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    The Paw Print
    Middle/High School Newsletter
    Friday, April 10, 2020

    Dates to Remember

    • Monday, April 13 - Material distribution for Phase 2 at-home learning
    • Wednesday, April 29 - Earliest date school would reopen

    Terrific Tigers

    • Congratulations to Lillian Crane for being selected for American Legion Auxiliary Girls State!
    • Congratulations to Addam Cansdale for being selected to American Legion Boys State!
    • Congratulations to the following students for being selected to the National Technical Honor Society:
      • Tristian Stark - Auto Technology
      • Jeffrey Jones - Building Trades
      • Angelo Ferrara - Culinary Arts
      • Cameron Giglio - Culinary Arts
      • DeJay Hammond - Heavy Equipment
      • Zach Hammond - Heavy Equipment
      • Seth Meade - Heavy Equipment
      • Jordan Slayton - Heavy Equipment
      • Benjamin Stilson - Heavy Equipment
      • Olivia Pratt - Nurse Assisting 

    Even More Terrific Tigers

    We know that this extended dismissal has been difficult for families as we try and continue school, and support our students in a vastly different environment. There are several groups that we very much appreciate! 

    • Parents - Thank you so much for your support and assistance as we move to at-home instruction. We acknowledge that this change has been difficult and we appreciate all of your assistance as we continue forward with this year!
    • Food Service - Thank you to all of our food service staff! With over 5,000 meals served since our dismissal began, this team has been doing a fantastic job! We so appreciate the work they put in to ensure the children in our community do not go hungry.
    • Transportation - Thank you to our transportation department, who have been assisting with meal location pick-up sites, drop-offs, and helping with material distribution for families unable to come pick up.
    • Teachers & Counselors - The teachers had one day to prepare the materials going home for Phase 1, and one week to compile three weeks of new learning! They have done a fantastic job jumping in, and making things happen for students! 
    • Teaching Aides and Assistants - Thank you to the teaching assistants and aides for helping us reach out to all households and learn about needs, and helping to prepare materials for Phase 2 distribution!  
    • Maintenance - The building has been busy! With food service, central office, and essential construction work, there is a lot of work for our maintenance staff to maintain. Thank you for keeping the building clean, sanitized, and keeping us all safe! 
    • Technology - Thank you to our technology team as they helped prepare all Chromebooks to go home during this extended dismissal. They have been available to help troubleshoot as we've jumped to much more online learning, and supported all of our student and staff technical needs! 
    • Office Staff - Thank you for keeping the lights on! While the school has been on an extended dismissal, this team is still paying bills, working and revising the budget, submitting emergency documents related to Covid-19, generating working papers, sending transcripts, conducting CSE meetings, supporting our students with supplies, and more! 

    Regents Exams Cancelled

    As you may have heard through the news, New York State Education Department cancelled the June Regents exams. Students who, during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the assessments in order to be issued a diploma. Click here to read the full memo.

    Material Pick-Up for Phase 2 of Instruction

    Families are invited to come to school and pick up the next round of materials and resources on Monday, April 13th from 10:00am-6:00pm. The materials will be distributed in the bus-loop on the elementary side of the building. Your children do not need to be present for pick-up. If you plan to come to school in a vehicle, pull into the bus loop where someone will ask for the name of your household and retrieve all materials for the household. You will NOT have to exit your vehicle. If you or your child will be walking to school to pick up your materials, come to the ramp next to the bus loop for your things. We ask that “social distancing” be practiced during this time. If you or your child will come down to the school on foot to pick up materials, please ensure you have a backpack for any textbooks that will also need to go home. 

