The Sandbox

A newsletter for families and friends of iAcademy @ AES!

March 20, 2023

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Important Upcoming Dates

  • March 21: World Down Syndrome Day (Wear blue and yellow)
  • March 23: Kona Ice Day
  • March 27-31: Spring Break - No School!
  • April 3: Recognition of Autism Awareness Day (Wear blue)
  • April 3: Read-A-Thon Fundraiser Begins!
  • April 4-5: ACAP ELA Testing (2nd and 3rd Grade)
  • April 5: Pre-K Egg Hunt
  • April 7: Kindergarten Egg Hunt
  • April 11-12: ACAP Math Testing (2nd and 3rd Grade)
  • April 27: Kona Ice Day
  • April 27: Last Day for Tutoring
  • April 28: Professional Learning Day (No School for Students)
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ACAP State Testing

Springtime for students also means spring testing. We know our students are well prepared and ready to knock it out!

The ACAP (Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program) will be given to 2nd-3rd grades according to the schedule shown below. This test helps identify your child’s ability levels and allows students to demonstrate academic growth over time. It also helps schools and teachers in planning instruction through detailed reports.

  • The assessment will be administered 100% online, with the exception of documented need for paper assessments.
  • The content areas to be addressed are Math and English/Language arts.
  • The test will be broken into sections and given over several days to keep students from getting "test fatigue"

It is very important that your child attend school these days, so please plan accordingly if scheduling doctor appointments or other plans. We will start soon after 8:00 so please have your child here on time for these testing days. Some ways you can help your student is to encourage them to do their best on each part of the test and make sure they get plenty of sleep!

Testing Dates are as follows:

April 4-5: English/Language Arts Test

April 11-12: Math Test

If we have 100% hard work and participation from all students in the grade level, they will get to have a popcorn party! Please encourage your child to try hard and do their best!

Read-A-Thon Fundraiser

Our school is hosting a Read-A-Thon fundraiser! This fundraiser is easy to participate in and the money raised during this fundraiser directly benefits our school and students!

Read-a-thons actually get your reader excited about reading and it gives friends and family the opportunity to encourage your child to read even more.

Our Read-a-thon starts Monday April 3!!.

This week we will send home instructions on how to activate your reader's personal page. This is where you will be able to view and record their progress.

Here's How it Works:

  • Parents will register their student on their personal Read-A-Thon tracking page. Information about how to register goes home this week!
  • Students will read anything they want at home or at school. Parents and/or students will track their reading on their personal Read-A-Thon page
  • Parents and Students will reach out to friends, family members, community members to get others to support your student and their reading through donations to our school.
  • Students will have the opportunity to earn awesome prizes for reading, for getting donations for our school, and for sharing the word about our Read-A-Thon!

We hope EVERYONE participates! All proceeds benefit our PTO and all of the things they do for students and teachers throughout the year!

Yearbook Sales

Yearbooks are on sale! Price is $20 and order forms are available in the main office. The last day to order yearbooks is April 7th!

Please email with any questions!

Parent Engagement Survey

We are looking for your feedback to help us get better as a school! Please respond to this survey and let us know what you think! The survey shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes. Just click on the link below and respond to the questions! Thank you if you have already responded! The deadline to respond is THIS WEDNESDAY!

Family Engagement Survey

Thank you for supporting our school and your child!

Kindergarten Registration Starts TODAY!

Visit this website to find out all of the information about Kindergarten registration!


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Special Opportunity for any students with special needs!

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Legacy Bricks

Athens Elementary School invites you to become a permanent part of the new Athens Elementary School campus by purchasing a commemorative brick to recognize students, teachers, family, and friends in the Athens community.

Engraved on your commemorative brick could be a family name, student or alumnae, teacher, staff member, business or organization. You could choose to honor someone special or place a brick in memory of a loved one. Bricks can be donated to memorialize a special moment or achievement, such as graduation, the first class or a memorable event. Maybe you have a favorite quote or saying that could become a part of this special space. Engraved bricks also make wonderful gifts.

The bricks are incorporated into the design and displayed at the entrance area to the beautiful new Athens Elementary School. Your brick donation will serve as a visible reminder of your commitment and connection to the excellence and ongoing achievements of Athens City Schools.

Often a brick is donated as a gift to someone special. For this occasion, brick certificates are available for purchase. Each certificate is an additional $12. You can also purchase a duplicate brick as a keepsake or a smaller souvenir brick to keep as a memento.

One hundred percent of the proceeds go to support our teachers and students at Athens Elementary School.

Together, we can make a difference for Athens Elementary School.

Brick Sizes & Pricing

4” x 8” - $50

On the 4" x 8" brick, you have the option of writing up to three lines with 21 characters per line.

8" x 8" - $100

With the 8" x 8" brick, you have the option of writing up to six lines with 21 characters per line.

Brick text will be in all capital letters and centered on the brick. Please note that spaces, punctuation marks and other symbols count as characters.

To purchase: Click the link below to place your customized order. You can pay through cash or check dropped off or mailed to our school or by visiting our website at and click the "Pay Fees" button. Please include a valid phone number on all checks.

Questions? please call or email Mrs. Tedford at 256-233-6609 or

We Love Our New School (New AES)

School Attendance Matters!

It is very important that your kids attend school regularly! The more school they miss, the more learning they miss and can be in danger of falling behind.

