Monday began a new normal for all of us. We have come together to support the students in our community in a new learning environment for the next six weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding, as well as a presumption of positive intent. We are each doing our best in the interest of supporting students.
We are continuing to publish updates on our coronavirus information and resource page. Today's updates include a number of news from local authorities. I would like to confirm that AAS Moscow will continue to deliver Distance Learning on each weekday between March 23 and May 1, 2020.
As we all engage in Distance Learning, let us keep the AAS Mission of Academic and Holistic Excellence in mind. Let us continue to model AAS Core Values of care, courage, curiosity, integrity, and respect as we focus on supporting students academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
We expect there will be challenges and growing pains as well as many opportunities to celebrate successes. Thank you for your collaboration and cooperation. We can clearly see your efforts with Distance Learning, and they are contributing directly to the quality of your child's learning.
It's important we stay connected with each other during Distance Learning. Please share how things are going with your teacher, divisional leader, and AAS communications, or share directly with the AAS Community at Padlet.com/AASMoscow/DL.
Each of us has been impacted in multiple ways by this worldwide crisis. Our students had their day-to-day environments taken away from them abruptly. We encourage everyone to keep this in mind as we engage with one another and collaborate to support our students. Please be patient and let us know how our teams can best collaborate with you to ensure students continue to learn and grow with confidence.
While not relevant to everyone, it is worth acknowledging that the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) canceled IB exams for this school year. This decision is significant and reflects the inability to identify and confirm locations around the world where these tests could be hosted. AAS High School Leadership is working with the IBO to fully understand the plan for supporting students whose university acceptance was dependent upon these exams. Other aspects of the IB program, such as the IB Visual Arts Exhibition, will not be possible and have to be modified to meet expectations. These students, along with their teacher, are preparing a digital version to be shared with our community. AAS educators and students are rapidly evolving as they adapt to new digital learning platforms. We anticipate that these experiences will make our students more resilient as well as support the professional growth of educators and adults engaged in this process.
We encourage you to stay informed through our website, including updates on the coronavirus resources page, as well as the distance learning page. Stay connected via our newsletter and through leadership videos, and share your own experiences with our learning community. Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented and challenging times.
Dear Elementary Families,
We hope that your first three days of Distance Learning have gone well. This has been a learning experience for all of our community as we adjust to a new mode of school. Please share any feedback you might have with your child’s classroom teacher or the ES Leadership.
Matryoshka Dolls: Even though there were only two days of students on campus last week, teachers were able to create closure for classes being in the same location, while creating excitement for Distance Learning and being with peers digitally. Those students who had confirmed they were leaving AAS at the end of the school year were given Matryoshka Dolls to have friends sign. Some students had popcorn parties with the ES Counselors, a tradition for those leaving AAS, and others will be having these through synchronous sessions in the coming weeks.
PYPX: Grade Five is continuing with their PYPX. Students are meeting with their Mentor Groups virtually and preparing for their presentations of their learning journey through this pivotal closure to their time in the PYP. This has been an opportunity for them to exhibit the PYP Learner Profile Attributes.
Drop Off: If you are leaving Moscow for another adventure, please be sure to drop off your AAS iPad and resources at the Main AAS Guard House and to email your teacher to let them know you have done this. If you are in Moscow until May 1, please drop these items off then. For those that are returning to AAS in August, you may return your items at the beginning of the new school year.
Distance Learning Support: For Tech related support for parents and students, once you have exhausted the numerous support resources for troubleshooting, please email email@example.com.
End of School Year: As you are aware, the new end of this school year will be May 1. Reports and leaving packets, for those that are moving on to new adventures, will be available after the end of the school year.
Kitten and Puppy Day: In case you missed it, many classes celebrated Cuddly Kitten Day and National Puppy Day on Monday March 23. Be sure to ask your child about what Ms. Arnold, the ES Art Teacher, was wearing on her head in her Distance Learning lesson.
Daily Challenge: Make sure to check out the entries to the ES Daily Challenge Padlet.
Enjoy the rest of your week and stay healthy.
