional Instruction Learning Model.  Reading this information will answer many of your questions; for those questions that remain, please utilize the Submit a Question feature provided on the website.

In addition to the information on the website, I want to highlight changes in the schedule that will be implemented during NTI .  

First, our NTI schedule has been adjusted from last year to incorporate more synchronous instruction (live instruction via Google Meet); asynchronous instruction (online instruction but independent of the teacher) will also be provided for students when appropriate.

Second, a significant change to our NTI Schedule is that we will not offer a Wellness Wednesday.  By ending each school day early (core instruction ends by 1:45 at the latest each day), we have created a time for students to step away from the screen.  This also allows an extended period of time for teachers to work with students one-one one, meet with parents or dive into planning and grading.  This shortened school day is in addition to a 60 minute school-wide lunch and physical activity break.  We have also built in time for students to engage with Essential Arts teachers once a week. We  believe that following a schedule that more closely mimics our In-School Learning model will allow for an easier transition when we return to campus. Links to each grade level schedule are included at the end of this message.  

Information pertinent to the start of the school year is detailed below. 

Meet the Teacher  

Links to a Signup Genius for each homeroom teacher are available at the end of this message.  Please make an appointment to Meet your Teacher!

At the meeting you will:

  • Meet your child’s homeroom teacher
  • Become familiar with the classroom – students can even find their seat!
  • Leave supplies the teacher has requested as well as pick up materials the teacher may want your child to have at home.
  • Enter the school building using directions that will be sent out prior to the Meet Your Teacher event. 
  • Be asked to follow COVID-19 safety procedures. (Please note the school will have specific protocol to follow which includes a temperature check upon entrance, COVID-19 wellness questions to respond to, specific entry and exit points, and mandatory mask requirements for all family members attending.  Additionally, the visit is limited to immediate family members only and building access is limited to the scheduled time and classroom area only.)  

Please note that families that would prefer to set up a virtual visit with their child’s teacher should email Ms. Haile (kelly.haile@anchorage.kyschools.us).  Alternate Chromebook pickup procedures will be emailed to these families.

Chromebook Distribution

  1. It is to our students’ advantage to use the school-issued Chromebook, especially our youngest students. Chromebooks will be ready for pick up at the Meet your Teacher event.  
  2. To prepare students for non-traditional instruction, teachers will:
  • Guide students to log on –  confirming username and password.
  • Provide quick tips for Chromebook use
  1. Chromebook contracts for grades K-5 will be available in homerooms upon retrieval. Contracts must be signed before a chromebook is issued. A link to the contract is provided here for reading prior to arrival. This will help maximize the meet and greet time if the contract is read before the meeting. 

The faculty and staff could not be more eager to begin the school year – regardless of the learning model in use.  We are simple READY for our Anchors to sail into this new year along with us!

NTI:  Grade Level Schedules

Kindergarten

3rd Grade

6th Grade

1st Grade

4th Grade

7th Grade

2nd Grade

5th Grade

8th Grade

Meet the Teacher:  Schedule an Appointment

Kindergarten

Ms. Breetz

Ms. Flannery

Ms. VanNevel

3rd Grade

Ms. Bixler

Ms. Liford

Ms. Stuart

6th Grade

Gomez

Sangster

Sloan

Wooldridge

1st Grade

Elder

Thornton

4th Grade

Campbell

Holt

Robinette

7th Grade

Fisher

Lamoreux

Wilson

2nd Grade

Babey

Hafling

Hall

5th Grade

Broyles

Jones

Just

8th Grade

Crouch

Johnston

VanKlompenberg

 

Message to Anchorage School Families (2020-2021 School Calendar Revision; Updated July 27, 2020)

At a press conference yesterday, July 27, 2020, Governor Beshear announced the recommendation that no in-person classes should occur until on or after August 17, 2020.  He explained that this recommendation is being made because Kentucky continues to see a rise in case positive percentages due to asymptomatic spread and we have not yet realized a reduction in daily positive cases from other mitigation strategies. 

