Elementary Town Hall Minutes
Q: Will we still have K-6 ability level groups?
A: We will continue to provide group instruction in math and we are working on the details of what group instruction will look like.
Q: What are we going to do about volunteering for our hours?
A: We will make sure we provide guidance as to what volunteer hours will look like.
Q: Does Elementary have Summer work?
A: Summer Sharp packets are optional. We are not offering the packets anymore, only online resources please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Virtual reward will be coming soon for those students who did their summer sharp packet. These will not be graded as it is optional.
Q: Uniform changing?
A: We are not making any specific changes to the uniform this year. Uniforms that students have from years past they can continue to wear those. The uniform guide, found on our website, will show you the updates to certain pieces that may be discontinued in the future. Anytime students will be attending school, they will have to wear their uniform. Any uniforms from previous years will be accepted, including logos items. Currently we are not making them wear uniforms when they comes for testing or small group instruction that may only be for 30 minutes to an hour.
Q: Will notice be given for in person teaching to buy uniforms?
A: Yes, We will make sure we give ample notice when we are having students return to school so that you will have plenty of time to purchase uniforms.
Q: Can Ipads be used online?
A: Yes, Ipads are tools that can be used in online instruction.
Q: What time will live classes be held?
A: Teachers will schedule their own times according to their own personal schedule. For every teacher may look a little bit different. The reason why we are doing that is because if you have multiple children in a household we don’t want to dictate the time and have all of the times scheduled the same time so that you have multiple children on a computer or device that wouldn’t necessarily be able to access it for live instruction. We will leave the live session time to the teachers.
Q: Will my student have to take pictures of their answers and send them to their teachers?
A: Yes, we will need students to electronically submit their work. However, we will have the option for packets to be picked up and dropped off at the campus.
Q: Will teachers send out instructions on how to do Distance Learning?
A: All instructions on how to access live and recorded sessions will be made available.
Q: Will we have any hard cover books?
A: Families will have an opportunity to come to the campus and pick up any resources and materials that students will need for Distance Education. We will be planning the pick up process and will be sending out information as far as that will look like.
Q: School Supplies?
A: You will need to purchase school supplies that would help your child be successful for Distance Learning. If you need any supplies we can provide those to your students.
Q: How would I get a laptop/Chromebook?
A: We are going to send out instructions based on survey results we received to know which families need access to technology and will be reaching out to you so you know what the pick up will look like.
Q: Kindergarten will just be lesson plans that the parents will have to implement vs. actual online classes?
A: All K-6 students will have an opportunity to have live instruction with their teachers.
Q: Is private tutoring going to be made available?
A: Any access to the campus will most likely be a small group instruction.
Q: When will we get teacher assignments?
A: As soon as we put the class list together.
Q: When will the teachers contact the students before the 1st day of school?
A: We will plan a virtual Meet the teacher. Be on the lookout for more information specific to your child and your child’s teacher to gather more information on how we are going to kick off this school year.
Q: What about PE or other sports? Specials?
A: All of our special teachers (PE, Art, Music) will be providing recorded lessons for each of our students.
Q: What is the expected amount of time of work for elementary during the school day?
A: We are still working on the amount of time teachers will be providing both recorded lessons and live lessons, as well as homework. Based on the feedback we received last year we are definitely making some modifications to homework because we do understand that it was quite extensive. We want to make sure that it is something manageable at home.
Q: Students who are in Speech Therapy will they receive their services?
A: Any students who receive speech or any other special education services will continue to receive those services and their minutes will be met. Case managers of those students will be reaching out to those families to schedule times to provide that instruction.
Q: Why did you change the name of the school?
A: The name of the school change because the school board voted to not renew this contract with the out-of-state management company and with that name comes intellectual property of the management company. The name is now Amplus Academy. Amplus being a latin word meaning honorable, distinguished and esteemed. Three things that we think are great hallmarks of our students, community and staff.
Q: How long will Distance Learning be happening?
