Updates & 1st Day of School

Shana Kenney

Shana Kenney

Dear Parents,

I want to keep you informed as we are going through the process of re-opening.

Please mark your calendars, as we will officially start the school year on August 3rd.  We will have a slow start to work up stamina for the kids and to allow everyone a stress free start to the school year.

All Children Academics will be following the 12 student cohort for our school in its entirety.  Even though public schools have lifted this requirement,  we do not want to take the chance that this 12 student cohort will be reintroduced or enforced once the school year gets going.  In addition, it has been stated repeatedly that this small cohort and outdoor education is the safest way to educate groups of children.  We want to maintain consistency for our students, attending school 5 days a week, full time, so we will follow the 12 student cohort for the school year.

Here are important notes for you as we re-open.

1. Beginning of the school year:  we will attend 3 days a week for the first 3 weeks, before our full time schedule.
August: 3, 4, 5;  9am-1pm
August: 10, 11, 12th:  9am-2pm
August: 17, 18, 19th 8:30-2:30am with aftercare until 5pm
August 24th: Full Time Monday-Thursday 8:30-2:30 with aftercare until 5pm
Friday: 8:30-12:00  no aftercare, everyone has to be off campus

2. We will be changing our minimum day to Friday at 12:00 so that off site
professionals can enter campus on this day and then campus will be thoroughly cleaned.  There will be no aftercare on Friday’s.

3. We will be having aftercare, Monday-Thursday until 5pm.  Friday, everyone will have to leave campus by 12 for cleaning protocols.

4. In our goal to keep our students and staff as safe as possible we will be providing instruction outdoors, until weather is an issue-then we will make a new plan.  We are currently obtaining permits for overhangs and canopies to cover both sides of our backyard, and working on arrangements for the two outdoor classrooms for privacy and focus.

5. We are developing a safety protocol so students can still receive ABA, speech and occupational therapy on sight.  Speech and O.T. will ONLY be held on Friday mornings, and it would be a good idea to book this time with your providers immediately.  I will be having a ZOOM meeting with all providers to discuss safety of who/how they can enter campus, and describe how outside sessions will occur with just their client. ABA/BT’s will be allowed on campus daily, as long as it is one consistent person, their BCBA will only be able to check in on Friday’s.

6. Pick-up and drop off’s will require parents to stay in their vehicles, students temperatures will be taken daily upon arrival, and the parent will have to sign an acknowledgment each day.  Directions will follow once the team has designed the plan.

7. Teachers will include myself in the tree house, Miss Olivia and an aide in her classroom, an aftercare director from 2-5pm, and a mental health professional-2 days a week to assist in the kids transition back to school.  We are conducting interviews for the aide and after care director as we speak.  The mental health professional has worked with us for years and will be returning.

8. All teachers will be wearing face coverings at all times.

9. All teachers will be required to submit to monthly COVID tests, this includes any professional who will visit ACA campus.

10. Due to our sensitive population, and the age, it will not be required for students to wear face coverings.  The AAP argues that masks are probably not practical for children under middle school unless they can wear a mask without increased face touching.  However, we will be working with the students on getting used to wearing the masks appropriately and for extended periods of time.  If you would like your child to wear a mask full time, we will aide in that.  Forms will follow.

11. All learning will be held outdoors which is the safest possible way for us to open school, we will have the students maintain 4 feet distance while sitting and learning in their desks. According to the AAP, “enforcing physical distancing in an outside playground is difficult and may not be the most effective method of risk mitigation.  Emphasis should be places on cohorting students and limiting the size of groups.

12. You will be receiving a contract and paperwork in the next week.  Please review carefully.  A $1,500 deposit will be due August 3rd, along with all of the paperwork.  Tuition payments will begin September 1st.  You will receive all of this paperwork by mail, and the schedule for the school year.

13. It has been heavily discussed to have a longer winter break so that children are out of school during flu season.  We will be taking a week longer winter break starting earlier in December to meet this request.  Our early start in August will off-set these days.

14.  If a student or staff member becomes positive with COVID the entire school will close for 14 days and we will transition into distance learning.  If a member of the students family becomes positive, but not the student, the student will need to quarantine for 14 days, but the school can remain open.

15. If the county or state directs us into quarantine we will provide daily distance learning.

16. Now is a good time to practice having your child wear a mask for short periods of time, having them wash their hands consistently, and keep hands off of their face and out of their nose.

17. We will no longer be able to send daily notebooks back and forth, so instead we will be utilizing an online program to communicate with parents our daily notes.

18. For our younger kids, there will be strict rules around running noses-they can’t come to school with one.  Now is a good time if your child is one of those kids, to make a plan with your pediatrician about a method to lessen the length of a running nose, so your child can attend school.

19. These are the items that are being discussed and planned for, as well as others.  You will receive an official packet in the mail in the next week for your review.  Please plan for the week of July 20th, to attend a ZOOM meeting with myself so we can discuss our re-opening plan.  But for now, I wanted to answer some pressing questions you might have.

I hope everyone is doing well. Olivia and I miss the boys very much!  We have been hard at work planning curriculum that will be engaging, fun, and reach multiple aspects of learning.  We are truly so excited for school to open and can’t wait for our ACA family to reunite.


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