At their July 27, 2020 meeting, the Anchorage Independent School Board approved a revised 2020-2021 school calendar in order to be in compliance with the changing state requirements for Kentucky school districts. To access the revised school calendar please visit the Anchorage Public School webpage at www.anchorage-school.org, and click on “Parents”/”Calendar 2020-2021”.  Some highlights of the revised calendar are as follows: 

  • The first day for students will be Tuesday, August 25, 2020
  • The last day for students will be Friday, May 28, 2021
  • Our eighth grade graduation celebration is tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 28, 2021

I know we all hope there is a decrease in positive COVID-19 cases to allow for schools to provide the option of in-person instruction on or after the date established by Governor Beshear.  By pushing our start date a few days after the earliest possible date to hold in-person classes, we hope to avoid beginning the year with non-traditional instruction.  We miss seeing our students, teaching our students in-person, and hearing their laughter in our hallways.

Just a reminder, Anchorage Independent School District’s 2020-2021 Return to School Plan can be found here.  We are revising our plan in response to this most recent calendar change and will have those revisions complete soon.  All aspects remain unchanged, with the exception of dates influenced by the new calendar.  We are additionally making needed revisions to our Back-to-School E-Packet which families will receive this week.

Please keep in mind, our current plan is based on current state requirements and guidance; however, the plan is fluid and subject to continued change as new guidance is received from the state.  

We appreciate your patience with the changes to our plans and want you to know that with each change our excitement is only growing for the start of the new school year.  Each decision we have made has been grounded in what is best for our students.  Our goal throughout the summer has remained steadfast and is to not just get through this public health emergency but to continue to provide the best learning and school experiences possible for our students.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell

Message to Anchorage School Families
(Updated July 13, 2020)

Dear Anchorage School Families,

We are excited to release Anchorage Independent School District’s 2020-2021 Return to School Plan which can be found here.  This evening it will be posted on our school’s webpage as well.  In the plan you will find you have two Learning Model options for your child.  An At-Home Learning Model and an In-School Learning Model.  We appreciate all the parent responses to our June survey which helped to inform the development of our plan and these options.

Please keep in mind, the plan is based on current state requirements and guidance, however the plan will be fluid and is subject to change as further guidance is received from the state.

There is a lot of information for our families to study, so I am keeping this communication brief.  Students returning to the In-School Learning Model will find many improvements that are aimed at helping to protect the health and safety of our staff and students.  Those improvements include the following:

  • Over 145 new desks to replace shared tables
  • Over 50 new portable tables to provide spacing during lunch
  • All classroom desks spaced at least 6’ apart and facing the same direction
  • Individual clear lightweight portable desk sneeze guards
  • Faucets, soap dispensers, towel dispensers and toilets are all touchless
  • Foot pulls on compatible doors
  • School-themed floor stickers to provide a visual of 6’ spacing
  • Thermal-scan thermometer checks upon arrival
  • Daytime housekeeper performing hourly disinfection of commonly-touched surfaces and restrooms
  • Three additional water bottle fillers
  • Modifications of HVAC system to increase fresh air exchange
  • Additional touchless hand-sanitizing stations throughout the school
  • Increased use of outdoor areas when weather permits

After you review the plan and related information, please submit a Learning Intent Form for your child as soon as you have made a decision, but no later than July 25, 2020.  We are providing as wide a window as possible for parents to make decisions, but hope that many families will be able to respond more quickly as it will provide us more time to make plans for your child.

With all the uncertainties we are facing, your school team remains focused on our primary mission, which is to unite with the Anchorage community to equip all students with the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and mindset that will inspire and empower them to make a positive impact on their community and world.  Each decision we have made has been grounded in what is best for our students.  Our goal is to not just get through this public health emergency but to continue to provide the best learning and school experiences possible for our students.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell

Message to Anchorage School Families
(Updated June 26, 2020)

At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Beshear discussed highly anticipated guidance for schools and districts on how to safely reopen for the upcoming school year amid the ongoing pandemic.  The Team Kentucky Healthy-at-School Guidance can be found here.

