The Sandbox

A newsletter for families and friends of iAcademy @ AES!

October 18, 2021

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Important Upcoming Dates

  • October 20: School Picture Make Up Day
  • October 20: Report Cards go home with K-3 students
  • October 21: Pre-K Field Trip to Early Works Museum
  • October 22: Be Different Day
  • October 25-Nov 8: Read-A-Thon Fundraiser
  • October 25-29: Red Ribbon Week
  • November 1-18: Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • November 5: Vision Screening for students
  • November 6: Hope For Athens Event at Swan Creek Park

Read-A-Thon Fundraiser starts Oct 25th!

Our school is hosting a Read-A-Thon fundraiser! This fundraiser is easy to participate in and the money raised during this fundraiser directly benefits our school and students!

Our Read-a-thon starts Monday October 25th 2021.

Here's How it Works:

  • Parents will register their student on their personal Read-A-Thon tracking page. Information about how to register goes home this week!
  • Students will read anything they want at home or at school. Parents and/or students will track their reading on their personal Read-A-Thon page
  • Parents and Students will reach out to friends, family members, community members to get others to support your student and their reading through donations to our school.
  • Students will have the opportunity to earn awesome prizes for reading, for getting donations for our school, and for sharing the word about our Read-A-Thon!

***Prizes include a special treat from the Principal's treasure box, a special lunch with Mr. Looney or Mrs. Tedford, free tickets to the ice-skating on the square, and the overall winner who raises the most money gets to be Principal for the Day!***

We hope EVERYONE participates!

Mark Your Calendars!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Hope for Athens will be held on 11/6 from 10am - 2pm at Swan Creek Park. This event, sponsored by the Athens Ministerial Alliance, will feature FREE resources & activities. For more info, visit Hope for Athens on Facebook or email
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Be Different Day - October 22nd!

This is our FIRST Be Different Day for this school year! Students may select form a list of options to do for Be Different Day. Each option will cost $1. Students can choose as many of the options as they want. Forms will go home the week after fall break in their gold folders. Check mark which options your child would like to do, then add up the total amount at the bottom of the form. (For example: if a child chooses to bring a stuffed animal it will be $1. If he/she chooses to bring a stuffed animal + crazy hair day it will be a total of $2).

Please turn in this form and your money by Friday, October 22nd! Cash or check made out to Athens Elementary School and include a phone # on checks.

Reminder: All funds help iAcademy so that we can “Make A DIfference” this school year!

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Red Ribbon Week - October 25-29

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Report Cards Come home Wednesday!

Report cards will be coming home with all students on Wednesday, October 20th.

What is a standards-based report card?
It’s all about student understanding and mastering a learning goal - and less about grades. A standards-based report card lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. Instead of letter grades, students receive marks or a code that shows how well they have mastered the skills:

M-Mastery of the Standard

W- Working towards Mastery of the Standard

E- Experience Difficulty with the Standard

You may see a lot of W's which means your child is working towards mastery of the standard, which is a year-long standard. They are progressing just fine. Teachers have been providing feedback on student work in a variety of ways throughout the nine weeks. If you have any questions about your child's specific progress at any time, please reach out to your child's teacher.

For more information please visit

Standards-Based Report Cards will go home with all students on Wednesday, October 20th. for the 1st Nine Weeks.

Party Money

We are now collecting our party donations. Please send in $8 to your child's teacher. This donation covers the cost of our 3 classroom parties: Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's. If you write a check, please make it out to Athens Elementary School and include a phone number.

Thank you!

Change in ACS Mask Policy

As of October 18th, Athens City Schools has transitioned to a "Mask Recommended" Policy.

Under the new "Mask Recommended" Policy:

  • It is recommended that masks are worn when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Restrictions on lunch visits will remain in place until further notice.
  • Masks may be required for individual classrooms, schools, or the entire school system should positivity rates increase.
  • Families should continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms at home. Do not send sick children to school. Contact your school nurse with questions concerning sickness and to report sickness.
  • Masks will continue to be required while students are transported on any school bus as required by the CDC.
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ACS Covid Mitigation Plan

Based on guidance from the CDC, ADPH, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and most importantly from our local health professionals, the Athens City School board approved the recommendation requiring masks be worn while inside school buildings by employees, students, and visitors over the age of two. Based on the CDC’s order, passengers and drivers must wear masks at all times on school buses.

We will continue to monitor our local COVID data in hopes that conditions improve quickly and the mask requirement will become optional in the very near future. We have already seen how fast things can change, and we are prepared and ready to respond.

Our desire is for all students who have been in our traditional schools to return to in-person learning. Those who have a need for virtual learning can apply for Athens Renaissance School here. Please read the guidelines carefully as virtual learning is a semester commitment (unless you choose virtual learning for the year).

Remote learning will not be offered at our traditional schools. E-Learning will be utilized for students who need to isolate or quarantine. Here are some important things to note that are different from last year:

  • Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and isolate if symptoms develop.
  • Asymptomatic close contacts who have tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 in the prior 3 months do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who are at a minimum of 3’ distancing from positive cases and are wearing masks do not need to quarantine.

For information concerning mask safety, click here.

For more information on the proposed ACS 2021-2022 COVID Mitigation plan, please visit

If you have questions or concerns, please contact

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Please make sure to follow the carline procedures that can be found on our website or by clicking below. Pay attention to the reminders below. This helps keep our students and faculty safe as well as makes carline run smoothly! We appreciate your help in following these procedures.

For Pre-K and K-3 Carline

  • The person picking up must have one of our car tags. Otherwise they will need to come to the door and show a picture ID.
  • If you Walk up to the door to get your child, you still need to have the carline tag or we will need to see a picture ID.
  • Whenever possible, have students enter and exit from the right side of your car.
  • K-3 parents stay in your cars during carline at all times. We will load and unload your child.

  • If you arrive early to carline, do not block both lanes - keep the left lane open for through traffic. Also do not block the Pre-K carline exit.

  • Clinton Street entrance is closed during morning and afternoon carline. Do not move or drive over the cones.
  • Once carline begins running smoothly, we will stop opening doors in the morning at 7:45. Your student is tardy at 7:50 and you will need to come in and sign them in if you arrive after that time.
  • In the afternoon, we end carline at 3:10. Any students not picked up by this time will be taken to latchkey for a $6/day charge.
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Latchkey Program

We offer Latchkey services from 2:45 pm-5:00 pm each day as well as a pre-K only session from 2:00-2:45. We are very excited to have Mrs. Charity Rogers as our Latchkey Director this year. Remember that Latchkey pickup is at the side door of the school near the cafeteria. There is a doorbell that you can ring. Also, sign up for Mrs. Rogers Remind class so that she can communicate important Latchkey information with you. Don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. The link to sign up is below.

Lunch Info!

Even though students do not have to pay for lunch during the 2021-2022 school year, much of our federal funding depends on our Free/Reduced Meal qualifications. You also may be eligible for federal programs related to food benefits through this application. PLEASE complete the application, if you feel your child may qualify.

FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH APPLICATIONS: To complete the 2021-2022 online application, visit: For more information or to download/view the paper application, visit:
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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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