Anderson High School

Letter from Principal Harrison dated 7/24/2020

July 24, 2020

 

Dear Anderson community,

 

I hope this finds you and your family healthy and safe. We are busy making plans to begin instruction on August 18th as originally designated by the AISD official calendar for the 2020-21 school year. We will begin the school year with at least 3 weeks (at least until September 8th unless this period is extended due to public health concerns) of virtual learning as announced by Dr. Cruz https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2020/07/14/2020-21-school-year-begin-virtual-instruction-ano-escolar-2020-21 earlier this month.

During the 100% virtual learning, students will be expected to be online for synchronous instruction with their teacher(s) during the designated class period times. Grades will be given based on the work students complete and submit to the teacher. Teachers will record teaching sessions and post on BLEND for students who are not able to be online at the designated time. Whether your child is in attendance during the synchronous class session or views the recorded instruction, he/she is responsible for the content and work assigned. We encourage students to commit to the structure of their daily class schedule and make arrangements to be online at the designed class times. During virtual learning it is better to have a structure of expectations in place to help guide students on using their time during the day. When circumstances arise that prevent being online the recorded instructional session is available, but we hope that this will only be the case on rare occasions.

We will follow a rotating A/B schedule that will be the same for us when we physically return to the campus. Since the next few months are uncertain and unpredictable in terms of whether and when we will be able to return to face to face instruction, teachers have been building instruction virtually to be robust, rigorous and engaging. We are also building in time for teachers to be available for online tutorials, office hours and Q&A opportunities for students.

All returning Anderson students should have devices (Chromebooks or their own laptops) from last year as well as reliable internet access. AISD has hotspots to distribute to students who need internet access. It is important that students who are new to Anderson reach out to us now https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GUmB8E1pJG7KbizIrj0VQWWSoHGdDcOC/view to let us know if you need a device, hotspot or charger in order to be ready to begin instruction on August 18th. Incoming 9th graders from Murchison were to keep their Chromebooks and bring with them to Anderson. Incoming 9th from Burnet, Sadler-Means, Martin or Paredes will have to return their Chromebooks to their respective middle schools and we will set up a time for devices to be delivered to these students (likely a drive-up distribution site with date/time to follow).

Students/parents should have received an email sent June 30th from AISD listing the student’s course selections for the upcoming school year. This is not the student’s actual schedule as we are still hiring and building teacher schedules. But, it is the current list of courses the student selected. In the past this information was mailed (hard copies USPS) to student home addresses. The email delivery is different this year so be sure to look for that information. If there is a course that your student doesn’t want or there is a mistake in the courses listed, please reach out to the Counselor’s Office via the google doc https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSefjbJAeZbOfSuOPPdA2yQk4KKTKxCYoBM49uRORhqWS9QsXA/viewform and list the schedule change you need made. Course selections can be changed until August 1st so time is of the essence for a change. When the master schedule is finalized with teachers and class periods assigned, students will be able to view that information via the student portal in the AISD cloud.

Students who received an Incomplete grade for a course Spring, 2020 have been contacted by the Counselors and Assistant Principals. Any student who received an Incomplete in a course can make up the incomplete via a Garza Online course. http://garzahighschool.com/incompletes.html This course gives the student a pre-assessment, then prescribes 10 lessons based on TEKS for that course and then provides a post-assessment when the student has completed all of the assigned lessons. These grades are then sent back to the Spring, 2020 teacher of record who will then be able to make a decision about the student’s final grade. Students have this opportunity to complete the course through December, 2020. Many of these students have completed the remaining coursework during this summer. Students who were not able to complete the Garza Online courses over the summer will have through December, 2020 to do so. Contact your student’s Counselor if you have questions about this.

Knowing that we will have students learning virtually as well as face to face (at some point in the future) it is essential that we have a schedule that is realistic and does not require students to be tied to a screen for hours on end. The schedule below is the framework that we will follow for virtual and face to face instruction for the Fall, 2020 semester. Teachers will have one hour synchronous learning with live two-way communication with students during the designated class time. After the 1st and 2nd block in the morning, there will be an hour of “work block” where students are working independently on content and assignments given in the first two blocks of the day. Teachers are available for online office hours during the “work block” times for students who need more support, clarity or feedback on their work. Friday will be a rotating A or B day as designated by the official Anderson calendar. Friday classes are asynchronous, but will require an assignment to be turned in for each class on the asynchronous day. There will be a synchronous Advisory time on Fridays (regardless of it being an A or B day) from 1:00-1:30. The asynchronous Fridays will also allow our custodians to deep clean each classroom area prior to classes resuming on the following Monday.

