Thank you for your recent feedback through the AAS enrollment intentions survey. Based on this information, re-enrollment contracts for our returning students have been distributed to families as of today, March 18, 2020, as we plan for the 2020/2021 school year. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not receive a contract. Thank you for your attention to this important process, as outlined in the contract.
While the past few days have been a whirlwind for everyone, we were grateful to have an opportunity to reconnect with our students on Monday and Tuesday before we moved to Distance Learning. Please ensure you have received information on Distance Learning so that you and your child are ready on Monday. Please let your child’s teacher or division leadership know if you have questions or need assistance. Our teams are looking forward to facilitating your child’s education alongside you over the next six weeks.
The AAS Leadership and Board appreciate your time in providing feedback, suggestions, and recommendations in regard to the recent decision to move to Distance Learning and to adjust the school year-end date. We appreciate your patience. The Board is in the process of creating a follow-up message in relation to this feedback.
Because of government regulations and requirements, the AAS campus is closed to students, parents, and community guests. Beginning today, March 18, 2020, ALL visitors to campus, including parents, must pre-register with security to come into the building by submitting the Campus Access Request form. At this time, we are only allowing immediate access for faculty and staff. Visitors will be approved for business purposes only and must receive an email confirmation of their appointment before arriving on campus. Thank you in advance for your collaboration.
We recognize the challenges for everyone in the AAS community and acknowledge these unprecedented times. We look forward to working together, and we ask that everyone presume positive intent as we support learning for our students.
Dear Elementary Families,
Thank you so very much for your continued support of AAS as we move from an on campus classroom based learning program to a Distance Learning environment. The teachers will be working diligently over the coming days to ensure we are as prepared as possible for success. Students have been well prepared and we have plans in place. Thank you also for supporting your child over the next six weeks. Your time commitment and guidance will be a key factor in the success of the Distance Learning plan.
On Friday, to ensure your child is comfortable starting Distance Learning on Monday, we will be using your class's chosen forum (Blog, Seesaw or Google Classroom) to share a series of introductory lessons. These Google slide deck activities will familiarize you with the schedule, the expectations and some of the applications we will be using in the coming weeks. At this point, you will be able to better resolve any technological challenges and make a family plan for how best to support your child in their learning. These are lessons for you to ensure you are ready and know where to go for assistance if needed, as much as they are for students.
Please note that, even though you will be nearby to support your child as they engage in synchronous (live) sessions with their teachers, this is not the time for you to talk to a teacher. Please email a teacher if you would like to set up a time to talk about your child’s learning, progress or needed support. These teacher meeting will be arranged between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM MST.
Last week, the Grade Three classes held their annual Market Day. Although parents were not able to attend, it was a huge success with student customers. For this unit, the Central Idea was: Economic activity relies on a system of exchange and consumption of goods and services. The Lines of Inquiry that define the scope of the inquiry into the Central Idea were: Economic activity; The role of cost analysis and business plans in the marketplace; Our responsibility as producers and consumers. Proceeds from this learning opportunity are being donated to charity. Thank you to all of the parents that supported this unit.
As a reminder, Student Led Conferences, along with all other regularly scheduled on campus events, are cancelled for the rest of the year.
We look forward to engaging with your children in Distance Learning, starting next Monday,
Enjoy the rest of your week and stay healthy.
Julie, Jeff, and Eric
We understand that this can be a challenging time for families, especially given the world situation, but that placement in the next school is still of great importance to families on the move.
If your family is moving:
- Children can often sense the additional stress in the family that the idea of a move can bring, so being as open and honest with your children as possible can help them move through this time more successfully.
- Please let your child's counselor and teacher know of any potential move as soon as possible, and how your child is coping with the news, so we can be of support. We will still be available through our distance learning platform to children and families through May 1st. You can continue to reach the counselors through our emails.
- Please contact your student's counselor first for reference letters, online teacher evaluation, requests for report cards, MAP reports.
- Please note that all teacher/counselor or principal references are confidential. Our procedure is that the confidential teacher reference forms or letters are sent directly to the new school by the school counselors or counseling department.
- The counseling department will arrange for all documentation requested by parents to be sent to the application school(s). References and records may take up to a week to complete.
- Leaving packages will be available after May 1st by contacting the ES office at email@example.com
- Transition letter from Counselors
- Transition Information for Parents
We best support our students moving on successfully when the potential new school receives all the information they need to allow them to meet a child's needs.
While distance learning is underway, counselors, teachers, and administrators will still be planning thoughtfully for the 2020-2021 school year.
With this in mind, we will continue to keep the SURVEY FOR CLASSROOM PLACEMENT open until Monday, April 13th, at 4:00 pm when the survey will close.
A request for a specific teacher will not be considered. However, a request to be thoughtful about a child's learning style will be considered as part of our process. Please let us know about factors unique to your child's needs. Although we make every effort to place each student with a friend, we cannot guarantee your child will be placed with specific friends.
The survey is only available for parents whose children are currently in grades PK - grade 4.
All information from this survey is confidential and will only be seen by the counselors and administration.
- Please let your child's counselor know if your child is expressing any worries or concerns. We are available to offer support.
