Return to Learn Planning at Academy
Dear Central Academy students and families,
Welcome or welcome back to Academy!
Uncertainty about Back-to-School has been ebbing and flowing like the tides this summer as our response to the pandemic shifts with the needs of the moment. I have been working intensively with leaders from across the entire district to ensure the safety AND well being of students and staff this fall. I am profoundly grateful to be a part of Des Moines Public Schools and to work with strong leaders who deeply respect that lives are at stake, both in the short and long term.
HOW IS ACADEMY PREPARING FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING?
“Justice is in the details of teaching and learning.” – Dr. Lacey Robinson.
The Central Academy faculty and staff have been actively preparing for virtual classes in the fall. Our efforts have swung into high gear since the July 1 Return to Learn plan was announced. We are working to accommodate the differences between the various constituencies we support: high school and middle school students in both the hybrid and virtual learning models. We are strategically developing our curricula, technical processes, and the scheduling structure to support a virtual semester at Academy with equity, safety, and achievement across all these groups.
I’ve been meeting with middle school and high school principals to discuss how comprehensive and Central schedules might work in concert to support the students we share. I’m trying to work it out so that no matter if you choose the hybrid or virtual option for your home school courses, your Academy schedule will align automatically so that parents and students do not have to navigate that on their own. Some of our final decisions cannot be made until online registration is completed July 31.
Central Academy will be offering almost the full compliment of courses that we typically offer. Our scheduling team has been reaching out to students and families directly if we have been unable to fulfill a request. We are actively building the master schedule now. Once we have completed that work and coordinated individual schedules between Academy and comprehensives, we are planning to publish individual student schedules by mid-August.
THE OFFICE IS OPEN
The Academy office is open Monday through Friday from 8 – 4.
- TEXTBOOK RETURN: If you were not able to return textbooks last spring, we have a book drop in our foyer that is open 8 – 4 Monday through Friday.
- NEED TO HAVE A FACE TO FACE APPOINTMENT? Please call Kim Kinney, office manager at 515-242-7888 to make an appointment.
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR COURSE SELECTION? If you have questions about the Academy courses you requested, please email our scheduling specialist, Jami Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMPUTER CHECK OUT
DMPS will check out school computers to all students. If you had a computer checked out last spring, you should still have it. If you didn’t, you will get a computer checked out to you by your home school. If you are an out of district student who attends Academy, you will get a DMPS computer through Academy. While it is possible to use your own personal computer for our online classes, using a district computer will have all the applications you need already loaded on your computer. Another advantage of using a DMPS computer is that you have technical support if there is a problem with your school issued computer. As we get closer to school starting in late August, we will have more information about computer check out.
If you’ve taken English at Academy in the past, you know that typically Central Academy English classes have a set of novels for students to purchase for the class. This is so students may directly annotate the text. We are able to negotiate a lower price for these titles because we buy in bulk and can sell them at cost to our students. Additionally, if families qualify for textbook fee waivers, they also qualify for a waiver for the cost of these novels, too.
This year, because of the changes to our curricula due to the pandemic, our list of English novels has been altered. If you completed online registration early, you may have been prompted to order last year’s set of novels. As soon as we realized that last year’s list inadvertently rolled over, we had them removed from online registration. If you already paid, we are working to ensure your money is refunded.
We have identified the books you’ll need for this year, but we are still organizing our ordering process. For most grade levels the total cost of all books needed in the first semester is less than $10. Seniors are the exception with a cost just under $25. The English book ordering process and the list of titles will be sent as soon as pricing is finalized. Thank you for your patience.
I have heard from many parents with questions about the upcoming semester. I have been deeply moved by your generosity, patience, and understanding despite the uncertainty of my answers. I appreciate your ongoing support. We’re going to rise to this challenge to get the best possible outcome for our students!
Director of Advanced Learning and Central Academy