                                        Remote Learning Model

Monday                   Tuesday              Wednesday              Thursday                    Friday

A day                         B day                     A day                      B day                    A/B Rotating Asynchronous Plus                                                                                                                                 Synchronous Advisory

Periods 1-4             Periods 5-8             Periods 1-4             Periods 5-8            Periods 1-4 on A days                                                                                                                                                 Periods 5-8 on B days

1st 9-10am              5th 9-10am             1st 9-10am              5th 9-10am       

2nd 10:15-11:15      6th 10:15-11:15      2nd 10:15-11:15      6th 10:15-11:15

11:15-12:15            11:15-12:15             11:15-12:15              11:15-12:15                                                                1st & 2nd period     5th & 6th period      1st & 2nd period       5th & 6th period                                                             Work Block            Work Block              Work Block               Work Block

12:15-1 Lunch        12:15-1 Lunch        12:15- 1 Lunch          12:15- 1 Lunch      

3rd 1-2                    7th 1 - 2                  3rd 1 - 2                     7th 1 - 2                      Advisory 1:00-1:30

4th 2:15-3:15           8th 2:15-3:15          4th 2:15-3:15             8th 2:15-3:15 

3:15-4:30                 3:15-4:30                3:15-4:30                   3:15-4:30                                                                  3rd & 4th period      7th & 8th period      3rd & 4th period         7th & 8th period                                                          Work Block              Work Block             Work Block                Work Block

 

Students who have no way to connect to virtual learning will be given the option of printed hard copies of academic work. We hope this will be very, very few students as AISD will provide devices for students/families who reach out and let us know this is needed. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GUmB8E1pJG7KbizIrj0VQWWSoHGdDcOC/view

The point at which we are able to return to face to face instruction on campus, we will continue the above schedule for synchronous instruction in each class according to the student’s assigned schedule. In this plan, we are dividing up the school into teams. Each team will have 3 classrooms, 4 teachers, and 36 students. Each teacher would supervise a homeroom class of 12 students, and those students will not be moving classrooms. We will have students grouped randomly in these groups of 12. Students will not change classes; they will remain in the designated classroom participating in synchronous instruction online. Students will need headphones or ear buds to be able to manage this. The teacher in the room is also teaching synchronously according to his/her assigned teaching schedule. During that time the students in the room will be working independently on their own assigned work and participating in their online live class activities. Students will eat breakfast and lunch in the same classroom (45 minutes). The rationale for this model is limiting exposure and safety protocols for social distancing and sanitization procedures. In the event of a Covid-19 positive person, this allows us to quarantine the 12-13 individuals (for 14 days) rather than a student’s 8 classes full of peers and 8 teachers (potentially 170+ people). This model allows us to build a smaller community group to support students individually during this challenging and uncertain time. Since the Fall, 2020 semester is fraught with so many variables that we cannot control providing safety through limited exposure and daily teacher support is our best option. Students will be able to come to campus after/before school for extra-curricular activities (where social distancing and safety precautions will be followed). Students may choose to do the instructional day virtually and report to campus for extra-curricular activities. This model also allows us to pull designated groups of students together on Fridays (once we are able to return to Face to Face) for specific activities and supports. While there are still potential issues to work through with this plan, and the risk of exposure is minimized, we feel like this is the safest way to allow a portion of our students to come back to the school building in person.

 

When we are able to return physically to campus for face to face instruction, we need families to decide whether their student(s) will remain 100% virtual learning or return physically to the Homeroom of 12 with a teacher model. We need your decision by August 21st. We will send a survey to families right after this community letter is delivered. We must know how many and which students will be reporting to campus so that we can follow all CDC guidelines for social distancing and safety. We ask that once selected, students remain in either 100% virtual or face to face on campus through the grading period. Families can opt in or out between grading periods and with prior (2 weeks) notice.