A: We are going to follow the direction and guidance from the State Public Charter Authority as well as the Southern Nevada Health Department to let you know how we are moving forward and providing education. Our hope is that we are able to bring all of our students back to the campus full-time when we are clear to be able to do that. The expectation would be that students are coming to the campus.
Q: Can we keep kids online if we choose too?
A: As long as we are provided guidance from the states that we are still going to be offering hybrid and online options then the access to education through distance-learning will be made available.
Q: What is Amplus doing to help with online predators?
A: All of the platforms we are using have high level security features that are approved by the state and definitely ensure the safety of our students. We are making sure that with any live sessions that there are no recordings of faces of our students being made available to anyone who may, on an outside chance, be able to access our videos.
Q: When will instruction and materials be available to download and receive?
A: We will have to get back to you on the timeline of when materials will be made available.
Q: Are teachers coordinating how assignments will be uploaded into google classroom?
A: We are definitely working to ensure that the process for families of students to access materials are streamlined so that everybody knows exactly where to go and how they need to access materials.
Q: Can parents expect a board liaison?
A: Our communication policy here at the school is that first you need to take it to the assistant principals or the actual principal. In the event you are not satisfied with the meeting you have with a principal you would escalate that to Rachelle Hulet, managing director, and set up a meeting. At that point if you feel as though you need to take it to the member of the board you can. A member of the board has been delegated as the parent liaison and you can request a meeting with them and Rachelle Hulet. The board is really here to support us, as managers of the school and make sure they are providing proper governance of the school. They don’t necessarily get involved in the day to day operations of the school. If there is a general concern that needs to be heard by the board, that would be appropriate to take to the parent liaison.
Q: Do we have ESL classes?
A: We will continue to provide all of our support for all our students through distance education learning. There will be opportunities for small groups of students to come to campus so that could also be an opportunity that is provided to those students. If families are not comfortable with that we will continue to provide through distance ed.
Q: How many students in a class?
A: It will be a standard class, however, we do have variations and we have some flexibility based on the fact that we are learning through distance education. Basically the grade levels and the needs of the students, the teachers really have the flexibility to be able to work with smaller groups of students so they could possibly have 10-15 students on an online session. It is up to the teacher on how they want to provide whole group and small group instruction.
Q: Is 6th grade band/orchestra still going to happen?
A: No, playing of musical instruments will not be offered. However, at this time we have a music curriculum that will be offered online.
Q: Can my students attend recorded sessions and not the live ones?
A: Yes, so your students can just attend a recorded session and all live sessions will be recorded, so you will have access to all lessons.
Q: Do we have any online libraries?
A: Any resources here at the school will be available to students. Anything that you feel you or your child need, even as far as checking out books in the library, you will have access to do that.
Q: When will the last day of school be?
A: At this point, the last day of school will remain the same, June 3rd. If there are any changes or updates to our calendar we will communicate it with our families.
Q: Extra Curricular activities?
A: We will not be offering any extracurricular activities.
Q: How are you conducting attendance?
A: Students are marked present with one point of contact with the teacher per week. However, we do have expectations for our teachers to have contact with our students via email, phone call or video chat at least once every single day.
Q: Access to Infinite Campus?
A: If you do not currently have access to Infinite campus you can email email@example.com.
Q: Will teachers have the same standards when it comes to distance ed?
A: Yes, all K-6 teachers will have the same standards as far as submission of work each week.
Q: Programs in the past?
A: We will continue with the same programs but they might look a little different and called different things. Ultimately our goal is to help your student learn, develop and grow and we will continue with those programs that are going to be helpful in accomplishing that goal. We are trying to expand the library that students will be reading from and that might look a little bit different but we believe that most of the parents will be pleased with the outcome.
Q: Major Changes at Amplus?
A: 1- Name 2-Vision and Mission 3- Major leadership positions that have been filled at the school and different services that will be offered. 4- Nevada Standards are now going to be aligned with all curriculum so that your students are going to be learning Nevada Standards 5- Amplus is committed to providing the absolute best in proper education that needs to be provided to our students.
