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          • Welcome Back to School! 

            Dear Academy Families,

             I hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful summer! 

             It is time to register for the 2020-21 school year. Online Registration is open and if you need support, you can contact the MSBSD IT Call Center 761-HELP (4357). 

             ******As a charter school, Academy is provided the autonomy to develop and implement a COVID Mitigation Plan for the restart of school, though, like all schools, Academy must respect and follow executive orders from the state and Department of Education and Early Learning.

            Fortunately, as a small school, along with Academy’s charter goals, philosophy and instructional delivery practices, such as providing language arts and mathematics instruction in small like-paced/like-skilled ability groups, many of the COVID smart and safe recommendations are already commonplace at Academy.

             ****After much reflection and consideration of the most current information presented by the State, CDC, and DEED’s Restart 2020, the best option is to restart Academy Charter School in “Go YELLOW”. 

            Restarting Academy on “Go YELLOW” establishes COVID-smart practices known to help reduce the spread of illness. 

            Restarting Academy on “Go YELLOW” provides predictability and stability for students, staff, and the community.   

            Academy will remain responsive to the most current health and safety mandates and precautions recommended by Dr. Zink, State of Alaska Health Dept, DEED, and the CDC. 


            ******We are a little less than 5 weeks out and though many changes may occur; Academy’s restart plan provides predictability and stability for Academy’s staff and families. 

            We will hope that the virus slows down rather than increases.  If it slows, Academy is ready to quickly revert to our normal routine and schedule.  We will flex and modify as needed as the first week rolls out. 


            ******Have you had a chance to watch Academy’s FB Live presentation on Academy’s COVID mitigation plan for the First 7 Weeks of Restart of School

            The FB Live on Academy’s FB page will help you to better understand the current Restart Plan and the “on-campus learning plan. The plan will continue to be refined and improved to meet the health and safety precautions while adding in many of Academy’s unique learning opportunities including middle school Friday Electives and the Intensives in October.  As always, please feel free to reach out if you have additional questions.

             *****For your convenience, here is a quick summary and overview of the First 7-weeks Restart of school at Academy Charter School. 

            Academy will restart school on “Go Yellow” phase. (See attachment on Go Green, Go Yellow and Go Red phases.) Academy will provide a COVID smart and safe environment for students and staff, implementing the most current health and safety precautions as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in schools/?fbclid=IwAR0PCRM_dvatP4Tf6CNqm741TKYrLZdS7SuFhjnUBE2wX-rlZlr0v9DZZMg)

             Academy will restart school on “Go Yellow”, a COVID-SMART scenario for the First 7-14 Weeks of school.  Academy’s Restart Plan includes:

            • Small size classes ALL day for Kindergarten thru 8th grade, including lunch time (no more than 15 students in a classroom). Each grade level will offer two groups for Language Arts.  Each grade level will offer two groups, plus students will advance for mathematics ability groups as determined by MAP and beginning of the year assessment data. 
            • *****During the 7-Week Restart COVID Mitigation Plan, student pick-up is at 2:15 pm each day, with exception of the First Friday Early Release days (ER).  This plan may continue for an additional 7 weeks, which will take us to Thanksgiving break.
            • All afternoon LABS are divided into half.  For example, two teachers teach science lab, allowing ½ the class in one room for Science lab instruction and ½ the class in another classroom for Science Lab instruction.  Another example, Spanish and Mrs. Anderson’s Choir will each take half of a grade level, such as 13 kindergarten students in Spanish Lab and the other 13 Kindergarten students will be in Mrs. Anderson’s Choir Lab. 
            • One directional hallway to reduce the flow of students and staff passing in the hallway.
            • We have no way to predict the health and safety mandates that will be required at the beginning of school.  IF students need to wear a mask in the hallway, the masks may be removed once seated in the classrooms with social distancing practices established. 
            • Social distancing practices will be established and followed as per the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics, DEED Restart 2020, and the State Health Dept.
            • Sanitation stations will be placed inside school entrance doorways.
            • Extra handwashing and hand sanitizer will be encouraged and practiced.
            • Additional custodial cleaning during the school day.
            • Additional cleaning routines and practices will be implemented. 
            • Currently we are researching and evaluating the purchase of air cleaners for each classroom. 
            • The gym will be divided into squares for planned social distancing. The squares will be labeled for each family.  Each morning, upon arrival, students will enter the gym and sit in their family square to await the orderly release to their small groups.
            • Attendance will be taken at 7:45 a.m., in the assigned small groups, splitting each grade level in half.  
            • Students will return to their beginning of the day classroom to prepare for their daily departure. 
            • Students will remain in their small groups for pick-up and social distancing will be practiced.
            • Parents MUST remain in their vehicle and not approach the staff or students during pick-up. 
            • ***Kindergarten pick-up has been changed to 2:15 pm for the entire school year.
            • Parents should take their student’s temperature each day prior to coming to school.  If the student has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, the student should stay home.
            • If a student has any symptoms of illness, a student should remain at home until well.
            • Students that develop a fever or begin to develop symptoms of illness while at school, the parent will be notified to pick up their student immediately.  For the safety and well-being of all staff, students, and the community, students who are ill must not remain at school. 
            • When a school community has a COVID virus occurrence, the State of Alaska Health Department will test the other family members in the home.  Should a student test positive for COVID, even if asymptomatic, the expected protocol for such a situation is that the school will close for 4-5 days of deep cleaning and staff and students would return to school the following week.  Academy will respect and follow all executive orders of Governor, State Health Dept., and DEED.
            • Week of August 17 - 21, assessments will occur.  August 24, 25, 26, MAP assessment will occur.  Student assessment data will be used to group students in like-skill/like-paced instructional groups.

