Practice Makes Perfect!

As we prepare to transition to the In-School Learning Model, we suggest that you practice a few safety precautions with your students while still at home.

Masks:
Students will need to wear a mask throughout the school day per state requirement, and the more practice students have wearing a mask for longer periods of time, the more comfortable they will be doing so. While students will be offered outside time for some mask breaks, weather permitting, they need to be prepared to keep them on while in the school building.

Social Distancing:
Most older children will understand the 6′ distance requirement, but younger children may not be able to visualize 6′. The hallways are marked with distance markers, but a review with students before coming into the building would be a good conversation to have with your students.

Lunch:
If your student is bringing lunch from home, please note that no microwaves, refrigeration or scissors will be available for use. Staff monitoring lunches will be limited in assisting with opening items during lunch. Please package student lunches with items that students can independently open. We suggest younger students practice being able to open their lunch to make sure they will be prepared for when we return to school. Below are some tips with packing lunches.

We are so excited for our return to school, and hope that by practicing these items at home next week, the transition to the In-School Learning Model will be easy.

Anchorage Independent Called School Board Meeting September 21

To join our September 21, 2020 Anchorage Independent School Board Meeting scheduled to begin at 6:45 pm for a tax hearing, and 7:00 pm (or immediately following the tax hearing) for the regular monthly meeting, please click the following link: 

Google Meet joining info

https://meet.google.com/rxu-bykf-cei

Or dial: +​1​ ​4​3​2​-​7​0​1​-​0​7​9​0 PIN: 8​1​4​ ​7​9​4​ ​3​2​8​#

First time using Meet? Learn more

For help on accessing the Google Meet video teleconference platform, or if you would like to sign-up to speak at the meeting, please email Superintendent Kelley Ransdell at kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us and place ”Board Meeting Sign-Up” in the subject line.

Fall MAP Results/Reports

The fall round of MAP testing is nearly complete.  Although our testing environments varied, the one constant was our students’ commitment to giving their best effort. 

To ensure meaningful and secure dialogue around data from this assessment, results will be shared with students once we are implementing the In-SchoolLearning Model. This dialogue will include teachers and students making plans for differentiation, celebrating growth and setting learning goals in reading and math for the 2020 – 2021 school year.  

This will occur on Wednesday, September 30; parents should look for the Family Map Report to come home on this day as well. 

Anchorage Middle School Virtual Open House

Hello! Welcome to the Anchorage Middle School Virtual Open House!  Please click the link for your student’s grade level to visit our slideshow; each teacher has a slide with a video and informational links pertaining to their class.

6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade

Mr. Terry’s Virtual Office
Mrs. Haile’s Virtual Office
Mrs. Wiles and Mrs. Neidert’s Counseling Corner

We are looking forward to seeing our students in-person soon! Please let us know if you have any questions!

~Anchorage Middle School Team

APSAP Advisory Committee Meeting Tuesday, September 22

The APSAP Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, September 22 at 9:00 am. The community is also invited to join the virtual Google Meeting using the link below.

Google Meet joining info

https://meet.google.com/vsa-hruk-nvo

Or dial: +​1​ ​5​0​4​-​6​1​3​-​6​6​0​5 PIN: 3​0​5​ ​4​0​1​ ​6​1​7​#

Anchorage Bike Safety Video

A message from one of our Anchorage Alums regarding bike safety…

Dear Anchorage Families,

Last year, I heard concerns about bike safety regarding Anchorage children. We are fortunate to be in a community where kids can bike, but I know our community would be devastated if there was a serious accident. For my Eagle Scout project, I worked with Scout Troop 110 members and Anchorage Police Chief Hayes to develop this bike safety video that can help keep your kids safe while enjoying biking in Anchorage. I encourage you to watch it with your children and encourage bike safety before the return to school. The link to the YouTube video is bit.ly/anchoragebikesafety. Have fun biking and stay safe.

