Academy Newsletter May 2021
Dear Central Academy students and families,
We are moving into the last month of this unprecedented school year. Most of us have only interacted with each other by telephone, texts, and Teams. The strange juxtaposition of being so universally isolated has created other strange sensations like the “pandemic time warp” where everything feels so urgent and immediate and yet each day blurs into the next.
Next week is teacher appreciation week. I am humbled to work with such an amazing team of educators. If you have the time and inclination, please consider sending a message of appreciation to your teachers. We have a number of iconic teachers retiring this year. Beth Angier, School nurse (32 years), Beth Eilers, French (27 years), Becky Johnson, Art (41 years), Becca Lindahl, Heartland AEA (serving Academy for the last 3 years), Michael Link, Mathematics (36 years), and Scott Schoneberg, Science (38 years). We are hosting a card party where we will gather cards for each retiree. Send cards to Central Academy c/o (Retiree name), 1912 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50309.
Parents are children’s first teachers– and this year parents and guardians have had a greater role in educating our students. It has not been easy. But I see how you are juggling so much to ensure that your children get the best educational experience possible. So, this teacher appreciation week, I want to recognize parents and guardians, too. The successes that so many of our students have had this year would not have happened without your support, persistence, and ingenuity.
Through our combined actions and encouragements, our students have adapted to unprecedented change in our lifetimes. They have persisted despite continuing uncertainty. They have created new ideas, new strength, and new resilience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. And that is not hyperbole. My 97-year old, WWII Veteran, Uncle Danny says, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do!” We have learned this year that together we can reshape the world by examining our own thinking and doing the work within ourselves to make a difference. In WWII it was about “Over There”. In 2021 it is about “Right Here”.
I sincerely appreciate the work that students, families, teachers, and support staff have done this year to create the best educational experience possible. Thank you!
ADVANCED PLACEMENT TESTING
Next week Advanced Placement (AP) testing kicks off. Students can see their AP testing schedule if they sign into their College Board accounts. It will tell them where and when they are scheduled to take their exams and which format (traditional paper pencil or digital) they are taking. It is not too late to move an exam to a later date. Students should contact the AP Administrator at the school where the test was ordered (it should say on your schedule WHERE the test scheduled).
We encourage everyone in AP classes to download the AP Digital Exam app to have access to the practice tests and ensure that their system is able to run the app. If you are using your own computer, get the app from the College Board by signing into your account. But if you are using your DMPS laptop, the best way to get the “CB 2021 Digital AP Exams” app is to download it from DMPS’ Software Center. Here are the INSTRUCTIONS for downloading the app to your DMPS computer.
INCOMPLETE SEMESTER GRADES
This year, no students will receive a grade of “F” for the semester. Instead, the course will be listed as “Incomplete”. An incomplete grade does not count in the GPA and does not have to be resolved. As the pandemic has been worldwide, Colleges and Universities have been very understanding about INC on transcripts. The Academy team has been working with students and families to resolve incomplete grades as appropriate.
For middle school students, an INC grade (or any other grade) will not prohibit students from continuing at Academy next year if they want to. Academy teachers have already been working on how to adjust our curricula next year to ensure we have supports in place for students who are recovering from this year as well as meet the needs of those who have thrived this year.
For high school students in World Language and Art elective classes, we recommend leaving the INC on the transcript and retaking the class next year if it is available.
For high school students in core classes in English, Mathematics, Science or Social Science, we have several options depending on how close the student came to completing and the type of course– our team is working to contact these students directly. Options could include retaking the class with us or at your home school next year, finishing a course at summer school in June, or leaving the INC on the transcript and continuing on to the next course in the discipline.
Summer school for core classes will be in person at the Kurtz Building (aka Formerly known as Lincoln South) 1000 Porter Ave, 4 days a week in the mornings. It will be highly individualized where students will work on their own assignments with the support of teachers on site. There will be some Academy teachers who have signed up to teach. It will have the feel of a coffee shop where the teachers roam around serving mini-lessons and support to the individual students who are working to finish up their courses. Ms. Hilton and Ms. Kellen are contacting students who qualify and enrolling them.
VIRTUAL CAMPUS ENROLLMENT APPLICATIONS DUE TODAY
This is the LAST DAY to sign up for Virtual Campus for the 2021-22 school year! The enrollment application closes today at 11:59 pm. Here are a few reminders of how Virtual Campus will be different than this year, offering more flexibility and self-paced opportunities:
- For the 21-22 school year, there will not be daily synchronous (live) lessons. Instead, live lessons will happen Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Tuesday and Thursday will be full asynchronous day to allow for self-paced work, flexibility, and one-on-one opportunities with teachers via online or in-person office hours. In this new modality, one could do all of their work asynchronously if they choose to as the live lessons will still be recorded and shared daily! For more information on what the high school student experience could look like, CLICK HERE!
- Our course catalog offers so much more than ever before! We will be offering almost everything that a traditional brick-and-mortar school would offer, including AP courses, based on course requests!
- Central Academy and Central Campus courses are still available for ALL students who choose Virtual Campus!! We will also be providing space for Virtual students at Central Campus to make the transition easier from class to class for those taking courses at CC or CA!
If you are interested in DMPS Virtual Campus for the 2021-22 school year, do not miss your chance!! This is the LAST DAY to sign up for DMPS Virtual Campus online school next year! CLICK HERE to Enroll Now!!
COVID VACCINE LETTER
Vaccines are now open for people 16 years old and older. Here is a LETTER from Polk County’s Health Department about how get find a vaccine for your child 16 years old and older.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Interested in traveling to England, France, and Amsterdam in June of 2022 with Mrs. Brooks? EF Tours is offering a discount of $200 to any traveler who signs up by tonight, Friday, April 30th by midnight. Additionally, if you sign your child up by tonight, you qualify for a full refund by August 1st if for any reason your child cannot travel. It is best to book a spot today for $95 just so you are safe. Please visit this link for more information and to sign up if interested. http://www.eftours.com/2406163vr
Ms. Brooks says: I know this trip will be an invaluable experience for your child that will have such a positive impact on their personal and academic development. As a teacher, it will be a much-needed highlight of my year and I hope it will be for your family too. Please enroll your child today and contact me (email@example.com) with any questions.