Administrative Update VAAC
I just wanted to take a moment and express the gratitude I have for you, your child/ren and your family. I know this year isn't what any of us planned for or expected. I know there have been many hurdles along our pathway. I want you to know how grateful I am for your positivity, your feedback and your willingness to jump into virtual learning and help to build this program and continue to improve it day by day. I know change doesn't always happen as quickly as we would like, but please know that there are many moving parts behind the scenes to continue to implement changes based on your feedback, suggestions and ideas.
Our goal, from the start has been sustainability. I asked for families to sign up to participate in our VAAC Longevity and Sustainability Group. We are looking for families who will stay with us for the full year and/or beyond. To sign up, click the link! If you are interested, please click the link to sign up for a meeting time. We're planning our first meeting between November 19 and 24.
There is a LOT of information here. Take your time, read through and reach out with questions! Reference this tool often!
I'm going to release a monthly newsletter and weekly updates. I'll send through S'more and post to our website, here.
Mrs. Ashley K. Leneway
Our VAAC school calendar is available on our website, here. Please note that Friday, November 13 and Wedesday-Friday, November 25-27 are days off for our virtual students and staff members.
Our VAAC mascot winner is Stella VanWyk, 6th grader from Wayland! Congratulations!
I asked Stella to tell us about her design and this is what she said:
"I am very excited to be the winner. When I started thinking about the contest I thought that since I have been a Wayland Wildcat all my life, it would be fun to be a VAAC Velociraptor.
I chose Victory as the name because we can be victorious over our schoolwork. P. Positive: Velociraptors had to use their resources in order to survive. We need to use our resources to survive VAAC because we have never gone to school this way before. R. Responsible: Velociraptors hunted in packs. Even though we work on our own, we are still responsible to work with other VAAC students and teachers. O. Open Minded: Velociraptors need to observe their prey, just like we need to observe in school. The school is our prey and we need to eat up knowledge. U. Understanding: Velociraptors needed a lot of patience to catch their prey. We need a lot of patience and understanding to stay on pace in Edmentum. D. Determined: Velociraptors were resourceful. VAAC students need to be the same by using their resources to help finish their assignments."
Thank you Stella for incorporating the character traits of PROUD into your design. Again, congratulations!
Here is the link to our t-shirt/sweatshirt fundraiser. We will be utilizing these funds for prizes and incentives for VAAC students. There are two separate fundraisers- one for youth and adult shirts and adult sweatshirts and the other for youth sweatshirts. This is due to the type of printing that needed to be done for Stella's unique (and awesome) design. Please feel free to share! The fundraiser will close on Thursday, November 12 and items will ship directly to you around December 1.
All of the curriculum products we use are Edmentum products. Edmentum Calvert is our K-5 program. Edmentum Exact Path is our K-8 virtual assessment and learning pathway. Edmentum Courseware is our 6-12 program. It helps our team out immensely if you can clarify which Edmentum program you need support with and helps to streamline the troubleshooting process. Thank you!
We are working with districts on what year book options are available for VAAC families. We will clarify that from both the local district level and from VAAC very soon. We will have more information and details on how and where to purchase a year book coming for you in December.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Teachers have scheduled conferences with families based on student concern or need. If you have not had a conference and you would like to set up a time, you are always welcome to set up a time to meet virtually with your child's teacher, mentor or myself. If you need contact information, we can provide that for you. Please send an email to me at email@example.com
Trimester vs. Semester at VAAC
The end of our trimester is November 12. There is no school on November 13. All of our courses are designed to be semester courses. Students who remain with us at VAAC will not receive a trimester grade but a semester grade, at the end of the semester which is January 8, 2021.
Transitions at the Trimester
If your child is planning to transition back to brick and mortar at the trimester, please make sure you have communicated that move to your local district. Not every district is on trimesters, you will need to check with your district to determine when your district supports students transitioning. Students who are transferring at the trimester will receive a transfer grade for their coursework completed up to November 12 and we'll work on getting that information to the district from VAAC. In elementary, please work with your teacher to make sure you have a plan in place to complete all work required up to November 12. In secondary, students who do not have a satisfactory grade will have a grace period to make up their coursework and improve their grade, we recommend doing this as soon as possible and not waiting until your child is trying to juggle virtual coursework with brick-and-mortar coursework.
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)
An opportunity for learning for families. Are you struggling with routines and disclipline at home? Has virtual learning been a tough transition for your familiy? Learn more about Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) and strategies for home. How schools and families are implementing PBIS strategies and easing the transition back to school and different learning environments. Learn about resources to support your child while learning at home and school. Registration for November 9 webinar at 6:00pm can be done at https://miblsimtss.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iUvQcju8SX2Z0zJ08wiCZw
PBIS Family Panel Discussion Panel discussion will be recorded for future viewing.
Additionally, here are recorded access to PBIS strategies from the recent 3-part webinar series that focused on using PBIS at home and school.
Here's a flyer with more information:
GVSU Free Virtual Tutoring Services
Begins October 5th for K-12 students
Sign up at gvsu.edu/k12connect
Support Materials for K-5 Goodies from VAAC on Tour 10/30
The button below will be active on Monday, November 9. It houses compiled resources to help support families and students with the materials that were passed out on 10/30.
This link will continue to be updates with additional resource videos!
Attendance, Truancy and Engagement
Students in grades K-12 are required to participate in at minimum 2 two-way contacts per week with their mentor or classroom teacher. Parents and Students in grades K-5 can work collaboratively with the VAAC mentor teacher to accomplish the 2 two-way via zoom, email, or phone call. This means, the teacher initiates contact (via Seesaw (K-5), Remind (6-12), Google Classroom (6-12), Zoom, email, text message or phone call) and the student responds, then the teacher responds (teacher-student-teacher). These two-ways will be logged, and two per week must be completed for a student to have positive attendance marked. Students & parents need to be on the watch for contacts by their mentor and respond to all contacts.
Students will submit an assignment every Wednesday.
Students will login regularly (5 out of 7 days per week) to the appropriate Edmentum platform (Calvert, Exact Path, Courseware) and be working toward completion of their coursework.
If 2 two-way communications are not completed Wednesday to Tuesday, the local district is contacted, they are maintaining attendance records. Students who are consistently missing that communication or who are not completing and submitting coursework online will be considered truant. Here is the link to our truancy documents that have been shared.
We have a lot of fun things in the works for the coming months! Take a peek at what is in the works and what to expect in the coming weeks.
Discovering Manufacturing event for secondary students with Mr. Miller
PROUD certificates contest
PROUD Certificates and student recognition
Reenact your favorite story contestShared literacy opportunity for families
Hour of Code (December 8-17)
Gingerbread-Edible house design contest
Virtual Talent Show
Our tech team can be reached Monday-Friday during business hours at (269) 512-7756.
If you're needing help outside of business hours, please complete this form, https://forms.gle/EKkQ8PddXdP5QupX6, and our tech team will respond once they're back in the office.
Do you have a great piece of advice, something that has helped your family navigate virtual learning? Share it here! Record a quick video 60-90 seconds and share your tip, trick or virtual support to others.