Administrative Update VAAC

December, 2020

Dear Families,

December is upon us. It's hard to believe we're nearly finished with our first semester. We have had a number of families join us over the past couple of weeks, welcome! I do hope you are all able to enjoy the ambiance of the holiday season, even if this holiday looks and feels a bit different.


We have a lot going on at VAAC and some really exciting things taking flight! There is a LOT of information here. Take your time, read through and reach out with questions! Reference this tool often. Ask if you need help!


Monthly newsletter and (sometimes) weekly updates are sent through S'more and posted to our website, here.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Ashley K. Leneway

Holiday Needs

The holidays are upon us! Even though we are connected virtually, we know that there are real families, with real needs, at the other end of all this technology. Because we don't get the opportunity to personally interact with our students every day, it can be difficult to identify families who may need support this Christmas so we are asking for your help.


Please contact your local school district if you:

  • need support
  • know of someone who needs support
  • are willing to help those who need support


Contact Information:

  • Fennville Middle School (269) 722-3550
  • Fennville High School (269) 722-3450
  • Hopkins Middle School (269) 793-7407
  • Hopkins High School (269) 793-7616
  • Innocademy (269) 561-4050


It's been a rough year for many families in many ways, and it is our wish that our VAAC families who need help can get it! If there is anything I can do to further help in this matter, please reach out! 🎄 ❤️

Whole Program

Opt In to Share Contact Information for Family Monitored Play Groups

We at VAAC understand that need and importance for students to have social interactions. We have been asked by a number of families to set up a way to share information, safely, with other students and families in order for VAAC families to be able to communicate and for the families to independently set up social opportunities to Zoom/Skype/Facetime for social interaction. Here is an OPT in form https://forms.gle/kBBZvQBqrp1iB9LM7


COVID

To help achieve timely and efficient reporting, we are asking Allegan County residents only (meaning that you live in Allegan County) that test positive or have a known exposure to complete the self-reporting information below. This is a safe and secure link to provide ACHD with your information. To learn more, please visit the website:

http://cms.allegancounty.org/sites/Office/Health/SitePages/COVID19.aspx


If you test positive, complete this “I tested positive” form.

If you have a known exposure, complete this “I have been exposed” form.


Please complete the respective form if you tested positive or have a known exposure AND have not yet been contacted by the Allegan County Health Department


VAAC Calendar

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

Please note that our semester end date has changed to January 22 to accommodate our district partners. Second semester will begin on Monday, January 25, 2021.

Our next enrollment period will be January 18-January 29.


January Dates for Virtual School Closed

Monday, January 18, 2021


T-Shirt & Sweatshirt Fundraiser

We couldn't be more excited about our first order of logo wear! Thank you Stella for your fun design for our school mascot. We had 55 supporters, sold 99 items and were able to raise $489. THANK YOU! If you missed out this time around, we'll try another fundraiser in the new year.


Yearbooks

We are working with districts on what year book options are available for VAAC families. We will clarify that from both the local district level and from VAAC in the new year! If you have any photos you would like to share, please upload them here.


Wrapping up the Semester

We have a number of students who have or will be completing their coursework early. We will be sharing options for next steps through mentors next week. If you complete a course, remember that you have the ability to go back to previous tutorials and mastery tests and re-take them to improve your grade. If something is locked, reach out to a teacher! It is very important, even in you are done with your coursework, you MUST still complete the state required two-way communications with your mentor.


Catching Up Over Winter Break

Students who are behind in their coursework, please note that our teaching staff will not be providing support, grading or unlocking material over the two week break, December 19-January 3. Please plan accordingly.


Social Lunch Groups

We know there has been much frustration about lack of opportunities for students to engage socially with their peers. We are so excited to start the process of putting together lunch groups for students to socialize via Zoom. Please understand, to make this happen on a large scale, we will need lots of volunteers! If you are unable to volunteer but you know an awesome adult or community member that would help, share the sign up form with them! All adults hosting will need to be background checked (many adults have completed this requirement in their home district already, typically background checks are good for two years) and will need to attend a virtual training meeting with Ashley prior to starting the lunch group.


Please complete this student form to sign up for a lunchtime social group: https://forms.gle/5HQTHhzFTRkGQGfP9


Please complete this adult volunteer form to sign up to host a lunchtime social group:

https://forms.gle/RSM2dr1qu4tReDaV7


If we have enough volunteers, lunch groups will start the week of January 11, 2021.


