Early September Newsletter

September 4, 2020

School in a Pandemic

Dear Audubon Families,

Who would have ever thought that any of us would be navigating through a global pandemic and that it could impact us like this on a daily basis. It has been so fantastic to watch how our Audubon community has come together to support each other and all our kids. This week I was able to watch some of our parents jump into a WebEx and help talk other parents through problem solving tech issues. Our community is amazing!

As you continue reading below you will see that we are in the beginning phases of bringing students back to in-person learning. This will be like starting school for a second time this year in some ways but having already started some of our learning it will allow for a smoother transition. We still don't have all the details on the plan, or the plan to continue to support our families that are going to stay remote for all or part of the year. Once we get more info we will get it to you.

When your kids get back into the building they will experience a number of changes from how we enter the building, eat lunch, have recess and move throughout the building - just to name a few. We will continue to learn and grow together as we navigate school in a COVID world.

Thank you all for doing what you can to make this the best we can for our kids, teachers and families. I know it is not easy and so many are being asked to do things they had never prepared for. Continue to give yourselves some grace, give your kids grace and I appreciate you giving our staff grace as we make it though this together.

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to support you and your families!

Wishing you health and wellness!

Aaron Ford


Audubon Elementary

Returning to In-Person Instruction - Beginning September 21st

As we have continued to see an improvement in our COVID-19 data within our community we are currently planning for a return to in-person learning earlier than we had initially expected. This, of course, is contingent on our health data continuing to trend is a positive way.

The plan as of now would have us returning to in-person learning the week of September 21st. To make sure that we could support students and provide proper training we will be doing this on a staggered roll out. Here are some of those specifiics:

  • Monday, September 21 - Kindergarten only
  • Tuesday, September 22 - 1st Grade with Kindergarten
  • Wednesday, September 23 - 2nd Grade with Kindergarten and 1st
  • Thursday, September 24 - 3rd Grade with Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd
  • Friday, September 25 - All students in attendance

This will mean that many of our students will be returning into the building by the end of September, but not all of them. Audubon and the district are still committed to offering an online option for those families that would like to stay in a remote setting (could be for the rest of the quarter, semester or year. What we do not have at the moment are specifics about what that will 100% look like.

To help us with both the in-person and remote set-up I would ask that you take the survey that was sent by the district to all families (also available by clicking here). It will give us important information so that we can make appropriate plans.

There will be much more information coming in the next two weeks about all of this so please stay tuned.

Supplies for In-Person Learning

If you are a family that is planning to return to in-person learning either now or maybe down the line, we have some thoughts for you as you make you plans. Students will need to bring their supplies to school with them and they can then be left here. All of the supplies that were passed out in mid-August should be brought back when we return. We will help students "check-in" their books that we sent home.

If your child is in 3rd-5th grade, the Chromebook that was checked out will continue to be checked out for the remainder of the year. This is something that should go to and from school daily. Students in kindergarten - 2nd grade will check in their laptop (if you checked one out). All of our new iPads should be arriving soon and those will then be checked out to those students.

As we prepare to come back to in-person learning there are a few things that we are going to ask for every child to bring with them to support their safety and learning:

  • A pair of headphones or earbuds (labeled). These will be kept at school and used with our iPad or Chromebook devices.
  • A water bottle. We will allow students to fill up water bottles but will discourage the use of shared water fountains.
  • Some type of pencil box/bag that they can put personal supplies in. We will not be sharing supplies and having a place that they can put their own supplies in will be important.

You can find our original supply list for the year by clicking here. Any of the supplies on the right hand side would be great additions if possible for students to bring (except the $6.00 fee for planners - no longer needed). If you are not able to do this we will be able to supplement and help here at the school so this is not a deal breaker.

If you have any special considerations please reach out to Mr. Ford at aaron.ford@d11.org or to our School Counselor at cayla.fitzgerald@d11.org. Either would be happy to support you.

Technology Support

If you are ever needing technology support during our remote learning time, or even when we get back to in-person, you can reach out to Mr. Watson. His contact information is:

Mr. Watson is ready and willing to support in any way that he can.

Band and Orchestra - 4th/5th Grade

To our 4th and 5th grade families:

We are getting ready for our year in Band and/or Orchestra. This year we are opening each of the classes to both 4th and 5th grade students. If you are interested in either of the programs we encourage you to reach out to the respective teacher and let them know you are interested. They will be able to give you some additional information about how we will be starting in the coming weeks. Once we are back to school in an in-person setting our band and orchestra classes will be taught before the school day.

Band Information:

Orchestra Information:

Meal Program

We were able to start offering free meals to all children between the age of 0 and 18 this week. We had an average of 70+ families each day. We will continue to have our "Grab and Go" program at Audubon until students return for in-person learning the week of September 21st.

Once we return to in-person learning all of our students that would like a school meal will be able to get that from the cafeteria. Those families that are going to stay in a remote setting will still be able to get a "Grab and Go" meal, however the only school sites offering them will be our high school sites due to staffing. The good thing is that means meals will still be close as they can be picked up daily at the Roy J. Wasson Campus.

The free meal option will continue until December 31st, pending USDA funding. Since this is a temporary option we are still encouraging families to apply for our "Free and Reduced" meal program that we normally have. Any family can apply and you may receive supports through this program. The link for this is: https://www.myschoolapps.com/

Families that have previously qualified for this program are required to reapply each year. Take the time to fill it out now so you are not having to take care of this in December.

Thank you to everyone. We will get through this together!