May 13, 2020
Dear Anderson community,
I hope this communication reaches you with everyone in your family being well, safe and secure in this unusual and unpredictable time. AISD and Anderson High School are working on several fronts to ensure students have devices to connect for online learning and reliable internet access. To date, AISD has delivered 15,000 Chromebooks to students, 6,300 hotspots (with more on the way) and 500,000 meals to students and their families. There has been $900,000.00 in donations to AISD to support these strong support measures.
Currently, our most immediate concern is our beloved Seniors, Class of 2020. These seniors have had to give up so much of their precious time together this semester. While teachers are working with each senior to ensure that they are in good standing and are meeting all graduation requirements, we still have to consider all the other factors that students may be dealing with on a personal level.
On Tuesday May 12th we had Cap & Gown pick up at Hillcrest Baptist Church from 9:00 until 1:00. This event went very smoothly in spite of the persistent rainstorm. Seniors and/or family members picked up their caps & gowns and enjoyed seeing the faces of teachers and coaches who were there to cheer them on. There were a few senior packages not picked up, and Ms. Diane Newberry emailed each of those seniors to come to the Anderson campus on Friday, May 15 from 9:00-3:00 in the Main Office to pick up their items.
Project Graduation 2020 has been active for the past month or so doing senior drawings each week for prizes. The winning seniors are notified and prizes mailed to their home addresses. Information on this is available on Instagram: ahs_projectgrad2020
There is also a Project Graduation 2020 baby picture project where a senior’s baby picture is posted and students try to guess who the senior is. This information was sent to senior parents via Naviance emails (usually from Pam Mason or Cathy Painter). This information has also been shared via the Trojan Times (digital newsletter from the Anderson PTSA).
Our next senior event will be Wednesday, May 27th @ 10:00 am. We are planning a Senior Celebration Parade. We are encouraging seniors to dress in their caps & gowns, decorate their vehicle, have a family member drive (so the senior can wave, take pictures, and celebrate safely). They will begin at Anderson entering the student parking lot nearest the tennis courts. Proceeding through the student parking lot, exiting near the corner of Steck and Mesa (right on Mesa) into the circle drive in front of the school. We will have celebratory decorations, give-aways and staff on hand to cheer our seniors on. From the circle drive seniors will follow a designated parade route through neighborhoods around the campus. The route will be released soon (pending approval by APD and AISD Police) so that families and neighbors can make a plan for where to set up lawn chairs and watch the parade. The parade route is about 7 miles long and will disperse away from campus to discourage “pop up” celebrations that do not adhere to the social distancing guidelines required.
June 15, 2020 is the target date for AISD’s Virtual Graduation for Anderson High School. This will be broadcast on AISD Channel 22 and possibly other media sites. This program will use seniors portraits
taken previously (Photo Texas photos taken for the yearbook). We had a few seniors who had not taken their portraits yet, and AISD has contacted those seniors directly to get a portrait taken for the virtual graduation program. We are working on putting this program together to include all the familiar commencement activities, music and images. More details on this event will follow as soon as available from the vendor.
AISD is also planning an “in person” graduation for August 12th @ 4:00 pm at the Erwin Center tentatively pending public health requirements. Although we do not at this time know for sure that this event will be allowed, plans are in place for this important “rite of passage” event for our seniors.
Project Graduation 2020 is also working on an event on August 1st that would be a combination of Prom, Graduation and Grad Party. At this time, we are not sure of the location of the venue as the Anderson campus may not be an option due to the campus being “sealed” on May 15th until school reopens. Please stay in touch with Project Graduation 2020 by watching for emails and information on Instagram. Parent volunteers are committed and focused on honoring our seniors and providing celebration activities that will create treasured memories with their classmates.
Students (grades 9-12) can turn in materials this Friday, May 15th on campus. Students may need to turn in textbooks, library books, calculators, uniforms, etc. Seniors will need to turn in Chromebooks if they are finished with course work in all respective classes. If seniors are continuing to work on graduation requirements courses, those seniors can keep their Chromebooks until all course work is complete. We will collect Chromebooks from Seniors on May 27th in the circle drive during the parade and at the Erwin Center on August 12th.
Yearbooks are submitted to the publisher and are awaiting completion. The publisher was supposed to resume work on May 12th and adjust the completion/delivery date for our books. At this time, we do not have a definite delivery date on yearbooks. This information will follow as soon as available.
Thank you’s are due to Hillcrest Baptist Church for hosting our cap & gown delivery earlier this week. Westover Hills Church has worked diligently to support our families in need with a weekly food pantry and family supports. Joseph Ngo, Engineering teacher, has worked since mid-March using donated materials and equipment from our ATC engineering building and 3-D printers making face sheilds for health professionals. Many of our students and families have been touched by this health crisis. Students are working full time in many instances or they are providing day care for younger siblings so parents can work. Please be considerate, supportive and kind to those around us during this challenging time.