Julie, Jeff, and Eric
We are over the halfway mark for our first week of distance learning. Well done! I am confident that we are all learning new strategies that work with MS aged children. The Bohnen boys have 2 schedules each. A school schedule and a wellness schedule. The school schedule is broken into hours where we use the Pomodoro method, having them work for 45 minutes and then take a break for 15 minutes, where we send them on the balcony or have them do a mini Cross-Fit workout to clear any cobwebs from their synapses. Do you have any tips? Please share them with both Mr. Bohnen, Ms. Cormier, and our AAS learning community via https://padlet.com/AASMoscow/DL.
Tips for video conferencing: One of the challenges we are seeing students struggle with relates to navigating group video chats with their teachers. Please see the graphic below for some tips:
- Here is a LINK to our AAS Distance Learning page.
- Here is a LINK to the photos from our final assembly of 2019-2020.
- Here is a LINK to the video from our final assembly.
- Here are the links to the First and Second video we sent home from the MS for Distance learning. Please watch and subscribe!
Gratitude: We would like to thank families for their support through these uncharted and challenging times. We have always referred to parents as our partners. We have always celebrated the vital roles that families play in their children’s education and school experience, and that is true now more than ever.
We look forward to seeing these next weeks through successfully and welcome your feedback. Please continue to share your successes!
While distance learning is helping keep our community safe, it’s also drastically upsetting our daily routines and practices. It seems important during these challenging times to remind ourselves--and our children--that we can adapt. We can only do so, however, if we’re purposeful about it. Please take this, then, as a reminder to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
Some suggestions (adapted from WBAIS) for maintaining or even building a new sense of normalcy. These ideas are for parents and students, both:
- Self and family-care: Identify what can be controlled and implement measures to control them. Identify things that can’t be controlled; let those things go. Spend time taking care of yourself. Spend time with and express affection for your loved ones.
- Boost your coping strategies and stay positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Engage in family activities, like playing games, reading, listening to music, drawing, watching movies or shows, creating a gratitude list, meditating, exercising, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that make you feel good.
- Stay calm and stick to the facts: Take time to have calm, panic-free discussions to ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know something.
- Consider your media consumption: When looking online for information, consider the source, and fact-check to prevent fake or misleading news. Think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you’re checking; strive for “just-enough-to-stay-informed,” rather than overdoing it (which may cause stress).
- Eliminate stigma: We need to help our children understand the nature of this pandemic in a way that doesn’t place blame on any person or group.
Counselors will try to update the Wellness section of the school’s Distance Learning page regularly to inform you about things you can do at home to manage the demands of work and school and to maintain your and your child(ren)’s mental health.
Please reach out if you have concerns or want to share information. You can email me, or, to schedule an online appointment, use this: https://calendly.com/james-villers If you send me a meeting request, I will reply with a Google Meet link.
HS Associate Principal, Matthew Groves firstname.lastname@example.org
Distance Learning is underway and we are off to a strong start in the high school. Attendance in Google Meets for individual classes has been reported over 90%. This is a really high number considering that students are located on different continents.
Things to keep in mind: Encourage students to take breaks, go for walks if possible, exercise, limit screen time, eat healthy food and sleep. Our counselors recommend parents to focus on:
- Self and Family-Care: Identify what can be controlled and implement measures to control them. Identify things that can’t be controlled and let those things go. Figure out what you can let go or postpone some things and spend more time in self-care. Increase your connection with loved ones by spending time together and expressing affection.
- Boost your Coping Strategies and Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Engage in family activities such as drawing, playing games, reading, listening to music watching Netflix/movies, creating a gratitude list, meditating, doing yoga, exercising, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.
- Stick to the Facts: Take time to have calm, panic-free discussions to ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand.
- Consider Media Consumption: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you are checking and minimize how often you are reading stories. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
- Eliminate stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. Also, communicate that if someone has a fever or cough it does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
Sean Sonderman email@example.com
Grade 12 IB Exams Cancelled!
Understandably, I have been receiving a good deal of email traffic concerning IB Exams. I wanted to confirm that IB May Exams are canceled. The issue now is that we do not know what the IB will base grades on ultimately. There is no doubt that Internal Assessment work will be a significant factor, but IB has not indicated that Predicted Grades will be used. Of course, they haven't said otherwise either. As soon as we know, we will send an email to families. We have the communication ready, but we need this key piece answered by IB.
