Updates (English)


Stay on top of all of the most recent updates regarding the start of the 2020-2021 school year!

Recent Parent Updates

 
August 4, 2020 - Back-to-School Letter (English)
 
Dear AMS Parents,
 
We are so happy to see you all again for the start of this school year. A few quick reminders:

  • Website: Go to https://amscharters.org/distance-learning/ to access all resources.
    • Updates will be complete by Wednesday morning, August 5, to access the following:
      (1) Distance Learning Guide
      (2) videos to accompany learning packets
      (3) interactive presentations and videos for specials – these are not in packet form
      (4) timeframes associated with the beginning of year learning.
    • As a reminder, the Distance Learning Guide contains resources on how to be successful with distance learning and how to structure your student’s schedule.
    • Prior to beginning Schoology instruction, the guide will be updated with Schoology-specific information.
  • Teacher Zoom/office hours and contact information: If your campus has not already sent this, you will receive this tomorrow.
  • Successful learning at home: AMS’s expectations of students beginning on August 5th until Schoology instruction begins:
    • Completion of and return of learning packets for core subjects (math, science, ELA, social studies) weekly
    • Completion of specials interactive specials assignments once a day (do not need to be turned in)
    • Completion of one hour of independent reading or friend/family member read-aloud activities (parents will log in attestation forms explained below)
  • Attendance: Parents will attest to completion of all of the above in the attendance Learning Attestation Forms. Directions are included in printed learning packets and will be sent electronically.
  • Progression of learning
    • In order to make this new year of learning successful, our intention is to make learning manageable at the start of the year with increased expectations and rigor developed within the first month.
    • Online: Online students should expect workload to increase to standard AMS expectations by August 17th.
    • Brick and Mortar: Brick and mortar students should expect workload to ramp up the week of August 17th and by the 24th workload will match regular year expectations.
 
If you have any questions at all, please free to reach out to your school leader. We look forward to reconnecting with all of you soon!
 
Sincerely,
Kim Chayka
Kim Chayka
Co-CEO
Academies of Math & Science
 

Past Parent Updates

Dear parents,
 
This letter is intended to update you about upcoming changes to the start of this year.

Last week, the Governor of Arizona released an Executive Order that called upon local health organizations in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) to release guidance on the safety of school operations with regards to COVID-19 prior to August 7th. While the recommendations allow for schools to make a decision based on the information that is presented, the timing of this information so close to our August 17th opening date presents challenges in case the guidance recommends pushing back the start date. While Maricopa County Health Department and AZDHS have not yet issued opinions about this upcoming school year, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry in conjunction with the leadership of the Pima County Health Department issued a memo on 7/28/2020 recommending that schools delay -campus instruction until September 8th. Though trends have been positive for Arizona with regards to COVID-19, we believe that waiting a few weeks to ensure that the positive trends in Arizona are stable would be in the best interest of our community.
 

For these reasons, the start of on-campus learning will now begin September 8th.

Because of the changes and the move of on-campus instruction to September 8th, we are allowing parents to make final elections by the end of this Friday. Classroom size reductions have been made for this upcoming year on-campus within all AMS campuses K-8, and if there is room in brick and mortar classrooms (at a reduced capacity), we will allow this transition.
 
Please see associated updates and important reminders below:

Reminders and notifications for all parents:
  • If you haven't turned in a lunch application for free or reduced lunch or need this form, please bring this in to your school by end of day Friday July 31st. In order to provide your children free or reduced lunch, we will need at least several days to verify your income information.
  • As parents have now made final elections, there may be some adjustment in teacher assignments that occur beginning on September 8th. Families will be notified of this change. This change is necessary to even out numbers of students in all classrooms whether on-campus or online.
  • Notification required by the Governor’s recent Executive Order: School attendance is required by law, and we are required to notify parents of these and other requirements in Arizona Statute §15-802. Please see here: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/15/00802.htm for more detailed information. While most parents are familiar with these requirements, the Executive Order mandates we must provide parents this information. Parents must verify attendance during the period of distance learning on a weekly basis for every day (whether partial or full day) the student engages in learning.
 
Online Program: All previous dates apply including August 3rd-7th Chromebook pickup, video and learning packet instruction August 5th, and instruction in Schoology beginning August 17th. Online parents may pickup a Chromebook for each child that needs one, but is not required to do so at this time if a parent has sufficient computer devices.
 
On-Campus Program (changes from prior letter):
  • Academic program
    • August 5th-August 21: Students will engage in online video and learning packet instruction from August 5th through August 21st with support from teachers with communication and tutoring hours. Please turn in work on a weekly basis during this time to assist with attendance tracking. Parents that turn in work or attendance attestation confirming work completed from the period of August 5th-August 14th will receive homework completion grades. Work will begin to be graded on the week of the 17th.
    • August 24th-September 4th: Families will be trained in the Schoology platform and will begin learning in this platform. Families will continue to have the option of packet learning, but we strongly recommend that all families utilize Schoology during this time so that in the case of any mandated future closures, families in the on-campus option are prepared to learn online. Students will be assigned to be at each period during this time working the same number of hours as if they were in school, and must be in attendance each period so that rigorous learning can resume.
    • September 8th: Regular on-campus academic program will begin.
 
  • On-site Supervision: Will be made available to families that do not have alternative supervision options for their children between August 17th to September 4th at one of our locations in Tucson and in Phoenix.
    • Parents must sign-up on or before 8/6/2020.
    • Description of services: Only available for on-campus parents, these on-site opportunities are not the same engaging classroom environments that parents are used to and will not include in-person instruction by a teacher. Classrooms will be supervised by paraprofessionals. This is for families that do not have the ability to keep students working at home. Because COVID-19 trends could change in the next several weeks, there is always a possibility that Arizona Department of Health Services guidance and county guidance do not allow AMS to provide on-site supervision during this time. If this is the case, we will notify parents.
    • No before or aftercare will be provided.
    • Attendance: Parents will not receive phone calls if students are not in attendance on these days. It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that students get onsite. As such, we discourage student self-transportation during this time.
    • Locations
      • In Tucson: at our Prince site at 1557 W. Prince Rd, Tucson, Az. Sign-up at: Click to sign up
        • Hours will be 7:55 am – 4:00 pm M,T,TH,F
        • Wednesdays will be provided till 4:00 pm
      • In Phoenix: at our Avondale site at 10555 W Buckeye Rd, Phoenix, Az. Sign-up at: Click to sign up
        • Hours will be 7:55 am – 4:00 pm M,T,TH,F
        • Wednesdays will be provided till 1:00 pm
    • Meals: If your child attends one of these locations between these dates, they will receive meals from these sites.
    • Chromebook and hotspot pickup will take place for on-campus families only the week of August 10th - August 14th from your home campus between 8:30 am and 10:00 am during meal pickup. Due to the initial limited time AMS on-campus students will be spent online, we are granting one Chromebook per family on loan for this time to be returned at the start of the school year on September 8th. Should the closure be extended beyond the September 8th date, which we do not expect at this time, AMS will be able to make Chromebooks available to every child in every household, both on-campus and online.
 
As a leader during these charged times, I have realized that everyone has different opinions right now regarding when the start of the year should be. I know this decision will present challenges to some families, and I know that it will relieve other families of stress. Please know that in making these decisions, I am always thinking of all of our families and staff members to try to make the best decision possible for our entire community.

We look forward to seeing you all soon, look forward to beginning instruction on August 5th, and look forward to seeing all of our families back on campus on September 8th.

Sincerely,
 Kim Chayka
Kim Chayka
Co-CEO
Academies of Math & Science