The guidance addresses multiple areas, such as mask wearing, social distancing, wellness screening and sanitation.

With the guidance now in hand, we are working to finalize our APS Return-to-School plans and look forward to releasing those to parents in the coming weeks.   We are certainly blessed by many advantages that will make our transition to reopen school easier, such as small class sizes, a full-time school nurse and school counselor on staff, and a well-equipped custodial department.  Our large classrooms coupled with small class sizes will afford students many opportunities to be relieved of wearing a mask, while still adhering to the expectations included in the state guidance for Kentucky schools.


Message to Anchorage School Families
June 12, 2020

Dear Anchorage School Families,

In a press conference this week, Governor Beshear announced that the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) will be working with leadership from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to finalize “Healthy at School” guidelines which should be released soon.  School districts across the state are anxiously awaiting the “Healthy at School” guidelines, just as we know parents are anxiously awaiting information from schools.  You can find more information about the work of the state task force here.

Because our school district has not yet received the state guidance, we have not yet been able to make decisions related to next school year.  The decisions we make as a Kentucky public school district regarding returning to school must align with the “Healthy at School” guidance, so while some decisions will be in local control, there will be guidelines that we must follow.  Although it may be frustrating for all of us, any decisions made about the future are subject to continued change as this public health emergency evolves.

Given the “Healthy at School” guidelines have not yet been released, we ask our school community to continue to be patient, and to understand that upon receipt of the guidance it will take time for our district to apply it to our situation.  As we continue to move through summer break, our school community will see dates of events begin to roll out, but they too are tentative and subject to change as guidance is released and as COVID-19 transmission rates and treatments change. 

I do want to assure our families however, that as we plan for an unknown future that has forced so much change and uncertainty on us, we will be working as a school district to retain as much consistency next school year as circumstances will allow, while making adjustments as needed to help protect the health and safety of our students and staff.  We are certainly blessed by many advantages that will make our transition to in-person classes easier, such as small class sizes, a full-time school nurse and school counselor on staff, and a well-equipped custodial department.  Our goal is to not just get through this public health emergency, but to continue to provide the best learning and school experiences for our students.  

While we wait for the guidance, we are not remaining idle and are hard at work planning for next school year.  For example, we are developing plans and making purchases to address issues that we believe will be certainties, such as the following:

  • Maximizing distance between classroom desks
  • Installing Plexiglas where needed to add a layer of protection for students and staff
  • Establishing structures to support the state contact tracing program
    • Creating non-congregate schedules that eliminate, to the extent possible, close sustained proximity between students that are not in the same grade level
    • Revising school arrival and dismissal procedures
    • Revising school lunch procedures that allow for interaction between students in the same grade level, but that minimize between grade level interaction between students
  • Establishing procedures for staff and students to wear masks in common areas
    • Thus far, we have not received guidance that masks will be mandatory for students when they are in their classroom setting.  State health officials agree with superintendents that it would be difficult for a student to wear a mask all day and that it is not in the best interest of their health to do so.  The guidance has been clear however that students without a preventing health condition will be asked to wear masks if they are on a bus for a field trip, walking in the hallways when arriving to school, dismissing from school, or walking in a common area such as when they go to the restroom, etc.  State health officials have confirmed that cloth masks will be acceptable.  We are awaiting a definitive answer about the clear face shield masks.
  • Establishing a schedule that honors the need for students to have time to play outdoors when weather permits
  • Reviewing staff and parent feedback on NTI in order to provide equipment, resources and training needed to continue to improve our distance learning program in the event that we must revert to that model for some period of time

With all the uncertainties we are facing, the school remains focused on our primary mission, which is to unite with the Anchorage community to equip all students with the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and mindset that will inspire and empower them to make a positive impact on their community and world.  Each decision we make will be grounded in what is best for our students. 