Q: How is homework looking?
A: What we are looking at is definitely making some significant modifications to what students received last year. We understand that people are in challenging times and they have to provide all of the support at home so we want to make that as easy as possible. We are sensitive to that situation and we are going to make some changes to what homework looked like when students were in distance ed last year.
Secondary Town Hall Minutes
Q: As a self managed school do you intend to promote the pride and patriotism of our Country as in the past honoring Veterans?
A: Very much so. As a new principle coming in there were a lot of attractive aspects of Amplus Academy that we plan on continuing to promote. Veterans and Veterans Day is one of the many examples of things we are continuing.
Q: How do we access the student archer emails?
A: The student archer emails use the google platform. The login information you would use when you go to google website, similarly if you had a personal gmail account. Archer accounts are connected to the google platform. The new student emails are formatted firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How will you handle lab work?
A: One of the things we were talking to our teachers about when they plan is in consideration of these types of limitations so that students have an opportunity to maybe do labs when they are at home. Also they will be able to participate in a lab as observers and still be able to answer the questions. That is a model that is being used at the University level for the lab classes for schools who are doing distance learning.
Q: When will students get their schedule?
A: Students will get their schedule as soon as we are able to provide that to them. It’s nothing we are holding on to. With this shift to online learning everything had to change for our plans and that is being worked on diligently by our counseling department. They are reaching out to students this week to make sure they have everything set with choices for classes in Middle and High school. Our target is to have those done when students come to pick up their supplies. Schedules will be given out along with secondary supplies on September 9th, 10th, 11th.
Q: Are secondary students till taking 8 period classes and will there be electives?
A: Students will not be taking 8 classes this year. We have taken the character development program, which is a critical and foundational part of our school curriculum, and we have woven it into the instruction on a daily basis with the first period teacher. That first period teacher will function as a homeroom. Remember we are planning on how we would morph into a hybrid situation as soon as that opportunity is provided to us. We want to make sure the schedules would work virtually as well as they would in a hybrid situation.
Electives: we don’t want Secondary students to miss out on that opportunity so the electives will be conducted online and the teachers will make contact with those students and provide them a very flexible schedule when they can work on the elective classes. If we go back to a hybrid then all electives will stay on a virtual platform.
Q: Do Secondary students need placement tests? If so how do we schedule those?
A: Generally students who have been with us at Amplus Academy already know what classes they will be taking based on their performance from the year before. For students who are new, we will be offering assessments and looking at their application so we can place them accordingly. There may be shifting that we need to do within the first couple weeks if we find that the student is misplaced, particularly that would happen in a math class. Mrs. Cates is already creating a plan for these students.
Q: The school originally required three years of latin, then recently changed to four, is it possible if the kids can opt out of the 4th year?
A: We are having a lot of discussion about Latin, about its relevance. The Latin department here is strong, dare I say the best in the entire valley?! We are speaking with them about their personal recommendations for students to be able to progress through the program. We know that the state requirements for students qualify for an advanced diploma is only two years. So in conversations on what is best for students, that requirement will help determine what the policy is going forward. It is something we are looking at and I do not have a definite answer.
Q: Will students be reading the same literature as they did with APA or will it be required to go to common core literature?
A: The great news about Nevada academic content standards is that we can choose the texts we use to be able to provide the opportunities to the students to meet the standards. I think the literature and literature review I have done is excellent and I don’t see a big need to make changes and stop the teachers from teaching the text they really love. Furthermore, they have also been proven successful for our students. I believe in the foundation of Amplus Academy based on that classic model and I have no intention of changing that. I am going to defer to the teachers and english classes to advise us and let us know what they feel best is the needs of each of their students.
Q: Infinite Campus and Email access trouble?
A: Email us at email@example.com and let us know what your trouble is.
Q: Are we still doing Winterm this year?
A: Because we had to reevaluate our calendar, we are not going to be able to do winterm this year. We absorbed that within our academic calendar to make sure we are still meeting the academic needs of all of our students so we won’t be able to do that this year.