Clay Loveless, Scout Troop 110

Anchorage Independent School District’s 2020-2021 Return to School Plan

Please be aware that changes have been made to the Anchorage Independent School District’s 2020-2021 Return to School Plan, which can be found here.  Changes to the plan are based on new requirements, which the state added to the Team Kentucky Healthy at School guidance.  Please keep in mind, the plan is based on current state requirements and guidance, however the plan is fluid and is subject to change as further guidance is received from the state.  The significant change which will impact students is that multi-layer face masks will be required to be worn by all students and staff without a documented preventing medical condition, at all times, except during lunch, designated snack times and when students are socially distanced outdoors.  

We understand and appreciate that there will be mixed reactions to this change to the plan.  We encourage everyone to remain focused on the silver lining which is our students being able to return to in-person instruction on Monday, September 28, 2020.  As many of you know from personal experience, while it seems difficult at first to wear a mask for long periods of time, with repetition and through trial and error of finding a mask that is a good personal fit, over time one begins to forget they are even wearing a face mask.

New changes announced this week include reporting requirements for schools and parents related to positive COVID-19 cases within the school or home.  Our school will be sending parents detailed information regarding the reporting and where to access the data on our website.  Please watch for the email.  We would also like to share with families that the entire staff will be participating in additional training and simulations on September 24 and 25 to prepare for the return of students.  With the extensive public health guidelines a refresher of August training and an introduction of new guidelines and strengthened procedures is needed.  In order to allow time for the training, your children’s learning plans on those dates may include only asynchronous instruction.  Please be assured however that their lessons will continue. If you have questions related to our Return to School Plan, please feel free to submit here

 

APTA Offering Youth Tech U

At Anchorage School we value our partnership with our parents. In the past, we have offered several options for parent trainings. Those programs required you to come to our school for the program, and we LOVED seeing you here. However, we realize that is not always convenient, and during this COVID time, it’s just not possible.

We are thrilled to announce that the APTA has chosen to provide Youth Tech U to our Anchorage parents.  This program is an online course designed to familiarize parents with their kids’ technology and empower them to help install the “guardrails” that will keep their kids safer online, thus reducing the “cyber” problems we have in our schools. We realize that students are spending more time than ever online right now, and we want to equip you with the tools you need to talk with them about any issues they may be having online. There are a lot of good things online, but there is also cyber bullying, social media pressures, and lots of other potential pitfalls to our students’ success.

We have partnered with Scott Harvey from Speaking of Harvey, INC to still provide content to our parents during this time of social distancing. 

Scott is a retired police officer who taught the D.A.R.E. program and supervised School Resource Officers for a large part of his career. Scott has presented in our school in years past, and he has spoken to hundreds of thousands of students, parents, and educators all over the country about responsible use of technology. His program, Youth Tech U, is an online course for parents designed to familiarize them with some of the potential issues that our students are dealing with online. Youth Tech U is three hours of video content broken up into 14 short videos. This allows you to consume content at your pace, and when it is convenient for you.  This format allows Anchorage Public School to provide valuable content to our parents in a more user-friendly way. 

This course retails for $129.00, but our APTA has purchased licenses for the parents of our students allowing you to take this course for FREE. We have a limited number of licenses, so please do not share this with people from other schools.

Here’s how it works:

          1. Go to www.youthtechu.com

          2. Select the Youth Tech U course from the menu

          3. On the next page, click the Enroll Now button

          4. Click the Add Coupon Code button

          5. Enter Coupon Code: Contact anchorage.webmaster@anchorage.kyschools.us if you need the code

          6. Finish filling out the enrollment page

          7. Congratulate yourself – you did it!!

Once you get registered for the course, you will receive an invite to join a Private Youth Tech U Facebook Group. There, you will have direct access to Scott Harvey to ask questions. More importantly, you will be connected with other parents who, like you, are trying to learn what they can do to keep their kids safe online. 

Finally, if you would like to join a small group of Anchorage parents to discuss what you are learning, please keep an eye out for some information to come from the APTA Parent Academy.  Community is EVERYTHING!!

Please Note:  We are still seeking a video-conference program for older students but are proceeding with caution as we know our students may already be more emotionally fragile due to stress from the pandemic.  When we do those programs “in person,” we are able to watch for emotional reactions from students and are able to get them in touch with a counselor or trusted school staff.  Until we find a program we think we could pull off safely online with students, or have students in school for a program, we are concentrating our efforts on training parents. 

