The Sandbox

A newsletter for families and friends of iAcademy @ AES!

January 30, 2023

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Important Upcoming Dates

  • January 31 - Vision Testing (for Kindergarten & 2nd grade)
  • February 3 - Be Different Day
  • February 6 - Brick Sales Begin
  • February 7 - After School Tutoring begins
  • February 16 - Kona Ice Day
  • February 20 - President's Day - NO SCHOOL!
  • February 27 - Book Fair and Read Across America Week
  • February 28 - Parent Night at the Book Fair & PBL Showcase Night

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.

12” x 12” - $225

This brick size allows you to write up to 10 lines with 23 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.

Brick Sales will begin NEXT WEEK!

Be Different Day

Our last Be Different Day for this school year is THIS FRIDAY, February 3rd! Students will have the option to participate in several different options, including taking a picture with our school facility dog, Eli! Order forms are going home in folders this week and it is also shown below! Please send in the form and money by Friday morning so that your child can participate! Cash or checks made out to Athens Elementary School. Make sure to include a phone number on all checks. All funds raised go directly to support our PTO!
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We Love Our New School (New AES)

Pictures from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Latchkey Services

Latchkey balances and 2022 tax reports were mailed home last week. If you have a balance that needs to be paid - it must be paid as soon as possible or arrangements made with Mrs. Tedford. Students who have negative balances for latchkey will not be able to stay in the program. Please call or email Mrs. Tedford with questions!

We do offer after school care through our Latchkey program. We have a limited number of spots available. If you have participated in latchkey in the past, you will need to fill out a new application for this year. Our latchkey teachers for this year are Mrs. Timberlake and Mrs. Lillian.

Please click the following link for the latchkey paperwork: CLICK HERE

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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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