Administrative Update VAAC

Newsletter- April, 2021

Dear Families,

Welcome back! I do hope that spring break was a time of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation for your family. April is here and there are 7 weeks left in our school year. My final newsletter will be sent in May.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Ashley K. Leneway

Updates and Information

March is Reading Month- Book Marks

VAAC students created and shared some amazing bookmarks! Here are the files if you would like them for your own use. Here is the folder.


March is Reading Month- VAAC on Tour

On April 1, our staff visited our partner districts and passed out 100's of books to students. We were all so excited to see their smiling faces and wrap up reading month. Thank you for all your support in helping us "Grow Strong Readers!"

State Testing- PSAT, M-STEP, Etc...

As you may be aware, Michigan's waiver for the federal requirement for state testing was denied. You can read more about that here.


State testing is happening at your local school district. The schedule with times and locations should have been share with your from your local district. If you child is in grades 3-12 and you are unsure of when or where they need to test, please reach out to your district.


We have compiled a list of testing dates here.

Benchmark Testing at VAAC

Our K-8 students have been using Exact Path all year. We are excited to measure their growth from Fall to Spring in our very last Benchmark Testing period of the year. Our testing window will open on May 10 and will close on May 28. Please make sure to follow your teacher/mentor's guidelines on when to test!


This final benchmark test will allow us to see the significant growth your child has made over the course of this year. It will also give your teachers great information about the next steps and supports for your child.


Remember caregivers and learning guides, It's really important that you do not:


  • help your child read the questions (unless indicated by an accommodation)
  • tell them if they are answering correctly or incorrectly
  • answer questions for your child
  • give more than one test in a day

Give them encouragement and support them, but allow them to test independently! Exact Path will be available to VAAC students in grade K-8 throughout until August. If students get help, their score will be invalid and their pathway will not be correctly set!


They can do this! We believe in them. Thank you for your support.

VAAC Calendar and Upcoming Events

VAAC Calendar

Our VAAC school calendar is available on our website, here.

VAAC is closed May 28 and May 31.

The end of our school year is June 4, 2021

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher appreciation week is always the first week in May. This year it falls on May 3-7.


I am including a number #thankateacher resources for students to consider and complete. Don't like any of the options? That's okay! Make your own sign, create your own video. Thank a specific teacher or just all our virtual teachers. Write a poem, create a cheer...the sky is the limit here.


I'm asking for families to work on these thank you notes, images and/or videos and submit them to me, digitally, by Monday, April 26 so I can compile them for our staff.


Students, parents, families, submit your thank-you here

Teacher Appreciation Donations

Additionally, our teachers will be entered in daily drawings for gift cards, prizes and/or gift items. If you are interested in donating gift cards or another gift item to help us celebrate our teachers, please reach out to me (ashley.leneway2@alleganaesa.org or 269-512-7755). I would like to receive items no later than Friday, April 30. I am happy to come to you to pick up items!


If you do donate, you will receive a thank you card from me with the staff member's name who received your gift.

Family Involvement

K-5 Families Literacy Support Series

We kicked off a new series of monthly informational meetings for our K-5 VAAC families around literacy. Our next meeting is about fluency, comprehension and vocabulary and we welcome all staff and families to join us on APRIL 22 at 8am or 7pm via Zoom. ZOOM LINK (for all meetings): Meeting ID: 867 9813 3133 Passcode: VAAC Here is the resource for families!

Celebrating Students

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) at VAAC

PROUD certificates contest & PROUD Certificates and student recognition

Our staff will be looking for, nominating and celebrating student displaying the attributes of PROUD virtually here at VAAC. Teachers will submit student names to me weekly and I will mail PROUD certificates, created by our very own VAAC students, to your home in celebration and recognition. We look forward to recognizing our hard working students and sharing those celebrations with your family.

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Summer School

Summer school will be offered by our partner districts. If it has been recommended to you that your child participates in summer school or if you are interested in more information, please reach out to your school district.