In the coming weeks we look forward to releasing more specific information.  In the meantime, we hope that our families find time to enjoy the three R’s of summer…reading, relaxing and renewing.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell


Message to Anchorage School Families (Updated May 22, 2020)

On this last day of classes, I want to reach out to all of our families to express my appreciation for your tremendous support of our students and school community.  We have missed our hallways and classrooms being filled with students, but as I have shared before, I believe the extraordinary efforts of our staff, parents and students to support one another, and to carry on with excellence in the face of adversity, is a tremendous life lesson for our students, and one that will positively impact their attitudes and approaches to the many life challenges they will face in the years to come.

Now that the school year has ended, I hope each of you will have a chance to take a deep breath and to relax, even if just over the weekend.  I also hope that our students will all have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors this weekend and that they will carry with them a sense of accomplishment for completing their studies despite the challenges.  Please share with your children how proud we each are of how quickly they adapted to the new technologies and new circumstances.

As we look toward the 2020-2021 school year, I know there are still many unanswered questions.   Please be assured however, we are planning to be back in school for the fall, but at the same time are planning for whatever may develop.  Kentucky Department of Education Interim Commissioner Kevin Brown is asking all public school districts to create contingency plans and we are rising to that challenge.  I have attached a letter from Interim Commissioner Brown to public school families in the event that you have not seen his communication. 

As we plan for an unknown future that has forced so much change and uncertainty on our families, we will be working as a school district to retain as much consistency next school year as circumstances will allow, while making adjustments as needed to help protect the health and safety of our students and staff.  We are certainly blessed by many advantages that will make our transition to in-person classes easier, such as small class sizes, a full-time school nurse and school counselor on staff, and a well-equipped custodial department. 

After you have had a chance to celebrate the end of the school year with your children and have found some well-deserved time to rest and relax, please consider the summer learning opportunities that we are making available to our students.  You can find information about those opportunities at the following link:  https://anchorage-school.org/summer-2020-learning-opportunities/.  Also, keep in mind, it is likely that many adults and children will continue to experience anxiety related to the effects of this pandemic. If you or your child begin experiencing emotions that are overwhelming, you should reach out to a mental health practitioner. Your health insurance plan may recommend certain telehealth providers or counselors/psychologists that you can connect with over the phone or via teleconference.  In addition, a variety of mental health resources are available on our website under the APS Response to COVID-19 link. 

I will continue to be committed over the summer to keeping you informed, so please be sure to watch your inbox for information from the school.  If over the summer you have questions that arise, please contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.  Those with an urgent need can contact me after business hours at (502) 303-1415.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell


Revised 2019-2020 School Calendar (Updated April 21, 2020)

I am grateful to be a member of this school community that has worked together and risen to the challenge that we have been presented.  Together we have reshaped how our students are provided instruction, while simultaneously working toward the larger goal of ensuring that we all remain healthy.  I know as a school we have not been perfect, but the hard work, patience, flexibility, dedication and positivity I have witnessed from our entire school community has been heart-warming.  I am most proud of the many efforts our staff, parents and students have made to support one another, which is a life lesson and experience our children will never forget. 

I understand and appreciate that for many, non-traditional instruction (NTI) fatigue is being reported from students, teachers and parents, not only in our district but across the state. However, students, teachers and parents are also reporting learning success using NTI, and I believe that the continued learning, purposeful projects and assignments, and interactions with school staff and peers are beneficial and healthy for our students during this time that they must be socially distanced from those outside their immediate family.  I hope that our Wellness Wednesdays, which provide optional opportunities for students to engage in essential arts or choice board activities, as well as a time to “catch up” or to connect to their core content teachers for individualized assistance, are helping to combat NTI fatigue.  Our teachers and support staff continue to work hard to be flexible and to follow the NTI Best Practices promoted by the Kentucky Department of Education, which include the following: 