             *****Academy's calendar did not change.  MSBSD amended their calendar, Academy’s approved FY2020-21 Calendar did not change.  

            ****Please find the current Restart of School COVID Mitigation Plan for Academy’s instructional schedule.  (Attached)  Grant funding provided under the federal CARES Act, will provide our part-time teachers to work full-day contracts for the First 7 weeks.  We are prepared to use additional funds to repeat this schedule for an additional 7 weeks if needed.

             How can parents help plan and prepare for the school year?

            The goal is to STOP THE SPREAD OF ILLNESS – Please plan to check your child’s temperature each morning prior to arriving at school.  Parents should keep their child at home if they are ill or displaying any symptoms of illness.  

            • Any student with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school. 
            • Parents should develop a plan for a rapid response to pick-up your student should they develop physical symptoms of illness or a fever while at school.   
            • Kinsa – an option for families to receive a thermometer and monitoring system for free. Information will be sent to all families in September.

             SNACK – Please plan to provide your student with an individually packaged snack (in a baggie or small container) separate from their lunch.  (K-8)

            • The separately packaged snack will help students avoid eating their lunch for snack.  The separately packaged snack is easy to carry with the student to their LA instructional group for access at snack time in their small learning groups.
            • Simple, small, quick, nutritious. Please avoid processed foods and items heavy carbs.  A small, simple, quick, nutritious snack example - pack a few chunks of cheese and hard salami. 

             How can parents help at school?

            • During Academy's First 7 weeks of school - we will need help each day, from 12 -12:30, monitoring small groups of students during lunch. Each class is divided in half. The group size would range from 13-15 students. 
            • Parent helpers may need to wear a mask while in the building. 

             Parent work-day – Saturday, August 8th, 9 am – 3 pm. 

            • Old desks, tables, and other items need to be hauled to the dump. 
            • Set up sanitation stations set up. 
            • Music and piano lab will be moved to the classroom next to the parent run library. 
            • Turn the large room at the back of the gym into a usable small group space.

            Other Important Tidbits….

            GROUPING-Flexibility to divide learning groups into equal numbers, such as 12 and 14.  Or 14 and 16.   Our goals is to have "like-skilled/similar paced learners" together, with students challenged and working at their potential.

            As August draws closer, we will have a better idea as to the health and safety mandates of the CDC, Dr. Zink, and best practices on masks.  Currently, NO masks are mandated to be worn in school.

            • SHOULD a mandate occur - Masks should be plain, functional, and non-distracting.  NO mandate currently!
            • Academy staff will likely wear clear face shields to protect their health and for their safety.  Some staff may wear a clear face shield and a mask.  The health and safety of Academy's students, staff, and community is the priority. 


            The Annual Back to School Picnic has been cancelled. 

             ENTRANCE INTERVIEWS – August 12, 13, 14

            Each family should have received an appointment time for the Entrance Interview.  Please follow the one directional hallway movement. Make use of the sanitation stations.   Please wait outside of the classroom until your appointment time.  Please be respectful of social distancing. If someone in your family is ill, please cancel your appointment and we will reschedule later.  Only the student and the parents will enter the classroom to meet with the teacher.  

             QUESTIONS- This is a broad overview of Academy’s Restart Plan. Academy will continue to solve logistical issues and add-value.   An update will be emailed in early August.

            Thank you for your continuous support and remaining solution-minded! Together we can! Together we do!

            With Warmest Regards,

              Barbara Gerard

            Academy Charter School Principal



            Academy Charter School Policy on Age Requirement for Entry into Kindergarten your child is five (5) years old by August 1, they can attend kindergarten at Academy Charter School. If your child is six (6) years old by August 1, they can attend first grade. (Other MSBSD schools may accept younger students.)  Students turning 5 years old by August 1 are more likely to successfully meet Academy’s rigorous kindergarten expectations and to perform better throughout their school careers. 

            Click HERE for the Lottery Form for next years lottery application. 
            Visit our  Facebook page
            Please feel free to share link to this page on your own Timeline. This page will be a great resource for Academy families, community supporters and Academy alumni. 

             What is a Charter School? -The School Board has renewed our Charter until 2025-

            • Charter schools have been described as the research and development arm of public education. 

               How to volunteer at Academy Charter School?

              Is my child eligible to enroll? Yes! We are a public school.

              Barbara Gerard, Principal

              : Barbara.Gerard@matsuk12.us

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