Term 2 Midterm Parent Newsletter
Dear Central Academy students and families,
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Iowa Department of Education has approved the Des Moines Public School Waver to remain virtual through December 22, 2020.
Yesterday was the half-way point through Term 2. Many of you have already been conferencing with teachers through email on your child’s progress. We’ve re-opened Bookings for those who would like to schedule a real-time meeting with teacher via Microsoft Teams (see below) next week. Teachers will continue to be available by email or by phone throughout the rest of the semester. In a previous email, I wrote about STAYING CONNECTED and included some tips for being an observer in Canvas classes which may be more relevant now at the midpoint of Term 2.
UPCOMING CALENDAR EVENTS
- December 22, 2020: Last day of classes before Winter Break.
- December 23, 2020 – January 3, 2021: Winter Break
- January 4, 2021: Term 2 classes resume.
- January 11, 2021: Virtual Social Sciences Field Trip
- January 18, 2021: No classes: MLK Observance
- January 22, 2021: End of Term 2 and Semester 1
- January 25, 2021: Start of Term 3 and Semester 2
- February 19, 2021: Midpoint of Term 3
- April 1, 2021: End of Term 3
- April 2, 2021: Start of Term 4
- April 30, 2021: Midpoint of Term 4
- June 2, 2021: Last day of Term 4 and Semester 2
VIRTUAL PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
There are three ways to participate in conferences:
- Conference by email: Most Academy teachers have already started contacting parents about student progress in their Academy classes this week. If you need a teacher’s email address you can find them on the Academy webpage under Faculty.
- Conference by phone: If you would like a phone conference email the teacher with your phone number to make arrangements for the best time to meet. If you do not have email, please call the Academy office (515-242-7888) between 8 – 4 on school days and we’ll send the teacher a message to call you.
- Conference on Teams: We have opened Bookings for December 14 – 17 to automatically set up Conference meetings with teachers. If you would like to book a real-time meeting with the teacher on Teams, go to our website> Faculty and click on “Parent Conferences” to book a meeting with the teacher(s) of your choice. When using Teams, you’ll need to book the meeting at least 24 hours in advance. It may also help to download the Microsoft Teams app to your phone or computer. All student computers have Microsoft Teams already on them (we use Teams for our class meetings).
Watch this 3:46 minute VIDEO to learn how to book a virtual Parent Teacher conference at Academy.
If you have any technical difficulties, please email the teacher with whom you are trying to conference.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT EXAM ORDERS
The Associate Principals at each of the DMPS High Schools and I have written a letter to each DMPS student for whom we have ordered AP Exams. The personalized letters are at the print shop now and will be mailed to primary addresses as soon as possible. There are more details in the letter than I include here, but the most important items are:
- ORDERS: We could not order exams if students did not join the class on the College Board website (myap.collegeboard.org) . Students had to use the join code for their class to enable us to place an order. If a student entered the join code but left their order “undecided”, we ordered the test by default. There is no fee this year to cancel an exam. But there is a $40 fee if we order tests after the deadline. So, we erred on the side of ordering to avoid the late order fee.
- DEPOSITS: Originally, we set at $40 deposit deadline of December 14 to secure your order for each test. However, because of a change in the College Board’s policy in light of the pandemic, this deposit is no longer required. The exam fee of $95 per test is due March 5, 2021. You may pay through RevTrack in installments or all at once.
- FEE WAIVERS: We will work with the United Way of Iowa to pay AP Exam fees for families that qualify for a textbook waiver if the student is also enrolled in the AP class. If your family income has changed and you would like to be re-considered for the waiver, please complete the Household Economic Survey so we can review your situation.
- We do not know yet if we will be giving exams in-person or if we will be doing online exams. The decision will be made in March and will be based on community conditions.
VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
We are very excited to offer a virtual field trip on Monday, January 11, 2021 from 2:00 – 3:30 for any Academy student who would like to attend. Kevin Gannon, a historical researcher and college professor who was featured in the movie documentary “13th”, will be speaking about the legacy of the Reconstruction Era in Des Moines. Dr. Gannon examines how decisions made after the US Civil War between 1865 and 1877 still affect life in Des Moines nearly 150 years later.
Any student who would like to participate in the talk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or message him through Teams to be added to the meeting. Like any field trip, attendance will be taken and we will notify your school if you miss a class to attend this talk so your teachers know why you missed a class.
I miss seeing you in person this year so, so much! I hope you are having a wonderful and safe holiday season. May you and your family be well into the new year!