Students may apply/qualify for free or reduced meals at the link below. Otherwise, students will need to deposit money in their school account in order to have meals delivered to his/her assigned classroom once we return physically to campus. Please go to www.schoolcafe.com to apply for free/reduced lunch status or to simply deposit money into your student’s account in order to pay for breakfast and lunch meals for your student. Students may bring their breakfast/snacks/lunches from home as well. Lunch deliveries (Grubhub, Favor, etc.) are highly discouraged as we do not have the staff to deliver lunches to students individually and students are not to leave their designated Homeroom. We have to be able to limit exposure during the school day in order to provide the safety everyone needs. Food service will have lunch items available for students to purchase using their school lunch account monies.

AISD is providing supplies for sanitizing desks, learning spaces, and classrooms. Students will be required to wear a mask when on campus (except when eating his/her lunch) as well as to be compliant with social distancing around others. We will have temperature screening stations (10 total) when students are entering the building. We will check for masks and complete a Covid-19 screening questionaire with each student upon entry. Any student who is showing symptoms and/or a temperature higher than 100.0 degrees will be assigned to a staging room where the parent will be contacted about the situation.

Monday, August 10th we will have a virtual Transition Camp for incoming 9th graders. Information will be shared about schedules, breaksfast and lunch options, Counselors, absence notes, permits to leave during the school day, etc. Our students leaders on campus will devise the activities with the focus on making all students feel welcome, supported and how-to’s on making your high school experience fun and successful. More information to follow on this as it becomes available.

Trojan Charge will be delayed until we are able to return physically to campus. Students will then be able to complete the process of parking permits, freshamn receiving their Class of 2024 t-shirts provided by the Senior Class of 2020, and other process. We typically do not issue lockers as students rarely use them. However, if your students needs a physical locker we will collect their information and issue a locker to those who request it. Also, hard copies of textbooks are not issued any more as digital versions of state adopted textbooks are available to all students via their Chromebooks. However, if you require a hard copy of the textbook we can issue those to you upon request.

Anderson will have a Drive-up Registration for new students on August 3-6th at the front circle drive of the campus. The hours are 9-11 and 1-3. More information to follow as families are to remain in their

cars and staff with bring registration materials to the vehicle. Further if you enrolled online and want to check the status of your student’s enrollment, course selections, etc. please email: mary.andrade@austinisd.org or stephanie.villegas@austinisd.org

Stay connected with all the information and activities at Anderson High School: Check the website: www.andersononline.org Subscribe to the Trojan Times newsletter: http://eepurl.com/VPrpD Subscribe to the daily announcements: www.andersononline.org -àcontact us, faculty & staff, Diane Newberry and click subscribe to receive the daily announcements containing information about club meetings, school pictures, calendar reminders, etc.

I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help. Our teachers are committed to providing the best teaching and learning possible. We recognize that every family has concerns and circumstances that guide their decisions. Teachers and staff also have health concerns and pre-existing conditions that must be considered. Hopefully, by January, 2021 we will be able to return to “normal school” as we knew it prior to Covid-19. We appreciate everyone’s patience and grace as we navigate these unpredictable and changing parameters.

Our wonderful PTSA is working diligently to provide items the school will need to support daily instruction and enrichment. They are working with parents in our community who are asking how they can help. At this time we are exploring providing bluetooth microphones and speakers as teacher voices are muffled when wearing masks. In addition, we are seeking small video cameras to use as the embedded cameras and microphones in our laptops are sometimes not adequate. Disinfecting wipes or paper towels and spray bottles of disinfectant or alcohol will always be useful in the classroom. We have a community partner that is working to provide face sheilds for staff who need students to be able to see their faces when speaking.

Thank you for being a supportive and caring community with the best interests of our students always taking priority. Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or concern.

Sincerely,

Sammi Harrison, Principal

L. C. Anderson High School

Zoom webinar community meeting on Thursday, July 30th @ 2:00 pm to discuss the re-opening plan, schedule, instructional day and survey for parents to indicate their choice for their student(s). Unfortunately the webinar platform only allows 100 participants so we will record the session and develop a FAQ from questions posed in the chat.

To access the webinar, please go to Zoom.com and enter the following meeting information:

Webinar login:  898 1086 6301

Password:  9XfV6G