A Publication of the Affton School District
Update for Families | April 19, 2020
A Message from Dr. Bracht: The Continuity of Learning
First and foremost, I want to reiterate my appreciation to all of our families for their patience and understanding as we navigate learning and support services during this time of building closures and COVID-19. Our district Learning Team created a Continuity of Learning framework that prioritized relationships and social and emotional support to help guide staff, parents, and students through the first few weeks of building closures. I want to extend a BIG thank you to our families for supporting this approach.
On April 9, the state of Missouri received definitive direction on school building closures for the rest of the school year. The next day and throughout last weekend, Affton provided families with an opportunity to tell us what’s working well and what are some things we can focus on in order to improve. The Thoughtexchange used to capture this input received participation from close to 700 individuals who posted over 400 thoughts that received 8,500+ ratings.
This week, district and building administrators, as well as building leadership teams, reviewed the results of the Thoughtexchange. The district Learning Team also provided supplemental data on student and staff utilization of learning management tools. After reviewing these items, it became evident that in order to better meet the needs of our families, it will be appropriate to customize the Continuity of Learning plan by building while aligning five Key Themes across all grade levels.
The five Key Themes below were created to provide staff and families with a simple snapshot of the feedback the District received. The key themes also serve as a way to keep us connected at all grade levels, Pre-K through 12, while providing the flexibility to customize details within each theme to meet the needs of students and staff in a particular building.
- Connect: Now more than ever, we need to try and stay connected to one another.
- Customize: Individual schools will adjust their learning plan to meet student and parent needs.
- Quality: Prioritize quality over quantity when providing students learning tasks/options.
- Readiness: Readiness for the next grade-level will be the primary focus of learning tasks/options.
- Flexibility: Flexibility with daily staff, student, and parent schedules and expectations is important.
Our current Continuity of Learning plan will continue through next week (April 20-24). On Wednesday, April 22, each building principal will share the customized plan for the next phase of Continuity of Learning with families. The plans will focus on next-level readiness for students while prioritizing quality over quantity. The final phase of our learning plan will launch on Monday, April 27th and continue through the end of the school year.
I will take the liberty of speaking for our entire Affton staff in saying that we can't say enough how much we appreciate your flexibility and your support -- of your students, of teachers, of school leaders, and of each other. Truly, you make us #afftonstrong.
SOAR Awards - This Wednesday, April 22 at 7pm
In addition to recognizing SOAR nominees, building and district Teachers of the Year will be announced and a special Superintendent’s Award will be presented.
For Students in Grades 3-12:
We are working to resolve any of your technical issues as quickly as we can. Our normal processes have had to be adjusted to allow for long delays in shipping, as well as for the safety of our staff. Because of this, we are asking everyone to please submit any request you have regarding your Chromebook here and we will contact you as soon as we can: Chromebook Help Request
If it is determined that you need a device replaced, we will contact you with date, time and location to pick up. Please only come during your scheduled time so we can maintain social distancing. There will be no contact and all devices will be disinfected before being issued to you. We have a limited number of devices, so please be patient as we try to prioritize everyone's needs.
Attention AECC, Mesnier, Gotsch, and RMS Families:
As we move forward in planning what learning will look like for the remainder of the school year, we are also in the process of planning what summer school will look like. Last week it was announced that we will not be returning to our school buildings for the remainder of the semester. As such, we are now offering three ways to submit your Summer Journey applications through April 24:
Email: Take a picture of your completed application with your phone or scan it onto your computer and email it to LWidmer@afftonschools.net (subject line Summer Journey Application)
Postal Service Mail: Do NOT mail to your student(s) school. Please send completed application to:
Affton Summer Journey Application
8701 Mackenzie Rd
Affton, MO 63123
Online Application: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AfftonSJ20
Under the current guidelines from the Department of Education, the CDC, and other government agencies, we are still planning on offering summer programming in our buildings June 8 - July 2. Should we receive updated information that requires us to stay out of our buildings through the month of June, we will be providing families with updated options that may include shifting Summer Journey to later in the summer (mid July - mid August) or offering continued online enrichment opportunities.
Cougar Zen Den
Looking for a break or a mindfulness moment? Be sure to check out the Cougar Zen Den, curated by Beth Koerber, Health and PE teacher at Affton High School. The resources included will help you in mindfulness, grounding, guided breathing, yoga, and meditation. We hope you leave feeling a little calmer than when you clicked.
Please reach out with your questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.