Focus more on feedback to students and not simply on grades

  • Minimize “synchronous” on-line meetings. In other words, don’t make all your digital interactions with students group interactions and don’t require them to occur at a specific time
  • Individual Check-Ins “Are you ok?”
  • Modify the program when we recognize something isn’t working
  • Provide paper packets when needed by a family
  • Implement a “one size does not fit all” approach
  • Simplify instructions for assignments
  • Social/Emotional Learning is key
  • Offering grace

Despite the best practices we have employed, NTI fatigue is real and motivated me to propose a revised school calendar to the Board of Education last night, April 20, 2020.  During the meeting the School Board approved a revised 2019-2020 school calendar. To access the revised school calendar please visit the Anchorage Public School webpage at www.anchorage-school.org, and click on “Parents”/”Calendar 2019-2020”.  Some highlights of the revised calendar are as follows: 

  • There will be school on Friday, May 1, 2020 since the Kentucky Oaks has been rescheduled for September 4, 2020
  • The last day for students will be Friday, May 22, 2020
  • Our eighth grade graduation celebration will still be held Thursday, May 28, 2020

With regards to Kentucky Public School calendar requirements, yesterday, Governor Beshear and Interim Commissioner of Education Kevin Brown shared that unless extraordinary circumstances, logistical hardships or intervening public health concerns exist, all districts will still be required to achieve 1,062 hours of instruction for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Historically, in addition to the 1,062 instructional hours requirement, Kentucky has required public school districts to spread that instruction over a minimum of 170 days, however for the 2019-2020 school year, the 170-day minimum requirement has been waived by the state.  In keeping with our commitment to educating our students, our amended instructional calendar contains the 170-day historic minimum and exceeds the 1,062 hours requirement by 40.17 hours.

If you have questions regarding our revised calendar, or are unclear on how the pass/fail option works for your 3rd through 8th grade student, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us.  I look forward to our school community finishing the year strong and can’t wait until our Anchors are able to return to school to fill our classrooms and hallways with their energy and laughter.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell


Suspension of Face-to-Face Classes Extended through the End of 2019-2020 School Year (Updated April 20, 2020)

Each day we are apart from our Anchors, we miss them more and more, which makes this information even more difficult to share with our families.

I am emailing to let you know that this afternoon, in a conference call with Governor Beshear, school districts were asked to extend the suspension of face-to-face classes through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.  Anchorage School will continue to join in the efforts by our state to “flatten the curve” and protect our citizens by extending our suspension of face-to-face classes through the end of our school year.  

While all activities sponsored by the school district will be in keeping with CDC and state health guidelines, we are committed to providing an alternate opportunity for our 8th graders to be recognized in a graduation celebration. In the coming days, information will be shared with parents of our 8th graders.

Please be mindful that during our suspension of face-to-face classes all extracurricular activities, athletic events, and all school and community activities scheduled to be held at our school, will continue to be canceled. Our playground and athletic field will also continue to be closed to public use.  We look forward to eventually easing these restrictions when Governor Beshear and state health officials determine it is safe to do so.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind our families that during this ever-changing situation, it is extremely common for adults and children to experience anxiety related to the many effects of this pandemic. Keep in mind, if you would like our school counselor, Sara Wiles, to connect with your child via a phone call or Google Meet, you can reach out to her at sara.wiles@anchorage.kyschools.us. If the emotions you or your child are experiencing are overwhelming, you should reach out to a mental health practitioner. Your health insurance plan may recommend certain telehealth providers or counselors/psychologists that you can connect with over the phone or via teleconference.  In addition, a variety of mental health resources are available on our website under the APS Response to COVID-19 link on the listed Kentucky of Public Health web site.

Thank you to each and every member of our school community for the tremendous efforts you are making to provide our students emotional support, virtual interaction with their teachers and peers and continued instruction.  While social distancing isn’t easy, it is vitally important that we all follow the CDC recommendations in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.   For the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky, please visit:  www.kycovid19.ky.gov

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, you can call the Kentucky Department of Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725 and you will be directed to someone who can help.  Related guidance can be found on their website at www.kycovid19.ky.gov

We appreciate your understanding and patience and will continue to provide updates.  Families with concerns should contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.  Those with an urgent need can contact me after business hours at (502) 303-1415.

