Message from Bjorn - 7/30/2020

Hello ACMA family,

The world around us continues to change and as it does we are responding to the best of our ability to keep students and staff safe, develop supports for everyone at ACMA, and do all we can to help students learn. Looking ahead to a fall that will have some major differences from any we have ever seen, I wanted to share some of the things that we know right now and invite you to my next Coffee with the Principal on August 11th where I hope to be able to answer questions in person (and provide even more updates, since so much can happen in a week or so). 

As you may have seen in the letter from our district, all BSD schools will be beginning remotely in the fall, and three letters that you will probably hear over and over are “CDL” which is shorthand for Comprehensive Distance Learning. In a nutshell, this is all kids learning 100% remotely from teachers at their own school, and it’s the model we’re starting with at ACMA (and across our district). This will look different than it did last spring, with grades, more synchronous lessons, and some form of attendance. We’re still waiting for more specifics from the state on some of these logistics, but I’m meeting with teachers early next week, and (in conjunction with lots of district level work) we’re planning now for how we can best connect with and support our students remotely.

We know that some of this support will include daily synchronous lessons, and we are now in the midst of developing the times for the remote school day when we can see students connecting with teachers and classmates using the technology we have. This instruction will involve both “Teacher Facilitated Learning” which is structured to develop, deepen, and assess new knowledge and understanding, and is often used when the teacher is planning for all students to have a common experience related to specific learning targets; and “Student Applied learning” which allows for students to apply knowledge and skills that extend from the teacher-facilitated learning. These learning experiences are intentionally designed by the teacher to meaningfully deepen student engagement, allow for peer interaction, and to support family and community involvement. 

If this sounds a bit more like school as we’ve known it, it should. This fall will look different than the emergency response we saw last spring, and while it will not be the same experience as it would be if we were not in a pandemic and we were able to be all together on campus, I’m optimistic that it can be a positive for our students.

That said, we’ve got lots of planning to do before we start up on September 14th, a week later than our original start date. We’re engaging in that work now, and by my next Coffee with the Principal, at 10:00 am on August 11th I hope to be able to share more of that work with you. 

The login information for that Coffee with the Principal is:

Topic: ACMA: Coffee with the Principal

Time: Aug 11, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://beavertonk12.zoom.us/j/98457006534?pwd=Nys5dG1EUVY4OW5mMkhsem5QekhRUT09

Meeting ID: 984 5700 6534

Passcode: 3i625y

In addition, I’ll send more follow up emails to you as we move through August, and do my best to provide frequent and clear information on the usual before school starts events (like ACMA Day, Back to School Night etc.) as soon as I can.

I know this is different than we expected, and being away from campus isn’t the ideal any of us would choose, but we are committed to supporting our kids, our staff, and our families. Together, even if that together has to be from kitchen tables all across Beaverton, we can make it through the toughest times and at some point in the future we will all be together again.

Until then, I hope everyone can take a deep breath, think about ways we can all support one another, and look ahead to a 2020-2021 school year that will be different, will ask much of us, and will be what we collectively create. At ACMA creativity, kindness, and supporting one another  are what we do, no matter what building we’re in, and I believe that the year ahead can be a good one. 

I wish you all a positive final month of summer, and I look forward to many opportunities to connect with you in the weeks ahead. Take care,

Bjorn

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