January Updates and Reminders

2020!!

Another new year has arrived and we are so excited about what 2020 will bring! Wishing all of our families a wonderful new year!



And we want to send a warm welcome to our new families joining us in January. Welcome to ASUA! We are glad you are here!

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Calendar Reminders

  • School Resumes- January 6, 2020


  • Surviving and Thriving Parent Support Group (Meeting at Annex)- January 18, 2020 10:00 am to 11:30 am (Childcare is provided with advanced registration.)


  • MLK Day of Service (No school in session but please join us for the MLK Day of Service- More details below)- January 20, 2020


  • In-Service Day- (No School for students both campuses)- February 3, 2020


  • President's Weekend (Schools closed for students and staff both campuses)- February 14 and February 17, 2020


  • Surviving and Thriving Parent Support Group (Meeting at Annex)- February 22,2020 10:00 am to 11:30 am (Childcare is provided with advanced registration.)
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Updated Open-Door Policy

One of ASUA's unique programming features is our Open-Door Policy for families. The reason behind this policy is that ASUA embraces home and school collaboration. We want families and school staff to work together to build and support student success. This helps to ensure the family's familiarity with their child’s daily programming and helps facilitate generalization between school and home.


Equally as important is maintaining the culture of the classroom and the comfort, safety, and privacy of all of our students. While visitors are well-intended, our students have significant sensitivities to changes in routine and visitors often have an effect on our students individually and an impact on the day as a whole.


To maintain the balance between open collaboration and maintaining the culture of our classrooms, the following guidelines are being shared for any family member taking advantage of the Open-Door Policy at ASUA:


1. Parents are invited to stop by their child's classroom without notice.


2. Parent visits are limited in length to no more than one hour each day. ASUA does not currently have a limit on the number of daily visits per week, but maintains the right to amend as needed.


3. ASUA does not allow more than one visitor at any given time to a classroom, unless otherwise pre-approved by ASUA. Though ASUA values it’s Open-Door Policy, families must understand that, should a parent visitation under the Open-Door Policy conflict with a previously-scheduled observation, they may be asked to return at a later date or time.


4. Much time and effort goes into the plan and schedule for each student each day and ASUA provides many opportunities through IEP meetings and Student Update Meetings, as well as other informal meetings, for parents and staff to talk about each student with parents. During Open-Door parent visits, parents are limited to the role of observer in the classroom. It is to be expected that parents may have questions or comments during their visit; however, ASUA staff will not be able to talk with parents before, during, or immediately after Open-Door visits. Parents are encouraged to take notes and to schedule a follow up meeting to discuss their child's programming at a later date.


5. Respecting the dignity and protecting the privacy of our students is very important. Please note that ASUA staff is not permitted to engage in discussion or respond to questions/comments about other students with anyone who is not an immediate family member of the student being discussed.


6. While this would be a very last and undesirable option, ASUA maintains the right to remove or refuse classroom visits to any parent or family member who does not follow the guidelines or for whom their classroom visits are disruptive to the ASUA program and culture.

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**IMPORTANT** ASUA IS A PEANUT AND TREE NUT FREE SCHOOL

In order to create a safe environment for students and employees, ASUA has a strict policy of being a peanut and tree nut free school. All items packed in lunches and provided as a snack may not contain peanuts or tree nuts. Please read labels carefully to determine they are completely peanut and nut free. Products containing peanuts and tree nuts are a severe danger to students and employees with allergies and ASUA reserves the right to dispose of any products that contain these allergens. If a student is exposed to peanuts or tree nuts prior to coming to school for the day, they should thoroughly wash their hands before entering the building.


We ask all students, families, and visitors to be vigilant about this policy. Inadvertent violations can be extremely dangerous to students at both locations. Thank you in advance for your dedication to adhering to this policy.

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Outside Recess and Warm Clothing

It is the policy of ASUA to engage in outside recess play as often as possible. Please be sure to dress your child in weather appropriate gear for outside play each day. This may include hooded coats, hats, and gloves, as well as appropriate footwear.


We know how quickly our students are growing. If any family needs assistance with winter coats, please be sure to reach out to Marybeth Harmer. ASUA has a network of staff and families who have gently used items they would love to pass along to anyone in need and we can locate items for any student.

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Surviving and Thriving

Parents are encouraged to join Sonia Voynow, LCSW for the parent support group, Surviving and Thriving, once a month at the ASUA Annex location on Saturday mornings. These support groups focus on creating a supportive network of parents who are able to discuss the rewards and challenges of parenting a child with special needs. These support groups are completely confidential and are an excellent resource for stress relief and networking. Free childcare is available at these events, with advance registration. Childcare is run by ASUA staff members.

The next Surviving and Thriving meeting is scheduled for January 18, 2020. Please RSVP to Kay Stauffer at kay@astepupacademy.org. Child care is provided with advance registration.


To learn more about Sonia and Surviving and Thriving, please visit https://survivingthriving.com/support-groups/

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MLK Day of Service- Donation Collection

ASUA will be participating once again this year in the MLK Day of Service with Abington Friends School on January, 20, 2020. This wonderful event is open to the community and brings together students, staff, families and neighbors in a day of service that supports multiple local non-profit organizations. Information on how to sign up for the different service activities will be sent via email in January.


In addition, AFS will be holding a used clothing and book sale on Saturday, 1/18 at 9:00. This event is also open to the community. All proceeds will benefit the Women's Center of Montgomery County. ASUA is also accepting donations of gently used clothing or books for the sale. Donations can be dropped off at either location by Monday, January 13th.

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Fundraiser- Basket Bingo

Please join us for Basket Bingo on Saturday, March 7 from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Knights of Columbus, Glenside. Tickets are $30 per person or $275 for a table of 10. Doors open at 6:00 and the game begins at 6:30. All basket prizes are valued over $200! All guests must be 21+ to attend.


To purchase tickets, please visit http://asuabasketbingo.eventbrite.com or contact Trish Corvo at trish@astepupacademy.org or 215-885-1075.


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Amazon Smile

It’s almost a wrap! Remember, when you finish your holiday shopping at smile.amazon.com, AmazonSmile donates to A Step Up Academy Inc at no cost to you!