Parent Newsletter August 17, 2020
Dear Central Academy students and families,
Thank you for choosing the Academy program for one or more of your classes in the upcoming year. Last week’s storm and power outages delayed some decisions and planning for the fall semester. I hope that you and your family have power and services back and did not suffer too much damage.
Tonight the DMPS School Board will be discussing and deciding important aspects of our Return to Learn plan. It is being broadcast on YouTube. Watch it HERE. There is a Public Forum at 5:45pm with the formal meeting scheduled to start at 6:00pm. The meeting will be broadcast live to the DMPS YouTube Channel. Subscribe to the DMPS channel and the live feed will show at the top of your YouTube ‘Subscriptions’ page. Call in: 319-359-6302 Access Code: 446960838# If you want to speak during the public forum or to an item on the agenda you must email email@example.com or call (515) 779-0499 by 4:30pm the day of the meeting.
The top question is “When will I get my schedule?” We expect that student schedules will be ready for release by August 28.
The storm delayed our planned roll out of schedules because the power outages caused problems with our servers which host Infinite Campus, OneDrive, email and more. We also need some decisions from the School Board which were necessarily delayed by the effects of the storm.
We are working with home schools so that your schedule at our program and your school will not conflict. You will not have to navigate that; we’ll do that for you working with your school’s counseling office. I anticipate I will be able to share with you the daily bell time schedule after the school board meeting tonight and certain decisions are made.
We are planning scheduled times for regular, daily, real-time meetings with your teachers and classmates. We are also creating supports for those who experience connectivity problems or other issues that may prevent them from joining a class in real time. There will be more than one way to meet attendance requirements. This sort of flexibility is not all that new to the Academy staff. In the past, if one school held a Pep assembly, for example, we had mechanisms so that students could still participate in the home school activity and be able to catch up on the Academy course work they missed without penalty.
We know that having a structured schedule is important to student success. We also know that having some student-to-student and student-to-teacher collaborative times are important to student success. We are also creating some asynchronous aspects to our lessons because spending all day on the computer is not healthy or practical, either. We are working to increase flexibility and support for students and families necessary during this ongoing crisis.
Almost all Academy courses will be offered virtually this fall. The exception are the Throwing classes, which will take place in the new Edna M. Dahl studio that was just completed. The studio has a brand new, dedicated air filtration system. Students enrolled in Throwing will receive additional information about the safety precautions required to participate as soon as they are finalized and approved.
Every year, students enrolled in English at Academy (8th – 12th grades) need a set of novels or texts that they can annotate (so it cannot be a library book). We use a bulk supplier that allows us to purchase these books at a reduced price. You may choose to order one or more of these books from us or you can supply your own. Use this FORM to order books from us.
Placing an order with this FORM (same link as above) will tell us to manually add the books to your fee page in Infinite Campus, which we usually complete within 24 hours of your order. After you complete online registration for the upcoming school year (which most of you have), if your family qualifies for a textbook fee waiver or reduction, the Academy office will automatically adjust the cost of these books (free or half price), too. If you do not qualify for a textbook fee waiver you can use the RevTrack system to pay for these books as you would any other school fee after our office posts them in Infinite Campus– which usually takes 24 hours.
If you choose to purchase your own copies of the books, here is the list:
|Typical Grade Level
|Book Title and Author
|Acc. Eng. Lang & Lit 1
|The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
|Acc. English Lang & Lit 1
|The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
|Acc Eng. Lang & Lit 2
|The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
|Acc. Eng. Lang & Lit 3
|Medea By Euripides
|Acc. Eng. Lang & LIt 3
|The Crucible by Authur Miller
|College AP English Lang & Composition
|1984 by George Orwell
|College AP English Literature & Comp
|Hamlet by Shakespeare
|College AP Literature & Comp
|Grendel by John Gardner
|College AP Literature & Comp
|The Color Purple by Alice Walker
8th GRADE MATHEMATICS
Algebra I is essential to future success in mathematics, especially accelerated mathematics. As a result of the pandemic, some students have not been exposed to or mastered critical skills in 8th grade mathematics necessary for Algebra I. In addition to offering Algebra I, we are considering offering an Academy Eighth Grade Mathematics course using the Illustrative Mathematics curricula with extensions to fully develop student readiness for Algebra I and future acceleration in mathematics.
Students who take Algebra I with Central Academy will complete a full semester of Algebra I in approximately nine weeks of virtual instruction this fall. Virtual learning will require more independent learning than in a normal year. If you elected to take Algebra I at Academy this fall, please take this short SURVEY to help us gauge your interest in this option. Thank you if you’ve already completed the survey from the email sent this weekend.
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 & MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION
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. You will also have technical support if there is a problem with your school issued computer. As we get closer to school starting, we will have more information about computer check out.
Academy is also working out our process for distributing student materials like English novels, math workbooks, computers, and more. We are currently planning a drive up process for most people with additional options for those who need a different method. More to come on these procedures.
AWARD WINNING TEACHERS
Big shout out to Mr. Jacobson who was just earned the top national honor for any Mathematics or Science Teacher, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Read more about it here: JACOBSON
Big shout out to Ms. Canada Snyder who was named one of the Rotary Educators of the Year in May. Watch her receive her award on the Rotary Club of Des Moines’ Facebook Page.
Director of Advanced Learning and Central Academy