Administrative Update VAAC

January, 2021

Dear Families,

Welcome back!


It's hard to believe, looking back, that's it's already January! Sometimes, it feels as if time is racing by and other times it feels like we've lived decades of our lives these past few months.


I want to take a moment of gratitude to recognize all of you who have taken on virtual schooling this year. We know how difficult it can be! I just want you to know, that we see your effort, your sacrifices and your commitment and we your appreciate you.


We have two weeks left until the beginning of second semester. We will begin semester 2 on Monday, January 25, 2021.


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


Sincerely,

Mrs. Ashley K. Leneway

Attention all VAAC Juniors (and your parents)!

Dear Parents of Juniors at VAAC,


Your students will be taking the SAT this spring. This is an important test required by the state but also used for college entrance. One component of the test is an essay. This essay is likely, unlike most they have ever written, it is called a rhetorical essay. Because of this, part of their English 11 grade is to attend some zoom sessions on how to write this essay and to take a pre- and post-writing assessment before and after the zoom sessions. This is very important. Mrs. Laughlin started these sessions right before break but were not well attended. Students do receive credit for attending these live sessions in their overall Edmentum Courseware grade.


We will be hosting a parent meeting on this along with Heather Kortlandt, Director of Instruction for Otsego Public schools this Wednesday, January 13 from 7:30-8:00 pm. We will discuss the expectation and take any questions you might have. We ask that you fill out this google form to indicate that you have read notification (also sent last week in an email) and whether you plan to attend the parent meeting or not. The dates of the zooms are listed below. Students can find a link to the zoom on Mrs. Laughlin's Google Classroom site.


  • Jan. 25--Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  • Feb. 8--What is analysis? Persuasive writing? Analysis portion of rubric Using pictures/ads
  • Feb. 15--What to cite? Reading portion of rubric
  • Feb. 22--practice with more ads/pictures
  • March 1--grade sample SAT essay
  • March 8--critique own writing
  • March 15--practice writing
  • March 22--peer edit writing
  • March 29--wrap up--final thoughts? Comments? Concerns?


Invite to a parent information meeting, this Wednesday, January13 from 7:30-8:00 pm. Zoom Link- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87400341189

Benchmark Testing- Kindergarten- 8th Grade

For those of you who were with us in September, we are using Exact Path as our remote benchmark testing tool for all VAAC students, grades K-8. If you recall, we shared that we would complete this diagnostic testing three times this school year. Our next round will begin on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.


Your local school districts may be reaching out to you to schedule a time for your child/ren to complete the district's benchmark assessment either remotely or on campus. You will communicate directly with your districts about the district benchmark assessments.


Here is the tool that will guide you through testing! Please make the time to read through this resource in its entirety before January 19th! Click the button below!

BENCHMARK TESTING TOOL

Please take the time to utilize this resource!

Testing Question/Answer Opportunities

Mrs. Leneway will host open Zoom times for families regarding diagnostic/benchmark testing.


https://zoom.us/j/98087868174?pwd=RHlabG9DdU1pZ1ZQT3M4Vnl6Sk1NUT09

Meeting ID: 980 8786 8174 Passcode: diagnostic


Dates and Times:


  • Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:00-7:30pm
  • Friday, January 15, 2021 1:30-2:00pm
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:30-8:00am
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021 8:00-8:30am
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021 8:00-8:30am

Testing Schedule for K-5

Any student in grades K-5 will be able to access their benchmark assessments through the same link they access their Exact Path learning pathway. These assessments will be available under the test (k-2) or assessment (3-5) tab on the left of your screens, starting on January 19.


You teachers will provide guidance on when they recommend students work on the three portions of the assessment; language arts, reading and mathematics.


ALL students need to have the diagnostic testing complete by Sunday, February 7, 2021.

Testing Schedule for 6-7-8th Graders

Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader who is COMPLETE with semester 1 by January 19 can begin their diagnostic testing at that time. The tests will pop onto student dashboards on January 19.


Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader who is NOT COMPLETE with semester 1 by January 19 will continue to work on their coursework and ignore the diagnostic tests that will pop onto student dashboards on January 19. After these students complete their coursework, they may begin their tests.


ALL 6th, 7th or 8th graders starting semester II classes, will be asked to work on their diagnostic tests on Monday- Wednesday, January 25-27. Second semester classes will be set to start on Thursday, January 28, after students have had three days to complete the three required diagnostic tests- Language Arts, Math and Reading.


ALL students need to have the diagnostic testing complete by Sunday, February 7, 2021.

K-5 Families Literacy Support Series

We're kicking off a new series of monthly informational meetings for our K-5 VAAC families around literacy. Our first is scheduled for January 28th at 8am and 7pm. Please share and join us if you are able! The Zoom link is on the infographic below.

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Whole Program

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.


January Dates for Virtual School Closed

Monday, January 18, 2021

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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.


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


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


We are still looking for volunteers and working on organizing those who have volunteered. More information to come!


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.


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.

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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.

Edible House Architectural Design Contest- Winner Announced

Thank you to a number of families who participated in our edible house contest. I shared all the photos with our staff, they voted and we have a winner! Congratulations to Sarah Woodin. She is the winner of a $20 Amazon gift card. Check out her winning design.

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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!


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!

Tutoring Support

GVSU Free Virtual Tutoring Services


The Michigan Learning Channel is now available through your antenna on WCMU, WGVU and Detroit Public TV

https://www.michiganlearning.org/

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

Lunch Buddies

Middle/High School Guest Readers

Virtual Talent Show (February) **looking for volunteers!

Coffee meet/greet for district and/or grade level adults

Get Outside Goal

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

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.