Tutoring/Support

GVSU Free Virtual Tutoring Services


The Michigan Learning Channel

The Michigan Learning Channel is now available through your antenna on WCMU, WGVU and Detroit Public TV. A statewide public television partnership offering instructional content to support the education of students and to provide alternative resources for families and teachers. https://www.michiganlearning.org/

Here is the schedule for April 2021

Here is the schedule for May 2021



Welcome- Katalina Hicks!

Katalina is a Fennville and University of Michigan graduate. This fall, she will return to formal education to obtain a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degree. She has graciously offered to support students and tutor in her free time before starting medical school. We are so grateful to have her helping our VAAC families.


Office Hours:

Tues 4pm to 7pm

Wed, Thurs 12pm to 3pm


If you are interested in her support, please contact her at:

Cell: (616) 256 6156

Email: kmhicks@umich.edu

Edmentum Tutorials Grades 6-12

On March 16, we notified students and families about the requirement for students to complete tutorials. The tutorials house the learning content for students. Anyone can go into a mastery tests, Google the answers and pass, we want to ensure that students are learning the content and setting themselves up for success for whatever comes next. Below you will find a number of resources outlining this changes and a video that walks you through what this change looks like for students.
Changes at VAAC

Attendance, Truancy and Engagement

If you have not created a daily schedule, especially if you are behind pace, I highly recommend you create one today! Here is a great template that we've been using with families at VAAC.


Plan to spend one hour per day per course to stay on pace. If you are behind, increase that to 90-120 minutes per course daily.


Students in grades K-12 are required to participate in at minimum 2 two-way contacts per week with their mentor or classroom teacher. Parents and Students in grades K-5 can work collaboratively with the VAAC mentor teacher to accomplish the 2 two-way via zoom, email, or phone call. This means, the teacher initiates contact (via Seesaw (K-5), Remind (6-12), Google Classroom (6-12), Zoom, email, text message or phone call) and the student responds, then the teacher responds (teacher-student-teacher). These two-ways will be logged, and two per week must be completed for a student to have positive attendance marked. Students & parents need to be on the watch for contacts by their mentor and respond to all contacts.


Students will submit an assignment every Wednesday.


Students will login and complete work regularly (5 out of 7 days per week) to the appropriate Edmentum platform (Calvert, Exact Path, Courseware) and be working toward completion of their coursework.


If 2 two-way communications are not completed Wednesday to Tuesday, the local district is contacted, they are maintaining attendance records. Students who are consistently missing that communication or who are not completing and submitting coursework online will be considered truant. Here is the link to our truancy documents that have been shared.

Technology Support

Our tech team can be reached Monday-Friday during business hours at (269) 512-7756.


If you're needing help outside of business hours, please complete this form, https://forms.gle/EKkQ8PddXdP5QupX6, and our tech team will respond once they're back in the office.

Administrative News

To Our VAAC Families,


I am writing to inform you that I have resigned my position as K-12 Administrator for the Virtual Academy of Allegan County at the end of this school year.


I am incredibly proud that, during one of the most difficult times in education, we were able to help support 1,200+ students, within and across Allegan county, with an educational virtual option. I am incredibly grateful for those families who were invested and worked alongside us throughout the process, providing feedback, encouragement and support. I could not have done this without you. I appreciate you!


There is a need for a virtual option and AAESA is making plans to move forward with the county wide Virtual Academy. They are coordinating with district partners and will be posting my position soon. I plan to fully support the transition process in order to positively impact the continuation and growth of VAAC as an option for your children and your families.


If you have any questions, please reach out.

Ashley K. Leneway

269-512-7755

ashley.leneway2@alleganaesa.org

Copy of My Letter

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Parent Feedback

We care about your feedback and want your input on how to improve our program! If you are interested in sharing your feedback, please complete the survey using the link below.

Virtual Academy of Allegan County

We are a 100% virtual program. If you call and do not get a person, please leave a message and we'll return your call as quickly as possible. Email correspondence is preferred.