Please take note of the attendance policy of our school district.

One of the most important things a parent or guardian can do for their child is ensure they are in school every day and on time. It is key to their learning, their success in school, and ultimately their success in life. Athens City Schools maintain an attendance policy and a truancy policy, which were written in accordance with Alabama State Board of Education Administrative Code, and §16-28-1 et seq., Code of Alabama (1975). Below are the details of those policies. If you have any other questions, please contact the attendance officer or principal.

General Provisions

  • A school day is defined as 7:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. (AIS-7:50-2:50)

  • A full day is defined as 50% of the day.

  • Late arrivals should report to the office.

  • Check-outs shall be conducted through the office.

  • Any missed school will be categorized as an excused absence, excused tardy,

    unexcused absence, or unexcused tardy.

  • Excessive absences and tardies will subject a student to truancy policies and



    Excused Absences

    Absences are excused for the following:

    1. Illness.

    2. Death in the immediate family.

    3. Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the

      child as determined by the principal.

    4. Legal quarantine.

    5. Emergency conditions as determined by the principal.

    6. Prior permission of the principal upon request of the parent or legal guardian.

    7. Athens City Schools allows a student to be absent from school due to illness five days per semester provided the parent has verified this illness in writing upon the student’s return to school. Any absence for illness beyond five days during a semester must be confirmed by a physician’s document in order for the absence to be excused. Otherwise, absences beyond five will be considered unexcused.

  • Unexcused Absences

    Absences that do not fall under one of the “excused absences” categories are deemed unexcused.

    The following are also deemed unexcused:

    1. Failure to send a note within three (3) days of the absence.

    2. Failure to secure prior approval from the principal for vacations, visits, work,

      or other activities.

    3. Five consecutive days absent without medical or legal documentation. If five

      or more days are missed in a row, there must be a medical or legal excuse.

    4. Failure to provide a medical excuse after a student has accumulated five (5)

      absences for illness with parent note for the semester.


    Being late to school or checking out of school are excused or unexcused for the same reasons as absences. Habitual tardiness greatly affects a child’s progress in school.

Visitors to Our Building

Anytime you come to our campus during the school day, please come to the main entrance and ring the doorbell for assistance. Please do not try to enter through any other door and do not go past the office. To ring the doorbell - make sure to push hard until you hear the chime! This is what lets Mrs. Carr know that there is a visitor at the door!

Checking In or Checking Out

If you need to check in or check out your child, please come to the main entrance and ring the doorbell. Our office staff will buzz you in. Come into the office. We have a QR code posted and a website where you can electronically check in or check out your student. You may do this on your own phone or we have an iPad available.

Anytime you arrive after 7:45 am you will need to come inside to check your child in.

We are excited to open up our lunchtime for visitors! All visitors must check in at the main office before heading to join your child in the lunch room. Just a reminder - if you bring any outside restaurant food to your child it needs to be in a lunchbox or brown paper sack. When lunch is over, please return to the office to sign out before you leave.

Communicating with Your Child's Teacher

Our teachers communicate with families in a variety of ways.

  • Each day students bring home a GOLD FOLDER in their backpack. This folder contains important information for students from the teacher. Please check the Gold folder daily.
  • SeeSaw is an online tool we use to communicate student's work and information from the class. Your teachers sent home information on joining your child's class Seesaw.
  • Email is a great tool for communicating with your child's teacher. Please know that they may not be checking email during the day so if there is something time sensitive call Mrs. Carr in the office.

Ways We Communicate!

We know that communication is vital to parents and students and it is something we take very seriously at iAcademy.

This newsletter will be a great source of information for you regarding all things related to iAcademy. We will send it out through our Blackboard communication system every Monday throughout the school year. It is sent via text, email, Twitter, Facebook and posted on our website as well.

We also send out reminders about upcoming dates/events through the Blackboard communication system. If you are not receiving these communications, please call the office and speak with our registrar Vickie Carr. If you have signed up via email and haven't received them, check your spam folder. If they are coming to your spam you may need to add our emails to your address book. There is also an app you can download. Information on the app is at the bottom of this newsletter.

We use Facebook and Twitter as a one-way communication where we can post announcements because we cannot monitor the social media posts during the day. If you need us, the best way to reach us is via phone or email. Please don't ever hesitate to reach out to us!

Principal - Amanda Tedford -

Assistant Principal - Nick Looney -

Want to stop receiving messages from iAcademy?

If you are receiving emails & messages from iAcademy and would like to no longer receive them - follow the link below to find out how to "opt out". There is also information on this page about how to use the app and verify and update your contact information!

Click HERE for opting out and communication info!

General School Information

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Community Partnerships

iAcademy Innovation Lab Powered by WOW!

2021-2022 Partner In Education: Listerhill Credit Union

Get the Free App Now!

Never miss a weather alert, school closing or important update. Download the ACS mobile app to stay connected at all times. Use the app to check calendars, lunch menus, and receive "push" notifications about school events and weather emergencies. Download the free app today at the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Android devices. Search "Athens City School System."

Be sure to allow alerts, pushes and banners in your phone settings under "notifications" to properly receive notifications. In the app settings, please select the schools from which you wish to receive updates. Contact our office with any questions. 256.233.6600.

Our Administrative Team

Mr. Nick Looney, Assistant Principal


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