 

Take care,

Kelley Ransdell


Suspension of Face-to-Face Classes Extended through May 3, 2020 (Updated April 2, 2020)

Each day we are apart from our Anchors, we miss them more and more.  The entire staff is looking forward to the eventual return of our students and all the joy and laughter that will fill our hallways, as well as our hearts. 

I am emailing to let you know that this afternoon, in a conference call with Governor Beshear, school districts were asked to extend the suspension of face-to-face classes through May 3, 2020, with school tentatively reopening to face-to-face classes on May 4, 2020.   Anchorage School will continue to join in the efforts by our state to “flatten the curve” and protect our citizens by extending our suspension of face-to-face classes through May 3, 2020.  Please be advised that there is a possibility that the closure may be extended beyond May 3, 2020. Regardless of the date of our return, 8th grade students will have an opportunity to be recognized in a graduation celebration that is in keeping with CDC recommendations.  During our suspension of face-to-face classes all extracurricular activities, athletic events, and all school and community activities scheduled to be held at our school, will continue to be canceled. Our playground and athletic field will also continue to be closed to public use.  

I would like to take this opportunity to remind our families that during this ever-changing situation, it is extremely common for adults and children to experience anxiety related to the many effects of this pandemic.    Keep in mind, if you would like our school counselor, Sara Wiles, to connect with your child via a phone call or Google Meet, you can reach out to her at sara.wiles@anchorage.kyschools.us.  If the emotions you or your child are experiencing are overwhelming, you should reach out to a mental health practitioner. Your health insurance plan may recommend certain telehealth providers or counselors/psychologists you can connect with over the phone or via teleconference.  In addition, a variety of mental health resources are available on our website under the APS Response to COVID-19 link on the listed Kentucky of Public Health web site.

Thank you to each and every member of our school community for all the tremendous efforts you are making to provide our students emotional support, virtual interaction with their teachers and peers, and continued instruction.  While social distancing is not easy, it is vitally important that we all follow the CDC recommendations in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.   For the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky, please visit:  www.kycovid19.ky.gov

Remember, to help stay healthy, at this time, the Centers for Disease Control recommends:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people (maximize social distancing).
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  
  • If you are sick, wear a facemask if you are around other people sharing a room or vehicle and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 you can call the Kentucky Department of Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725 and you will be directed to someone who can help.  Related guidance can be found on their website at www.kycovid19.ky.gov

We appreciate your understanding and patience and will continue to provide updates.  Families with concerns should contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.  Those with an urgent need can contact me after business hours at (502) 303-1415.

Take care,
Kelley Ransdell


Suspension of Face-to-Face Classes Extended through April 19, 2020

(updated March 20, 2020)

We have missed having your children at school so much this week! Each time I see a family walking outside it warms my heart as it gives me an opportunity to “yell” a hello from a distance and to ask the students how they are doing. 

I am emailing to let you know that this afternoon, in a conference call with Governor Beshear, school districts were asked to extend the suspension of face-to-face classes through April 19, 2020, with school tentatively reopening to face-to-face classes on April 20, 2020.   To join in the efforts by our state to “flatten the curve” and protect our citizens, Anchorage School will be extending our suspension of face-to-face classes through April 19, 2020.  Please be advised that there is a possibility that the closure may be extended beyond April 19, 2020.  During this time period, all extracurricular activities, athletic events, and all school and community activities scheduled to be held at our school, are canceled.  Our custodial staff will be continuing their work to deep clean our school to make sure we are ready to open when Governor Beshear determines that it is safe for us to do so.