    Phase 2 - Continuity of Instruction

    Beginning Monday we will begin Phase 2 of at-home learning. The notable change will be the introduction of new learning. While we previously have been reviewing material already learned during the year, we will now progress with new content. It is not our expectation that parents become the teacher, and replicate what would be done in a classroom. Resources and materials provided will help the children learn new material. We're asking for parent support in the following areas:

    • Please ensure your children are regularly checking their school email, Remind, and GoogleClassrooms. These are the teacher's primary methods for communication. 
    • Office Hours are available for all classes. If your child needs assistance with a class, please contact the teacher.
    • While some children may prefer to sleep in, please ensure your child follows a schedule that would enable them to connect with their teachers during their office hours, which vary from 8am-2:30pm.
    • Learning at home requires students to manage their time more independently. Many students are figuring this out, but some may need more reminders and assistance from parents.  Staff will continue to reach out to encourage all students to stay connected and engaged.

    Beginning this week, Middle and High School teachers office hours have been updated. This update is to prevent overlap of courses wherever possible for students' core academic classes. Additionally, ACE contact times have also been updated beginning the week of April 13th. Check out the new office hours here. To contact teachers, use the links below:

    Online Learning

    Students are used to seeing themselves on a screen. Using Zoom or GoogleHangouts is a new experience for students in their learning. While synchronous meetings are not the everyday meeting for classes, they may be available from time-to-time for students. We ask parents to please reinforce the following when students participate in online meeting office hours:

    1. Mute your audio unless you are participating. 
    2. Be aware of your background. Consider a "virtual background" in Zoom.
    3. Be aware of your attire.
    4. Use the chat feature to ask questions or "raise your hand" using the reactions tool.
    5. Use your first name and the initial of your last name when joining the meeting.
    6. Use appropriate behavior and be respectful of others!  The Code of Conduct still applies during on-line learning.

    A common question asked of us is why our students are not online using Zoom/Google Hangouts all-day following their traditional class schedule. As our district phone calls highlighted, flexibility in technology, assignments, and timing matter to busy families. Synchronized online lessons do not provide flexibility and may not be accessible for all students; therefore, we are asking teachers to provide asynchronous instruction. Avoca has invested in an online learning management system known as GoogleClassroom.  This is a virtual learning environment that allows teachers to create, manage, and share academic content.  It also provides for security, filters, and support that school districts require to stay compliant with NYS Education Law. 

    Internet Connectivity

    As we called families, we learned that many families are only able to connect to the internet using their personal cellphones. As some of you may not know, the students' Chromebooks can work in offline mode. This means that your child can connect to the internet somewhere (for example, our school parking lot) and download any assignments they would need to complete. They then could work at home while the computer is offline completing the work. The next time you are near the school, you can upload the documents and they would go to the teacher. Most classes are using GoogleClassroom as their primary student learning platform, and students should be able to complete work for the GoogleClassroom offline, then upload once connected to Wifi. 

    Phase 2 - Wildwood BOCES Students

    A letter was mailed home for all Wildwood BOCES students in CTE or Alternative Education programs outlining the plans for Phase 2 of instruction. A copy of this letter can be viewed here.

    Fundraiser Updates

    Two fundraisers will be available for students to pick-up on Monday, April 13th. Any student that has not yet picked-up their pasta order will be able to do so during our Phase 2 material pick-up. Additionally, any students that sold popcorn as a part of the Modern Language Club fundraiser will be able to pick up their popcorn. Please note, students that are delivering popcorn or pasta should make arrangements with their customers for a conactless drop-off. Call ahead and make plans to drop the items off on the customer's porch or other suitable arrangement that does not involve meeting in-person. 

    Library Books

    If you have materials checked-out of the library, you may return them to school on Monday, April 13th when you pick up the Phase 2 materials. There will be a collection box outside. These items will still show that they are "checked-out" on the school account for some time, until it is safe to check-in materials. 

    Chromebook User Agreement

    Below is a copy of the Parent/Student Notebook Computer User Agreement.  Students have already completed this form. It is included here as a reminder to families. 

    Click here to open the Parent Student Notebook Computer User Agreement

    Contacting School

    If you need to contact the school during the extended dismissal, please email leadership@avocacsd.org or call 607-566-2221 *1125. 

    Posting: Letter from New York State of Health

    Please click here to read a letter from New York State of Health about health insurance during the Covid-19 crisis.

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