Parent Volunteers Needed For Anchorage School Council Standing Committees 2020-2021

Parents interested in participating in an Anchorage School Council Standing Committee must submit the following within the 14 day window of advertisement (September 10th – September 23rd):

  • a biography with names and grades of their children
  • the reason for running for a committee seat
  • the reasons why they should be selected for membership on the committee. 

To be considered for committee membership, this information must be submitted no later than September 23, 2020 to principal Andrew Terry via email (andrew.terry@anchorage.kyschools.us). Email submissions should include the subject line “APS Committee Submission.”  Parent submissions will be reviewed at the October 12, 2020 School Council meeting, and those selected will be contacted after the council meeting with terms beginning immediately. Terms are typically two year terms, but in this first year there will be offset terms to allow for a more even distribution of membership on and off of the committees. This will be determined after the formation of the committees.

Standing Committees

Committees are designated as Standing Committees when the duties are of an ongoing nature, the functions/tasks to be conducted are an integral part of the responsibilities of the Council and there exists a need for continuity across multiple school years. The Board’s Strategic Plan currently in effect shall determine the hierarchy of related Council committee reporting structure for a given academic year.  In years the Strategic Plan does not include committees working in the following areas, the Council will maintain Standing Committees that report directly to the Council in the following areas:

  1. School Organization
  2. School Environment
  3. Student Activities

Annually, the Council will determine a detailed charge statement for each Standing Committee.  This charge statement will include information about a specific area, need, or concern(s) to be addressed.   Standing Committees will provide reports to Council on their progress in meeting the goals set by Council.  Should the Standing Committee complete the goals set in the Charge Statement, they may provide information to Council pertaining to additional areas of focus. The Council may then establish a new Charge Statement at that time. 

The Chairperson, or a designated representative from each Standing Committee, will provide a report to the Council at least once per year or as determined by the annual Charge Statement developed by Council.  Council members also may request additional reports and updates from a Standing Committee at their discretion.

School Organization Committee

Charge 1By November 2, 2020, complete evaluation of the use of outdoor classroom spaces and data collection to help develop minimum standards for outdoor class time, movement breaks, and recess time in light of masking requirements for implementation across K-8, with considerations made for multiple seasons.

Charge 2– By January 1, 2021, develop SOPs (procedures, timeline, etc), develop a Screening and a Hiring Form that will be used for every individual hire, Interview Question template and procedure of finalizing questions, for both Certified and Classified Hiring Process.  All of these charges will be implemented in an online platform (e.g. Google Drive).  Recommend changes to school council plan. 

Charge 3 – By March 15, 2021, develop a standard procedure and timeline for the annual development of the school’s overall master schedule.     

School Environment Committee

Charge 1By November 2, 2020, in collaboration with the School Counselor and Mental Health Specialist, the Committee will review current process/procedures in place to support students in the area of social and emotional health during NTI/COVID/Return to School and provide feedback as well as recommendations to enhance services provided in this area.

School Activities Committee

Charge 1By November 2, 2020, evaluate activities through the lens of current guidelines for social distancing and trend toward student-driven focus (i.e. fun, engaging, outdoors, non-congregate groups, online, distanced, student-driven). Other examples: yearbook, school newsletter, pokemon, etc.  Involve student council in this process for presenting ideas.

Charge 2 – Publish a year-round extracurricular activities (sports, school clubs, community clubs, etc) booklet that is published on the school website before orientation each school year.

Charge 3 – Develop and implement an annual extra-curricular survey that goes out to families and sponsors each year in May.

APSAP Fall Sports Return to Competition

We are happy to share that our student athletes will now have the opportunity to compete under KHSAA’s Fall Sports Stage 3 Guidance for Return to Practice and Competition, which was recently released and approved by the APS School Board this week.

