AMS Community Resources
August 21, 2020
Greetings AMS Families!
Please review it, the community has offered many services to assist us as we all navigate this unusual time.
Free and Reduced Meal Program Update
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic.
Families not currently receiving food assistance benefits will receive an EBT card.
To fill out the application for eligibility do either of the following:
Log on to your Avondale Parent Portal page and click on “Free and Reduced Meal Benefits”. (Here is a quick “How To” video: https://youtu.be/Cr0uY5LUMHc
OR, download this form: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11qnZL2rkm23DQ-B602yk1rln_Q31yelZ/view?usp=sharing and return the completed form to Avondale School District at one of the Chartwells Food Service distribution sites:
Tuesdays from 9:00-11:00 AM or 12:00 -1:00 PM at Avondale High School (2800 Waukegan, Auburn Hills, 48326) OR Avondale Meadows (1435 W. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills, 48309)
Fridays from 9:00-11:00 AM or 12:00 -1:00 PM at Avondale High School (2800 Waukegan, Auburn Hills, 48326) OR Avondale Meadows (1435 W. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills, 48309)
If you already have meal benefits, no further action is required. Families who already receive food assistance benefits should begin receiving their additional benefits next week-
with the payments being staggered over a 10-day period.
Honor Community Health
During this crisis, Honor Community Health is committed to providing necessary supports and services to students and families throughout Oakland County. We know the need for mental health services has dramatically increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and many have questions regarding symptoms, testing locations, community resources, etc. Therefore, Honor Community Health has developed a Helpline whereby students and families can access mental health counseling, primary medical care/nurse triage, and connection to community resources.
The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm.
The number is 248-897-0722.
See below attachments. Available in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 Drive Through Testing
By Appointment Only
They are performing testing for anyone over the age of 18, with or without symptoms. Testing is in Southfield on Mondays and Wednesdays, Pontiac on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in Novi on Fridays.
An appointment is required thru Nurse on Call, 1-800-848-5533.
Map of Southfield location below.
1200 N. Telegraph, County Complex, follow the drive-up testing signs to:
Large parking lot behind the Medical Examiners Facility Building 28E
REMOTE LEARNING TOOLS
Remote Learning may feel overwhelming for parents and students.
To help you get oriented with Google Classroom I would like to share two resources with you.
These are quick and easy resources to help you if you need them.
April 3, 2020
We miss you!
It is with a sense of sadness, creativity, and AMS pride that I write this newsletter update.
Yesterday Governor Whitmer announced that all schools will be closed through the end of 2019-2020 school year. This is where the sadness comes in. Our entire staff are saddened by this news, but we know how important it is to keep our learning community safe and healthy.
Please read the message from Dr. Schwarz to stay current on Avondale School District updates. If you have not done so already, please complete the Avondale Technology Survey at: Link for Families
This survey is critical in our ability to support the technology needs our families may have during the coming months.
Our district administration team has been working diligently to put together a plan for the continuity of learning. We will be sharing details of what the remainder of our school year will look like after spring break. This is where I am feeling creative. Our talented team is dedicated to creating solutions for learning opportunities during this time. We need your patience. Please understand that Spring Break is next week and will be a week of rest for our families and staff. On Monday and Tuesday, April 13 & 14th we will be utilizing the teacher professional development and planning time to collaborate on our Extended Remote Learning Plan. There will be no new instruction or teacher-led contacts during this time as our staff will be busy meeting virtually to plan for our next steps on this educational journey.
AMS Pride. I am so proud of our teachers, students, parents, and community. Adapting to a new way of learning, a new normal, and a new way of communicating isn't easy and you have done an outstanding job. I encourage you to reach out to myself or Mrs. Gomez if we can be of assistance over Spring Break with any urgent needs.
Following Spring Break and our Teacher Planning Days, we will publish a new schedule of AMS open Zoom calls and additional details to stay connected.
Please enjoy your stay-cation at home and stay healthy. I know it is not the Spring Break that you intended but we hope that you take time to rest and rejuvenate. You are encouraged to send us photos or areas of celebration as we strive to stay connected to everyone.
Be good and stay healthy,
A Message from the Superintendent
April 2, 2020
Dear Avondale Families,
As you are aware, this morning Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-35 ordering all K-12 schools to be closed for the remainder of the school year to continue efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
We have been working for the past couple of weeks on plans to continue remote teaching and learning in preparation for such a decision. In light of the school closure extension, we have learned today that every district’s remote learning plans, including how schools will support all learners with their academic and social-emotional growth, must go through an approval process by the Intermediate School District (Oakland Schools) and the Michigan Department of Education. These plans must be in place by April 28th. We expected to begin our plans much sooner, not anticipating this approval process. We are prepared to launch them as soon as they are approved. Until our extended closure remote learning plans are approved, we will continue in the manner we have started using the online and homework packet processes. Special education providers will continue to be in contact with families and students.
