Hello From ACMA
Message from Principal Paige
Hello ACMA Family,
We’re partners in this. As we navigate this odd, unusual, and unfamiliar world of Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) one of the best ways we can support our kids is to work together. What does that look like? Well, at its heart it means caring for students, communicating frequently and honestly, and staying as connected as we can around academics and social and emotional health. On the ground (or around the kitchen table) this can look different from day to day.
Last week one of our amazing ACMA teachers came to me with an idea that felt different than others I’d seen about parents supporting students, and I thought it would be worth sharing with families as another way to think about how we partner this fall. It sounds a little unconventional at first, but when the dust settles on his proposal what’s left makes some sense.
“As we know,” he wrote me, “most teenagers often require extra motivation, cajoling, and encouragement in order to do things they don't want to do. Teenagers definitely need to be pushed through academically rigorous material. If it was just stuff they were interested in, they wouldn't grow. If they could do it all on their own, it wouldn't be hard enough. They are supposed to struggle and the work of education is continually adjusting the amount of struggle. In the classroom, I have an ability to see kids working and I can make adjustments. I can see when kids need to be redirected or helped or complimented. I can dole out rewards and inflict consequences. All for the sake of pushing a kid to try and work and grow.
“All teachers can do now is present information and grade work. As we saw in the spring, this led to generally poor results for all stakeholders. Generally, the only one in a position to properly push these kids now are parents. This is not ideal or even fair, but it is the situation. If a parent is not in a position to administer their child's education, due to work or other circumstances, that kid needs to be identified and we need to figure out how to provide them with educational guidance and support.
“I heard a lot of frustration from parents that distance learning was overwhelming for them as well. We need to be sensitive to this and figure out how to keep their morale up and keep them engaged in this partnership. I believe that clarifying their role and helping them learn how to do it can make this manageable. I wonder if shifting terminology and asking parents to think of themselves as vice-principals rather than teachers would help.”
Wait, what? some of you might be thinking. That’s not the job I signed up for! His suggestion caught my attention too. But listen, this isn’t a scheme that asks you to put on a suit or dish out lines like “If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” It’s more thoughtful than that.
He continued: “Most parents don't know how to teach math and literature and chemistry, but they do know how to enforce rules, redirect behavior, and support someone through a struggle. You administrators do an awesome job of this stuff when we're in the building, but I'd imagine your capabilities during CDL have greatly diminished.
“I would like to clarify and support the parental role in CDL by asking them to focus on five main jobs:
Establish an appropriate balance between work and free time
Minimize distractions during work time and persist through challenges
Make the most of free time
Verify completion of assignments
Formulate questions for kids to ask their teacher
“We could have trainings and support sessions on each of these jobs ranging from "beginner" to "advanced." These are things that parents should be able to do and ways they can be an integral partner. And again, if they aren't in a position to do the above, we should identify those students and figure out how we can support those households. This role is critically important.”
So, parent as administrator, not instructor. Does that mean you don’t answer your kid’s question about the periodic table? No, but it shifts the focus of parent support to areas not limited to academics.
All five of the “jobs” this teacher suggested are vital to student success, and I’d like to unpack them over the next few weeks. Until then I invite you to think about ways we can work together to help make the start of this school year as positive and productive as it can be. None of us can do this alone, but we’re not alone; we have each other, and the kids need that.
Virtual Coffee With The Principal - Sept 3rd
What is the school year going to look like?
Principal Paige will answer your questions during "Virtual Coffee With The Principal" on Thursday, Sept 3rd at 9am. The zoom information has been emailed to our ACMA families.
Save The Date - September 10th
Usually on the Thursday before school starts we enjoy a Ice Cream Social from our ACMA PTO and we travel around the building to meet your class teachers. But again, this year is different...
On Thursday, September 10th we will have more details on how you can get to know your teachers and the classes you will be attending. An email will be sent out to you next week. Stay tuned!
A Successful ACMA Day!
2020-2021 School Year Calendar
We have updated the 2020-21 District Calendar.
Calendar is subject to change based on contract negotiations and resource availability. In the event inclement weather or other emergency closures prevent the District from meeting required instructional hours set by ODE, the days will be made up in June.
CDL Bell Schedule
Monday & Thursday are Periods 1, 3, 5 & 7
Tuesday & Friday are Periods 2, 4, 6 & 8
Reminder: Complete Your Online Verification Process
If you haven’t already, please complete the District’s back-to-school verification process in ParentVUE. We encourage parents to complete the required annual process before school begins. Verification allows you to double-check that important information is up-to-date in our system.
Visit our Back-to-School Verification webpage for instructions.
The first day of school for students will be Monday, September 14. Students will start the school year with Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) through ACMA.
We’re committing to remain in a Comprehensive Distance Learning-only model through at least November 13, 2020. All daily coursework, lessons and learning tasks in grades 6-12 will be delivered through Canvas by ACMA school teachers. When it's safe to do so, we’ll begin to bring students back to school in a Hybrid Model: two days in school and three days online from home. If your student would prefer not to return to school in a Hybrid Model, he or she can continue to learn fully online from home via Comprehensive Distance Learning through the remainder of the year.
How will Comprehensive Distance Learning be more robust than remote learning in the spring?
Thanks to surveys filled out by staff, parents and students about remote learning in the spring, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. As we put together the plan for Comprehensive Distance Learning, we’re incorporating that learning. In addition, participation will be mandatory in the fall; student attendance will be taken. Per guidance from the Oregon Department of Education, we also expect to be giving grades to students.
What will an average day of Comprehensive Distance Learning look like at ACMA?
Per guidance from the Oregon Department of Education, students can expect 20 to 45 minutes per class of teacher-facilitated learning - either synchronous or asynchronous — in addition to 1 to 2 hours of applied learning (i.e. group or independent projects) and 2 hours of nutrition wellness and support. All teachers will be utilizing Canvas. It’s important to note that we haven’t decided on the length of class periods, but the periods will meet or exceed the Oregon Department of Education’s recommendations.
Free Kids’ Clothing - The Clothes Closet is Open!
The District-run Clothes Closet is open to distribute new and gently used clothing to any BSD student in need. Given the COVID-19 situation, we’ve had to move to an appointment-based system.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your student to shop, please go online. If you’re unable to access our online calendar, call 503-356-4322 to schedule an appointment. Please note: all Clothes Closet visitors will need to wear masks. If you don’t have your own, we’ll provide them.
Change to Student Chromebook login
Beginning September 8, the student login to Chromebooks will change. This change provides important security improvements. Students will log into their Chromebooks with their full student email addresses (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Setup, login instructions and answers to general support questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions webpage.
Technology Support for Families
Student Help Desk: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 503-356-4656
Device Protection Program
Anticipating that all students will get a district-owned device (either Chromebook or iPad), the District adds a fee of $20 to students’ Online Payment accounts (maximum fee of $60 per family per school year) to enroll them in the Damage-Loss Protection Program. This fee is waived for families who qualify for the free or reduced-price meal benefits program and have completed the Permission to Share form. Students need to pay the assigned fee prior to any damage or loss claims to be eligible for the Protection Program coverage and no later than 30 days after they begin school.
Students may choose to decline coverage. However, doing so isn't recommended, because a family would then assume full responsibility for any costs due to damage, loss or theft. These costs could be as much as $300 per incident, regardless of how the damage occurs.
Visit the Student Device Resources webpage for more information.
Meanwhile back on Center Street...
District Goal: WE empower all students to achieve post-high school success.