While we are pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for our students to join with peers in outdoor athletic activities and competition to combat the social isolation they may be feeling, the season will be very different for spectators.  In order to adhere to the requirements included in the guidance so that our students will have the opportunity to compete this season, Anchorage Independent School District has implemented the following sport contest changes:

  1. Only immediate members of a student athlete’s household may purchase tickets and attend an event in which they are actively participating. (We will inform our school community if we determine we can expand our attendance limits.)
  2. We are selling our All Season Sports Pass and individual sports contest tickets exclusively online via CheddarUp links that will be distributed to families of student athletes via TeamSnap.
  3. All spectators must attest that they will complete a wellness check on the day they will be attending an event, which includes submitting answers electronically relating to COVID-19 symptoms and travel-related questions listed at the following link: https://forms.gle/qUqQXRyGau4XjBxYA.
  4. Temperature checks of all spectators will occur at the time of their arrival.
  5. All spectators must wear a multi-layer face mask at all times, even when seated with their household and socially distanced from others.  The only exception will be for those with a medical exemption documented by a medical doctor on official letterhead from the office issuing the exemption. Those who refuse to wear a mask for any other reason will not be allowed entry or will be asked to leave the event.
  6. Restroom capacity is limited to one person at a time.
  7. Members of the same household must sit together in order to conserve seating areas for others.
  8. All spectators must remain at least 6’ from spectators outside their immediate household when seated and make every attempt to do so when moving.
  9. Spectators shall avoid congregating with others before, during and after contests.

We ask our school community to review the sport contest changes and to comply with these restrictions.  Coming together as a school community to adhere to the restrictions will allow the school to more easily implement the requirements for holding contests, keep one another safe, and provide our students the opportunity to enjoy a full season of participation.

REACH Alerts: Severe Weather/Emergency Status/School Closing

In the case of severe weather, emergency status or unexpected closings, delays and dismissals we will enable the ​REACH Alert System​ that sends school alerts via text messages, phone calls (cell or landline) and/or emails.

To register for REACH Alert, simply follow the following steps:

  • Go to ​reachalert.com and click on MY ACCOUNT ​and then select CREATE ACCOUNT ​to establish your initial account.
  • Follow the prompts.
  • When prompted for Network Name, enter Anchorage School and click on the school name when it appears in the dropdown list.
  • When prompted for a role, select parent.
  • Be sure to select to receive “alerts”.  Individuals only registering to receive “Reminders” will not receive school closing information.
  • Upon joining the school network you may also want to click on​ JOIN ​and select the​ City of Anchorage ​network.

Anchorage Public School Library Hosts Small-Group Book Checkout Opportunities

APS

Library Media Center will host small-group book checkout opportunities on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons beginning September 8. Fifteen-minute book checkout sessions will be followed by fifteen minutes of clean-up/sanitizing of the library. Each session will host up to a maximum of 8 people. Please complete our “Acknowledge and Accept” form found here prior to attending your first book checkout session. The links referenced in the form are as follows:

Student Daily Wellness Check Form.

Daily Wellness Check

Before each session, Media Center Staff will complete the same “Wellness Check” that was followed during our “Meet Your Teacher Event.” These Wellness checks will take place at the library’s back entrance. You may sign-up via the Sign-Up Genius link found here. Due to limited numbers, only current APS students and their parents are invited to participate. 

MAP Testing Begins September 8 for Grades 3-8

As we progress through NTI, it is vital that we understand what each child knows and is ready to learn so that we can tailor instruction to meet their needs. While the MAP Growth assessment is always administered online, even in the school building, students will be taking it online at home​this fall. MAP testing will begin next week. Teachers will communicate specific days, times and procedures for each grade-level. Students will be tested in the areas of reading, math and language.

Please click this link to read important information regarding MAP testing from Assistant Principal Kelly Haile.

September Core Essential: Friendship

The monthly value for September is Friendship: Using your words and actions to show others you care. “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.” – Irish Proverb

A core component of this program is family involvement; we greatly appreciate your continued support of our monthly value outside of the school day.

APTA Fall General Meeting Tuesday, September 22

Due to not being able to meet in person, the APTA Fall General meeting has been moved to virtual. Please join us on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:00 pm to get an update on school and APTA happenings. Information to join is as follows:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81127669721?pwd=bUlnSGdMSFZiMEFZS2VPK0hITmZpZz09
Meeting ID: 811 2766 9721
Passcode: 664571
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,81127669721#,,,,,,0#,,664571# US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 811 2766 9721
Passcode: 664571
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdMVXH2JwP