In the days following next week’s Spring Break week, we will release additional information about our enhanced plans to work with families to ensure that student learning and skill building opportunities continue. Our plan includes a process that will allow families to borrow a device from Avondale School District for their students to use to complete online coursework for those who do not have a device in their home. You will receive information from your building administrator outlining the process to obtain a device.
For now, I wanted to reach out to you and express our disappointment and overall concern for our students. We know that they are feeling a great loss during this time. Avondale School District has always been an extension of family to our students. We realize they are missing many of the social aspects, integral to childhood, that being in school provides. For our athletes and performers we share their disappointment in the cancellation of spring plays, tournaments, and games. For the Class of 2020 and their families, we share heartache over delays in celebrating so many accomplishments, most especially, high school graduation as well as key events such as Prom that often define one’s senior year.
As we are in this state of flux with social distancing orders, we are keeping an eye on the scheduling/rescheduling of key senior events such as Prom and Commencements. Further information on these events will be communicated as we proceed, investigating alternate dates and/or virtual options.
We are also disappointed for our younger students who are celebrated for school accomplishments, and will likely not have the opportunity to be recognized by their teachers and classmates during public end-of-the-year celebrations. Administrators, teachers and all staff members share your disappointment over the loss of these very special moments shared with your student.
Though traditional methods of commemorating student and staff achievements have been postponed, I want to assure you that we are considering ways to make celebration of these milestones special for our students and families. We will provide you with additional information as alternate ways to celebrate our amazing students are planned. Seniors who were on track to graduate will graduate and grade level students will be moved on to the next grade level in the fall.
Please continue to assist your child with learning and skill building while they are at home. Reach out to your child’s teachers and administrators to share triumphs and to express your concerns. I feel fortunate to be working toward solutions with our highly capable and creative staff who are committed to the ongoing success of your child, particularly in these extraordinary times.
We know this is a difficult time and I assure you that we are here in support of your child(ren).
James V. Schwarz, Ph.D.
Avondale School District
3 ways for Essential Workers to request child care
March 30, 2020
Dear Avondale School District Families:
Oakland Schools is working in cooperation with our 28 local school districts and community partners to coordinate emergency child care for children birth through 12 years old for Essential Workers on the front lines supporting our Oakland County community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts stem from the Governor’s Executive Order Expanding Capacity for Disaster Relief Child Care Services for Essential Workforce.
Below is information that may be of interest to you personally. Please also share it with family, friends, and others who may need to know.
There are 3 ways for Essential Workers to request child care.
Essential Workers are encouraged to request Essential Worker Child Care online. This is the most efficient way to get help from the Care Coordinators at Oakland Schools.
Essential Workers can also text or Live Chat with a Care Coordinator
Essential Workers can call the Care Coordination “hotline” at 844-456-5437.
Care Coordinators are skilled at providing family-friendly assistance.
Child Care providers who are currently providing or planning to provide child care to Essential Workers should:
- Complete the Current Openings survey and update it as their information changes. This is the most efficient way to be added to the list of providers at the county level and receive referrals from Care Coordinators. Child Care providers can also call the Care Coordination “hotline” number at 844-456-5437 or email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for assistance with the survey.
We are committed to the health and well-being of our children and all who care for, educate, and work on their behalf.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Martin Alwardt, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services at 248.537.6015 or Martin.Alwardt@avondaleschools.org if you have questions or concerns.
James V. Schwarz, Ph.D.
Avondale School District
AMS is Closed to the Public
All administrators, secretaries, and para educators will NOT report to school. This development will result in staff working from home. AMS will be closed to staff and the public effective March 17th.
I encourage you to check your email and respond to the teacher messages that have been sent that include work assignments and enrichment opportunities.
All staff will continue to work at home and be available to the best of abilities at this point. Staff will check emails and voicemails regularly and return messages within one school day.
As we will be engaged in deep cleaning of schools, the buildings need to be empty.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to respond to changing dynamics of the situation. We will put forth our best efforts to support our AMS families during this time.
A message from State Senator Bayer
Senator Bayer wanted to make sure that all of you know that the Oakland Community Health Network (formerly Community Mental Health) is staffed up to be able to provide help for students and other adults during this time of stress. We’ve heard that some high school students are struggling now, especially seniors, and the OCHN wants to help.
