Electronic Friday Folder -- September 25, 2020

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming ASFS Dates
  • Grade Level Virtual Coffee Chats - Week of September 28th
    • Tuesday, 9/29 8:15-8:45am - 5th Grade
    • Tuesday, 9/29 2:30-3:00pm - 2nd Grade **Note updated time**
    • Wednesday, 9/30 8:15-8:45am - 3rd Grade
    • Wednesday, 9/30 2:30-3:00pm - 1st Grade **Note updated time**
    • Thursday, 10/1 8:15-8:45am - 4th Grade
    • Friday, 10/2 8:15-8:45am - Kindergarten
  • Tuesday, 9/29 - Thursday, 10/1, 2:30-5:00pm - Supply Kits Pick-Up
  • Tuesday, 10/6 - ASFS PTA Meeting, 7:00pm (with Reid Goldstein, ASFS Arlington School Board Liaison)
  • Monday, 10/12 - No School for Students (Columbus Day)

Please visit the ASFS Master Calendar for all 2020-21 school year dates.

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Greetings from the ASFS PTA

ASFS Families, we've made it three weeks into virtual learning this school year, and would love to hear from you as we are all adjusting to this new world. With a number of opportunities to learn, share your feedback, and get your questions answered coming up, take a moment to send us your thoughts:

Next Week - ASFS Grade Level Virtual Coffee Chats (details & meeting links below):

Submit Your Questions: ASFS Grade Level Virtual Coffee Chats

Tuesday, October 6th 7pm - October ASFS PTA Meeting (with Reid Goldstein, ASFS Arlington School Board Liaison):

Submit Your Questions for Reid Goldstein & the ASFS PTA Meeting

Your ideas and involvement are very welcome, and we'll continue to gather and share with ASFS and APS leaders as we all work together during this time. Thanks, as always, for your support, and a special thank you to our ASFS teachers and staff for all their hard work and dedication. We know how challenging this year is, and we are very grateful for all you are doing for our students! --Dena Porter, ASFS PTA President​

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Principal Notes From Ms. Begley

Supply Kits Have Arrived

We have received supply kits supplied by Arlington Public Schools. We will have distribution next week on Tuesday, 9/29, Wednesday, 9/30, and Thursday, 10/1 from 2:30-5:00pm. Each kit is the same in grade K-2 and then grades 3-5. When you drive up, we will ask you for your name and then the grade level(s) of your child(ren). If you could make a sign with your child’s last name and the grade level that you could hold up, that would be very helpful. We will have staff who will bring the bag(s) to you. Along with the supply kits, we have a Science Fusion book for every student in grades 2-5. If you are walking, please stay 6 feet apart, and wear a mask.

Monday, September 28th

Monday is our first early release for professional learning for our staff.  After lunch, if you have lessons, they will be asynchronous so that we can be engaged in professional learning.
 
Recording of Mini-lessons and 1:1 Learning/Assessments

Your child may participate in 1:1 Teams meeting with his/her teacher or other school staff during distance learning.  A 1:1 Teams meeting will occur for the purpose of supporting learning and social development of students, mini-lessons of new content, and 1:1 assessments. Per APS Policy, all 1:1 Teams meetings must be recorded in Microsoft Teams (except for counseling lessons). Students will be reminded at the beginning of each 1:1 session that it will recorded. After the meeting concludes, the staff member will edit the settings for the video to keep the video from being viewed by all APS users. The purpose for the mini-lessons is to have the video available for re-teaching.

This is why having every parent complete the “opt in or opt out” form is so essential.  If you opt out, then we will make sure your child is not filmed during the mini-lesson of new content.  I understand and respect each family’s decision. Please know that if you choose to “opt out” of this, your child will not be able to participate in 1:1 Teams meetings.

From the APS Elementary Guidance: Full-Time Distance Learning:

“Teachers may engage students 1:1 in a virtual environment under the following conditions:

  1. APS faculty is using an APS issued device
  2. APS faculty is using an approved platform
    • Canvas
    • Microsoft Teams
  3. Interaction must be recorded* - Student must be informed that the interaction will be recorded

*Note: This does not apply to counseling sessions with students that would occur in an individual or small group meeting on Mondays.”

We will also discuss this at our parent coffees next week.

The Purpose of Patience and Respect in our School Family

In this time of learning and working from home, we know that there are many stressors for you and for all of us. This is especially heightened when technology does not work. Please know that this is frustrating for us as our staff is working many hours to teach in this synchronous and asynchronous environment. The internet goes down, the machine shuts down, my child has difficulty getting admitted into a TEAMs meeting, my child won’t stay on their iPad and I am in the middle of a business call that I cannot get off of. Have you experienced this frustration? We understand that this situation occurs and it is very frustrating. This is difficult for us as teachers, because we want virtual learning to be as close to in person learning as we can. However, computers are machines and sometimes connectivity has problems. Just as you become frustrated, we are very sensitive to these occurrences.