Q: Music Classes?
A: Yes, music classes for secondary in grades 7-12 are going to continue. Our music department is planning on functioning and again this is considered an elective. They will meet once a week and there will be ongoing assignments/projects that they are working on individually. For example, in a music class it would be practicing a certain piece of music and then perhaps performing it with the teacher or small group.
Q: How are we going to be donating money?
A: As a public school we are a 5013c corporation, we are working on our own foundation account so that all of our parents and community sponsors can continue to support our school in various ways. As soon as we have that account up and available we will send out that information to all our families. If you continue to donate to APEF, those donations will not come to our school.
Q: Volunteer hours?
A: That is something we are constantly evaluating because in this current situation there are just not a lot of opportunities. We are looking at some creative solutions to that, different opportunities, maybe from home or other ways we can contribute to our community.
Q: Private tutoring?
A: Students will have opportunities to make appointments where they need some extra interventions and support. That is something on the secondary level that we are looking forward to so that we address the needs of our students.
Q: How much time is it going to require for my student to be on the computer?
A: This approach that we are taking from Amplus is very flexible, we want to make sure that we are attentive to their needs and needs of your family. Some of you may have a larger family with a lot of kids that will be doing a lot of different learning from home, we don’t want that to be added stress. We will have a flexible time schedule, we plan on putting everything in a recorded way so that when they are ready and can they can access it.
Q: What does a Senior year look like?
A: Counselors should be reaching out to you first, talking about what your academic plan looks like and making sure we have really good communication with each of them.
Q: What are our breaks looking like?
A: The calendar that is published to our website is the board approved calendar. It has listed all of our breaks. Our end of the year is still planned for June 3. We were able to do that with what we have previously planned for. No real changes, still have winter and spring break. Our fall break is a little shorter. Thanksgiving is Wednesday-Sunday this year. Distance learning provides for some flexibility with travel, students should talk to their teachers about it so they can get what they need.
Q: ESS program?
A: We will be evaluating all IEPs and making sure we are making all the proper accommodation.
Q: How is PE happening?
A: PE is one of the classes that students are scheduled for. We have gone from 8 classes to 6 core classes and in some grades PE is one of those core classes. The electives are really a 7th period class and those are the ones they are going to do all virtual. But the day to day schedule will be built around 6 periods and those 6 periods will include PE.
Q: Will students be able to graduate early with enough credits from online courses?
A: That will be a conversation each senior individually will have with their counselor.
Q: Ballroom dance?
A: Some students are signed up for Ballroom dance, it is an elective which will continue to function just like our other elective classes (band, art, ect) and offer for credit online only.
Q: What time will online school start?
A: For secondary the conversations we have been having are taking in consideration what it would look like if we came back in hybrid. We have talked about in secondary that we would best be serving our community to start secondary instruction at 8:30am, so that when the time comes and we go to a hybrid version of our education, it would give families an opportunity to make sure our secondary students can get to class on time. We will follow that same model, there will still be office hours so parents/students can still get in touch with teachers between 7:30-8:30am. Still ending at 3:00-3:15pm.
Q: Do we need to buy anything prior to starting?
A: Technically if there is anything you would need, we as a school are happy to provide that. They will need the basics, but we will plan on providing them with these basics at the start of school.
Q: What is our math program looking like?
A: When it comes to following our state standards, whether it’s in english, science, social studies or math. Our biggest focus is making sure that the students are going to be able to perform at grade level. Those standards that indicate what they should be learning at grade level and should be matched by using the math programs we have. We are also investigating where we need to supplement and making sure the gaps we are seeing in our data is closed. I don’t have any desire to come in and toss out books that have already been proven successful. We just want to make sure that we are doing an accurate accounting of what is working and what’s not.
Q: Senior Pictures? Sweaters?
A: We are in the works of making those things come to pass.
Q: Open house?
A: We will be doing that virtually. We have also talked about different opportunities that our student government has been planning. So that we can still have normalcy, and to be able to meet and greet everybody.