Family Reading Project and Shared Literacy

We have been working hard on a collaborative, literacy based opportunity for VAAC families. Our staff has been carefully selecting their favorite books, not just holiday books, all time favorites, and recording videos of themselves reading their favorite texts. We’re putting these videos together and will share them with families prior to winter break.


We would love for you to join in the fun! If you and your family have a favorite story you would like to share, record yourself reading it and upload the video here, https://forms.gle/XQDFh8Fn3fq4eozE7 or email the video to Mrs. Leneway at ashley.leneway2@alleganaesa.org. Be creative, be silly! Dress up, act out your story or find an awesome way to share a piece of literature you love. We've extended the deadline, please upload by Friday, December 11.


Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) at VAAC

PROUD certificates contest & PROUD Certificates and student recognition

Starting Monday, 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.


Thank you to our certificate designers!

Ryann

Jonathon

lauren

Lauren

Jacob

Ellie

Elijah

Addy

Alyssa

Ava

Ninaleia

Travis

Ryan

Stella

Big picture

Longevity and Sustainability Group

We have established a group of parents and staff who are interested in the sustainability of VAAC. We will meet monthly until after the new year and then decided how we wish to progress from there. The meetings will be held the 1st Thursday from 7-8pm and the 2nd Friday from 1-2 pm. Here is a list of the meeting dates in full.


OPS Picture Retakes- Canceled

The Otsego Public Schools picture days scheduled for December 10th and 11th are canceled. No reschedule date yet, but you will be updated when the new dates are set.


Hour of Code

Hour of Code is a nonprofit organization that is focused on access to computer coding. You can learn more about Code.org's mission on diversity and equity here. The hour of code campaign happens December 7-13. There are lots of hour long activities to dig into during this week- check it out!

https://hourofcode.com/us/learn


Edible House Architectural Design Contest

Two weeks of vacation...what to do, what to do?! How about you build an amazing structure out of edible materials! Be creative. Take a photo and submit it here by January 3, 2021 at noon. Our staff will vote on their favorite design the week we come back from break and the winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Happy building! Yum!


Virtual Talent Show

Do you have a talent? In February, we'll be asking our students to share a video (up to 5 minutes max) of them performing a talent of their choice. Get practicing!


Otsego Public Library

An option for parents is the Otsego Public Library. You can list your interests or genre’s you prefer and a staff member will choose up to 10 books that they feel you will enjoy. https://otsegolibrary.org/bookpacks/ Also check out their Rising Readers Activity Kits! Here


"12 Days of Holiday Reading" Challenge

Allegan County families with children ages 0-5 years old, please fill this form out AFTER your child has completed "12 Challenges". Once we receive your form, you will be notified via email or phone of your district's Pick-Up location for your child's prize!!! Thanks for participating in this year's Allegan County Family Reading Challenge. All submissions are DUE by December 31st. Click here to submit.


Great Lakes, Great Books

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.115.136/j37.316.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-21-Great-Lakes-Great-Books-Reading-Lists.pdf


Children's Choices Reading List

https://www.literacyworldwide.org/docs/default-source/reading-lists/childrens-choices/childrens-choices-reading-list-2020.pdf


Edmentum Language

All of the curriculum products we use are Edmentum products. Edmentum Calvert is our K-5 program. Edmentum Exact Path is our K-8 virtual assessment and learning pathway. Edmentum Courseware is our 6-12 program. It helps our team out immensely if you can clarify which Edmentum program you need support with and helps to streamline the troubleshooting process. Thank you!

Big picture

Celebrating Staff & Holiday Gifts

I have a number of families who have reached out regarding getting gifts to our VAAC staff in appreciation for their efforts this school year. You may drop off gifts to their district office or to AAESA. I've included a contact list with each teacher's drop off location if you are interested.

Tutoring Support

GVSU Free Virtual Tutoring Services

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 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.

Upcoming

We have a lot of fun things in the works for the coming months! Take a peek at what is in the works and what to expect in the coming weeks.


PBIS Proud Certificates

Shared Literacy

Hour of Code

Gingerbread-Edible house design contest

Lunch Buddies

Middle/High School Guest Readers

Virtual Talent Show February

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.

Parent Feedback

Advice for Other Virtual Families

Do you have a great piece of advice, something that has helped your family navigate virtual learning? Share it here! Record a quick video 60-90 seconds and share your tip, trick or virtual support to others.

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.