Teachers enter this profession to help children, are compassionate, and want a positive relationship with their students and parents.  It is alarming when parents come onto their child’s camera and disrupt lessons and/or get angry with the teacher. This situation is not helpful, nor collaborative for the students in the classroom, the teacher, or the parent. While teachers are engaged in synchronous learning, they cannot respond to emails because they are teaching. Please be patient. If you have a technology problem, email Mr. Harvey at charles.harvey@apsva.us, and he will respond to you, or call school. He is working 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and is trouble shooting throughout the day.  We are very fortunate to have such an experienced Instructional Technology Coordinator. Some things are a quick fix, and sometimes the machine has to be brought to school and needs to be recloned.

All of these things are fixable, but may take a few minutes. Please be patient and respectful, and we will be patient and respectful. It is easy for all of us to send an email that does not reflect the true purpose of respect and collaboration. Please reread your email before you push send. This will help all of us. Social media seems to be such a part of our culture to use as a tool to vent on. Please know that we are working to improve each and every day using virtual learning and posting on social media does not help to build trust and collaboration. If you are frustrated, call me or email me and we can and will work through this together. Let’s work together in the sprit of patience and respect and we will be champions for every child to learn and grow and know that we look forward to the children’s return, as soon as it is safe.

Important Reminder: ASFS Parent Teacher Code of Conduct

This year is unlike any other, and challenging for all of us in so many ways. As we are all balancing a lot on top of adjusting to virtual learning, please remember to keep the ASFS Parent Teacher Code of Conduct in mind when communicating with teachers and all members of our community. It is essential we embrace our core values of respect, civility, and responsibility and follow the Golden Rule to “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” We are all in this together, and thank you for your support.

ASFS Parent Teacher Code of Conduct

Next Week: ASFS Grade Level Virtual Coffee Chats

Join Principal Ms. Begley and a grade level teacher to have a chance to get your questions answered about virtual learning and the upcoming school year. The schedule and meeting links are below, and click for complete details with call-in information: Meeting Links/Call-in Details: ASFS Grade Level Coffee Chats

Tuesday, 9/29 8:15-8:45am - 5th Grade

Tuesday, 9/29 2:30-3:00pm - 2nd Grade **Note updated time**

Wednesday, 9/30 8:15-8:45am - 3rd Grade

Wednesday, 9/30 2:30-3:00pm - 1st Grade **Note updated time**

Thursday, 10/1 8:15-8:45am - 4th Grade

Friday, 10/2 8:15-8:45am - Kindergarten

​​​​If you have questions and/or key topics you'd like to make sure are covered during the sessions, please submit your questions or email Dena Porter by Monday, September 28th. Thank you!

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Now Live! ASFS PTA Directory 2020-21

The online 2020-21 ASFS PTA Directory is now live! With virtual learning this fall, the PTA Directory is a great way to reach out to parents in your class. You can search by grade, class, or name, and set your preferences for what information you would like displayed. Click below to view the directory, also available from top menu on the PTA website and accessible on your mobile device:

2020-21 ASFS PTA Directory

To date, 47% of ASFS students have opted into the PTA Directory. ​​​​​You can still opt in to be included in the ASFS PTA Directory, and your information will be included in the next ASFS PTA Directory update:

  1. Login to ParentVUE to complete the APS Annual Online Verification Process.
  2. Select 'Yes' for each of your ASFS students under PTA Directory Information.

APS has requested that all parents complete the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) by October 30th, and we encourage all ASFS families to opt into the PTA Directory as part of this process in order to connect with fellow ASFS families!

Acceptable Use Policy Forms Due Friday, 10/2

It is that time of year where students complete the Annual APS Acceptable Use Policy form for Student Devices! This year it will be completed online at home by you and your student(s). Directions for completing the form through APS Student Vue are attached. The process takes 5 minutes or less. Please complete the form with your student by the end of the Day Friday October 2nd.

APS Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Directions

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ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick-up

Christine A'Hearn, ASFS Librarian

ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick Up Instructions

  • Location – Front door of ASFS
  • Date and Times – Please come only on these days and times:
    • Mondays from 2:00 - 6:00 pm
    • Thursdays from 11:00 - 1:00 pm
  • Books can be returned at the same time and location.
  • If you cannot come, please email thomas.mcguire@apsva.us.

All book requests must be made by Thursday night – they will be ready for pick up on Monday. We will send an email on Monday letting you know what books are ready for pick up. For more information, please visit the ASFS Library Grab and Go webpage, and click below for instructions: 

ASFS Grab and Go Library Books Video

Stay Engaged & Support ASFS

Join the PTA:  Join online, or mail in/drop off your PTA Membership Form. New this year, we are now offering sponsorships, so that all families can be part of the PTA.

