AES Community Connection 1/3/21

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Dear AES Families,

Happy New Year! We hope you have had a lovely well-deserved holiday break. Our goal is to remain open as much as safely possible for both students and staff. Research and experience has shown us that learning in a classroom alongside peers and talented passionate teachers is the best educational model, and makes us all happier.

The high incident rates in our surrounding counties coupled with the ability of the Omicron variant to spread rapidly have created a high risk of transmission. Self-reported positive test results from families and our staff confirm that the trend is also present in our immediate school community. While the risk is present everytime you leave your house, we are hopeful that you will take the risk and come to school.

Fortunately, we are in a much different place than we were last year.

  • Our staff is vaccinated and boosted.

  • Our student population has had the opportunity to get vaccinated. While we do not require vaccination, children ages 5-17 are eligible and encouraged to become fully vaccinated.

  • We have a better understanding of how people are affected by the virus.

  • We have a better understanding of how to mitigate the risk of transmission.

We intend to do all we can to keep students in school and we are going to need your help. In order to stay open to in-person learning, we need to take reasonable precautions to keep our teachers and students healthy.

What can families do to help?

- Avoid indoor gatherings; Given the very high incident rates in our surrounding counties and the contagion level of Omicron, we advise against attending any large indoor maskless gatherings for the next 2-3 weeks.

- Symptoms and Testing: We strenuously encourage you to vigilantly screen yourself and your children for Covid symptoms. If symptoms exist, please seek testing and stay home from school until symptom-free for 24 hours without medication. You can schedule a test by clicking here.

- Proper mask wearing: Students are set up for success when they have a well-fitted mask that easily covers their nose and mouth.

- Wear a better mask: Pitkin County Health has shared some guidance for school masking. The most effective masks for mitigating spread are the N95 or KN95. ACS has a supply of child and adult KN95 masks. Mask options in order of effectiveness are N95 or KN95, double mask with a cotton mask over a surgical mask, cotton or surgical mask.

- Continue sharing important health information so we can make informed decisions. Please report all absences to Carrie Milton in the main office and report all positive covid cases to Robin Strecker in the health office

We really appreciate your help in starting healthy.

What will the school do to help?

- Maintain the joy and routines that exist in our classrooms

- Continue to monitor students for symptoms throughout the day.

- Gently remind everyone to wear their mask properly and provide proper fitting masks if needed.

- Practice healthy hygiene habits such as hand washing and cleaning our workspaces

- Temporarily pause experiences that mix cohorts of students such as Fundations, lunch in the cafeteria and All School Community Meeting. MTSS and Special Education groups will continue with social distancing and enhanced cleaning of workspaces, however there may be disruption to services due to staff absences.

- Mindfully distance students during maskless times of the day such as snack and lunch

- Plan for disruptions. In the event that we need to quarantine a classroom, we will shift to remote learning based on prevailing advice.

- Temporarily pause volunteers in the classroom and school building including lunch/recess volunteers. Volunteers for outdoor activities will still be welcome to volunteer.

- Continue sharing important health information so families can make informed decisions.

Thank you for supporting our school as we continue to provide a happy, healthy learning environment for your child. As always, I will regularly provide updates as we learn more and when we need to adjust our course. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.

All my best,


Mark your calendar...

  • Monday, January 3- School back in session
  • Monday, Jan 17 - MLK Holiday
  • Friday, Jan 21 - Semester 1 Ends
  • Monday, Jan 24 - Student Release Day; Staff Professional Development Day

Quick Links

AES's IB Learner Profile of the Month = Inquirer

Students who are Inquirers...

  • Are naturally curious
  • Enjoy learning about the world
  • Love to gather research
  • Discover and learn new things

Aspen Family Connections Newsletter

Click HERE to see all the latest from Aspen Family Connections. Food Distribution is now at the Aspen Golf Course.

3rd and 4th Grade Fraser Writing Contest

Click here for details Fraser Writing Announcement

This year's theme: Friendship

Due: January 12th

Does your child ride the bus?

Bus Passes and Bus Changes:

If you need a new bus pass or want your child to catch a different bus home than usual, please visit the Transportation homepage. Links to the Bus Pass Replacement Form and the Bus Change Request Form can be found there. Students will not be allowed on a bus if they are not registered for a bus, and we will not be accepting handwritten notes or text messages from parents allowing students to ride a different bus.

What do I do if my child has symptoms or exposure to COVID-19?

Click here to review the updated (Oct 12, 2021) Pitkin County Public Health algorithm. Please print or bookmark and refer to this document as needed.

More community news...

Big picture

AHS Choir Performing at the Denver Nuggets Game 1/23!

The AHS Choirs will be performing the National Anthem at the Denver Nuggets game January 23rd. Attached is the flier and the link for students, families and staff to buy discounted tickets. Vax Proof or Negative Covid-19 test REQUIRED to attend.

Aspen Elementary SKIERS

At AES we have been working on establishing essential agreements which guide the way we behave and interact with others throughout our school in every setting. This year, we are adopting the SKIER acronym as a way to frame our essential agreements school wide. We hope that you will reinforce these positive attributes with your child at home.