Letter from the Principal December 16, 2020

 

Dear Andrada Families,

First and foremost I want to thank you for your support throughout the 1st semester of the
2020-2021 school year. I have watched our families, our students, and our staff struggle to do
what was once so “normal”– educate and be educated. This pandemic has affected our
Andrada family in so many ways both personally and professionally. As someone who loves the
challenge of finding solutions and fixing problems, I have been incredibly humbled.

As you know, 2nd semester will begin with a remote period of instruction beginning
Monday, January 4, 2021. Students will return to school for hybrid instruction on Monday,
January 25, 2021. This remote instruction period is being implemented to allow staff and Vail
families to enjoy the winter break and return to school without the anticipated spike in exposure
and positive cases. If we all do our part to stay safe and healthy the hope is that everyone can
return to campus ready to go without the staffing issues we are currently facing.

I know this “new normal” is hard for everyone. Our students are learning how to motivate
themselves to “go to school” at home when, for many of them, the best part of school was being
with their peers and learning together. Many of our parents are watching their children struggle
for the first time and feeling helpless. As educators, we are relying heavily on our parents’
support and our students finding the motivation to learn and be accountable without us being
able to look them in the eye and push them toward their potential.

In reflecting on the challenges our staff and students faced over the first semester, we know that
our students are more successful when they are connecting with their teachers and their
classmates regularly. It is with this in mind that we have made some changes. These changes
will begin with the remote period and continue when students return for hybrid instruction.

Please read through the expectations carefully.

● EVERY class will meet (remotely) EVERY day according to the bell schedule currently in
place.
● Students will join their classes through Schoology/Big Blue Button conference at the
beginning of every class. This is a “live” connection between teachers and students
every day.

● Attendance will be taken every class period everyday. Students will be marked absent if
they do not join the conference at the beginning of class.
● If a student is unable to participate in the conference, a parent must call the attendance
line and report them absent. Parents can always check attendance on PowerSchool to
see if their student attended class.
● Teachers will provide direct instruction through the conference. After direct instruction,
students will utilize the rest of the class period to practice what they’ve learned just as
they would if they were sitting in the classroom.
● On Fridays, we will be using our 1⁄2 day schedule. Students will check into classes at
their assigned class time through Schoology. Students may be assigned Reteach or
tutoring. Students who are not participating or turning in work regularly may be assigned
Advisor Base in the afternoon where they will work with a teacher to get caught up.
Reteach, tutoring, and Advisor Base are NOT optional.

Parents, please help us in getting our students to understand that school is everyday, every
period– just as it was before the pandemic.

If internet issues are a problem for your family, please reach out to our counselor Mrs.
Townsend. She has information about resources available to help. She can be reached at
townsenda@vailschooldistrict.org or 520-879-3315. If your student cannot login to a conference,
you will need to call our attendance line at 520-879-3303 to report them absent. We
acknowledge that this may be an issue. We also acknowledge that students are using this as an
excuse to not attend school. We need to know either way so we can step in and help.

Please know that we are doing our very best given the circumstances we have to work with. It
doesn’t seem fair. It isn’t what is best for anyone. This doesn’t change the fact that school is a
priority for your child and we have a responsibility to make school happen. We will continue to
adapt and adjust and make improvements so that their education can remain a priority. We need
your continued support to hold your child accountable to take what we are making available and
help us make school work despite the pandemic.

Thank you now and always for being our partner in your child’s education. I truly hope your
family has a wonderful holiday season!

Warmest Regards,

Julia Kaiser, Principal