I am grateful for the tremendous work our parents and teachers are doing to provide our students the best distance-learning experience possible.  Our school team is continuing to learn how to best meet the needs of our families in our distance-learning efforts and will continue to make changes as we learn how to better meet the needs of our students and families.  I applaud our staff, as we continue to hear from parents that the best instruction their students are receiving is through the videos and Google Meets that are provided directly by our teachers.  What a testament to the expertise of our teachers that our students prefer instruction of our own teachers over that of the host of software programs and professional videos which we can access as resources!

Remember, March 30, 2020 through April 3, 2020 is still our spring break!!  We are asking our students, teachers and parents to unplug from school-related email and instruction during this period, as it will provide a well-deserved and much-needed opportunity for everyone to relax a little more and focus on their family.

The safety of our school community during this state emergency is our top priority. It is our hope that by taking these measures now, we can limit exposure to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  For the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky, please visit:  www.kycovid19.ky.gov

Remember, to help stay healthy, the Centers for Disease Control recommends:

·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick (fever, cough, sneeze, and difficulty breathing).

·         Avoid close contact, stay at least 6 feet away from others.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

·         Stay home when you are sick.

·         Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. To avoid coughing into your hands, you can cough into your elbow.

·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

·         If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

·         CDC states that wearing a facemask will not protect the general public from COVID-19.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, guidance can be found at the following link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html.  If you have a COVID-19 question or concern, you can dial the Kentucky Department of Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725 and you will be directed to someone who can help. 

We appreciate your understanding and patience and will continue to provide updates.  Families with concerns should contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.

Kelley Ransdell


Anchorage Public School Closure Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 (updated March 12, 2020)

Dear  School Community,

Yesterday, in a conference call with Governor Beshear, we learned that we should be ready to close school as early as Monday, March 16, 2020.  This morning we participated in a webinar that included representatives from various health agencies in Kentucky and learned more about the developing situation.

Based on our own assessment of the information we are receiving, and our concern for the welfare of our students, staff and school families, we are suspending face-to-face classes and activities beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.  These efforts are an attempt to help protect citizens of Kentucky and to provide time for the health officials to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  At this time, students are scheduled to return for face-to-face classes on Monday, April 6, 2020.

Anchorage Public School will remain open tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020.  However, if your family does not wish for your child(ren) to attend school tomorrow, those absences will be excused.  Perfect Attendance awards are discontinued moving forward, per CDC recommendations.  We are delaying closure until Monday to provide families the weekend to make arrangements.  

Please be advised, all extracurricular activities, athletic events, and all school and community activities scheduled to be held at our school, are canceled until further notice beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.  During the closure, we will also be deep cleaning the school.

Since late February we have been making preparations to provide distance learning for our students.  Alternate delivery of instruction will begin Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Parents should check their email Tuesday evening for their child’s Daily Learning Plan to be implemented on Wednesday; expect plans to be sent by 5:00 p.m. each day.  This brief delay of implementation of distance learning will provide teachers the necessary time to transition to alternate course delivery.

We ask for parents to exercise some patience during the first few days of our delivery of distance learning, as there will likely be some unanticipated hiccups.  Our staff is committed to addressing those concerns quickly and to ensure that during this period of distance learning our students continue to receive an outstanding learning experience.

For the latest information on the Coronavirus in Kentucky, please visit:  www.kycovid19.ky.gov

To help stay healthy, the Centers for Disease Control recommends:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, wash hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched object and surfaces

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, guidance can be found at the following link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

If you have non-school related COVID-19 questions or concerns, you can dial the Kentucky Department of Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725 and you will be directed to someone who can help.  We will continue to reach out to our governmental partners for additional guidance and information as the situation unfolds.   

The safety of our students and staff is the top priority of Anchorage Public School. It is our hope that by taking these measures now we can limit exposure to COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding and patience and will continue to provide updates.  Families with concerns should contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.