Support Our School: Visit Shop for ASFS for details on how you can support our school with your every day shopping, especially Amazon Smile

Shop for ASFS Spirit Wear: Visit the online ASFS PTA Spirit Wear Store to purchase your ASFS t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and magnets to show your school spirit! 

Volunteer to Help: Share your interests for the coming year: ASFS PTA Volunteer Form (2020-21), or download the ASFS PTA Volunteer Form (2020-21) and drop-off/mail your completed form to ASFS.

Technology Tips and Resources

Charles Harvey, ASFS ITC

From our ASFS ITC Mr. Harvey, see below for important technology resources, troubleshooting links, and how to get assistance with IT and device issues during virtual learning at home:

For Tech Assistance

Technology
Resources

APS Help and Expectations


Additional Technology Tips

  • Here is a link to YouTube explaining how to connect your iPad to your TV.
  • Here is the link to Amazon for the Kensington Wired Keyboard for iPad (This is what we use at school.)
  • Please do NOT to set or allow students to set passcodes on their iPads. When students lock themselves out of their iPads by setting passcodes and forgetting them, the iPad needs to be returned to Apple to be unlocked. Unfortunately APS is not able to turn this IOS feature off, so the only fix is for students to return their locked iPad and be issued a new one. 

For all ASFS device and technology issues and questions, please contact Mr. Harvey.

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APS School Meal Services for 2020-21

Did you know that APS is serving free meals to all children 18 and under, at 21 school locations and 10 drop-off locations throughout Arlington? There's no payment or enrollment necessary - just pick up meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 11am-1pm at the school most convenient and closest to you. On Monday and Wednesday, meal pickup will include breakfast and lunch for the following day as well. Parents are able to pick up food for students without the students being present. The Meal Sites and Drop-off Locations closest to ASFS are:

  • Myer Heights Park, 1400 Fort Myer Drive
  • Key Elementary School, 2300 Key Blvd
  • Woodbury Park, 2306 11th St N  
  • The Heights, 1601 Wilson Blvd
  • Washington-Liberty High School, 1301 N Stafford St
For more information and the complete list of sites, visit the APS Meals Sites webpage, and you can find school menus at: https://apsva.nutrislice.com. For more details, go to: https://www.apsva.us/school-year-2020-21/meal-services/

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APS News & Updates

Leigh Rex, VP External Affairs

***Take a few minutes to review the APS Superintendent's Return to School Status Update (9/24/20), and watch the September 24th Arlington School Board Meeting to hear Dr. Duran's presentation on the 2020-21 School Year Monitoring Report, including a proposed return to school timeline:

***Lisa Stengle, APS Executive Director, Planning and Evaluation, also provided an update on the Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process at the September 24th Arlington School Board Meeting, with draft boundary scenario(s) to be posted on October 5th.

Here are a few key APS initiatives and links relevant to ASFS families. Points to help you stay engaged through the school year:

Some Useful Sites to Bookmark and Follow:

Initiatives:

Ways to Engage: 

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ACTL Department/Content Committees - Call for Volunteers
Thank you to Sylvia Cacciato and Kater Merrill for serving as our ASFS ACTL (Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning) representatives for this year! 
 
In addition, if you are interested in serving on one of the 14 ACTL Department Committees, please go to the ACTL website or email the ACTL Chair, Rebecca Hunter, for more information. You do not need to be a subject-matter expert or an ACTL member to join, and there is no limit on the number of people from any school who can join. These committees meet once/month to engage with departments about student learning and to develop recommendations and progress memos. Each committee presents their recommendations and progress memos to the ACTL school and community committee on a regular basis.
 
Please see the ACTL Recruitment Flyer 2020-21 for additional details, including the list of Department Committees.

Register for the Virginia BioBlitz

Be a Citizen Scientist, Be an Explorer, Have Fun! "A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity." -National Geographic Society 

Click to register for the Virginia BioBlitz by September 26th, and visit https://sites.google.com/view/virginiabioblitz/ for complete details on how to join in the kickoff event, enjoy fun activities, and earn prizes.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Parent Resources

Arron Gregory, APS Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) provided a presentation at the CCPTA (Arlington County Council of PTAs) meeting this week. As part of their program, here are some useful resources they shared for families to use at home:

PTA Reminders

Get Started: Join the PTA / PTA Directory / New Family Buddy Program

​​​​​Get Involved: Donate / StoreShop / Volunteer / APS Volunteer Process

Stay Informed: PTA WebsitePTA Communications / ASFS Calendar

Stay Connected: ASFS on Twitter / PTA on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

​​​​​Please send all eFF submissions to Puja Valiyil by EOD Wednesdays. All content will be subject to approval by ASFS administration and the ASFS PTA.