As far as classes, there is no change to distance learning until the IB tells us what they will be requiring. Please make sure your child continues to follow the directives of their respective teachers regarding coursework. Due dates for IB assessed work have not been altered.
IB has given a date of March 27 to reveal their plan.
Good day! Your HS Counselors are continuing to support students as they engage in week one of distance learning. We created an AAS Connects Google Classroom to continue connections and share daily motivational quotes and to give fun weekly assignments to help students remain focused on learning and promote social-emotional well-being during the next few weeks. We are also continuing to meet with Grade 11 students about university to help them plan and ensure that they are on track with their research.
For some tips and ideas about fostering your family’s well-being during this time, please check out the Wellness section of the AAS Distance Learning page. Counselors will update the information there on a regular basis, and we are happy to hear from you about what has worked and what has not while you have been on this Distance Learning journey.
University Visits: We have a virtual visit with the University of British Columbia still scheduled for April 1. Students can still sign-uo using Maiai Learning. There are daily updates on the University Counseling Website as many universities are adding virtual components to their outreach.
University Counseling Website: A plethora of information, updated daily and easy to navigate right at your and your child’s fingertips. Wonderful resources to support university research and many new webinars being offered by universities. Schedule some time to review the site with your child. There is a lot of explore and learn about.
We are here to support your child and you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Lauren Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org): Last names beginning with A-K
Bryn Will (email@example.com): Last names beginning with L-Z
What can we do for you these days? Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s anything you need. The library wants to make sure that you have books available to you!
- Check out the AAS Library Padlet (below) with daily updates, useful links, and great resources for Distance Learning.
- Make sure your students are on Sora/Overdrive and able to get books. We’ve made a helpful video in case you are struggling to log in.
Digital Office Hours:
- Visit K’s Office from 12-13:30 Moscow time: https://meet.google.com/rmh-xequ-zuy
- Visit Kris’ Office from 13:30-15:00 Moscow time: https://meet.google.com/gwx-oeea-ogo
We have a book and media lovers’ Facebook group that we will be adding to throughout the quarantine: https://www.facebook.com/groups/684252415322282/ Have a look and feel free to join for recs of our books and enjoyment.
Here are some authors who are putting up new materials every day:
- Kate Dicamillo
- Mo Willems Drawing Tips
- Carson Ellis Drawing
- Elise Gravel drawing challenges
- Dan Santat quarantine challenges
- Peter H Reynolds Daily Live Stream
- Kate Messner Reads Her Books
Dear parents and teachers — our PTO members,
Hope all had a smooth transition to distance-learning this week.
I’d like to confirm once more that 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.
PTO Divisional VPs have been working non-stop for the last few weeks to be able to continue the AAS tradition and get all the special hoodies and other graduation gifts to our 5th grade, 8th grade and 12th grade graduates. Thank You Dayra, Marjo and Liz and all the Parent Reps.
- 5th grade hoodies can be picked up in Pokrovsky Hills until April 3. Contact email@example.com to arrange a pick up time. If you can’t pick up your hoodie before April 3, distribution will be handled from school in the fall.
- 8th grade hoodies are still in the process of getting ready. As soon as they arrive Marjo will get in touch with the parents.
- 12th grade graduation blankets can be picked up in Pokrovsky Hills until May 1. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pick up time. If you cannot pick up the blankets before May 1, distribution will be handled by HS office at a later date.
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 of the PTO Exec during the first week of April.
We have one candidate per position, but per our by-laws we need to hold an election to ratify the candidates. The candidates’ statements of interest are attached here. We kindly ask you to take a few minutes to review the statements.
The mail with a link to e-ballot will be sent out after April 1st with instructions to submit your vote.
Finally, a big thank you to all the parents, Class/Grade Reps, Event Coordinators and volunteers for making AAS PTO a community to be proud of during these extraordinary times.
And, before ending let me take this opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation to all the doctors, nurses, other health care workers and essential services providers who are carrying on their work under very difficult circumstances, along with those working in the media and communication, everywhere across the world.