APS Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) UPDATE (updated March 11, 2020)

Dear Anchorage School Families,
This communication is a part of our continuing effort to keep you informed of the latest developments related to our steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) within our school community. This afternoon we participated in a conference call with Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Commissioner of Education.  Using the guidance from the conference call, Anchorage Public School (APS) will:

  • Remain OPEN at this time
  • Continue to hold after-school club events and athletic practices as scheduled
  • Suspend scheduling any new out-of-state school related trips for our students or staff
  • Continue communications with our 8th grade trip partners (Appleseed and Delta Airlines) to obtain information regarding school credit and/or refunds in the event that conditions across the United States warrant cancellation of the trip in the weeks leading up to the planned travel
  • Extend the deadline for 8th grade parents to make the final trip payment
  • Continue field trips as scheduled at this time

APS has implemented these additional procedures in response to the spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky:

  • Revised visitor and contractor sign-in procedures which include requiring thermal temperature scan in the normal range prior to entry to the school
  • Revised visitor sign-in procedures to ask parents/guardians who have traveled outside of the United States within the past 15 days to avoid visiting APS to volunteer or have lunch with their child
  • Revised library procedures include wiping down returned library books prior to reshelving
  • Equipped all restrooms with paper towel dispensers instead of hand dryers
  • Implemented more stringent cleaning and disinfecting of lunchroom tables and chairs between student lunch shifts
  • Provided additional instruction to students encouraging them to sanitize hands prior to entry into the cafeteria
  • Implemented extra precautions at school events, including the availability of additional hand sanitizing stations to attendees and electrostatic spraying to disinfect the occupied space after conclusion of the event
  • Created an “APS Response to COVID-19” link on our school website

As shared in previous communications, in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, in late February the APS Administration:

  • Reviewed our infection-control protocols
  • Installed additional hand sanitizing stations and proper handwashing signage
  • Revised visitor procedures, with all visitors asked to sanitize hands and list any areas traveled in the past 15 days outside of Kentucky
  • Revised package delivery procedures with all non-food packages dropped off outside and sprayed with disinfectant prior to school staff bringing items inside the school building
  • Increased instruction and emphasis on proper and frequent handwashing
  • Began planning for distance learning instruction should the need for a multi-week school closure arise

Steps our school always takes to prevent the spread of communicable diseases include the following:

  • Classrooms and offices are disinfected nightly, Monday through Friday evenings, using PUR:ONE and electrostatic spraying technology
  • Doorknobs, water fountains, handrails, locker doors and other frequently touched surfaces are disinfected each school night
  • All classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer so students can add that layer of protection to their regular hand-washing routine
  • Our School Nurse, Misty Killinder, attends to the medical needs of students as they occur
  • Students are instructed in measures to prevent the spread of germs

We advise that families consider current recommendations for social distancing in Kentucky when making decisions whether to attend school or public events.  Current recommendations, which can be found at www.kycovid19.ky.gov, include the following:

Please also continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on the best ways to combat the spread of Coronavirus and tell your child(ren) to do the same:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover cough or sneeze with tissue, throw tissue in trash, wash hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

The state of Kentucky has created a website with current information about COVID-19 that can be found at this link:  KYCOVID19.ky.gov.  Additionally, the state hotline for COVID-19 questions is 1-800-722-5725.

We continue to follow direction from the CDC, the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, and will make further modifications to procedures regarding school visitors, school events, and other courses of action as advised.

In the event of a long-term school closure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we are preparing to provide students with distance learning instruction. 

We are committed to keeping you informed.  The health and well-being of our students and school community are always a top concern.  We will update you with any additional important information or guidance that we receive.  Families with concerns should contact me at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us or (502) 245-8927.

Helpful links:


Handwashing: A Family Activity
(March 5, 2020)

Handwashing is an easy, cheap, and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and keep kids and adults healthy. Young children learn by imitating the behaviors of adults in their lives. When you make handwashing part of your routine, you’re setting an example for your children to follow.  For more information on teaching kids the five easy steps for handwashing—wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry—and the key times to wash hands, such as after using the bathroom or before eating please visit the following site: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/family_handwashing-508.pdf.  You can find ways to make it fun, like making up your own handwashing song or turning it into a game.