Resources and more information are available on their website at http://oaklandchn.org/.
Students, counselors, parents and teachers can all call the Crisis line at 800-231-1127 - 24 hours a day. They have text and chat services available particularly for students. There is also a non-emergency help and substance abuse counseling at 248-464-6363, during the day.
Counselors likely already have this information, and a separate mail is coming to them to specifically address student needs.
Please note that I am working remotely, so if you have any questions or concerns right now please feel free to call my cell at 248-722-4419.
Chief of Staff
Michigan State Senator Rosemary Bayer, District 12
Office Line: 517-373-2417
Fax Line: 517-373-2694
Direct Line: 517-373-5217
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
201 Townsend Street, Suite 3600
Lansing, MI 48933
Auburn Hills Public Library Digital Resources
Hello AMS Families,
My name is Erin Look and I am the Youth Services Coordinator at the Auburn Hills Public Library. I wanted to write this email to inform you, your teachers, and students about some of the updates to our online services that are being offered. Hopefully teachers and families will find these resources useful during this trying time.
First and foremost, our Tumble Books account, which I know teachers at the schools had been using, is accessible for anyone through our website (https://www.ahplibrary.org/). The link can be found under the "e-content" tab on the website. You should NOT need a library card to access any of the books on the website. This is a great option for young readers- there are a wide variety of picture books and beginning readers that are read aloud.
Beginning March 18th, users will no longer be blocked from using Overdrive (the app for Overdrive is called Libby) based on overdue fines or expired library cards through the end of the month. This should mean that anyone who has or has had a library card in recent years will be able to use Overdrive/Libby to check out books. This change applies for Pontiac patrons as well.
Our network is currently working on making this change available on Hoopla, our other ebook service, as well. However, at this point in time you still need an active library card with less than $15 in fines to access Hoopla. On Hoopla, patrons can check out any book they see on the selection list and there are unlimited copies, which is great for group readings.
Although this is not a library specific resource, the website Storytime Online (https://www.storylineonline.net/ ) has famous actors reading picture books and is very engaging. Should you have an issue with this link, the videos are also on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline and they do include the activity guide in the description for each video.
Hopefully this is helpful to your teachers and families. I am happy to answer any questions about these or any other services- the best way to contact me is through email. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help during this time.
Youth Services Coordinator
Sample Schedule - Routine is important for many students. Try your best to limit screen time and take advantage of the opportunity to learn together. This is the recommended schedule from Avondale Middle School.
Explaining COVID-19 to kids - Here are some resources and suggestions about how to discuss COVID-19 with your children from the University of Michigan Health System.
How Coronavirus May Affect Your Child's Mental Health - An article from Psychology Today addressing mental health supports and ways to share information with kids about Coronavirus.
Mental Health Resources - Here are some suggestions from the Hope Squad about how to maintain a healthy outlook and what to do if students, or their peers, are in crisis.
Autism Speaks - This resource provides guidelines for how to handle COVID-19 in interactions with ASD and special needs students.
Food Resources - Chartwells will be providing food for any children under the age of 19 and people with special needs up to age 26.
How to Get Tested for COVID-19 - If you or someone in your family is sick, please follow the guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
101 Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy - This resource from Forbes has some great ideas for having fun while maintaining appropriate social distancing - with and without technology.
Stay connected! - Please keep in touch by sending photos of kids having new and different learning experiences. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Resources from Avondale Administration
Here's another COVID-19 resource link. COVID RESPONSE.https://www.mycovidresponse.org/
Please download below pdf for more information.
Resources from Oakland Schools
Resources to Support Physical and Safety Needs
Resources to Support Ongoing Learning
Resources to Support English Learners
Resources to Support Students with IEPs
- First and foremost, always check with your Special Education Director about any local policies/procedures related to this information before sharing with others. All questions about telepractice, services, FERPA or HIPPA should go through your director.
- Resources for staff supporting students with disabilities can accessed via our MiPLACE > Special Populations Group > COVID-19 Pandemic Resources > “students with disabilities” folder
Below are two resources that incorporate health and activity
We know that kids (and adults) learn better when our bodies get movement, and it is also an amazing way to control mood. A nice option for those of us with cabin fever. If kids have ear buds and an i-pod or smartphone they can pop them in and go for a walk, listening to the podcast. The lesson plan offers reflection questions and learning extensions. After going to the website, if you scroll down, there are about 15 Science Careers podcasts with free, with simple lesson plans. Also parents can sign up to get 26 more free podcasts covering different subjects.
List of healthy activities to do from home, from Action for Healthy Kids. It includes ideas from nutrition to relaxation techniques, yoga, etc...