- Some ideas you might find useful:
- stay positive and keep calm;
- stick to the facts, but consider your child's developmental stage when discussing them;
- question the source of your child's information, and fact-check when appropriate;
- eliminate stigma and avoid blame; and
- in case of anxiety, boost your family's positive coping strategies.
- As always, if you feel you need additional help with an anxious child, contact the school counselor.
- Routine and structure will be important for your child's success throughout their experience with distance learning.
- As you plan for our start next Monday, please think about where your child will learn and set it up with them as a mini professional workstation, where they can focus and do their best learning. Setting some routines for your child and family about when their school day is in session will also be helpful. Practicing good hygiene and dressing for distance learning are still important.
- The video and link below may provide helpful support for your family.
- Brain Pop Video On Coronavirus
- Managing Feelings and Fears Associated with the Coronavirus
Distance Learning - As you are aware yesterday, we closed campus for the 2019-2020 school year but the learning is going to resume on Monday. All lessons will be posted on Google Classroom for students at 8:30 am, Moscow time, every school day. Here is a LINK to our current Distance Learning Expectations. All families will be receiving a video message from me each week outlining what is happening, considerations and learnings we might be having. I will always be available for questions via email. We will have challenges but will face them relying on our learnings from other schools and overcome them with the talented group of educators in our MS. Newsletters will continue as well.
Final Day on Campus - Yesterday we had a good day. Students had a chance to touch base again with all of their teachers and we held the most ambitious assembly in the history of the AAS Middle School. We had an excerpt from the Bridge of Terabithia, The final House Standings (congratulations Galapagos!), Penguin Life Recognition, and 8th Grade Students received their certificates. We celebrated leaving students and leaving faculty. You can watch the videos with the excerpt from the MS Play and the rest of the MS Assembly here.
Have a schedule that starts at a reasonable time. We suggest 8:30 am as that is when the learning will be posted.
Have students get dressed. Sit at a well lit place with no distractions.
Try the Pomodoro method. Students work intensely for 25 minutes and then take a 10 minute break.
Reading. Every day. We have given them two books to take home from our classroom libraries and that is a great place to start.
Encourage collaboration. Learning is a social endeavor. Have them connect with classmates and talk about their learning.
Be interested. Talk about the learning. If you value it, so will they.
Video message - Every week, starting this Friday, you will receive a video message from your friendly neighborhood MS Principal. Please watch it as a family. We aim to make distance learning as valuable as possible.
The US Department of Health and Human Services hosts a Wellness Toolkit website devoted to many aspects of general health and well-being. As an educator, and as a parent, it’s one of the sites I’ll keep handy for myself.
Another useful site in these days of distance learning is one that I’ve shared before in this newsletter: Common Sense Media. In addition to the wealth of information related to helping students manage their tech use in safe and healthy ways, they have now added Resources for Families During the Coronavirus.
Please feel free to get in touch via email if needed.
HS Associate Principal, Matthew Groves firstname.lastname@example.org
- We celebrated students throughout the high school on their academic and extracurricular achievements. Penguin Life Awards Video
- Our seniors wore their caps and gowns in an abbreviated graduation ceremony. Graduation Video
Dear parents and teachers — our PTO members,
With the end of on-campus learning and the start of distance-learning, I’d like to update you on the PTO’s activities through the end of the school year:
- All previously scheduled PTO activities and events will NOT be held for the remainder of this year. We look forward to resuming our active support of AAS families and our school in the next school year.
- We have received several interesting PTO grant applications from the community. We will hold a community vote to approve these grants in the fall.
- The fifth and eighth grade hoodies are being printed on an expedited basis. We hope to have them completed in the next two weeks. We will be in touch with families individually to arrange distribution of the hoodies. The designs are cool — the kids will love them.
- The Grade 12 parent rep and/or PTO HS VP will be in contact with Grade 12 families to arrange distribution of graduation presents.
- Instead of the Teacher Appreciation lunch, we have appreciation gifts for the teachers ready to go. The school administration will organize gift distribution on our behalf.
Parents can drop off distance learning materials with AAS Security. We also ask that you drop off any uniforms, ties, skirts, books, and formal black shoes, if you no longer need them, so that they can be reused.
- PTO Elections. In order to get off to a quick start in the next school year, the PTO needs to elect next year’s PTO Executive Committee. We plan to hold the electronic election next week. We have one candidate per position, but per our by-laws, we need to vote to ratify the candidates. The candidates’ statements of interest will be published in next week’s newsletter. We kindly ask you to take a few minutes to review the statements and submit your electronic vote.
- Please note that we do not have a candidate for PTO Secretary. If you are interested in the position, please contact PTO@aas.ru.
Finally, on behalf of the entire PTO Exec team, PTO Shop, and PTO Exchange, I would like to say a heartfelt Thank You to every member of our community for supporting the AAS Moscow PTO’s activities this year. Without the hard-working and dedicated Shop and Exchange volunteers, it would not have been possible to keep the Shop and Exchange running every single week!
A special thank you to all of the room parents, grade reps, event coordinators, volunteers, and faculty who have invested their time and energy in making PTO activities a meaningful part of life at AAS. We appreciate you more than you can ever know.